"Entrants are encouraged to let their imaginations run wild as to the ghostly attire and makeup they feel appropriate for their appearance in the contest."
Friday, 11 July 2014
Monday, 9 September 2013
|Angel Of The Abyss, undated|
|Salome Sphinx, 1928|
|Household Spirits, 1927|
"She made me live in an imaginary world taken from the Brothers Grimm with a sprinkling of ETA Hoffmann. I devoured those tales with delight. Around the age of nine I would often wander into the furthermost room of our house, where I would carefully conceal myself. Then, alone in the darkness, I would call upon the devil to appear."
Kalmakoff on his childhood German governess (and earliest influence), from the Visionary Revue, which has the full story on his life as well as a complete gallery of his work.
|From the series Destinations (imagined) by Boston, Massachussetts photographer Alicia Savage.|
A little pink cloud came down from the air and drew up close beside them.
'I'm going your way,' it winked.
'Let's step on then,' said Colin.
And the cloud wrapped itself round them. Inside the cloud it was warm, and it smelt of candy-floss and cinnamon.
'Nobody can see us any more!...' said Colin. 'But we can still see everything that is going on!...'
'I think it is slightly transparent,' said Chloe. 'Better be careful!'
From Froth On The Daydream (L'Ecume des Jours) by Boris Vian translated by Stanley Chapman, 1967.
It's been a long 18 months since the first photographs from the shoot of Mood Indigo appeared. Michel Gondry's big-screen version of Boris Vian's Froth On The Daydream novel still has no UK release date, and reviews from premieres and releases elsewhere in the world are mixed. Gondry's way with a dreamlike narrative seems to be as much in play as it was in Eternal Sunshine, and there are nods to Terry Gilliam-like touches, which is definitely a good thing, but there's also a sense that the darker edges of Vian's original story have been quietly smoothed out, leaving a tragic romance floating in a fluffy cloud of surrealist quirks. We'll see, eventually, but at least the film tie-in reissue of the novel, due any time between now and January from Serpent's Tail, will be the hard-to-find translation by Stanley Chapman from 1967. Bittersweet, like the story, but if it gets the book a wider worldwide audience, that's something in itself.
Sunday, 4 August 2013
|Screengrabs from the 1978 TV film The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash|
At least there isn't such a mystery about the man behind Arthur Sultan – actor, playwright and theatre director Henry Woolf. Woolf was already a seasoned thesp in TV and film when he first performed with Eric Idle in the latter's BBC2 comedy sketch show Rutland Weekend Television in 1975 and then took on the role of Arthur Sultan in All You Need Is Cash, the fake rock doc about beat behemoths The Rutles. A veteran of the avant-garde, with a hefty dose of childhood pal Harold Pinter's kitchen sink, Woolf's on-screen performances notably also include the 1967 film adaptation of Peter Weiss's play Marat/Sade (a play that was still causing controversy and audience walk-outs when the Royal Shakespeare Company staged it in 2011) and early 70s Doctor Who baddie The Collector. For more on Woolf's sinister looks, absurdist drama and unexpectedly scary roles see Familiar Unknown.
|Nine writers by Roman Muradov (from top left): Raymond Queneau, Proust, Guy De Maupassant, Chekhov, Tove Jansson, PG Wodehouse, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Nabokov, Kafka|
Thursday, 1 August 2013
More from the era when mainstream magazines such Esquire and Harper's Bazaar were running articles about the occult revival, pulp top-shelf mens magazines would have witch becostumed saucepots on the cover and even hypnotists could be hip with their own chart-aimed album releases. This is from the October issue of Vogue magazine in the UK, my current favourite of the Vogue occult fashions – see also Vogue goes spooky, part 1 and part 2.
|Kern Baby, photographed by Sir John Benjamin Stone, 1901|
One of the customs of the festival of Ceres, it had many local variations. It was observed in the northern part of Northumberland at the close of the reaping, not the ingathering. Immediately the sickle was laid down and the last sheaf set on end the men shouted that they had "got the kern". Then a curious image was produced – an image dressed in a white frock with coloured ribbons and crowned with corn ears – stuck on a pole, and held aloft by the strongest man of the party while the rest circled round it. Subsequently it was taken to the barn, set on high, and the merrymakers fell to on the harvest supper."
Quoted from Sir Benjamin Stone's Pictures: Records Of National Life And History (Cassell, 1904)
The kern baby – apparently headless, not a baby, and awaiting some spectral groom – a peculiarly gothic version of the traditional harvest corn dollies.
Tuesday, 30 July 2013
|#190 Vinyl via Geometry Daily|
Richard Wilbur in The Recognition Of Edgar Allan Poe, edited by Eric W Carlson (Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1966)
Wednesday, 10 July 2013
Another dose of 1970s electronic, folkie and cut up pagan documentary sounds – The Wiccan Circle, by a band called Concretism, and with a Ghostbox homage video to match. They must have seen us coming.
|Der Rabe (The Raven), circa 1845|
|Gnome Watching The Rail Transport, 1848|
|The Sorcerer, 1875|
Tuesday, 25 June 2013
|All pictures by Pole Ka from her Autopsie Printannière series, 2013|
Horror films..."In them the night is always falling. Someone is all alone someplace they shouldn't be. If there's a house, it must be the only one for miles around. If there's a road, it must be deserted. The trees are bare, or if they have leaves, they rustle darkly. The sky still has a little gray light. It is the kind of light in which even one's own hands appear unfamiliar, a stranger's hands."
Quoted from Terra Incognita in Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art Of Joseph Cornell by Charles Simic (NYRB Classics)
Rebecca is a Londoner who just wants a bit of peace and quiet in Cornwall to finish her novel, but the locals have other ideas – British independent horror is looking up, going by the teaser trailer for Overhill alone. The world premiere is this Thursday, so there's not long to wait to see this classically-inspired chiller. Might have to watch The League Of Gentlemen again first though: "This is a local town for local people".
"The poster on the cover portrays singer Marianne Faithfull in comic-strip style as a good witch come to bring life to a desolate Britain." Daily Telegraph Magazine, April 10, 1968
Designed by Peter Blake (whose birthday it is today, happy birthday), with dragon sculpture and costume by Blake's wife Jann Haworth, and inspired by the Arthurian legend of Morgan Le Fay.