As a holiday gift to our fans, The Art of Bleeding has just released some excerpts from the rarely seen 1955 German movie, “Der Struwwelpeter” ( or “Shockheaded Peter” as it is perhaps best known here via The Tiger Lillies’ marvelous theatrical and musical adaptation.)
Previously unavailable with English subtitles, we have taken the liberty of adding our own somewhat creative translations, frequently embroidering satirically on the original. Literalists beware!
The book on which it is based is a sort of 19th-century antecedent to The Art of Bleeding’s program of health-and-safety pedagogy — with a similarly grisly twists. The original 1845 publication was one of the first works of children’s literature, created as a Christmas gift by its author for his own children, so it seemed an appropriate holiday offering.
Much like a baby’s skull, The Art of Bleeding has a soft spot — spot in question being a fondness for of old safety educational films. Above is a prime parodic example in which catnip tidily substitutes for the bogeyman LSD. Odd fact: creator Jason Willis is actually one of the kids in the “Halloween Safety” film we remixed a couple years back. His recollections of that experience make for an interesting read.
Our friend Bill from Y-Que Trading Post, purveyor of LA’s finest satirical and pleasingly moronic T-shirts (including ART OF BLEEDING T-SHIRTS) just dug up this picture he shot at our 2006 “Halloween Highway” show. He’s talking about putting on a T-shirt and making it available at our upcoming 2011 Halloween Highway 2 show. Just the gift for mom and dad this Christmas!
If you’re in San Francisco, September 30, you’ll have the chance to witness The Art of Bleeding stage something akin to our 2006 Halloween Car Crash show shown here. The event will celebrate the publication of The Book of the Is by punk-rock impresario, prankster, mayoral candidate, and man-about-town Chicken John. AoB will perform alongside the daredevils of of Cyclecide’s Bike Rodeo and other acts TBA at at 111 Minna Gallery, (or rather on the street outside the gallery!)
This industrial safety video set in a scrapyard has something for everyone: creepy rubbery puppets nagging about workplace dangers, a murderous conveyor belt, a talking piece of scrap metal, and a patriotic anthem to recycling: “It’s a proud American Tradition scrapping the old to make the new.” Or is was planned obsolesce?
In 1955, Der Struwwepeter (“Slovenly Peter”), the startlingly grisly collection of cautionary tales for children mentioned in our last post was made into a charming technicolor fantasy film by director Fritz Genschow, who had previously directed versions of other classics familiar to German children such as Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, and other fairy tales compiled by the Brothers Grimm. With the exception of a Christmas miracle which undoes all the dreadful fates befalling the naughty children, the film restricts itself to narration provided by the book’s poems. Rather than speaking dialogue, the characters dance their way through each scene in a sort of ballet choreographed to exactly mimic the look of the book’s original illustrations. You can read more about the production on Forces of Geek. And be sure to check out the other YouTube Struwwelpeter clips featuring children having their thumbs cut off, rabbits shooting hunters, death by gluttony, and children carried off by wind-born umbrellas.
Pictures of burning children always catch our attention. Particularly old-timey pictures of burning kids like this one from She Walks Softly. Turns out, this one is a little too good to be true, as it’s not the vintage advertisement for some the kooky product it purports to be, but the work of contemporary designer and illustrator Christian Northeast.
Even though I’d seen this marshmallow roast gone terribly wrong before, I’d assumed it was mere Photoshop trickery, so was surprised to learn these are genuine flesh-and-blood children staging a pyrotechnic stunt for reality TV show pilot. The kids are part of a family of stunt professionals headed by TK TK Dunn, and have performed in many movies including Catwoman, X-Men II, and Scary Movie, and others. No word was to whether the pilot ever sold
Cigarette cards were the bubblegum cards of their Edwardian day. It seems fitting that a cigarette manufacture should produce instructional material on fire safety, though this was only one in a series of hundreds of unrelated to the dangers or ill-effects of smoking, so it would be a bit of a presumptuous to conclude this was offered as a sort of product warning.
The final word in burning children art would have to come from the pen of early German psychiatric pioneer Heinrich Hoffman, who in 1845 created both verse and illustration for his collection of cautionary tales for children Der Struwwelpeter, translated for American audiences by Mark Twain as Slovenly Peter. Peter, a child whose grooming habits were wildly out of control, was one of a host counter-exemplary children, which also included the tale of naughty Pauline (pictured here) whose fascination with matches ends badly despite the best advice of her cats.
Hoffman’s “The Dreadful Story About Matches” was later republished in many editions, sometimes with different illustrations such as this one featuring an older Pauline no longer toting doll and perhaps already on the verge of puberty, a state some scholars have associated with the graphic decision to move the fire from its original location on the child’s back to the more suggestive position shown here.