Posts tagged ‘artist’

13 October, 2013

George Harrison and Bob Dylan playing tennis (1969)

George Harrison and Bob Dylan playing tennis

Bob Dylan playing tennis (1969)

Tennis, the Beatles, Bob Dylan – three obsessions of mine at varying points of my life collide in these ace photos.

(from here)

1 September, 2013

The Type by Sarah Kay

Wise, beautiful words from poet Sarah Kay.

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8 December, 2012

Bukowski and Waits

(Charles Bukowski read by Tom Waits)

As an Australian who has lived in London but not in North America, I am only now getting to know the work of Charles Bukowski, David Foster Wallace and a host of other great American writers, poets and essayists.

Tom Waits, on the other hand, needs no introduction.

This is a lovely little film of some of Charles Bukowski’s wisdom, read by the inimitable Mr Waits.

2 December, 2012

Oscar

And suddenly, it’s that festive Yule-tide-y time of year again.

This is ace:

Oscar Wilde graphic(From here)

15 July, 2012

Happy Birthday, Gustav!

Picture 2

Gustav Klimt, The Bride, 1917-1918.

(image from here)

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12 May, 2012

Adam Yauch aka Nathanial Hörnblowér, RIP

Bear with me.  I’m not in the habit of posting long entries nor of extolling the virtues of a celebrity who has died and whom I’ve never met.  But over the last week, I have been sorely puzzled as to why news of the death of Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys has so keenly affected me.

I am not a fan of hip-hop or rap but nevertheless, have all but the latest of their albums.  This is thanks to a couple of ex-boyfriends who were also not hip-hop/rap fans but nevertheless thought Beastie Boys were the bees’ knees of all kinds of awesome.

[In fact, having recently watched (as opposed to noting in the background) a bunch of their music videos, I’ve gained sudden insight into the aesthetics driving one boyfriend’s penchant during the 1990s for close cropped hair, backwards baseball cap, untucked, pressed, button down shirts and goatee.]

Back then, I didn’t really understand the obsession.  Intergalactic and Sabotage were great songs and their music videos sang to my generation, reared on a TV diet of Japanese anime and 1970s and early 1980s cop shows.  But as an overly-serious adolescent, I had dismissed the Beastie Boys and their screeching, sneering raps about rhymin’ abilities, hard partying, porno mag confiscation and ‘ladies’ as gauche.  [My probably expressed this then as ‘boys – eww!’] And hadn’t revisited this opinion since.  Interestingly, my adolescent self did not see the inherent contradiction of listening day-in and day-out to R’n’B.

But since news of MCA’s passing, I’ve had Beastie Boys on continuous rotation; rediscovering and reappreciating the tunes I knew and being blown away by the rest of their oeuvre.

Because, like all great bands (whatever the genre), the Beastie Boys evolved and took the music scene with them.  From their beginnings as enfants terribles, to sampling experts and funk beat purveyors, to their return to punk roots on the guitar and drums, through to their later incarnations as rap’s elder statesmen – pleading for unity and tolerance in the wake of September 2011 (2004’s To The 5 Boroughs), organising and playing Free Tibet concerts and apologising to the ladies for any prior lyrical disrespect (MCA in Sure Shot).  They began their careers rapping about their rights to party and never lost that, but expanded to cover more political and introspective, Buddhist-influenced beliefs.

As their success and fame grew, their musical and personal integrity became clear.  Their early lyrics may have been crude and their shows puerile (gigantic phalluses and scantily dressed women in cages, anyone?) but the Beastie Boys were never bullies.  Rather, they were the jesters – keen to entertain but also speak truth, often by taking the mirror to the emperors of our consumerist culture (and their new clothes).

This bent for hijinks and tomfoolery was plain from their music videos.  Just plain fun to watch, the videos veritably heave with irreverent takes on popular culture (see, for example, No Sleep Till Brooklyn which satirises the glam metal movement in 1986).

So I suspect the reason that MCA’s death has affected me so keenly is simple: I’ve grown up alongside the Beastie Boys and their music.  Adam was a Beastie Boy, but he was one of us.  And we are forever young, and forever invincible, right?  His passing has been a gentle reminder that this is illusory and even the emblems of our youth are mortal.

I read a great quip amongst the last week’s flurry of stories and chatter.  Someone had mentioned MCA’s death to his father and expressed sadness at the news.  The father’s response: ‘He’s a Buddhist – he won’t even have enough time to brush his teeth before he’s back.’

Lovely.

RIP, Nathanial Hörnblowér – it’s been a pleasure.  Thanks for the tunes, your music videos, the awesome costumes and the mustaches.

Here are a bunch of B-Boys vids.
















8 February, 2012

Happy belated 80th birthday, François!

T’was M.Truffaut’s 80th birthday on the 6th (I’m a little late to the party).

Google celebrated with their increasingly ubiquitous (but no less appreciated) Google doodles.  Three different ones for M. Truffaut, in fact, celebrating his films Jules et Jim, Le Dernier Métro and the wonderful Les Quatre Cents Coups.

I’ll celebrate this weekend by revisiting Les Quatre Cents Coups.

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20 December, 2011

That time of year again

Wow. The last year seems to have passed by in a flash.  Suddenly, it’s the week before Christmas.  Again.

As a practising (but struggling) minimalist, it’s a chance to lash out and purchase beautiful things for loved ones.

And to reflect on the year about to end, and the new one about to begin.

Not to mention an excuse to eat copious numbers of mince pies, enjoy bad music and pad about in pyjamas for elongated periods of time (joy!).  And get all sentimental and nostalgic with friends and family at home.

Merry Christmas and safe, happy holidays to all!

 

(Image from Charley Harper Colours)

20 November, 2011

Arietty

A new film from Studio Ghibli – preferably one in which director Hayao Miyazaki has a hand in (he did not direct Arietty but wrote the screenplay) – is always an event of significance for me.

Thanks to the Embassy of Japan and the Arc Cinema, the inhabitants of the Bush Capital were able to catch Arietty  at the 2011 Japanese Film Festival, ahead of it 2012 commercial Australian release.

On a rainy Sunday afternoon, I popped along to the sold out screening, gleeful at the prospect of losing myself in another of Miyazaki’s lovely, whimsical tales.

Based loosely on Mary Norton’s The Borrowers, Arietty is the story of a family of ‘little people’ who get by in this world by keeping out of the sight of ‘human beans’ and ‘borrowing’ things misplaced or lost by humans.

The eponymous heroine is a fourteen year old ‘borrower’ who lives with her parents in the foundations of a large, rambling Edwardian house.  Things come unstuck when Sho, a sickly boy who comes to stay in the house, sees her and, in a great movie tradition, an unlikely friendship begins.

I adore Miyazaki’s films for his plucky, pacifist heroines (and heroes).  I love his subtle portrayal of the grander emotions such as duty, honour, guilt, sadness, love and the more pedestrian ones such as boredom and frustration. Miyazaki favours characters which are grey, rather black or white, and is particularly adept in showing their spiritual and emotional development .  Though his characters may negotiate war, natural disasters and people out to do them (and their friends and families) harm, they are not merely people of action. Miyazaki seems to delight in showing moments where the characters take time out to simply enjoy a quiet moment, or to reflect on things.

Arietty ticks all these boxes. If I do have a complaint, it is that this movie touches on grander themes such as environmental destruction and extinction of species, but doesn’t explore these issues any further. The film also feels like the first of a series, rather than a complete, self-contained story. As such, Arietty doesn’t have the grand sweeping scale of Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind or Princess Mononoke but it’s always a pleasure to disappear for an afternoon into one of Miyazaki’s worlds.

Oh, and the hand-drawn backgrounds are always beautiful.

(French movie poster taken from here)

(Stills taken from the official UK trailer from here)

25 August, 2011

More Julie Morstad

Yet more lovely, whimsical, slightly disturbing images from the talented Julie Morstad