Struss’d out

Advertisement of J. Déiré England’s dry plates, 1884

Struss’d out

Bobbi wondered if I laugh. Yes, actually I laugh all the time. Especially when things get really bad. It has always seemed to me to be a better alternative than crying. Though I sometimes do that too, it usually doesn’t last as long as the laughter. Sometimes people get the wrong idea. My sense of humor is rather dry.

It was downright embarrassing in document design class last week, as a matter of fact. I couldn’t stop laughing when I found a link on splinters to the Museum of Depressionist Art. There was just something about Caravangeo’s David with the Head of Godzilla and the well known Jerry Van Eyk’s portrait that made me explode uncontrollably. Okay, so I’m easily amused. Self portrait of the Artist with his Ex-Wives had a certain aura of truth to it as well. Fun for hours, I’m telling you.

Splinters is on a roll— another one today: My favorite shirt is of course, Dada (number 0):

“Every man his own football”

Attacking down the left, a Dadaist was not an easy player to pin down, and allocating a squad number could also prove a problem.

Intrigued by the reference a few days ago to Karl Struss, I really Struss’d out today. Not only was the pictorialist an advertizing photographer, he also turned cinematographer working for Cecil B. DeMille. IMDB lists 139 movies to his credit. What a career! The weird thing is, they are listed in reverse chronological order so top billing is given to The Alligator People. “Her honeymoon turned into a nightmare of horror!” Could this be the same man from the Steiglitz circle? The future cinematographer of Kronos, Destroyer of the Universe? It seems so. Scrolling down, I see that he also filmed Chaplin’s The Great Dictator and the original silent Ben Hur of 1925, and a film billed as one of the best silent films ever made, Sunrise. It just goes to show you that even an artist has to make a living. Or maybe, it shows that I’m unusually inquisitive and easily amused.

But there was another weird connection. After all the time I spent writing about Hart Crane and Walker Evans and The Bridge, it was eerie to stumble on Struss’s photograph of Brooklyn Bridge. It seems like such a long strange trip from the Photo-secession to becoming the director of photography for My Friend Flicka.

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