Weekend links 411

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The Temple of Love (1911–24) by Herbert E. Crowley.

• My film viewing in the 1980s involved a considerable amount of backtracking: watching any film noir that turned up on the TV while chasing the early works of David Cronenberg, and various “New Hollywood” classics on television or at repertory cinemas (when such things were still plentiful). Contemporary fare by comparison was often a lot less attractive, although I’d be waiting for new work from David Lynch and Nicolas Roeg while pursuing obscurities (usually the banned or censored) on videotape. Popular films seldom generated actual loathing but throughout the decade I nurtured a persistent hatred for the works of John Hughes, an animus that can still return today when I read yet another nostalgic article about his oeuvre.

The monoculture of the 1980s was writ large on American cinema of the decade. From Arnold Schwarzenegger’s muscle-rippling actioners to John Hughes’s adolescent confections, bombastic, generally upbeat films characterised the decade of the yuppie.

Christina Newland offers a welcome riposte to the pastel-hued retrospectives in a piece entitled “Reagan’s bastard children: the lost teens of 1980s American indie films”. While not exclusively teen pictures, I’d have mentioned three low-budget films written by Eric Red: The Hitcher (1986), Near Dark (1987) and Cohen and Tate (1989).

The Temple of Silence: Forgotten Works & Worlds of Herbert Crowley is a lavish (and costly) study of the strange comic strips and incredibly detailed drawings of Herbert E. Crowley (1873–1937). Mark Newgarden interviewed Justin Duerr about rescuing Crowley’s art from undeserved neglect. I missed an earlier interview by Steven Heller with Temple of Silence publisher Josh O’Neill. There’s more: The Wiggle Much a Tumblr devoted to Crowley’s comic strips and other artwork. (Ta to Jay for the tip!)

Pandemic is an interactive film by John Bradburn for The Science Museum. “A pandemic is causing heart failure–how far will you go to create a pig/human hybrid to provide donor organs?” The multiple choice begins at YouTube; there’s also a behind the scenes feature at the Museum blog, and a trailer. Anyone who remembers a certain scene in Lindsay Anderson’s O Lucky Man! may hesitate before playing.

Given the plain palette of so much 1969–70 rock—jammed-out bluesy boogie in the Canned Heat and Allman Brothers mode, nasal pseudo-country harmony singing à la CSN&Y and their afterbirth—it is tempting to imagine an entirely alternative history for rock. It’s a parallel world where Fifty Foot Hose’s Cauldron, United States of America’s self-titled album and synthedelic oddities from Syrinx, Silver Apples, Beaver & Krause and Tonto’s Expanding Head Band were just the run-up to a giant leap into the electronic future.

Simon Reynolds in an excellent piece on one of my favourite musical sub-genres, electronic psychedelia

• The week in animated film: Emerald Rush, a video for an extract from Jon Hopkins’ new album, Singularity; Awaken Akira, a short homage to Katsuhiro Otomo’s graphic novel/film by Ash Thorp and Zaoeyo; Extra (1996), a video by one of the Akira animators, Koji Morimoto, for music by Ken Ishii.

Tenebrous Kate on The Powers of Darkness & The Powers of the Mind: The Legacy of Jacques Tourneur’s Night of the Demon. Related: a look at the film’s shooting script and pressbook.

• At Dangerous Minds: John Gray, the pre-Bosie lover of Oscar Wilde, and the man whose surname is memorialised in Wilde’s most famous creation, Dorian Gray.

• Skewing the Picture: China Miéville posts the full text of an essay from 2016 about the rural weird.

• Share a pastrami sandwich with TED Klein in Episode 65 of Eating the Fantastic.

• More Hodgsoniana: The Land of Lonesomeness, a short story by Sam Gafford.

• At The Quietus: Barry Miles on William Burroughs’ years in London.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Curtis Harrington Day.

Night Of The Assassins (1977?) by Les Rallizes Dénudés | Night Of The Earth (1980) by Chrome | Night Of The Swallow (1982) by Kate Bush

Weekend links 270

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Cover design for UFOs and Extra-Terrestrials in History (four vols, 1978) by Yves Naud.

Come To The Sabbath, “a festival of dark arts delving into the influence of Black Magick, Witchcraft, Demonology and Satanism in pop culture”, takes place at Apiary Studios, 458 Hackney Road, London, from Tues 18th–Sun 23rd August.

• “Visitors, if there had ever been any, would have said that the little town of Mansfield was haunted.” Showdown is a previously unpublished short story by Shirley Jackson.

• “A sandbox stealthy immersive sim in a surreal, horror-y world inspired by writers like Burroughs and Ballard…” Alice O’Connor previews the forthcoming computer game, Tangiers.

Sometime in the late 1960s, the artist Robert Smithson took a trip to southwestern Ohio. He saw the Great Serpent Mound there and decided that he would make a great spiral too. […] Because the Great Salt Lake’s levels vary several feet from year to year, and also from season to season, Spiral Jetty is not always visible even if you make the trip to Utah. You could go out to Spiral Jetty and find that the entire earthwork is invisible underwater. When Robert Smithson created this earthwork in 1970, he did not care if it could be easily seen or who owned it. And so, even today, no one knows to whom Spiral Jetty really belongs. To view it requires a pilgrimage.

Stefany Anne Goldberg on earthworks, new and ancient, and the art of disappearance

• “Commercial book cover design is a minor portion of Gorey’s award-winning legacy, but not a lesser art.” Steven Heller on Edward Gorey: cover designer.

• “You are accepted,” he says, “by the genre that can accept you.” Samuel R. Delany talked to Peter Bebergal about being an outsider in the world of science fiction.

A battle of Witts: A brief look at ‘Taboos’ and the work of The Passage. Mark Griffiths on a great, if seldom-remembered, Manchester band.

• “Hispanic photomonteur Josep Renau aimed Technicolor jets of scorn at the mirage of US consumerist culture,” says Rick Poynor.

• Because the internet is really big… Kelli Anderson reworks the Eames’ The Powers of Ten using imagery found via Google searches.

Against Nature is a forthcoming musical adaptation of Huysmans’ À Rebours by Marc Almond, Jeremy Reed and Othon.

“What makes a film noir?” Adam Frost & Melanie Patrick have an infographic for you.

• Mixes of the week: Gizehcast #20 by LCC, and Jenny Hval‘s WEIRD Quietus mix.

• Mysterium Tremendum: Russell Cuzner on The Strange World of Lustmord.

• The charming march of the Penguin Books logo.

Cosey Fanni Tutti: Agent Provocateur

Dark Times (Peel Session) (1980) by The Passage | XOYO (1982) by The Passage | Revelation (1982) by The Passage

Ezio Anichini’s Salomé

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Scena Illustrata was an Italian magazine that continued to fly the flag for Art Nouveau into the 1920s, by which time the style’s organic flourishes were looking old-fashioned when compared to the rectilinear forms of early Art Deco. This cover is from 1921 but could easily have appeared any time in the past two decades. Ezio Anichini (1886–1948) was a regular illustrator for the magazine. Searching for more of his work I realised I’d seen several of his covers before without having known his name. His Salomé looks more like something by Léon Bakst than anything from the Middle East, while that impossible reversal of the dancer’s head adds something we haven’t seen before. Steven Heller wrote a short appraisal of the artist’s career last year. There’s a lot more from Scena Illustrata on this Marinni page. (Via Beautiful Century again.)

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The Salomé archive

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Weird Tales, October 1933. Cover art by Margaret Brundage.

• Michael Moorcock’s novels are being republished this year by Gollancz in a range of print and digital editions. Publishing Perspectives asks Is Now a Perfect Time for a Michael Moorcock Revival? • Related: Dangerous Minds posted The Chronicle of the Black Sword: A Sword & Sorcery Concert from Hawkwind and Michael Moorcock. My sleeve for that album was the last I did for the band. • Obliquely related: Kensington Roof Gardens appear as a location in several Moorcock novels, and also provided a venue for the author’s 50th birthday party. If you have a spare £200m you may be interested in buying them once Richard Branson’s lease expires.

• One of my favourite things in Mojo magazine was a list by Jon Savage of 100 great psychedelic singles (50 from the UK, 50 from the US). This week he presented a list of the 20 best glam-rock songs of all time. For the record, Blockbuster by The Sweet was the first single I bought so I’ve always favoured that song over Ballroom Blitz.

The Alluring Art of Margaret Brundage is a forthcoming book by J. David Spurlock about the Weird Tales cover artist. Steven Heller looks at her life (I’d no idea she knew Djuna Barnes) while io9 has some of her paintings. Related: Illustrations for Weird Tales by Virgil Finlay.

The masterpiece of Mann’s Hollywood period is, of course, Paracelsus (1937), with Charles Laughton. Laughton’s great bulk swims into pools of scalding light out of greater or lesser shoals of darkness like a vast monster of the deep, a great black whale. The movie haunts you like a bad dream. Mann did not try to give you a sense of the past; instead, Paracelsus looks as if it had been made in the Middle Ages – the gargoyle faces, bodies warped with ague, gaunt with famine, a claustrophobic sense of a limited world, of chronic, cramped unfreedom.

The Merchant of Shadows (1989) by Angela Carter. There’s more of her writing in the LRB Archive.

• Television essayist Jonathan Meades was back on our screens this week. The MeadesShrine at YouTube gathers some of his earlier disquisitions on culture, place, buildings and related esoterica.

• Sometimes snark is the only worthwhile response: An A-Z Guide to Music Journalist Bullshit.

• London venue the Horse Hospital celebrates 20 years of unusual events.

The Politics of Dread: An Interview with China Miéville.

How Giallo Can You Go? Antoni Maiovvi Interviewed.

A guide to Terry Riley’s music.

• Three more for the glam list: Coz I Love You (1971) by Slade | Get It On (1971) by T. Rex | Starman (40th Anniversary Mix) (1972) by David Bowie

Weekend links 112

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“Venus moves across the Sun in this image captured by Japan’s satellite Hinode, on June 6, 2012.” Via.

The imagery in Ah Pook covered a wide range of ideas. A train full of Mayan Gods for instance travelled through various time zones to end up alongside a carnival in a red brick town outside St Louis. Then they got out…out of the books Mr. Hart was reading on the train. Fact also alternated with fiction. We could be chugging along with Lizard boys in a Mayan City one moment then switch to a history of Immigration Laws in the US or the development of tape recorders and Speech Scramblers. Then switch to a bright red Shrew boy with a hard-on on a bicycle in Palm Beach at the end of the world. Time was what the book was about: defining it, controlling it and moving back and forth within it.

Malcolm McNeill

Malcolm McNeill talks to The White Review about working with William Burroughs on Ah Pook Is Here. Related: Jan Herman as Publisher of Nova Broadcast Press. Reality Studio has all the Nova Broadcast publications as downloadable PDFs.

• More Graphic Canon news: design historian Steven Heller reports on the project while at Nashville Scene editor Russ Kick talks to Joe Nolan about the books.

• There’s still a couple of days left to hear Martyn Wade’s Blue Veils and Golden Sands, a BBC radio drama about electronic composer Delia Derbyshire.

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“Venus in silhouette, seen between the Earth and Sun, from NASA’s orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, on June 5, 2012.” Via.

• From 2010: Video of an hour-long lecture by Alberto Manguel at Yale University on “Borges and the Impossibility of Writing”.

• Bauhaus reflections: Frank Whitford on the design school and the exhibition currently running at the Barbican, London.

• “It’s easier to be gay in the US army than it is to be gay in hip-hop.” Zebra Katz, Mykki Blanco and the rise of queer rap.

• Back at the event site: Another extract from M. John Harrison’s forthcoming novel Empty Space.

• Rare 1959 audio: Flannery O’Connor reads A Good Man is Hard to Find.

Venus Transit 2012 – Ultra-high Definition View (NASA/ESA).

• The kitties just don’t care: Indifferent cats in amateur porn.

What happened to Dorothy Parker’s ashes?

Space Teriyaki 5 at 50 Watts.

Venus/Upper Egypt (1991) by Sonny Sharrock | Venus (1996) by Funki Porcini | Venus (2003) by Air