Posts Tagged ‘Hieronymous Bosch’

HBO starts a new series tonight that I’ve been anticipating for a while now.  The Pacific is a 10-part series that follows the path of several soldiers as they fight in the Pacific theatre of World War II

It’s in the same vein as Band of Brothers, which  was set in WW II Europe, and set the standard for films of the sort with it’s fast paced action and dynamic camera work that gave one a true sense of the danger and the brutal reality of the situation.  The Pacific is produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks who also produced Band of Brothers.  They wanted to honor the soldiers who fought in the Pacific by giving their stories the same careful treatment in the telling that they did with Band of Brothers.

I doubt that anyone will be greatly disappointed. 

When I saw the image above I was instantly hit with the feeling that one gets from looking at one of the nightmare landscapes of Hieronymous Bosch which I suppose is only fitting.  I can’t fully imagine what it must have taken to persevere through the extreme hardships of the  campaigns on those islands.   It must have literally felt like hell on earth , a neverending carousel of horror and terror.  Those who survived deserve every honor they received and more.

They certainly have my respect…

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clooney-staring-at-goatsThere are a few movies that I’ve been looking forward to and am finally seeing some ads for on the tube.  One is The Men Who Stare at Goats starring George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Ewan McGregor and Kevin Spacey. It’s based on the 2004 Jon Ronson book of the same name that was an accompaniment to a BBC documentary on some of the odder aspects of US military intelligence.  Things like psychic warfare and mind control.

It looks like a very funny flick.  Clooney and Bridges have both shown great comedic chops in the past, particularly in Coen Brothers’ films, and look to do the same here.

Another film that I am looking forward to seeing is The Road.  Well, I guess I’m looking forward to seeing it.  Dreading it may actually be the better description to how well I really want to see this film, based on Cormac McCarthy‘s sparse, bleak tale of a father and his young son trying to find warmth and safety in an end of the world scenario.  It’s a dark story that plays on primal fears with little room for hope.  Like much of McCarthy’s work.

Like many books being translated into film, The Road could very well be a bust as a film.  I am afraid they will clutter the story with too much backstory instead of focusing on the simple father-son relationship of the two main characters.  McCarthy told the story with beautifully pared down prose that said everything but not too much.  He lets you fill in your own nightmare.  If you’ve read some of his other work ( No Country For Old Men and the Hieronymous Bosch-like Blood  Meridien leap to mind) you’ll know what I mean.

So, of the two I expect one to make me laugh and one to depress me, either from disappointment or from its portrayal of the abyss of hopelessness.  Now that’s good stuff…

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Pieter Bruegel- Tower of BabelI am totally in awe of the work of Pieter Brueghel the Elder, the patriarch of the great Flemish family of painters.  There are so many paintings of his that I could show that would be equal to those I chose for this post but I find these particular pieces striking.  There is great richness and depth as well as a tremendous warmth in his colors.  I always feel enveloped in his paintings as though they wrap around me like a blanket, particularly his peasant pieces.brueghel_hunters in the snow

This piece above  depicting the Tower of Babel has always excited my imagination beyond the actual biblical story.  I’m always reminded of the Gormenghast Trilogy from Mervyn Peake when I see this image and wonder if it had any influence when he was formulating the story for his novels.  The scale of the building and the way it dominates the composition is breathtaking.
The Fall of the Rebel Angels

His earlier allegorical works seem to have been heavily influenced by Hieronymous Bosch and have incredible energy.  He had an ability to take multitudes of forms and scenarios and bring them together in a way that had great rhythm, lending almost an abstract quality to the overall scene.  I find these paintings quite beautiful despite their sometimes jolting imagery.Pieter_Brueghel_The_Triumpf_of_Death

I could look at his work for hours and even writing this short post is taking a long time because I just want to stop and look at his work.  I find it truly inspiring and wonder how it will find its way into my own work someday.  Somehow.  Maybe…brueghel fall of icarus

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