Year: 2019

A Young Director and his only film

I came across a brief write up by one of my acquaintances on Facebook   a few days back. “…Asia is the place where cinema is still breathing a fresh whiff of significant cinema – something which current European cinema is visibly lacking!”, it concluded. He listed a bunch of directors from different parts of Asia who are shining with their works today. But what caught my eyes was this line: “Sadly, I couldn’t add Bo Hu’s name.” I asked him if it’s because of the fact Hu Bo is no more. His answer was ‘yes’. ‘An elephant sitting still” is the first and the last feature film by Chinese director Hu Bo. He killed himself during the final editing procedure of the film, in 2017, at the age of 29. The film came out in 2018 and immediately gained attention from world audience. Hu Bo was a student of Bela Tarr, the Hungarian auteur. The film opens up in a morning with a story about an elephant, narrated in a voice of one of the …

The amazing works of Julia Margaret Cameron

In 1863, right after her 48th birthday, Julia Margaret Cameron received her first camera as a gift from her daughter and son-in-law with the words, “It may amuse you, Mother, to try to photograph during your solitude at Freshwater.” The gift came at a moment to Cameron when her husband was investigating his family’s failed coffee crop in Caylon, Sri Lanka, when all their sons were grown and their only daughter had married and moved away. Within a year, the mother of six, a deeply religious and well read Cameron became a member of the Photographic Societies of London and Scotland and the camera became far more than an amusement to her: “From the first moment I handled my lens with a tender ardour,” she wrote, “and it has become to me as a living thing, with voice and memory and creative vigour.” In her photography, Cameron strove to capture beauty. She wrote, “I longed to arrest all the beauty that came before me and at length the longing has been satisfied.” Favoring lenses that …

Maborosi and memory

Maborosi, the first feature film by contemporary Japanese maestro Kore-eda Hirokazu. Yumiko, the protagonist, is a girl when we first meet her. She lives with her parents and grandmother in Osaka. Her grandmother leaves the home to go back to the village she is from before dying. Yumiko tries to stop her but fails. Her grandmother never comes back. She met a boy with a bicycle named Iuko and the story cuts forward to several years when they are married and have a new-born child. Their life is happy and charming until Yumiko becomes a widow. After five years or so a well-wisher of Yumiko finds a match for her named Tamio who lives with his daughter and his father in a village by the sea far away from Osaka. Yumiko moves there with her son to start a new life. I sat still in my chair even after the end credits were gone and the faint hint of light was clearing out the darkness of the screen. I was in my room and it …

Listen to these Sounds of Mother Earth

On a recent trip to an ‘isolated mountain’, I happened to realize how insignificant we are in this vastness of space. Traveling at the speed of light, it would take almost 100,000 years to cross the Milky Way. So if you imagine a particle of dust upon this gargantuan planet, you are still nowhere near to perceive how infinitesimally small a position we occupy in this universe. Yet, here on Earth, not everyone of us are reinforced when we think about our place in this space. Some of us even dip ourselves in the faith that Earth is flat and everything else around us is revolved around this celestial being to cope with this implausible vastness. But in the grand scheme of things, the truth is, we are just too small. Reflecting on this vastness and our insignificance within this universe often leads to a philosophical question and that is: Should one feel dreary for being too small? Because this idea of banality gives an immense spur to nihilism, that’s for sure. For all we …

From Revenge to a Reconciliation Factory

When you’re an adult, one of the many things you miss the most is probably the ingenuousness of your childhood and the simplicity it once bestowed upon your forsaken infancy. Gone are the simple and colorful splashes of a livelihood that once made you happy. But you’ve always gotta move forward; well, that’s the only option!! And with coming-to-age technologies and social media it’s getting even harder everyday to keep up with the simplicity that you once experienced. We just can’t seem to hold on to and get enough of them. And it’s not just about an intricate lifestyle but everything aesthetic we are revolved around with. From a piece of art to a fragment of music, we tend to seek the steepest ravine to appreciate the art and the artist. Walking into the auditorium on Anya Theater’s Revenge Factory, directed by Debashish, there’s an instant feeling of proximity conveyed upon the audiences as soon as the curtain unravels. A utility pole entangled with wires with an almost fuzzy yellow light hanging from it. Just …

Le Mariage Collectif – A Soundtrack Worth Remembering

If you type in Le Mariage Collectif or simply Collective Marriage on Google, it’s definitely unlike most of the search results you would get for a movie. There’s not much out there on internet about it that might be of your interest. Mariage Collectif has been anything but remembered by history as an important movie, that’s for sure, a fact even admitted by the press release for its soundtrack. A 1971’s French drama based upon a married couple having difficulties in sexual relationship. Sounds lame, right? Well, not everything about this movie is as lame as you think it might be. Conversely, Mariage Collectif could be taken as a minor classic as well. But what has really been noteworthy and significant about it is the soundtrack from Jean-Pierre Mirouze and the story behind the recovery of the album. Even though, Mariage Collectif’s soundtrack is considered one of the most fascinating album out there and has influenced many sounds of 21st century, the album was once long forgotten and had been conserved through only a handful …

Of Swan Lake

Back when I was a kid, another fascinating thing about an animated series was the music. The weekends were full of joints from Justice League, Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, Gargoyles, Cédric, Oswald, Bob the Builder, Noddy, Looney Tunes and many others that I probably don’t even remember the name of. Back when there was not really a thing called internet to take over the control of your attention span. No annoying notifications from your IG or Twitter to ponder upon. So everything you would do, especially, aesthetically, you would do in absolute wonder. You know the Richard David James’ quote, “The holy grail for a music fan is to hear music from another planet, which has not been influenced by us whatsoever. Or, even better, from lots of different planets. The closest we got to that was before the Internet, when people didn’t know of each other’s existence. Now, that doesn’t really happen.” There was a minimal beauty in grasping an album by heart. The one album that you’d know every word of or …

TheLarchWood’s Song of the Day: Eric Church – Springsteen

I remember listening to Springsteen for the first time on some online radio back in 2012. It was sublime. Reminded me of my high school romance that I had thought I would not be able to live without. But there I was….taking a long walk off a short pier. Springsteen was released as a single off Eric Church’s third studio album Chief on February 21, 2012. The song was written by Church, Jeff Hyde and Ryan Tyndell and was inspired by a memory of a girl and tells the story of a teenage romance. Even though the song carries enough glimmer to feel like Spring, the title is originally centered around Church’s idol: Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen is TheLarchWood’s Song of the Day getting 5 conifer cones out of 5 for the day. Listen Below.

TheLarchWood’s Song of the Day: Kacey Musgraves – Lonely Weekend

Almost a year ago on March 30th, 2018 Kacey Musgraves released her fourth studio album Golden Hour through MCA Nashville. Kacey co-wrote and co-produced all the 13 tracks in the album with Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk. And there’s no better time to listen to it than March itself. The 2nd track off Golden Hour: Lonely Weekend is TheLarchWood’s Song of the Day getting 5 conifer cones out of 5 for the day. Listen Below.

TheLarchWood’s Song of the Day: Poemme – Tadpoles

One distinctive feature of Poemme’s 2017’s album BLOOMING SPRING has to be its arbitrary emancipation. The album isn’t restricted to any emotional boundaries. It doesn’t deliver a sense of deep melancholy or morbidness, neither does it express an utmost bliss that goes beyond our cognition. Rather it gives out a feeling of a conventional and convivial life that we are fastened with. The 3rd track off Blooming Spring is TheLarchWood’s Song of the Day getting 5 conifer cones out of 5 for the day. Listen Below.

The Lion Hunt

Peter Paul Rubens was born in Siegen, Westphalia on June 28, 1577 and spent the first 10 years of his life in Cologne. In 1600, Rubens troubled to Italy. During time spent in the country, he immersed himself in Italy’s culture and way of life and adopted an Italian technical innovation: oil sketch. Lion Hunt (74 x 105.5cm) (c.1615) is one of Rubens’ earliest known hunting paintings painted on a wooden panel. The monochromatic masterpiece alludes the aristocratic patronage and privileged status of its time. There is no known finished painting that is entirely based on the sketch but several of its motifs appear in other works of Rubens. The dynamic composition of Lion Hunt captures the acute tension, energy, violence and the sap of Rubens’ style and the unparalleled eloquence of his hands. Even though Lion Hunt is an incomplete piece of art, it’s perfect in its own incompleteness. Featured Painting: Peter Paul Rubens – A Lion Hunt (c.1615)

TheLarchWood’s Song of the Day: Ariel Pink – White Freckles

It’s usually when you like an album, you keep on listening to it until you hate it. Yeah, that has been the case; quite often. But not for an album like pom pom. It’s been almost 5 years and it doesn’t feel like pom pom is going to fade away from our liking anytime soon. Beside, who wouldn’t wanna listen to an upbeat pop n’ rock record on a Saturday….! Ariel Pink’s White Freckles is TheLarchWood’s Song of the Day getting 5 conifer cones out of 5 for the day. Listen Below. Don’t forget to have a fun weekend!! visit LarchWood for more!

The Supper At Emmaus

The term tenebrism, from the Italian word tenebroso (gloomy), is used to describe the overall tonality in a painting where there is a violent contrasts of light and darkness in figurative compositions in order to heighten the dramatic effect. Although Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was not the inventor of tenebrism, the term is often associated with him because his tenebrists paintings were so influential. He executed The Supper At Emmaus in 1601 for Ciriaco Mattei, the Italian nobleman of Rome and of the House of Mattei and one of the most prolific art collectors of his time. The Supper At Emmaus depicts the moment when the resurrected Jesus reveals his identity to two of his disciples who had failed to recognize him in the town of Emmaus while an innkeeper stands over the group. The two of the disciples are presumed to be Luke and Cleopas. Caravaggio’s precise direction of light makes his figures stand out forcefully against their background and their presence is made more proximate by realistic detailing, such as the scallop shell …

A Brief History of SELF-TAUGHT & OUTSIDER ART

Outsider art had its origins in the psychiatric collections of 19th-century European psychiatric hospitals when some psychiatrists started to collect artworks produced by their patients. But it was originally recognized as a specific category of artistic production in the 20th century. Interest in the art of the mentally ill, along with the children, was first demonstrated by the members of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) group: Auguste Macke, Franz Marc, Wassily Kandinsky and others. But after the death of Macke and Marc during World War I, Paul Klee continued to draw inspiration from the primitives. Klee’s interest in outsider productions can be traced to 1912, when, in a review of a Der blaue Reiter (The blue rider) exhibition, he urged the public to take the art of children and the mad seriously. In 1921, Doctor and psychiatrist Walter Morgenthaler published his book Ein Geisteskranker als Künstler (A Psychiatric Patient as Artist/Madness and Art) about Adolf Wölfli, one of his patients and one of the first artists to be associated with the Art Brut or …

Motherhood: Maman by Louise Bourgeois

Art, at its best, has been an expression of the human experience of life and the theme of mother and child has been a central motif in art for centuries. The Virgin Mary has presented the ideal of a protective mother to which women have aspired. But in the age of post-Freudian psychoanalysis, motherhood has become more eccentric and complex than ever. Louise Bourgeois was born on 25th December 1911 in Paris, France. She was the second child of three born to parents Joséphine Fauriaux and Louis Bourgeois. Taking up art was a way for her to fight specific fears. The fear and trauma of abandonment that she suffered not only through her untimely birth on Christmas Day but also on her mother’s death in 1932, when she was only twenty-one. Louise drew on painful memories of childhood traumas to create her tribute to her mother. In 1996, The Maman was created as a part of Bourgeois’s inaugural commission of The Unilever Series (2000), in the Turbine Hall at London’s Tate Modern. It’s a bronze, …

TheLarchWood’s Song of the Day: La Javanaise

La Javanaise was written and composed by Serge Gainsbourg originally for Juliette Gréco, and interpreted by both her and Serge Gainsbourg in 1963. The story behind the song goes: One summer evening in 1962, Gréco and Gainsbourg spent the evening listening to records and drinking champagne in the huge lounge at 33, rue de Verneuil. The next day, he sent her La Javanaise. The song has been used in many movies. From 1998s romantic comedy Dieu seul me voit (Only God Sees Me) to 2017s academy award wining romantic dark fantasy The Shape of Water and it has been as fascinating every single time. La Javanaise is TheLarchWood’s Song of the Day getting 5 conifer cones out of 5 for the day. Listen Below. visit LarchWood for more!

The Readymade that Influenced the Nihilistic Dada, the Pop and Conceptual Art

The theory behind the “Readymade” was explained in an anonymous editorial published in the May 1917 issue of avant-garde magazine The Blind Man. An art and Dada journal organized briefly by Henri-Pierre Roché, Marcel Duchamp and Beatrice Wood in New York City. It read: “Whether Mr Mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, and placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object.” In April, 1917, Marcel Duchamp made his most notorious Readymade, Fountain, a porcelain urinal signed “R.Mutt”. The work is regarded by art historians and theorists of the avant-garde as a major landmark in 20th-century art. Accompanied by artist Joseph Stella and art collector Walter Arensberg, Duchamp purchased a standard Bedfordshire model urinal from the J. L. Mott Iron Works, 118 Fifth Avenue. The artist brought the urinal to his studio at 33 West 67th Street, reoriented it 90 degrees from its …