The Innocents (1961), one of the great cinematic ghost stories.
• “Out of the many adaptations, Jack Clayton’s [The Innocents] is considered the benchmark. The film celebrated its 60th anniversary this year, having premiered in London on the 24th of November, 1961. Considering the sheer number of competitors to Clayton’s version, it is telling of the film’s qualities that it still stands far and above its many peers. In fact, it is difficult to see James’s story without those stark black-and-white images of the film coming to mind, as well as its stunning central performance by Deborah Kerr. Suffice to say, 60 years on, James’s screen ghosts still haunt.” Adam Scovell on the many adaptations of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.
• “I wanted to turn sex into art because art makes sense of life.” Jack Fritscher talks to photographer Rick Castro about gay S&M fetishes, Drummer magazine, Robert Mapplethorpe, and his BDSM porn studio, Palm Drive Video.
• “Fela was a very good human resources manager.” Lemi Ghariokwu, creator of over 2,000 album covers, talks to Nathan Evans about his time working for Fela Kuti.
I’ve been approached several times to ‘make an NFT’. So far nothing has convinced me that there is anything worth making in that arena. ‘Worth making’ for me implies bringing something into existence that adds value to the world, not just to a bank account. If I had primarily wanted to make money I would have had a different career as a different kind of person. I probably wouldn’t have chosen to be an artist. NFTs seem to me just a way for artists to get a little piece of the action from global capitalism, our own cute little version of financialisation. How sweet—now artists can become little capitalist assholes as well.
Brian Eno on the fool’s-goldrush du jour
• At Vimeo: The Snail on the Slope, a film of generative processes by Vladimir Todorovic based on the strange science-fiction novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.
• At Dangerous Minds: an exploration of Eight Songs for a Mad King by Peter Maxwell Davies, “one of the most insane pieces of music ever written”.
• “This is how one ought to see, how things really are.” Ido Hartogsohn on Aldous Huxley’s mescaline experiments.
• Always an essential guide: The Wire magazine’s releases of year.
• The end of December brings us Alan Bennett’s diary at the LRB.
• At Dennis Cooper’s: Ryoji Ikeda Day.