Posts Tagged ‘Roeg’

Blackpaint 358 – Bach, Charcoal, Chalk and Tracer

September 13, 2012

As Promised:

Top 10 uses of music in films (excluding musicals – to come later):

1.  The Gospel According to St. Matthew (Pasolini) – Blind Willie Johnson, Missa Luba and the last movement of the Matthew Passion; no contest for no.1, I think –

UNLESS it is 2.  Satantango (Bela Tarr) – that sobbing, throbbing accordion across the darkening plain;

3. 2001 (Kubrick) – Also Sprach Zarathustra, as awareness glimmers in the hominid’s eye, and he begins crushing the skull with the bone (could also have the jazz crooner over the still of Nicholson at the end of The Shining, or Beethoven’s 9th in The Clockwork Orange);

4.  Any Fellini film with Nino Rota music, but especially La Strada and the parade music at the end of 81/2 (eight and a half – don’t know how to do halves on laptop) – also the Godfather, of course;

5.  Russian Ark (Sokurov) – the Glinka mazurka;

6.  Death in Venice (Visconti) – the Mahler, 5th I think, when he decides to return to the hotel and is smirking to himself in the gondola;

7.  Performance (Roeg) – Sympathy with the Devil sequence;

8.  The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy) – naked Britt slapping the wall, driving poor Edward crazy and singing that gauche “folk” song; also the Summerisle population doing Sumer is a-coming in while Edward is roaring out his defiant Prot hymn as the flames climb higher….

9.  Fitzcarraldo (Herzog) – Caruso belting out of the gramophone on the boat, into the Amazon jungle; Kinsky with his cigar clenched in his teeth, serenaded by the chorus of I Puritani, as the boat sails back into Iquitos;

10.  Gallipoli (Peter Weir) – another boat, this time the troopship – the abrupt shift from patriotic song to Albinoni, as the ship glides in to the embattled beach, shells and tracer sailing overhead in the night sky…

Albert Irvin

I’ve bought a book of his stunning prints and was pleased to read that he thinks his flying experience contributes to his work.  He was a navigator and rear gunner in RAF  Bomber Command during the war and says that the awareness of motion and speed feeds in – I’d thought that some of the marks he makes resemble bomb bursts and tracer bullets, as well as the general coloration of the pieces – but no doubt that’s pushing it too far.

Kings Place, Sculptors’ Drawings

A huge, fantastic and free exhibition, with some brilliant drawings.  I especially liked Michael Kenney’s for the way he drives chalk marks into the charcoal, Alison Wilding’s lovely, messy ink storm, the beautiful head by Glyn Williams and Anthony Caro’s great nude – look at that right knee!

P:atrick Kieller at the Tate B (Robinson exhibit)

There’s a Kieller photograph of a gate below Graham Sutherland’s “Entrance to a Lane”; the deep, louring, black/blue of the sky is stunning and it looks just like a little painting.  Also at the Tate, I noticed for the first time how Lanyon’s “Porthleven” has been positioned with the Reg Butler insect woman and the Graham Sutherland biomorphic shapes to its left; all three pieces echoing each other visually.

Figure drawing

Bray Dunes



Blackpaint 257

March 6, 2011

Tristram Hunt

What is it about politicians with this surname?  first, the Tory Jeremy hands the media over to Murdoch and now, the Labour( !?) MP Tristram wants London museums and galleries to start charging for entrance, not just for “special” exhibitions.  The Murdoch victory was, of course, to be expected, but what is Tristram up to?  I remember when Blair got first got in and abolished museum charges, thinking to myself, well, whatever else they do, at least there’s this – as New Labour developed in government, this became more and more important to cling to.

Comes the coalition, free entry remains (so far); and now, Labour is signalling its end, through Hunt – surely, he ran it past Ed first.  Why? Presumably, because only well-heeled middle classes go to museums and art galleries, and enjoy that poncy rubbish.  And/or it’s the London thing; why should well-heeled Londoners enjoy this “privilege” when hard-up folk in Stoke et al have to fork out? And anyway, they charge in US and Italy, so it must be right to charge here.

Art, culture, history – necessities, not luxuries.  Free entry to museums and art galleries, the people’s palaces, paid for by the taxpayer –  a right NOT a privilege.  Abolish charges everywhere rather than hitting Londoners, some of whom are not bankers or millionaire pensioners.  So the Americans and Italians charge for entry? they also make you pay for medical treatment.

Fellini’s Amarcord

Another magical Fellini film – at first, I thought, surely the source of the dwarf killer in “Don’t Look Now”; there’s a scene in Amarcord where a boy wanders in fog, wearing a duffle coat and hood and looking just like Roeg’s dwarf from behind (although coat is grey, not red) – but they were both completed in 1973, so maybe a coincidence.  Also, the scene with the large-bosomed lady; possibly a source, subliminal maybe,  for Bigas Luna’s “Jamon, jamon”?  I loved the mad motorcyclist who tears through the town at intervals, to scatter everyone and get shouted at.


Interesting how its really his drawings that we love now; same with Michelangelo, I suppose (except for a few minor works, like Sistine ceiling and wall and a few sculptures).  I’ve been looking at the Windsor Castle drawings – in a book of course, haven’t yet received my invitation to the castle – especially, the pen and inks of the Neck and Shoulder of a Man, the Foetus in the Womb and the Studies for the Legs of a Man and of a Horse.  They’re so much more interesting than the paintings, aren’t they, really?

Same with Turner; the sketches of Venice and the Petworth interiors and sea and weather things, compared to those highly finished, ornately framed, formal history paintings.  Like Penguin paperbacks, compared to big old leather-bound volumes; give me the paperbacks any day.


Which Russian exhibited “Black on Black” as an answer to another Russian’s “White on White”?