How Does Your Body Move After Death?

There are actions on your body long after death. Many I wasn’t even aware of until after seeing “Danse Macabre”. When this first started, I thought… Uh Oh. This is going to be some artsy piece where someone “interprets” the movements of a corpse. No way. Nearly all the movements the actor/dancer portrays seem genuine and believable. I say nearly, because the rigor on the table leading to the fall is staged, but for a good reason. It leads to an incredible image of the person falling down the drain with her blood.

Here are some stills from the film.

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I had never considered how a person’s feet would slide after being hanged. This is a  detail that is typically lost when we think of a hanged person. Many of the movements in this piece walk the line of morbid and beautiful.

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This, as I said, was the most staged position. The rigor led to the body falling off the table. Yet the scene that followed was astounding.

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We go from a view of the drain to a shot of the body, curled up, falling away. Stunning.

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I had never considered this rather pedestrian movement of the body. Quite literally, it is lowered into a casket. I’d never thought about how the body was placed in there.

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The most beautiful, and surprising movement, came from an interior shot of the casket. As it is being moved around, the body slides. I’d never even contemplated that.

Here is the full video. It’s about 9 minutes.

Tim Kane

The Monsters that Lurk in Illuminated Texts

Imagine spending all day, every day, writing. That was the lot for many Medieval monks. It was grueling work, so we can’t begrudge them a little levity in the margins. The illustrations that adorn illuminated texts go from the silly to the downright bizarre. Here are some of my favorites.

A bird-like demon with a smaller fighting demon and a woman in his basket, from Nürnberger Schembart-Buch, 17th century

A bird-like demon with a two figures fighting in his basket, from Nürnberger Schembart-Buch, 17th century

I included this skeleton from Ars bene moriendi (France, 1470-1480) mostly because I love skeletons.

I included this skeleton from Ars bene moriendi (France, 1470-1480) mostly because I love skeletons.

Bizarre bird-cat from the Luttrell Psalter, Add 42130 f.197r, c.1325-1335

Bizarre bird-dog-tiger from the Luttrell Psalter, Add 42130 f.197r, c.1325-1335

 

A battle between headless combatants from the Breviary of Renaud de Bar, France, 1302-1303

A battle between headless combatants from the Breviary of Renaud de Bar, France, 1302-1303

Here we have what appears to be a demon (or monster) eating a doughnut. This is from Les Grandes Heures du duc de Berry, Paris, 1409.

Here we have what appears to be a demon (or monster) eating a doughnut. This is from Les Grandes Heures du duc de Berry, Paris, 1409.

There seems to be a trend in Medieval illuminations of animals attacking people.

Homicidal rabbit from Gorleston Psalter, England, 14th century

Homicidal rabbit from Gorleston Psalter, England, 14th century

A very angry, axe-weilding, ape. (Source unknown)

A very angry, axe-weilding, ape. (Source unknown)

Rabbits about to kill a man from The Smithfield Decretals, c. 1300

Rabbits about to kill a man from The Smithfield Decretals, c. 1300

We also see many examples of animal warfare.

Dogs battle rabbits from the Breviary of Renaud de Bar, France, 1302-1303

Dogs battle rabbits from the Breviary of Renaud de Bar, France, 1302-1303

Here, foxes siege a castle of monkeys from a 13th-century Bible.

Here, foxes siege a castle of monkeys from a 13th-century Bible.

A dog and a rabbit joust. Source unknown.

A dog and a rabbit joust. Source unknown.

And then there are the snails. Seriously. Many many illustrations show knights battling snails. Scholars are baffled as to the significance.

A knight about to slay an monstrous snail from The Smithsfield Decretals, decretals of Gregory IX, Tolouse, c. 1300. Illuminations were added about forty years later in London.

A knight about to slay an monstrous snail from The Smithsfield Decretals, decretals of Gregory IX, Tolouse, c. 1300. Illuminations were added about forty years later in London.

Another knight (this one riding a dragon) is about to spear two snails from The Queen Mary Psalter, c 1310-1320 via British Library

Another knight (this one riding a dragon) is about to spear two snails from The Queen Mary Psalter, c 1310-1320 via British Library

So the next time you see a snail, pull your sword.

Tim Kane

Monsters and Aliens, Oh My

Tom Gauld creates stunning prints of monsters and aliens. Check out his hairy monster below. I took the liberty of animating it so you could see all 3 prints.

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Animated gif of a monster’s internal organs. Click to see him animate.

He also has a “Noisy Alphabet” where aliens create all the sounds.

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He also has multiple comic strips. Here’s my fav, having read Ulysses myself.

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Check this artist out. You won’t be disappointed.

Tim Kane

Creepy Webcomic with Pale White Corpses

I stumbled across the webcomic Out of Skin and was taken by the stark language and stunning, almost greytone, graphics.

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The prose also delivers: “The moon shone clean and white as a skull.”

The story is a period piece, perhaps late nineteenth century. It centers around a woman, who lives alone in the woods, discovering a grave of pale corpses uncovered by the rain. The mystery of what happens drags her down some creepy paths. Namely a tree with flesh for bark and hands for leaves.

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Truly a work of fiction that delves into some deep places of horror. Read and enjoy.

Tim Kane

The Surreal Banana People of Lin Shih-Yung

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a banana? Every night, you plant yourself in the ground. Maybe pour a little water on for growth. How difficult is it these days to raise a young banana? Lin Shih-Yung answers these questions and more you never knew you had with her surreal paintings. Take a look.

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Titled “3 Newts”

 

 

Titled "Wasp" this shows a person with a wilted leaf for a head.

Titled “Wasp” this shows a person with a wilted leaf for a head.

 

This one is titled "6 Newts"

This one is titled “6 Newts”

 

Titled "Fresh" it shows a green banana committing suicide.

Titled “Fresh” it shows a green banana committing suicide.

 

Titled "After Taking a Paint"

Titled “After Taking a Paint”

Apparently, the banana people are called Newts. You can see more images from her Flicker site.

by Tim Kane