Category Archives: Cinephilia

DISTURBED BLONDES

The world is transfixed with the virginal and the vacuous blonde but there is also a space for the deeply disturbed blonde. She is not psychopathic as her male counterparts, she rarely strikes out but sometimes she does,  slicing away wrongs. She is complex, beguiling and not to be categorized–she oscillates, she slinks, she morphs, try to hold onto her and she slips through your fingers like sand. Sometimes she is punished by patriarchy but often she becomes ‘otherwordly,’ haunting the peripheries of frame, knocking, scraping and digging away at rational linearity. I love disturbed blondes.

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Of Human Bondage

 

Of Human Bondage

I am fascinated with connections, those super umbilical cords that affix us all; ours bonds, our bondage. One leisurely activity I participate in, is choosing a random subject, lets say GLASS, typing it into google and then spending the next 10 minutes clicking on various links to see where I end. The end subject is usually incongruous to the original subject but by tracing it’s sorta genealogy, we get an analogous story. It weaves a beautiful co-existence of chance and choice, difference and sameness, of other and self. Life is made up of squillions of these cords, all tangled in a complex combustion of chaos and order. I have decided to compose together an ouroboric-like connection between 6 films.

Repulsion

1. Repulsion, 1965, Roman Polanski

Ah the disturbed blonde, a subject matter mastered by Hitchcock. The obvious choice was to choose a Hitchcock film but I decided to go down another path, funnily enough the path found its way to Hitchcock anyway.  I only recently decided to watch this film, the subject matter of the film and Polanski’s own shady transgressions made me a little uneasy but I have been watching films about ‘seemingly innocent’ females of late, Catherine Deneuve being one of these coy-masking-rage femmes and so decided to set aside my unease to indulge in what I found to be absolutely intoxicating. I was totally beguiled by the neurotic, claustrophobic expressionism of the cinematography by Gilbert Taylor.

Dracula

2. Dracula, 1979 John Badham
The connection between Repulsion and Dracula = Gilbert Taylor, cinematographer.

I have seen many adaptations of Dracula but not this one. I have decided that nothing can compare to the actual novel by Bram Stoker, adaptations always wind up blood-splattered  camp (Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula) or blood-sucked wry (Louis Jourdan’s mini-series Count Dracula). Don’t get me wrong I am hypnotized by Murnau’s, ugly as hell Nosferatu, and mesmerized by Bella Lugosi’s orthodox Count Dracula (but both dispel the eroticism of the novel). No adaptation can quite balance the disclosed and displaced erotic violence of the novel without oozing hamminess or sterilizing it. John Badham’s version of Dracula strays into the cornball campground, getting a little too romantic for my taste but it does have several things going for it 1. the byronic brow of Laurence Olivier  2. Dracula’s slick pimp do 3.Gilbert Taylor’s cinematography which looks like the love child of a BBC period drama and german expressionism.

Bond

3. Never Say Never Again, 1983, Irvin Kershner.
The connection between Dracula and Never Say Never Again = Use of St Michael’s Mount.

I hate James Bond, not even Connery’s titillating timbre can seduce me into the ways of the martini stirring Bond but I do adore St Michael’s Mount, which features in both films. In Dracula, it features as the facade of Dracula’s castle, in Never Say Never Again, the misguided missile’s fly over it. Islands and castles and monasteries, oh my! All beddable infantile archetypes for me.

Marnie

4. Marnie, 1964, Alfred Hitchcock.
The connection between Never Say Never and Marnie = Sean Connery

Alfred places himself as Lord Freud himself, as he probes the mind of a hysterical, hostile, kleptomaniac, who goes into a catatonic rage when she see’s red, she see’s red, she see’s red. Sean Connery is her suave savior/rapist, who performs a nonconsensual exorcism of her ‘psychological’ possession via his own penetrating patriarchal possession. I in no way condone his acts but Marnie nonetheless is an intriguing examination of female trauma.

Red

Three Colors: Red, 1994, Krzysztof Kieslowski
The connection between Marnie and Three Colors, Red = RED.

The denouement of the color trilogy and Kieslowski’s final film before his sudden death in 1996, metamorphoses the french revolutionary ideal of fraternity in a cinematic prose of deja vu in the 90s. I was absolutely seduced by the sensual paring of red curtains and Irene Jacobs lamenting eyes, it nursed my faux nostalgia for the Other 90s.

Other 90s: The more mature 90s I was aware of but not apart of because I was part of the playground 90s.

pulp

Pulp Fiction, 1994, Quentin Tarantino
The connection between Red and Pulp Fiction = Irene Jacobs

The story goes that Quentin Tarantino saw Irene Jacobs in another Kieslowski film The Double Life of Veronique and wrote the part of Bruce Willis’s wife Fabienne, in Pulp Fiction, with her in mind but Irene was working on Red at the time. I love/loath Tarantino for he is a swindler, a reel-road robber absorbing ‘other’ cinematic cool shit, through his chin no doubt and regurgitating his pastiche patchwork in such a cool way, misty-eyed butterflies start fluttering inside you.

And now to tie everything together. In 1994, Pulp Fiction won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and who should be the Jury vice-president but Catherine Deneuve. This photograph captures a glance, that triggers an almost ouroboric connection between 6 films.

tarantino and catherine.jpg

 

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What We Do In The Shadows: The Pavlova Vampire

What We Do
What We Do In The Shadows
, a vampiric mockumentary written by Jermaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and Taiki Waititi (Boy, Eagle Vs Shark), sinks its teeth into the vamp flick genre and  Cinéma vérité’ doco style, only to ‘turn’ these borrowed tropes into something very other, very deadpan, very Kiwi.

The film is loaded with pavlova nuances from the humble, taciturn bloke Stu, to the hegemonic wolf pack culture of kiwi mates, to the protracted Richie Macawesque, ‘ah, yeah, pause’ response made by kiwi vampmate, Nick; all of which are made more mince pie to the eccentricities and dandyisms of the European vampires.

What makes What We do in the Shadows so deliciously diverting is how incongruous vampiric tropes are with the reserved, unostentatious makeup of New Zealand. New Zealand at unease in its own skin is exposed through the films spotlight on the shadowy inbetween, awkward stuff, the everyday, not-so-glamorous things that happen to Vampires: dishes not being washed, not getting an invite into a club, flying through windows, flatmate meetings and house safety hazards. The ‘we’ in the films title stands for all New Zealanders, a mockumentary on cinema of the unease and the vampiric nature of Kiwis–bloodsuckers of myth, withdrawn, loners at the bottom of the world. “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat human.”

Even for non-kiwis this film will tickle anyone with a taste for dead-pan, wry  humor, displayed in Flight of the Conchords and Eagle VS Shark.

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ELI WALLACH: The Solicitous Sancho of the Screen

Often playing the Sancho to Quixote leading men, Eli Wallach brought a profundity to the side-kick,the ugly, the outsider, the other guy. I’ll never forget the first time I lay sight on those shifty, quizzical eyes in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, or the way he usurped the role of leading man, dancing with Marilyn as she utters in breathy tones  ‘We’re all dying’ in The Misfits. Alas, they all are dead–Marilyn, Clark, Montgomery, Thelma and now Eli. I get sad every time another ole’ screen actor checks out, thankfully the aren’t really dead, not really, they live on, preserved, taxidermy on the golden screen.

Tonight I am going to watch The Misfits.

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[JUNE] IN THE RAILROAD EARTH

Railroad Train by Edward Hopper

“The restlessness and the longing, like the longing that is in the whistle of a faraway train.
Except that the longing isn’t really in the whistle—it is in you.” 

                                      – Meindert Dejong, The Little Cow and the Turtle 

I have been thinking about Trains of late, I recently went to see a Miyazaki double feature, Spirited Away and The Wind Rises, where those beautiful iron beasts carry the wanderlust/lost on a spiritual trip to the afterlife or to an other life. I spent a good solid month in a small town in Wisconsin called Prairie Du Chein, and every night I was serenaded by the whistling soliloquy of the distant train and it was true, it was a displaced wail for a longing inside of me, a longing I knew couldn’t be fulfilled in a tiny town (no matter how much I romanticized it). The trains whistle still haunts me inside, I can feel it like a force of breath between my ribcage.The wailing between the rails guarding my unconscious. I long, so I play Vashti Bunyan’s Train Song.

I am on a bit of train binge at the moment, I am, as it were, loco over locomotives. It especially amuses me that trains petrified Freud, he suffered from Siderodromophobia (fear of train travel) through his childish eyes the steam jets from a train looked like souls burning in hell. In his self-analysis he said the rocking of the train reminded him of the loss of his mother, love thy mother.

The following is a list of my favorite train tracks, films, books, poetry ladeda.

LITERATURE

pawprints

Ghost Cat by Joy Cowley 

A couple years ago,
A deaf old cat named Mack
Went for an evening walk
Along the railway track.
He didn’t hear the whistle
Of the midnight train.
‘Dead!’ said the engine driver.
‘We won’t see him again.’
Me-ow!

The driver was mistaken
The ghost of Mack came back
To haunt the midnight train
On the section of the track.
The driver said he saw him suddenly appear.
His coat was grey like mist
His eyes were cold and clear.
Mee-ee-o-ow!

And sometimes lonely travellers
Bound for the distant places,
Woke up after midnight
With pawmarks on their faces.
They gave a cry of terror
As a pale grey shape slid by,
And through the darkened carriages
They heard the ghostly cry.
Mee-ee-ee-ee-o-o-o-ow!

This poem by children lit darling Joy Cowley was probably my first exposure to terror, the accompanying picture drawn by a child called Waaka Harris didn’t help to nullify the unease. Between the whistle of the train, the callous response of the engine driver, the iridescent haunting of a Cat, with such a congenial name like Mack, I was absolutely petrified but also disturbingly beguiled on my first train trip.

 

Railway Rhymes by CL GravesRailway Station

“When books are pow’rless to beguile
And papers only stir my bile,
For solace and relief I flee
To Bradshaw or the ABC
And find the best of recreations
In studying the names of stations.”

Ah to escape by train from life’s shit, now that would be a great adventure. There is something therapeutic about studying the names of streets and stations. The best part about studying train stations from a moving train is that it flashes by and it is gone, and it’s on to the next one. Ponder and release.

Strangers on a Train

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith

Train lit. has been embroiled in the world of what I am going to call hard-boiler crime. The Train in Patricia Highsmiths psychological thriller opens a platform for a psychopathic playboy to prey of those in transit-physically and mentally. An A to B journey for Guy Haines is derailed by a strangers proposition-a moider swap, he will kill his unfaithful wife, if Guy kills his father.

 

 

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

What appears to be a formulaic whodunnit on a train, opens up a space for derailing ideas of crime and punishment. It sparks on the terrors of train travel, being cooped up in space of compartmental collapse with strangers, who could perhaps kill you. Exotic landscapes are rendered  impressionistic by the trains speed, and whodunnit becomes a landscape to the shaky forefront of human ethics. 

 FILM

In 1986 the Lumiere brothers created the first unintentional horror film, when their train sent audiences (unfamiliar with how film worked) screaming from the auditorium, solidifying the symbolic power of the train on screen. The terrible, terrific imprinted forever on the collective unconscious.

Click on the pictures to watch a scene from these films.

North by Northwest

North by Northwest, Alfred Hitchcock, 1959

The reason why I attribute train travel to sexy espionage, slinky martinis and comfortable sleeping lounges, Amtrak quickly dissolved those romanticized views. The end of this film has the best sexual innuendo involving a train.

Once Upon a Ti

Once Upon a Time in the West, Sergio Leone, 1968 

Trains have and still are intrinsic to the myth building of the West in the American consciousness. Sergio Leone capitalizes on the ‘traveling’ nature of the Western to redress the mythological expansion of the iron horse across the west-frontier building on crack. Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack, accentuates the plodding, dying whistle of the demi-gods on horses, as the train makes tracks across the western narrative.

Spirited Away

Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki, 2001

There is something so peaceful about a train taking spirits home, train as travel to the afterlife. The train scene lulled into a slumber by the medicinal music of Joe Hisaishi is like a meditative pause. It opens a space for a long sigh after life is done.

La Bete Humaine

La Bete Humaine, Jean Renoir, 1938

Jean Renoir’s poetic realist masterpiece takes us into the coal clogged, hellish belly of the industrial monster. In this locomotive infested world, the plights of suffering male,sacrificial woman and popular front are fought in the slinky, oilskin shadows.

The Music Man

The Music Man, Morton DaCosta, 1962

The opening scene where a honky salesman rap coalesces with the rhythm and sounds of the train, as if the men are having synchronized sex with the train, not to mention each other is just brilliant. The fact they are salesman (prostitutes in suits) jostling in synchrony with the grind, steam and steady thrust of the locomotive will have you in hysterics.

The list could go on and on so here is a montage of train scene from the films I love.

TRAIN TRACKS


Click on the picture below to  listen to my  Spotify playlist, TRAIN TRACKS

Trains

DERAILED LOVE
5:15 The Angels Have Gone – David Bowie
All Aboard – Muddy Waters
Jumping someone else’s train/another journey by train – The Cure
Downtown Train – Tom Waits

LONGING WITH A LONESOME WHISTLE
500 miles – Peter, Paul and Mary
Train Song – Vashti Bunyan
Blues in the Night – Ella Fitzgerald
Homeward Bound – Simon & Garfunkel

THE GREAT ESCAPE
The Draize Train – The Smiths 
Gone Darker – Electrelane
Long Black Train – Lee Hazlewood
High Speed Train – R.E.M

REEL ROAD
The Sixth Station (Spirited Away) – Joe Hisaishi
Farewell to Cheyenne (Once Upon a Time in the West) – Ennio Morricone
Conversation Piece (North by Northwest) – Bernard Herrmann
Lara’s Theme (Dr Zhivago) –  Maurice Jarre

Train

“In this fast movin’ world that we live in nobody rides ’em much these days
Maybe I’m a little sentimental cause I know that things have to change
But I’d still like to go for a train ride cause I’ve got a thing about trains .”

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Filmilial Fears

INVASION OF THE HOME SNATCHERS
Good Furniture Gone Bad on Screen

I live in unheimlich fear. Why? You may ask, does Dorothy’s mawkish utterance ‘There’s no place like home,’ taste like sour pop-scorn in my mouth. Well, I curse those Freudian filmmakers doing everything in their medium might to transform domestic things into menacing thingamabobs. Yet, while I curse, I realize like a reel-addict I seek it out. The following films have a common denominator they take a familiar household item, throw it in a bowl with a dash of terror, a slice of menace, a cup full of fear and chuck it in a blender to become one hell of a disturbed domestic. These are good inanimate things gone bad.

THE CEILING FAN
Pay no attention to the man under the fan

Bob

David Lynch, ringmaster of cirque de circles and wizard of warping my opinion on people called Bob, transformed the kitsch Americana ceiling fan into an omen of familial evil. Twin Peaks, is where a devoted fan, doing it’s domestic duty, goes under the Lynchian knife and returns in menacing drag; hypnotically spinning away as a harbinger of evil. My seedy motel tour of the States led me face to face with the ole ceiling fan and every night I would look under its pirouetting silhouette for signs of him. It was like searching for the pot-of-gold under a rainbow, but instead of sparkly, shiny stuff it was Bob donning a helter skelter smile.

Helter Skelter: A term used by Charles Manson (taken from the Beatles song by the same name) to describe his vision of an apocalyptic race war.

THE COFFEE POT
Some Like It Hot

Some Like It Hot

Postwar Americans were creatures of comfort and commodity, like little beavers they built domestic dams out of habit and new toys. There was nothing–absolutely nothing-half so reassuring for the working man than a steaming cup of jamoke delivered from drip-o-lator to mug to housewife hand to table, stage left of bacon and eggs–the chain of nuclear being. Fritz Lang’s film noir, The Big Heat nuked the nuclear, scorched the domicile serene, when he employed the services of a coffee pot to WAKE UP those slumbering suburbanites of the postwar period. Do fear the coffee pot, for it carries the festering, moldering soul of a bestial film noir.

Cup of Jamoke: Otherwise known as cup of coffee or it’s shortened version Cup of Joe. Jamoke being a marriage between Java and Mocha. 

THE SHOWER
Mother will Show[h]er

Showers

I was but a mere nymphet perched on my mothers lap while she flipped through the pages of an ancient film text, she paused on a picture of Hitch in ‘the shower,’ said but three words, ‘THAT SHOWER SCENE’ and quickly flipped the page. Why, I pondered, did a rather rotund man in a shower spark such horror; oh the tiny titillating terrors that played inside my Crown Cinema. I was at the tender age of 12 when a psychotic reaper wrapped in a floral flock and wielding a kitchen knife transformed that get clean space to a blood-splattered resting place in Psycho. Determined not to be bait for Bates, I stayed away from that chamber of death until Mother said I was starting to rot.

Epilogue: I cannot find that book or the film still I remember, believe me I have scoured google images and dusty books. It was a high angle shot of a shower on set, you could just see Hitchcock peering out above the curtain. I believe there was also a clapperboard. Actually, I’m not even sure this film still exists; perhaps I just invented it, oh, how time fiddles with nostalgia.

THE LAWNMOWER
Night of the Mowing Down Dead

Mow, Mow, Mow the flesh

Peter Jackson takes the lawnmower, a fetish of Kiwi dads alike to dismember the dead alive in his film Brain Dead. You must remember the peaceful humdrum of Dad pushing the lawnmower on a Saturday morning; for him it was the bliss of domesticating the unruly quarter acre dream; for you it was the syrupy sound of no school, Teen Titans, and the pinky promise of frivolous freedom. Well, the King of Splat-stick splattered that serenity and now that humdrum is a siren warning me my neighborhood is swarming with a gang of George A. Romero reincarnate. 

Quarter-Acre Dream: The Antipodean Dream, our version of the American Dream. The plot of land that meant freedom, prosperity and endless BBQ’S. 

THE TV
Video Killed The, [Joan of Arcadia] Star

That TV

Ah, The Ring, the film of the high school sleepover. I can’t quite put my finger on why this film still gives me the heebie-jeebies, perhaps it is the ‘Russian Doll’ circumstance of first seeing it–I was at a sleepover, it begins with a sleepover; people die from a girl coming out a t.v. and we were watching it on a t.v. Parents around the world must have been hollering from the hills, “Let the joyous news be spread the wicked TV will soon be dead.” TVs weren’t our after-school friends anymore, they were scary portals for raging vagina vengeance. The TV that sat on my desk met an early grave; it was joined in death by flared jeans, flawless skin and all our VCR’s.

Heebie Jeebies: Idiom, meaning anxiety inspired by place or person. Coined by Billy Debeck in the New York American, 1923 in his Barney Google cartoon. 

THE MIRROR
Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

Mirror

My childhood interceded with the golden age of urban legends, especially those regarding mirrors. Bloody Mary, The Candyman and the Queen from Snow White were all there to nullify my naughty narcissism. For a while, mirrors did indeed terrify me, I was sure that if I looked at one I was going to say Bloody Mary, so I used to rock up to school (having avoided the mirror) with a variety of mismatched bobbles and scrunchies in my hair; wait it was the 90s so $2 shop confetti hair was deemed fashionable. There was a film released on the cusp of the 90s, called Mirror, Mirror, a teen film in which a new girl, donned in 80s punk afterbirth, is bullied at a new school; but finds vengeance through a raging spirit trapped in a mirror. You were not a true 90s kid until you suffered from ULMF (Urban legend Mirror Fear).

The Bloody Mary Myth, retold by yours truly for a new generation: At the ripe age of teenager, whilst staring at your Iphone reflection because lets face chat it, you are very special, you are the Selfie Queen, “but we’ll never be royals.” You say Mary, Mary a few times, Mary will pop up on your skype screen; except this isn’t your friend Mary, who takes the selfies with her fluffy cat. This is a different Mary, a witch, yes but not an old fashioned malevolent without reason witch, this is a witch created by Ryan Murphy with feelings and an awesome wardrobe. She says wait ‘let me take a selfie.’ 

THE BED
Lions, Tigers and Beds, Oh My!

The Bed

Deathbed, meaning the final resting place before somebody bites the dust is redressed as quite literally a bed that kills. Cult film Death Bed: The Bed That Eats is the definition of bad taste or perhaps I should rephrase as bed taste. The film is a tour de course, with the demon-possessed bed devouring innocent travelers for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Bad low-budget films are kind of my pop-porn, I devour their shoddy everything. I have to confess that my first sleep post-film made me a smidgen weary, I did give my bed a once over for teeth but then I remembered how deliciously tasteless Deathbed was. 

Nightcap: Deathbed, was the death of George Barry’s film career, he also claims he forgot he made it. I always say never trust someone with two first names, it is the 8th deadly sin. 

THE KITCHEN SINK
Uncanny Holes

Kitchen Sinks

New Zealand national cinema has been dubbed ‘cinema of the unease,’–reels with an antipodean gothic taint. Alison Maclean’s short film Kitchen Sink renders the domestic narrative uncanny when a creature returns from the terra nullius space of the kitchen sink. Your kitchen sink is a place to wash away the unwanted, things go downward and they shouldn’t return; that, my friends, is the natural order. Kitchen Sink takes these boundaries as putty to mould into a gut wrenching tactile trauma. Unfortunately, I find my hair caught down sinks all the time, and face the tough decision, do I pull the hair out now and give birth to a beastman or wash it down, where it could become a creature of the black subdued.

Terra Nullius: Law meaning ‘Land belonging to no one,’has been used to dispossess indigenous peoples in both Australia and New Zealand. 

THE TOILET
Return of the Flushed

The Toilet

Like Deathbed, Ghoulie’s is hardly serious about its demons from the domestic deep but sometimes the jocular haha can be relatively creepy. As a child I had a slight fear of the toilet, it was another unknown to add to the universe of infantile unknowns. It’s not like your parents explained the ebb and flow of the toilet system, they were primarily vested in rewarding you with gold stars for actually sitting on the big people potty. I didn’t like the drafty space beneath me, or the big whooshing sound or the fact your number 1’s and 2’s were sucked to a stinky somewhere. Ghoulie’s a series produced during the 80s-90s, is about Labyrinth-esque creatures coming through the toilet and such visceral abhorrence takes me right back to those primal shudders associated with the loo. 

Top 5 B Grade Creature Features
1. The Creature from the Black Lagoon, 1954
2. Tarantula, 1955
3. Godzilla, 1954
4. The Wolfman, 1941
5. Mothra, 1961 

THE PHONE
Dial M For Murder

The Phone

On screen, babysitting has been pocket money for the single, white female; it was kind of encouraged as a glimpse into the inevitable world of child rearing. When a Stranger Calls, (that is the 1979 original), about a young babysitter whose babysat are murdered by a Seaman who relishes the odd threatening buzz, preys and plays on the vulnerability of female alone and the adolescent kingdom of prank calls (In a land before phone tracking). Oh, how I fondly remember the salad day squeals that followed a successful prank call and the terrific terror from being on the receiving end. After watching When a Stranger Calls, I was rather recluse in the babysitting scene and prank phone calls were just terror minus the terrific. 

Salad Day: Coined in Shakepeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, “…My salad days,/When I was green in judgment, cold in blood.” It is also the title of Mac Demarco’s sophomore album. 

So, there we go, I am haunted by domestic jetsam gone bad, the only cure a medicinal dosing of The Brave Little Toaster. 

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THE B GRADE BEAUTIES AND THEIR BEASTS

I just love the juxtaposition of beauty and beast–a complicated space where otherness is marred with otherness. There is a fervid obsession in that which is other, where patriarchy is peripheral and otherness is powerful. Of course otherness is also quelled, saved or eradicated in the conclusion but for one brief shining moment it rules the sphere of shadows on a blank screen.

 

REEL CRYPT [1]

MY NAME IS OONA [1969]
Dir. Gunvor Nelson

A poetic, fragmentary, rhythmic, sometimes hallucinatory rendering of a child’s quest for selfhood. It is an avant-garde bildungsroman, unchained to structured regurgitation. Click on the picture to see the film.
My Name is Oona

THE UNDERBELLY TO CATS

While the world has been swept up in the cat-cophony of cat cuteness, I prefer instead to collect images/videos of creepy cats–the morose and melancholy underbelly of the cute cat world. Here are some …

Val Lewton presents…
CAT PEOPLE
Dir. Jacques
Tourneur
Cat People
 Click here to see the classic stalking scene from Cat People. Remade in 1982, here is a video from that version featuring Bowie’s Cat People.

CRYSTAL CATS
Alice Glass and Ethan Kath
Imagine finding yourself trapped in a laundromat with these creepy creatures. It would be fuckin’ cool but creepy.
Crystal CatsWINTER BLUES
Anne Emond
A morose companion to melancholy.
Winter Blues
CAT EATS A BIRD
Pablo Picasso
Cats ARE killers
Killer Cat

KATZENVERSAMMLUNG
Quint Bucholz
Doors frontman Jim Morrison once said, ‘Whoever controls the media controls the mind,’ well it’s the Cats. This picture reminds me the Cats are watching.
katzenversammlung

GHOST CAT
Joy Cowley
A book called Paw prints in the Butter: A collection of Cats by Joy Cowley and friends, was always a treasured read from my childhood and surprise, surprise my favourite cat poem was Ghost Cat. A poem about the ghost of Mack, a deaf cat killed on a railroad track, that comes back. Before I learnt about Freud’s ‘Return of the Repressed,’ I was already fascinated by it. The poem evoked in me a sense of loneliness, isolation and haunting, these feelings I would later ascribe to the NZ unease.
ghost cat

THE BLACK CAT
Animation based on Edgar Allen Poe’s short tale

THE BALLERINA EFFECT

“Yesterday I spent the whole day in the studio of a strange painter called Degas. After a great many essays and experiments and trial shots in all directions, he has fallen in love with modern life, and out of all the subjects in modern life he has chosen … ballet-dancers. When you come to think of it, it is not a bad choice.”

[Edmond de Goncourt, 13 February 1874]

Before The Performance

Group of Dancers

I too am obsessed with those heavenly creatures and am titillated when I gaze upon them, looks like I am not the only one …

Fleshy Statuesque

Im[prism]ed

Photo by Cameron Smith (well this is what Google images tells me)

 Some Ballerina/Ballet shit I adore … click on the picture to see a clip.

The Red Shoes [1948], Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Before Black Swan, this 1948 film explored the dark-side of ballet and obsession.

The Red Shoes

Ballerina-supplemental material for Inland Empire [2006], David Lynch
An eery creature of memories past, spins a 12 minute piece of unease. Unfortunately I cannot find any link.
Inland Empire

An American In Paris [1951], Vincente Minnelli
The prowess of Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron shine in this ballet fantasyscape.
An American In ParisI have been watching this on repeat
An ‘unheimlich’ seashore ballet promo for “Year of the Rabbit,” featuring Sufjan Stevens.

Year of the Rabbit