Monday, November 30, 2009

Post Apocalytic Companions

Probably everybody, who saw in the film "I Am Legend" (2007) Will Smith walking though New York with his German Shepherd "Sam" as his last and only friend, was reminded of a very similar scene in the "The Road Warrior" (1981) with Mel Gibson.

Without any doubt the image of a man and his dog is already an icon and has older role models:

Dogs are good companions faithful and most loyal to their masters, so that they are even called sometimes "the oldest friend of man". Maybe here’s the root for their popularity in post apocalyptic movies. If they are the oldest friends maybe they should also be the last ones.

Two more examples of dogs in post apocalyptic movies :

A Boy and His Dog (1975) - maybe this was the inspiration for Mad Max.

Downstream (maybe next year)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Baroque Decay in Naples

I don’t know another city like Naples where the baroque passion for the vanitas the symbol of the futility of live and human efforts is so present, it finds its correlation in the whole city which seems to fall apart.

The skull the main symbol of the vanitas can be found on many old buildings but also as modern graffiti.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fashion and Decay

In the Vogue Italy appeared in June 2007 this editorial by the famous fashion photographer Steven Meisel (maybe my favourite).

It shows different models in the scenery of abandoned and derelict industrial architecture. Meisel likes this morbid atmosphere. To me he seems sometimes as a modern version of Thomas Cole, a late romantic ruin lover.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Past and Present

The Past (1838)

The Present (1838)

The English-American artist Thomas Cole (1801-1848) confronts here two paintings showing the same castle in different epochs, first in the middle ages during it’s best time, second today as a ruin. In the painting of the actual castle this is allegorically illuminated by the evening sun. Ruin – evening – death.
These very, very romantic paintings are illustrating the romantic glorification of ruins, death and decay.

Maybe it should be mentioned that neither the old castle nor the actual one are depictions of a real castle, they are pure fantasy.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

One small stone, one giant leap in ruin history

Probably it’s neither a nice photo nor an impressive ruin, nevertheless it is one of the most important buildings in the history of ruins.

It is the so called Ponte Ruinante (the ruined bridge) part of the Palazzo Barberini in Rome and probably designed by the Italian artist and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680). The currently derelict bridge was already by Bernini constructed as a ruin with one of the vault stones looking as it was coming down. Bernini tried to imitate the ancient Roman ruins. As far as I know the Ponte Ruinante is maybe the first artificial ruin, the first folly ruin.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Rise of Post-Apocalyptic Movies

Interesting commentary by the BBC about the new rise of post-apocalyptic movies like Terminator, 9, The Book of Eli, The Road and so on.

"Hollywood is about to launch a new wave of big-budget apocalyptic spectacles, depicting a world where human life has been all but destroyed. From September, big name stars aided by impressive special effects will be bringing competing post-cataclysmic visions to cinemas. Many think this new batch of disaster films has been triggered by topical anxieties."