Arcadian Folklore

Arcadian Folklore The lost realm of Arcadia was noted for its vast array of folklore and customs. Many unusual tales are at the centre of a rich and diverse research field which has painstakingly assembled a wealth of material from a huge variety of sources. This essay can only give a brief overview of some of the more unusual and seasonal based customs, superstitions and … Continue reading Arcadian Folklore

Responses: Tacita Dean’s Berlin And The Artist (2012)

Chance played a huge role in the writing of Robert Walser. I can picture his slow meanderings around towns and valleys, spotting something that fires a brief need to write. I can see him getting excited by the way the sunlight reflects off a lake’s water in a certain way, by the fustiness of a suited man coming out of a bank, by a woman’s … Continue reading Responses: Tacita Dean’s Berlin And The Artist (2012)

Snails and Death: Luis Buñuel’s The Diary Of A Chambermaid (1964)

A few years back, I dived into the French produced films of Luis Buñuel. My eyes were bombarded with images and ideas, so condensed and constant as to feel exhausted and exhilarated after each film. Even films that seemed at first more straight forward (That Obscure Object Of Desire, for example) had hidden, unconscious depths that played on my mind for weeks afterwards. Yet one … Continue reading Snails and Death: Luis Buñuel’s The Diary Of A Chambermaid (1964)

Responses: Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills (1977)

I first came across Cindy Sherman’s photographic series, Untitled Film Stills (1977), when looking for photos of film noir titles. The series is designed around fakery, seeking to recreate the feeling of stills from 1950s and 1960s American films but also, in producing the illusion with general key-notes as to the roles of women in these films, comment upon the basic norms prescribed in Hollywood … Continue reading Responses: Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills (1977)

Fernweh and The Green Ray (Éric Rohmer)

I have recently finished a draft of a novel which follows a lone woman who is mentally cast adrift by the news of her father’s suicide, her grief manifesting in a strange obsession with the town of Strasbourg where she opts to stay over the winter. In one of its sections, I have addressed the concept of Fernweh. The concept is unusual in that it … Continue reading Fernweh and The Green Ray (Éric Rohmer)

Georges Perec’s Les Lieux d’Une Fugue (1978)

When Georges Perec was 11, he decided to wander. In fact, escape is perhaps a better way of describing it; a jailbreak from his Aunt’s house in Rue de l’Assomption to wander Paris with who knows what planned other than avoiding school. It was such a defining experience for the writer that he later composed a text surrounding the feelings and places he encountered on … Continue reading Georges Perec’s Les Lieux d’Une Fugue (1978)

An Exhaustive List of Nothing and Everything in Chantal Akerman’s Saute Ma Ville (1968)

It is fifty years ago this September since Chantal Akerman made her first film. It was a short comical fragment about distraction and suicide called Saute Ma Ville (1968). Following Akerman herself running up to her flat, the film then shows her gradually making a mess of the kitchen into which she has locked herself, taping the gaps in the door and windows ready for … Continue reading An Exhaustive List of Nothing and Everything in Chantal Akerman’s Saute Ma Ville (1968)

Jean-Pierre Melville’s Un Flic (1972) and Le Corbusier’s Transitional Pigments

Jean-Pierre Melville was the master of the drame azur; those strange, dark films, usually French, that contrasted such dramatic darkness with often very light visuals of a bluish hue. The light was still murky, creating bluish white-outs with cloud, fog, sea and other natural elements playing into the blurring of the image. But the drama was predominantly daytime, often making crime films especially seem refreshing … Continue reading Jean-Pierre Melville’s Un Flic (1972) and Le Corbusier’s Transitional Pigments

Responses: Keith Arnatt’s Gardeners (1978-79)

In the late 1970s, Keith Arnatt embarked on an unusual series of photographs collected under the title of Gardeners (1978-79). In the years before, he had produced a similar series of works looking at dog walkers, such was the draw of the ordinary for the artist. Essentially, however, it is what Arnatt found in this seemingly everyday scenario that tapped into his usual sense of … Continue reading Responses: Keith Arnatt’s Gardeners (1978-79)

They Lay With Debris – Wreckage in Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979)

“In the morning they leave. The animals, birds, and insects that watched in horror through the long night creep out from their hiding places. And what do they see? Old spark plugs and old filters strewn around… Rags, burnt-out bulbs, and a monkey wrench left behind… And of course, the usual mess—apple cores, sweet wrappers, charred remains of the campfire, cans, bottles, somebody’s handkerchief, somebody’s … Continue reading They Lay With Debris – Wreckage in Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979)