Sunday, August 30, 2009

An OK Movie & Upcoming Seattle exhibit

The Cremator (1969)-- A so-so movie made better by its inclusion of the right panel of Hieronymous Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights (c. 1503-4), especially close-up shots of the devil-bird who consumes and defecates people:
Coincidentally, the same detail graces Deep Purple (English band best known for "Smoke on the Water")'s self-titled album of the same year. Deep Purple came out just three months after The Cremator and includes the song "The Painter" which goes, "Painter, come colour up my life/take away the misery/take away the strife." About that: Bosch's work is in black and white on the album cover due to a printing error but the band kept it anyway, & I'm not sure that this detail of Bosch takes away misery or strife. Rather Bosch depicts both in great detail.

For more recent Awesome Netherlandish Painting on album covers, cf. Fleet Foxes's use of a Pieter Brueghel, nicely summarized in this MTVNews article:
"'[Brueghel's Netherlandish Proverbs (1559) is] this sort of really detailed, 1500s thing, but actually it's horrible, like, everything that's going on is like a disaster,' Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold said. 'All the stuff happening in that bucolic scene is weird, people defecating out of boxes and sheep getting cut through the gut.'"

Returning to nontimely art-in-film news, I think I noticed an Alexander Calder in Sabrina (1954), in Linus's office. A retrospective entitled "Alexander Calder: A Balancing Act" will be at the SAM soon, Oct. 15, 2009-April 11, 2010.

Lobster Tail and Fish Trap (1939). From MoMA website.

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