Ritual and Burnt Offering — The Cult of The Wicker Man

Rit­ual is a hor­ror novel by British actor and author David Pin­ner, first pub­lished in 1967. The pro­tag­o­nist of Rit­ual is an Eng­lish police offi­cer named David Han­lin. A puri­tan­i­cal Chris­t­ian, Han­lin is requested to inves­ti­gate what appears to be the rit­u­al­is­tic mur­der of a local child in an enclosed rural Cor­nish vil­lage. Dur­ing his short stay, Han­lin deals with psy­cho­log­i­cal trick­ery, sex­ual seduc­tion, ancient reli­gious prac­tices and night­mar­ish sac­ri­fi­cial rituals.

Shrouded in the same brand of mys­tery and con­tra­dic­tion that forms its tan­gled plot, Rit­ual, the 1967 debut by RADA-trained play­wright David Pin­ner is com­monly recog­nised by cult cin­ema fanat­ics as the orig­i­nal seed that grew into the tow­er­ing movie enigma The Wicker Man.

In 1973, Rit­ual was used as the basis for The Wicker Man, a British hor­ror film directed by Robin Hardy and writ­ten for the screen by Anthony Shaf­ferEdward Wood­ward stars as the police­man, renamed Sergeant Neil Howie. Pin­ner dis­cussed the book in a 2011 inter­view. “I then sold the film rights of the book to Christo­pher Lee in 1971 – the basic idea and the struc­ture of it was used for The Wicker Man.”

As a result of the film’s pop­u­lar­ity, Rit­ual became a much sought-after collector’s item, and was being sold for £400 to £500 on eBay. It was not until the 2011 reprint that the novel became widely avail­able.

Watch below the doc­u­men­tary “Burnt Offer­ing — The Cult of the Wicker Man” where the cast and main play­ers in the crew come together to dis­cuss the mak­ing of cult British hor­ror film The Wicker Man. They dis­cuss the adap­ta­tion of the source mate­r­ial, the cast­ing process and the dif­fi­cult shoot which dealt with every­thing from a sum­mer film being shot in late autumn and the trou­bles of the actual wicker man itself.


FriendsWithYou

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Miami based art col­lab­o­ra­tive FriendsWith­You was cre­ated with one basic con­cept in mind; to become Friends With You!

Their work, which ranges from fine art and per­for­mance pieces at major cul­tural events to play­grounds, toys, inter­ac­tive prod­ucts, and apparel, appeals to every demo­graphic with a pos­i­tive mes­sage of magic, luck, and friendship—essentially spread­ing a happy cul­tural virus to all facets of mod­ern living.

Com­bin­ing solid graphic dis­ci­plines with a mas­tery of pro­duc­tion meth­ods rang­ing from metal cast­ing to print mak­ing, FriendsWithYou’s oeu­vre is var­ied and adven­tur­ous. Since their ini­tial col­lab­o­ra­tion in 2002, Sam Bork­son and Arturo San­doval III have devel­oped FriendsWith­You into a fully estab­lished multi-disciplinary cre­ative stu­dio capa­ble of pro­duc­ing every­thing from fine art to ini­tial strate­gies and con­cepts, prod­ucts pack­ag­ing, POS, print ele­ments, full motion media (i.e. live-action, ani­ma­tion, stop-motion, etc.), and events.

Hav­ing con­sis­tently gen­er­ated inno­v­a­tive and award-winning work, FriendsWith­You have been invited to par­tic­i­pate in some of the World’s most respected art hap­pen­ings includ­ing Art Basel, Comi­con, and Pic­to­plasma, and both shown in and been col­lected by numer­ous inter­na­tional gal­leries and museums.

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This ani­mated short is an explo­ration into the clouds; a sweet, visual sound­scape that takes the viewer through a per­sonal jour­ney into the sky. Sing, dance and relax as you fol­low a cast of clouds and rain­drops through an entranc­ing adven­ture you’ll wish to take over and over again.

The pur­pose of the piece is to tran­scend the viewer to a peace­ful and joy­ous state. Clouds singing and per­form­ing their duties in a joy­ful man­ner show us that every­thing in our world has a role and a purpose.

FriendsWith­You host a Phar­rell show among the huge inflat­able sculp­tures of Rain­bow City, a land pop­u­lated by crea­tures of their invention.


Black Moth Super Rainbow’s Windshield Smasher Video

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Trippy synth-goo out­fit Black Moth Super Rain­bow from the  self-released new album, Cobra Juicy.

Check out how to grab the album via the band’s Kick­starter page.

Wind­shield Smasher” is a track from that LP, and it con­tains a fair amount of grit that also rears it head on BMSR head Tobacco’s solo material.


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René Laloux’s La Planète Sauvage

tumblr_mbp2rs8kqQ1qbyzsxo1_500René Laloux’s mes­meris­ing psy­che­delic sci-fi ani­mated fea­ture won the Spe­cial Jury Prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Fes­ti­val and is a land­mark of Euro­pean animation.

Based on Ste­fan Wul’s novel Oms en série [Oms by the Dozen], Laloux’s breath­tak­ing vision was released in France as La Planète sauvage [The Sav­age Planet]; in the USA as Fan­tas­tic Planet; and imme­di­ately drew com­par­isons to Swift’s Gulliver’s Trav­els and Planet of the Apes (both the 1968 film and Boule’s 1963 novel). Today, the film can be seen to pre­fig­ure much of the work of Hayao Miyazaki at Stu­dio Ghi­bli (Princess Mononoke, Spir­ited Away) due to its pal­pa­ble polit­i­cal and social con­cerns, cul­ti­vated imag­i­na­tion, and mem­o­rable ani­ma­tion techniques.

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Fan­tas­tic Planet tells the story of Oms, a human-like species, kept as domes­ti­cated pets by an alien race of blue giants called Draags. The story takes place on the Draags’ planet Ygam, where we fol­low our nar­ra­tor, an Om called Terr, from infancy to adult­hood. He man­ages to escape enslave­ment from a Draag learn­ing device used to edu­cate the sav­age Oms — and begins to organ­ise an Om revolt.

The imag­i­na­tion invested in the sur­real crea­tures, music and sound design, and eerie land­scapes, is immense and unforgettable.

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Orig­i­nally released in 1973, this highly sought after sound­track accom­pa­nied Laloux’s film. The music is by Alain Gor­a­guer, same guy who did music for other French films, includ­ing two other ani­mat­eds that I’m aware of, The Dead Times (Les Temps Morts) (1964) and The Snails (Les Escar­gots) (1965), both by the same mak­ers of Fan­tas­tic Planet (René Laloux, Roland Topor).

While both of these films tended to have a more avant-garde jazzy score, the music to Fan­tas­tic Planet has a more pro­gres­sive funky score. If you can imag­ine Pink Floyd meets Shaft, you get sort of an idea. The music con­sists of syn­the­siz­ers, flute, Hohner clavinet, gui­tar (with lots of wah-wah effects), bass, and drums.

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Watch Metz and King Tuff Play Full Sets at Pitchfork.tv

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Before the hol­i­days, Sub Pop label­mates Metz (pic­tured above) and King Tuff trav­eled to New York for a cou­ple of shows, with just enough time to play mid­day sets at Pitchfork.tv’s Brook­lyn office.

These “Safe for Work” per­for­mances were streamed live, and are now avail­able to watch again in full.

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The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Accord­ing to its author, The Dic­tio­nary of Obscure Sor­rows is the Upper Midwest’s third-largest com­pendium of the outer spat­ters of the emo­tional palette. Their mis­sion is to har­poon, bag and tag wild sor­rows then release them back into the subconscious.

If we do not develop ade­quate images we will die out like the dinosaurs.” —Werner Herzog

Each def­i­n­i­tion is orig­i­nal and hand­crafted by John Koenig with his right thumb.

The author, John Koenig, is a free­lance cre­ative serf based in St. Paul, MN where he attended Macalester Col­lege in the early part of the century.

Read below a few examples:

Mauer­bauer­trau­rigkeit
n. the inex­plic­a­ble urge to push peo­ple away, even close friends who you really like—as if all your social taste­buds sud­denly went numb, leav­ing you unable to dis­tin­guish cheap polite­ness from the taste of gen­uine affec­tion, unable to rec­og­nize its rich and ambigu­ous fla­vors, its long and del­i­cate mat­u­ra­tion, or the sim­ple fact that each tast­ing is double-blind.

The bends
n. frus­tra­tion that you’re not enjoy­ing an expe­ri­ence as much as you should, even some­thing you’ve worked for years to attain, which prompts you to plug in var­i­ous thought com­bi­na­tions to try for any­thing more than sta­tic emo­tional blank­ness, as if your heart had been acci­den­tally demag­ne­tized by a surge of expectations.

Mona­chop­sis
n. the sub­tle but per­sis­tent feel­ing of being out of place, as mal­adapted to your sur­round­ings as a seal on a beach—lumbering, clumsy, eas­ily dis­tracted, hud­dled in the com­pany of other mis­fits, unable to rec­og­nize the ambi­ent roar of your intended habi­tat, in which you’d be flu­idly, bril­liantly, effort­lessly at home.

Ecsta­tic shock
n. the surge of energy upon catch­ing a glance from some­one you like—a thrill that starts in your stom­ach, arcs up through your lungs and flashes into a spon­ta­neous smile—which scram­bles your ungrounded cir­cuits and tempts you to chase that feel­ing with a kite and a key.

Fitz­car­raldo
n. an image that some­how becomes lodged deep in your brain—maybe washed there by a dream, or smug­gled inside a book, or planted dur­ing a casual conversation—which then grows into a wild and imprac­ti­cal vision that keeps scram­bling back and forth in your head like a dog stuck in a car that’s about to arrive home, just itch­ing for a chance to leap head­long into reality.


Shain Erin’s Morbid Art dolls

“Great Art has dread­ful man­ners. The great­est paint­ings grab you in a head­lock, rough up your com­po­sure, and then pro­ceed in short order to re-arrange your reality.”-Simon Schama

I’m in shock and delighted by Shain Erin’s Mor­bid Art dolls. In Sharin’s own words:

I’m an obses­sive artist (since birth) work­ing pri­mar­ily in sculp­ture, paint­ing and dig­i­tal media. I have a BFA from the San Fran­cisco Art Insti­tute and have shown work (mostly in San Fran­cisco and Den­ver) but mostly I’ve kept to myself artis­ti­cally, explor­ing my obses­sions and refin­ing my vision and methods.I’ve always been fas­ci­nated with world art and mythol­ogy and for about the last ten years I’ve been con­cen­trat­ing on explor­ing and defin­ing a per­sonal mythol­ogy and “his­tory” while hon­or­ing and ref­er­enc­ing exist­ing world art traditions.

For that rea­son I refer to my work as Neo-Mythic and see myself as a cre­ator of arti­facts that never were.

For the last sev­eral years I’ve been pre­oc­cu­pied with dolls: I see them as a long under appre­ci­ated art form with vir­tu­ally unlim­ited expres­sive pos­si­bil­i­ties. I’m inspired by tra­di­tional world art fig­ures (kachina, bochia, nkisi, nam­chi, shadow pup­pets, etc.) while work­ing to push the bound­aries of what a “doll” is as far as my imag­i­na­tion and skills will take it.

These are not com­fort­ing toys; they can be chal­leng­ing and defi­ant, dis­turb­ing and enchant­ing, irra­tional and fright­en­ing, beau­ti­ful and sad.

They have sto­ries they yearn to tell, and they hold secrets they will never give up. I like to think of dolls as spirit ves­sels and the mak­ing of a doll a kind of offer­ing or invi­ta­tion. It’s always a col­lab­o­ra­tion between me and what­ever spirit comes for­ward.

Lately I’ve felt it is time to come out of my shell and start find­ing an audi­ence for my work, so here I am. I hope you will find some­thing to con­nect with here –that touches you in some way, and I would love to hear what you think.

 

Many of my works are avail­able for pur­chase at my online Etsy Shop

 


Oh! Mikey

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Japan­ese film­mak­ers have cap­tured the Amer­i­can fam­ily on video and the pic­ture isn’t pretty.

Meet the Fuc­cons, a typ­i­cal 2 ½ per­son fam­ily inex­plic­a­bly trans­ported to the land of the ris­ing sun. Okay, maybe they’re not per­fect: Dad is a bit stiff and wooden, Mom is plas­tic and empty headed and Mikey’s… well, Mike’s just a lit­tle dummy. But when it comes to stand­ing firm in the face of this new and alien envi­ron­ment, the fam­ily that’s made together stays together, and it cer­tainly doesn’t hurt that the Fuc­cons are as thick skinned, rigid and inflex­i­ble as they come.

Go Fuc­con crazy as the Inter­na­tional Smash Hit that’s taken the world by storm is finally reverse imported to Amer­ica in !

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Le Pétomane — Le Plus Grand Artiste du Monde

Farts are so embar­rass­ing that even talk­ing about them can make some peo­ple uncom­fort­able. Never could I have imag­ine then, that fart­ing could be a ticket to fame and a prof­itable endeavor even on today gas prices. (Ba dum tssshhh)

Each day, the aver­age human breaks wind about 7–14 times, and releases between 200 and 2,500 ml of gas via the anus. For most of us, just a social embar­rass­ment, but Joseph Pujol “Le Pétomane” made a career out of well-controlled flat­u­lence. Le Petomane means “the manic farter”.

He was immensely pop­u­lar. At one stage, he was earn­ing 20,000 francs per week. His audi­ence included Edward, Prince of WalesKing Leopold II of the Bel­gians and Sig­mund Freud.

Some of the high­lights of his stage act involved sound effects of can­non fire and thun­der­storms, as well as play­ing “‘O Sole Mio” and “La Mar­seil­laise” on an oca­rina through a rub­ber tube in his anus. He could also blow out a can­dle from sev­eral yards away.

Watch below the full short film biopic of Joseph Pujol, Le Petomane star­ring Leonard Rossiter.

How­ever, it is a com­mon mis­con­cep­tion that Joseph Pujol actu­ally passed intesti­nal gas as part of his stage per­for­mance. Rather, Pujol was able to “inhale” or move air into his rec­tum and then con­trol the release of that air with his anal sphinc­ter muscles.

A more mod­ern exam­ple of fartist is “Will the farter”, most famous for his appear­ances on the Jack­ass TV series and movies. In con­clu­sion, if there is a morale we wanted to con­vey with this arti­cle is that some times we take life way too seri­ously and we ought to relax and enjoy of the sim­ple embar­rass­ments that this sur­real dream that we call real­ity can offer.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and I want to leave you with the fol­low­ing short silent film pro­duced by the Edi­son com­pany for the Expo­si­tion Uni­verselle of 1900. The only film por­tray­ing Joseph Pujol, le Petomane Du Mouline-Rouge.


Stereo | Cronenberg’s first feature-length effort

Stereo pur­ports to be part of a “mosaic” of edu­ca­tional resources by the Cana­dian Acad­emy of Erotic Enquiry. It doc­u­ments an exper­i­ment by the unseen Dr. Luther Stringfel­low. A young man (Ronald Mlodzik) in a black cloak is seen arriv­ing at the Acad­emy, where he joins a group of young vol­un­teers who are being endowed with tele­pathic abil­i­ties which they are encour­aged to develop through sex­ual explo­ration. It is hoped that tele­pathic groups, bonded in poly­mor­phous sex­ual rela­tion­ships, will form a socially sta­bi­liz­ing replace­ment for the “obso­les­cent fam­ily unit”.

One girl devel­ops a sec­ondary per­son­al­ity in order to cope with her new state of con­scious­ness, which grad­u­ally ousts her orig­i­nal per­son­al­ity. As the vol­un­teers’ abil­i­ties develop, the exper­i­menters find them­selves increas­ingly unable to con­trol the progress of the exper­i­ment. They decide to sep­a­rate the telepaths, which results in two sui­cides. The final sequence shows the young woman who devel­oped an extra per­son­al­ity wear­ing the black cloak.

Stereo is more self-consciously avant-garde, and less vis­ceral, than his later work. Nev­er­the­less, many of the usual Cro­nen­berg con­cerns are present: a futur­is­tic set­ting, bizarre sci­en­tific exper­i­men­ta­tion, and an obses­sive explo­ration of per­verse forms of sexuality.