Archive for the Life the Universe and Other Things Category

Friday 13th April 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on April 13, 2018 by bishshat

May or may not?

Yesterday I saw a tweet
From a twit
Threatening a twat
These were not children
Playing tit for tat
They were leaders of nations
President and Prime Minister
And a cabinet had a meeting
May or may not
Soon or not soon at all
I saw a child with one leg
Being dragged through the dust
Flags of nations flying
When they should be hanging in shame

John Bish
Friday April 13th 2018

5

A tournament of poison
Knights in Armani suites
Jousting for the future

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Thursday 12th April 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on April 12, 2018 by bishshat

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Rawhide

The Blues Brothers

Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’
Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’
Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’
Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’
Rawhide!

Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’
Though the streams are swollen
Keep them doggies rollin’,
Rawhide

Rain and wind and weather
Hell bent for leather
Wishin’ my gal was by my side

All the things I’m missin’
Good vittles, love and kissin’
Are waiting at the end of my ride

Move ’em on
(Head em’ up!)
Head em’ up
(Move ’em on!)
Move ’em on
(Head em’ up!)
Rawhide!

Cut ’em out
(Ride ’em in!)
Ride ’em in
(Cut em’ out!)
Cut ’em out
Ride ’em in,
Rawhide!

Keep movin’, movin’, movin’
Though they’re disaprovin’
Keep them doggies movin’,
Rawhide

Don’t try to understand ’em
Just rope, throw, and brand ’em
Soon we’ll be livin’ high and wide

My heart’s calculatin’
My true love will be waitin’
Be waitin’ at the end of my ride

Move ’em on
(Head em’ up!)
Head em’ up
(Move ’em on!)
Move ’em on
(Head em’ up!)
Rawhide!

Cut em’ out
(Ride ’em in!)
Ride ’em in
(Cut em’ out!)
Cut em’ out
Ride ’em in,
Rawhide!

Yah! (whip crack)

Move ’em on
(Head em’ up!)
Head em’ up
(Move ’em on!)
Move ’em on
(Head em’ up!)
Rawhide!

Cut em’ out
(Ride ’em in!)
Ride ’em in
(Cut em’ out!)
Cut em’ out
Ride ’em in,
Rawhide!

Rollin’ rollin’,rollin’
Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ Yah! (whip crack)
Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’
Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’
Rawhiiide

Yah! (whip crack)

Rawhide!

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Wednesday 11th April 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on April 11, 2018 by bishshat

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Tuesday 10th April 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on April 10, 2018 by bishshat

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Monday 9th April 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on April 10, 2018 by bishshat

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Rodin

Rodin relationship with Claudel, his work on the monumental Gates of Hell project, and the all-consuming obsession with his Balzac statue. At the film’s start, Claudel is already in the master’s studio as a prize assistant and lover. Though Rodin was well-known for sleeping with his models and pupils, his pairing with Claudel was the only affair to threaten the stability of his non-traditional common-law marriage to Rose (Séverine Caneele), a stolid country woman whose involvement with his artistic career was long past. Claudel chafes at her lover’s inability to commit and bristles at being overshadowed by his fame, until she flees from under his shadow and gradually loses her mind (vaguely implied but not seen).

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Meanwhile, he’s continually at work on his great Balzac statue, a work famously derided when first presented — Oscar Wilde (not quoted in the film) described it as “the leonine head of a fallen angel, with a dressing gown.” And about that dressing gown: Doillon includes an unintentionally hilarious “Eureka!” moment when Rodin, contemplating his statue’s nakedness, grabs an overcoat, tosses it in a bucket of wet plaster, drapes it over the paunchy form, and voilà, a masterpiece is born. The director clearly read far too many books about his subject before writing his script, but was this particular episode ever described thus?

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At least that scene shows part of the artistic process, as opposed to the constant stream of ridiculously didactic lines tossed out by all the famous people in Rodin’s circle. Victor Hugo (Bernard Verley) isn’t just glimpsed but overheard saying something profound — this isn’t a Mike Leigh “Turner” sort of film seeking to uncover the runny-nosed man-of-the-earth who crafts sublime masterpieces. Rather, this is hagiography looking to educate. Rodin to Cézanne (Arthur Nauzyciel): “Stay strong!” Rodin to Monet (Olivier Cadiot): “You helped me understand light!” Name dropping runs amok, and why exactly bring Rainer Maria Rilke (Anders Danielsen Lie) into the picture when all he does is explain the Biblical story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife? It may be edifying to read, but it’s stultifying to watch.

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Lindon’s physical solidity is impressive. He holds himself like a great hunk of clay, thick and dense and rooted to the ground, making this seem like even more of a wasted opportunity when considering what could have been done with a Rodin biopic. Visiting the major exhibition currently on in Paris would be far more insightful. Higelin has an innocence about her, a directness and simplicity in the early scenes that happily normalizes Claudel; only later do the neuroses start to take hold of her fragile mind. Other actors perform their roles with gravitas except the artist’s models, all tediously giggly or, in the case of Gwen John (Olivia Baes), here called Mary, quivering with sexual excitement when near the master.

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Much of the shooting was done in the actual locations, with production designer Katia Wyszkop doing a commendable job making it all look perfect on screen. Rodin’s studios are artfully filled with carefully arranged plaster casts, a serendipitous mirror placed to show multiple sides of the statues. Strong, white lighting sets everyone off in a flawless theatrical glow when natural light isn’t enough, and Christophe Beaucarne’s loving cinematography ensures this has “prestige” written all over.

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Rodin

Rodin is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past. He was schooled traditionally, took a craftsman-like approach to his work, and desired academic recognition, although he was never accepted into Paris’s foremost school of art.

Sculpturally, Rodin possessed a unique ability to model a complex, turbulent, deeply pocketed surface in clay. Many of his most notable sculptures were roundly criticized during his lifetime. They clashed with predominant figurative sculpture traditions, in which works were decorative, formulaic, or highly thematic. Rodin’s most original work departed from traditional themes of mythology and allegory, modeled the human body with realism, and celebrated individual character and physicality. Rodin was sensitive to the controversy surrounding his work, but refused to change his style. Successive works brought increasing favor from the government and the artistic community.

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From the unexpected realism of his first major figure – inspired by his 1875 trip to Italy – to the unconventional memorials whose commissions he later sought, Rodin’s reputation grew, such that he became the preeminent French sculptor of his time. By 1900, he was a world-renowned artist. Wealthy private clients sought Rodin’s work after his World’s Fair exhibit, and he kept company with a variety of high-profile intellectuals and artists. His students included Antoine Bourdelle, Camille Claudel, Constantin Brâncuși, Charles Despiau. He married his lifelong companion, Rose Beuret, in the last year of both their lives. His sculptures suffered a decline in popularity after his death in 1917, but within a few decades, his legacy solidified. Rodin remains one of the few sculptors widely known outside the visual arts community.

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Camille Claudel

Around 1883, he had met the young sculptress; she became his model, Muse and mistress, his praticiènne and his artistic colleague. This intense friendship, that was to last for 15 years, had a decisive impact on Rodin´s life and art. Other works like Eternal Spring (1884), Fallen Angel (1885), The Danaid (1885-89), Death of Adonis (1888) and Eternal Idol (1889) show the changed direction Rodin´s work has taken. Although less dramatic than in Fugitive Love, in most of the pairs  an undertone of pessimism and sorrow remains, mirroring the impossible conditions of his passion for Camille.

Camille Claudel was a French sculptor and graphic artist. She died in relative obscurity, but has gained recognition for the originality of her work.

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She was the elder sister of the poet and diplomat Paul Claudel and the lover and co-worker of sculptor Auguste Rodin. The national Camille Claudel Museum in Nogent-sur-Seine opened in 2017, and the Musée Rodin in Paris has a room dedicated to Claudel’s works.  After 1905 Claudel appeared to be mentally ill. She destroyed many of her statues, disappeared for long periods of time, exhibited signs of paranoia and was diagnosed as having schizophrenia. She accused Rodin of stealing her ideas and of leading a conspiracy to kill her. After the wedding of her brother in 1906 and his return to China, she lived secluded in her workshop.

Camille 24 years younger than Rodin; her mother and her brother Paul are suspicious of the artist, who is slowly coming to fame now. One of the things their hear about the sculptor disturbs them: apparently, Rodin has a wife already. Although Rodin adores Camille, employs her in his studio, takes her as a model for various sculptures like The Thought, La France and Saint George, spends the summer days with her at the Château d´Islette and pays the rent for her house near the Dépôt des Marbres, he does not want to dissolve his ties to his old love and companion Rose Beuret. Rose had been loyal to him during the difficult years in Belgium, she had watched over his precious clay models and been his model for Mignon and La Bacchante.

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On 22 January 1866, their son Auguste-Eugène Beuret had been born. Rodin never recognised him as his child, nor was he prepared to marry Rose. Still, he does not want to leave her alone. Together with Rose, he lives at the Rue des Grands Augustins. At the same time, Rodin and Camille share an atelier in the Folie Neufborg, a little old castle at the Boulevard d´Italie. They are an artistic, sexual and spiritual pair.  Camille still hopes she can replace Rose, who does hardly participate in Rodin´s social and intellectual life and rather functions as a kind of housekeeper.

“She wanted Rodin to repudiate his poor old Rose, who had been the companion of his early years, and who had shared his poverty. He could not bring himself to to that, though both as a man and an artist he was passionately in love with Camille Claudel. “She has no sense of fair play”, he told me one day, “just like all women.”

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Camille´s friend Jessie Lipscomb recollects, Rodin had two children with Camille, who were raised in a boarding school,  but a curious contract of October 1886, in which Rodin promised to give up all contact to his former models and to marry Camille, never is fulfilled. In 1893, Rodin moves with Rose to the Villa Bellevue in Meudon. Camille does not give up, though: she does not want confine herself to the role of a mistress and assistant. According to Georges Reyer, there are impetuous scenes of jealousy, and Kenneth Clark wrote that one day, Rose even shot at Camille. In L´Age Mûr (1894), Camille Claudel depicts this fatal triangle relationship between Rodin, Rose, and herself. In biting caricature sketches, she comments on Rodin´s unwillingness to give up Rose. Finally, she starts to move away from Rodin, develops her new concept of narrative sculpture.

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By the time the monumental version of The Kiss is presented at the 1898 Salon, their liaison has ended, although Rodin continues to support her artistic reputation. Camille, sliding into paranoia, suspects Rodin is abusing her ideas, even leads a conspiracy to poison her. In March 1913, after the death of her father, Camille is delivered to the mental hospital Ville-Evrard. Till her death in 1943, she will stay in custody, deprived of her art. In January 1917, Rodin and Rose finally marry, two weeks before Rose´s death.

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Saturday 7th April 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on April 7, 2018 by bishshat

Stoke 1 Spurs 2

Christian Eriksen was once again influential as Tottenham held off Stoke City to win 2-1 and move level on points with third-placed Liverpool.

Son had Spurs best chance in the first half, being released for a one-on-one chance against Jack Butland only to be thwarted by the Potters keeper’s fine save.

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It should have been the breakthrough for a frustrated Spurs side, who had seen Mame Biram Diouf fluff his lines 12 yards out by sending the ball into Row Z.

The second half started in similar fashion but Spurs soon made their dominance pay as Dele Alli was released along side Kane, the former opting for Eriksen’s late run into the area for a smart finish.

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Their lead did not last long, however, as Hugo Lloris’s hashed clearance goes straight into Biram Diouf’s path and the striker finishes into an empty net.

Spurs soon found themselves back in front as Eriksen whipped in a free kick from the left wing and Kane jumped highest to get a slight touch to beat Butland.

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Stoke mounted a late challenge for points, Xherdan Shaqiri going closest when hitting the angle of post and bar from a free kick, but Spurs held on to move level on points with third-placed Liverpool with a game in hand.

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Final Portrait

It is based on the true story of how Alberto Giacometti invited the young American critic and influential admirer James Lord to sit for him in Paris in 1964; the resulting comedy is written for the screen by Tucci and based on Lord’s own memoir of the event.

In Paris 1964, famed painter Alberto Giacometti bumps into his old friend James Lord, an American critic, and asks him to be a model for his latest portrait in his studio for a couple of days. Flattered by the request, Lord complies and as the days turn into weeks, he realizes his entire life has been wasted by this erratic genius. Jumping between joy and frustration, Lord finally sees logic in Giacometti’s artistic but chaotic vision and witnesses the genius complete one of his last masterpieces.

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Having airily promised that the portrait sitting would last a few hours at the most, making no difference to Lord’s imminent return flight to New York, Giacometti announces he needs a few more days and then a few days more, and all the while declaiming his agony of self-doubt at the easel, repeatedly overpainting near-complete work he angrily decides is mediocre – and assuring Lord grimly that art can never be finished.

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His subject, though delighted and flattered by the honour, is forced to make a series of ruinously expensive flight cancellations. Complaining would of course be unthinkable ingratitude and discourtesy. He begins to fear he will be there for ever, like Tony Last in Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust reading Dickens to the jungle madman. For some reason, Giacometti likes having him around as ally and witness to all the tensions in his life: perhaps focusing on Lord’s youth is a way of indefinitely deferring death. Lord has to figure out a way of persuading Giacometti to stop painting. A strange bond develops between the men, something between friendship and duel.

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Geoffrey Rush is very funny as Giacometti himself: his ageing, bulbous, bespectacled face, framed in wiry halo of grey hair, is set permanently in an expression of droll contempt for everything, especially the quality of his own work. Armie Hammer shows charm and restraint as Lord, the foil to this huge comic turn. Sylvie Testud is Giacometti’s wife Annette, who has taken a lover in revenge for her husband’s obsession with his great muse and subject Caroline (Clémence Poesy), a prostitute. Tony Shalhoub is Giacometti’s brother and studio assistant Diego.

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Giacometti is given to acid rancour and hilarious despairing outbursts and strops.He will repeatedly stop painting and shout: “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” as if struck afresh by the utter pointlessness of everything. He is forever deriding himself and confessing to Lord that his self-doubt gets worse with every passing year. But he gets more successful every year, Lord mildly protests. Giacometti replies acidly: “There is no greater breeding ground for doubt than success!”

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46 Rue Hippolyte-Maindron in Montparnasse.

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The work goes on and on, with Giacometti muttering to Lord: “A real friend would tell me to give up.” “Who says I’m a real friend?” shrugs Lord.

As the ordeal continues, Giacometti’s agonies assume a Beckettian quality: “Fuck. Fuck! Let’s just stop there before I destroy everything … I’ll never find a way out of it … I have to stop. We can’t stop!”

Tucci notably allows his camera to make a leisurely, often silent tour of Giacometti’s chaotic studio, during the frequent periods of inactivity, the studio in which he has hidden vast dirty bundles of cash about the place because he and his brother don’t trust banks. Occasionally he and Lord will take walks in which Giacometti will unburden himself of his dyspeptic opinions, particularly about how much he despises Picasso.

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The parts of the film which open out to the louche night-life and Giacometti’s affair with Caroline and his negotiation with her violent pimps, are a little less interesting but always performed with great élan. Lord looks with wry and near-silent amusement at Giacometti’s heterosexual melodramas; the movie touches only briefly on his gay identity. It’s a highly entertaining portrait of the two men, and Tucci’s own directorial brush strokes are bold and invigorating.

Friday 6th April 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on April 6, 2018 by bishshat

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