Saturday, February 28, 2009

St. Sebastian

1) St. Sebastian, Andrea Mantegna, 1480:

2) April 1968 cover of Esquire, designed by George Lois:

3) Screen shot from 1991 music video for R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion," directed by Tarsem Singh:

4) Cover of Modest Mouse's 2004 album Good News for People Who Love Bad News:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Can it be this sad design/ Could be the very same

1: Scene from “The Wheel,” first season finale of "Mad Men"

What is the benefit of that thing?

Uh… it sells projectors to people who already have them?

Yeah. The wheel. Stacks. You store your slides in it and it’s ready to go.

I took pictures for the paper at Wisconsin; the machinery is definitely part of the fun. It’s mechanical.

What’d you take pictures of?

Girls, mostly. You could go up, and ask them their names afterward, like you were going to put it in the paper. And some other stuff. Artsy-craftsy stuff. They gave me hell about it.

Artsy, like what, like: relfection of a tree in a pond?

Uh, worse. I did a whole series that was just handprints on glass. You know the way it fogs up around your heat? Take it off, take a picture.

Black and white, I suppose.

Of course. I was always fascinated by the cave paintings at Lascaux. They’re, like, seventeen-thousand years old. And then bison get all the attention, but they are also all of these handprints, tiny by today’s standards, with paint blown all around them.

Signature of the artist.

But I thought it was like someone reaching through the stone, right to us: I was here.

Don bobs his head, falling asleep.

Are you okay?

That’ll be all.

2: From “First Impressions” by Judith Thurman
June 23, 2008 issue of the New Yorker

“Peoples who practice shamanism believe in a tiered cosmos: an upper world (the heavens); an underworld; and the mortal world. When Clottes joined forces with Lewis-Williams, he had come to believe that cave painting largely represents the experiences of shamans or initiates on a vision quest to the underworld, where spirits gathered. The caves served as a gateway, and their walls were considered porous. Where the artists or their entourage left handprints, they were palping a living rock in the hopes of reaching or summoning a force beyond it. They typically incorporated the rock’s contours and fissures into the outlines of their drawings—as a horn, a hump, or a haunch—so that a frieze becomes a bas-relief. But, in doing so, they were also locating the dwelling place of an animal from their visions, and bodying it forth.”

3: Chorus of “The Caves of Altamira” by Steely Dan

Before the fall
when they wrote it on the wall
when there wasn’t even any Hollywood
They heard the call
and they wrote it on the wall
for you and me, and we undersood

Friday, February 13, 2009

In a ca-a-a-fe, or sometimes on a crowded street

Review of “Jasmin et Cigarette”
by Chandler Burr

For Etat Libre d’Orange, whose store is north of Hôtel de Ville in Paris, Antoine Maisondieu has performed a masterful trick. With Etat’s creative director, Etienne de Swardt, he has taken two radically dissimilar concepts and balanced them so that they are perfectly integrated and astonishingly distinct. The first is a fragile, delicate jasmine (stripped of the dirty indolic heaviness that the flower usually leaves behind). The second is a pitch-perfect cigarette. Not the stink of a filthy ashtray. (That, says Maisondieu, an ex-smoker, is "disgusting”) This is the smell of an elegant Frenchwoman in a cafe whose grayish-white plume mixes with the chic jasmine fragrance she just sprayed on. His perfume is named Jasmin et Cigarette, and it is the quintessential French combination: allure and toxicity, loveliness and poison. I asked Maisondieu how he did it. "It’s simple,” he said with a shrug. "We all know how to do a jasmine: Egyptian and Indian jasmine absolutes, some Hedione” — a molecule that adds light to a perfume — "some benzyl acetate for softness.” He paused. "The cigarette was a bit more complicated.” He used to love unfiltered Chesterfields "in the soft box, which have a slight apricot.” So he used hay essence, tonka bean (a flavoring in tobacco), maté from South America, galbanum (a raw green) and sage. The result is a masterpiece: one hears laughter in the cafe, with the faint sound of music from somewhere else.

“My Cherie Amour”
Stevie Wonder

Scene from “Ocean’s Twelve” 
with Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones

Monday, February 09, 2009

Melody Chain

1) Cab Calloway as Koko the Clown singing “St. James Infirmary Blues”

2) Young woman lip-synching to Mates of State cover of Randy Newman song “Beehive State”

2.1) Young girl watching You Tube video of young woman lip-synching to Mates of State cover of Randy Newman song “Beehive State”

3) Bob Dylan singing “Blind Willie McTell”

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Be seeing you!

1) From “Free for All” Episode No. 4(?) of The Prisoner

“Good morning! Good morning! Any complaints?”
“Yes. I’d like to mind my own business.”
“So do we. You fancy a chat?”
“The mountain can come to Mohammed!”
(Hangs up phone. Door opens.)
“Everest, I presume?”
“I’ve never had a head for heights.”
“How’s Number 1?”
“At the summit.”

At 42:15, after Number 6 wins the election and becomes the new Number 2, he walks out to meet the citizens of village. They stare at him blankly, and the beneath the scene we hear, "For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow/ The Bear Went Over the Mountain."

2) Ending of “The Bear Came Over the Mountain” by Alice Munro

Fiona was in her room but not in bed. She was sitting by the open window, wearing a seasonable but oddly short and bright dress. Through the window came a heady warm blast of lilacs in bloom and the spring manure spread over the fields.
She had a book open in her lap.
She said, “Look at this beautiful book I found. It’s about Iceland. You wouldn’t think they’d leave valuable books lying around in the rooms. But I think they’ve got the clothes mixed up—I never wear yellow.”
“Fiona,” he said.
“Are we all checked out now?” she said. He thought the brightness of her voice was wavering a little. “You’ve been gone a long time.”
“Fiona, I’ve brought a surprise for you. Do you remember Aubrey?”
She stared at Grant for a moment, as if waves of wind had come beating into her face. Into her face, into her head, pulling everything to rags. All rags and loose threads.
“Names elude me,” she said harshly.
Then the look passed away as she retrieved, with an effort, some bantering grace. She set the book down carefully and stood up and lifted her arms to put them around him. Her skin or her breath gave off a faint new smell, a smell that seemed to Grant like green stems in rank water.
“I’m happy to see you,” she said, both sweetly and formally. She pinched his earlobes, hard.
“You could have just driven away,” she said. “Just driven away without a care in the world and forsook me. Forsooken me. Forsaken.”
He kept his face against her white hair, her pink scalp, her sweetly shaped skull.
He said, “Not a chance.”