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2018 Best New Talent - Short and Sweet Festival Sydney
2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. (more)

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anthonyjlangford2@yahoo.com.au

Famous After Death - Hilma af Klint





Famous After Death


Hilma af Klint (born October 26, 1862) was a Swedish artist and mystic whose paintings were amongst the first abstract art. She created these abstract works in secret and wrote in her will that they were to be stored for 20 years after her death before they could be opened.

She belonged to a group called "The Five", a group of women who shared her belief in the importance of trying to make contact with the so-called "High Masters" – often by way of séances. Her paintings, which sometimes resemble diagrams, were a visual representation of complex spiritual ideas. Her sister's death contributed to her spiritual beliefs. Read on.







Becoming an artist 


She showed an early ability in visual art, and after the family moved to Stockholm, she studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Stockholm, where she learned portraiture and landscape painting. The choice was controversial at this time, as few women had access to higher studies in the beginning of the 20th century. During the years 1882–1887 she studied mainly drawing, and portrait and landscape painting. She graduated with honours, and was allocated a scholarship in the form of a studio in the "Atelier Building" owned by The Academy of Fine Arts.

Her conventional paintings became the source of financial income. But her 'life's work' remained a quite separate practice.


'Bread and Butter' Painting






Spirits 


In 1880, her younger sister Hermina died and it was at this time that she began becoming interested in spiritualism. Towards the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, spiritualism was very much in vogue. It's believed her interest in abstraction and symbolism came from those aforementioned interests. 
Af Klint's work can be understood in the wider context of the Modernist search for new forms around this time with many changes in art, politics and technology.  However her artistic transition to abstract art took place without any contacts with the contemporary modern movements.





During a séance in 1904, Af Klint was told by a spirit guide that she had been ‘commissioned’ to make paintings on the astral plane. Between 1906–8 she painted the 111 paintings that comprised the beginning of the series, ‘The Paintings of the Temple’; she stopped for four years to look after her mother, before creating another 82 paintings between 1912–5. She described her working process: ‘The pictures were painted directly through me, without any preliminary drawings and with great force. I had no idea what the paintings were supposed to depict; nevertheless, I worked swiftly and surely, without changing a single brushstroke.’






Death and Legacy


She died on October 21, 1944 (aged 81).
In her will, Hilma left all her abstract paintings to her nephew and specified that her work should be kept secret for at least 20 years after her death. When the boxes were opened at the end of the 1960s, very few people had knowledge of what would be revealed.
In 1970 the paintings were offered as a gift to the main museum in Stockholm, the Moderna Museet. They declined the donation. Nice choice. Thanks to the art historian Åke Fant, her art was introduced to an international audience in the 1980's. The first exhibition took place in L.A. in 1986.
In February 2018, The Hilma af Klint Foundation signed a long-term agreement of cooperation with the Moderna Museet, (the same Museum that earlier declined to accept them), a dedicated space at the museum where a dozen works of the artist are shown on a continuous basis. Her works are worth millions.

In the midst of it all... is pure chance



Written at the height of the fires, in the wee hours, while still waiting for news of my sister and her family.




What must it be like for those caught in the middle? 
For firefighters too.

A Poem in Four Parts.



Season of no Reason



1.

She reaches for the sky
As there's no solace
In the smoky vision
Of a transient dismembered world
around her
Now dismantled
And unreliable.

A pulsating redness
Of a neglected sun
Suddenly swallowed by the black
An irrelevant
Slice of nature
Like the clean air
Sucked into soot.

She runs
Then stops
The roar deceptive
Of its true position
The only surety is the terror.

The conflagration really is
All around
And coming closer.

Nothing will save her
Other than chance
Another freak of nature
So she turns to prayer
In an atheist’s shroud
And pleads for redemption.


2.

Exhausted
After fighting 13 hours straight
Feeling too old for this shit
He climbs aboard the truck
Like a veritable kamikaze pilot
In a cauldron of hell
He loves his family
And life
His instincts calling him to escape
But there's no one else around
To do what must be attempted.

The radiant heat
Has drenched him in sweat
And a type of purpose
Interspersed with the madness.

As skilled as they are
They have to go beyond
Even what they know
To try and reach others
They plan for a retreat
But all is not up to them.


3.

The trees are the fuel
The wind
The driving force
The hills add speed
The houses in its path
Mere alterations in shape.

Their choice to stay
Irrelevant to a force
Of Nature
Not a Monster
Or other emotive imbued entity
At best
A set of scientific actualities
That nothing living or otherwise
Could withstand.


4.

The impact is swift
And ferocious
Leaving dotted pockets whole
For no reason they could discern
While they instead scour for blame
Amongst the ashes.


3.1.20

1.30 am



Never Forget - Andrew and Geoff

Poetry helps me deal with my emotions. That's why it's often bleak.

Thank you for reading.

More Poetry


Best Films of 2019 - without cliches



Best Films of 2019



In no particular order.


I have found Tarantino's films to be getting increasingly self indulgent, stale and overlong, like The Hateful Eight. However, this year was an awesome surprise. Being a film buff and attuned to the Manson Family Murders, I watched this with a mix of trepidation and reference picking pleasure. It was fresh. His cast always deliver and what a chemistry these two have. Best buddy movie of many years and possibly Tarantino's best since Pulp Fiction.






I suspect this may have been more disturbing/refreshing to younger audiences more conditioned to superheroes movies. Naturally there's been many unhinged characters onscreen before but not quite in this genre, and not holding up the entire film. Personally I still prefer Heath Ledger's version and even the original Cesar Romero, but Phoenix is a first class actor and this is a very different beast. Great film.





Highly original. Highly disturbing. 





Finally a film of maturity, that treats adults with respect. Doesn't pit the sexes against one another and play the dull stereotypical political correct game that has stifled Hollywood over the past number of years. A real class piece of work with extraordinary performances. Driver dominates everything he's in and Scarlett turns in her best performance yet. Both deserve Oscars. 






Excellent concept and direction, riding off the coattails of Dunkirk. While not as good as that film, still a must see on the big screen and one of the year's finest.






I really enjoyed this. It was also fresh and left some scenes unexplained. The ending disappointed me, so when I read the studio would only green-light it if the director changed the ending, it made sense. They had the guts to make it but not to go all the way. A very good film. Unfortunately it could have been a great one.






Haters gunna hate. Fanboys and girls expect too much. Same was seen with Game of Thrones at the end. You can't please everyone and people expect too much. Criticise the franchise for being too close to the originals, but this is the best of them. Superbly made, with tight direction and great performances. The casting with the whole series was excellent. And it's great to see old faces for one last time. I even found it quite emotional. The only film, aside from Rogue One, outside the original trilogy of any value. This series will continue to accrue fans and people will be kinder as the years go by. Star Wars isn't over. 






Lots of twists and turns. Superbly entertaining. Beautiful shot and designed. From Korea.





Australia rarely makes a good film but this was very well directed and an important episode in Australia's involvement in Vietnam. As usual, barely supported by the public. A shame. Our vets deserve to be recognised. God knows they were shunned for long enough. Exciting as an action/war film but it's no Platoon. Still, it's well worth your time.






The one and only film from it's 29 yo director who committed suicide. Very long, almost 4 hours and incredibly bleak, but there's a real poetry in it's simplicity. What a waste of an incredible talent. At least he left us this brooding masterpiece. A rarity from China.






Powerful, disturbing and difficult to watch but such an intense, unique atmosphere. Dynamite performances. I don't think I've seen Dafoe better than this.






An American is held hostage in South America by a teenage guerrilla gang. Elements of Lord of the Flies, regardless, its inventiveness and originality plus cinematic class places it above the majority of rubbish put out by Hollywood today. 





Freshness is the key word that sums up most of the above films. Films of quality and maturity. The Oscars have become a Tick the Virtue Signalling BoxFest. Reviewers are too scared to be honest in case they get 'branded.' Branded today, justified or not, can mean the end of a career. Pretty much anyone's career today. That's why the films above have been so enjoyable.
I've stopped reading reviews. I've stopped watching Awards Shows. I've stopped watching trailers too. They ruin the narrative. Make up your own mind. You're an adult. You deserve to be treated like one. The best way to do that is ignore what anyone says.


Sorry but The Irishman is completely overrated. It's getting accolades like a type of lifetime achievement award. I suspect that's all it really is. Scorsese is a great director. But this? While it's great to see such amazing talent on the screen, all of them have done far better things. It's like celebrating someone's 21st birthday when they're 43. Tedious and ridiculous. Passing DeNiro off as a 30 something looks silly. They can CGI his face but they can't hide his body's slow movements. The fight scene was laughable. Pacino was good but go back and watch Scarface, Good Fellas, Taxi Driver, Cape Fear or any other film from these legends. This one is a borefest.


Films I wanted to see but have been unable to.

Under the Silver Lake
A Hidden Life
A Beautiful day in the Neighborhood
Knives Out
Fast Color



Doctor Sleep was a disappointment. (From the Director of The Haunting of Hill House which was far superior).
It Two. Awful.
As was The Beach Bum.
Gloria Bell was enjoyable but forgettable.
The Souvenir and In Fabric both self indulgent.
High Life a joke.
A Dog's Journey, unashamedly schmaltzy but the kids will love it.
Terminator Dark Fate was quite fun but no more please.
Rocketman didnt take off. Better not as a musical?
The Aeronauts - another example of revisionist history to promote certain people. Pathetic.
Alita: Battle Angel deserved more fanfare. It was good.
Came out in 2018 but Karen Gillian's The Party's Just Beginning was excellent.


There was a slew of great documentary's.
Check out Tell Me Who I am.
I Love You, Now Die.
Evelyn.
Cold Case Hammarskjold



For TV Shows, you couldn't pass Chernobyl for quality.
The Mandalorian was fun and delivered what the latest Star Wars trilogy couldn't.
The Dark Crystal series was awesomely made.
The Boys was naughty fun.
Mindhunters was brilliant. About the study of the psychology of serial killers in the late 70's.


No doubt I missed many. Any recommendations from you?


Coming very soon, my own short film, the understated, M ISSED starring a 7 year old first timer.




Mixed Beginnings - Lovers + Fire Hell



We've made it through for another year. A bad start for us in Australia. My sister and her family was caught up in the horrific NSW/Victoria Bushfires and was cut off with no power or communication for 5 days, so was a terrifying time for all. She finally made it out after roads were opened.

I wrote a poem in the early hours of the 3rd of Jan. See below.
This post was scheduled so let's start with it. The fire poem is at the bottom. Plus Special Offer.


Land crossed Lovers


I had a satire scheduled for the first post, but I thought I'd start with something simpler and nicer. We can all relate to youthful romances.




Listen Here:









Searing / Sparing

A sky bleeding
Like a punishment
Sewn in debt
Guilty for all
A verdict
Before the case is heard.

Hell hath no Fury
Than indiscriminate flames
Delivering
Searing
Spewing
And sparing
Without reason.

Intervention
Carrying its own
Unbalanced fortune.

No safety, no solace
For anyone abound
A little planning
A lot of hope
Open to no-one
But fate's indiscriminate
Claw.

Deliver them
Somehow
Sound.

As Hope
Exists
Beyond this
Beyond certainty
And just as unreliable.


3.1.20



Please note that ALL Profits from Books sold through my website, will go to the NSW Volunteer Firefighter Service, beginning now until the end of the Australian Summer. Go Here or donate directly Here.




1960's Adelaide - Nostalgia Final Video + Entire Series



Nostalgia Video Series


No. 10 of 10


1960's in Adelaide









Some of the previous entries:















The Unlikelihood of Rain + Commentator


The life giving beauty of Rain




Here in New South Wales, we've been in drought for months, in some places years.
We are under water restrictions in Sydney but it's much worse in regional areas. It's become quite rare to see rain, so on one particular October day, I rushed out with my camera and ... well, you can see for yourself. It's barely rained since.




Music by yergurl - Track: Skateboard
https://www.facebook.com/yergurl/


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For my books, short films and free downloads,
Please visit https://www.anthonyjlangfordbooks.com/


This is a new poem which I read at a small Poetry Reading night this week.




I take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas, no matter what you're doing. Even if you've only been a casual reader this year, I really do appreciate it. It keeps me going on the days when I feel like giving up.


Personally, I'm having a very low key day. Kind of how I like it these days.
I'll post once more before the year is out, but know, that you are awesome.