Jazz And Surrealism: Paris In The 1920s

I’m off to Portland, Oregon on Saturday for Bizarrocon and donuts. I’ll be gone for about three weeks but when I return I’ll be full of writerly information and other helpful things.

I’ve read in a couple of different places that Portland is “becoming like Paris in the 1920s,” all the writers and artists are flocking there. I don’t expect it to look the same as 1920s Paris, even Paris doesn’t look the same as 1920s Paris, but I hope to be inspired by a similar artistic atmosphere.

The Années folles (crazy years) was a time between wars where everyone who wanted to make art, dance to jazz or just get a drink (America was under Prohibition) converged on the city. Gertrude Stein held court at her artistic salon (described in her book The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas), Andre Breton was leading the Surrealist movement, and Anais Nin was a brief fixture of the Montparnasse cafe scene.

A Surrealist Ball, by Man Ray
A Montparnasse Cafe

If you wanted to get a glimpse of dancing girls (*whisper* in the nude) you could pop off to The Folies Bergère. One of the headliners at the time was Josephine Baker, a woman of colour treated like a second class citizen in her native America and a star in Paris.

Tracking shot in the 1927 Clara Bow movie Wings:

Below is a promotional film for Josephine Baker’s ‘new’ show. Contains 1920s boobies:

Paris was known for the latest fashions:

And finally, a silent travelogue through all the city had to offer. Toodle pip, and I’ll see you on the other side of my own adventures!

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Hollywood Gothic – The Bizarre Murder Of A B Movie Actress

Hello my little hand painted cups! I don’t know about you but I do like a true crime story, and I first heard the bizarre tale (and I mean bizarre, there’s weird injections, ninjas, everything) of Susan Cabot, aka The Wasp Woman, from an incredibly cheesy series called Mysteries and Scandals.

When writer Amelia Mangan told me it was discussed on podcast My Favorite Murder, hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, I thought it would be good to share here. I’ve set it to begin when her story starts but why not listen to the rest afterwards?

I also included the Mysteries and Scandals episode below, enjoy!

Prince Kano, Classic Gothic Horror Poem

Today’s video is very short so tomorrow I’ll add a podcast and mini documentary I found on one of the oddest Hollywood true crime stories I’ve ever heard of.

For now, here’s classic gothic horror poem Prince Kano by Edward Lowbury. Merry almost Halloween!

DADAkitten: If David Lynch Did Comedy Sketches

Merry birthday to me! I hope all my little bits of confetti littering the streets are OK?

I’ve been trying to settle on a creative project which is purely for fun for a while now, and finally my friend Steve and I have settled on DADAkitten. I can only explain it as ‘imagine if David Lynch did comedy sketches. Sort of. Not quite, but a bit. Also Welcome To Night Vale.’ Follow our channel for more delights and daftness.

Anyway here are a couple of mine, from a series called The Drama Farmer which relates YouTube drama on people who don’t exist:

And here’s my favourite one of Steve’s:

When Burlesque, The Gothic And Jazz Age Collide In An Autumnal Extravaganza

Sorry about the title, I’m probably a bit sleep deprived. I’m at my friend’s working on a new book while he does art stuff.

From next week I’ll be posting a spooky themed video made by myself each Tuesday of October, but I thought I’d start Halloween early by sharing other people’s videos of burlesque performances. I like any kind of burlesque but if it has a Gothic twist, or twenties, or circus sideshow it’s even better.

I’ll start with Missy Macabre, partly because I once interviewed her for Bizarre magazine and partly because she manages to combine the twenties, Gothic and sideshow all in one human:

Next is Obskyura, who is basically a modern Josephine Baker in this act:

Tesla Tease is a Gothic mermaid.

Mam’zelle Plum’ti does the Charleston with a bunch of balloons:

Enjoy, I’m off to do more words out my hands, toodle pip!

Creepy Stop Motion Animation – Fantasia by Guldies

Hello my little sections of time spent in bed when you know you have to get up soon thus making it even more comfortable, I found this stop motion animation the other day and couldn’t wait to share its creepy glory.

Alex, aka Guldies, is a Swedish stop motion animator. Have a look at his (pretty sure it’s a he, sorry if not) youtube channel. Enjoy!

Kuso by Flying Lotus

Hello my little chimpanzees who’ve just learned sign language. I’m all of a flap today because I’m in the middle of a mad dash to get everything done before a writer and artist’s retreat at my friend’s in September and October, so I hope you don’t mind me leaving you with this interview link and some clips from music man Flying Lotus‘ recent film Kuso.

I saw it recently (it’s streaming on Shudder) and really loved it, but also really hated bits of it, and if a film can do that it’s worth recommending, no?

Parts are like a beautiful psychedelic dream while others are a juvenile, scatalogical nightmare, which is a bit like life really. Filmed under his record label (and production company too, I suppose) Brainfeeder, it was also co-created by animator David Firth and writer/artist/music man/etc Zack Fox. If you can stomach the really gross bits the originality is more than enough to tickle your brain cells.

Here’s an interview with the three filmmakers. Warning: Clips may be sweary

Shudder promo clip (with the voice of Hannibal Buress)

The first three minutes, featuring Busdriver: