For me The Centrifugal Soul was going to be hard to top in terms of the effect it has had on me. There’s not a day goes by that I play my phone recordings, which I know is not the real thing, I have some incredible memories of that show at Blain|Southern. We moved onto a smaller show over at Beaux Arts to see Jonathan Leaman, a collection of old and new surrealist self-portraits. I found the later work a little hit and miss. There were pieces that were a little too obvious, whilst others were throwing everything at you. All externalising his emotions into these hyperreal paintings.
Whilst the later work had was far stronger, a more cohesive body of work, a visual style and iconography much like Salvador Dali. I could feel a sense if anxiety in the work, a man overburdened by later life, its all still happening for him. Honestly is at the centre of these paintings, even quite formal too. I feel the earlier painting which were hung downstairs really don’t help this series which are bold and imaginative, highly detailed paintings of wonder and worry.
We had to wait a few hours for the final show of the trip – Hockney at Tate Britain which was more for my sister than myself. Not being a painter I wasn’t as interested. After some refreshment we were let into 12 room show that began with his early work from the 1950’s before slowly moving through time and his work. I was personally quite taken by the portraits from the 1960’s. Far larger than I expected. I guess years of photos and seeing them on TV never prepares you for the real thing – the art itself. Reminding me of the importance the original and the aura of the work.
I must admit I was ignorant of his medium, switching from Oils to acrylic for a time, before reverting back to oils until very recently when he also introduced to his practice the digital, both cameras and iPads. Of course not forgetting his photo-montages. I found the most affecting, those of his family, you can see more attention to them, making the individual stills marry-up to create the figures, most prominently his mother.
As expected the show was packed throughout – the further round you got the more viewers of the work were lost to them. The 4 seasons room, I could have stayed there far longer than I did. Before moving onto the iPad room where we saw a combination of multiple slideshow and his latest works being built up in time-lapse videos. Making the most of the latest technology, something that Hockney has never been afraid to do. I came away with a greater appreciation for his work. After years of printed images I have finally seen the real thing in a show that celebrates a 60 year career.
Hockney rounded off a great weekend of art and more importantly time with my sister. What more can you ask for, family, inspiration and plenty of art.
I watched this for the first time on Youtube, which I regret, it’s not the best way to watch a film and doesn’t do justice to a piece of work directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this time it was Spellbound (1945). Not the strongest film, yet rich in psychoanalytical detail when a disturbed man taking on the identity of a Dr Edwards (Gregory Peck) who takes over the running of a mental asylum Green Manors. Almost immediately he is confronted with disturbing episodes that see him dizzy spells that grab the attention of one doctor. A doctor who puts her profession before her private life, which almost but fades into non-existence. Dr. Constance Peterson’s (Ingrid Bergman) life becomes her love interest too.
What starts as a series of curious episodes that seem to be connected by lines and the colour white become so much more when his true identity is revealed to us all. If only there wasn’t a signed copy of the pre-eminent doctors books. And of course the entrance of the police that cause our couple to go on the run from the law. Hoping to us psychoanalytical techniques to understand this case of amnesia which is stopping the truth from being know which almost consumes Dr Peterson understandably irritating her patient/lover (now known as) John Brown across the country.
The couple arrive finally after more drama at the home of Dr Peterson’s mentor Dr. Alexander Brulov (Michael Chekhov) who is a relic of this school of psychology, and the clear master in the presence of his protegé who stands before him almost a bumbling wreck consumed by love. They come together for what the film is best remembered for, the dream sequence designed by Salvador Dali which kick starts what could be seen as a run of the mill mystery. The second half of the film is more of the hallmarks of Hitchcock, taking on more voyeurism than in the first half to make the audience feel of balance as the events unfold for our characters as the travel once more to discover the truth and arrive at a dramatic twist full of fast-paced scenes that push the plot forward using only lighting to creates the courtroom dramatics. A technique which is perfected by the time of Dial M For Murder (1954).
The conclusion is more muted than I remember before the truth is revealed with deadly consequences that would un-nerve an audience of the mid-forties. Overall Spellbound is more about the psychoanalytical school of psychology used to solve a mystery, there are efforts to take the audience on a visual journey that leaves you shaken, by what we are capable of if and when we slip into altered state of mind.
- Reviews of Classic Movies: ‘Spellbound’ (robertsnow.wordpress.com)
- Spellbound (1945) – #136 (criterionreflections.blogspot.co.uk)
- Hitchcock Day 7 – Spellbound (1945) (ulyssesmcqueen.blogspot.co.uk)
- Spellbound (1945) (classicfilms-kallim.blogspot.co.uk)
- Dali’s Surreal Dream Sequence in “Spellbound” (1945) (theartofilm.blogspot.co.uk)
- Spellbound (1945) (johnlprobert.blogspot.co.uk)
- Spellbound (1945) (unecinephile.blogspot.co.uk)