Blackpaint 303


We Need to Talk about Kevin

I saw this brilliant film last night and could only use tired superlatives about Tilda Swinton’s performance, so I won’t bother.  One thing did strike me, however; a feeling of familiarity when her terrifying son turned and smiled at her, at one point.  Where had I seen that before?  Didn’t have to think long – Bjorn Andresson, luring Dirk Bogarde on, in “Death in Venice”.  Probably fanciful, since I’ve only just watched “Venice” again and read the story for the first time – I was intrigued to find that Mann made the pursuit of Tadzio more redolent of corruption than the film suggested; bit more darkness at the heart.  Tadzio – all those women pursuing him, shouting “Tadzi-uu, Tadzi-uu” all the time – is one of the most dislikeable characters in film.  Now he’s joined by Kevin, in all his incarnations; but perhaps “dislikeable” is rather too weak in Kevin’s case.

Whose idea in “Kevin” to use Lonnie Donegan and Washington Phillips on the soundtrack?  Totally incongruous. but it worked, like everything else in the film.

Il Bidone

Broderick Crawford looks exactly the same in all his films – bit more or less flab, more or fewer wrinkles, but basically the same old ten-four.  He doesn’t act, according to Dominique Delouche, Fellini’s assistant director on Bidone, he just is (and had to be kept off the booze while making the above).  Ridiculous thing to say, but I find he has a sort of vulnerability about him, like Mitchum in “Eddie Coyle”, say.  Great hard man, though, cf.  Neville Brand. 

Delouche had a sad story about Fellini, after “La Strada” was booed and jeered at Cannes or somewhere.  He pursued Fellini to offer his praises and found Giuletta Masina with black eye make-up running in tears down her face, while Fellini trudged dejectedly beside her – like a pair of sad elephants, he said.  Strange to think of this feted Italian hero being jeered.

Bienniale

There was so much fantastic stuff at the Biennale, I’m going to have to do a few artists a day to get it all in.  First up, the Belgian pavilion had “Feuilleton” by Angel Vergara, “curated” by (what does that mean?) Tuymans.   Perspex panes, spattered and smeared with brilliant colours, fixed over news footage illustrating the Seven Deadly Sins.  The effect like moving, noisy Rauschenburgs.

Belgium

Swedish pavilion.  Andreas Ericksson, another painter in that Kirkeby groove – I’m a pushover for dark, licheny, broody Scando surfaces, maybe with livid slashes of colour…

Seth Price.  There as an individual artist, doing great things with lengths of rope attached with resin to textured, painted canvas surfaces.  Doesn’t sound exciting, but it is.

Pipilotti Rist.  Another individual, more brilliant colours, video Venicescapes with Northern Lights, naked women (poss. Rist herself), gynaecological features I think, but hard to tell…. intriguing.

Christopher Wool.  Huge, blotty, dark – well, blots in varying (modulating) colours. remind me a bit of those mid- 60’s Joan Mitchells, only enormous.

More tomorrow; here’s one of mine,

Head of St. Blaise

Blackpaint (Chris Lessware)

6/11/11

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