Tag Archives: movies

Simon Barraclough’s ‘The Open Road’

The Open Road
Simon Barraclough

 
What if colour film came first
and all these searing sunsets, curly copper mops,
pink-fringed parasols and gaudy frocks
were so much blah to an eye that thirsts
  
to watch an ashen rose unfurl,
see the charcoal sheen of a peacock’s tail,
a seascape rolling in drab grayscale,
dun smudges on the cheeks of girls;
  
dancing flames of heatless brume,
rockets spraying asterisks of chalk,
greybells blooming on pallid stalks,
the world’s flags starred and striped with gloom?
  
We wouldn’t dress our hearts in motley threads
and fix the world in greens and reds,
projecting all the loves we said
we’d never leave but left for dead,
  
and might not glimpse the widening seam
between the separating reds and greens
of everything we’d thought we’d seen
on our memory’s monitor or silver screen.
  
  
 
First published in Los Alamos Mon Amour (Salt Publishing, 2008).
  
Read about The Open Road, the 1926 British colour travelogue that inspired Simon’s poem, here.
  
Visit Simon’s Salt Publishing author page and read more about
Los Alamos Mon Amour here.
  
Check out Simon’s website.

Tom & Viv

“I don’t keep a line that Viv hasn’t approved.  I rely on her completely.  She’s my first audience.”

– Willem Dafoe as TS (Tom) Eliot
 
 
“I gave Tom the title to The Waste Land.  We worked together side by side for years.  I am threaded through every line of poetry he has ever written.  And he has my undying love.  He will have it until the last breath leaves my body.  And he knows it.  And nobody can ever take that away.”

– Miranda Richardson as Vivienne Eliot
 
 
“Vivie was, of course, the strong one.  She made cowards of us all.  Well, me, certainly.  Terrible, really.  Can’t forget it.  It never mattered to Vivie what the world might think.  She’s a very honest person, you see.  She stuck by her beliefs.  She believed in Tom and his genius.  She loved him and she stuck by him.  Never left him.  Never ever left him.”

– Tim Dutton as Maurice Haigh-Wood (Vivienne’s brother)

*
   
“And last, the rending pain of re-enactment
Of all that you have done, and been; the shame
Of motives late revealed, and the awareness
Of things ill done and done to others’ harm
Which once you took for exercise of virtue.
Then fools’ approval stings, and honour stains.
From wrong to wrong the exasperated spirit
Proceeds, unless restored by that refining fire
Where you must move in measure, like a dancer.”

– TS Eliot, from “Little Gidding” (Four Quartets)

Sex, Drugs and Modern Art

“Everybody wants to get on the van Gogh boat.  There’s no trip so horrible that someone won’t take it.  The idea of the unrecognised genius slaving away in a garret is a deliciously foolish one.  We must credit the life of Vincent van Gogh for really sending this myth into orbit.  I mean how many pictures did he sell?  One?  He couldn’t give them away.  We are so ashamed of his life that the rest of art history will be retribution for van Gogh’s neglect.
 
In this town, one is at the mercy of the recognition factor.  One’s public appearance is absolute.   Part of the artist’s job is to get the work where I will see it.  I consider myself a metaphor of the public.  I am a public eye, a witness, a critic.  When you first see a new picture, you don’t want to miss the boat.  You have to be very careful because you may be staring at van Gogh’s ear.”
 
– art critic and poet, Rene Ricard, in Basquiat (1996)
  (written and directed by Julian Schnabel. 
  Based on a story by Lech J Majewski.)