Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Art - Pissarro Pissarro

I spent an hour at the NSW Art Gallery's Pissarro exhibition today. They had gathered quite a lot of his paintings. Only a few were really excellent, but still I was pleased that they were all his and they hadn't done that cheating thing where they show 5 pictures by the main artist then fill in the walls with other people's stuff. One particular picture of Paris made me wish I was back there.
I briefly strolled downstairs amongst the modern stuff. One room had a few hundred small red clay figures standing on the ground in a circle. They were figures of little people (maybe 10cm high). But they were pretty dodgy. They just looked like lumps to me. The artists could do with going back to Playing With Pottery 1 for a refresher course. Really, you'd think they could have given them cardigans and pipes and walking sticks and stuff, but no.
I so wanted to be godzilla and stomp through them. Of course I'd never do such a thing, but as I was walking towards them I noticed I wasn't the only person in the room, and when I looked at the art gallery guy sitting on a chair I suspect he noticed the bent-on-gleefull-destruction-gleam in my eye. I quickly departed.
There is a new little room in the northwest corner on the main floor. A very nice airy room for some of their Australia pictures. Unfortunately, that Australian Beach Scene picture is in there hiding round the corner. It deserves to be somewhere more prominent.
And why does the art gallery offer free Herald's to everyone? Can the Herald really afford to be giving papers away these days?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Film - Crying At The Cinematheque

Last weekend I went to a cinema to see a showing of Blonde Venus - the old flick where Marlene Dietrich starts one of her nightclub songs dressed as a gorilla, with Cary Grant in the audience. Marlene the gorilla has a chorus line of black dancers with big afros. She then does a gorilla-suit strip-tease, and dons a blonde afro wig to sing Hot Voodoo, one of her dodgier songs (singing it she sounds like a rather bad drag queen), but great entrance.
Before the main film, they also showed Jean Renoir's amusingly kooky silent short Charleston.
It was put on by this new thing called the 'Queensland Gallery of Modern Art Cinémathèque'.
They were showing a series of wild animal-themed flicks (King Kong, Island of Lost Souls, Creature from the Black Lagoon etc).
One of their future programs is a series of Andy Warhol films (including that one of the Empire State Building which goes on and on for 9 boring hours). And I say, why doesn't Sydney have a cinematheque at the moment! What are these bloody uncultured QLDers doing having one before us! I'm very annoyed. Sydney should get one, quick. But we should call it something else. Calling it a cinematheque would attract too many pimply art students wanting to talk about their latest video instalment projects (and there's enough of them around already!).