Blowing Bubbles | Édouard Manet / John Everett Millais / Jean-Siméon Chardin / Thomas Couture

Jean-Siméon Chardin, Soap Bubbles, 1739                                 Thomas Couture, Soap Bubbles, 1895
Édouard Manet, Soap Bubbles, 1867                                                               John Everett Millais, Bubbles, 1886

Ben Selvin & His Novelty Orchestra - I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles (1919)

Albert C. Campbell and Henry Burr -  - I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles (1919)

I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles 

I'm forever blowing bubbles, 
Pretty bubbles in the air, 
They fly so high, 
Nearly reach the sky, 
Then like my dreams, 
They fade and die. 
Fortune's always hiding, 
I've looked everywhere, 
I'm forever blowing bubbles, 
Pretty bubbles in the air.


Book//mark - A Hero of Our Time | Mikhail Lermontov, 1840

Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841)                                                     Cover: Edward Gorey ‘A Hero of Our Time’ (1958) 

“I must say a little more about his eyes. In the first place, they never laughed when he laughed.
 Have you ever noticed this peculiarity some people have? It is either a sign of an evil 
nature or of a profound and lasting sorrow.”

“I was ready to love the whole world, but no one understood me, and I learned to hate.”

“There are two men within me— one lives in the full sense of the word, the other reflects 
and judges him. In an hour’s time the first may be leaving you and the world for ever, 
and the second? … the second? …”

“What of it? If I die, I die. It will be no great loss to the world, and I am thoroughly bored 
with life. I am like a man yawning at a ball; the only reason he does not go home to bed 
is that his carriage has not arrived yet.”

“My soul has been impaired by the fashionable world, I have a restless fancy, an insatiable 
heart; whatever I get is not enough; I become used as easily to sorrow as delight, and my 
life becomes more empty day by day; there is only one remedy left for me: to travel.”

“I have a congenital desire to contradict; my whole life is merely a chain of sad and unsuccessful
 contradictions to heart and mind. When faced with enthusiasm, I am seized by a midwinter 
freeze, and I suppose that frequent dealings with sluggish phlegmatics would have made 
a passionate dreamer.”

"My love brought happiness to none, because I never gave up anything for the sake of those 
whom I loved. I loved for myself, for my proper pleasure; I merely satisfied a bizarre need 
of my heart, avidly consuming their sentiments, their tenderness, their joys and sufferings
 — and never could have my fill."

“I am like a sailor, born and bred on the deck of a pirate ship. His soul has got used to storms 
and battles, and, when thrown ashore, he pines and languishes as much as the shady groves 
beckon him, much as the peaceful sun shines at him. He walks along the coastal sands all 
day, listening to the monotonous murmur of the lapping waves and peering into the cloudy 
distance: is that the sail he seeks, on the pale line that separates the blue deep from the little 
gray storm clouds—at first resembling the wing of a seagull, but little by little, separating 
from the foam of the boulders, with a steady approach toward the deserted jetty…”

"We almost always forgive those we understand. "

Mikhail Lermontov, A Hero of Our Time, 1840 
 Translated by Vladimir Nabokov

"Το προαίσθημα μου ποτέ δεν με γελάει. Δεν υπάρχει άνθρωπος στον κόσμο που το παρελθόν 
να τον εξουσιάζει τόσο όσο εμένα. Η παραμικρή μνήμη λύπης ή χαράς πλήττει οδυνηρά 
την ψυχή μου και παράγει πάντα τον ίδιο ήχο...Αυτή είναι η ηλίθια κατασκευή μου: 
τίποτε δεν ξεχνάω, τίποτε!"

Mikhail Lermontov, Ένας ήρωας του καιρού μας, 1840 
μτφ: Κατερίνα Αγγελάκη-Ρουκ

Escape / Confirm / Resemblance / Self-knowledge | Anaïs Nin, 1976

“We do not escape into philosophy, psychology, and art —
we go there to restore our shattered selves into whole ones.”

“Some people read to confirm their own hopelessness.
Others read to be rescued from it.”

“There is a resemblance between men and women, not a contrast.
When a man begins to recognize his feeling, the two unite. When men
accept the sensitive side of themselves, they come alive.”

"Eroticism is one of the basic means of self-knowledge,
as indispensable as poetry."

Anaïs Nin
In Favor of 
the Sensitive Man 
Other Essays, 

Saluti e baci / La route du bonheur / The Road to Happiness | Maurice Labro & Giorgio Simonelli (1953)

Saluti e baci (Love and Kisses) is a Franco-Italian comedy-drama film directed by Maurice Labro and Giorgio Simonelli and released in 1953.
Also known as: The Road to Happiness, La route du bonheur. 

Carlo Mastelli, the young radio presenter of "New Voices" has run short of ideas and his program is likely to be suspended from the radio schedule if he does not find any new ones. He is saved by chance in the person of Marina, a charming young school teacher, who takes advantage of the presence of a radio crew in her village for the recording of a singing contest to broadcast an appeal in favor of Tonino, the most underprivileged of her pupils. She asks the listeners to send postcards from any place in the world to cheer up little Tonino. The response is enthusiastic and tons of mail land in the radio studios, at the same time boosting the audience of Calo's moribund program. Eventually, despite some trouble with a rare stamp, all ends well and Carlo marries Marina.

Directors: Maurice Labro, Giorgio Simonelli 

Starring: Georges Guétary, Luis Mariano, Nilla Pizzi....Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Django Reinhardt, Line Renaud, Yves Montand, Juliette Gréco

Film clip from the film Le Route de Bonheur (1945). Django plays Nuits de Saint Germain de Près on his guitar in a train.

 Louis Armstrong - Struttin' With Some Barbecue

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal) Young, Trummy (Trombone, Vocal) McCracken, Bob (Clarinet) Napoleon, Marty (Piano) Shaw, Arvell (Bass) Cole, Cozy (Drums)

Saluti e baci (1953)
Directors: Maurice Labro, Giorgio Simonelli 

Gifts / Merry Christmas | Jack Kerouac

"In the general uproar of gifts and unwinding of wrappers it was always a delight to me to step out on the porch 
or even go up the street a ways at 1:00 in the morning and listen to the silent hum of heaven diamond stars, 
watch the red and green windows of homes, consider the trees that seemed frozen in devotion, and think over 
the events of another year passed."

Jack Kerouac, Not Long Ago Joy Abounded at Christmas,
Oliphant Press, 1972 / first published in the World Telegram and Sun, Dec. 5, 1957

Jack Kerouac jams with the band at The Artist's Club New 
year's Eve Party on December 31, 1958 in New York

Jingle Bell / Jazz | Duke Ellington / Dave Brubeck / Herbie Hancock / Miles Davis

Duke Ellington - Jingle Bells

 Pony Poindexter - Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer

  Dave Brubeck Quartet - Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
Herbie Hancock - Deck the Halls

The Manhattan Jazz All Stars - If I Were a Bell

 Miles Davis - Blue XMas (To Whom It May Concern)

Playing chess | Bertolt Brecht & Walter Benjamin, 1934

Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin playing chess, Denmark, Skovsbostrand, 1934
Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht play chess in Denmark, 1934

Self-Portrait | Edvard Munch /

Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait, 1886                                                                  Edvard Munch, Signatures

"My whole life has been spent walking by the side of a bottomless chasm, jumping from stone to stone. Sometimes I try to leave my narrow path and join the swirling mainstream of life, but I always find myself drawn inexorably back towards the chasm's edge, and there I shall walk until the day I finally fall into the abyss."
 Edvard Munch

See more:
Anxiety / Edvard Munch

On directing > Nothing is original | Jim Jarmusch

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.”

Jim Jarmusch

Jim Jarmusch and Eszter Balint on the set of Stranger Than Paradise

Streets / New York | Photos by Helen Levitt, 1939 -1950

Helen Levitt, 1947 
Helen Levitt, New York, 1939                                                        Helen Levitt, Kid in tree with mask, New York, 1940

                Helen Levitt, Four girls running in the street, New York, 1950
Helen Levitt, Greeting at the Window, 1940                                                         Helen Levitt, Two girls on a truck, 1948
Helen Levitt, New York, 1940   
Helen Levitt, New York
          Helen Levitt, New York, 1942
Helen Levitt, Children dancing at the streets of New York, 1940                                           Helen Levitt, New York, 1940
Helen Levitt, 1940s

Helen Levitt, New York, 1940 

“If it were easy to talk about, I’d be a writer. Since I’m inarticulate,
I express myself with images.”

"I never had a “project.” I would go out and shoot, follow my eyes—
what they noticed, I tried to capture with my camera, for others to see."

Helen Levitt

Helen Levitt was an American photographer. She was particularly noted for "street photography"
around New York City, and has been called "the most celebrated and least known photographer
of her time.

Beasts Bounding Through Time | Charles Bukowski, 1986

Van Gogh writing his brother for paints
Hemingway testing his shotgun
Celine going broke as a doctor of medicine
the impossibility of being human
Villon expelled from Paris for being a thief
Faulkner drunk in the gutters of his town
the impossibility of being human
Burroughs killing his wife with a gun
Mailer stabbing his
the impossibility of being human
Maupassant going mad in a rowboat
Dostoevsky lined up against a wall to be shot
Crane off the back of a boat into the propeller
the impossibility
Sylvia with her head in the oven like a baked potato
Harry Crosby leaping into that Black Sun
Lorca murdered in the road by the Spanish troops
the impossibility
Artaud sitting on the madhouse bench
Chatterton drinking rat poison
Shakespeare a plagiarist
Beethoven with a horn stuck into his head against deafness
the impossibility the impossibility
Nietzsche gone totally mad
the impossibility of being human
all too human this breathing
in and out
out and in
these punks
these cowards
these champions
these mad dogs of glory
moving this little bit of light toward

 Charles Bukowski, Beasts Bounding Through Time, 1986


Flick Review < Day of the fight | Stanley Kubrick, 1951

Stanley Kubrick’s excellent first short documentary film Day of the Fight. 

  Kubrick financed the film himself, and it is based on an earlier photo feature he had done as a photographer for Look magazine in 1949.
(See the photos and watch the short film that started it all)
   Day Of The Fight shows Irish-American middleweight boxer Walter Cartier during the height of his career, on the day of a fight with black middleweight Bobby James, which took place on April 17, 1950.
   The film opens with a short section on boxing's history, and then follows Cartier through his day, as he prepares for the 10 P.M. bout that night. He eats breakfast in his West 12th Street apartment in Greenwich Village, then goes to early mass and eats lunch at his favorite restaurant. At 4 P.M., he starts preparations for the fight. By 8 P.M., he is waiting in his dressing room at Laurel Gardens in Newark, New Jersey for the fight to begin. We then see the fight itself, where he comes out victorious in a short match.
Narrator: It's a living. For some, not much of a living. There are six thousand men like these in America -- professional prizefighters. Only six hundred will make a living at all -- and of these only sixty will make a good living. One out of one hundred.
Narrator: Before a fight there's always that last look in the mirror. 
Time to wonder what it will reflect tomorrow.
Narrator: In these hours he can feel his body tightening, but it's a tightness that does not come from lack of confidence, it's the pressure of the last waiting. Here in a place where the walls are so close a man can barely move his body around. If only the fight would come, then everything else would not be so bad -- not really bad at all.
Narrator: One man has skillfully, violently overcome another -- that's for the fan. But K.O., name of opponent, time, date, and place -- that's for the record book. But it's more than that in the life of a man who literally has to fight for his very existence. For him, it's the end of a working day.

Alexander Singer was a high school friend of Stanley Kubrick's (they went to William Howard Taft High School in the Bronx), who acted as assistant director and a camerman for this film. He also worked on Kubrick's Killer's Kiss and The Killing.

It cost Stanley Kubrick $3,900 to make and he sold it (to RKO) for $4,000.

If you look closely, at times you can see Kubrick operating a film camera.

Day of the Fight (1951) 
Director: Stanley Kubrick 
Writer: Robert Rein (narration script)
Stars: Douglas Edwards, Vincent Cartier, Walter Cartier
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