Archive for November, 2011
Blum-ing Marvellous
November 24th, 2011

I saw The Lost Honour of Katherine Blum (1975) tonight, on the same day as our tabloid press is being called to account for its more despicable practices. It concerns the fate of a young woman being hounded by the press after being arrested for spending the night with a suspected terrorist. In the context of 70s West Germany, the film is explosive and indignant and I exited the cinema feeling similarly about the power of tabloid newspapers in our society. Aside from that, the polemical, melodramatic aspects of the film are appealingly over-the-top and it is carried by a striking performance by Angela Winkler.

Green With Envy
November 16th, 2011

My friend Susie Green is an artist and she recently had an exhibition called Sexy Being in her house. Her walls are swaddled with photographs and nuggets of inspiration:

I particularly like her recent splodgy paintings of Dogtooth patterned fabric:

The Blues Are Still Blue
November 16th, 2011

I attended a screening of Alan Lomax films at the Star & Shadow cinema in Newcastle last week and saw these two stunning clips amongst many others. Throughout his life, Lomax collected examples of traditional American song and archived them. The first piece of footage is from a 1978 journey through the Mississippi Delta and the second clip is from a 1982 trip to North Carolina. If you want to see more incredible performances there’s a Youtube archive.

Mighty Like A Rose
November 10th, 2011

Heartfelt, simple music from Lucinda Williams’s eponymous 1989 album. When she sings “It’s okay to feel good” there’s so much implied hurt in that line, casting the whole song into a new light.

November 8th, 2011

Le Corbusier, Les mains, 1951

This tapestry by the great architect and artist, Le Corbusier, leapt out from a book that I have called Cold War Modern. It reminds me of some of Picasso’s more illustrative works and I like the sparse patches of colour that make it feel like a tracing-paper collage.

De-lovely Delaunay
November 1st, 2011

Sonia Delaunay, Design for catalogue of the Stockholm exhibition, Nya Konstgalleriet, 1916

Sonia Delaunay’s work had a lovely sense of freedom around it, even though she was working with patterns and geometric shapes, which are often depicted more rigidly, necessarily so in the case of fabric patterns or other designs for mass production. Her use of watercolours and gouache, as seen above, makes her work seem playful and fluid rather than traditional and staid. It’s hard to capture how they look and feel in this reproduction, but I particularly like the haphazard looseness of the text – I find it really involving.