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Apr. 26th, 2018

Studio pic - pencil shaver

Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta - Going to the Ball

The subject in today's painting is going to have a spectacular time at the ball. Spanish painter Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta supplies a wonderful portrait of a masked attendee, brimming with enthusiasm and energy. I love the accompaniment of her playful smile as she peers through her green diguise. Mischief is on her agenda, if that's what you seeking. Either keep your distance or introduce yourself with the understanding that she might have some surprises in store for you.

Or perhaps I'm presuming too much based on appearance. After all, while wearing such a mask, one hardly comes across as wholesome.

Apr. 25th, 2018

Studio pic - pencil shaver

Roberto Nicolosi – La battaglia di Maratona (1959)

Today's peplum selection is Roberto Nicolosi's score for the 1959 Mario Bava film 'La battaglia di Maratona', also known as 'The Giant of Marathon'. As usual, I pass on the loud, triumphant sequences in favor of the quieter, pretty moments. Matter of preference.

L'accampamento di notte

Un ospite speciale

Studio pic - pencil shaver

Władysław Czachórski - Preparing for the Ball

Today’s “Ball” selection is by Polish painter Władysław Czachórski. In this beautifully furnished interior, a young woman, wearing a white dress for that evening’s ball, pensively glazes out at the viewer. Meanwhile, her companion—possibly her mother—is clutching her hand on the table, perhaps trying to console her over some dire matter. Whatever drama is unfolding between these two isn’t clearly specified, although a more determined or knowledgeable eye might determine otherwise. That said, Czachórski effectively communicates a sense of unease and worry within this otherwise enjoyable scene. We’ve all experienced those occasions.

I love the use of color, especially the green of that handsome woodland scene on the tapestry. The artist’s use of turquoise (please correct me if I’m mistaken) in the hanging curtain and the boarder design of the decorative tablecloth also attracts my eye, guiding me through the scene.

Apr. 24th, 2018

Studio pic - pencil shaver

Pino Donnagio - Hercules (1983) and The Barbarians (1987)

For today's peplum entry I'll supply a double shot of Pino Donnagio, who delivered some fantastic synth-heavy scores for the films 'Hercules' and 'The Barbarians'. The former stars Lou Ferrigno of 'Incredible Hulk' fame and the latter stars Peter and David Paul, the bodybuilding twin brothers famously known as "The Barbarian Brothers".

I've seen neither movies, nor do to own the soundtracks (though I'm always on the lookout for a reasonably priced CD copy).

Hercules Theme

The Barbarians - Main Titles

The Barbarian Brothers were featured in a deleted scene for the 1994 film 'Natural Born Killers' in which they played "The Hun Brothers." Amusing.

Studio pic - pencil shaver

Charles Chaplin - After the Masked Ball

Appearing as of she'd washed up on a rocky shore, our subject in today's work by French painter Charles Chaplin slumbers after an exhausting evening. I have to wonder, where is she supposed to be? Her lower half is draped with a fabric one might identify as a bedsheet, but it doesn't look like she's laying in anything resembling a bed. Perhaps this work depicts her in dreamworld, and the sheets, mask, fan, ect, are elements that accompanied her from her bedset.

Chaplin also gave his subject centerfold treatment, bearing her breasts for the viewer. At the risk of sounding prudish, this results in a work that's more erotic than thought provoking.

Apr. 23rd, 2018

Studio pic - pencil shaver

Roberto Nicolosi – Gli Invasori (1961)

Today's peplum selection is Roberto Nicolosi's score for the 1961 Mario Bava film 'Gli Invasori', also known as 'Eric the Conqueror' and 'Fury of the Vikings'. This is definitely music for cinematic English-Scandinavian warfare. Fairly traditional score but there are some intriguing passages.

Here's a nifty trailer for the film:
Studio pic - pencil shaver

Ulisse Caputo - Before the Masked Ball

My response to today's work by Neopolitian painter Ulisse Caputo is based on its wild assortment of colors. Oh yes, the subject's pose and composition of this piece are admirable, but for me the intensity of those colors overwhelm all other elements in the painting. There's so much life and energy in this palette. Surely, if executed with a more natural colors, perhaps I wouldn't find myself so distracted from the subject herself. Might this be an example of style over substance? I imagine this approach used with several other my "ball" selections, and I must consider how they would elevate or reduce my emotional response to the subject.

Apr. 22nd, 2018

Studio pic - pencil shaver

Franz Di Cioccio & Franco Mussida - Attila Fiagello Di Dio (1982)

Undertaking this peplem project for April, I knew that eventually I'd get around to Franz Di Cioccio & Franco Mussida's score for the 1982 comedy 'Attila Fiagello Di Dio'. I'm sure the King of the Hunnic Empire appreciated a good saxophone solo, because my favorite selection from this soundtrack includes some notes from that wicked woodwind. The use of early-80s synths and electric guitar adds even more intrigue to this strange, satisfying score.

Attila (versione strum.)

Studio pic - pencil shaver

Jules Charles Aviat - Before the Ball

Today’s “Ball” selection is handsome portrait by French painter Jules Charles Aviat.

Sitting on the loveseat, our subject is shown at full length, precisely cropped to command our attention, while also providing a generous view of this odd room. Rendered softly in light green, I’m intrigued by the background, especially the crooked picture frame at the far left. Why include this detail at the far edge of the painting when it could have easily been omitted? I presume the artist added this frame to balance out the composition, and apparently it needed to be crooked, perhaps to complement the angle of the woman’s hat. Think about that. I guess the room bows to her fashion.

With her left hand casually resting on the arms of the loveseat and the other holding what appears to be her scarf, our subject seems calm and patient. That said, her expression would be identified as a “resting face” by modern viewers. I much prefer a resting face over a forced smile issued upon request. To me her expression communicates she’s neither excited nor anxious about the night ahead. That isn’t to say isn’t looking forward to her evening, but she’s been out enough that it’s just another routine.

"She’s in parties".

Apr. 21st, 2018

Studio pic - pencil shaver

Carlo Rustichelli - Maciste Alla Corte Dello Zar (1964)

Today's I'm featuring yet another score by Rustichelli: 'Maciste Alla Corte Dello Zar', otherwise known as 'Samson vs. the Giant King'. Nice melody.

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Studio pic - pencil shaver

April 2018



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