Watched Today:

* MM: Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog: “Ready woolen and able” USA 1960 Jones

The first weekly film meeting of the year took place yesterday. A few friends have met once a week for several years to watch films. Usually we do shorts, but for the first time we have a series dedicated to feature films: all of Hitchcock’s films, some of Ozu’s, most of Powell & Pressburger’s and all of Jacques Demy’s. We do them in chronological order, so Ozu just joined the series, the first P & P will come in April and Demy sometime in the future.

Other main series at the moment: Jan Svankmajer, Fatty Arbuckle, Early French comedians, Jean Painlevé, Vitaphone shorts and Screening the Poor 1888-1914. Most of the films are on DVD, a few on VHS and some from You Tube.

This week’s programme:

* The Skin Game (Hitch 1931)
* Les oursins (Painlevé 1958)
* Otrantský zámek /The Castle of Otranto (Svankmajer 1979)
* Une vie gaspillée (Denmark 1910)
* A excerpt about Ozu from The Story of Film: An Odyssey
* Olive’s sweepstakes ticket (Popeye 1941)
* Trixie Friganza (Vitaphone)

§ There’s an excellent site on Hitchcock, giving information onDVD availability.

§ 23 films by Jean Painlevé are collected on a DVD

Science Is Fiction: 23 Films by Jean Painleve
§ All the Svankmajer shorts and a couple of films about him are in a 3-disc box from the BFI.

§ The 2-disc box Lichtspiele und Soziale Frage/Screening the Poor 1888-1914 is from Edition Filmmuseum in München. This is a collection of early films and magic lantern shows on the life of the poor, arranged according to subject matter: Slumming, Children in misery, Child labour, Charity and social care, Drink and temperance movement, Perils of wage labour and Escape showing.
The Filmmuseum have an excellent DVD release. Other boxes from them in my collection: Dziga Vertov, Walther Ruttmann and Hal Roach: Female comedy teams

Screening the Poor 1888-1914
§ The Ozu excerpt can be found on You Tube
The complete series is possible the best that has been made on the history of film. I caught most of it on Norwegian television last year

§ The complete (restored) Popeye by Fleischer is available in three boxes. The present film is from the third.

§ The Vitaphone shorts we watch are from the 3-disc edition of The jazz singer.

Finished Reading:

* Leonardo Konstnären
The first of a three volume set commenting on the note books by Leonardo da Vinci found in Madrid 1965, Codex Madrid I and II. It’s a translation from Italian of three authors covering different aspects: Målaren, by Anna Maria Brizio; Skulptören, by Maria Vittoria Brugnoli; and Läraren, by André Chastel. The following volumes, Vetenskapsmannen and Uppfinnaren
Considering how little has survived of paintings and sculptures it is amazing how much has been written about Leonardo. And how difficult it is to get a clear overview of his life and work. I suppose it is all these notebooks being presented in bits and pieces here and there. I have tried. And these are some of my tries: Field: Leonardo da Vinci; Landrus: LdV. En mästares liv och verk (this is one those with inserted facsimiles); Cremante: LdV. The complete works; Suh: LdV. Anteckningsböcker (this looked promising with lots of big pictures and translations of the texts, but there is no information at all about the images or the quotations, nothing about the source, nothing about the time when they were made, what’s the point?)

And then there is Gelb: How to think like LdV (a self-inprovement book)

Started Reading:

* Leonardo Vetenskapsmannen
* Falstaff Fakirs vitterlek


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