Monday, January 26, 2015

Bradbury and Horror

I thought I'd piggyback an article I found on the web about the auctioning off of Ray Bradbury's art collection.  The article refers to it as weird, which doesn't sit very well with me, because it has a negative connotation to it somehow.  I don't think of it in that light, some of them are surreal as in the Martian landscape above, and others take on fantasy subject matter, while others are just imaginative.  Perhaps I'm nitpicking as this type art is one that I enjoy a lot.  Either way, it's good to know Ray Bradbury enjoyed this type art as well.  You can read about the auction here. 

You can go here, to the io9 site, which calls it brilliant art (that's a lot better) to see what some of it looks like.

This past weekend I caught a three-part series from the BBC on the horror genre.  It was pretty good too.  The first part examines the early days of horror looking at early Universal horror like Dracula, Frankenstein, and some of the actors like Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, and some of the other lessor actors that starred in the films.  In one segment of the film, Mark Gatiss, the host of the program goes to a museum in Hollywood, and looks at Lon Chaney's makeup kit.  You also get to see one of the props of a bat, that is the one that Bela Lugosi turns into when he does the transformation to the bat in Dracula. 

With the second part to the series, Gatiss talks about the British Hammer production studios. All throughout the series also features some of the posters from some of the films, which are great to see as well.  If you enjoy some of that artwork, I can't recommend highly enough a coffee table book by Ronald V. Borst called Graven Images. Where you will find posters from all these eras of movie making along with an introduction to each of the eras of the movies by such noted authors like Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, and so forth.

With the third part we enter into more contemporary times.  Gattis interviews directors like George Romero from The Night of Living Dead fame, to Tobe Hooper who created the low budget, but infamous, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as well as others.  Overall I thought it was a well done series, and had a fairly clean video.  A lot of these Youtube videos look like that were transferred off from a VHS so that the picture is blurred and unpleasant to watch, but the above series is cleaner like maybe it came off a feed or a DVD somewhere.


At 11:57 AM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

Looks like the sort of thing I hung on my dorm walls at college -- though of course mine were printed posters and cut-outs from magazines, not the original art. Had the stuff survived the decades, I'd re-hang it now. Good to know Bradbury remained a college boy at heart. Maybe the term weird should be embraced as a point of pride. "Weirdism" sounds like a good name for an art genre to me.

Thanks for noting the horror docu-series. Perhaps I peek at it some sleepless night.

At 8:17 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Something tells me that Bradbury did stay in touch with his youth drawing upon some of that for his stories.

Yes, I guess back in the 60's weird was worn as a sort of pride, and even today in Austin, Tx they have bumper stickers that say, "Keep Austin Weird", which sort of celebrates and owns it.


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