Monday, October 31, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday Salon: A Favorite Painting or Two...or Three!

Stage design for Sleeping Beauty.

Stage design for Le Dieu Bleu.

Stage design for The Martyr of Saint Sebastian.

Stage design for Daphne et Chloe.

Stage design for Scheherazade.

Stage design for Scheherazade.


In keeping with the Halloween spirit today's post contains costumes - the brilliant paintings and sketches of his costumes, by Leon Bakst. Also, as you can see, I've included Bakst's gorgeous stage designs.

There are pictures of some of the actual costumes below.

Artist Leon Bakst (1866 - 1924) was a painter and designer born in Russia in what is now Belarus. He was a memorable leading light in the new profession of theater design, most especially once he began his inspired collaboration with the great cultural impresario, Sergei Diaghilev of the famed Ballets Russe.

Bakst designed extraordinary sets and costumes for The Firebird, Sleeping Beauty, Daphne et Chloe, Scheherezade and many other ballets. Nijinsky wore Bakst's costumes in his most famous role, Afternoon Of A Faun.


I've talked about Leon Bakst before, early on when I first began blogging. But this incredibly talented man's work is certainly worth another good look.

To learn more about Leon Bakst, please use this link.


From: The Bluebird

Costume from: The Bluebird.

Brigand's costume from: Daphnis et Chloe.

Costume from: Scheherazade.

Costumes from: Scheherazade.

Costume from: Carnaval. Learn how it was restored here.

Costume from: Sleeping Beauty.

Costume from: Le Dieu Bleu

Costume from: Le Dieu Bleu.

Who originally influenced who? There's such an incredible mixtue of elements - such a lively combo of styles, patterns and designs. Artists working during this very creative era couldn't help but influence each other. How could they not? Especially since several of them did do costume design. Even the young Picasso.

Bakst died in 1924 and Klimt in 1918, so they were working at around the same time. Matisse was working then too, though he didn't die until 1954. Raoul Dufy in 1953. Picasso, born in 1881, died in 1973,

Bakst, Matisse, Klimt, Dufy and others of the era and later, were certainly aware of each other's styles and techniques. Several of them knew each other. That alone is an influence.

All these brilliant artists breathing the dizzying air of creativity, of a new age, a vibrant new century. All, apparently, influenced by folk art traditions and 19th century Orientalism.

Is that how you see it? What do you think?

All costume and stage designs by Leon Bakst. Photos from various Google sources.

Friday, October 28, 2011


I was reading I LUV CINEMA's blog when I came across this little questionnaire. I loved the answers ILC posted and thought I'd like to do my own post as well. The original idea and questions came from Dan at TOP TEN FILMS, so please link over there to see what's what. You'll also find a list of links to other movie mavens and their responses to these intriguing prompts.

It looks like I missed out on all the original Blog-A-Thon hoopla, but along the lines of better being late than never, here are my answers::

1) What Character would you most like to be sat next to on a plane?

Well, I'm not a good flyer. I don't like to chat or drink while flying. I mainly just sit in abject misery. But if I had to choose someone to share my misery with, I guess I'd choose Captain Jean Luc Picard. This way, if the plane developed trouble, I'd be assured that my seat -mate would take matters in hand.

2) What Character would you most want to enjoy a passionate romance with?

If I were 25 years younger? See answer above.

3) If you were a cop who would you want as your partner?

Sherlock Holmes.

4) What animated feature would you most like to walk around in?

Because I love the London envisioned by Disney's designers and animators, as well as their English countryside.Plus I'm a dog person. Walking where many dogs promenade is a chancey business. Except in the world created by Disney.

5) What adventure based on earth would you most like to go on?

The search up the Amazon River for The Creature From the Black Lagoon. But only if I could SCUBA dive too AND survive.

6) What movie gadget would you like to try out or steal?

Rod Taylor in his Time Machine.

The time travel machine in THE TIME MACHINE. But I'd make better choices than H.G. Well's hero. I hope.

7) What film's plot would you alter and how would you do it?

I'd make Kong live to a ripe old age back on his island. How? I'd have had the the ship run aground  - a sandbank or something - just yards beyond the island and have Kong walk back to shore after he breaks out of the ship's hold.

Failing that I'd give the film the same ending at MIGHTY JOE YOUNG. Kong is smuggled unto a ship in the harbor (after he rappels down the side of the Empire State Building dodging bullets) and taken back to his island.

8) What one film would you most want to be transported into, simply to be a part of that world?

Singing In The Rain


What would YOUR answers be?