Weekend links 253


A painting by Stephen Mackey.

• “Creativity is visual, not informed thought. Creativity is not polite. It barges in uninvited, unannounced—confusing, chaotic, demanding, deaf to reason or to common sense—and leaves the intellect to clear up the mess. Above all else, creativity is risk; heedful risk, but risk entire. Without risk we have the ability only to keep things ticking over the way they are.” Revelations from a life of storytelling by Alan Garner. Related: Tygertale on Garner’s Elidor (1965), “the anti-Tolkien”. The BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Elidor remains unavailable on DVD but may be watched on YouTube.

• “One of my revelations was to reverse everything I’d been taught. Making lettering as illegible as possible falls into that way of thinking.” Psychedelic artist and underground cartoonist Victor Moscoso talks to Nicole Rudick about a life in art and design. Related: “I’ve gotten a lot of bad write-ups in newspapers over the years and they like to refer to my stuff as ‘kitsch’…Well, my stuff is way fuckin’ kitsch. It’s kitsch to an abstract level, you understand. It’s fuckin’ meretricious.” I love it when Robert Williams kicks the art world.

• “…a cerebral, challenging, visually stunning piece of 1970s American science fiction that enweirds the human perspective by challenging it with a nonhuman one.” Adam Mills on the inhuman geometries of Saul Bass’s Phase IV.

• “[Delia Derbyshire] taught me everything I knew about electronic music.” David Vorhaus talks to David Stubbs about White Noise and why he prefers the latest technology to old synthesizers.

• Costumes from Alla Nazimova’s film of Salomé (1923) have been discovered in a trunk in Columbus, Georgia.

• Mix of the week: The Ivy-Strangled Path Vol. I, “music for a residual haunting” by David Colohan.

• At Dangerous Minds: Queer, boho or just plain gorgeous: photographs by Poem Baker.

Grimm City, a speculative architectural project by Flea Folly Architects.

Mad Max: “Punk’s Sistine Chapel” – A Ballardian Primer.

In Search of Sleep: photographs by Emma Powell.

Drains of Manchester

Road Warrior (1985) by The Dave Howard Singers | Warriors Of The Wasteland (Original 12″ mix, 1986) by Frankie Goes To Hollywood | Drive It Mad Max (Super Flu Remix, 2009) by Marcus Meinhardt

2 thoughts on “Weekend links 253”

  1. Having re-watched the Max trilogy in the last week or so, I’m surprised Ballard had such a strong preference for THE ROAD WARRIOR over the first one. MAD MAX struck me as the most Ballardian of the three. THE ROAD WARRIOR (brilliant as it is) adopts a more conventional moral structure of good guys and bad guys. MAD MAX, on the other hand, feels like it depicts a world where the isolated deviants of CRASH have become the norm; the leather-clad, adrenaline addicted cops in MAX present somewhat less of a veneer of normative civilization than the besieged refinery community in the sequel.
    For what it’s worth, the much-maligned THUNDERDOME I found a charming enough oddity this time around. Somewhat inferior to other two, definitely, but it’s nice to see a sequel every so often that goes off on a complete tonal tangent from its predecessors. Fingers crossed for FURY ROAD, although I can’t say I’m hugely keen on the heavily post-processed look of the image, which really lacks the vivid grit and glare of THE ROAD WARRIOR.

  2. One good thing about the new film was being able to pick up a cheap Blu-ray box of all three films last year. Was interesting watching them all again, especially 1 and 3 which I’d always dismissed.

    Ballard’s position is explained pretty thoroughly in that post: he liked the authentic post-apocalypse world, something that hadn’t been put on screen so well before. And all the cars and the action. Mad Max was a tough film for its time but it’s also not so far removed from a Roger Corman biker movie; the plot in 2 is perfunctory but it’s not really about the story, it’s about the entire aesthetic and the action sequences. The latter seem less impressive today but only because Hollywood has aped them relentlessly (hello, Fast and Furious!). I enjoyed Thunderdome much more this time around, it works well until they send him off into the desert. One thing all three films have going for them is that all the stunts are very real. The new film looks like more CGI business mixed into real stunt work which can’t help but add a veneer of unreality however spectacular the results.

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