M. C. Escher in popular culture
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References to Relativity
The slasher film A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) features a pastiche of House of Stairs or Relativity conjured up by Freddy Krueger in his dream dimension, referred to in the script as the "Escher Maze", where it is described as "an Escheresque, expressionistic landscape" and "an insane, logic-defying world where water runs uphill and stairs and doors stand at impossible angles to one another."
The Comedy Central animated series Drawn Together has a first-season episode, "Clara's Dirty Little Secret", where Clara believes she is pregnant, and Toot suggests that she fall down some stairs. Clara thinks of a suitable room and leads them to the "M. C. Escher room", where Toot pushes Clara down (and up, around and back down) a flight of stairs.
The FOX animated series Family Guy has alluded to Escher on two occasions. In "Brian Goes Back to College", Stewie and Brian share a room where Stewie puts up a framed print of Relativity, which he calls "Crazy Stairs." He then breaks it while playing Ultimate Frisbee and asks "Oh no, did that hit crazy stairs?". A later episode, "No Meals on Wheels", features Peter complaining that the fact that his new restaurant is attracting paraplegics "is weirder than that rap video by M.C. Escher." Escher is then depicted inside Relativity dressed like MC Hammer in "U Can't Touch This". and rapping, "Going up the stairs and going down the stairs and going up the stairs and going down the stairs and going up the sideways stairs."
On the SyFy sci-fi series Warehouse 13, Escher is said by Leena to be one of the architects, along with Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, who designed the Warehouse. The Escher Vault's design resembles the lithograph Relativity. Inside this vault, the stairwells and walls are constantly moving. Anyone not wearing specially designed glasses run the risk of being lost forever once inside. H.G. Wells is the only known individual to have successfully navigated the Escher Vault without glasses, instead using her Inperceptor Vest to retrieve personal items stored within.
In the Star vs. the Forces of Evil episode "Interdimensional Field Trip", Sabrina, the classmate of Star falls in a construction similar to Relativity.
The Rick and Morty episode "Morty's Mind Blowers" opens with the titular characters fleeing from a humanoid creature set in a place similar to Relativity.
The Futurama episode "I, Roommate" features Relativity as one of the living spaces Fry and Bender are considering living in.
Escher is alluded to in the Phineas and Ferb episode "Gaming the System" in which Candace is found in an environment similar to Relativity.
The Final Space episode "Chapter Three" features a construct alluding to Escher.
In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yami Yugi's mind in the Millenium Puzzle is represented as a construction similar to Relativity. It is a way to emphase the fact that the character doesn't remember anything and so, wander in a labyrinth of wonders. Some stairs even leads to doors which hide some traps behind.
In the city building game Afterlife, Hell's ultimate punishment for Envy is called the Escher pit and is designed to torture souls by having them all be given different punishments, and after a few days are allowed to switch with a neighbor, thinking he / she is better off, only to find that all punishments are worse than the last. The outside slightly resembles Relativity.
In AdventureQuest Worlds, the first lord of chaos is Escherion, who has the ability to invert objects and lives in a castle with an inside similar to "Relativity".
In God of War III, 'Hera's Garden' is a Escher inspired puzzle in which the player must manipulate various objects and the camera perspective to guide protagonist Kratos to the exit.
During the last decades several video games have been released, some of which are more or less inspired by the art of M.C. Escher. Some games borrow the graphical art style; some games contain game mechanics that are heavily influenced by the artist while others are simply put tributes to the works of M.C. Escher.
The song "Mansion Party" by Ninja Sex Party features the line "Take an upside-down left at the M.C. Escher Stairs" and the song's animated music video shows a scene similar to that of Relativity.
In 2017, four combs and 244 steps from old wooden-stepped escalators at Wynyard railway station, Sydney, Australia, were "refashioned into a soaring crisscrossing tangle reminiscent of an Escher puzzle" named 'Interloop', designed by local artist Chris Fox and hanging from a ceiling above one of the new sets of escalators.
References to other works
The Doctor Who episode "Castrovalva" takes its name from Escher's early lithograph of the same name, though Escher's view of Castrovalva has none of the paradoxical elements of his later works to which the setting of the episode could more readily be compared.
A comic crossover between Mike Allred's Madman and Bernie Mireault's The Jam, features Escher as a central character when the two characters enter into an alternate universe created by a somewhat godlike Escher, based on many of his works.
In 2006 Audi released a commercial with many Escher-inspired scenes.
In The Thief and the Cobbler, there is a chase sequence that contains set pieces loosely based on Escher's works. Monument Valley and its sequel features puzzles that are loosely based on Escher's works.
In the film Inception, Arthur demonstrates to Ariadne how to make unbreakable mental mazes by constructing infinite structures. He points out that during their long conversation, they have been traversing the same single flight of stairs, and the camera pans out to show a staircase similar to Escher's Ascending and Descending.
- "Meet Shahram Mokri, director of Iran's first slasher film". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2015-10-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Corliss, Richard (17 December 2014). "Review: Did Anyone Have a Good Time Making 'Night at the Museum 3'?". Time. Retrieved 19 January 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Sooke, Alastair (24 June 2015). "MC Escher: An enigma behind an illusion". Retrieved 19 January 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Stephen Hopkins (Director) (1989). A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (DVD). United States: New Line Cinema.
- John Skipp, Craig Spector, Leslie Bohem, David J. Schow (1989). "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child — Scripts". Retrieved February 21, 2020 – via Nightmare on Elm Street Companion.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- "7 great M.C. Escher inspired Video Games". Screenwanderer.com. Retrieved 2019-01-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Gallery". M. C. Escher. Archived from the original on 4 December 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Other World". M. C. Escher. Archived from the original on 4 December 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Lipson, Andrew. "Escher's "Relativity" in LEGO". www.andrewlipson.com.
- "M.C. Escher stamps". Stamp catalogue. Colnect.com. Retrieved 2016-03-31. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)[permanent dead link]
- Hathaway, Dale K. (2015-11-17). "Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898 - 1972)". Olivet Nazarene University. Archived from the original on 2016-04-12. Retrieved 2016-03-31. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Sydney station's old wooden escalators reborn as art installation". news.com. 5 December 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Lavars, Nick (5 December 2017). "5 tons of vintage wooden escalator warped into spectacular subway sculpture". New Atlas. Retrieved 5 January 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Interloop". Chris Fox. Retrieved 5 January 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "BBC - Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide - Castrovalva - Details". www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Madman/Jam Review". www.flooby.com.
- "M C Escher Audi Drive Illusion". 9 April 2006.
- Cuevas, Diego (26 December 2015). "Y el videojuego encontró a Escher". Jot Down Cultural Magazine (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 January 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Williams, Alex (1997). "The Thief And The Cobbler". Animation World Network. Retrieved August 17, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Lomas, Natasha (12 November 2013). "Meet Monument Valley, The iPad Game Inspired By Escher That Wants Every Screen To Be An Artwork". TechCrunch. Retrieved 19 January 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Reeves, Ben (8 June 2017). "Monument Valley 2". Game Informer. Retrieved 19 January 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- C Higgins. How Mick Jagger Got Dissed By M.C. Escher, 21 oktober 2009. gearchiveerd.