Thursday, May 16, 2013

Goltzius and the Pelican Company

70 year old iconoclastic film maker Peter Greenaway has built an utterly unique oeuvre of visually compelling and morally questionable films. His newest film, Goltzius and the Pelican Company spins a tale of vivid eroticism and religious hypocrisy. The hero is 16th-century Dutch engraver Hendrik Goltzius, who convinces a wealthy patron to fund a revolutionary new printing press by having his employees enact lusty scenes from the Old Testament. An unrelenting provocateur, Greenaway doesn't miss an opportunity to enact those Biblical chapters that feature threesomes, voyeurism, masturbation and incest. The religious establishment is by turns seduced, scandalized, and up in arms.

There are many ways to fault Greenaway as a storyteller: His compositions are over-meticulous; his targets are well battered; he seems to lack basic human warmth. Still it can't be denied that his movies provide rich food for thought and a feast for the senses. In the end, they're glorious. This film looks to carry on his singular reputation.

Peter Greenaway will be in Seattle this Sunday, May 19, to present Goltzius and the Pelican Company, as part of the Seattle International Film Festival. If tickets aren't sold out yet, they are available here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Spokesman

This is terrific. Take 3 minutes out of your day to watch The Spokesman, a charming little documentary about an Australian man who "collects one bicycle from each developmental epoch for future generations to enjoy, a kind of time capsule."

Monday, May 13, 2013


360-odd days every year, NEPO House on Beacon Hill is the home of sculptor and photographer Klara Glosova and her family. For a few days in the spring and fall, their house is colonized by art. For those hours every part of NEPO House — the kitchen, the closets, the pillows, the refrigerator, the bathtub - becomes part of a huge installation that is wide open (or "nepo") to the public.

A few times in the past years, Klara and her curating team have pushed that idea even farther by turning their entire neighborhood into an open house. They pick a route from the house, out to the street, along the Beacon Hill ridge, and down to the International district - more or less 5 kilometers long - and plant temporary art along every piece of it. The list of artists who have participated is long enough to fill dozens of blog posts. But chances are that if you are fond of some Northwest artist, he or she has created a piece for a NEPO event.

Curator and home owner Klara is currently collecting proposals for site specific artwork and performances. Maybe you've got a brilliant idea? Let Klara and the NEPO team know about it at

Saturday, May 11, 2013


"She wasn’t fair and she didn’t know the meaning of the word. If she had, she would have helped, not opposed, Nelson Mandela in his fight against apartheid. She wouldn’t have personally ordered the sinking of the Argentinian warship General Belgrano even though it was outside the defined exclusion zone. (Three hundred and twenty-three men died that night.) She wasn’t fair and she wasn’t just, either, otherwise she would have seen—as many of her ministers did—that the Poll Tax would only make life harder for people who were already struggling."

A perfectly just remembrance of Margaret Thatcher by Scottish novelist Andrew O'Hagan in the New York Review of Books.

And if you have the stomach for it, much more on Maggie from Morrissey, Simon Schama, Ken Livingstone, John Lydon, Andrew Spooner and Ian McEwan.

Friday, May 10, 2013

60 Second Film Festival

It's the second year for the quietly ambitious 60 Second Film Festival on Vashon Island.

Local producer Matt Lawrence, working with Seattle advertising firm The Garrigan Lyman Group, have invited film makers from around the world to submit films of any kind, as long as they are exactly 60 seconds in length.

The event starts at the awkward time of 1:30 pm on Sunday May 18th at the Vashon Theater. The organizers will screen around 40 films in their entirety with no stopping and no pauses.

To get some idea of the bounty of this little festival, all of the films screened at last year's festival can be seen here, Some of which are excellent, some of which are dreadful, and all of which are (almost) exactly 60 seconds long.

The trailer for the festival is a charming little film in itself, not least because it features a dozens of notable Vashon Island landmarks in all of their cinematic glory.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Animated Murals

He may be a big businessman these days, but I still really love the animated murals that INSA creates. The magic of these pieces is that they only exist online - he paints and re-paints the walls multiple times to achieve these animated effects.

insa photo INSA-4.gif

Incredible stuff. More here.