Fresh from winning at Cannes, here’s the trailer for what might be one of the movies of the year.
Another blog, more focused on Your Coleridge’s core topics this time.
A resource, and a source of inspiration at the same time, Sifting The Past essentially analyzes classical paintings, with an emphasis on Restoriation and Age of Enlightenment art.
Why is this important?!
Well, what do I babble on and on about all the time? About the ability to contextualize!
Text-immanent research is bullshit. You need to know the world of your author.
And since we have no photos… Paintings and drawings it is!
And, oh, you learn so much, even if you follow the minimalist posts that are Sifting The Past’s trademark.
In short, there is absolutely no excuse for anybody seriously interested in 18th century history not to follow that blog. Do it!
To conclude, I’ll post the blog’s own mission statement:
We love history, and it seems everything we do leads back to it in some way or another. We would all love to have a time machine, and in one way we do. It seems that in history past, artists and writers and just regular people recorded what they saw and what they did, and these recordings call out to us.
The more we study the easier it becomes to understand. Once an object is found being used in a half-dozen paintings by different artists, it becomes second nature to divine the purpose and design of that object. At times we are perplexed about an image and only later after further study of some other picture or text or comment do we really begin to understand.
We thought that a daily image or text might be a great and quick way of starting that chain of events that helps someone understand the object in history just a little bit better. Our goal is to post one historical picture or text per day in hopes that we might generate some conversation by which we might all gain a better perspective on the time period.
Blogging about our topics, it doesn’t get much better than Sifting The Past does it, even though, ironically, little more is done than posting some obscure works of art and highlighting the details. …And yet, the blog delivers like little else I have read online. 🙂
Created around 1823, one of the more evocative pieces of its time, and, as always here, somewhat fit for the Mariner.
I will likely dwell on this a while longer on a later point; for now, it is to be noted that Friedrich never saw the arctic with his own eyes, but worked on paintings and descriptions by others.
Another name for the painting is The Lost Hope. The English sources on its history are rather dry, but if you speak German, the wiki article alone, from which I snatched the image data, is a pure treasure trove.
And through the drifts the snowy cliffs
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken—
The ice was all between.
That’s from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, of course. 😉
Another moview review, one that is closer to Coleridge’s life and times, this time.
Oscar-winner Milos Forman (Amadeus) doing a biopic about the famous Spanish painter, with Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman, and Stellan Skarsgard starring.
Sounded… Promising enough.
Was… Quite bad, actually.
In short, the plot is bullshit, completely unhistorical, and the characters are forgettable. (Though played through quite well.)
But the flick’s main problem is that, well, the title suggests this is about Goya, the painter is really just a background figure to a main plot that feels like it was taken straight out of one of the novels that the guys at Valancourt Books are just now so busily reprinting:
A (how not?!) depraved and corrupt priest, played by Bardem, lusts for the beautiful…Iforgothername, and thus, much in Gothic fashion, imprisons, and rapes her. The lady’s grief-stricken father in turn tortures the priest, but to no avail, and fifteen years later, the priest-now-turned-Bonapartist, the lady, and, of course, Goya, meet again, and… Well, drama ensues.
One can surely enjoy this movie, but I didn’t. First, being a Spaniard, the portrayal of Spain offends me. Second, the movie is sabotaged by its own marketing: It’s supposed to be about Goya. And it really isn’t. A wasted opportunity to tell a story that could be way more interesting, and a true waste of my time.
Just a short link to one of the more interesting articles I have read over the last few weeks. Might be that it is my ignorance speaking, but I found the way the author made his point pretty convincing. – Not going to dissect it for you, though. Do your own homework, kids! 😉
The full text is available at:
To download the full text, you need an account at academia, though.
The illustration above is not Haney’s, but by Mervin Peake, of all people, who has his own place in English literary history for his Gormenghast novels.
…In case you wonder, this is a test post. 🙂