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Sunday, March 27, 2011

JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #256


ÆON, AEON, LET’S CALL THE WHOLE THING
JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #256!

Alessandra Comini
Egon Schiele’s Portraits (University Of California Press) :: Back in the ’70s, legendary British mime David Bowie was tagged in various rock rags to play early 20th century Austrian painter Schiele in a movie called The Wally that never materialized save for a photo of Bowie looking suitably wan with a book about Schiele casually strewn at his feet; but not this massive 500 page hardcover which would’ve been a tad too heavy for such a scrawny snow-snorter to heft.

It’s too bad that the flick never got filmed because Schiele’s seriously skewed life was just as deeply disturbing as his seriously skewed illustrations were—which is why I spent many a sleepless night kicking the gong around and wondering what the result would look like if some visionary with a brimming brainpan dared to use Schiele’s herky-jerky artwork as a twisted template to create an iconoclastic landmark animated series.

Peter Chung
Æon Flux: The Complete Animated Collection (Paramount) :: It’s been twenty long years since Peter Chung first transmogrified Egon’s art into Æon’s artifice and yet, as this definitive three disc set shows, the end results have never been more eerily ahead of their time than they are now—no mean feat in a world gone wacky. If you’ve never been exposed to Chung’s uncanny covert environment, you can now make up for lost time by immersing yourself for hours in the deep end of the Æonetic pool where sixteen pretty much non-linear episodes await to indoctrinate you.

If it were easy to tell you what they’re all about I would, but the best I can do to give you a hint of what awaits you is to quote that great poet Grace Slick, who once wrote about a time “when logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.” Except that the crazy world of Peter Chung makes Lewis Carroll’s looking glass landscapes seem like the very picture of photorealism; or as the phantom voice in Porky In Wackyland warns: “It can happen here!” And in this Æon paean, it most certainly does.

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK:
Drew NeumannEye Spy: Ears Only Confidential (Tone Casualties) :: Not since the great Carl Stalling gave Warner Bros. cartoons their own unique sonic personality has there been such a perfect melding of sound and vision as that applied to Chung’s art by Neumann. This two disc instrumental soundtrack to the Æon Flux series is what Bowie’s Low would’ve sounded like had he teamed up with The Equalizer’s Stuart Copeland instead of Eno; or if id Software had hired Wendy Carlos to record Quake instead of Trent Reznor. But don’t take my word for it: mosey over to Drew’s website here where you can buy the enhanced three disc version directly from him and then decide for yourself.

Carl Stalling
The Carl Stalling Project: Music From Warner Bros. Cartoons 1936 – 1957 (Warner Bros.) :: Exactly!

Be seeing you!

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