Taschen certainly know a thing or two about producing visually exuberant books, and when the subject matter is jazz album-cover art then you know you’re in for a treat! Covering a period from the mid 20th century through to the nineties, this large two volume box-set functions as a visual history of jazz in what might well be described as its golden-age. The renewal of interest in the vinyl record album has been chugging along happily for a while now, and surely one of the drivers of this nostalgia is the scope the record album gave designers and artists to spread their creative wings.
This memoir from one of Australia’s most popular (and interesting) actors manages that special achievement of capturing its author’s dinstictive and well known voice; a bit like William McInnes’s equally charming, A man’s got to have a hobby : long summers with my dad. Bisley’s account of his country childhood reads like a mix of the idyllic and the nightmarish, and his clear-eyed memories as he recounts triumphs, disasters and the plain old humiliations of growing up are all imbued with a matter-of-factness that is positively endearing. A lovely book.
This book may not be for you if you’ve never seen Ken Russell’s film The Devils (based rather loosely on Aldous Huxley’s book The Devils of Loudon), or maybe even if you have seen it and have been trying to forget it ever since! Don’t get me wrong, I think that it’s a very great film (arguably Russell’s finest), and one of the most remarkable pieces of cinema to have come out of the British film industry, but it is not for the faint-hearted or squeamish. The full inside story of this conflicted masterpiece and its driven, visionary and maddening creator is told here in this surprisingly balanced and thoughtful history; it almost makes me want to gird-my-loins and see the film again!
The idle jotting, the preparatory sketch, the first layout of an idea, these can all have a very real life of their own on the printed page, as this visual-feast of a book clearly shows. I love seeing how ideas develop from mere scraps of thought, and how so often these first, improvisatory thoughts can have a freshness and edge not always carried over into the more polished final work.
Something devilish from our Alma Conjuring Collection