Hello my little carts before the horse, I’ve still got a ton of editing to do so here are some original, silent Surrealist and Dada films. Toodle pip!
Directed by Rene Clair (though multiple people worked on the project), this was first shown during the intermission of a Swedish ballet at the Theater of Champs Elysées in Paris. Erik Satie provided the music for this and the ballet on the night.
Directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa, Jujiro (Crossroads) was the most successful Japanese export to the West before Rashomon. Kinugasa belonged to the Dada and Surrealist influenced art collective Shinkankakuha (New Sensationalists).
I couldn’t find a copy with English subtitles, sorry!
The Life and Death of 9413 A Hollywood Extra (1928)
I’m fascinated by the dark side of Hollywood (aren’t we all?) so this might be my favourite. Directed by Robert Florey and Slavko Vorkapić, the film was inspired by Florey’s own Hollywood experiences and features early use of Vorkapić’s film-making invention, the montage. Made in America, it was very successful.
The Seashell And The Clergyman (1928)
Touted now as the first surrealist film, Germaine Dulac’s film was overshadowed at the time by Un Chien Andalou, made a year later, and was not well received. Dulac’s films often featured feminist themes.
Emak Bakia (1926)
Man Ray is one of my favourite surrealists, possibly because of his amazing fashion photos. Kiki of Montparnasse (Alice Prin) makes an appearance, the artist’s model, nightclub singer, memoirist, painter and all round fabulous 1920s bohemian. Emak Bakia means Leave Me Alone in Basque.
Good day! I’m in the middle of a crash novella writing month which is sucking out all the cotton wool from my little head. In the meantime here are a few weird films, the first three of which are watched and discussed in our latest Bizart podcast episode.
This is by Cyriak, a UK based animator whose work has appeared on Adult Swim. Baaa is joyous, silly and absurd:
Larry Carlson is a Vermont artist who makes A LOT of psychedelic videos. In Your Cube features a Ventriloquist’s dummy because… why not:
I might be obsessed with Scottish visual artist Rachel Maclean. Her world is the kind of world I want to live in: dark, weird and horrifically colourful. Here’s Lolcats:
Here’s a beautifully animated version of Kurt Schwitters’ Dadaist poem An Anna Blume, by Bulgarian creatives Compote Collective, or Vessela Dantcheva (Overlord), Ivan Bogdanov (Art Director) and Petar Dundakov (Composer).
At Land is a silent short made in 1944 by experimental film maker Maya Deren. Here a sea nymph explores land:
I don’t claim to be down with the hip cats daddio, you dig (what is with these outbreaks of Kerouacism?)? But during my occasional work as a life model I’m exposed to art from the old Masters to more recent fare like Jenny Saville, and I like to nudge the pickle jar of artistic interest now and then. Here are a few things that have aroused my eyes lately.
First off you should skip over to Slinkachu’s website. You may have seen his Little People before – he does do other things but Little People became quite popular and I love them; miniture vignettes of tiny plastic people left around cities such as this entitled “They’re not pets, Susan:”
And this, “I can’t actually graffiti:”
Next up blog Bizarro Central are continuing their countdown to Christmas with a new post on a different weird artist each month, today being Oleg Dou.
Finally (I said it was a mini bag, I got painkillers to take and The League of Gentlemen to watch Goddammit) are two films I recently saw of a surrealist or dada nature.
Finally is Luis Bunuel‘s The Exterminating Angel. The premise is so simple and the ending got him into quite a lot of trouble with the Vatican (you’ll have to watch it to find out why, I’m giving nothing away), and it’s fascinating. Guests at a lavish, upper class dinner party find themselves unable to leave, sinking into desperation and degredation as the days wear on.
Well, that’s it! I’m going to have a cup of tea now, have fun putting your eyes on all the art and that. Byee!