Dr. Phibes Rises Again

Following his murderous quest for vengeance against the doctors he believes responsible for the death of his beloved wife, Victoria, the fiendish Dr. Phibes enters the crypt where he has enshrined her, ”incredibly maintained neither alive nor completely dead”. And there he places himself in suspended life, like her, until it will be time to rise again. And there he lays in darkness, next to her body, in a splendid satin sarcophagus, until the moon, aligning with the eternal planets, shines upon the sarcophagus – once every 2.000 years – signalling the opening of the crypt. And then, the fiendish Dr. Phibes rises again from his deep sleep and, together with his trusted aid, Vulnavia, prepares to take Victoria to Egypt where, years ago, in a mountain overlooking the Valley of the Pharaohs, he prepared a wondrous shrine, ”unknown by any living man”. There, under a secret temple, the River of Life flows, promising resurrection for Victoria and eternal life for them both.

Three years have passed, and now it is time for their greatest adventure. But, to his utter horror, Dr. Phibes finds his house has been destroyed and his papyrus scrolls stolen, the very scrolls that would lead him back to the secret temple in Egypt.

#current_mood
#three_days_to_Halloween
#now_watching
#dr_phibes_rises_again

Stills from imdb and filmgrab archives

Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)

October 27th, 2018

Paradise Lost | The Art of the Sublime

I was browsing through some gorgeous prints yesterday evening, courtesy of The New York Satellite Print Fair, where seventeen dealers present their fine prints and drawings during print week. From Old Masters to contemporary artists, there are some remarkable works of art to be found here and that’s only an annex to the main event – the Fine Art Print Fair – at the Javits Center in Manhattan West. Photography is completely out of place in this environment but the prints reminded me of these sublime works by William Blake, on view at the Huntington in Los Angeles.

Satan watching the endearments of Adam and Eve, 1807
Pen and watercolour


Raphael Warns Adam and Eve, 1807
Pen and watercolour


Rout of the Rebel Angels, 1807
Pen and watercolour


The Creation of Eve, 1807
Pen and watercolour


The Temptation and Fall of Eve, 1807
Pen and watercolour


The Judgement of Adam and Eve; So Judged He Man, 1807
Pen and watercolour


For William Blake, the Bible was the greatest work of poetry ever written. Only Milton’s 17th century epic poem, Paradise Lost, rivaled its importance to his art. Blake produced three separate sets of illustrations for Paradise Lost, the first a series of twelve drawings commissioned by Joseph Thomas in 1807. Henry E. Huntington purchased all of the watercolours in this original series between 1911 and 1914. 

#current_mood
#four_days_to_Halloween
#art_of_the_sublime

The Huntington

July 16th, 2017

An Acromantula glamouring his lunch

#current_mood
#the_tastiest_meals_come_in_tiny_packages
#five_days_to_Halloween

“An Acromantula is a species of giant spider, native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia, particularly Borneo where it inhabits dense jungles. Acromantulas are believed to be a wizard-bred species, designed to guard dwellings or treasure hoards, and were first created before the Ban on Experimental Breeding in 1965. These giant spiders with a taste for human flesh were first spotted in 1794.” {source}

Acromantula
Film: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Although this spider bears a striking resemblance to Aragog, it is, in fact, much smaller. Spiders like this one were created to fill the background of the Forbidden Forest scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets or were attached to Ron’s car as he sped away out of the forest.

Warner Bros Studio Tour

July 14th, 2017

Bat-winged dragons and ugly tiny faces

#current_mood
#six_days_to_Halloween

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.

This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. {source}

Getting into the spirit, starting today with this ordinary-looking, almost boring column. But look closer…  Coade-Stone Torchère, 1809
Manufactured by Coade and Sealy, Lambeth, England, probably after a design by Thomas Hopper (1776-1856) 

This candelabrum relates to a set of ten originally made for the Gothic conservatory that Thomas Hopper designed for Carlton House, the London residence of the Prince Regent, later George IV. They are examples of the Regency taste for the fantastic, with bat-winged dragons, medieval figures peeping out between their wings, owls in flight and tiny faces with differing features and expressions encircling the column. The torchères are made from ”Coade-stone”, an artificial stone developed by Eleanor Coade in the 1760s and very popular for use in architectural ornament. 

The Huntington

July 16th, 2017

The time is nigh…

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… and so it has been since end of August. It was then that some gorgeous, huge, perfectly rounded pumpkins made their annual front raw appearance in their thousands, taking position on shelves in- and outside grocery shops and supermarkets. Although they are supposed to be picked up in October, they couldn’t wait to mark the beginning of Halloween Season and start the countdown to every child’s favourite spooky night. No matter the sweltering heat of the last days of August, the magic ”pompions” were there to remind that the time is nigh.

Will and Fred went to the barn.
They got a pumpkin.
The pumpkin was large.
The pumpkin was yellow.
The boys cut the top off.
They cut the seeds out.
They cut four holes in the pumpkin.
They put a candle in the pumpkin.
The light shone out.
The boys said, “See our Jack-o’-Lantern.”

Narrative from a turn-of-the-century schoolbook, Victoire and Perdue’s The New Century First Reader via urbanlegends.

October 22nd, 2016