Monday, February 23, 2009

Oh boy, a perusal of WFMU playlists indicates the availability of the Big Blood and The Bleedin' Hearts CD-R, teased a year ago by the song "Oh Country." This has a cover of Syd Barrett's Terrapin. What an exciting band. They constitute half of Fire On Fire, whose record The Orchard was released this past December through Young God Records. I believe it's only available through their website, making it about as easy to find as Big Blood's The Grove that came out last year on Don't Trust The Ruin. I am hoping to set up a show for either of these bands the next time they travel.

Baltimore's Erin Womack just received a grant from the state of Maryland to get money to be an artist. Good for her. We run in some of the same circles, and recently I was talking to some of our shared acquaintances about the resemblance of her drawing style to that of Christopher Forgues, and one of these people had actually talked to Erin about her influences, and found out that a big one was the film The Color Of Pomegranates. Which I hadn't seen, or even heard of, but it turns out is actually considered a classic of world and Russian cinema. I am in the middle of watching it. And while it doesn't explain the similarities to CF's line it's pretty interesting in its own right, part of a specific strain of cinema that feels more connected to high art, with Last Year At Marienbad a possible comparison point. It's almost pure imagery at this point, with no signs of a narrative arriving at any point in the future, but still compelling and beautiful to look at if one can handle the pace. I look forward to finishing it.

It's inspiring to me for the distinctive way the images are framed, the way the human figures frequently stand small in deliberate tableaus, the way in which the camera must have been fairly far away or shooting with a wide-angle lens to capture the corners of the room. But that's for me as a video-maker. What it shares with Erin's comics is the way images are juxtaposed together, repetitions of imagery with no real narrative accumulation, with written or spoken language appearing sparsely and largely as counterpoint, and the ornate nature of the images in terms of landscape and costume.

I should maybe thank her for indirectly inspiring me to look into it, the same way I should talk to Jimmy Joe Roche about how his namechecking of Daisies in an interview with Arthur magazine led to my seeing that film. That issue of Arthur had the band Celebration on the cover, who I saw perform this past Friday night, with my friend Ami Dang. Ami herself won a similar grant from the state of Maryland, and I am supposed to collaborate with her in the future on a video project, in a thing that will probably end up with faint traces of the influences of both Daisies and The Color Of Pomegranates.