Category Archives: underrated

Introducing Moviedrome

Alex Cox was responsible for a substantial part of my 1980s and 1990s film education with his show Moviedrome on BBC television.

That, I wrote a year ago, when I found  the Laura Gemser interview from the Alex Cox documentary “A Hard Look”

Last week, I find the very first introduction of the very first broadcast of the cult television programme on cult films.


Moviedrome (first broadcast, May 8th, 1988)

The first film was The Wicker Man. To my knowledge, the transcripts of the introductions by Cox were not published. I do suggest that any serious film student would “read” them from start to finish. I wish I could.


Maybe there is a way to find the missing texts. Cox has just published an autobiography so it seems.

Has anyone read this?

X Films: True Confessions of a Radical Filmmaker (2008) []

[FR] [DE] [UK]

Introducing Henri/y Gerbault

Introducing Henri Gerbault

Henri Gerbault

I’m just a jealous guy

Henry Gerbault (June 24, 1863October 19 1930), also spelled Henri Gerbault was a French illustrator and poster artist. He was a student of Henri Gervex. He was the nephew of Sully Prudhomme.

Le théatre libre by Gerbault

Poster for the Théatre Libre

The Théâtre Libre (French, Free Theater) was a theater founded by André Antoine that operated from 1887 to 1896 in Paris, France. Théâtre Libre was also the name of a European theatrical movement which celebrated Naturalist theatre and defied theatre censorship by founding subscription-based theatres. In London there was the Independent Theatre Society, which debuted the plays of George Bernard Shaw; and Germany had the Freie Bühne. Henrik Ibsen‘s Ghosts was the landmark play for all of these theatres.  —Sholem Stein

His œuvre was dedicated to humourist drawings and illustrations. He illustrated authors such as Félicien Champsaur, Charles Perrault and Marcel Prévost.

Henry Gerbault

He worked for numerous illustrated journals of the Belle Époque: La Vie Parisienne, Le Journal amusant, Le Rire, L’Amour, where he was noted for his voluptuous women.

From assiette au beurre

World Cinema Classic #70

In search of nonspace and unthought thoughts.

Sans Soleil

Sans Soleil

In search of nonspace and unthought thoughts.

I’ve been mulling over French director Chris Marker‘s Sans Soleil for four days now. The key scene for me was the shooting of the giraffe, which gave its origins away as far as genre-theoretics are concerned.

The key phrase was perhaps the “salute to all unposted letters,” but is safe to say that the film is brilliantly written throughout.

I saw the film at MuHKA on last Saturday, introduced by a Belgian scholar (who?). He stated that the film was unclassifiable, because the “film essay is not a genre but a small category”. However, in my opinion, the film fits the mondo film category, and functions as a highbrow counterpart to Mondo Cane. The film also begs a viewing of the masterwork Blood of the Beasts. But Sans Soleil is a different film altogether. It is a philosophical film that raises questions of medium specificity, multimedia, memory and authenticity.

I have a feeling that Sans Soleil can be invoked to clarify Gilles Deleuze‘s any-space-whatever (see B. C. Holmes – “The Deleuzian Memory of Sans Soleil” [1]), but to prove that would need some more studying of Gilles Deleuze on film.

A History of Derision, wikified

A History of Derision

A History of Derision

A History of Derision by way of Illusory Confections who wrote on its subject[1]:

“Be still my beating heart, this is practically everything I adore in one tidy 240 page bundle! But it isn’t referenced anywhere online and I couldn’t even find mention of it on the Atlas Press site. So I zipped an email to Atlas inquiring about it, and, sadly, its nonexistence was confirmed. Apparently it was a planned project that fell to the sidelines and “[1]

the website is the accurate source of what is available, the catalogue part bibliography and part fiction, if you like…

Here it is again in a wikified version,

A History of Derision is an aborted project by Arkhive, an Atlas Press imprint.

It builds on André Breton’s Anthology of Black Humour, but is more a history of French avant-garde.

French Romantics: Sade, Lassailly, Rabbe, Forneret, Nodier, Fourier

Bouzingos: Borel and O’Neddy

Hydropathes: Goudeau, Cros, Haraucourt, Lafargue, Richepin, Tailhade, Rollinat, Monselet, Sapeck, Allais.

Hirsutes and the Chat Noir: Salis, Moréas, Lorrain, Verlaine, Sarcey, Haraucourt.

Arts Incohérents: : Lévy, Rivière, Allais.

Zutistes: Allais, Cros, Nouveau, Rimbaud, Ajalbert, Haraucourt, Verlaine.

La Nouvelle Rive Gauche : Trézenick, D’Aurevilly, Verlaine.

Lutèce: Rall, Rimbaud, Corbière, Caze, Rachilde, Floupette (Vicaire and Beauclair).

Symbolists : de Gourmont, Jarry, Tailhade, Huysmans, Pawlowski.

Ecole de Paris : Apollinaire, Jacob, Salmon, Albert-Birot, Cami.

Dada : Aragon, Picabia, Ribemont-Dessaignes, Satie, Arp, Rigaut.

Surrealism : Desnos, Prévert, Péret, Topor, Magritte, Scutenaire, Daumal, Gilbert-Lecomte.

Situationists : Arnaud and Jorn, Dotremont, Mariën.

Daily Bul & Co: Bury, Béalu, Colinet.

Encyclopédie des FARCES et ATTRAPES et des  MYSTIFICATIONS

Farcistes: Encyclopédie des farces et attrapes et des mystifications, François Caradec, Noël Arnaud.[2]


Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Poetry… But Were Afraid to Ask Timothy Leary

Goede Raad is Vuur

Goede Raad is Vuur (cover photograph: ‘De Toren van Babel‘ in Ruigoord by Marrit Dijkstra)

Goede Raad is Vuur is a Dutch language poetry anthology and at the same time a theory of poetry, first published by Simon Vinkenoog in 2004.

Simon Vinkenoog is the Dutch Timothy Leary, just as Jean-Jacques Lebel was the French Timothy Leary, see counterparts.

The book is the definitive guide to cult poetry and begs for a English translation.

These are the poets and theorists mentioned:

Gerrit Achterberg, Fadhil Al-Azzawi, Hans Andreus, Antonin Artaud, Charles Baudelaire, Hakim Bey, Breyten Breytenbach, C. Buddingh’, Remco Campert, Ernesto Cardenal, Hugo Claus, Jean Cocteau, Gregory Corso, e.e. cummings, Isidore Ducasse, Jan Elburg, Desiderius Erasmus, Clayton Eshleman, David Gascoyne, Guido Gezelle, Allen Ginsberg, Goethe, Jan Hanlo, Hermann Hesse, Johan Huizinga, Jos Joosten, Rutger Kopland, Gerrit Kouwenaar, D. H. Lawrence, Lucebert, Navaho, Ben Okri, Paul van Ostaijen, Brian Patten, Ilja Leopard Pfeijffer, Sybren Polet, Ezra Pound, Rainer Maria Rilke, Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Rodenko, Jalal al-Din Roemi, A.Roland Holst, Nanao Sakaki, Bert Schierbeek, Hans Sleutelaar, Gary Snyder, Fritz Usinger, Hans Verhagen, Dominique de Villepin, Eddy van Vliet, Tito de Vries, Alan Watts, Lew Welch and Walt Whitman.

In this collection for example: “The Right Mask” by Brian Patten in a Dutch translation more powerful than its English original:

One night a poem came up to a poet.
From now on, it said, you must wear a mask.
What kind of mask? asked the poet.
A rose mask, said the poem.
I’ve used it already, said the poet,
I’ve exhausted it.
Then wear the mask that’s made out of
a nightingale’s song, use that mask.
Oh, it’s an old mask, said the poet,
it’s all used up.
Nonsense, said the poem, it’s the perfect mask,
still, try on the god mask,
now that mask illuminates heaven.
It’s a tight mask, said the poet,
and the stars crawl about in it like ants.
Then try on the troubador’s mask, or the singer’s mask,
try on all the popular masks.
I have, said the poet, but they fit so easily.

Read the rest of this sublime poem here.

Introducing Wim T. Schippers

Wim T. Schippers by Marco Raaphorst

Wim T. Schippers

This post is mainly intended for people living in Antwerp or the environs.

Tonight, “Pollens, wat een heisa!,” an homage to Dutch artist Wim T. Schippers starts at the Monty in Antwerp.

There are many things to be said about Wim T. Schippers, but since I write this blog in English and most of my readers are from all over the globe, these things will be of interest to few. Suffice it to start by saying that Schippers belongs to the Dutch Dada tradition.

Digression #1

I say Dada because Surrealism is to weak a word; and it can be agreed upon that surrealism was not but an insipid decoction of Dada; Dada having the chronological benefit of course. On the other hand, I realize there is no use bemoaning the insipidness of Surrealism, since Surrealism was its best possible replacement. Nevertheless, Surrealism to my liking has always been too formalistic and dogmatic.

In discussing Schippers, a number of comparisons are called for. In the Dutch language geographical area, we have Doctorandus P. whom I celebrated here[1] and [2] and who is most certainly a precursor of Schippers. Internationally, one can compare Schippers to Monty Python.

Famous banana clip (I can’t hear you, I have a banana in my ear!)

Now the force of Schippers resides in his mainstream influence, most Dutch-speakers know him without knowing him, he is voice actor of a number of voices of the local version of Sesame Street, most famously Ernie. In The Netherlands he is also known by face as the presenter of a popular science quiz show.

Outside of some dim recollections of his 1970s TV shows, he crossed my personal path each Wednesday afternoon when I listened to his radio show on VPRO (Schippers in the persona of Jacques Plafond (Eng: Jacques Ceiling) [3]. These shows were hilariously irreverent. It was love at first sight.

Garage, Haarleem by Andy Field (Hubmedia)

Shit, I forgot my car, from a Sjef Van Oekel comic

Later still, there were the comics of Sjef Van Oekel, the brain of which was again Schippers.

In Belgium, the Dutch-speaking part where I live, there are two soul brother of Schippers: Kamagurka and Herr Seele. And perhaps Hugo Matthysen.

To conclude: Schippers is the nobrow example and canonical to this blog, even if you’ve never heard of him, try to find his equivalent in your country.

Ernies Drol by Laurens Bontes

Ernie’s drol (Ernie’s Turd)

photo Laurens Bontes

Much better than the similar work of Paul McCarthy

Going to the Dogs -Part 01 – This is the famous play for dogs by Dutch Wim T. Schippers.


The song “Pollens, wat een heisa!,” from which the homage’s title was taken. Notice the naked ladies towards the end


Phil Bloom, reading the news naked, in 1967 on national television.

Nova magazine 1965 – 1975

Nova 1965 - 1975 by Pavillion Books

[FR] [DE] [UK]

Check these prices! Cheapest at €250, most expensive at €800. More on expensive books over at Bookride.

I found out about Nova magazine when researching Harri Peccinotti

Pirelli 1969 – Harri Peccinotti

Nova magazine was a monthly British style magazine of the “Swinging London” era published from March 1965 until October 1975. It foreshadows publications such as The Face and i-D. Molly Parkin was the founder and first fashion editor at Nova, she was succeeded in 1967 by Caroline Baker who collaborated with the likes of Helmut Newton, Harri Peccinotti and Hans Feurer, Byron Newman and Armet Francis.

The book Nova 1965-1975, compiled by David Hillman and Harri Peccinotti, and edited by David Gibbs, was published by Pavilion Books in 1993.

P.S. I’m looking for a scan of Up Tight by Parkin with Harry Peccinotti’s cover shot of a French model wearing see-through knickers. Anyone?

See also:

Cult fiction item #10; unabashed male opinions


My edition of Cocaine (in a 1982 translation by Frédérique Van Der Velde for the Dutch-language imprint Goossens, which also published translations of Thérèse philosophe, Villon, and Aretino)

“Not since Of Human Bondage have I read a more poignant rendition of the human condition,” and “after The End Of The World Filmed By An Angel possibly the second surrealist novel” wrote American literary critic Sholem Stein in a rare review of Cocaina in 1922.

Cocaina is a 1921 Italian novel written by Pitigrilli, a pseudonym of Italian journalist and author Dino Segre.

The novel, set in Paris and dedicated to cocaine use, was banned when it was published due to its liberal use of explicit sex and drugs.

The protagonist is Tito Arnaudi, a young Dostoevskian nihilist who travels from his home town Turin to Paris after a failed love story. There he discovers the joys of cocaine, takes a job as a journalist and meets two women: the exotic and orgiastic Kalantan Ter-Gregorianz and the tawdry cocotte Maud Fabrège. Maud, who later in the story is renamed to Cocaina (she is the personification of the effects of cocaine, at first lively and spirited, later jaded and blunt) is his femme fatale. Tito falls in love with her despite her apparent infidelity and despite of her sterilization which he knows is bound to make her ugly and less feminine.

The novel is full of unabashed male opinions on women and love and ends with an original “Russian roulette” twist.

I read in three days, and never felt the urge to quit reading. I laughed out loud at least three times. An underrated masterpiece. See also drugs in literature and cocaine in literature.

More covers:

Cocaine (1921) – Pitigrilli [] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The bawdy origins of rock and roll

“You probably don’t doubt that the origins of rock and roll are bawdy in nature. You’ve read Gershon Legman and his fellow travelers to take note. You know why Scheherazade was not killed by the king.


Yet you don’t know American record label Federal Records and their 1951Sixty Minute Man[1], on which a male singer boasts of being able to satisfy his girls with fifteen minutes each of “kissin'” “teasin'” and “squeezin'”, before “blowin'” his “top.” The single reached #1[2] on the R&B chart in May 1951 and stayed there for a 14 weeks. “Sixty Minute” defined what was to become rock and roll which has always been about wine, women and song. —The bawdy origins of rock and roll, Sholem Stein, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1998, in a Pleasantville review.”

Note by the editor: “Big Long Slidin’ Thing” is another example in the category “dirty blues,” an often-overlooked category in rock and roll historiography.


Sixty Minute Man,” “Big Long Slidin’ Thing[3] and “Number One” (the Patrice Rushen song, which I managed to sneak in by footnote) are WMC #72, 73 and 74.

Genre scenes, trompe-l’œils and occasional dashes of eroticism

Checkers-1803 by Louis-Léopold BoillyUne_loge by Louis-Léopold BoillyLa Toilette intime by Louis-Léopold Boilly

Passer_payez_detail1 by Louis-Léopold BoillySlurping_Oysters_1825 by Louis-Léopold BoillyL'effet_du_mélodrame by Louis-Léopold Boilly

Via Suzanna of Wurzeltod[1] comes the work of French painter Léopold Boilly, whose work ranges from genre scenes to trompe-l’œils and occasional dashes of eroticism.

Before production of the Sade biopic Quills[2] began, costume designer Jacqueline West gave Kate Winslet a copy of Boilly’s “Woman Ironing”[3] to give her a feel for the character, which Winslet said greatly influenced her performance.


YouTube mashup of Quills (set to Nine Inch NailsCloser“)

The sadly defunct arts blog Lemateurdart has one more Boilly [5] and Jahsonic previously on Quills[6][7].

Quills is WCC #59. Toilette intime[4] is IoEA #33.