gistofthegrist

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underground

Whether it be from horror films, World War II history, urban myths, there is always something fascinating about the secrets that lie beneath our feet. This is especially so when the alleged undergroundness is beneath a major city.

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Despite Governments now selling rights to the ground beneath our feet [or the ground beneath the ground beneath our feet] there is something almost primeval in the need to believe we own where we stand? There can be nothing more frightening in horror movies than the zombie/infected breaking through the floorboards to drag an otherwise vigilant victim down with them to hell. Simply we never expect attack from below? Perhaps this is why in warfare tunnellers have always been despised?

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Most intriguing of all are the tales of corridors connecting otherwise disparate places, with entrances to such tunnels through otherwise nondescript facades.

cages

Brilliant work by Dave McKean. Storytelling for grown ups. Painters and poets and jazz musicians and mad men and kings and cats. McKean is a long-time collaborator with Neil Gaiman on The Sandman series. This huge 500 page brick of a graphic novel is much more ‘illustration’ than his usual cut up/collage/photo/drawing style, which nicely highlights his drawing skills.

ethereal

What is it about weightlessness that haunts our dreams? A return to the womb? A desire to overcome the limitations of our feeble bodies under the predictable constraints of a clockwork physical universe? A remembrance of our time as birds/angels? Arguably, though related, weightlessness is different to flying/floating/falling which are all in some way active or imply another agent [floating suggests on something].

Travellers Caught in a Sudden breeze at Ejiri (c.1832), Hokusai (1760-1849)

Is this why we thrill at the Indian rope trick, the Kung Fu artists that can ‘levitate’, the idea of escape from harm in a plummeting lift through jumping at precisely the right moment?

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Julie De Waroquier

In our day and age it is difficult to visually represent this ‘feeling’/notion; once we know Klein’s Leap into the Void photograph was doctored, once we understand how digital manipulation can airbrush out bubbles [I love that term in an underwater photograph context], how trick photography works, how the camera can capture an event that was staged dozens of times to get just the right shot…

zero-gravity-nikolay-8

reboots

Labyrinth II and The Dark Crystal II. With lots of modern tech and no ‘puppets’? Would be a shame, so hope not.

Twin Peaks series III sounds even more intriguing/appalling. Where can it go? If there had been no top n tailing Fire Walk with Me then perhaps [as Dale Copper was seen in the lodge as an old man] there could have been a 25 years later continuation without too much trouble? In fact that would have been a quite neat trick.

cooper

Classics should be left alone in my opinion. Yes you allow a new audience to engage but … [Dallas the reboot] cult books/movies etc are of their time for a reason.

Apparently even Ghost in the Shell is gonna get a live action Hollywood make. Just as The Equalizer recently had a filmic version. Jesus get some new ideas guys.

contrapshions

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I am still waiting for a ‘complete works of’ Heath Robinson. In my opinion just as madcap and inventive as his American counterpart but a much better draughtsman/illustrator; Goldberg arguably more a cartoonist.

finnegans wake illustrated

Looking like a wonderful book. All books of substance should be made this way. I wonder what is considered the most beautiful book ever made? Presumably a medieval handwritten and illuminated or a later hand printed and bound tome? I’d guess that any such book would have to [by our modern day standards] seem closer to an artwork/artist’s book?

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arboreal

It’s always wonderful to happen across little treasures that others have thrown away/forgotten/left behind. Today I picked up a 1944 hardback book How to Draw Trees by artist Gregory Brown. The dust jacket is rather tatty but otherwise the book is in good condition. Seems like it was one of his last works?

treesI had never knowingly heard of him before but if he is the same artist that produced the lovely tree posters for the London Underground in the early part of the 20th century then I would have seen his work before now.

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the giving tree

Found this book today, and can’t think of a sadder more poignant tale. The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein, 1964.

giving

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hazy autumnal sun

Pouring down with rain outside and I’m minded of the smoky protective tint scrolling down the windows in Tyrell’s apartment in Blade Runner, Tetragrammaton Cleric John Preston peeling away the obscurificating window film to see his city for the first time through emotioned eyes in Equilibrium, Bob Shaw’s slow glass in Light of Other Days.

futurecity

bare eyed

Having worked in PR I have to say I found this billboard advert that I happened across today to be both very clever/witty but also ever so slightly ‘creepy’. I guess Halloween is just around the corner!

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