Wednesday, 30 July 2008

A History Of Advertising

A History Of Advertising
A History Of Advertising, by Stephane Pincas and Marc Loiseau, presents a history of advertising from 1842 (the founding of the world's first advertising agency, in Philadelphia) to 2006. It was originally published by the advertising agency Publicis and titled Born In 1842.

The emphasis is on images, with each page containing several colour reproductions of posters and stills from TV commercials. This is in contrast to Mark Tungate's Adland, which contains almost no photographs at all. The text in A History Of Advertising amounts to little more than extended picture captions, however, and the advertisements included are all American, British, or (occasionally) European, so the scope is not really international. There is an impressive bibliography, though.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

The 100 Best Films Of The World

The 100 Best Films Of The World
The 100 Best Films Of The World: A Journey Through A Century Of Motion-Picture History, was edited by Manfred Leier. (Leier is not named on the cover or spine, and the introduction is signed simply "The Editor", with Leier identified only on the copyright page.)

The book consists of 100 films, arranged "according to the film director's country of origin". Thus, for example, Psycho (made in Hollywood) is listed in the Europe section, because Alfred Hitchcock was born in England. Oddly, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest appears in the North America list despite Milos Forman being Czech by birth. There are two pages devoted to each of the 100 films, each film represented by plot synopses and glossy stills. The detailed synopses are too spoiler-ridden for those who have not yet seen the films and redundant for those who already have.

North America
  • Greed
  • The General
  • All Quiet On The Western Front
  • Gone With The Wind
  • The Grapes Of Wrath
  • Citizen Kane
  • Casablanca
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • High Noon
  • From Here To Eternity
  • On The Waterfront
  • Rebel Without A Cause
  • Some Like It Hot
  • Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ
  • Breakfast At Tiffany's
  • Easy Rider
  • The Godfather
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
  • Star Wars IV: A New Hope
  • Annie Hall
  • Saturday Night Fever
  • ET: The Extra-Terrestrial
  • Blade Runner
  • Out Of Africa
  • Pretty Woman
  • Pulp Fiction
  • The Matrix
  • Lost In Translation
  • Titanic
  • Belle De Jour
  • All About My Mother
  • The Rules Of The Game
  • Children Of Paradise
  • The Wages Of Fear
  • M. Hulot's Holiday
  • Black Orpheus
  • Breathless
  • Last Year At Marienbad
  • Au Revoir Les Enfants
  • Amelie
  • La Strada
  • La Dolce Vita
  • Blow-Up
  • Once Upon A Time In The West
  • Death In Venice
  • Last Tango In Paris
  • Life Is Beautiful
  • Zorba The Greek
  • Yol
  • All Night Long
  • The Assault
  • Character
  • Metropolis
  • The Blue Angel
  • M
  • Ninotchka
  • The Tin Drum
  • The Marriage Of Maria Braun
  • Fitzcarraldo
  • Wings Of Desire
  • The Lacemaker
  • Closely Observed Trains
  • Kolya
  • The Shop On Main Street
  • Mephisto
  • Time Of The Gypsies
  • Ashes & Diamonds
  • Dance Of The Vampires
  • The Pianist
  • Names In Marble
  • Battleship Potemkin
  • The Cranes Are Flying
  • Andrei Rublev
  • Lights In The Dust
  • Wild Strawberries
  • Autumn Sonata
  • As It Is In Heaven
  • Babette's Feast
  • Breaking The Waves
  • City Lights
  • The Great Dictator
  • The Third Man
  • The Bridge On The River Kwai
  • Psycho
  • Lawrence Of Arabia
  • Goldfinger
  • A Hard Day's Night
  • Dr Zhivago
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Gandhi
  • The Wind Will Carry Us
  • Mother India
  • Monsoon Wedding
  • Rashomon
  • Seven Samurai
  • Raise The Red Lantern
  • Farewell My Concubine
  • The Piano
  • The Lord Of The Rings I-III
The list includes no examples of Neorealism or film noir, and no films by DW Griffith, Martin Scorsese, Howard Hawks, or Yasujiro Ozu. Note that Ben-Hur is the William Wyler remake and Titanic is the James Cameron version. Also, Some Like It Hot is the 1959 comic masterpiece, not the obscure 1939 comedy.

Monday, 28 July 2008

4th Project 6

4th Project 6
Project 6, a film and photography exhibition, will be hosted by Gallery VER, Bangkok, next month. The event will include the short film Action! (premiered at the 5th Bangkok Experimental Film Festival) by Thunska Pansittivorakul, whose photographic exhibition, Life Show, is currently on display at VER. The 4th Project 6 will open on 15th August (the day Life Show closes), and will run until 30th August.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Gone Yet Still

Gone Yet Still
An installation by Terence Koh, Gone Yet Still, may result in criminal charges against the Baltic art gallery. Koh's work, a statuette of a tumescent Jesus, was shown earlier this year, and, in a private prosecution, a member of the public has accused the gallery of outraging public decency. Baltic came under fire last year for a Nan Goldin photograph, though the image was eventually cleared of obscenity. In 2006, the student magazine The Insurgent published cartoons of Jesus with an erection.

Tumescent Christs have caused artistic controversies before, including a Belgian sculptor's prosecution for blasphemy in 1988. Danish artist Jens Jorgen Thorsen painted a tumescent Christ on the wall of a railway station in 1984. JAM Montoya's 1997 photograph El Ultimo Deseo depicts Christ with an erection. A series of three paintings (Man Of Sorrows, circa 1530) by Maaten van Heemskerck depict Christ in a similar state, as discussed in Leo Steinberg's book The Sexuality Of Christ In Renaissance Art & In Modern Oblivion.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Life Show

Life Show
Life Show
Life Show, an exhibition of photographs by Thunska Pansittivorakul, opened today at Gallery VER in Bangkok, and will run until 15th August. (The same venue hosted a retrospective of Thunska's films earlier this year.) The exhibition includes portraits, behind-the-scenes images, and some 'X'-rated shots. Life Show is also the title of one of Thunska's short films, in which an actor discusses his sex-life. Thunska's photos can also be seen, as a slideshow, in his film Endless Story.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

News Of The World

News Of The World
Max Mosley, former head of Formula 1, has won a UK legal action against the News Of The World newspaper. Mosley sued the newspaper for breach of privacy after it printed clandestine photographs of him at a sex party. The newspaper also uploaded a short video of the party on its website.

The story was published on 30th March, with a front-page banner headline referring to Mosley's "SICK NAZI ORGY". Mosley accepted that he had participated in an orgy, but insisted that it was a private matter and that it had no Nazi overtones. The High Court judge agreed with him, and awarded him £60,000 in damages, though no injunction was issued.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Stanley Kubrick's Boxes

Stanley Kubrick's Boxes
As part of a Kubrick Season on More4 this month, Jon Ronson presented (and directed) Stanley Kubrick's Boxes on 15th July, a True Stories documentary about Kubrick's archives. Ronson examined the boxes (designed to Kubrick's specifications) containing the director's notes, photographs, and props in situ at Childwickbury Manor, near St Albans, before they were transferred to the Stanley Kubrick Archive at the University of the Arts in London. The programme includes a short Lolita screen test featuring Sue Lyon, and footage filmed by Vivian Kubrick on the set of Full Metal Jacket.

Friday, 11 July 2008


Teeth, directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein, is a blackly funny horror film about a teenager with a vagina dentata. Once she discovers her 'mutation', she uses it to castrate the various male chauvinists who seem to populate her life. Her brother is a ridiculously over-the-top stereotype, though the other characters are all believable. The central character herself is sympathetic throughout 99% of the film, though her femme fatale smile in the final shot is out of character.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

The Art Of Time

The Art Of Time
La Dame A La Collerette
Gaysorn, a shopping mall in downtown Bangkok, is hosting an exhibition titled The Art Of Time. The exhibition is designed to promote Gaysorn's range of expensive watches, though of primary interest are works by Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dali, and other marquee-name artists.

The centrepiece is a bronze sculpture by Dali, a 3D representation of his melting clock, a motif he first used in his 1931 painting The Persistence Of Memory. The sculpture, which is the only work with a direct link to the exhibition's title, was cast in 1980, in a limited edition of 500. (The over-rated Dali famously signed piles of reproductions, and even blank canvasses, each morning during breakfast, living up to the anagram 'avida dollars' coined by Andre Breton.)

Most of the other works on display are signed prints. The 1963 Picasso linocut, La Dame A La Collerette, for example, was produced in an edition of fifty. The Art Of Time opened yesterday, and will close on 20th July.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008


Adresseavisen, Denmark's oldest newspaper, caused considerable controversy after it published a cartoon of Mohammed last month. The cartoon, by Jan O Henriksen, shows a suicide bomber, with his genitals exposed, wearing a t-shirt proclaiming "I am Mohammed and no-one dares to publish me!".

After the image was published, on 3rd June, the editor and cartoonist attempted to deflect criticism by saying that it depicted merely an Islamic man claiming to act in the name of Mohammed. However, the caricature's t-shirt slogan is unambiguous, and the cartoon is one of the most gratuitously provocative Mohammed caricatures published in the mainstream media.

Another Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, caused international protests after it printed twelve Mohammed cartoons in 2005. This prompted many other European newspapers to publish additional Mohammed caricatures, in solidarity with the Danish cartoonists and in defence of free speech.