Welcome to my Blog - Ruud Leeuw

2020 Q1 | 2020 Q2 | 2020 Q3 | 2020 Q4 | 2021 Q1 | 2021 Q2 | 2021 Q3 | 2021 Q4 | 2022 Q1 | 2022 Q2 | 2022 Q3 |
2019 Q4 | 2019 Q3 | 2019 Q2 | 2019 Q1 | 2018 Q4 | 2018 Q3 | 2018 Q2 | 2018 Q1 | 2017 Q4 | 2017 Q3 | 2017 Q2 |
2017 Q1 | 2016 Q4 | 2016 Q3 | 2016 Q2 | 2016 Q1 | 2015 Q4 | 2015 Q3 | 2015 Q2 | 2015 Q1 | 2014 Q4 | 2014 Q3 |
2014 Q2 | 2014 Q1 | 2013 Q4 | 2013 Q3 | 2013 Q2 | 2013 Q1 | 2012 Q4 | 2012 Q3 | 2012 Q2 | 2012 Q1 | 2011 Q4 |
2011 Q3 | 2011 Q2 | 2011 Q1 | 2010 Q4 | 2010 Q3 | 2010 Q2 | 2010 Q1 | 2009 Q4

Welcome to my Blog!The lion roars!!!
I hope to share here my irrepressible thoughts on news, music, books, arts and such like. In general these will be items, events and issues which I feel have no place on my website (which focusses on aviation history and travel photography).

The item immediately below this would be the latest posting.

Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived) - Bishop George Berkeley

In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.). The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website.




De Beste Kronkels - Simon Carmiggelt

Simon Carmiggelt (b.07Oct1913 – d.30Nov1987) was a Dutch writer who became a well known public figure in the Netherlands for his daily newspaper columns and his television appearances.
'Kronkel' was his alias for his columns; this book is a compilation of his very best and indeed is a tribute to his talent and work.

The subjects he wrote about, his observations, could not be common enough for Carmiggelt, but his writing turned it into something exceptional and amusing - if you appreciate his dry, wry wit and notice the serious undertone.
And while his writing dates from decades ago, Carmiggelt's writing is as current and enjoyable as, say, Mark Twain in my opinion.
See also my write up on his work in 2012

Wikipedia (Dutch)
Wikipedia (English)



William Egglestone's Guide - photography
William Eggleston (born July 27, 1939), is an American photographer.
He is widely credited with increasing recognition for color photography as a legitimate artistic medium to display in art galleries.
Eggleston was born in Memphis, Tennessee and raised in Sumner, Mississippi. As a boy, he was introverted; from an early age, he was drawn to visual media, and reportedly enjoyed buying postcards and cutting out pictures from magazines.
Eggleston's early photographic efforts were inspired by the work of Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank, and by French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's book, The Decisive Moment.

First photographing in black-and-white, Eggleston began experimenting with color in 1965 and 1966 after being introduced to the medium by William Christenberry. Color transparency film became his dominant medium in the later 1960s.
In an interview, John Szarkowski of New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) describes his first, 1969 encounter with the young Eggleston as being "absolutely out of the blue". After reviewing Eggleston's work (which he recalled as a suitcase full of "drugstore" color prints) Szarkowski prevailed upon the Photography Committee of MoMA to buy one of Eggleston's photographs.
Eggleston taught at Harvard in 1973 and 1974, and it was during these years that he discovered dye-transfer printing.

At Harvard, Eggleston prepared his first portfolio, entitled 14 Pictures (1974). Eggleston's work was exhibited at MoMA in 1976.
Eggleston's published books and portfolios, include Los Alamos (actually completed in 1974, before the publication of the Guide) the massive Election Eve (1976; a portfolio of photographs taken around Plains, Georgia before that year's presidential election); The Morals of Vision (1978); and Flowers (1978); Wedgwood Blue (1979); Seven (1979); Troubled Waters (1980); The Louisiana Project (1980). William Eggleston's Graceland (1984) is a series of commissioned photographs of Elvis Presley’s Graceland, depicting the singer’s home as an airless, windowless tomb in custom-made bad taste.
Other series include The Democratic Forest (1989), Faulkner's Mississippi (1990), and Ancient and Modern (1992).
Wikipedia, more..

'The Guide' contains 48 images, edited down from 375 shot between 1969 and 1971. They are displayed in a deceptively casual look at the surrounding world. Here are people, landscapes, and odd little moments in and around Eggleston's hometown of Memphis,TN.
Must admit I much prefer the 'Mr Slater' book discussed below.


The absence of mr Slater - Americana Photography

This book is a photo document that manages to capture the essence of the USA without photos of the usual landmarks. After the very first images that feeling welled up inside me and I am pretty sure that anyone who has looked beyond the Disney parks or a condo in Florida, will be captivated by this photo document.
Two Dutch photographers / graphic designers travelling the US of America, shooting pictures with Nikon equipment and on Kodachrome slides, wearing a mindset somewhat similar as Walker Evans, Robert Frank, William Eggleston, Stephen Shore and Joel Sternfield.
When they had returned and compared results a pattern emerged.
What followed was a book.
The absence of Mr Slater.
Beautifully printed, no telling who took which picture, but what remains is photography detailing things such day & night, contemporary society, superficiality, disconnection, history, etc.
Lots of things, but it translates to a documentary feeling, as one snapshot of a society. It is clearly recognisable which society.
If I counted correctly: 98 pages, 106 images (book size 22,5 x 17,3cm).
Well done.



Snoecks 2014

Ever since the late 1980s I have been buying faithfully the yearly editions of Snoecks.
The last few years they have been esspecially good, with a great diversity in photography. And I never skip the introduction with new literature been published in the past year (the edition is always in store by the end of the year). And I like the addition of the same sort chapter at the end of the book, on remarkable photobooks that have been published.
The ideal coffeetable book to pick up in those dark first few months of the year.

Long may this tradition continue!




In my series '36 Exposures' on Blurb I compiled an issue on my 2013 visit to Cambodia





Broachchurch, excellent tv crime drama

Broadchurch is a British television crime drama broadcast on ITV, involving the death of a young boy and the search for his killer, starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman, both performing very well.
The series is set on the Dorset coast. It premiered on 04Mar2013 on ITV.
The first series achieved high ratings for ITV, winning critical acclaim, and generating a large amount of publicity around the 'whodunnit' mystery.
I enjoyed this recently on our telly, broadcasted by RTL4: not the obvious source to enjoy good crime series as they usually pass on the flaccid, predictable American crap.
After the first series ended, ITV announced that Broadchurch would return for a second series.
Trust the Yanks to aim for a remake, Gracepoint the intended title.




Witch Hunt by Ian Rankin

Witch Hunt is one of a series of books by Ian Rankin published under the name of Jack Harvey originally.
This is not a DI Rebus novel, yet has all the markings I have come to expect from a Rankin book: a complicated and detailed storyline, with characters well defined but never slow, always at a good pace.

In Witch Hunt a terrorist is at large, a woman who can be hired by the highest bidder but who uses her price money for 'personal projects'. Which makes her targets unpredictable.
Her identity and background is unknown, but a retired policeman, Dominic Elder, has named her Witch. He came close to arresting her earlier in his career but failed. He suspects her to be involved in a personal tragedy, a bomb blast in Paris.
Dominic Elder returns from retirement since he's kept a large dossier on Witch and knows her best. He assists Police Inspectors Doyle and Greenleaf, or they assist him. And there is the young Barclay, a data processor who grabs the opportunity to do actual field work, and the coöperation with the French police in the personification of Dominique.
An international summit is being held in London and Witch is suspected to have a contract on one of the world leaders.
Trust Rankin to make the ending different from the obvious.
Good reading.

wikipedia.org - Ian_Rankin



The Bridge 2 - Scandi Noir crime drama

The Bridge (Danish: Broen; Swedish: Bron) is a Scandinavian crime drama television series, co-produced by Sveriges Television and Danmarks Radio as well as ZDF, 2 series of which have so far been completed. The first series started with a police investigation following the discovery of a dead body on the bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark. It was first broadcast on SVT1 and DR1 during the autumn of 2011.

The Bridge was the first joint creative and financed production between Sweden and Denmark. It was created and written by Hans Rosenfeldt.

The 2nd series aired in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland over 10 weeks from 09Sep2013 to 24Nov2013.
Lumiere.be made it available in a dvd box, which is what I watched, captivated, this last week.

The second series starts 13 months after the end of the 1st series.
A coaster veers off course and rams into the Øresund Bridge. Saga Norén (brilliant role by Sofia Helin, probably even better than in the first series) arrives on the scene and finds the ship deserted save for 5 people – 3 Swedish and 2 Danish – chained below deck. Saga arranges to have Martin Rohde (played by Kim Bodnia again) assigned to the case. After the victims on the coaster die from pneumonic plague.
This is a start of a series of attacks by eco-terrorists.

Martin's life had been getting back in order since the death of his son August, even working out the trauma by visiting his son's killer Jens Hansen in prison. But Martin's wife Mette then announces that their marriage is over.
Saga has found a boy friend who moves in with her. But what she knows from relationships comes from books, these things don't come natural to her.
Next to these two we see Dag Malmberg as Saga's boss Hans Petterson), Martin´s boss Lillian is played by Sarah Boberg and an assistant team Pernille and Rasmus (resp. Vickie Bak Laursen and Henrik Lundström) contribute in the drama.
The number of female roles in powerful positions during the story is remarkable too: Caroline Brandstrup-Julin (by Lotte Munk) organizes an EU climate conference, Victoria Nordgren (Tova Magnusson) is CEO of a pharmaceutical company, Gertrud Kofoed (Camilla Bendix) a chief scientist in that company and sister-in-law of Victoria, Bodil Branstrup (Lotte Merete Andersen) a publishing editor & biographer of Victoria and sister to Caroline.

There is drama and suspense until the very last minute of the 10 sixty minutes episodes. It doesn't get better than this.




Black Skies - crime fiction by Arnaldur Indridason

Black Skies is set in the same period as Indridason's book reviewed below, Outrage, but Police Detective Sigurdir Óli is the main character this time. While the story develops, references are made to his collegue Elínborg working on the case in Outrage.
And Erlendur, the main character in Indridason's most previous novels remains absent for an undetermined quest in eastern parts of Iceland.

Sigurdir Óli sees no harm to answer to a plea for help from a friend, Patrekur, to pay a visit to a couple suspected of blackmailing friends of Patrekur. But he walks into a crime scene where the victim dies.
This puts Óli in a difficult spot and a collegue objects to his continued involvement; but both know a few things from each other and Siggi (he hates that nickname!) continues his detective work, walking on eggs.
Meanwhile he sees his relationship with Bergthóra being terminated.
There is also reference to police brutality.

Sigurdir Óli is one for the comforts of life, in awe for all things American, and so his surprised by his own fascination for Andres, who is very much a loser in his book. He suspects there is great human tragedy involved though he has no idea about the crime committed in this context.
Óli has other things on his mind and his investigations lead him from violent debt collectors to people in the world of finance and banking.

The original title of this book, the 8th of Arnaldur Indridason's Reykjavík novels translated to English, is Svörtuloft, 'the Black Fort'. This is both "what people call the Central Bank" and the name of a West Iceland promontory, where a desolate lava field falls down in sheer cliffs to the sea.

The story is set in 2009, before the collapse of Iceland's three major commercial banks. Óli's friend Patrekur voices his doubts over the expanding economy and borrowing, but we see others following the bubble, finance middle management and many others joining the dream of luxury.
We all know where it went.

Another gripping tale by Arnaldur Indridason.

Paul Binding's 2012 review on www.independent.co.uk
Arnaldur Indriðason on Wikipedia



Death in Paradise - tv series

Death in Paradise is a British crime comedy-drama created by Robert Thorogood and starring Ben Miller and Sara Martins. The programme is a joint UK and French production filmed on the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe.
After consistently high ratings during the 2nd series, on 12 February 2013, Death in Paradise was commissioned for a third series by Ben Stephenson. The BBC announced on 9 April 2013 that Ben Miller (DI Richard Poole) would exit Death in Paradise in series three while a new detective, DI Humphrey Goodman (played by Kris Marshall - very much liked his role as DS Luke Stone in the police drama series Murder City), would be taking over.
The 3rd series is set to begin airing on 14 January 2014, i.o.w. TODAY!!!
en.wikipedia.org - Death_in_Paradise_(TV_series)


peter Sekaer - The Signs of Life

Peter Sekaer (born Peter Ingemann Sekjær 1901 - 1950) was a Danish-American photographer and artist. In rebellion to his dominant father he ran away from home when he was 17 and sailed to the United States of America, land of hope and dreams.
Sekaer soon became acquainted with Ben Shahn, who may have been the one to introduce him to photography and who later introduced him to Walker Evans.
After 1933, he devoted himself exclusively to photography, studying with Berenice Abbott at the New School for Social Research, and assisting Walker Evans on the project of photographing The Museum of Modern Art's African sculpture collection.

From 1936 to 1942 Sekaer became a professional photographer and was hired by the federal government agency, the Rural Electrification Administration (REA).
In 1938 the REA sent Sekaer to the United States Housing Authority (USHA). The photographs Sekaer made for the USHA, an agency primarily concerned with the removal of city slums and sponsorship of public urban housing.
Transferred again in 1940 Sekaer photographed Navajo and Pueblo Indians for the Office of Indian Affairs.
After 1942 he continued working for other federal agencies photographing briefly for the Office of War Information (OWI).
Sekaer left Washington, DC for New York where he freelanced for several years, doing fashion and editorial assignments, until he died of a massive heart attack at home with his family, at the age of 49 in 1950.

peter Sekaer photography
The large photo is by Peter Sekaer and the small one by Walker Evans, both taken at the same occasion.
It shows how Sekaer travelled and learned from the established Evans as a photographer, but developed his own style: including people. Thus his photography earned itself a larger domension as a social document.

This book, 'The Signs of Life: Photographs by Peter Sekaer', includes an essay by his daughter Christina Sekaer (who found her father dead or dying when she was five years old) 'On Finding My father In His Photographs'. There is a lot to be learned about the person Peter Sekaer here, like that he probably had more empathy than his father he ran away from but was equally strong willed in finding his way.
Such as the fact he was married to a Norwegian woman, but he left her for Christina' s mother and drove a long way to be married as soon as possible.
He changed his name from Sekjaer to Sekaer also because he liked how it sounded 'See-Care', a nice name and image for a photographer.
Christina grew up learning very little about her father from her mother who had remarried. A family visit to Denmark in later life brought furher interest and questions; she also found that a large selection of her father's photos in her possession might be worth something.
Christina looked up her father´s photography assistent and it became evident she'd been more than an assistent to her father, who had moved from the family residence on a more or less permanent basis in his last years of his life.
While a tragedy for his children to loose their father at such a young age, he amassed a beautiful photographic legacy in his short life. This wonderful book bears witness to that in all respects.




Joep Bertrams

Joep Bertrams (b. 07Mar1946) is a dutch political cartoonist who has seen his work published in newspapers such as Het Parool, weekly magazines such as De Groene Amsterdammer and on tv in NOVA.
Bertrams studied at first for a teaching job and then arts in The Hague (1967-72). During those years he made illustrations for union magazines.
At first he teached at schools in Breda, later in Hoofddorp. He made illustrations for magazines such as Taptoe, Okki and Ezelsoor. The first book he contributed work for was De Allersterkste (1977) by Karel Eykman. Others, with his illustrations, soon followed
Until 1989 he worked mainly as an illustrator for children books. In 1986 he was awarded with the 'Zilveren Penseel' for 'Salamanders vangen' by Wiel Kusters. In 1989 he was again awarded by the 'Zilveren Penseel'.
He had also designed puppets and worked at theatre decorations. 'Oren van je Kop' was a tv program he contributed to.
In 1982 he started work with the newspaper Het Parool, drawings for a children column 'Goochem'. This lasted until 1988 and at that time he was asked to become a political cartoonist for the newspaper.
His work was copied abroad by (e.g.) the Herald Tribune, The New York Times, Newsweek, Le Monde and de Süddeutsche Zeitung. Even the webmagazine ‘Slate’ published his humor.
Between 1991 - 2001 his work also appeared in the German weekly Die Zeit.
In 2001 he was awarded the 'Ton Smitspenning'. thousands enjoyed his work on Parool.nl.
In 2006 he was awarded a price for the best political cartoon of 2005.

Recently an exhibition was held in Amsterdam´s Persmuseum of his work. This is where I bought these two books. What better way than to look back over recent years browsing Bertram´s satire.




Unite One - Rejseholdet

Rejseholdet (International title: Unit One) is a Danish television crime series starring Charlotte Fich, Mads Mikkelsen, Lars Brygmann, Waage Sandø, Erik Wedersøe, Trine Pallesen, Lars Bom and Michael Falch.
Produced by Danmarks Radio (DR), the program aired 32 episodes, spanning 4 seasons from 2000 to 2004.
Each episode revolved around an elite mobile police task force called 'Unit One' that travels around Denmark assisting local police solve crimes.
Cases portrayed in the show were loosely based upon actual incidents of sensational crimes such as murders, kidnappings, cross-border sex traffic and child pornography.
Rejseholdet won the 2002 International Emmy Award for best drama series.

The dvd boxes above displayed depict Series 6 and 7. These were the last produced. Each episode, until the very last one, showed high quality crime drama. It feels like parting.
Previous episodes were discussed 2013 Q4 and 2013 Q2.




The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk

I came across this book (Dutch title 'De Onschuld van Voorwerpen') and picked it up because it was so beautifully produced.
This book is connected to the novel 'The Museum of Innocence' by Orhan Pamuk, Nobel-laureate Turkish novelist, published on 29Aug2008. The book is an account of love between a wealthy businessman Kemal and a poorer distant relation Füsun during the period 1975 to 1984 in Istanbul.

Pamuk has established an actual 'Museum of Innocence', based on the museum described in the novel. It is housed in a building in the Çukurcuma neighbourhood of Beyoğlu, Istanbul, and displays a collection evocative of everyday life and culture of Istanbul during the period in which the novel is set.
After much delay, the museum was finally inaugurated in April 2012.

This book is about the museum, the text however deals also about the love story between Kemal and Füsun, as if Kemal and Orhan Pamuk worked together in establishing this museum in memory of Füsun - savouring the atmosphere of the novel.
I hope to visit that museum one day!

Wikipedia.org - The_Museum_of_Innocence



Guy Clark / My Favorite Picture of You

Guy Charles Clark (b. 06Nov1941) is an American Texas country and folk singer, musician, songwriter, recording artist, and performer. He has released more than 20 albums.
Clark was born in Monahans,TX and eventually settled in Nashville, where he helped create the progressive country and outlaw country genres.
Clark has been a mentor to such other singers as Steve Earle and Rodney Crowell. He organized Steve Earle's first job as a writer in Nashville.
In 2006 Clark released 'Workbench Songs'. The album was nominated for 'Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album' at the Grammy Awards. He also toured with Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, and John Hiatt in 2004, 2005 and 2007. Perhaps he came to Europe then too, it may have been the event I saw him play at the Blue Highways festival.
In 2013 Clark was nominated for his 7th Grammy Award for his album 'My Favorite Picture of You' in the 'Best Folk Album' category.

The title song is a love song dedicated to his wife, who passed away in 2012. The cover of the CD shows a 1970s polaroid of a woman staring confidently, challenging even, into the camera.
The woman is Susanna Clark, who'd been pictured after she'd found her husband drunk at home again with his drinking buddy Townes van Zandt. Not pleased at all.
In 'My Favorite Picture Of You' he looks back on this, without sentiment, spiced with some dry humor, but sensitive to what she must have felt and full of love: 'A stand up angel, who won't back down. Nobody's fool, nobody's clown.'
You see him sitting, staring at that photo, treasuring the memories. Sung without false sentiment.
Absolutely the best.
And I treasure the fact that the lyrics have been included in this nicely produced CD.


Vanishing trade: book binding

A little 2013 project almost done: I had my Propliner Magazine, complete from edition no.1 (1979), binded in a nice series. Two last editions will be done when 2013 is complete.
Finding a good book binder is a quest these days, the old trade is hard to find.
Loogman's Boekbinderij in Amsterdam did a wonderful job. Aviation magazines apparently did them a good trade (Vliegende Hollander, World Airline Fleets, etc).



Newspapers in print

Copied from De Volkskrant, date 08Jan2014


Outrage by Arnaldur Indridason - Icelandic crime fiction

In almost all other crime novels by Arnaldur Indriðason we see Detective Erlendur dealing with the murder mystery. In Outrage he's away from Reykjavik and a disturbing case is handled by his female sidekick, Elinborg.
The female perspective creates a different kind of novel from Erlendur, who is withdrawn and an isolated loner, while Elinborg is multi-tasking: dealing with family issues and showing sensitivity to the victims of a serial rapist.
Elinborg has a teenage son in 'a difficult age', but her husband doesn't seem to be too bothered.
While I could have done without Elinborg´s love for cooking, her smell is a key feature to solving the case.



William Klein Photography @FAOM

Today went to the William Klein Photography exhibition @FOAM (Amsterdam, NL).
William Klein (b 19Apr1928) is an American-born French photographer and filmmaker noted for his ironic approach to both media and his extensive use of unusual photographic techniques in the context
of photojournalism and fashion photography.

He was ranked 25th on Professional Photographer's list of 100 most influential photographers.


More photos on my Flickr account

William Klein Photography @FAOM




back to top...






Created: 01-Oct-2013