Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

A Maurice Sendak moon

Above, a drawing by Maurice Sendak for Randall Jarrell’s The Animal Family.

Below, a clip from a 1986 BBC film The World of Maurice Sendak, directed by Christopher Swann. In the clip, Sendak talks about his work for a series of opera productions at Glyndebourne, collected here on DVD, including adaptations of Where The Wild Things Are and Higglety Pigglety Pop.


On Drawn, a more recent short filmed interview, and a post on Tell Them Anything You Want, a 40 minute interview film by Spike Jonze and Lance Bangs. Here’s a clip where Sendak talks about early sketchbooks from his time writing the stories that became The Sign on Rosie’s Door. The film is available on DVD.

On NPR, Fresh Air remembers Maurice Sendak.

At The New Yorker, a farewell with links to articles from their archives. An extra from the magazine, Art Spiegelman draws a conversation with Sendak: In The Dumps, from 1993.

At The New York Times, an obituary for Maurice Sendak.

Added: Philip Nel writes of Maurice Sendak’s collaboration and friendship with Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson, and of the origin of ‘rumpus’ in Wild Things, and Maria Popova tells the story of some unreleased drawings and intaglio prints.

Illustration copyright © Maurice Sendak 1965.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Barbaric Genius

I recently had the pleasure of seeing an excellent new documentary, Barbaric Genius, on the life of John Healy, author of The Grass Arena. The film is directed by Paul Duane. Here’s a snippet from a review by Gordon Gaffney:
Bloody Hell. That’s quite a documentary to watch when you are still recovering from the night before. John Healy, whose parents were from Sligo, was a homeless alcoholic living in London who only stopped drinking when he was introduced to chess in prison by his cell mate, a notorious burgler nicknamed ‘The Brighton Fox’. He went on to play chess to international level before writing an award-winning autobiography, ‘The Grass Arena,’ which went out of print for a number years due to him threatening to kill his publisher. 
Director Paul Duane and Healy himself took part in a Q&A chaired by Dr Harvey O’Brien of UCD. Healy recalled that when ‘The Grass Arena’ was published he thought he was getting away from the psychopaths that he was hanging around with when he was drinking, only to discover that the real psychopaths were in the middle class, who he discovered, ‘don’t like listening to problems unless they are their own.’
Read more at Film Ireland. Barbaric Genius opens on May 25th at the Odeon Panton St, London, and the Irish Film Institute, Dublin, and then tours.