Thursday, October 16, 2008
When I was a kid I would have thought this guy (above) had one of the best jobs in the world: professional mask-maker...every kid's dream! I wonder why there's no such a thing as a kids' store where comic books, toys, masks, fake guns and swords, science stuff, chemistry sets, exotic sodas, fake mounted dinosaur heads, magic tricks, fireworks, etc. are sold all year round.
TV weather stations should emphasize bad weather and ominous natural events around Halloween time. The unspoken, subliminal message should be that a menacing witch's spell is settling on the Earth.
There's lots of kinds of masks. Why don't we see fake African witch doctors and Balinese demons (above) on Halloween night?
I love home-made masks, even when they're made with paper plates like these (above) are.
Ghoulish descriptions of hell are great but is there a Biblical passage that justifies them? Maybe all that came from the imagination of people like Dante. If even fallen angels are so intellectual how come they find pleasure in biting people's faces? Maybe Dante unintentionally did us a disservice. I imagine that after reading him, the medieval torturers perceived their mission as kind and caring. After all, if Hell was as bad as this (above) then racking or burning someone to save his soul would be positively merciful.
A colorful Nolde painting (above).
The evil is so intense here (above) that the air is saturated with howling demons and the people walk funny, as if they were half dead marionettes.
This Hindu mask (above) is terrific!
At first glance this collage (above) seems kind of amateurish and badly executed, but the more you look at it, the more convincing and creepy it gets. Nothing in the picture looks the way it should. You imagine that the witch moves in a jerky, pixilated, unnatural fashion. The very air around her warps as she moves through it, as if a field of something antagonistic to nature surrounds her. If this were on film I picture it done in the style of the film-within-a-film in the American horror film, "The Ring."
Talking about unnatural, I like the graphic way that people were depicted in the old, silent horror films (above). It's easier to be scary when you're not tied down to a naturalistic look.
Here's (above) one of the Japanese masks a commenter recently linked to.
Painting with light! I love it!
Here (above) the ghost of a long-dead hunter is caught, prowling the forest. Some primitive cultures attach a lot of significance to unexplainable motions perceived for an instant out of the side of one's eye. Often they're regarded as forest spirits which can't be viewed straight on.
Thanks to Pierre and Karswell for most of the pictures!
Posted by Eddie Fitzgerald at 11:55 PM