Beautiful hand-colored photographs of Japanese women in the late 19th-century
08.17.2017
10:42 am
Topics:
Tags:

01kusa.jpg
‘Seated Woman.’
 
Kusakabe Kimbei (1841-1934) was a Japanese photographer who learned his trade as an assistant to Felice Beato, the pioneering photojournalist who came to Japan to document its people and their culture. Japan had just been through a civil war that led to the restoration of imperial rule. The country had also been forced—under the shadow of U.S. Navy battleships—to open trading routes with America. This new trade brought technology, tourism, and for some, the opportunity to turn imposition to advantage. And that’s what Kimbei did.

After learning all that he could from Beato, Kimbei established his own photographic studio in Yokohama in 1881. Kimbei had a natural talent for art and had spent part of his time coloring Beato’s photographs. Hand painting photographs was a way of redefining the medium and adding “an artistic Japanese intervention to Western technology.”

Once he established his studio, Kimbei plied his trade producing souvenir photographs of Japanese culture—samurais, geishas, tea drinking, musicians, everyday workers. These photographs maintained Japanese traditions at a time of great social, political, and cultural change when it seemed the very fabric of the country was being irredeemably changed. Among the many pictures Kimbei produced was a large set of portraits of Japanese women and their daily lives. But there’s an interesting thing going on in these photographs. What at first appears to be a straightforward representation is often an idealized or Western view of Oriental life intended for foreign consumption. Yet, at the same time, Kimbei transcends this view by use of color and composition.

This balancing between Japanese and Western media parallels national tensions concerning the degree that Japan should adopt foreign tools and technology, contrasted with a desire to preserve indigenous traditions and practices.

Kimbei became one of the most famous and respected Japanese photographers of his era, and his work gives a rare insight into Japan of the late 19th-century.
 
05kusa.jpg
‘Flower Kept Alive by Putting in Water.’
 
04kusa.jpg
‘Girls Carrying Paper Lantern in Winter Evening.’
 
See more of Kimbei’s work, after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
08.17.2017
10:42 am
|
Super ‘wide-angle’ Italian lobby cards for ‘Easy Rider’
08.17.2017
09:26 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
I haven’t posted much about lobby cards on Dangerous Minds. They can be cool but basically it takes a lot to impress me. Most lobby cards are just random stills from the movie with some text underneath (or in the corner). It’s not often that someone in the process goes the extra mile to make them really interesting.

For some reason the Italian lobby cards that were produced for Dennis Hopper’s 1969 directorial debut Easy Rider are little short of breathtaking. Apparently the movie was called Easy Rider: Libertà e Paura (Liberty and Fear) there, and a fair bit of artistic ingenuity and creativity went into these excellent images that are in fact, strikingly, even wider than the movie’s aspect ratio of 1.85:1. They aren’t merely stills but instead are conceptual collages that create fascinating and wholly imagined tableaux that never actually appear in the movie at all. They’re overstuffed and provocative and full of life and all I can say is “Bravo!” (or “Brava!”) to whatever individual or group of individuals was responsible for them.

In case you didn’t know, there’s only a tiny handful of movies that can be said to have kicked off the bracing, vital American cinema of the 1970s, and Easy Rider‘s on the short list for sure. Among its other virtues, the movie brought into mainstream cinema frank content about drug use.

But forget all of that and take in these marvelous bits of advertising which can be appreciated by all who’ve seen the film, and even those who have not.
 

 

 
See the rest after the jump…...

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
08.17.2017
09:26 am
|
‘Dark Avenger’: The brief heavy metal career of Orson Welles
08.17.2017
09:16 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
After the breakup of the Dictators, the New York proto-punk band Richard Meltzer credited with returning “THE SPIRIT OF WRESTLING” to rock and roll, their lead guitarist, Ross “the Boss” Friedman, formed the metal group Manowar. A harbinger of today’s Viking and power metal subgenres, the band posed for press photos in silky briefs, wielding swords. Note that their name begins with the word “man.”

(Deep thinker Scott Ian of Anthrax allows as how he “kind of liked the first album” even though he thought Manowar’s image “was a bit gay.” Reading these words, I feel as if Joey Belladonna himself is pouring gallons of boiled farina into a cerebral shunt that empties just behind my right eye.)

During a recent podcast appearance, Friedman remembered how, during the sessions for their debut album, 1982’s Battle Hymns, Manowar cast about for someone to read the narrative section of their “epic” song “Dark Avenger.” Like Odin, the song’s titular hero loses an eye; unlike Odin, he waxes grievous wroth about it and rides a demon horse back home from Hell to waste everybody, “raping the daughters and wives.” Oy.
 

 
Poor penniless Orson Welles dragged his ass into the studio to narrate the Dark Avenger’s katabasis:

He was met at the gate of Hades
By the Guardian of the Lost Souls,
The Keeper of the Unavenged,
And He did say to him:

“Let ye not pass Abaddon.
Return to the world from whence ye came
And seek payment not only for thine own anguish
But to vindicate the souls of the Unavenged.”

And they placed in his hands a sword made for him called Vengeance
Forged in brimstone and tempered by the woeful tears of the Unavenged

And to carry him on his journey back to the upper world
They brought forth their demon horse called Black Death
A grim steed so fiercely might and black in color
That he could stand as one with the darkness
Save for his burning eyes of crimson fire
And on that night they rode up from Hell
The pounding of his hooves did clap like thunder.

For thematic reasons which remain obscure, in the finished album’s sequence, “Dark Avenger” leads into bassist Joey DeMaio’s solo interpretation of the William Tell Overture.

More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Oliver Hall
|
08.17.2017
09:16 am
|
When a superfan crosses the line, things will never be the same again (short film with Sean Young)
08.16.2017
01:10 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
bOING bOING’s resident video guru Eric Mittleman has been one of my nearest and dearest friends for over a quarter century. He’s what is called “a keeper” in lifelong friend terms and is one of my all time favorite people. His new short film was recently premiered on bOING bOING and now we’re showcasing it here.

The filmmaker writes:

This short film is a cautionary tale about our personal and social media data and what can be done with it when it is a little too accessible. When a superfan crosses the line, Jason, a blogger, goes looking for her. He finds something unexpected and his life will never be the same again. The cast consists of Sean Young (Bladerunner), Joshua LeBar (Entourage), Alice Hunter (Another Period) and Claudia Graf (Love & Mercy).  I hope you enjoy it.

One small bit of background information: The main character’s apartment looks exactly like Eric’s own apartment. The TV, the couch. Everything. Except that it’s much, much, much tidier. Weird.

(Runs away)
 

 
Watch ‘Legacy’ after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Richard Metzger
|
08.16.2017
01:10 pm
|