In Germany before the war

1: Fritz Haarmann (1879–1925)

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Arrow shows Haarmann’s attic residence in Rote Reihe, Hanover.

Haarmann was one of several serial murderers haunting Weimar Germany, variously nicknamed “the Butcher of Hanover”, “the Vampire of Hanover”, “the Wolf Man”, etc. for his sexual assault, murder and dismemberment of at least 24 boys and young men between 1918 and 1924. Haarmann also sold meat on the black market which led to rumours that some of the mince and other produce he sold was human flesh.

2: M (1931), a film by Fritz Lang.

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Thea von Harbou’s script for M is based in part on the Haarmann case although Lang’s child-killer is shown preying on girls rather than boys. Peter Lorre is superb in his first major role as the murderer, while Lang’s use of the new sound technology is remarkably inventive when compared to his stagey contemporaries in Hollywood.

3: M (1953), a film by Joseph Losey.

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Lang’s masterwork reworked as a Los Angeles film noir by Joseph Losey before McCarthyism sent him to Europe. This is one noir I still haven’t seen even though a major sequence takes place in that cult location, the Bradbury Building.

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Weekend links 8

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Another label design of mine for the Adur Brewery. Much as I like Otto Weisert’s Arnold Böcklin typeface it’s something I’ve been reluctant to use in the past due to its lazy deployment by UK shop sign makers. The ribbon motifs and the hops are adapted from one of my Art Nouveau reference books, however, so it seemed appropriate in this case.

Dead Fingers Talk: The Tape Experiments of William S. Burroughs, a forthcoming exhibition at IMT, London, “presenting two unreleased tape experiments by William Burroughs from the mid 1960s alongside responses by 23 artists, musicians, writers, composers and curators.” Related: get a Naked Lunch t-shirt (or another cover design) at Out of Print clothing.

Ronald Clyne: American folk modernist. Rediscovering the album and book cover designer.

Better Things: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Jones. A documentary about the work of artist Jeffrey Jones. Related: Mike Kaluta appears in the trailer and Golden Age Comic Book Stories has pages from Kaluta’s illustrated Metropolis (1988), a novel by Thea von Harbou.

• “I imagined myself as a giant penis launching off from earth like a spaceship.” WFMU’s Beware of the Blog explores Cary Grant’s use of LSD. Related: Orange Sunshine – The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and Its Quest to Spread Peace, Love, and Acid to the World, a book by Nicholas Schou.

• Britain’s armed forces have a lesson for the US: “Only 10 years ago, the Army was expelling soldiers for homosexuality. Now gay weddings get the regimental blessing.” A very modern military partnership.

Cassette tapes and their growing curiosity/fetish value. Related: Michael Stipe and Maison Martin Margiela’s sterling silver microcassette charm.

• Another week, another theremin link: Detergent bottles become theremins.

• “Edinburgh is a city built on the production of books”.

The National Archives UK’s photostream at Flickr.

Typographic playing cards.

• A song for Cary Grant: The Trip by Park Avenue Playground, an obscurity from 1967. And These New Puritans have a new video for Attack Music.

Metropolis posters

Fritz Lang’s masterpiece via some of its posters, all from 1927.
This site is a great source of information about the film.

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Designer: Heinz Schulz-Neudamm.
As of 2005, the world’s most expensive film poster, selling for $690,000.

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