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August 7th, 2013 - Yew Erdri Ming — LiveJournal

About August 7th, 2013

The Wallpaper Goes and I Do Too 03:04 pm
My latest Twitter sonnet is based on my randomised desktop wallpaper--I usually write a quatrain at about 8pm so I decided to just write about whatever my wallpaper happened to be. It cycles every thirty minutes through a selection I made of about twenty wallpapers.

Twitter Sonnet #534

Burgundy hands briefly imprint on black.
Red lids inspected as dumb petals pass.
The proud pommel of scimitar drew back.
Dark currents said many birds here won't last.
White eucalyptus leaves watch from pink limbs.
Earnest acorns repress a blush over bare throat.
Naked shoulders frame two clasped white gloved thumbs.
A fawn's adoptive mother seeks a goat.
Candles march out from a busy darkness.
The ruddy men ready musket and drum.
Shock cries by a chick to brocade harnessed.
Sleepless faithful figure a shifting sum.
Seeming purple petulance blackens red.
Pale bystander can't hear the louder dead.


Embarrassingly enough, the first quatrain was based on some of my own artwork, the wallpaper of Nesuko I made for my new comic;



Burgundy hands briefly imprint on black.
Red lids inspected as dumb petals pass.
The proud pommel of scimitar drew back.
Dark currents said many birds here won't last.


It is one of the first wallpapers I've made myself I'm almost happy with. I always feel awkward doing cover or pinup images--I need some kind of motivation for the character. It was a little easier with Echo Erosion since the protagonist was a pin-up model and I felt drawing those gave me some good practice. Here, I wanted some nudity to help entice people into reading the comic and I also wanted to try making a really pale nude with a dark background like a Pre-Raphaelite painting. I ended up basing the image on some photographs of the nearby river on an overcast autumn day. Having Nesuko wash up after a kill provided me with some of the motivation I needed for her.

The second quatrain is based on this publicity still of Audrey Hepburn from Funny Face.



White eucalyptus leaves watch from pink limbs.
Earnest acorns repress a blush over bare throat.
Naked shoulders frame two clasped white gloved thumbs.
A fawn's adoptive mother seeks a goat.


I wrote about the movie in 2008;

It was a decent movie. Fred Astaire was still fantastic at 58, seeming as though he walked right out of a movie from the 30s--his style and everything about him was an unconscious anachronism, except maybe for the dopey cardigans and ascots he wore. Audrey Hepburn's cute as a button, and even the fact that she can't quite sing is kind of cute. I don't know if she's much of a dancer, but it's hard to tell because she's definitely a charming dancer. Gawky and elegant at the same time, which is pretty much the essence of Hepburn's charm. I see Cyd Charisse was originally up for the role--something I suspected all through the movie--but although Charisse would've been a better dancer, it's Audrey Hepburn who has the real funny face.

There were some annoying beatnik caricatures in the movie, but I find that's something I often have to put up with from Hollywood movies of the late 50s. There seems to have been a real resentment for the new culture, even as there was an attempt to adapt. Hepburn dancing in the club in black sweater and slacks and Astaire dancing with the unexpectedly great Kay Thompson, are nice sequences, but exist way off in their own dimensions.


The third quatrain is about The Night Watch or The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocq by Rembrandt.



Candles march out from a busy darkness.
The ruddy men ready musket and drum.
Shock cries by a chick to brocade harnessed.
Sleepless faithful figure a shifting sum.


Like the Pre-Raphaelite paintings I was seeking to emulate, Rembrandt was great--really much better--at using light to make things pop naturalistically. I love the rich, waxy look his people have. But I didn't really appreciate him until I heard he was a huge influence on cinematographer Jack Cardiff.

The final couplet is about The Play Scene from Hamlet by Edwin Austin Abbey.



Seeming purple petulance blackens red.
Pale bystander can't hear the louder dead.


As it happens, I was watching a bit of Kenneth Branagh's version of Hamlet last night. I didn't get too far, I'm afraid. There are elements I like, mainly the costumes, sets, and locations. But the tone is completely wrong for me, particularly the first scene with Jack Lemmon as Marcellus, the night watchman. I like Jack Lemmon but next to the two British actors who clearly came from an entirely different school of acting he sticks out like a sore thumb for more reasons than his familiar face. And the rushed and urgent manner with which Horatio delivers his exposition about Denmark's relationship with Norway feels odd. Usually it comes across like, despite the ghost of the dead king turning up, the sentries have to pass the long night with conversation and they're all stuck with a growing dread. Here, it sounds like Fortinbras is about to attack in twenty seconds.

This is followed by Claudius and Gertrude addressing an enormous assemblage and then having extremely private discussions with Hamlet in front of them. It makes more sense when Claudius is delivering his initial speeches to a smaller, more intimate gathering of councillors and family.

What Branagh does here is create a more, almost cartoonish hugeness to Claudius and Gertrude trying to talk Hamlet out of his grief. There ought to be a discord here--that Hamlet is made to feel weird for grieving for his father but I felt this overplayed it.

I do like Derek Jacobi and Julie Christie as Claudius and Gertrude, though, maybe I'll give it another shot. I did watch the whole movie at some point in the late 90s and I think I remember enjoying it.
Current Location: Denmark
Current Mood: hungryhungry
Current Music: "Light of Some Kind" - Ani DiFranco
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