Monthly Archives: December 2019

In the public domain in 2020

Just a few more hours and it will be 2020, which means that the work of a new batch of artists will pass into the public domain in countries of the death-70 regime.

In Europe this means that this will become public domain:

RIP Sue ‘Lolita’ Lyon (1946 – 2019)

Lolita (1962)


Sue Lyon was an American actress best-known as the nymphet of Lolita (1962).


My film bible Cult Movie Stars has this:

“Amid much publicity stating she was too young even to see the film, an unknown blonde was cast in the title role in Lolita.”

Lyon’s final film role was in the mildly amusing Alligator (1980).

RIP Alasdair ‘Lanark’ Gray (1934 – 2019)

Alasdair Gray was a Scottish writer and artist.

‘Out There’ featuring Alasdair Gray.

His magnum opus Lanark (1981) features a skin disease called ‘dragonhide’.

Adjectives applicable to this work are grotesque, fantastique and rabelaisian.

The book has a tendency to depress.

Update: The skin disease ‘dragonhide’ reminds me of Maldoror: “I am filthy. I am riddled with lice. Hogs, when they look at me, vomit. My skin is encrusted with the scabs and scales of leprosy, and covered with yellowish pus.”

RIP Jerry ‘I Am What I Am’ Herman (1931 – 2019)

“I Am What I Am”

Jerry Herman was an American composer and lyricist, known for his work in Broadway musical theater. He composed the scores for the hit Broadway musicals Hello, Dolly!Mame, and La Cage aux Folles. He was nominated for the Tony Award five times, and won twice, for Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles.

By pure coincidence I was watching Paris Is Burning (1990) this afternoon, it features the Jerry Herman-penned gay anthem “I Am What I Am” from La Cage Aux Folles.

Paris Is Burning (1990)
This is the bit from Paris Is Burning (1990) where Brooke and Carmen sing “I Am What I Am” on the beach.

RIP Allee Willis (1947 – 2019)

Allee Willis  was an American eccentric best-known as a songwriter, writing or co-writing “I’ll Be There For You” (1994, Friends theme song); “September” (1978) and “Boogie Wonderland” (1979) by Earth, Wind & Fire; and “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” (1987) by Pet Shop Boys.

Child Star

There are plenty of short portraits of her on YouTube, most of them filmed in her house which, she says, was the MGM partyhouse built in 1937.

There is also her 1974 album Child Star.


She also recorded the song “Big Adventure” (1985) with Pee-Wee Herman.

RIP Peter Wollen (1938 – 2019)

Peter Wollen was a British film theorist, filmmaker. and political journalist.

 Signs and Meaning in the Cinema (1969) . I’m curious about the middle cover.

He is best-known for his book Signs and Meaning in the Cinema (1969) as well as his marriage to and collaboration with Laura “visual pleasure” Mulvey.

Wollen reads the U.S. Press: “People Magazine” and “Scientific American” in the same breath

Above is an enigmatic video from Paper Tiger Television in which Wollen “reads the U.S. Press: ‘People Magazine’ and ‘Scientific American’ in the Same Breath”.

RIP Claudine ‘bond girl’ Auger (1941 – 2019)

Scene from Yo Yo (1965)

Claudine Auger was a French actress. I do not think she is related to Brian Auger.

Auger will be remembered as a ‘bond girl’ but in my universe, she is the mother in Exploits of a Young Don Juan (1986), Isolina in Yo Yo (1965), the “thief!” shouter in Terrain Vague (1960) and Renata in Twitch of the Death Nerve (1971).

Sometimes, the death of someone serves as a jumping board to something only tangentially related to the deceased. This is the case with the Yo Yo film fragment with its mime aesthetic in which Auger plays Isolina.

Nevertheless, please enjoy despite its tangentiality.

RIP Jules Deelder (1944 – 2019)

‘Deelder draait’ (2002), compiled by Deelder

Two art icons of the Low Countries, the area where I live and where Dutch is spoken, died. One was an artist, the other a poet.

One is Panamarenko (1940 – 2019) and I reported his death here.

The other is the Dutch poet Jules Deelder (1944 – 2019).

When the second died I felt empathy, some sense of loss that I had not felt with the first.

And then it dawned on me why that was. To me, Panamarenko was but some sort of town’s fool who made art to amuse the rich or for the ‘poor little rich folk’ who were in search of their inner child and recognized in him their boy’s dream. Although I did not dislike him, my feelings toward him had been at best ambiguous.

Deelder was another case altogether.

I’d always liked him. He was punk. He was into drugs. He snorted speed. He looked stylish. He was into music. He made poetry cool. He made art for the rich and poor. He crossed boundaries. He was sharp. He was funny.

For an international audience, there are a set of four jazz compilations: ‘Deelder draait’ (2002), ‘Deelder draait door’ (2003), ‘Deelder blijft draaien’ (2004) and ‘Deelderhythm’ (2006).