Archive for August, 2015

Wes Craven

Posted: August 31, 2015 in film
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wes craven

RIP

   and Thank you

Wes Craven-  August 2, 1939- August 30, 2015

La Belle Dame Sans Merci

by John Keats

Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful – a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said –
‘I love thee true’.

She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lulled me asleep
And there I dreamed – Ah! woe betide! –
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried – ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!’

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gaped wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.

And this is why I sojourn here
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

cowper-

– painting by Frank Cowper

A Bewitching Piece of Art

Posted: August 21, 2015 in art, poetry
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jean delville's stuart– Jean Delville’s Mysteriosa

“Behold the hour for your clairvoyant eyes to shine,
Intent Pythoness, inert in the silent heart of evening!
Your spirit has departed, lost amid the soul of the world,
Seeking the treasure, as your desire weaves its magic.

The sacred flame, which reabsorbs your fleshly being,
Will soon tranform the chasms of life into blazing pyres,
As the powers summon you to most secret sabbaths,
Reality of the firmament or infernal nightmare!

The holy aromatic burns in bright vessels;
For you, the world is a pure enchantment
Where you hover, dazzled, above the element,

And the angel, whom your word calls in the twilight,
Will come to reflect in the depths of a black temple
The brilliance of his golden brow, in a magic mirror.”- Jean Delville, Magica

originally posted on my old blog: Gypsyscarlett: Writing the Victorian Gothic on Dec 13, 2010

Artists in all fields are inspired by each other.

One of the most famous examples of creativity enriching creativity involves, The Isle of the Dead.

Arnold Böcklin (Swiss Symbolist painter, 1827-1901)  painted five versions of a painting thus titled, between 1880 and 1886.   All renderings depict  a rowboat arriving at a seawall.  In the bow, stands a figure clad in white.

Böcklin would not elaborate on its meaning, only saying,  ” It is a dream picture: it must produce such a stillness that one would be awed by a knock on the door.”

Many have interpretated the white-clad figure as Charon, leading human souls into the Greek underworld.

File:Isola dei Morti IV (Bocklin).jpg

In 1907,  upon viewing the painting, Sergei Rachmaninoff began composing a tone poem in its name.  The work, now considered a classic of late Russian Romanticism, was finished the following year.

In 1945,  Val Lewton produced a classic horror film with the same title.  The script, written by Ardel Wray, was inspired by the painting, and involves a group of quarrantined islanders who begin to die, one by one.

isle of the dead

bohemian gothic swords

Being trapped in one’s mind.  Self-imposed isolation.  Unable to see what is in front of you.  Fear of the unknown. Unwillingness to face a situation or yourself.

from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot:  “Feeling trapped in a situation.   Being a willing victim- unwisely.”

“I  lock my door upon myself And bar them out; but who shall wall  Self from myself, most loathed of all?” – Christina Rossetti

bohemian gothic 8 pentacles

Eight of Pentacles: apprenticeship, labor, concentration, diligence, determination to make something work, learning, gaining experience

from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot: “Practice makes perfect.  Detailed excellent work.  A willingness to stick to something in order gradually to perfect it.”

“Life is not easy for any of us.  But what of that?  We must have perserverance and above all confidence in ourselves.  We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”- Marie Curie
bohemian gothic 8 cups
Eight of Cups:  turning away from one’s past.  Escaping into solitude.  Sadness.  Regrets.  Elegiacal.   Unsatisfaction with one’s acheivements.  Beginnings of a spiritual journey.  Awakenings
from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot:  “Taking the next necessary step in life.  Moving on.  You need to do it, but it’s a sad moment.”
Caspar David Friedrich: Frau in der Morgensonne G45

Caspar David Friedrich: Frau in der Morgensonne G45

bohemian gothic 8 wands

Eight of Wands:

Swift changes.  Action.   Removal of obstacles.  Moving forward.   Fiery energy.   Seeing things happen at a quicker pace

from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot:  “Everything happening at once- threats and opportunities.  Events moving swiftly toward a conclusion.”

Edvard-Munch--fine-art-692302_1024_768  Edvard Munch’s The Scream

 

Originally published on my former blog: Gypsyscarlett Weblog on April 30, 2012

Released in 1966 by Mario Bava, Kill, Baby, Kill, is a fantastic horror set in a Carpathian village.  Despite its ridiculous American title (the original being, Operazione paura) which conjures images of a c-grade slasher, the film is a surprising mix of an old-fashioned ghost story with dashes of surrealism. The film begins as a woman leaps to her death onto a spiked fence.  Then a child’s mocking laughter is heard as the opening credits roll. An outsider, Dr. Paul Eswai, is summoned to perform the autopsy.  He quickly befriends a young nurse, Monica Shuftan, who only recently arrived at the village, herself.   She reveals having been born there, but sent away when orphaned at two years.  “I came to visit my parents’ graves,” she tells him. Image
The two quickly learn that the villagers fear a ghost child named Melissa.   Legend goes that anyone who sees the malevolent spirit will kill themselves Image
The scientifically-minded doctor scoffs at the notion of a curse, while the more emotional, but sensible Monica realizes that science can’t explain the odd deaths which have plagued the village for twenty years. Along with the pile of bodies all found with coins in their hearts, is the mysterious presence of the black-robed Ruth.

kill baby kill ruth

     When a teen-aged girl claims to have seen the ghost, her petrified mother cries for her husband to seek help from the witch.  But when he opens the door to do so, she is already standing at the threshold.   “We know when someone is in harm’s way.”
When Paul arrives, he is aghast to witness what he considers Ruth’s arcane healing methods.  And further, he ignores her warnings to leave the village.   Instead, he continues to search for rational answers and save the ailing Nadienne. Meanwhile, Monica is plagued by a doll-filled nightmare that suggests there’s more to her past in connection with the village than even she is aware.. As the plot deepens, Monica, Paul, and Ruth find their way to the home of the Baroness Graps, the reclusive mother of the ghost child.  Two are seeking the truth.  One, is looking for retribution. Image Not as well known as Bava’s sublime, Black Sunday, this film is every bit as worth a view.   Interesting camera angles and dazzling colors create a highly atmospheric mood.   An intelligent script converts some of the genre’s even by then tired clichés.   Giacomo Rossi-Stuart displays solid acting as Paul, though he lacks the charisma necessary to elevate the role from merely the “good guy”. It is the women of this film that the camera loves.  Erika Blanc is effective as Monica, and even drab clothes can’t hide her charms.  The haunting Fabienne Dali (Ruth) steals every scene she’s in.  And of course, there’s always Melissa and her devoted mother…