#cute dog in the #rose #garden. He’s clearly more interested in his lady friend.
*correction* she’s more interested in her lady friend.
THE DAILY PIC (Vacation rerun, from July 13, 2012): A severed ram’s head, a rope of liver and lungs above it and to both sides some gorgeous fruits and vegetables – if still-life painting can sometimes seem convention-bound, this one seems to have more to it. It was painted in 1652, in Florence, when the Dutch painter Willem van Aelst was there serving the Medici court, and it’s now in the solo show of his works (the first ever) at the National Gallery in Washington. The ram’s head is such a strong symbol of the classical world that I’d want to make it central in any reading of this painting. The still-life seems to me to involve some kind of confrontation between the scientific, botanical and anatomical interests of the Medici court – to wit the accurately rendered organs and fruit – and the Roman practice of reading the future in entrails. (The term of art for reading a liver is haruspicy or hepatoscopy; the practice is mentioned in Virgil and Cicero and Pliny. The gallery reads the offal as belonging to a turkey, but I’ve done enough butchering to recognize the lungs and liver of something much bigger – such as the classic sacrificial ram.) Could van Aelst’s picture be about science superseding or completing ancient ways of knowing?
I particularly like how such a complex reading mirrors the divination referenced in the work.
For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.
"One of the things that was great for David Byrne when we did Stop Making Sense was that David really got to design the lighting for the show—and by extension for the movie. He hadn’t got to do everything he wanted to do lighting wise with the stage show because of the limitations of technology at that point. But David got a chance to work with Jordan Cronenweth who shot Blade Runner and was a great master of American cinematography, and he could do all the little tweakings and brushstrokes that he had dreamed of doing with the stage show. […] It’s great working with [Cronenweth] because he’s an absolute tight-ass perfectionist. You can’t get Jordan to back away from anything he’s doing until he’s got it perfect, and that can be exasperating because you’ve got one eye on the clock and you’re desperate to get moving. But then when you see the dailies and you see the extra level Jordan was taking it to when he was driving you nuts, you go, ‘Thank God he did it.’ He’s a painstaking artist.”
"I’d just as soon it didn’t occur to people that they’re watching a concert, but rather a band performing without the distancing factor of it being an event that happened once. That’s why there’s no audience in the film until the very end. I thought it was important if the film was to be as effective for filmgoers as it was for me watching the concert. I wanted to capture the energy and the flow and that unrelenting progression of music."
"We were minutely prepared. David had storyboarded the concert in a series of close shots. Not for the film, but for a tour. From this storyboard, I started to develop a model of the film, which by the way never stopped being modified. I worked closely with my visual advisor Sandy McLeod, who made sure I was in constant contact with the Talking Heads while they were on tour. I traveled with them myself for one week in Texas, then, before our concert, I followed all their performances on the West Coast. So on D-Day, I had a precise idea about the best camera placements. Having said that, 50 percent of the shots were conceived on the spot. […] This was the first multiple-camera situation I’d ever been in. The first night was pretty disastrous. Suddenly it was all happening, and all the preparation and planning was put up against the reality of the show. Cameras ran out of film, the band was real nervous and uptight having cameras stuck in their faces. We kept getting each other in the background of shots too much. It was a mess, but a superb camera rehearsal. The next three nights were spectacular." — Jonathan Demme on Stop Making Sense