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Just finished watching Julian Temple’s film about Ray Davies and The Kinks: “Imaginary Man”.

It’s incredibly tender toward it’s subject – which is at once Ray, his music, the band – and London.

Ray Davies: Imaginary Man

The Turner-esque, painterly imagery alternates with more graphic compositions of Davies’ peregrinations around North London.

Ray Davies: Imaginary Man

It’s a series of psychographic sketches, punctuated by Kinks songs – in archive footage, in cover versions and most affectingly perhaps, hummed, sung and stumbled through by Davies as he strolls.

Ray Davies: Imaginary Man

He’s cast by the film as a flawed-heir to Blake – wandering London, inventing his own sung-systems rather than be enslaved by another man’s.

Ray Davies: Imaginary Man

This blog goes into far more detail and appreciation.

If you can hunt it down online do.

Ray Davies: Imaginary Man

If only to revel in London as Temple and Davies do.

Ray Davies: Imaginary Man

My thanks to both of them.

Ray Davies: Imaginary Man

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13112006285, originally uploaded by blackbeltjones.

Greatly enjoyed the BBC4 programme, “The Martians and Us” tonight, which is a non-sniggering look at British SF from Wells onwards, without C-list celeb talking heads and with serious interviews with the likes of Arthur C. Clarke, Brian Aldiss and China Mieville.

Olaf Stapleton's chart of the future

One wonderful moment was the interview with Olaf Stapledon‘s daughter, showing the detailed hand-drawn chart her father had made describing the future history of mankind that was to become “First and Last Men”.

Olaf Stapleton's chart of the future

Can’t seem to find it online anywhere, but instead here’s what I did get for googling “Olaf Stapledon” and “Timeline”!

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Update: corrected the spelling throughout from Stapleton -> Stapledon throughout. Wierdly I had remembered it as Stapledon (I read “First and Last Men” when I was about 16 I think) but then googled and found it as Stapleton… Hence the error – thanks for putting me back right John

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Above is a still from Canon EOS350D advert: “It’s Playtime”

I’ll wager it is both directly inspired by, and deliberately targetted at ludic Flickr users and the visual culture they have built.

Here’s the quicktime of the ad on Canon’s site.

As Hurricane Katrina makes ‘landfall’, this from the Viridian Design mailing list’s Bruce Sterling:

In the meantime, however, humanity’s incapacity to recognize and deal with its own peril is becoming eerie. And hilarious. Granted, this situation is not going to feel all chucklesome if you’re shivering in the New Orleans Superdome while its parking lots sink underwater, but that awesome mayhem is just the Southern Gothic version of our planet’s rapidly increasing woes. Here comes America’s worst storm ever, yet nobody on this plethora of satellites whispers the obvious: “climate change.” It’s catastrophic. It’s also surreal. A perfect placement for science fiction as political satire.

Watching the CNN coverage is surreal, he’s right.

They are covering it like a sports event – and inventing a psuedoscientific argot of catastophe as they go along: “wobble factor”, “cone of possibility” etc.

Wierd.

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Update: AD calls out BS on his apparent glee.

Found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/nightmares, and cut/pasted here for my future reference more than anything else:

John Carpenter – The theme from The Prince of Darkness – the 1987 movie. Plus the repetitive piano bit from Halloween in the haunted house.

Brian Eno – From Another Green World – Big Ship – and In Dark Trees

Charles Ives – Symphony number two – 5th movement. Putnam’s Camp from Three Places in New England. Plus a bit from Central Park in the Dark

Ennio Morricone – Theme from the 1970 film Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion And a Morricone piece from the 1980 Pontecorvo film Ogro

Shostakovich – Lyric waltz from the Ballet Suite No 1 and a bit from The Young Lady and the Hooligan

John Barry – The Ipcress File

Soundtrack to The Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea – Paul Sawtell and Jerry Goldsmith

Colours by Donovan

Baby It’s Cold Outside – the 1949 version by Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting

The best noises come from Skinned – which is a whole lot of samples from the archives of the band Skinny Puppy

Also, all three episodes in streaming realplayer format can be found here – found via Arthur magazine, which also links from its blog, Magpie, a Village Voice piece by the author of the films, Adam Curtis.

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