The world of Les Diableries

In 1860 a bunch of fake depth photos (objects are actually farther away than they seemed!)called stereoscopic photographs were made in Paris. It was displayed in sets of small clay figures of scenes of what they assumed the daily life of hell would look like. They deemed this whole art form “Les Diableries.”

These scenes depicted more much of a tongue and cheek take of how life was in Paris during the second empire when Napoleon the 3rd was in power. During his reign it was something like the rich grew richer and the poor became poorer type of society. This art form was a way for a lower classes to get there point across in a digestible way for the when there country was run.

Adolph Block was responsible for publishing these series and only three sculptors were know to have made these scenes. The scenes that have survived were mostly published by Adolph Block.

About five years ago I was walking through a book store and a book called “Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell” by Brian May, Denis Pellerin and Paula Fleming caught my attention. It goes in depth about the process of how these scenes were made, the history of the time and how to make your depictions of hell in this kind of art form.

Fun fact: Brian May (from the band Queen) has been collecting these scenes since 1973 and has an extensive collection.

Until next time!

Movie of the Day: The Polka King

Today’s movie of the day is “The Polka King (2017) directed by Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky. It stars Jack Black, Jenny Slate and Jason Schwartzman.

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Based on a true story Jack Black plays a guy named Jan Lewan a local music legend in Pennsylvania who is a person of many hats polka singer, band leader, a store owner and pizza delivery man. His many dream and goal in life is to be a worldwide sensation polka singer however he is having a hard time keeping his band together and his dream afloat because there is hardly any money being made in that field.

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He comes up the idea to get his fans to invest in his dreams of his Jan Lewan Polka empire with the promise of paying them back however he decides in order to do that he just gets new investors to invent money and funnels it to pay off the older investors and with no intention of paying back the money he took from the new investors.

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Even the government in Pennsylvania warned him to stop selling shares for his store he still continue and was leaving a paper trail in about 22 states and had up to 400 people who he sold shares too. He was able to reach this outrageous number do to his touring of his polka band.

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This was a fun movie to watch and what is even more funny is that it is based on a real person. The real Jan Lewan was arrested in 2001 for deceiving people and for also making a Ponzi scheme.

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Until next time!

 

 

Artist’s Spotlight: Moonglumsminis

Today Artist’s Spotlight is on Mark Iddings (IG: @moonglumsminis)

  1. What made you start painting minis?: 

 “I began painting minis when I was young in the eighties.  Our parents took us to a game and book shop called Star Realm in Omaha, which was full of miniatures and books and role playing material and comic books.  My parents bought me the boxed set of Grenadier halflings, and began painting those with Testors enamel paints. I then switched over to the Polly S acrylic paints that had the great D&D names to accompany them, and along with Grenadier discovered Ral Partha. 

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 In 1986 when I was 18 I traveled to Finland as an exchange student, and pretty much gave up and forgot about miniatures and D&D until years later when my wife was concerned that the only hobbies my kid had were sports related, and asked me to look for something for him to do.  Being that I painted when I was little, I got a hold of some minis and craft paints and tried to introduce him to the fine art of miniature painting.  He painted two figures and lost all patience and interest, but I was hooked again, and since that point caught the painting bug and haven’t been able to shake it!” 

2. What are your favorite minis that you have done?:

“It’s really hard to pick a favorite miniature, because for me each one is my favorite as I work on it.  I have slight hoarding tendencies! Which is why I like to keep what I paint instead of doing much commission work.  However brand-wise, my favorite by far is Ral Partha, for whom I’ve done some painting and projects, and then after that, I like the old school miniatures of my youth, such as Heritage and Grenadier.  One of my favorite new companies currently is Stonehaven Miniatures, which has funded their miniatures through some really nice Kickstarters.

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3. How many do you have in your collection?:

Painted miniatures, probably somewhere between 300 and 400, and that’s just a guess. I just went to try to count them but gave up after about 100 and I was less than a third way through.  Unpainted ones, the ones I hope to get to paint someday but may run out of time, probably somewhere in the range of four to five thousand?”

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4. What minis are you planning to showcase on your Instagram?:

Pretty much anything that I’ve painted in the past, present, and into the future.  I’m kind of a slow painter, usually painting a figure every two weeks, so were I to only showcase my new ones, it wouldn’t be a very active page, so I’ve tried to grab ones that I’ve painted before as well.  I’ve shown off figures that I painted back in in the 1980’s all the way up to ones I just finished last week. “

5. Can you offer any advice for people that want to start painting and/or collecting minis?:

For painting, I’d say the key is just to paint and keep painting.  If you’re trying to produce results you’ll be happy with then take your time, and be patient!  Use all the sites and tools the internet has to offer.  Join up on some of the miniature forums.  Reaper has a great one with a lot of friendly and encouraging people.  If you’re not a spring chicken any more, go buy yourself some cheap magnifying visors.  

As far as collecting, that’s a bit more complicated.  People collect with so many different reasons and aims, it’s hard to offer suggestions.  I mostly look for miniatures I find aesthetically pleasing, and ones that I would actually enjoy painting.  My collection has more than a hint of nostalgia, but at the same time it comes from a deep appreciation of the artists that sculpted them.

Whatever your motives to paint or collect, I think the ultimate goal is just to enjoy what you’re doing and if possible find other people that share the same interests as you.  That way you can turn it from a basic nerd obsession into a social nerd obsession!”

For more info or questions about Minis and/or the artist please contact Mark through his instagram: @moonglumsminis

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Until next time!

 

Top four Criterion wants!

Doing the in between periods of the criterion collection sale on Barnes and noble and the Criterion Collection website I start to make a mental list of all the Criterion Collection movies I want! So when the next sale is on I am already prepared! Here are some of my CC’s wants!

1.

Night of the living dead (1968) directed by George A. Romero- fantastic horror movie and one of the first set of midnight movies! George A. Romero forever engrain the word Zombie in people’s mind in this black and white movie that was made for almost close to nothing!

2.

Election directed by Alexander Payne (1999) – I remember having an adoration for the Sundance channel and I would constantly watch three movies from that channel over and over and over!One of those movies was Election. So dark and funny this movie always reminds you of the one person who was in your class that had to be the best of everything to the point of annoyance!

3.

Age of Innocence- directed by Martin Scorsese (1993)- In the spirit of the grandeur style of lush decadence I feel like Scorsese was deeply inspired by Luchino Visconti (fun fact: one of my favorite directors!)films when he made Age of Innocence.

4.

The Silence of the Lambs- directed by Jonathan Demme (1991)- I have the OOP of the Criterion Collection of this movie but I am so glad that this is being reissued with so many upgrades and art cover. This movie made such an impact when it was released and defined a kind of sophistication to the horror genre.

Until next time!