Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween 2023!

Happy Halloween!

The night is still
And the frost, it bites my face
I wear my silence like a mask
And murmur like a ghost

"Trick or treat"
"Trick or treat"
The bitter and the sweet

The carefree days are distant now
I wear my memories like a shroud
I try to speak, but words collapse
Echoing, echoing

"Trick or treat"
"Trick or treat"
The bitter and the sweet

I wander through your sadness
Gazing at you with scorpion eyes
Halloween... Halloween

A sweet reminder in the ice-blue nursery
Of a childish murder, of hidden lustre
And she cries

"Trick or treat"
"Trick or treat"
The bitter and the sweet

I wander through your sadness
Gazing at you with scorpion eyes
Halloween... Halloween


Monday, October 30, 2023

"Spellbound" by Duran Duran

For Halloween, Duran Duran recorded a spooky album of dark songs, goth songs, and some reworked DD songs with an eerie twist. And they included a rollicking version of the chilling "Spellbound" by Siouxsie and the Banshees (previously here).


Sunday, October 29, 2023

BEAUTY: AI Digital Art for Halloween--Robert Mealing

Artist Robert Mealing uses the AI tool Midjourney to create some gorgeous portraits, and his October Misremembered series is perfect for this time of year. His imagery is full of beautiful Gentlemen Vampires, Radical Warlocks, Swamp Shamans, and Bayou Bad Boys from long ago...


Saturday, October 28, 2023

BEAUTY: Art--Misc. Skulls and Skeletons For Halloween

Top to bottom: Allegory of Death by Paolo Vincenzo Bonomini; skull with flowers by Ungfio; skeleton with flowers by Ungfio; This Is Yours, This Is Mine by Christopher Michael Hefner; Anterior and Posterior View of a Human Skeleton, 1888 by Emmanuel Viollet le Duc; Pandemic by Graham Annable; Study for Democritus in Meditation by Salvator Rosa, 1662; Skeletons In An Office by Paul Delvaux; Skeleton, 1614 by Pieter Feddes van Harlingen; Skull Wearing a Wreath of Flowers by Thomas Satterwhite Noble

Friday, October 27, 2023

BEAUTY: Sculpture For Halloween--Tomáš Libertíny

Artist Tomáš Libertíny (previously here) uses bees as collaborators on amazing sculptural projects and this set of skulls was inspired by a painting by Caravaggio. The artist explains:

I have took upon working on a series of heads based on the framework of skulls themed as memento vivere as opposite to memento mori. This work is based on the famous story from the New Testament in which the daughter of Herod requests the head of imprisoned John The Baptist. Inspired by the famous painting of Caravaggio Salome with the Head of John the Baptist (c. 1607), the bronze colored serving tray carries a human skull “made by bees”. The honeycomb head is growing out of the dish as if wanting to become alive again. Left longer in the beehive, the head would have become completely human. The process is the reversal of death. I have experienced personal sacrifices and losses in my life that I did not understand the meaning of. We are given time and place in our universe. We are given gifts and purpose which we need to find like tools in the shed. We have so little time to wonder about the magnificent world around us.

The first skull below with the pinkish hue, attained by adding harmless coloring to the hive, is John the Baptist.

The next one, Feed Your Head, was inspired by a lyric from the Jefferson Airplane song "White Rabbit"
 about Alice In Wonderland.

Finally, Tomáš created Pain Au Amour (Bread of Love), showing a skull mounted a baker's peel.


Thursday, October 26, 2023

Just finished binge-watching...

...Mike Flanagan's engaging, clever, satisfying Netflix drama "The Fall of the House of Usher."

Mike Flanagan wrote and directed one of the best horror stories on film, the spectacular remake of "The Haunting of Hill House" which functioned both as a horror story and as a touching, poignant, heartbreaking psychological study of a damaged family. He also wrote and directed the follow up called "The Haunting of Bly Manor," and the modern vampire/demon series "Midnight Mass," as well as directing "Dr. Sleep," the sequel to Kubrick's horror masterpiece "The Shining." So the man has some cred.

For his most recent creation, he took the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, and cleverly strung them together in a continuous, single, new narrative set in 2023 while retaining the underlying action of each story. And it is a stunning, taut exercise in storytelling with an exceptional cast. Flanagan has a sort of repertory of actors he likes to use and many of them who have been with him since "Haunting of Hill House" are here back for more, along with some expert new faces like Mark Hamill (yes, that Mark Hamill, doing a voice), and the exquisite Mary McDonald who literally can do no wrong.

The overall quality of the series is immaculate and like "Haunting of Hill House," "Usher" has a deeper meaning that goes beyond horror, addressing the issues of wealth and greed, unchecked ambition, consumption, addiction, ego, family secrets, grief, and transgression. It is as close to a perfect cinematic experience as you can get.

Recommend? Absolutely. If you're a horror fan, you will appreciate the complexity. If you're not, watch it for the story and not the gore...you won't be sorry.