Tag Archives: Oscar Wilde


Beardsley was an emblem of his era: dandy, aesthete, decadent. But for all that emphasis on surfaces and affectation and decor, on art not just free of tendentious moralizing but on a mission to be stylishly, poetically, outrageously amoral or immoral, there was also an ethical imperative: The stormy, magnificent sea is a must all the time. No beauty without violence. No sublimity without corruption. No mores or directives or psalters or self-improvements. These are the crude outlines of the Moral Philosophy of the Exquisite…

Consider the contrast with the prevailing mores of today: Despite the immense degree of sexual freedom that characterizes our time, there is a resurgent compulsion toward stricter morality, a kind of rectitude that oddly mirrors the “repressive” Victorian era and its regime of endless self-improvement, bodily as well as intellectual, moral, and spiritual; self-help was another invention of the nineteenth century. — David Rimanelli

A video tour of Tate Britain’s suspended show AUBREY BEARDSLEY will be available this week on YouTube and the museum’s website, which also provides an illustrated exhibition guide and a short film about the artist.


From Monday, April 13.

Tate Britain

Aubrey Beardsley, from top: The Climax, 1893, line block print on paper, from A Portfolio of Aubrey Beardsley’s Drawings Illustrating Salome by Oscar Wilde (John Lane, 1907); The Woman in the Moon, 1893, line block print on paper; Black Coffee, 1895, line block print on paper, Harvard Art Museums / Fogg Museum; Design for the Frontispiece to John Davidson’s Plays, 1894, Tate Britain; Enter Herodias, 1893, ink on paper, from A Portfolio of Aubrey Beardsley’s Drawings Illustrating Salome by Oscar Wilde; The Cave of Spleen; 1896, illustration to Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock, William Sturgis Bigelow Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Yellow Book, vol. 1, 1894; Two Athenian Women in Distress, 1896, from The Lysistrata of Aristophanes,published by Leonard Smithers, collotype print on paper; Self-Portrait, 1892, British Museum; Lysistrata Shielding her Coynte, 1896, illustration to the frontispiece for The Lysistrata by Aristophanes, pen & ink over traces of preparatory graphite; Lysistrata Haranguing the Athenian Women, 1896; The Black Cape, 1893, line block print on paper; Frederick EvansAubrey Beardsley, 1893, Wilson Centre for Photography, London. Photographs of images courtesy and © Tate.


This is the final week of the local production of THE JUDAS KISS, David Hare‘s brilliant take on the last years of Oscar Wilde and his doomed relationship with Alfred, Lord Douglas—known to Wilde and the world as “Bosie.”

The play is directed by Michael Michetti, and Rob Nagle‘s uncanny portrayal of the iconoclastic Irish playwright is definitive.


Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

March 18, 21, 22, and 23, at 8 pm.

Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24, at 2 pm.

Boston Court Pasadena

70 North Mentor Avenue, Pasadena.

From top: Rob Nagle, (right) as Oscar Wilde, and Colin Bates, as Alfred, Lord Douglas, in The Judas Kiss; Bates, Kurt Kanazawa, and Nagle; Nagle (left) and Darius de la Cruz. Photographs by Jenny Graham, courtesy of Boston Court Pasadena.


Johnny “Guitar” Logan (Sterling Hayden): Don’t go away.

Vienna (Joan Crawford): I haven’t moved.

Johnny: Tell me something nice.

Vienna: Sure. What do you want to hear?

JohnnyLie to me. Tell me all these years you’ve waited. Tell me.

Vienna“All these years I’ve waited.”

Johnny: Tell me you’d have died if I hadn’t come back.

Vienna: “I would have died if you hadn’t come back.”

Johnny: Tell me you still love me like I love you.

Vienna: “I still love you like you love me.”

Johnny: Thanks. [Takes another drink.] Thanks a lot.

The cinema of Jean-Luc Godard—unmatched in its longevity and rigor—is a history of versions, revisions, and doubles, and his new work The Image Book (Le livre d’image) is a filmmaker’s autobiography by a cineaste whose curiosity shows no sign of flagging. The film has five sections, referencing the fingers of a hand, and borrows from a century of footage, including clips from his own durational Histoire(s) du cinéma.

As in all of Godard’s work, standards of continuity, editing, and sound-and-image sync are distorted or discarded. Flows of knowledge and experience are interrupted and memory is questioned. When Godard’s screen turns blank, we can daydream. But when the soundtrack drops out, a chill descends and the world falls through an abyss of silence.

“A truth in art is that which the opposite is also true.” — Oscar Wilde

For Godard, truth appears in fragments. When it comes to the truth, it would be arrogant to think otherwise. In The Image Book, his use of the “lie to me” conversation from Johnny Guitar speaks to something we demand of cinema, something to do with hope. Film is always eluding us—”running away,” as Raymond Bellour wrote. It’s an act of abandonment by a thousand cuts, relieved only by the assurance that there is so much more to come.*

The Image Book is screening twice daily at the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre for the next five days. You’ll want to see it more than once.


Daily at 7:30 pm and 9:40 pm. Sunday matinee at 4 pm.

Through Thursday, February 21.

Aero Theatre

1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.

*Johnny Guitar (1954) was written by Philip Yordan and directed by Nicholas Ray.

Jean-Luc Godard, The Image Book/Le livre d’image, courtesy Kino Lorber.


Michel de Montaigne’s Essais from 1580, Marcel Proust’s Du côté de chez Swann from 1913, Oscar Wilde’s Salomé from 1893—inscribed by its author to his “cher ami” André Gide—and Gide’s Corydon (1911) and Nourritures terrestres (1897, inscribed to Paul Valéry) will be up for auction by Sotheby’s Paris as part of the fourth in a series of sales devoted to the library of Pierre Bergé.

Also included are first editions by Jean Cocteau and Jean Genet, letters from Édouard Manet to his friend Émile Zola, and the Chroniques de France by Monstrelet printed on vellum.



Friday, December 14, at 3 pm.

Hôtel Drouot, 9 rue Drouot, 9th, Paris.

Top: Oscar Wilde, Salomé, inscribed to André Gide.

Above: Page from Pompes funèbres by Jean Genet.

Below: André Gide, Corydon.


Each man kills the thing he loves… the coward does it with a kiss, the brave man with a sword. Oscar Wilde

The black-leather-masked murderer in Yann Gonzalez’s KNIFE + HEART—set in a gay porn milieu in late-1970s Paris—employs both methods.

With dialogue like “Okay, darlings, it’s business time. I want you all naked and stiffer than Giscard,” and a fluffer named Bouche d’or (“Mouth of Gold”), this psychosexual drama is a delicious heir to the camp exploits of John Waters and the thrillers of Brian De Palma.

The film stars Vanessa ParadisNicolas Maury, Kate Moran, Jonathan Genet, Khaled Alouach, Thomas Ducasse, Jacques Nolot, Romane BohringerBertrand Mandico, Jules Ritmanic, and Félix Maritaud.

Artist Simon Thiébaut and choreographer Ari de B (plus dancers) are also featured.

The film will premiere tonight in Hollywood at the AFI Fest, with an encore screening early tomorrow afternoon.


Friday, November 9, at 11:59 pm.

Saturday, November 10, at 12:15 pm.

Chinese Theatre

6950 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Yann Gonzalez, Knife + Heart, from top: Vanessa Paradis; Paradis and Nicolas Maury; Paradis (center); Félix Maritaud (left). Images courtesy and © the filmmaker, the actors, and Memento Films Distribution, France.