Weekend links 707


Dragon and Tiger—Designs for Lacquer Inro (no date) by Mori Genkosai.

• “But where have all those copies of Corridor of Mirrors gone? Sometimes I entertain the thought that an obsessive collector has amassed them in his library lined with looking-glasses, so that nobody else can possess the book but he, and he can see them all, multiplied to infinity, as he stalks up and down in his scarlet smoking hat and velvet coat, and gloats.” Mark Valentine on the mysterious unavailability of Corridor of Mirrors (1941), a novel by Chris Massie. The film adaptation made a few years later is one I’ve managed to miss, despite its starring Eric Portman and featuring the first screen appearance of Christopher Lee. Future viewing, I think.

• “The intrepid logician Kurt Gödel believed in the afterlife. In four heartfelt letters to his mother he explained why.” Alexander T Englert explains Gödel’s explanations.

• At Open Culture: Hortus Eystettensis (1613), “the beautifully illustrated book of plants that changed botanical art overnight”.

• Mix of the week: Aquarium Drunkard presents The Secret Hemisphere: New Age, Fusion and Fourth World, 1970–2002.

• New music: Phases Of This And Other Moons by Field Lines Cartographer.

• Why Graphic Culture Matters is a new book of essays by Rick Poynor.

• At Spoon & Tamago: Japanese Designer New Year’s Cards of 2024.

• Steven Heller’s font of the month is Chutz.

• At Dennis Cooper’s it’s Barbara Steele Day.

The Hall Of Mirrors In The Palace At Versailles (1970) by John Cale & Terry Riley | The Hall Of Mirrors (1977) by Kraftwerk | The Room Of Mirrors (2000) by Harold Budd

2 thoughts on “Weekend links 707”

  1. Chris Massie’s Corridor of Mirrors seems destined to be one of those lost books offering tantalizing hints but which remains just beyond the grasp of the collector. The movie is definitely worth checking out though. The good folks at Kino Lorber have a remastered Blu-Ray (and DVD) for those such as myself who prefer the hardcopy. I saw it here in Washington DC as part of a Film Noir festival (!) back in 2016 and was struck immediately by it’s unique weirdness. It has joined my small but mighty personal film collection.

    Congratulations to whoever rescued the film from obscurity . “Cult” movies such as this are easily lost themselves. Although he has a minor role it is delightful to see an impossibly young Christopher Lee. The only negative is Edana Romney’s somewhat wooden performance but we seem to owe the existence of the film to her since it turns out to be a personal project. And her performance serves to rather balance Portman’s haunted intensity. Perfect symmetry. A movie made by obsessives about obsessives from a novel desired by obsessives.

  2. I was watching Eric Portman recently with return visits to Powell & Pressburger’s A Canterbury Tale and the original TV series of The Prisoner where Portman appears in an episode as No. 2.

    Corridor of Mirrors sounds to me more like Gothic drama than film noir, even though the noir boundaries are tenuous at best. I’m surprised there’s not been a reissue here as there was for Dead of Night and The Queen of Spades; all three films are part of the minor resurgence of quality Gothic films that emerged in British cinema after the war, horror themes having been banned for the duration.

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