Posts Tagged ‘Bob Rafelson’

Blackpaint 599 – A Drink with Bacchus and a Sausage with Goebbels

June 13, 2017

Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Vast hoard of treasures here, so can just give a few examples:  Las Meninas (the Maidservants, below) with its complicated geography – painter on the left, looking towards posing royal couple (reflected in the mirror).  Having read Derrida, I feel I can give my own reading of the painting, totally unsupported by the known facts:  for me, it’s one of those paintings where two or more time zones exist simultaneously – like those Crucifixions where the journey to Golgotha, the crucifixion and the deposition, and maybe Judas’ suicide, are all on show.   So in my reading, Velasquez, having completed the painting, turns in the doorway to glance back at his earlier self, still engaged in the work.  The guide book identifies the figure in the doorway to be Jose Nieto, the royal chamberlain – but I prefer my reading.

Las Meninas, Velasquez

 

The Feast of Bacchus, Velasquez

I don’t know why, but this painting reminds me of Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus.  It gives me the impression that Bacchus and the grinning man next to him are travelling, seated, towards us, despite the presence of the kneeling man, who would be ploughed under, were this the case.  There is something about that arm, too…

I don’t quite have a settled view on El Greco; sometimes I think that his elongated figures thrusting up like flames are fantastic and precursors of artists like Kirchner (yes, fanciful…) – other times, the crowdedness and somehow dry surfaces turn me off.

 

The Holy Trinity, El Greco

 

The Annunciation, El Greco

As for Goya, there are some wondrous canvases such as the 2nd and 3rd May 1808 paintings (the Mamelukes and the Executions), the Black Paintings of course, and the Royal portraits.  There are also some terrible paintings – a Flight into Egypt comes to mind.  I think religious themes didn’t inspire him.  A couple of portraits, then:

The Marchioness of Santa Cruz, Goya

 

The Countess of Chinchon, Goya

More on the Prado next time – I’ve barely scratched the surface.

Dance of the Seven Veils, Ken Russell Omnibus (1970) – see it on youtube

Another brilliant example of Russell’s restraint and good taste: Richard Strauss (Christopher Gable) as a Nazi fellow traveller, reaping the rewards under Hitler and pleading coercion after the Downfall.  It begins with Gable, dressed in animal skins, conducting Zarathustra and soon being ravished by crazed nuns.  Later, his wife is raped by crazed Tommies (fantasy sequence, I should point out, as is the nun bit) again, whilst Strauss conducts.  Above, Mrs. Strauss and Goebbels share a German foodstuff…

Ossessione, Visconti (1943)

Visconti’s version of “The Postman Always Rings Twice”.  Gino the tramp shows up at Giovanna’s garage and roadhouse and sweeps her off her feet – although not onto the kitchen table, as in the Jack Nicholson/ Jessica Lange version directed by Bob Rafelson in 1981.  What to do about Giovanna’s fat, much older husband, however?  Lots of smouldering and some excellent dialogue: (Giovanna to Gino, who has removed his jacket) “Your shoulders – why, you’re built like a stallion!”

 

Rift Valley

Blackpaint

12/06/17

 

Blackpaint 338 – Charlotte, the Scatman and the Hunters

April 21, 2012

Melancholia –

Just seen Lars Von Trier’s film and I have to say it was great.  Just like Tree of Life, the influence of Tarkovsky was evident to me, in the subject matter (see Tarkovsky’s “Sacrifice”) and the early appearance of Bruegel’s “Hunters in the Snow” – almost in the credits.  T. used this picture in both “Mirror” and “Solaris”.  The horse falling backwards in ultra slow motion onto its haunches brought to mind the aerial scene in Andrei Rublev.  Enough of the Tarkovsky comparisons – the rest is pure Von Trier, the elaborate, formal wedding and the disaffection bubbling through echoing “Festen”, of course.  Charlotte Gainsbourg should obviously play the younger Patti Smith when the film of Just Kids is made.

The Tobias Woolf story “Hunters in the Snow” should also be checked out, which brings me to-

King of Marvin Gardens

Bob Rafelson’s film on TV the other night – beautiful ensemble playing between Nicholson, Bruce Dern and Ellen Burstyn; clean washed skies, wooden sidewalks of Atlantic City and Scatman Crothers, great performance overshadowed by his turn in the Shining.   I’d completely forgotten about the shooting scene.

Olympic Art

Deller’s inflatable Stonehenge, Emin’s dove plane, Kapoor’s metal tower, like the stuff that Poets Laureate knock out for special occasions, e.g. Ted Hughes’ “Rain Charm for the Duchy”.  Actually, not really – Hughes’ poem is very good.

Have to stop now as I have three holes in my abdomen (planned – surgery) .  Have to say, the abstract art works in the Day Surgery at St. George’s Hospital in Tooting are pretty damn good – afraid I was in no condition to note the names of the artist(s).

Life Drawing 3

Blackpaint

21.04.12