Tag Archives: 1928

RIP William F. Nolan (1928 – 2021)

William F. Nolan was an American author best known for co-writing Logan’s Run, a dystopian novel which shows similarities to Blade Runner.

Trailer for Logan’s Run

Logan (the protagonist from Logan’s Run) is Rick Deckard (the protagonist from Blade Runner). Both chase renegades, rebels from the system. Logan is a sandman (a cop chasing people who refuse to be euthanized) and Deckard is a blade runner (a cop who chases robots who refuse to be put out of circulation).

Both change sides during the story, becoming renegades and rebels themselves.

For interesting thoughts on these similarities, check Hollywood Utopia: Ecology in Contemporary American Cinema (2005) and Blade Runner 2049 and Philosophy: This Breaks the World (2019).

RIP Tempest Storm (1928 – 2021)

Teaserama (1955)

Tempest Storm was an American burlesque star. Burlesque was a tem invented as an ameliorative for striptease.

In the history of American erotica, burlesque films came just before nudist films. One difference between the two genres was that during the era of burlesque, pasties were used, while the nudism of nudist films provided an excuse to show full nudity, as far as toplessness went.

To my surprise the film above, Teaserama (1955) also includes silly skits in the style:

  • “he’s so honest he finds things before they are lost”
  • “he studied for a doctor once, the doctor was too busy to study for himself”
  • “he treated a man for five years before he found out the guy was a chinaman.”

RIP Ennio Morricone (1928 – 2020)

“Ma Non Troppo Erotico” (1971)

Ennio Morricone was an Italian composer, a veritable monument.

He composed over 400 scores for cinema and television, as well as over 100 classical works.

“Dies Irae Psichedelico” (1968)

He is best known for the characteristic sparse and memorable soundtracks of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns: “Man with a Harmonica” from Once Upon a Time in the West and the theme to “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. The first has a haunting harmonica and the second an immediately recognizable flute/whistle.

When I compiled the Jahsonic 1000, I also included “Dies Irae Psichedelico” (1968) and “Ma Non Troppo Erotico” (1971).

RIP Luigi Colani (1928 – 2019)

Luigi Colani was a German industrial designer, known for his use of curvilinear biomorphism.

wished him happy 80th birthday in 2008 and did a post on biomorphism in in 2007.

Car Styling brought four special issues on his work:

  • Designing Tomorrow (1978)
  • For a Brighter Tomorrow (1983)
  • Bio-Design of Tomorrow (1984)
  • Concept-Design of Tomorrow (2010)

I own ‘Designing Tomorrow ‘ the first of these booklets, in the magazine edition, in very good condition. I’m selling it for 100 euros, contact me if you are interested.

This is a good occasion to delve into the historiography of biomorphism:

The term biomorph was coined in 1895 by anthropologist Alfred Cort Haddon in his book Evolution in Art, in which he stated that “the biomorph is the representation of anything living in contradistinction to the skeuomorph, which […] is the representation of anything”.

One year later, British writer Geoffrey Grigson uses the term biomorphism in two essays: in the short “Comment on England” (1935) he notes that “abstractions are of two kinds, geometric […] and biomorphic,” and observes that the way forward are the biomorphic abstractions; in the chapter “Painting and sculpture” in The Arts Today (1935), he describes the term biomorphic as “no bad term for the paintings of Miro, Hélion, Erni and others, to distinguish them from the modern geometric abstractions and from rigid Surrealism.”

Another year later, in 1936, New York art historian Alfred H. Barr Jr. in the catalogue of his 1936 exhibition Cubism and Abstract Art, borrowed Grigson’s term without acknowledgement and noted that there is a secondary current in abstract art wich stems from Gauguin and Matisse and is “intuitional and emotional rather than intellectual; organic or biomorphic rather than geometrical in its forms; curvilinear rather than rectilinear, decorative rather than structural, and romantic rather than classical in its exaltation of the mystical, the spontaneous and the irrational.” He mentions the work of Joan Miró and Jean Arp and concludes: “the shape of the square confronts the silhouette of the amoeba.” Barr elegantly points to the major faultlines in 20th century art, which run along the axes ‘straight lines vs curvilinearity’, ‘wit vs seriousness’, and ‘cult of beauty vs cult of ugliness’ (or sexuality vs asexuality).

For a historiography of these early beginnings of biomorphism, consult Biocentrism and Modernism (2017).

Colani is dead. The last persons in my database alive in 1928 are philosopher Noam Chomsky, anthropologist Desmond Morris, musician Ennio Morricone and photographer William Klein.