faustus: (Default)
( Aug. 31st, 2011 05:52 pm)
Another one of those, "I didn't realise he was still alive moments" - though, of course, now he isn't.

N.F. Simpson

faustus: (Default)
( May. 13th, 2011 10:06 am)
I'm guessing they didnt have one on file. Finally appeared http://m.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/may/12/joanna-russ-obituary?cat=books&type=article. By Christopher Priest with a note by Julie Bindel (which makes little sense)
faustus: (cinema)
( Sep. 13th, 2010 08:58 am)
Claude Chabrol - of the French New Wave of film, and still active making films until the end.

Chabrol was 80 - Jean Luc Godard is a whippersnapper at 78, but I note Jacques Rivette, Agnes Varda (and Nicolas Roeg) as still working at 82. I can't think of anyone older.

(Manoel Cândido Pinto de Oliveira (b. 1908) - of whom I had never heard, is one answer.
Kaneto Shindo (b. 1912) has a film in postproduction

Kurt Maetzig (b. 1911) hasn't directed since 1976
Mario Monicelli (b. 1915) directed in 2008, 2010 film is "credit only"
Carlo Lizzani (b. 1917) directed in 2008
Ted Post (b. 1918) hasn't directed since 1999
Gabriel Axel (b. 1918) hasn't directed since 2001
Lester James Peries (b. 1918) hasn't directed since 2006
Paul Bogart (b. 1918) has directed for tv since 1988, and seems retired from that)
faustus: (Heaven)
( Aug. 23rd, 2010 08:59 pm)

Contributor to Foundation, often on We.
faustus: (Culture)
( Aug. 19th, 2010 02:58 pm)
We signalled to the ship; go back;
our lives and days returned to us, but
haunted by deeper souvenirs than any rocks or seeds.
From time our souvenirs are deeds.
faustus: (Comedy)
( Jun. 25th, 2010 05:00 pm)
I am sat in a cafe, crying.


I am away from my DVDS, so this will have to do.

D.C. Ben: We could have a dawn swoop. I've always fancied a dawn swoop - they have them all the time in London.
D.C. Joe: Yes, well the thing I have against dawn swoops is the time of day - I mean, dawn, from all accounts, is *very* early.

Trevor Chaplin: Did the earth move, Darling?
Jill Swinburne: No, but the dressing table twitched a few times.

Jill Swinburne: I give you fair warning, Mr Chaplin. If you get engaged to that girl, I shall insist you move into the spare room.

Mr Carter: This tea would make a brontosaurus puke.

Mr Carter: Mrs Swinburne, may I sit with you and kindle my desires?

Mr Wheeler: Are you eating, boy? You should know by now that eating is forbidden. That's why we supply school dinners.

Oliver: This is The Information Age. "Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in... information?"

Oliver: Is it alright if I talk to strange men?
Diane Priest: Only if they're VERY strange.
faustus: (culture)
( May. 12th, 2009 10:52 am)
An obituary, a tad belated, of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. Her Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (1985) and Epistemology of the Closet (1990) introduced me to the concepts of the homosocial, homosexual panic, although probably not, quite, to queer theory. Her work has been an incalculable influence on the queer studies area of my work.
faustus: (culture)
( Apr. 23rd, 2009 01:17 am)
[Although Thursday may already be ruined by a pain in the butt. Never read emails last thing at night.]

A splendid trip into the Big Smoke - make time for a trip to the National for the Picasso exhibition, but buy the catalogue first. You need a good two hours. I paid half price but I'd say it's worth £12.

Then we snatched lunch and wandered via bead shop, Fopp (resisted temptation) to Aldgate East and the refurbished Whitechapel Gallery, which is $FREE$: interesting East End Jewish artist exhibition, a great British Council purchases selection - even if some of it is literally shit - the very moving selection of stuff based around the Guernica tapestry - which hangs in the UN unless Colin Powell is justifying the attack on Iraq - and the frankly silly work of Isa Genzken. I suspect we missed a couple of rooms, the bookshop is excellent, and the coffee bar promising.

Oh, and we ran into John Humphreys on the way back to Charlie Stoss. And didn't kill him for being constantly smug about his lack of knowledge of science.

[a quick shout to Jack Cardiff, cinematographer from A Matter of Life and Death to, er, Rambo: First Blood Part II. R.I.P.]

[Off to bed to fume about the pain some more]
faustus: (roof)
( Apr. 16th, 2009 09:37 am)
Clement Freud, 24 April 1924 - 15 April 2009

Celebrity chef and foodie, former MP for Isle of Ely and then North East Cambridgeshire, racing fan, patriarch of a significant branch of the Freud dynasty and advertiser of dog food - oh, and deadpan comic genius.
January 26, 1918 - February 25, 2009.

See http://www.pjfarmer.com/

Hard to believe of him as being in his 90s. I haven't read a huge amount of him - the world of tiers stuff, the odd Riverworld novel, a volume or two of short stories. But he pushed back some interesting boundaries.
To Whom It May Concern Remix

Come all ye -
wartbrain psychics
with astroid sidekicks
prostate agents
and plastic Cajuns

royal doggerellas
cluster bombsellers
alternative surgeons
torturesport virgins

heavy vivisectionists
columnists, Golumnists,
priests of the beast
who are secretly policed
by highranker bankers
playing pranks with tankers

ghost advisers
death advertisers
vampire preachers
sucked-dry teachers
beheaded dead bodies
of blank-hearted squaddies

billionaire beauticians
fishing for positions
from poison politicians
with obliteration missions –
I'm alone, I'm afraid
And I need your aid
can't you see – can't you see – can't you see?

I was run over by the truth one day
Ever since the accident I've walked this way
So stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam

Heard the alarm clock screaming with pain
Couldn't find myself, so I went back to sleep again
So fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam

Every time I shut my eyes, all I see is flames
I made a marble phone-book, and I carved all the names
So coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam

I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
So stuff my nose with garlic
Coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam

Where were you at the time of the crime?
Down by the Cenotaph, drinking slime
So chain my tongue with whisky
Stuff my nose with garlic
Coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam

You put your bombers in, you put your conscience out
You take the human being, and you twist it all about
So scrub my skin with women
So chain my tongue with whisky
Stuff my nose with garlic
Coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about –
BAE Systems

Tell me lies Mr Bush
Tell me lies Mr Blairbrowncameron

Tell me lies about Vietnam
I knew that Postgate has been ill for some time, and he was 83 or so, but it's still a shock to hear that he has died. His father was a prominent historian of the working classes and he was related to politicians - but Postgate made an indelible mark on several generations of British children. Certainly the earliest sf I saw (excluding Dougal and the Blue Cat, which I heard until I was twenty) was Clangers, and just hearing the voice took me back. Even allowing for nostalgia, there is a magic to the simplicity of the animation that all but the best CGI and stop motion cannot match - Nick Park would have been unthinkable without him.

Seeing the original script for one of his programmes (I think Noggin the Nog) was a bigger tingle factor than any painting I can recall. The British animation exhibition on Postgate, Firmin and Godfrey at the Sydney Cooper gallery closes this week. I nearly went yesterday - I shall certainly go tomorrow.


And let us not forget that his film-making partner, Peter Firmin, is still with us - invisble despite having drawn the pictures.
faustus: (cinema)


( Sep. 27th, 2008 05:32 pm)
I guess Paul Newman will be most remembered for the films he made alongside Robert Redford - The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - smart films, entertaining films, that stand the test of time. It's a long time since I've seen The Hustler or Cool Hand Luke, but I did see Torn Curtain recently and there was something about him which didn't fit the part in a Hitchcock film. A generation gap. Perhaps it's that you can't see Julie Andrews as a Hitchcock ice blonde, or that he wasn't the right sense of gent of Grant or Stewart. Perhaps it's because he acted characters not Paul Newman.

More recently two outstanding performances - The Hudsucker Proxy and The Road to Perdition - showed he still had it, and he could still hold the screen. I'd forgotten he'd directed Sometimes a Great Notion, a tamed version of Ken Kesey's frankly too complicated second novel, with Henry Fonda and himself. Another icon falls.
Apparently David Foster Wallace hung himself on the 12 September. I still haven't got around to Infinite Jest, but he certainly struck me as being very ambitious as a writer.
faustus: (culture)
( Sep. 1st, 2008 02:23 pm)

I'd heard of the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool, and its epic productions of The Warp and Illuminatus, and much coverage of his PKD inspired monologues on Loose Ends. He even stood out from Jarman's The Tempest. I didn't recall him from the various Alf Garnett programmes.

What I'd forgotten was that I'd probably seen him, and certainly saw his plays, at Nottingham Playhouse: certainly Bendigo and I'm sure he was behind one on navies and another called something like Phantasmagoria.

But my closest encounter was at the PKD day at Epping Forest Community College in 1991, when I suggested the term adicks and possibly dickheads to him. As the bar slowly cleared on the Saturday night, it got down to Campbell, James Kneale and myself, drinking single malts. We were treated to an edited highlight of monologues past and present - on Charles Fort, on reading Lo!, on how incantatory it was, on how he teleported someone from Tottenham Court Road toilets to Newfoundland, and above all on how significant it would be to read Ben Hecht's autobiography A Child of the Century and how this would help me understand Dick (it's a great read, but it didn't). The sun came up, and in time we snuck James into breakfast. At no time did I feel "But enough about you"; he was genuinely interested in us, but he gave good anecdote.

I hear - http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/aug/30/bbc.television - that Geoffrey Perkins has been killed ina road accident.

He was the man who produced Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy from the second episode (Simon Brett produced episode one), who introduced Mornington Crescent to I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue and - with Angus Deayton - was central to Radio Active, both writing and performing. He also had input into Spitting Image and was BBC Head of Comedy, and his Harry and Paul< will start this week.

That's thirty years or more of comic genius. The world is a little less bright for his death.
faustus: (rooftop)
( Jul. 7th, 2008 12:50 pm)
A poem - more here: http://www.speakeasy.org/~rubel/disch/ and http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/443.html,

The Art of Dying

Mallarmé drowning
Chatterton coughing up his lungs
Auden frozen in a cottage
Byron expiring at Missolonghi
and Hart Crane visiting Missolonghi and dying there too

The little boot of Sylvia Plath wedged in its fatal stirrup
Tasso poisoned
Crabbe poisoned
T.S. Eliot raving for months in a Genoa hospital before he died
Pope disappearing like a barge in a twilight of drugs

The execution of Marianne Moore
Pablo Neruda spattered against the Mississippi
Hofmannsthal's electrocution
The quiet painless death of Robert Lowell
Alvarez bashing his bicycle into an oak

The Brownings lost at sea
The premature burial of Thomas Gray
The baffling murder of Stephen Vincent Benét
Stevenson dying of dysentery
and Catullus of a broken heart

-- Tom Disch


faustus: (Default)


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