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Ex-Strangler Hugh Cornwell has an internet radio show about film history and movie music


 
Hugh Cornwell, who was once the lead singer and guitarist in the Stranglers, has a new internet radio show devoted to movies and their music. You wouldn’t know it from his most famous song about Hollywood, but Hugh loves the moving pictures.

MrDeMilleFM is Cornwell’s second internet radio venture dedicated to film. (The interviews he did with Debbie Harry and Brian Eno for the first one, the now-defunct Sound Trax FM, have vanished along with their former home, but Cornwell says they will return in time.)

Where else could you hear John Cooper Clarke set up the themes from Johnny Guitar and Vera Cruz? Only on the half-hour special on the career of onetime Universal City mayor Ernest Borgnine the punk poet guest-hosted for MrDeMilleFM, you lucky bum! Cornwell himself has hosted ten shows so far, among them affectionate looks at the careers of Lee Marvin (whose delivery on “Wand’rin’ Star” inspired JJ Burnel’s on the Stranglers’ “Thrown Away,” incidentally) and the Marx Brothers (whose “I’m Against It” preceded the Ramones’, of course).

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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08.31.2017
09:06 am
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When Dali Met Harpo: Read Salvador Dali’s script for the Marx Brothers

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Salvador Dali loved the Marx Brothers. He loved their madcap, anarchic comedy. In particular Dali loved Harpo Marx—the blonde corkscrew-haired comic mime whose visual comedy—unlike the quick witty repartee of his brother Groucho—was universal and needed no translation. Dali described Harpo as one of America’s three great Surrealists—the other two being Walt Disney and Cecil B. DeMille.

The pair first met at a party in Paris in 1936. Harpo told Dali how much he liked his paintings. Dali told Harpo how much he loved his films—in particular Animal Crackers which he described as “the summit of the evolution of comic cinema.” Dali gushed over Harpo’s performance where he pulled fish and cutlery from his pocket and shot the hats of beautiful women—this was true Surrealism!

Understandably, the two men became friends.

Dali later wrote “an entertaining, if rather implausible account” of his meeting with Harpo for Harper’s Bazaar in 1937:

I met Harpo for the first time in his garden. He was naked, crowned with roses, and in the center of a veritable forest of harps (he was surrounded by at least five hundred harps). He was caressing, like a new Leda, a dazzling white swan, and feeding it a statue of the Venus de Milo made of cheese, which he grated against the strings of the nearest harp. An almost springlike breeze drew a curious murmur from the harp forest. In Harpo’s pupils glows the same spectral light to be observed in Picasso’s.

When Harpo returned to America, Dali sent him a harp wrapped in cellophane with barbed wire for strings and spoons, knives and forks glued all over its frame. In return Harpo sent Dali a photograph of himself playing the harp with bandaged fingers. He invited Dali to Hollywood saying he’d be more than happy to pose for the great artist—if he cared to smear paint all over him. Dali was delighted to take up the offer. In 1937, he arrived in Hollywood with his wife Gala. He visited Harpo and sketched him playing his barbed wire harp with a lobster on his head. Natch.
 
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Dali’s sketch of Harpo playing the harp.
 
Dali brought Harpo a gift—a movie script he wanted the Marx Brothers to make. The script was called Giraffes on Horseback Salads or The Surrealist Woman. It was a series of unconnected scenes typed in blue ribbon over twenty-two pages with various notes written in ink. Dali had already made two infamous films with his friend the director Luis Buñuel—Un Chien Andalou (1929) and L’Age d’Or. Now he wanted to cast Harpo and cinema’s “greatest Surrealist act” the Marx Brothers in a film that just might revolutionize Hollywood—or maybe not...

Read Dali’s script and see his sketches for ‘Giraffes on Horseback Salads,’ after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.15.2016
11:01 am
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