Weekend links 393


The Invisible World of Beautify Junkyards will be the next release on the Ghost Box label in March 2018. Design by Julian House.

• Tantalising discovery of the week was Alphons Sinniger’s Eno (1974), a 24-minute film about post-Roxy Music Brian Eno which shows (among other things) the recording of Here Come The Warm Jets. The film is a scarce item that appeared briefly on YouTube before being yanked. Copies have been reposted (see here) although they may not stay around for long.

Nosferatu the Shapeshifter: An inventory of intertitles, prints and premiéres. A page that includes some detail about Die zwölfte Stunde. Eine Nacht des Grauens (The Twelfth Hour: A Night of Horror), a seldom-seen reworking of Murnau’s film from 1930 which added sound, additional scenes (none of them by Murnau) and a happy ending.

• At Dennis Cooper‘s: Entry Level: Luchino Visconti’s “German Trilogy”: The Damned, Death in Venice, Ludwig (1969–1973).

• “3,500 occult manuscripts will be digitized and made freely available online, thanks to Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown.”

• From 2015: Watch Alejandro Jodorowsky give a tarot reading (for Nicolas Winding Refn).

Portals of London: “Towards a catalogue of London’s inter-dimensional gateways”.

• At Spoon & Tamago: Gigantic sculptures by Kenji Yanobe of cats wearing helmets.

• At the BFI: Adam Scovell on 10 great “urban wyrd” films.

• At Swan River Press: Our Haunted Year: 2017.

Portals (2001) by Bill Laswell | Portals And Parallels (2010) by Belbury Poly & Moon Wiring Club | Abysmal Cathedrals Arise!—Beyond The Quivering Portal—Minds On Fire (2012) by The Wyrding Module



Data 70, a typeface by Bob Newman.

The presence of electronic artists Data 70 in the Spatial mix at the weekend had me thinking about the preponderance of cultural items that were given “70” as a suffix in the 1960s or in the year 1970. The air of futuristic optimism in the 60s drew attention to the birth of a new decade in a manner that hadn’t really happened before, and certainly didn’t happen for 1980 by which time the optimism had been sunk by a decade of political and fuel crises, and the end of the space race.

Data 70 take their name from the “futuristic” computer-like typeface designed by Bob Newman in 1970. Newman’s typeface wasn’t the first of the Space Age designs—Colin Brignall’s Countdown appeared in 1965—but Data 70 was everywhere in the 1970s. Data 70 (the group) dedicated a piece of music to Newman.

A few more 70s follow. These are only the ones I’ve been able to remember or stumble across so I’m sure there are more. And note: to qualify for this micro-category something has to be named “70” only where the suffix signifies modernity or the future, no Expo 70 (the world’s fair in Osaka) or anything annual that happened to be labelled 70 as part of a series.


Boccaccio 70 (1962).

The label might imply the future but the predominant tone of these entries is sex. Boccaccio 70 set things in motion by updating the Decameron to modern Italy. Despite the claims of the poster, anthology films are nothing new, and this one has four stories directed by Vittorio De Sica, Federico Fellini, Mario Monicelli and Luchino Visconti. Italo Calvino was one of the writers.

Continue reading “MCMLXX”

Schloss Linderhof


More Ludwigiana. Schloss Linderhof was Ludwig II of Bavaria’s miniature Versailles at Oberammergau and is a key location in Visconti’s film about the King. The house itself is a riot of gilded rococo which isn’t really to my taste but you can make your own judgement by taking a tour at the palace website or browsing the photos at Wikimedia Commons.


Of greater interest is the Moorish Kiosk in the palace grounds, a small pavilion originally created for the Paris exposition of 1867. The outside is a typical piece of Orientalist architecture while inside there’s some beautiful stained glass and a splendid Peacock Throne. This doesn’t feature in Visconti’s film, unfortunately, but the Venus Grotto does.


Philippe Jullian’s Dreamers of Decadence (1971) contains some pages about Ludwig and the inspiration he gave to Symbolist artists and poets. Reports of places like the Venus Grotto were among those inspirations, and Jullian recounts a description by actor Joseph Kainz of his first visit to Linderhof. The scene is played out in Visconti’s film almost to the letter:

All of a sudden the rock moved; an opening appeared through which we entered a long corridor, brightly lit with a red light. Along the walls of the grotto the King’s servants stood in line.

Still following the servants who were leading the way, I walked to the end of the corridor, as far as what appeared to be a natural opening in the rock. Through this opening there poured a sea of blue light. The interior of the grotto looked like a huge, dazzling sapphire, whose flickering brilliance spread over the craggy walls, entered every tiny crack, and cast a sort of magic veil over every object. I had stopped on the threshold, behind an overhanging rock, dumbfounded by the grandiose splendour that surrounded me; I was breathless with amazement. The ceiling of the grotto was vaulted, like that of a cathedral. I was inside the Venusberg.

I took a step forward and stopped again. The rock which had concealed me until then. had prevented me from seeing on my right a lake of astonishingly limpid water, lit by a sky-blue light. On it there glided two snow-white swans, while on the shores stood a tall man, all alone, and apparently deep in thought: this was the King.

For a moment I gazed at his fine head, his broad shoulders, his remarkably white hands which were casually tossing pieces of bread to the two swans; I also noticed the bright star made up of sapphires which was fastened to his hat.

He shook me warmly by the hand, releasing me from the feeling of depression which had affected me till then. Then the King took me up a path leading to the top of a hill in front of us. On the top of this hill there was a table made of sea-shells which stood on a large conch supported by crystal feet. Near this table there was a seat made of the same materials, and the servants brought along another. The King invited me to sit down, and supper was served.

Every quarter of an hour the King gave a signal and the lighting of the grotto changed; it turned red, then green, then blue, then gold, and into my imagination came memories of ancient legends and fabulous fairy-tales.

360 Cities has some panoramas of the Linderhof grounds with a view of the palace and one of the entrance to the Moorish Kiosk. As you’d expect, Flickr has a large collection of Linderhof photos while there’s also a pool of over five hundred images devoted to Ludwig II.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Schloss Neuschwanstein

Schloss Neuschwanstein


This weekend’s film viewing was a DVD of Luchino Visconti’s Ludwig (1972), something I’ve seen in parts before but don’t recall ever having watched all the way through. I enjoyed it on the whole although Visconti’s “hose-piping” camera style and crash zooms are frequently annoying. Helmut Berger was very good as the tragic King of Bavaria and the subject was given additional interest by my reading earlier this year of a number of Philippe Jullian books. Ludwig II was camp enough to have interested Jullian whatever age he lived in but the way his life connects to the Symbolist period lends him a special significance. He can’t quite be described as a Symbolist monarch but his tireless support for Symbolist god Richard Wagner, and his lavish construction projects, made him a hero to Verlaine and others, who saw in the realisation of his fantasies the actions of an artist working on the grandest scale.


Of all the palaces, Schloss Neuschwanstein at Hohenschwangau is easily the most spectacular, and Wikimedia Commons has a great selection of photos of which the two here are examples. The first picture is a 1900 photochrome print originally from the Library of Congress collection and the large version makes a great desktop picture. The helicopter view shows how the apparent isolation of the castle depends on where you place the camera. Visconti’s film makes use of all the King’s buildings although we never see a full exterior shot of Neuschwanstein possibly because the castle was unfinished at the time of Ludwig’s death in 1886. While he was alive Ludwig’s palaces were regarded as outrageous extravagances by a government dismayed by his patronage of Wagner, his scandalous homosexual behaviour, and his lack of interest in the nation’s political squabbles. Over a century later, Wagner’s music receives endless performances around the world while Schloss Neuschwanstein is the most popular tourist destination in Germany. Bavaria’s wars are long forgotten yet it was the King they declared to be “mad”. There’s a moral there.

The Neuschwanstein pool at Flickr

Previously on { feuilleton }
Temples for Future Religions by François Garas
Willy Pogány’s Lohengrin
Dallamano’s Dorian Gray