DM Recommends - September 2021
Well it’s here. Somebody told me it’s officially Autumn. Mostly shit weather vs wearing more interesting clothes. Some interesting telly vs execrable posts on social media about Autumn. Pretty trees vs feelings of existential dread. Life really is a mixed bag, isn’t it?
But I tell you what isn’t a mixed bag - This month’s recommendations.
Nina Simone’s Gum by Warren Ellis
In 1999 after witnessing his idol dispense with her chewing gum on the side of a grand piano, the Australian musician Warren Ellis decided that he had to have that gum, and this is the tale of what followed. Now I love Ellis, I love The Bad Seeds, and Dirty Three are probably the best live act I will see in my life, but even I was a tad wary of this book. It simply had ‘misguided vanity project’ written all over it. But I was wrong, it’s not a memoir of either Ellis or Simone. It’s more elliptical than that. It’s a rumination on objects, talismans and the power we give them and the place they occupy in our lives. Short, charming and pleasingly odd.
In 1900 a French illustrator imagined what life would be like in the year 2000 - I am personally RAGING about the lack of underwater croquet in my life.
The Experimental Abstract films of Mary Ellen Bute - A tip top little piece on Open Culture about this pioneering director and animator who was active in the 1930s - 50s, and inspired Disney’s Fantasia. Really worth a look.