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:
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.
Dorothy Parker, acidic wit of the Algonquin Round Table in 1920s New York, has recently become one of my favourite writers since reading her Collected Short Stories. They’re wonderful snapshots of urban twenties (and beyond) city life, often monologues or dialogues that are painfully honest and fiercely well-observed. People don’t change too much and the characters are still recognisable today.
Here are some clips of her poetry and prose courtesy of the world web.
Dorothy herself reads one of her more disturbing poems, a comedic take on suicide (she was known for her attempts on her own life) Resume:
Here is a reading of probably her most famous story A Telephone Call. It’s something most people at one time or another can relate to.
Anne Hathaway reads from her short story The Garter:
Dorothy wishing for more in One Perfect Rose:
A man with a crazily husky voice reads her funny and painfully true insight of a man afraid of what he did the night before in You Were Perfectly Fine: