Surreal Thursday has arrived and this post brings you a few images from that classic Midnight Matinee Special, The House That Dripped Pudding. Fondly remembered as a key movie in Alternative Cinema History; it is one of the great-might-have-beens . This moody horror mystery thriller was directed by that superb Greek-Finish auteur, Francois Amynedd MacSirc~Bathsky. This film, intended as a quick B movie, in MacSirc~Bathsky’s hands became a cultural turning point as it elevated the Old Mysterious House Genre to unexpected artistic levels. His follow-up, a studio demanded semi-sequel, House of The Seven Tapioca Windows, was controversial for its Kafkaesque plot twists, use of iambic pentameter blank verse and a dance sequence that, even after studio cuts, is considered one of the great horror sequences in film history.
It was MacSirc~Bathsky’s use of dance, puppetry and animation based on Medieval illuminated manuscripts and recipe-books combined with creative special effects and make-up that created new interpretations of the Tropes associated with the Old Mysterious House Genre. The House That Dripped Pudding raised the genre to social commentary and added psychological depth not previously associated with these types of films. Ironically, though the film featured a host of actors who would become greatly in demand , they are famously unknown today. The 1950s morality backlash & the famous Hollywood black list drove many into obscurity or live theatre. A few turned to fashion design or painting, while one was rumoured to have turned to his/her South American heritage and became a Shaman & tango instructor.
MacSirc~Bathsky went on to a remarkable career in spite of his difficulties with the Hollywood Studios. His work with the Canadian NFB has been noted elsewhere. The impact of his Taxi Cab Driver On A Hot Tin Roof is monumental and well documented. He will always be remembered for the opening/closing scene of The Last Haiku in Paris Ontario.
This Junk-Mail abstract turned into a mural depicting a bygone era of glamour & romance. The gaze of longing separates a high society lady and a hard-working common man, as they make their way through a world of high-flying daredevils, Hollywood bombshells, avant-garde artistes and mad cap party revellers.
There are some actual celebrities in this mural.
My wife painted two Willy Wonka murals for my daughter’s room. I ended up with an aged chocolatey photo that has become dream-screen. May your dreams bring you a world of pure imagination.
This Surreal Thursday is an Antique Impression of some Necro-media. Here is a Memorex Video Box label stuck to cabinet door. Was it that long ago when videos referred to video tape ? I remember when VHS was king and an easy access to a variety of resources for teaching & entertainment. Now it is as antique as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. If it is not memory is it real ? Or is it Memorex Necro-media?
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) (Watch) is one of the most influential of German Expressionist films and is often considered being one of the greatest horror movies of the silent era cinema. The image below is Dr. Caligari’s Cabinet of Spoonerisms. A spoonerism is an error in speech or deliberate play on words in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched, between two words in a phrase; for example saying “The Lord is a shoving leopard.” instead of “The Lord is a loving shepherd.” The Reverend William Archibald Spooner (1844–1930), Warden of New College, Oxford, was so notoriously prone to this mistake that his name became forever linked to both the intentional and unintentional spoonerism.The Reverend Spooner & Dr. Calagari are now forever linked in the surreal Necro-media of this blog post.
Note: The Somnambulist is a 2007 fantasy/horror novel set in the late Victorian period, and is the debut novel by Jonathan Barnes . It takes the movie as part of its inspiration. The protagonists Edward Moon, a conjurer and detective, and his silent partner The Somnambulist, a milk-drinking giant who does not bleed when stabbed, are called to investigate a murder that may tie to the poetry and prophecies of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the fate of London.