Sofia Coppola, 1993 by Michel Comte
The Triumph of Death is an oil panel painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder painted c. 1562. It has been in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since 1827.
The painting shows a panorama of an army of skeletons wreaking havoc across a blackened, desolate landscape. Fires burn in the distance, and the sea is littered with shipwrecks. A few leafless trees stud hills otherwise bare of vegetation; fish lie rotting on the shores of a corpse-choked pond. Art historian James Snyder emphasizes the “scorched, barren earth, devoid of any life as far as the eye can see.” In this setting, legions of skeletons advance on the living, who either flee in terror or try in vain to fight back. In the foreground, skeletons haul a wagon full of skulls; in the upper left corner, others ring the bell that signifies the death knell of the world. A fool plays the lute while a skeleton behind him plays along; a starving dog nibbles at the face of a child; a cross sits in the center of the painting. People are herded into a trap decorated with crosses, while a skeleton on horseback kills people with a scythe. The painting depicts people of different social backgrounds – from peasants and soldiers to nobles as well as a king and a cardinal – being taken by death indiscriminately.
A skeleton parodies human happiness by playing a hurdy-gurdy while the wheels of his cart crush a man. A woman has fallen in the path of the death cart; she holds in her hand a spindle and distaff, classical symbols of the fragility of human life. The slender thread is about to be cut by the scissors in her other hand. Just below her a cardinal is helped towards his fate by a skeleton who mockingly wears the red hat, while a dying king’s barrel of gold coins is looted by yet another skeleton. #destroytheday
MAD GOD is a fully practical stop-motion film set in a Miltonesque world of monsters, mad scientists, and war pigs. In 1990, legendary visual effects and stop-motion craftsman Phil Tippett embarked upon an ambitious personal project, fabricating and animating a darkly surreal world in which the creatures and nightmares of his imagination could roam free. Phil produced dozens of environments and hundreds of puppets for the project, filling notebook after notebook with thousands of detailed sketches and storyboards. Decades after the success of Tippett Studio forced production into stasis, a group of animators at Tippett Studio came upon boxes of shelved props and puppets. After viewing the original footage, they convinced Phil to resurrect the project. The small group began volunteering their weekends to MAD GOD, and before long it had snowballed into a crew of more than 60 artists. A wildly successful KickStarter campaign provided funding for materials and equipment. Each piece of MAD GOD is hand crafted, independent and created from the heart. Sometimes that heart is bursting with love for the craft, while other times it’s macabre, punctured, and bleeding. MAD GOD is a mature film crafted from techniques & technologies that span the history of cinema and the career of a true animation mastermind. This year, the first chapter of MAD GOD is to be unleashed on the world. Ready your eyes. Ready your souls. This is gonna be good.
Adolescent Octopussy by Jacqueline Gallagher