a tale of a few cities

Birth of Holzer

Posted in Art, artists, Birth of..., Cinéma, film, Photography, projections, text, Wordsworth by petercombe on June 28, 2011


I Wake Up Screaming (1941)

Martijn Hendriks, 12 Glowing Men

Posted in Art, Cinéma, film, Uncategorized, video by petercombe on January 26, 2011
Untitled (12 Glowing Men), 2008. Still from a single channel video DVD, projection and website. Color and black and white, sound. 4 min 10 sec loop.


Dutch artist Martijn Hendriks has a Web site dedicated to a 4 min excerpt of “12 Angry Men” in which rainbows inexplicably appear on the actor’s skin.

In his video installation “Untitled (12 Glowing Men)” Dutch artist, Martijn Hendriks takes the climactic jury-room scene from 1957′s “12 Angry Men” and haloes the deliberators with a prismatic, heaven-like glow. To me, it’s like a physical manifestation of their emotion and almost as if nature itself is intervening. The light itself spreads and morphs onto the men as each turns his back on the one man you wants to condemn the accused. There’s an intrinsic sanctimony involved in the trial-by-jury system, as if perhaps these men exalt themselves through the act of determining the fate of another. Notice how by the end of the scene, the only man devoid of the ethereal light is the one who’s been shunned by all the others.

Aside from that, it’s stunningly beautiful. Watch. (Jeremy ElderShape+Colour, Sept. 08)


C’était un rendez-vous

Posted in Cinéma, film, movies, paris by petercombe on September 7, 2010

Shot in a single take, C’était un Rendezvous (“It was a date”) is a short film (under 10 minutes) made in 1976 by Claude Lelouch, showing a high speed drive through Paris in the early hours of the morning (05:30hrs), accompanied by sounds of a high-reving engine, gear changes and squealing tires.. An example of cinéma-vérité, the length of the film was limited by the short capacity of the 1000 foot 35mm film reel, and filmed from a (supposedly) gyro-stabilised camera mounted on the car’s bumper.

wiki-link >

L’altro tre…

International Mail Art Submission

My finished mail art submission (pseudo-lobby card, a tongue & cheek promotion of http://wp.me/pj2vp-31d), includes a custom USPS stamp.

International Mail Art Show:
In Honor and Memory of
Judith A. Hoffberg

Armory Center for the Arts
Caldwell Gallery
Pasadena, CA
June 27– August 22, 2010


Like This!


(The following was written some months after this post appeared)

Before the opening of the Twitter/Art+Social Media exhibition at the Diane Farris Gallery in Vancouver, BC, Canada, I was contacted by one of the directors to say that one of my pieces (Iran’s Ahmadinejad Prepares for Avatar Premier, 2010), had been sold and that the gallery owner, Ms Farris was upset, as her eyes had been on the artwork. I was asked if I would be interested in making an edition of the artwork. I agreed, then never heard anything back from the gallery. Feeling a little flimflammed and manipulated over the request, I set out to produce a little piece of 8½ inspired cinema in the form of a series of gif animations to post before the exhibit completed its run. The poster above promotes the filmic homage and borrows from the poster artwork of the Reed Cowan and Steven Greenstreet directed film, 8: The Mormon Proposition. In April, I also produced this little promotional item that borrows from Disney’s Toy Story 3. In the end, it so turned out, there was no original buyer for the artwork. Ms Farris also asked if I might consider payment in the form of a ‘payment plan’. Months went by with my not hearing from the gallery. It just so happened that I found myself visiting Vancouver via San Francisco. I visited the space and there before me on a counter in the very quiet gallery’s back room lay the most exquisite little paint brush next to an unfired ceramic cat food bowl. Noticing my gaze and not missing a beat, the gallery director informed me that the bowl (awaiting Ms Farris’ artistic touch) was for a local pet charity auction. After my enquiry I was told that Ms Farris was no longer interested in purchasing the artwork and would I consider leaving my Ahmadinejad artwork for the upcoming gallery anniversary exhibition. I said it would be fine, provided the gallery brokered the shipping back to San Francisco. I needn’t print the response, except to say that I was so embarrassed for the business that all I could do was collect my artworks and get out of there fast.

From the Twittersphere

L’edizione di 3


io sono l’amore

Posted in Cinéma, italia by petercombe on April 21, 2010

I AM LOVE  (aka, Io sono l’amore)

Dir. Luca Guadagnino

Italy, 2009, 120 minutes

“Like Arnaud Desplechin’s symphonic melodramas, I Am Love plays its various narrative strands off each other in the most elegant of ways and allows Swinton to deliver another desire-driven grande dame performance. See it by any means necessary. 5 Stars”


53rd San Francisco International Film Festival


Sun, May 02 / 3:30 / Castro / IAML02C

via I Am Love

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J’aime Jacques Rivette

Posted in Cinéma, San Francisco by petercombe on April 18, 2010


Around a Small Mountain, (a.k.a. 36 vues du Pic St-Loup)

Dir. Jacques Rivette

France/Italy, 2009, 84 minutes

After he helps her restart her stalled car, Kate (Jane Birkin) invites Italian traveler Vittorio (Sergio Castellitto) to come see her family’s traveling circus. Already smitten with Kate, he soon falls under the threadbare big top’s spell as well, postponing his trip to Barcelona to hang out with the clowns and acrobats. When he discovers that Kate—who has just rejoined the troupe after a long absence—used to walk the high wire but now fears even entering the ring, he determines to uncover the reason for her stage fright and see her perform again. Jacques Rivette’s latest, a compact and engrossingly enigmatic tale, makes the most of the master filmmaker’s love of improvisation and the theater—the latter here transformed into the rickety, barely surviving circus, where the narrative occasionally pauses to let the camera take in the acts of various performers. In contrast to the exuberance of such displays, the film also nurses a strain of melancholy, as the grief and guilt Kate has been carrying with her for so long casts a spell over the story. Rivette regular Birkin mesmerizes in the role of a woman who has closed herself off but who now awakens slowly to life’s possibilities. Full of humor, mystery, subtle romance and an unmistakable valedictory tone, this playful and loving ode by the 82-year-old director reveals him very much at the top of his game.

—Pam Grady

53rd San Francisco International Film Festival


Fri, Apr 23 / 9:30 / Kabuki / AROU23K
Sat, Apr 24 / 4:15 / Kabuki / AROU24K
Wed, Apr 28 / 6:30 / PFA / AROU28P



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