FilmEye: Wiener-Dog by Todd Solondz

Notes on cinema inspired by historical images by Dan Williams Your companion Wiener-Dog is the latest film from controversial independent film-maker Todd Solondz, whose work has regularly shocked audiences with sardonic comedy and disturbing subject matter. So what happens when he places a sausage dog at the centre of his story.  In fact the cute…

Harvest season

We are still enjoying summer but the calendar is moving to autumn already! Harvest season is coming soon. What was this celebration like in Greece? Olive harvest At the legendary foundation of Athens, two great gods, Poseidon and Athene, competed for the coveted position of patron of the city. It was decreed that whoever donated…

FilmEye: Tale of Tales

Notes on cinema inspired by historical images by Dan Williams Medieval fantasy in Italy Sometimes you watch a film and there is an uncanny sense of deja vu. This came to me during the recent grotesque art-house hit Tale of Tales. Rather than the generic tropes, it was the village of Sermoneta which brought on…

Music in Ancient Greece

BBC Prom, open-air concerts, various kinds of festivals and shows take place in summer in Britain. Here, we are now in ancient Greece. What kinds of musical instruments did they play, or learn, or enjoy? Cycladic seated harpist It would be impossible to overestimate the importance of music in Greek life from the very earliest…

Greek Colonization in Italy

Inspired by the special exhibition called Sicily: Culture and Conquest at the British Museum, I want to show some images which represent how the ancient Greeks succeeded in expanding their territory through Southern Italy. Paestum, southern Italy By the seventh century BC general Greek cities were experiencing a number of problems. Over-population and lack of access…

FilmEye: Tarkovsky’s Stalker

Notes on cinema inspired by historical images by Dan Williams A new season of all Tarkovsky’s films has opened screening throughout the UK at selected cinemas. Watching ‘Stalker’ again, Tarkovsky’s enigmatic movie from the early 1980s, I am drawn again into his bleak and sublime landscapes. These provide images of Russia, industrial and rural, but…

Jewellery

Greek Jewellery from Mycenae Recently I visited Victoria & Albert Museum, London and saw a wonderful collection of jewellery from the Bronze Age to the modern times. For this month we want to show our selection of Ancient Greek jewellery. We hope you enjoy this presentation of intricate and elaborate art techniques from the past….

Film Eye: A little sister by Hirokazu Koreeda

Notes on cinema inspired by historical images by Dan Williams Our Little Sister is the new film from Hirokazu Koreeda, a Japanese director who has won plaudits for his sensitive and realistic dramas focusing on family relationships. Have you ever imagined a surprising addition to your family, or living as an adult with just your…

Athenian Democracy

London Mayoral election will take place in May, followed by Referendum on Membership of EU in the UK in June. This month we want to show images related to politics from the ancient Greece. Democracy The invention of democracy is among the most significant legacies bequeathed by ancient Athens to the later world. However, it…

Film Eye: Marnie/The Soft Skin

Notes on cinema inspired by historical images by Dan Williams Marriage in film – Hitchcock’s Marnie This month I am focusing on two films which were shown as a double bill at the Bloomsbury Curzon cinema in London recently: Hitchcock’s Marnie (1964) and Truffaut’s The Soft Skin (La Peau Douce) (1964). The double bill was…