Plan de Paris á Vol de Oiseau, drawn by Georges Peltier between 1920-1940, a very detailed 20th-century bird's-eye view plan complete with street names and monuments.
I've wanted this map for a long, long time. I've come across reproductions, a few that were miserably glued to board, a version without the colored border or colored Seine, a smaller version of central Paris, and once on Ebay, one half of the map (it sold!).
Oh, there are tears and bits of old tape, but nothing the maestro John at Poster Mountain can't repair. The lovely map, now in two pieces, will be mounted on cotton as a single spectacular image of Paris. I've waited so long to find my precious, but I can hardly wait to see it after a visit to the conservator!
It's only been a few weeks since the film Gravity hit theaters. Its setting in outer space seemed an obvious choice to have disaster strike and convey the terror of being utterly alone, helpless, and without any device to deliver an S.O.S. message. Unless of course, you consider the remoteness of the Indian Ocean, first in a sinking yacht, then in a failing raft as Robert Redford does in the new film All is Lost, written and directed by J.C. Chandor.
There are many films that explore the natural calamities of shipwrecks: lack of water, food, shelter, direction, exposure to sun, sharks, storms and the apparent blindness of any passing cargo ship. All isLost neatly illustrates each of these in its compact 106 minutes. What is truly remarkable is that aside from a very brief introduction, there is virtually no dialogue. None of the careful narration that carried the story of a boy and his tiger in The Life of Pi, nor any plot device like Wilson, the anthropomorphic volleyball of the film Cast Away. The comparison is not meant as derision, I loved both of those films. But imagine in the case of Cast Away, if writer William Broyles Jr. just let the audience watch Tom Hanks figure things out organically, without Wilson, without any expository dialogue. Despite the lean writing, Redford is able to make a boat patch job or collecting fresh water compelling stuff.
All is Lost is nearly a silent movie. Like the silent films at the dawn of film creation, Chandor confidently tells his story with great faith that the audience will gasp and recoil and breathe a sigh of relief at all the right moments.
In 1947, Stanley Kubrick shot a pictorial, The Shoe Shine Boy for
LOOK magazine. Kubrick followed 12-year old Mickey as he made his rounds shining shoes for 10 cents a pair. With nine brothers and sisters, the money he makes will help his family, but he treats himself to an occasional hot dog.
Just 19-years old, Stanley Kubrick wasn't much older than Mickey.
Although the film is 40 years old and its special effects are dated, The Exorcist remains on nearly every list of the top scariest movies ever made. Still, in interviews director William Friedkin asserts it isn't so much a horror film as it is a thriller, perhaps a love story, and a powerful tale about the mystery of faith.
The fine performances of the entire cast, the careful pacing and the crisp writing assures the film will remain a modern classic. I've seen The Exorcist many times and have only recently pushed past the visceral terror to appreciate the subtle way the film communicates:
Regan inadvertently summons the demon by playing with a Ouija board.
The demon has no interest in Regan, just the priests.
Regan is 'saved' but both priests lose their lives--thus, the demon wins.
In early 1956, Elvis Presley had already signed a record-breaking contract with RCA Records and wowed screaming fans on The Ed Sullivan Show. Very soon after, he was in talks with Paramount Pictures about his movie debut. Here, in his Paramount screen test, he lip-synchs Blue Suede Shoes with charismatic confidence. The impressed studio offered him a 3-picture deal on the spot. He was just 21 years old.
Dr. Paul Pfurtscheller produced a series of zoological wall charts, now considered among the finest ever made. I own his chart of the mussel, circa 1910, and it pains me to look at the damage. The patina of age and use for 100 years includes soil, water stains, paper loss, cracks, fold lines and one rod is missing. *Sigh* the duct tape is the worst though.
The conservator shook his head like a doctor when things look bad. Could I possibly mount this on an armoire or cabinet in an interesting way?
It's well documented that Stanley Kubrick was a perfectionist: for each of his films, there was exhaustive research, many script revisions, multiple takes for his actors, and in the case of Barry Lyndon, directions for projectionists on the changeover cues and aspect ratio.
Kubrick was equally meticulous while overseeing the design of the poster for The Shining. The designer Saul Bass, a master of the medium, was also sent back to the drawing board.
(click on image to enlarge)
Kubrick's note to Saul Bass regarding the rough art
#1 "Don't like art work, hotel looks peculiar, also art work too spread
out, too sprawling, not compact enough. I don't like the dots for the
logo, it will not look good small, even the size above is difficult to read.
Hard to read."
#2 "Looks like science fiction film, hard to read even at this size."
#3 "Hand and bike are too irrelevant. Title looks bad small. Looks like ink didn't take
on the part that goes light."
#4 "Maze too abstract and too much emphasis on the maze. Title, see comment #3"
#5 "Maze and figures places too much emphasis on maze, I don't think we should use
The lighting remains diffused, the young girls are dressed in traditional school uniforms, the decor is distinctly Asian not European, yet Japanese photographer Hisaji Hara has carefully recreated the paintings of Balthus with exacting detail.