Friday Afternoon Movie: Un Chien Andalou

In an effort to flesh out its library, today the FAM presents Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog), the 1928 film by surrealists Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí and the quintessential “art film”. Most famous for its opening scene, in which a man, played by Buñuel, slices open the eye of a woman with a straight razor, Un Chien Andalou is an almost perfect summation of the Surrealist movement. Things happen in Un Chien Andalou, their relationship to one another dictated by the logic of dreams. Scenes lurch violently along in time and characters exhibit a confusing, rapid-fire succession of emotions. It’s a movie that is open to a vast range of interpretations, and in true Surrealist form Buñuel rejected every one of them, stating, “Nothing, in the film, symbolizes anything. The only method of investigation of the symbols would be, perhaps, psychoanalysis.”

Despite the director’s expectations — they supposedly attended the premier with pockets full of rocks should a horrified audience become violent — the film was well received. In a sad twist, both of the leading actors of the film eventually committed suicide. Pierre Batcheff overdosed on Veronal in a hotel in Paris in 1932, and Simone Mareuil doused herself in gasoline and burned herself to death in a public square in Périgueux, Dordogne in 1954. In the ensuing years since its debut Un Chien Andalou has been recognized as a seminal moment in the history of cinema, a staple of any film buff’s diet. Now the FAM can rest easy, knowing that there is at least some modicum of credibility found herein should it be placed under the glaring eye of some future, internet historian.

And just remember, it’s only a cow’s eye.

Devendra Banhart: Foolin’ You Into Submission

Posting this here was preceded by a long, arduous internal debate. It’s true that I’m far from a Devendra Banhart fan. In fact, I’m fairly allergic to just about everything  I’ve seen of him, little as that may be. Until this video, that is. Taking a big step away from his neo-flower-child-meets-Castro-Jesus look, Devendra, along with director Isaiah Seret, made a video for the song Foolin’ that pays tribute to tender man-love, old school pulp films, as well as to their biggest fan ever, Tarantino. What I love most about it is the fact that it shows a heavy S&M relationship in a positive, humorous, light. It’s just so darn happy-making, I can’t help myself!

Marking this NSFW for gratuitous use of bloodied butt-crack, sexy violence, and dangerous thongs. Dig it:

[Thanks, Whitechapel]

Shock Waves At Eyjafjallajökull

The Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull has received a fair bit of attention of late. Not unexpected, considering that its insidious ash cloud momentarily brought air travel in the vicinity of Europe to a standstill. No doubt, this is some sort of evil, Nordic plot, the ins and outs of which are of no concern here. What we wish to call attention to here is the footage above, a bit of geological geekery. As the volcano continues to erupt one can see the shock waves from each explosion of magma ripple through the plumes of smoke and debris. Such is nature that it can be so beautiful and fascinating in its destruction.

Jeremy Geddes And The Cosmonauts

Jeremy Geddes, an accomplished artist from Australia, is working on a series of cosmonauts that has me wishing for a modern, minimally-decorated living space so that I may grace my walls with his work.


The White Cosmonaut

Whether they’re suspended in monochrome space, seemingly ascending with flocks of doves, or floating across barren cityscapes, these cosmonauts’ head-to-toe space armor makes them into blank representations of ourselves. Almost any emotion can be projected into these paintings: is the cosmonaut doing a happy air dance, or is he dead in his suit? Or maybe they’re just awesome space people, placed into aesthetically-pleasing, universally-appealing settings.


Heat Death

OK, the title of the piece above leaves less to the imagination, but I prefer to think of him merrily romping through the empty, radioactive streets, enjoying the lack of gravity. Geddes has consistently said that he wants these pieces to raise questions, rather than answer them, which is precisely what makes me love them more each time I look. Whatever the case may be, this series is gorgeous beyond belief.


The Red Cosmonaut

There are more, bigger cosmonauts on Geddes’ website. Click the jump for two more images here.

Vintage Circus Portraiture by Frederick W. Glasier

Via Russell Joslin (editor of the inestimably cool SHOTS Magazine) comes this New York Times article about the photographer Frederick W. Glasier, who documented the lives of Ringling circus performers in the early 1900s.


“Iron Jaw Kimball Twins, 1920s” by Frederick W. Glasier (John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art & Eakins Press Foundation)

“Glasier spent the beginning of the 20th century capturing the Greatest Show on Earth. Wielding a 20-pound, 8-by-10 King view camera, he trailed the street parades before the show, the back-lot scenes behind the big top, the high-wire acts that unfolded beneath it. His photographic feats conjured the entire spectacle of the show.”


“Zelda Boden, around 1924″ by Frederick W. Glasier (John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art & Eakins Press Foundation)

“But that’s not all. Through his portraits of clowns and other performers, Glasier also revealed the soul of the circus. The haunting stares and intimate poses of his subjects speak directly to the viewer and offer everything from delight to despair. They collapse the distance between us and them.”


“Maude Banvard in The Catch, at the Brockton Fair, Brockton, Mass, 1907″ by Frederick W. Glasier (John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art & Eakins Press Foundation)

Coilhouse readers are strongly urged to view these photographs in full screen mode at the NY Times site. Heyday, a full exhibition of Glasier’s work –much of it never presented before now– begins May 15 at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida.

This Is Spinal Tape

I am certain there are those who would follow Mer’s amazing Cenobite accessory post with something a bit more weighty with content, a bit more elegant than this. Those people are, I am almost as certain, more talented than I. It seems that I am, in fact, just a sucker for a really excellent pun. And thus my private shame is now made public.

via The Daily What : Street Anatomy

Danielle Nicole Hills: Gilding Primal Instinct

Danielle Nicole Hills is a metalsmith based in Brooklyn, NYC. This week, photos of her wicked “Predator Rings” (for sale in her Etsy shop at $900 per five-fingered pair, or $200 per digit) have been making the rounds on the interwebs.


Predator Rings by Danielle Nicole. (All photos via her Etsy store or personal site.

Dig a little deeper, and it quickly becomes evident that there’s much more going on in this woman’s creative life than these gorgeous claws. Check out the artist statement posted on her personal website:

The impulse to adorn and improve the body in some way is an instinctual commonality throughout the world. The cultural motivations for personal adornment are innumerable, but the way in which people do this is fundamentally the same. I focus on creating a codependent relationship between adornment and the human form in which they both redefine the other. Each piece, when worn, removes the body from the context of modern society, emphasizing instinctual decorative practices.


Surgical Mask

By creating an aggressive dichotomy between subtle, elegant forms and vicious primal instinct I am able to transform the frame of reference the wearer is displayed in. The extravagant theatrical nature of each piece makes the concept of ritual and ritual adornment fundamental to the work.

Dang! Talk about heavy metal. Several more fierce pieces by Hills after the jump.

BTC: Whippit, Whippit Good

G’morning, loves. Forgive me, for my eyes are bleeding and my brain is fried, and all you’re getting for breakfast is N2O:

This image just mysteriously showed up on my portable hard drive. No idea where it came from. It appears to be vintage packaging for nitrous cannisters, ostensibly used for whipping cream. But judging by the blonde’s glassy-eyed, idiotic stare, the gas may have been used for more, um, unsavory recreational purposes.

Friday Afternoon Movie: Food Inc

Just in time to put you off your lunch, the Friday Afternoon arrives with 2009’s Food Inc, the scathing documentary/critique of America’s food industry. Directed by Robert Kenner and co-produced by Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser, Food Inc is of the variety that both infuriates and terrifies in equal measure. It must be pointed out, however, that if you are already up on the subject matter, or have already read Fast Food Nation, there isn’t a whole lot that is new here. Still, for those uninitiated in the horrific practices of companies like Monsanto and Tyson it can be an eye-opening experience.

Recently, it was shown on PBS for their POV segment — it can be viewed on their website until this coming Thursday, should the YouTube version get pulled — and was followed with the delightfully Lynchian Notes on Milk (Click that link to watch. Do it!) a short film looking at the rise of milk in America.

So get to watching, dear readers, and get a better picture of the horrible stuff we put into our bodies everyday. In the meantime I’ll get back to my Big Mac, because nothing tastes quite like Creutzfeldt–Jakob.

Update: Reader rbk points out that PBS is not viewable in America’s hat, Canadia. Therefore, filthy Canucks should go here.

Lucille Bogan: Shocking Your Great Grandparents

Born in 1897, Lucille Bogan first began recording in 1923, singing vaudeville songs. By the 1930s she had established herself as a blues singer and her oeuvre was slanted decidedly toward the raunchy. In songs like “Sloppy Drunk Blues”, “Tricks Ain’t Walkin’ No More”, and “B.D. Woman’s Blues” (the B.D. stands for bull dyke) she focused on themes like gambling, drinking, lesbianism, and prostitution; themes that featured prominently in the juke joints she had worked in early in her career.

One of her last recordings, “Shave ‘Em Dry” in March 1935, had two versions, one that kept to the tamer innuendo of most blues songs and an unexpurgated version, featured above, which does away with subtlety altogether. An interesting little piece of historical titillation, if only for a retort to the “music today is morally bankrupt” argument often favored by the familial old-guard.