Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The anatomical effects of castration

Farinelli's body has been exhumed in order to study "the anatomical effects of castration".

I bought this CD of Alessandro Moreschi recordings, the only castrati recordings in existence, but while I recommend hearing it to anyone, please bear in mind that it may make your stomach feel a bit off. I bought it after reading this biography of Moreschi, which is an enjoyable read, although all the Sistine Chapel politics and infighting goes on a bit.

Corny virtues

GreenCine Daily marks twenty years of Blue Velvet by linking back to reviews, and better, a couple of interviews, from 1986.

In this one, Lynch says:
One thing that strikes me — and I don’t like to give my views on these subjects — but in a funny way, people are almost more uncomfortable with corny virtues than they are with the sickest violence. [...] The scene with Sandy and the robins puts people in a very uncomfortable position. I don’t know why, but Sandy’s speech is almost more uncomfortable than Frank visiting Dorothy and doing bad things to her.
This is a typical piece of undigested, useful observation.

Lynch's failures are more frequent than his successes, and it wasn't until 2001's Mulholland Dr. that he made another film on the same par as Blue Velvet, but he may be the greatest film-maker working, so it's hard not to get excited about Inland Empire. Even if it's a dud, somehow he always gives us the feeling that we may see something new. In a time when we think we've seen it all, he keeps alive the feeling that there are entirely new things to be seen.

Friday, July 07, 2006

A photograph of Mozart's widow

A print of a photograph of Constanze Mozart has been found in southern Germany. It was taken in 1840, when she was 76, and Wolfgang had been dead for 49 years.

Update: Norm links to Constanze's biographer, who's having none of it.