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Sofia Coppola behind the camera

The Directors Series begins reviewing the work of American filmmaker Sofia Coppola, taking stock of her early acting career and first forays into the world of directing. Cameron Beyl begins by recounting his encounter with Coppola’s first film:

“[T]he first film I ever saw from director Sofia Coppola was 2003’s Lost in Translation. I was captivated by the quiet sensitivity of her characters and the evocative melancholy of the Tokyo setting, and as such, I’ve come to regard her as an accomplished filmmaker with a uniquely sensitive worldview worth expressing.”

You can read more (and watch clips) over at Beyl’s excellent The Directors Series.

David Bowie as Thomas Jerome Newton in The Man Who Fell to Earth (dir. Nicholas Roeg, 1976)

While it is no secret that the chameoleon popstar was a great admirer of contemporary art, and indeed an artist in his own right, the upcoming exhibition and auction of his collection reveals a number of insights and surprises:

“The nature of the works that Bowie purchased make for a fascinating insight into his aesthetic inspirations — his collection is heavy on 20th century British art, including works by Damien Hirst, Frank Auerbach, Harold Gilman, Sir Stanley Spencer, Peter Lanyon, Patrick Caulfield, Henry Moore, and Graham Sutherland. There’s also an eclectic variety of other work, from a piece by Jean-Michel Basquiat through designer furniture to the very fancy 1950s record player pictured above, which was created by Italian designers Pier Giacomo and Achille Castiglioni.”


20th century art has always been a formative source of inspiration for David Bowie’s music and visual identity. The cover for his Berlin album “Heroes” makes reference to the angular postures of Die Brücke portraiture; he went so far as to portray American pop artist Andy Warhol in the 1996 film, Basquiat. Bowie’s creative appropriation of modern art cannot be understated: at times, it can be hard to see where one ends and the other begins. I’m reminded of those lines in ‘Andy Warhol’, from Bowie’s 1971 record Hunky Dory: ‘Andy Warhol looks a scream / Hang him on my wall / Andy Warhol, Silver Screen / Can’t tell them apart at all’.



Call for Papers for a conference to be held in Vienna, 29 September–1 October 2016. Source: British Association for Modernist Studies.


“I want to be a force for real good. In other words. I know that there are bad forces, forces that bring suffering to others and misery to the world, but I want to be the opposite force. I want to be the force which is truly for good”

— John Coltrane

“This week, Open Culture reported that all 16 issues of Avant Garde magazine, published between 1968 and 1971 by editor Ralph Ginzburg and art director Herb Lubalin, is now available digitally. Artworks featured in Avant Garde include John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s erotic lithographs (issue 11) and the last photos taken of Marilyn Monroe by Bern Stern (issue 2), captured six weeks before she died.”

More at Flavorwire.

“Among Eraserhead’s many admirers was none other than Stanley Kubrick, who appropriated a great deal from Lynch’s film for his own horror masterpiece, 1980’s The Shining. The latter uses the same relentless background noise and lingering shots to build a sense of dread that eventually crescendos into a fever dream of madness. Even The Shining’s famous “Room 237” is a not-so-subtle allusion to Spencer’s sultry neighbor’s apartment room 27. In The Shining as in Eraserhead, sex masquerades as an escape but ultimately propels its central character further into his downward spiral.”

Source: The Atlantic.