A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

You don't see many black and white Iranian vampire movies these days, do you?  Haven't heard much about A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, but the oily, murky photography looks stunning.

It makes me think, maybe some other vampire flicks would look good in black and white – emphasising the contrasts of night and day, pushing the red of the blood into the black of the shadows. I imagine it would work particularly well with Bram Stoker's Dracula, bringing it closer to the early cinema aesthetic Coppola strived to emulate. Not sure it'll do anything to help Keanu's British accent, but you never know. 

AGWHAAN is released 22 May in the UK.

Japanese book repair

Not really sure why/what/who this is, but it's rather splendid. There's something incredibly calming about watching a Japanese craftsman repair a book. Print isn't dead, it just needs ironing. 

Comic People

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Jamie Hewlett, one half of Gorillaz (or is it one third? Or a quarter? How do they work again?), put pen to paper for another Britpop star long before he hooked up with Damon Albarn. Way way back in 1995, he produced a mini-comic version of Pulp's Common People for the French release of the single.

Jarvis looks suitably angular, and the general design takes me back to the days of other Hewlett classics like Tank Girl and Hewligan's Haircut. Terrifyingly, this is twenty years old.

In a recent Pitchfork interview, Cocker discussed how attitudes to class have changed since then:

A more appropriate song now would be "Royals" by Lorde, because the working class isn't the same as it used to be in England and America, as far as people actually making things in factories—all that happens in other countries now. It's more like a consuming class, or just people without much money. In the olden days, there was such a thing as working-class culture and things like music came from that, because it was entertainment made by people in a different sector of society. And that had a vitality to it. Sometimes, people from the upper class or middle class would be jealous of that vitality and want to live in that world a bit. But now, certain sectors of cities in the UK are just very rough places. I can't imagine anybody going, "Wow, I'd really like to live like that." So that thing which existed the '50s, '60s, and '70s, where people would search for this energy in lower class things, is maybe gone.

Twenty years.  

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What's in Prince's secret vault?

Prince, 1978 by Robert Whitman. 

Prince, 1978 by Robert Whitman. 

Even if you're not a fan, the legend of Prince's massive secret purple vault is fascinating. He's a torrent of unstoppable creation – it takes a gargantuan effort just to store and keep tabs on everything he records. Mobeen Azhar tries to get inside:

The story goes that if Prince were to leave the world tomorrow, he has enough unreleased material to put out an album a year. I’ve been chasing his PR people for months to talk about these songs, before Prince’s lawyer gets in touch to tell me Prince ‘is the only person qualified to talk about his music’. When I suggest this the perfect opportunity for him to show us all just how qualified he is, she laughs an ‘it’s never going to happen’ kind of laugh.

Imagine being so productive that you need a vault. I just have a drawer full of half-finished side-projects. It's not purple. It's not even remotely funky. 

See also: a synopsis of Tim Burton's Batman based only on the Prince soundtrack.

JG Ballard on the future of the future

In his 1977 essay for Vogue, the future of the future, JG Ballard successfully predicted the appalling now:

Far more sophisticated devices have begun to appear on the scene, above all, video systems and micro-computers adapted for domestic use. Together these will achieve what I take to be the apotheosis of all the fantasies of late twentieth-century man — the transformation of reality into a TV studio, in which we can simultaneously play out the roles of audience, producer and star … All this, of course, will be mere electronic wallpaper, the background to the main programme in which each of us will be both star and supporting player. Every one of our actions during the day, across the entire spectrum of domestic life, will be instantly recorded on video-tape. In the evening we will sit back to scan the rushes, selected by a computer trained to pick out only our best profiles, our wittiest dialogue, our most affecting expressions filmed through the kindest filters, and then stitch these together into a heightened re-enactment of the day. Regardless of our place in the family pecking order, each of us within the privacy of our own rooms will be the star in a continually unfolding domestic saga, with parents, husbands, wives and children demoted to an appropriate starring role.

Sounds about right, doesn't it? The full essay can be found in Ballard's A User's Guide to the Millenium: Essays and Reviews. For a thorough analysis of Ballard's predictions, check out Simon Sellars' piece at the Ballardian