September 27th, 2011

Snufkin

Great Art, Art, Verse

1.  Great Art:  Peter Breughel the Elder's "The Procession to Calvary." 

It's one of those magical paintings that erase time and space and physics to show us hard truths:  that religion can destroy divinity, that the status quo never tires of killing anybody that challenges it, that humanity endures.

2.  Art:  The Mill and the Cross.

A film by Lech Majewsk, based on the above-mentioned "Procession to Calvary."  The narrative, insofar as it has one, concerns the Spanish Inquisition, the commission of the painting, Breughel's composition, and the renactment of the crucifixion in the context of the execution of a traitor and a heretic.  There is very little dialogue, and no connected story.  Just snippets of painting and peasants selling cows, scrubbing floors, dancing, children playing, crows pecking out the eyes of a heretic tied to a wheel.  It is gorgeous to look at and its slow unfolding gives you plenty of time to think about life, death, morality, art, eternity.  Also about how Michael York (he's Breughel's patron) is just as compelling to look at in his old age as he was as a pretty young thing.  Charlotte Rampling plays the woman whose idealist, reforming son is exectued, was executed, will always be executed while God looks down from the cruciform wings of his mill whose wheel below grinds slow but exceedingly fine

3.  Verse:  Stone Telling,

A wonderful on-line poetry journal, in which I have a poem.  It's called "Fathers," and in it, I try to figure out where and what some famous fairytale dads were doing and thinking while their second wives battled it out with their children.  I can't say it was fun to write, but it certainly illuminated some things I didn't know I thought.  So did the interview Julia Rios conducted with us.  Many and humble thanks to shweta_narayan and rose_lemberg for allowing me to be part of all this.