Category Archives: Basil King MIRAGE film

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Our UK Tour–VEG BOX aka Free Range

October 10, 2013:  A train from London to Canterbury where Elaine Randall and Ian Rose met us, stashed our heavy bags in their car, and took us over (in the rain) to The Good Shed –a marvelous combo of farmer’s market and locavore food restaurant. Also possessing good parking, a rarity in Canterbury.

At Veg Bpx, Elaine Randall and Ian Rose (Ian Brinton, right background
At Veg Bpx, Elaine Randall and Ian Rose (Ian Brinton, right background) before the performance began

We had daunting directions to our reading that night at The Veg Box, aka Free Range.  Something about walking through parking lots to the back fire escape.  So I thought NYC with a ladder-like set of very steep narrow iron steps. How in the hell will Baz get his gamy leg up?

Turned out to be normal enough, just metal and concrete. “Fireproof.” And about six steps in all.

There we met Sam Bailey…who very shyly asked if we’d mind his opening the evening with some piano playing by him.  We are guests. Of course we said yes. But had sinking feelings. What music would he play?   He’d already done yeoman’s service running back & forth to his apartment for the right cables and computer attachments to make showing the Basil King film possible.

Our doubts justified?  Not at all!   Give a listen:

We were surprised too how many people showed up:  some were BMC fans (Ian Brinton, e.g.) but many others crowded in.  From Kent University, Christ Church University, University College. Townspeople too.  From their attention and the questions asked, the audience was full of readers.  Per David Herd, who heads modern literature at Kent, this is one place where multiple streams can gather.  We need such in New York City!

Baz at the Veg Box
Baz at the Veg Box
Martha King at Veg Box, answering questions
Martha at Veg Box, answering questions





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Our UK Tour—October 9 to November 5

Basil buys sausage
Basil buys sausage

October 9:    Images from our first day

London – A rest before readings, talks, and screening of “Basil King:MIRAGE” to come in Canterbury and at Kent University on the 10th and 11th.    A rest we thought, in a modest chain hotel on Bankside.  Turned out we were just down the street from Southwark Cathedral, just down the riverbank from Tate Modern, just around the corner from the reconstructed Globe.  The hotel was attached at the back to the Anchor, one of the oldest pubs in London.

We did it all.

Bankside was horrendous slums when Baz was a boy. Warehouses, rooming houses, dens too rank for his mother to ever be tempted to cross London Bridge, though she often took him for long walks down to the Embankment from their home off Commercial Street in the East End.

Gem of the area now: Borough Market. It has been in operation since before the Norman Conquest, really. Today a major destination, with both Victorian, 20th and 21st century updates. My photos aren’t for vegetarians.  Baz loved the boar sausage!





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NEWS: Screenings of “Basil King:MIRAGE”


Screenings of the film, scheduled to date:

October 10, 2013:   Kent University, Canterbury, UK

October 17, 2013:  Sussex University, Brighton, UK

October 22, 2013:  Oxford Brookes School of Arts, Oxford University, Oxford, UK

January 9, 2014:   Asheville Museum, Asheville, NC

Previously screened at The Beverly Film Festival, Beverly, MA, and at Mark Lamoureaux’s loft, New Haven, CT.

For more about the film and the filmmakers, including the trailer,  visit

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NEWS: New Haven Screening

Two words: quiet and intense.  Martha read from memoir about moving to New York in 1957—and finding a place where Baz could paint and they could live for $50 a month.  Down at the bottom of Manhattan Island, a block from Battery Park, when that was below what the cops called the “Fulton Street deadline.” It was almost totally uninhabited and fabulously empty all night long.

Baz read selections from Learning to Draw, showing one more time how all the intertwining parts of that epic can recombine, reorder, and be seen in different combinations  like paintings in a museum or cards in the deck.   There was Camille (Monet) on her deathbed and the Towering Ace from “Wild Cards”;  Bill Traylor, the cave painters, and Cy Twombly from “In the Movies”.   There was Hans Holbein the Younger arriving at Black Mountain with a suitcase and a small hamper of brushes and paints (from “The Real Thing Has Four Parts”) and there were the smells, sounds, images of September 11, 2001 from “Twin Towers.”

Learning to Draw Then Mark Lamoureaux projected the film,  “Basil King: MIRAGE.”  We had to do the reading first because sunlight streams into their high floor near Wooster Square till well past 9 pm and Mark and Rachel have white translucent blinds.

Mark had a screen and a projector for the DVD disk.  But not the BluRay version.  It was so well received people asked to see it again.  As a filmic introduction to painter/poet Basil King it is quite properly layered, nuanced, intricate and deserving of multiple viewings.  Once again, thanks to Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte.

Stay tuned for news of  future screenings!

Baz in his studio - the same shelf of chalks is the opening visual of the film
Baz in his studio – the same shelf of chalks is the opening visual of the film

ABOUT the film



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NEWS: “Basil King: MIRAGE” to play in New Haven

NEWS:  June 19, 2013.     Mark Lamoureux  and Rachel Chatalbash are hosting a screening of  the film, “Basil King: MIRAGE” and the video of  the conversation between Basil and George Quasha, “Art is Not Natural,” at 7:30 PM in their loft in New Haven.  The film, created by Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, is a portrait of the artist featuring his paintings, graphics, and text from his long poem, mirage.

Basil and Martha will be on hand to read their prose and poetry and talk.  Books will be for sale at “reading” prices – and guests are welcome.  Visit Mark Lamoureux’s  EVENTS page on Facebook for details.Martha & Basil King