Posts Tagged ‘Matthew McConaughey’

Blackpaint 593 – The Fly on the Lobster and the Cold, Hard Stare

April 5, 2017

Wolfgang Tillmans – again (Tate Modern)

Second visit to Wolfie at Tate Modern and photos of some of the – photos I mentioned last time: above, the drainpipe (obviously);  below, the fly on the shellfish (appetising!) –

 

– and here, one of those huge aerial shots that are in focus throughout the range (excuse the technical inadequacy – my description I mean, not Tillman’s photo).

Additionally, you should look out for the leaden sea (Richter, Roni Horn), the blue tee shirt man and the dark disco shot.  They’re all good, really, apart maybe from the makeweight pics of his cluttered desks and the disassembled computer bits..

Drawing Biennale at  the Drawing Room until 26th April (Unit 8 Rich Estate, 46 Willow Walk. London SE1)

“Over 200 unique works on paper”, all for sale in an online auction between 12 – 26 April).  Plenty of big names (Caivano, Gormley, Hatoum, Joffe, Turk, Perry,  Kentridge, Bob & Roberta….) and an astonishingly – well, no, surprisingly –  broad definition of drawing, as if that mattered.  Writing-drawings, graph printout drawings, photo-drawings, collage drawings, painting-drawings, a woven textile drawing, even some pencil and charcoal drawings. A few pictured below:

Patti Smith of course; not a fantastic likeness really…

 

 

Once again, note how my partner has managed to incorporate her image into Gotz’ picture; clever.  An excellent show of real quality drawings, not at all just knocked out in response to a request for a small piece to be auctioned.

Here’s one of mine; not in show, but open to offers, of course…

Blackpaint

Free State of Jones, dir. Gary Ross (2016)

Gruelling chunk of American Civil War “history” – but how much is true? – in which an alliance of escaped slaves and poor whites take on the Confederate army in Mississippi.  Violent, at times inspiring, at times confused.  Matthew McConaughey has ample opportunity to do his brilliant cold, hard stare; a little less convincing when he has to do compassion.

Chaos and Night, Henry de Montherlant

Re-read this after half a century; I’d always thought of it as a comedy, this story of Celestino, an impossible old Spanish anarchist exile in Paris.  It is funny, but I’d forgotten the end, in which his death mirrors the death of the bulls he has just seen slaughtered in the ring.  He finally comes to a realisation:

“There was life, which was confused, incoherent and unstable, and then whatever exists before a man’s life and after it, which was fixed and absolute.  The loudspeaker had spoken truly: there was chaos, which was life, and night, which was whatever exists before life and after life (Chaos and Night, two characters in the divine comedy of Hesiod, whom Celestino had never read).  There was non-sense, which was life, and non-being, which was what exists before life and after it.”

So, yes, a comic novel – but with the odd unfunny bit.

Chaos and Night

Blackpaint 

5/04/17

 

Advertisements

Blackpaint 589 – Pablo, Vanessa, JP and John

March 7, 2017

Picasso Musee, Barcelona

Mainly early paintings and drawings.  His dad was a drawing professor, apparently.  Early stuff amazing for a youngster; the head in the drawing below the only error I could see, apart from dodgy legs on a bearded man on the end wall.  Several drawings very like Toulouse Lautrec.

 

picasso-life

Academic Study, done when he was around 14 – gratifying to see a slight error in positioning of the head….

1901 was a decisive year; three memorable pictures – the “Margot” below, the red dwarf girl and the still life (also below).

 

picasso-still-life

Still Life – like a Cezanne, but with each article “floating” separately on the table top.

 

picasso-woman

Portrait (Margot) – there’s that characteristic positioning of the head to one side.

Another favourite – Portrait of Madame Canals (1904)

Then, 1917, and lots of black cubist playing card pictures,; a gored horse, bowels falling out – “Guernica” of course, but bony quality, forerunner of the skulls and those bone people on the beach.

Then, 1931; the Marie-Berthe portrait, in which her nose comes direct from the forehead, like a stuck-on gourd.

A roomful of versions and sketches of “Las Meninas”, a roomful of “Columbines”, doves in a window overlooking a bay.  The doves are just circles with smaller circles and dashes at one end, for the head and beak.

Vanessa Bell, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Some really impressive paintings in this exhibition, showing her every bit as strong as Duncan Grant.  There is a group of portraits in the first or second room, including the Iris Tree and self portrait below, that I thought was particularly brilliant.  But the still lifes, landscapes and abstracts are also great.  Highly recommended.

 

Iris Tree, 1915

 

Still Life on Corner of Mantelpiece, 1914

 

Oranges and Lemons, 1914

 

Self Portrait, 1915

The Ginger Man, JP Donleavy

Got a second hand copy of this, which I read about fifty years ago when it was really popular.  Donleavy is also the author of A Fairy Tale of New York, the title of which the Pogues borrowed for their single with Kirsty McColl.   It was a book about drunken, ne’er- do-well Irish American students, carousing in Dublin.  If you read it, you will remember the toilet bowl emptying through the floor/ceiling when the chain is pulled and the drunken parade through Dublin in the kangaroo suit.  Stylistically, it’s an attempt at something like Bloom’s sections in Ulysses, stream of consciousness, verbless phrases, even the vocab and settings (Laestrigonians, Gerty MacDowell etc.).

What came as a very nasty surprise was this, on page 29; the “hero” is rowing with his wife, who has just slapped his face:  “Sebastian up off the table.  He drove his fist into Marion’s face.  She fell backward against the cupboard.  Dishes crashing to the floor…..Took the child’s pillow from under its head and pressed it hard on the screaming mouth.”  His wife manages to save the child and Sebastian hits the streets to drink away his worries.  Next time his wife appears in the novel, she succumbs very willingly to his sexual prowess; the punch and the attempted murder are forgotten – but she is still angry about his language, laziness et al.

The point of this is that neither I nor my partner remembered the violence; we both thought of it as one of those cult books and films  about anarchistic, comical drunks and druggies you read when you are a young rebel;  Sort of a post- WW2 “Withnail and I”.  I checked the net – no mention of the violence, but I did discover it had been selected as one of the 100 best novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library.  Reviewers, such as Jay McInerney, refer to Dangerfield’s rogue-ish charm.

Lone Star (1996)/Matewan (1987), John Sayles

Saw Lone Star on TV a few days ago; the presence of Kris Kristofferson and Matthew McConaughey AND Chris Cooper in the same film should be enough to guarantee it – and yes, it’s got racial tension,  violence, some tame sex, a mystery body, murders and McConaughey doing that cold, flat stare from behind a revolver.  But somehow, it’s irritating, to me at least.  It checks too many boxes in terms of the competing interests and “issues” of the various groups, whites, Latinos, blacks, Native Americans.  And the nice people win in the end.  Matewan, set amongst West virginia coal miners and also starring Cooper, has a cathartic shoot-out (necessary in this sort of film) and the good people win here too – but only temporarily;  The old evil capitalism re-asserts itself at the end.  More violent, more pessimistic, more better.

I find myself wondering how “Deadwood” would have turned out with Sayles as director…

 

Little Lake Shore

Blackpaint

7/3/17