Archive for January, 2008
An episode of ZDF Expedition had me scavenging the bibliothèque numérique of the BNF for a closer look at the woodcuts shown in the documentary of which one would depict the poet, thief and vagabond. Alas, the woodcuts in the various early editions appear to be stock woodcut material Generic woodcuts, used by printers to save money.
One of the episodes of the original Disneyland television programs has Walt Disney explain the origins, principles and workings of the noble art of animation from Chapter V (the Plausible Impossible) of an impressive tome titled “The Art of Animation”. Actually, according to Leonard Maltin, the book was by then little more than a stage prop. We did see the master at work, suspending disbelief with incredible flair.
As I came across this clip of Babuji Dheere Chalna, I realized that it has been a year now since O.P. Nayyar passed away. Reading on the origin of the song, so brilliantly performed by Geeta Dutt, I read on http://www.itwofs.com/ that the song is ‘inspired’ by “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás”, composed by Cuban songwriter Osvaldo Farrés and since interpreted by Doris Day, Nat King Cole, Celia Cruz, Sara Montiel and relatively recently by Omara Portundo and Ibrahim Ferrer. Obviously Farrés created a song that wanted to travel the world.
Last Saturday, we had an unexpected visitor. A lost little swan, with a nasty abcess under its beak. Coaxed the critter into the hallway to await the guys from animal rescue and actually had some time to have a good look at the bird before it was whisked away to the bird sanctuary in Naarden. It reminded me of the many sad little (and big) birds I’ve taken home over the years, a good many of them dying in the process. From an oyster catcher that expired on the doorstep of the bird hospital to a cocky seagull that camped out in a rabbit pen for a week before flying off.
Liebig chromos are always charming in their romantic and encyclopaedic depiction of the marvels of the (then) modern world. On this scan, made by an ebaynaut, we can see the tricks of cinematography revealed, at last. What really arouses the curiosity is the presence on the set of a carabiniere and someone in a beekeepers suit.
Just discovered that the prices for the works of Stanley end Elisabeth Burns have been rising steadily. My interest in post mortem photography was raised by the Amenabar classic “Los Otros”, featuring a “Book of the Dead” prop that actually featured a picture of the director himself. The real source of the director’s inspiration is probably the work of the Burns’.
Above: a portrait from Claudia’s family. Second from the left is her great-grandfather at the deathbed of his aunt, somewhere in Sinaloa, late 19th century. Below left to right: a snippet from the poster, the picture of Amenabar, two images from Sleeping Beauty I (now between $ 500 and $ 1.200) and the cover of Sleeping Beauty II (somewhere in the $ 150 range).