Weekend links 406

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Ways Of Seeing will be the next release by The Advisory Circle on the Ghost Box label, and with metallic gold cover art by Julian House.

• “The structure came to Argento while he was tripping on some good acid, a fevered dream logic piecing everything together. […] ‘People came running out, screaming, telling people in the queue “Don’t go in! Don’t go in! It’s all witches!” It just made everyone in line want to get in even more… it was amazing.'” Ben Cobb talks to Dario Argento about the making of a horror masterpiece, Suspiria.

• Mixes of the week: The Wire Playlist by Mary Halvorson, XLR8R Podcast 535 by Sofie, and Out of the Wood Show 93 by Robin The Fog.

• Death by Balloon: Chris Mautner on the horrifying and hilarious world of comic artist Junji Ito.

Look, any honest estimation of the new translation, by Michael Hofmann, of Alfred Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz from NYRB Classics is bound to begin with duteous piety, lauding it, since it is a one-and-done masterpiece that’s basically impossible to oversell, as (why not) the single biggest event in publishing in a lifetime, a crucial refurbishment of something English-language readers have been missing out on for a century, and a long-missing piece of Modernism’s ponderous jigsaw. All of which is the case of course. But when we’re talking about a dense, all-but-untranslatable Weimar-era novel, whose only point of reference for Anglophone audiences until now has been Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s meticulous fifteen-hour adaptation from 1980 (one heck of a tease) it feels important to attempt a slight rescue from its own forbidding reputation, because Alexanderplatz is less a book than a living thing, and one that joyously resists the dust heap of bourgeois literary scholarship with its every line.

JW McCormack on the new translation of Alfred Döblin’s Modernist classic

Section 28 protesters 30 years on: “We were arrested and put in a cell up by Big Ben”.

Angelique Kidjo talks reinventing Talking Heads’ Remain In Light on new LP.

• The hidden lives of gay men in the Middle East: photographs by Hoda Afshar.

Al Pacino’s journey with Wilde’s Salomé.

Tenebrous Kate

• Are You Seeing (1969) by Ora | Seeing Out The Angel (1981) by Simple Minds | Sine Seeing (2014) by The Advisory Circle

Weekend links 281

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Chimère du soir (1961) by Leonor Fini. Réalisme irréel is an exhibition of Fini’s work currently running at the Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco.

• ” ‘Paris invented the flâneur,’ he notes, ‘and continues to press all leisurely and attentive walkers into exercising that pursuit, which is an active and engaged form of interaction with the city, one that sharpens concentration and enlarges imaginative empathy and overrides mere tourism.’ ” David L. Ulin reviewing The Other Paris by Luc Sante.

• “A lot of posters promise so much that how can they ever deliver?” Nicolas Winding Refn talking to Mat Colegate about his book, The Act Of Seeing, a collection of posters for exploitation films.

• “Sexuality is present throughout and often subverts a narrative we might read entirely differently from a straight poet.” Callum James reviews Physical by Andrew McMillan.

This movie will lose a lot of people along the way, but then again, as far back as 1962, Ballard wrote a manifesto for a new form of science fiction, Which Way to Inner Space?, in which he insisted that “from now on, most of the hard work will fall, not on the writer, but on the readers. The onus is on them to accept a more oblique narrative style, understated themes, private symbols and vocabularies.” This is exactly what Wheatley wants from his audience.

Mike Holliday comparing Ben Wheatley’s forthcoming film of High-Rise with JG Ballard’s novel. Ballard’s suggestion for a new SF now seems increasingly like a road not taken. But that’s another discussion entirely…

The Lost Library of John Dee, an exhibition of books owned by the Elizabethan magus, opens at the Royal College of Physicians museum, London, in January.

Clive Hicks-Jenkins has been writing about his illustration heroes including Alexander Alexeieff.

Cameron: Cinderella of the Wastelands. The exhibition has just finished but the art is still online.

• Mixes of the week: FACT Mix 518 by Fis, and Secret Thirteen Mix 165 by Damien Dubrovnik.

• At Dirge Magazine: Tenebrous Kate on Fantômas, the French King of Crime.

• Suitably seasonal: Polish Night Music by David Lynch & Marek Zebrowski.

Kickin’ In, a previously unreleased EP of music by Patrick Cowley.

Jean-Michel Jarre‘s favourite albums.

Seeing It As You Really Are (1970) by Hawkwind | Seeing Out The Angel (1981) by Simple Minds | Seeing Red (1998) by Red Snapper

Weekend links 238

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We Are The Water – Snow Drawings Project, Colorado (2014) by Sonja Hinrichsen with 50 volunteers.

• I don’t do end-of-year lists but Dennis Cooper does. My thanks to Dennis once more for including this blog among his selections. Also there is Jonathan Glazer’s film of Under the Skin, an adaptation of Michel Faber’s novel that impressed me as the most insidiously disturbing thing I’ve seen since Mulholland Drive. The Guardian‘s film critics agreed, making it their film of the year. I’d add to Peter Bradshaw’s appraisal by noting the superb score by Mica Levi, the refusal to spoon-feed the audience with explanations, and a refreshing absence of Hollywood gloss. Glazer’s film, like Kill List before it, shows that mundane British streets and interiors can still be a setting for serious horror.

• Related to the above: “I like Caravan, Coil—it’s very sad that they’re both dead now. In fact, Peter Christopherson, who was leader of Coil, contributed a song to a CD which I made for my wife for what we believed would be her last birthday.” Michel Faber talks to Hope Whitmore about Under the Skin and his new novel, The Book of Strange New Things. M. John Harrison recommends the latter on his own end-of-year list. In January Black Mass Rising will release a recording of The Art of Mirrors, Peter Christopherson’s homage to Derek Jarman from 2004.

David Bowie and band live on Musikladen in 1978: 40 minutes with Adrian Belew on squealing lead guitar, some Kurt Weill and an outstanding performance of “Heroes”.

• “Realism is a literary convention – no more, no less – and is therefore as laden with artifice as any other literary convention.” Tom McCarthy on realism and the real.

• Mixes of the week: The Best of the Best of the Best by TheCuriosityPipe, and Secret Thirteen Mix 138, a medley of post punk from Psyche.

• “We spent two weeks making the penises.” Livin’ Thing: An Oral History of Boogie Nights by Alex French and Howie Kahn.

• At Dangerous Minds: Seeing The Man Who Fell to Earth was one of the greatest experiences of Philip K. Dick’s life.

• Giving Voice to Our Pagan Past and Present: Pam Grossman on Witches, Women and Pop Occulture.

• Neglected last week (and linked everywhere but still a good one): The typography of Alien.

William Mortensen, the photographer who Ansel Adams called the Anti-Christ.

• Hear a track from analogue synthesizer virtuoso Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.

Rick Poynor on illustrations by Bohumil Stepan for Crazy Fairy Tales.

12 excellent features from directors who never made another feature.

Werner Herzog Inspirationals

The Devil in the Hedgerow

New Warm Skin (1980) by Simple Minds | Rapture Of The Skin (1996) by Paul Schütze | Take Me Into Your Skin (2007) by Trentemøller