The Fictitious Life of Elizabeth Black | a notebook.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Breugel's Triumph of Death & Cat Power's Cherokee

I was listening to music while writing about Pieter Breugel the Elders' The Triumph of Death. They seemed to contrast well together. Here they are - some details annotated with Cherokee lyrics.

The masses being driven into a coffin: "Never knew pain like this, everything die, then die... bury me."

"Bury me, marry me to the sky" 

"The wind, moon the earth, the sky, Sky so high. Never knew pain like this, everything die" 

Lovers oblivious in the corner "Never knew love like this... Feels like time is on my time... Cherokee, kissing me, When I'm on my way down"

"Bury me upside down"

Stockholm in Winter

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Raping and Pillaging according to David Mitchell

Fair point. 

And again, I'm sorry about the Hapsburg Jaw comment. ;)

Delusions involving The Cure

I might be delusional, but I noticed some similarities between songs by The Cure and other artists! For the second time in the last hour. Don't blame me, blame iTunes Genius who made the playlist! Although, they didn't put "Guilty as charged" in the playlist - probably because I didn't have a copy in my library...

The first 15 seconds of "In Between Days" by The Cure sounds like the theme(starting at 08 seconds) in "Modern Man by Arcade Fire.
Funy enough the particular part of "In Between days" is at 08 seconds!
Also they just have a simliar undertone.

Old Colbert Video

Background needed for this video is provided by the notes section of the video:

Uploaded on Sep 24, 2010

Stephen Colbert testifies at a House Judiciary Hearing on the state of agricultural jobs in the U.S. These are his opening remarks
The reason for Colbert's appearance was because of a program launched by the United Farm Workers: Take Our Jobs, which invited legal citizens and residents to replace undocumented workers in the fields. Colbert had used his program in the past to highlight this initiative by performing field labor for a day.

15 seconds of The Cure

I write this post merely for interest's sake, not to make any comparison or copyright claim or anything like that.
The opening 15 seconds of The Lovecats by the Cure made me think of another song... I soon realised it was (the opening of) Guilty as Charged by the Gym Class Heroes & Estelle. I enjoy both these songs so here they are! 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

REVIEW: The Mummy Reboot

This review is so darn hilarious, I have reproduced it in full so there is no excuse for not reading it.

The Mummy review – Tom Cruise returns in poorly bandaged corpse reviver

2/5 stars

Framed as more of a superhero origin movie than ancient curse mystery, a messy plot unravels fast

Peter Bradshaw | twitter: @PeterBradshaw1

Be afraid, for here it is … again … emerging waxily from the darkness. This disturbing figure must surely be thousands of years old by now, a princeling worshipped as a god but entombed in his own riches and status; remarkably well preserved. It is Tom Cruise, who is back to launch a big summer reboot of The Mummy, that classic chiller about the revived corpse from ancient Egypt, from which the tomb door was last prised off in a trilogy of films between 1999 and 2008 with the lantern-jawed and rather forgotten Brendan Fraser in the lead. And before that, of course, there were classic versions with Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee both variously getting the all-over St John Ambulance treatment.
Traditionally, The Mummy is a scary movie (though un-serious) about taboo and transgression, based on the made-up pop myth about the mummy’s “curse” – which has no basis in the history of ancient Egypt, but is a cheeky colonialist invention, which recasts local objection to our tomb-looting as something supernatural, malign and irrational.
Yet that is not what this Mummy is about. It brings in the usual element of sub-Spielberg gung-ho capers, but essentially sees The Mummy as a superhero origin movie; or possibly supervillain; or Batmanishly both. The supporting characters are clearly there to be brought back as superhero-repertory characters for any putative Mummy franchise, including one who may well be inspired by Two-Face from The Dark Knight.
This has some nice moments but is basically a mess, with various borrowings, including some mummified bits from An American Werewolf in London. The plot sags like an aeon-old decaying limb: a jumble of ideas and scenes from what look like different screenplay drafts. There are two separate ancient “tomb-sites” which have to be busted open: one in London and one in Iraq. (The London one, on the site of the Crossrail excavation, contains the remains of medieval knights identified as “crusaders” who have in their dead Brit mitts various strategically important jewels they have taken from Egyptians: who were subsequently buried in what is now Iraq. Erm, Egyptians in Iraq? Go figure. Perhaps it’s because they are evil and had to be taken out of the country, like CIA rendition of terror suspects.) 
The Cruisemeister himself is left high and dry by plot lurches which leave him doing his boggle-eyed WTF expression. In one scene he is nude so we can see what undeniably great shape he’s in. The flabby, shapeless film itself doesn’t have his muscle-tone.
Cruise plays Nick Morton, an adorable rascal in the Iraqi warzone who goes around in a TE Lawrence headdress stealing antiquities to sell; well, it’s that or let them be destroyed. He’s helped by his exasperated buddy Chris (Jake Johnson), while Nick has already seduced beautiful expert Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) who in spite of herself is entranced by Nick’s distinctive cherubic handsomeness. Then they blunder across the extraordinary tomb of evil Egyptian sorceress Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) who has some kind of weirdo mind-meld experience with Nick. Her creepy spirit accompanies him back home where she is intent on getting that precious jewel to unlock her full power. Nick’s plane crashes, giving him the opportunity for some Mission: Impossible-type midair acrobatics, those gorgeous chops pulling some serious Gs.
Russell Crowe lumbers on at one stage, amply filling a three-piece suit, playing an archaeological expert and connoisseur of secret burial sites, who has some sinister connection with government agencies. Unlike Nick, he has no Indiana Jones-type heroism, and that formal attire of his signals that he does not have Nick’s kind of heroic looseness. He is a figure to be mistrusted, although when he reveals his name and his destiny, he is just a distraction — and silly.
In the end, having encouraged us to cheer for Tom Cruise as an all-around hero, the film tries to have it both ways and confer upon him some of the sepulchral glamour of evil, and he almost has something Lestat-ish or vampiric about him. Yet the film really won’t make up its mind. It’s a ragbag of action scenes which needed to be bandaged more tightly.

Hug Me

Gavin Haynes wrote a rather amusing article for the Guardian about hugging etiquette, including these part true, part tongue-in-cheek tips for hugging etiquette. Short but sweet, it's well worth a read. But here are some highlights: 
At the end of your trial, it is inappropriate to hug any judge above county-court level. Jurors will appreciate a raised hand, and a mouthed “Thanks”. One’s own counsel can be hugged – it’s included in the fees, and given the size of those fees, it’s often possible to negotiate a bit of head massage, too.

Men who turn up in social situations finagling hugs from women they know only vaguely should be hugged solely to identify them to the police.

Bad news that can’t be delivered with a hug: I’ve got syphilis. Your ribs are broken. She was crushed to death by a python.


This phrase from the New York Times Opinion article by Errol Morris about Crimean War Photography stood out to me.

In Part One (I haven't read all 3 parts) Morris examines statements people made about the photographs, and why - how - they came to those conclusions. He remarks on a passage in a book by Ulrich Keller, in which he states that "x is obviously h because...." To my liking, Morris takes issue with the evidentiary basis for these claim being that they are "obvious."

As I’ve said elsewhere: Nothing is so obvious that it’s obvious. When someone says that something is obvious, it seems almost certain that it is anything but obvious – even to them. The use of the word “obvious” indicates the absence of a logical argument – an attempt to convince the reader by asserting the truth of something by saying it a little louder.

History Boys Flashback

Flashback to year 12 "evidence/ quote collection" found on the google image search for the History Boys.

And some others found...

Rosamund Pike + Dominic Cooper + British Academy Awards 2011

"It's gone well."
Such an amusing and genuine British display of going with the flow. Only in  (but in fact not limited to) Britain would this happen on television. I love that.

The History Boys

This book reached out and took me by the hand, and was the highlight of my final year of high school. For a time there, I practically had this book memorised I read it so much.
The perfection of this play will never fade for me, and I don't want it to.
So, luckily, the movie was a perfect rendition of the play. And the trailer below does a great job of mashing the movie together.

I knew I could count on Alain De Botton's video to use the correct pronunciation of Nietzsche's video. I just didn't think it'd be as explicit! I think Dakin would have appreciated the breakdown too.
Dakin: ”I’ve been reading this book by Kneeshaw.”
”Kneeshaw... Frederick Kneeshaw.”
Scripps: ”I think that’s pronounced Nietzsche."
Dakin, referring to Hector: “He let me call him Kneeshaw.”

And the oft quoted gobbet from the play, if only people read/ watched it as much as they quoted it.

Playlist: Tristesse Vol. 1

Banana Muffins Recipe

These muffins turned out deliciously! I'm not sure if that's a proper sentence, but anyway... the point is that I couldn't stop eating them!

I'm sorry that I don't remember the website I got this screengrab from, but all credit goes to them.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Cy Twombly

After seeing a painting of this at the MoMA in NYC, I became interested in Cy Twombly's works. Researching his work made me even more interested, as you can see by the large number of his pieces you see here. And it's not only because of his really cool name. Also, there might be some repeats that have slipped past me - it can be hard to tell between similar ones.

Untitled - 2001

Gagosian Gallery catalogue

Wilder Shores of Love

at the Menil Collection