The Cut Season 2 Episode 16

We are yet to have a haircut. We have yet to drink a pint in the sunshine. We are shy and retiring creatures and the news footage of all those people and all that noise has put us into retreat a bit. It will come, perhaps this weekend. After all, we all look like versions of Doc Emmet Brown from Back To The Future now. We celebrate and congratulate those of The Readership who have taken their first steps into a brighter world. We hope to join you soon.

In the meantime, check out one writer’s post-Covid schedule, snag a primer on the weird world of government economics and join us in song as we say goodbye to a legend.

Here in this place, now at this time, you will find The Cut.

We all know Peter Jackson as the man behind the increasingly bloated J.R.R. Tolkien film adaptations. How many endings can a film have? We counted at least four in Return Of The King. But Jackson’s work didn’t used to be that way. His early work was fast, cheap and dirty. Oh and very, very bloody. In this week’s inevitable Film School Rejects post, let’s take a look back at his first movie, whose subject was summed up in the title…

Gumption and Gore: How Peter Jackson Made ‘Bad Taste’

Jackson’s later work is also known for its heavy reliance on CGI and green-screen technology, which is now an extremely common working method in film and TV. Why even leave the studio when you can bring the world into it? As back-projection a la The Mandalorian gets more accessible, sticking an actor into a capture volume and adding everything else virtually is, for good or ill, the way forward.

It didn’t used to be that way, of course, and one film-maker led the way, a man who shone very brightly for a single movie then vanished. Let’s reacquaint ourselves with Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow!

How’s life for you as lockdown starts to ease? Have you made it out of the house? Have you started, however tentatively, to make plans? Claire Zulkey has, and she shares her post-Covid schedule with us, courtesy of her Evil Witches newsletter (worth a subscribe, in our humble opinion).

Oh lordy, we miss bookshops. Once we pluck up the nerve, we’re running out to our favourites to browse and sniff and cuddle the books and generally make an embarrassment of ourselves. We are very happy to note we are not alone in this need to get back into the stacks…

Synesthesia is a condition where the senses get scrambled or augmented. You see sound, you hear tastes. Confusing and unsettling, certainly. But also an opportunity to make fascinating art. One of the pioneers of modern art, Wassily Kandinsky, had the condition and used it to effectively kickstart abstract expressionism. Now, artist Michel Levy has used his skills in animation to show how he experiences Bach and John Coltrane. This is absolutely beautiful.

John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” & Bach’s “Prelude in C Major” Get Turned into Dazzling Musical Animations by an Artist with Synesthesia

The Music Desk are mostly, as we mentioned last week, shaggy old rockers (extremely so with their lockdown hair) but they’re also fond of the occasional blast of angular experimental electronica. Aphex Twin is a favourite, his jackhammer skronk often jolting us out of our after-lunch doze. Today let’s take a look at a piece which, while not one of his best known works, (in fact you’d be surprised to know it was the man behind Come To Daddy and Windowlicker who wrote and performed it) has an enduring legacy far beyond its original release…

A busy week on the Music Desk. One of our favourite newsletter writers, Austin Kleon, has posted a fascinating consideration on the nature and craft of songwriting. It’s inspired partly by the viral clip of Paul Simon breaking down how he found inspiration for Bridge Over Troubled Water on a 1971 clip of the Dick Cavett Show. Those of us who think all music springs out from the brow of the tortured artist are, sadly mistaken. From Motown to the Brill Building to today’s bolt-together musical solutions, song-writing has for a long time been an industrial process…

The song machines

With that thought fresh in our heads, let’s see how some song artisans are banding together to make sure they get a fair share of the profits for their work. A common hustle in the recording industry is ‘change a word, get a third.’ Dating back to the era of that old villain Colonel Tom Parker, it’s one reason the big stars of the moment unfairly make sure they’re a part of the collaborative process, and snag a chunk of the coin to boot… – change a word, get a third.

Right, economics. Ugh, dry, boring. Who cares? Well, you should. Economics, or more accurately the misrepresentation and misapplication of economic theory especially at the national level is one reason we have such a confused idea about finance. As we use cash less and less, the idea of money becomes more of an abstract concept. A figure in an app or online service. Pirate economist Richard Murphy has form in this arena, clarifying matters in long and fascinating Twitter threads. These have now been collected into a free ebook. We heartily recommend picking up a copy and preparing to have your mind blown. It really does seem like money ain’t nothin’ but a number…

‘Money for nothing and my Tweets for free’ is out today

We had to share this glorious collection of hand-drawn logos from Marvel up to the early 90s for no other reason than their gorgeousness. You know, just by looking at them, that the character they announce will be as big, bold and colourful as the banner. Excelsior!

A big read to finish off. Elle magazine would not be the place you’d expect to find a portrait of a wrestler. But Becky Lynch is no ordinary grappler. Her story is one of extraordinary grit, determination and refusal to compromise. It also reflects the wild world of pro-wrestling which is never quite as simple as you think. Sure, the matches are scripted. But no-one complains about that in the movies or TV. And the hits in the ring are very, very real.

We dedicate this week’s Exit Music to the memory of actress Helen McCrory, who moved onto better things this week thanks to that fucking cancer bullshit. She automatically improved any scene she was in by 20 per cent. We’re cranking up the Billy Joel, and invite you to sing along while raising a glass.

See you next Saturday, sweethearts.


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Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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