Posts tagged ‘Wilde’

October 12, 2012

Today Was National Coming Out Day

An interesting day given the state of the world and the changes that are happening like an unstoppable tide. Admittedly the progress towards accepting the human rights of LGBT people has not been even around the globe but forward movement is forward movement and it is heartening. Sad that some people still feel that there is one acceptable bastion of allowable hatred and that is towards a group that loves in a way they do not understand. The key word is ‘love’ but that never features in their arguments as their obsession with the mechanics of sex seems to dominate their thoughts.

The fact is, as US Secretary of State ( and quite frankly my choice for the ideal US President) Hillary Rodham Clinton asserted recently anyone who wants to hold on to ridiculous notions of what is moral and right are on ‘the wrong side of history”. Being who you are and opening yourself to love can never be wrong – trust me.  The other truth is that when people ‘come out’ and let the world see that they are productive members of society they tear down the fallacies bit by bit.

As a friend told me recently if they hate gay people then don’t use a computer ( Alan Turing) , wear clothes ( pick any of  hundreds of designers) , live in an architecturally designed house ( many choices there), look at great art ( Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Caravaggio etc etc) , listen to music ( Tchaikovsky and hundreds of others),  read some of the greatest literature ever written ( Oscar Wilde … well that alone says it) and let’s not talk of fine dining. A pretty sad life really.

I’m from Driftwood just uploaded a new video so I will end with that. The world is changing and we should all embrace that change.

September 25, 2011

Time can never dull brilliance. Salome – 1923

A 1923 interpretation of dear Oscar Wilde’s  Salome.

Watch from the beginning here.

From YouTube:

Salomé’s Dance – from Charlie Barber’s score for percussion and voices featuring the 1923 film starring Alla Nazimova

Salomé (1923) is a rarely seen curiosity from the silent era of film. Based on an idea of artist and Hollywood 1920s bohemian Natacha Rambova, the film was produced by and starred the flamboyant Russian actress, Alla Nazimova and directed by Charles Bryant. Nazimova’s intention was to produce a piece of work that would raise the artistic levels of American film. Filmed in 1923, it might be considered one of the first ‘arthouse’ films to be made.

An adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play of the same name, it has, like the play, always been surrounded by controversy. Before it had even been completed rumours took hold that Nazimova had demanded an all gay and bi-sexual cast in homage to the playwright. Adding to its notoriety is the film’s undoubted aura of loaded eroticism, heightened by the melodramatic, highly stylised performances of the cast. The film’s visual imagery matched the illustrations made by Aubrey Beardsley and was in black and white only, having just some metallic details as accents that would thus reflect the light. As one critic commented, it is “more like a bizarre Art Nouveau-inspired erotic dream than a piece of cinema”.

Hebrew text – Psalm 1, v3:
v’hayah ke’etz shatul al-palgei mayim asher piryo yiten be’ito
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season

Inspired by early fragments of music from Judea and Syria, this version of Salomé features an array of percussion instruments and voices.

Dominated by an assortment of drums, tambourines, castanets and cymbals, the percussion battery also includes the Sistrum (a small instrument with bronze jingles used in dances and religious ceremonies in ancient Egypt), Djembe (a traditional skin-covered African drum) and Tibetan Singing Bowls.

A large amount of the percussion writing is derived from ‘wazn’, the fixed rhythmic patterns that are the building blocks for Arabic music from earliest times. Most wazn are in unusual time lengths such as 10, 13 or 19 – each constructed out of smaller units of long and short beats.

For the Film
Director – Charles Bryant
Writers – Oscar Wilde (play), Peter M Winters (scenario)
Cinematography – Charles Van Enger
Art Direction/Costume – Natacha Rambova

Mitchell Lewis – Herod, Tetrach of Judea
Alla Nazimova – Salomé, stepdaughter of Herod
Rose Dione – Herodias, wife of Herod
Earl Schenk – Narraboth, Captain of the Guard
Nigel De Brulier – Jokanaan, the Prophet
Arthur Jasmine – Page of Herodias
Frederick Peters – Naaman, the Executioner
Louis Dumar – Tigellinus, a young Roman

Nick Baron – percussion
James Hulme – percussion
Alun Hathaway – percussion
Dave Danford – percussion

Rhiannon Llewellyn – soprano
Gareth Treseder – tenor
Kelvin Thomas – bass
Sianed Jones – vocal improvisations