2009/09/29

Do You Think the Red Bird Will Fancy...?


A Dandy in Aspic - (1968) Directed by Anthony Mann,

Laurence Harvey; Starring Laurence Harvey, Tom Courtenay,

Mia Farrow, Harry Andrews and Peter Cook


I didn't like this too much. The cast was good, I just didn't find myself too invested in the story. Perhaps its the fact that the director passed away during its filming and Laurence Harvey stepped in to finish directing the film. That might account for some of the confusion I felt in trying to follow the story. It might also be the case that its one of those films that just grow on you the more you watch them.


Quincy Jones provided the soundtrack, although, one went too long a time before hearing any of it. Besides the opening/closing credits most of the music (which was very little) didn't fully compliment the film.


The presence of Peter Cook, John and Norman Bird, gave the film a comedic quality that was out of context as the film seemed to be serious in direction. I just don't know what to think of the film or whether I should care to try again. The triumph of this film was that it was unpredictable, but in a bad way; nothing that I expected to happen happened but what occurred in its place, held very little impact. Yet, for some reason I do kind of want to see it again. If for no other reason than Mia Farrow being so beautiful and Peter Cook, so out of place.



My Under-Achieving Ancestors


Sure lets blame the microbes!


Here's an article about how sulfur-loving microbes may have stinted complex life on Early Earth.


I think its rather mean of scientists to blame sulfur loving microbes for what they consider the "Boring Billion" (a term insensitively meant for the stalling of multicellular life, early in Earth's history). Microbes that thrived on sulfur washed out into the oceans and interfered with early photosynthesizing processes that generated oxygen from water, scientists now propose.


Couldn't the microbes have their fun too? What's boring to us may've been the time of their lives! I'd most simply love to be any one of those sulfur sucking jerks for one day, just to be on a planet free of humans and the restraint of so many goddamn cells. And what's the rush anyhow? Are you expecting a better world today, if only we multi-celled party crashers would have snuck in earlier? Flying cars, downloadable thoughts and reality commanding networks of brain activity that would have made Earth rather an Olympus, one long playground of the Gods. Assuming, that is, if multicellular life commenced as soon as The Great Oxidation hit the street charts, us humans are the eventual beneficiaries. I am skeptical.


I like to think of events in terms of sequence and consequence. One sequence leads to consequence, which becomes the sequence for the following consequence, and so on and so on. To change one sequence is to change every sequence and consequence that therefore follows. This is obviously the point that the scientists and I agree upon, since its precisely this alteration on consequence that they seek by dreaming of getting the biological ball rolling in the pre-quarter. However, all things considered I think things turned out rather well. Life is such a specific, spontaneous orchestra of conditions and opportunities that one shift in either and we might not even have ever arrived to our present state, we could have easily been a fad, a quick trend; not just humans but mammals altogether, pushed aside by the next big hit. Or maybe under the shadows of dinosaurs or giant telepathic crab-squids.


Now I know that the scientists aren't really resentful of these microbes, that its just the possible beginnings to understanding why life took so long to boom when the conditions were more or less available. I wrote this more so, for the funny, proud ones out there who had it in their mind to actually yield irresponsible contempt for the sulfur-dieting, prehistoric hipsters that "robbed" them of a farther evolved present; one that they might possibly feel entitled to.

2009/09/28

Sunday Monday



The Devil's Brigade - (1968) Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen

Starring William Holden, Cliff Robertson, and Vince Edwards


Cliff Robertson is similar to today's Christian Bale, he was so intense. He pretty much plays an uptight Canadian Major in this film. He loosens up throughout the spanning of the plot but during the war scenes, he comes across as a little psychotic, its just that Cliff Robertson always adds this angst to his characters as if there's a build up within, that's painfully calling for release. Definitely worth watching in The Best Man against none better counterpoint, Henry Fonda. Its funny that I mentioned Christian Bale, because in The Best Man, Robertson reminds me more of Harvey Dent in Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale's The Long Halloween.



Home From the Hill - (1960) Directed by Vincente Minnelli

Starring Robert Mitchum, Eleanor Parker, George Peppard,

George Hamilton


What should I say about Robert Mitchum besides he's a man's man. The way he talks, the way his eyes have that half asleep, half disinterested look. It is my believe that if Mitchum Deodorant wasn't named after him, it should've. George Peppard was interesting to watch but he reminded me an awful lot of Newman, who I kept imagining in the role of Rafe. George Hamilton most annoyed me but he did a good job when all's said and done, because it was his character that I hated not his performance.



Alice - (1990) Directed by Woody Allen

Starring Mia Farrow, Alec Baldwin, Blythe Danner

Judy Davis, William Hurt, Keye Luke, Joe Mantegna

Bernadette Peters, Cybill Shepherd, Gwen Verdon


Wonderful, Mia Farrow is an amazing actor. I love how Woody is not in this film and in his stead, we have a woman who is shy, confused, sexually frustrated, descriptions that some of Woody's characters have been known to possess. Allen is a great storyteller, if I cared at all about relevance, I'd be ashamed that I'm only now discovering how good of a filmmaker Woody Allen is.



A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy - (1982)

Directed by Woody Allen; Starring Woody Allen,

Mia Farrow, Jose Ferrer, Julie Hagerty, Tony Roberts

Mary Steenburger


I won't even say anything. I think I'm going to watch it over and later on write a separate blog for this film.

2009/09/24

Gimme The Blood!

"Jesus gave his life on the cross for any who will believe. We're not redeemed by silver or gold. Jesus paid for it with his blood (1 Peter 1:18). When some one tells you that your religion is a bloody religion and the Bible is a bloody book, tell them yes, Christianity is a bloody religion; the gospel is a bloody gospel; the Bible is a bloody book; the plan of redemption is bloody. It is. You take the blood of Jesus Christ out of Christianity and that book isn't worth the paper it is written on. It would be worth no more than your body with the blood taken out. Take the blood of Jesus Christ out and it would be a meaningless jargon and jumble of words."

-Billy Sunday

I was going to write a long blog about how much I love Elmer Gantry and There Will Be Blood but instead I'll provide the following online reading for any of you who like myself has the time, the attention span, and the curiosity.


First is an intelligent study about There Will Be Blood, some good points are punctuated as well as interesting information that I wasn't aware of. Read the entire post and then the comments to maximize the experience.


The Chutry Experiment

http://www.chutry.wordherders.net/wp/?p=1819


The second is just plain ol' fun, especially if you're one of the following,


a Burt Lancaster fan...


an Eli Sunday fan...


or just someone who thinks evangelists are nuts...


Billy Sunday is who Eli is referenced to (his name is Eli Watkins in the novel Oil! from which There Will Be Blood is adapted). Billy Sunday is also the inspiration for Elmer Gantry. Billy Mays was the Billy Sunday of Product Infomercials, just to give you an idea of his character. PT Anderson even used a piece of Elmer Gantry's "Booze Sermon" in There Will Be Blood, when Eli is preaching and insists that he'd bite, and if he had no teeth he would gum, satan. I was curious as to what a Billy Sunday sermon would be like. Sure enough google and I got down and there it was "Billy Sunday Sermons." One caught my eye immediately, "Atonement Through the Blood of Christ." Through Frank Gorshin's unforgettable impression, I can hear Burt Lancaster's voice as my eyes slide across the screen wishing I were a scared sinner. Billy Sunday not only rocked the word into you, he quaked the earth in the process, respect where respect is due.


Billy Sunday Sermon,

Atonement Through the Blood of Christ:

http://www.biblebelievers.com/billy_sunday/sun4.html

2009/09/23

In Addition...

Oh my. This is what capitalism looks like. Gimme Some More. Fast paced, fast cuts, disorienting, bright colors, exaggerated costumes and fish eye lenses to the effect of the distortion of shapes, things may be in fact smaller than they appear. Behind the beat, Bernard Hermann's theme from Psycho, since capitalism is insane, Patrick Bateman can attest.


Yo Spliff, Where Tha Weed At?

Psycho - (1960) Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Starring Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin

and Janet Leigh.


Finally saw this in its entirety. I was wondering about the films of Alfred Hitchcock because he was a well known director in his time. I mean when a Hitchcock film hit theatres I'm assuming it was anticipated before hand and a rather popular awareness of its release did float about among moviegoers. Watching Vertigo and Psycho last night I realized that some of the images are, when contrasted to today's commercial films, a bit strange. For instance the close up on Janet Leigh's eye after she gets poked, or the lingering shots of the running shower head, this we only expect in independent films, where such "artsy" aesthetics seem welcomed. I say strange, but its not strange as much as it is just good film making, as these shots are very effective and affective images on screen. Most of today's thrillers lack imagination and make up for this through loud sound effects and split second camera cuts.


Alfred Hitchcock did finance Psycho out of his own pockets so in a sense it was an independent film but Paramount distributed many of his films to theatres, including Psycho. And Hitchcock was definitely not a freshman in Hollywood at the time, although it was his first horror film. Watching Psycho and Vertigo, I got a feeling that experimentation in film is popularly, less acceptable today as it was 40 or 50 years ago. There are a few sporadic instances, but for every bright spot of today's cinema there are 10 new dark clouds that cancer the sky.



Marion Crane is a woman. I love her voice and her manner of speaking, its intelligently probing, maybe rude for its boldness and straight-forward delivery. She should've came to my town with that money. Something tells me that Sammy Boy would've played the boy scout had she actually made it to his town with a stolen 40,000 dollars. A woman like that and a man like me are precisely the purposes for which, $40,000 and True Love were specifically created. Maybe then she could've gotten poked by something else in the shower. I'll stop here.

Put Your Channel Where Your Mouth Is

I want to be a magnetar flare. I want to place the Earth between two very jealous black holes. I want to have a voice made out of atom-splitting laser beams, and sing love songs with supernovas. If there were an Earth-massed black hole available, I'd drill a tunnel into Gaea's heart and there I'd build a nest for a "blow-job" of a different nature that would swallow us all. The thought of having my right hand made of matter, as it is, and the left, out of anti-matter makes me want to applaud such a situation. If you haven't guessed it yet, I'll confess it plainly, I would really enjoy the destruction of our planet. Or any planet, I don't want anyone surmising that my desire is one begot of malice towards Earth. On the contrary I love Earth, its beautiful, if anything I wouldn't mind human extinction. Humans aren't that relevant to earth. But despite this irrelevance, I'd have a problem with anyone or thing destroying the entire planet over hatred for any of the earthlings found under its skies. However, as dramatically beautiful as Earth may be, it is only well deserving of a beautiful, dramatic death. Rushing into the sun, life dying, terrain melting and boiling, oceans steaming into vapors, crust melting off until only a tubular core of iron remains to be quickly absorbed by the star, like a snack. Or a sudden halt, stopping the planet and everything on it, meeting a thousand mile per hour resistance to the extreme cease of motion. The resistance, like a thousand mile per hour hurricane sweeping the entire planet. Or maybe gravity can disappear and everything held together by such a force will disband. Or a head-on collision with another planet will do the trick.


The History Channel is ridiculous! There is an obsession on that channel to program shows about end-of-the-world scenarios. Whether these apocalypses are scientific or superstitious, they both carry a precautionary "thou-shalt-beware" tone that implies we, the viewers, should worry. What have these scenarios really to do with history? All these programs about hypothetically destroying or creating worlds should fit farther properly on the Syfy channel. As science fiction tends to be a study of facts and then a logical theorizing on hypothetical situations or circumstances based on those facts, countdown shows such as "10 Ways to Destroy the Earth" would deem more than suitable for a channel dedicated to the genre of science fiction; as oppose to one dedicated to the subject of history. And besides, Syfy needs it. Seriously folks, Malibu Shark Attack! This original Syfy production frightens me by existing more than the horrible CAD abortions that were meant to be "goblin sharks" in the film itself.


As for superstitious apocalypses, doomsday theories, judgement days, and all other biblical disasters to come; these have in my opinion, even less to do with history, besides document how idiotic man can be or become. These programs would be more appropriately placed on Discovery or some religious network.


Let me just say, I love seeing the Earth's atmosphere blown off by a hypothetical gamma burst, in fact it sort of turns me on. Like the tidal wave in Day After Tomorrow, such destruction is like the destruction of blank canvas into a masterpiece painting. I hold my breath and goosebumps peek from out my arms. So what should be terrifying and precautionary, becomes for me, sweet promises and playfully tender teases. Sure its on the wrong channel, possibly on purpose. 2012 is just around the corner, after all. Why not whistle a little fear into the majority who've no idea what 2012 is. We need a new Y2K, most weren't sure what Y2K even was, just that it was a possible threat on a considerable scale and eventually it was spread to armageddon proportions. Likewise has 2012 become a new armageddon built from the ideas of conscious elevation and civilizations' fall and restructuring. I could see why some would fear such a change, especially if such "some" stand to lose power due to this reorganization. Yet, truth is, "some" most likely don't worry about such superstitions; perhaps even, "some" are profiting from the hype. I on the other hand, root for the possibility of a beautiful and dramatic finale. One that no one can see coming or prepare for.

2009/09/20

The UN, UN-Nazi'd the World


Idiocracy - (2006) Directed by Mike Judge

Starring Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepherd


Today I discovered first-hand, the patient efforts that must be in ones possession to view the film Idiocracy on network television. For starters, Mike Judge's dystopia (or utopia, as ignorance is bliss) about a future so dumbed down the people lose the most rudimentary knowledge, such as water makes plants grow, is not as an amazing film as it is just plainly and painfully as frightening as reading 1984.


Idiocracy is a satire and its viewing brings about an analysis of today's value on intelligence declining in favor of pop culture addicts, non-thinking workers, and desensitized half-wits who can be entertained and controlled as technologies advance. I watched this film on Comedy Central and at every commercial break the same ads and promotions where again displayed before me as if I'd change my mind since the last time they came around. Disgusting fast food, cellphones, cars, online hook-up sites, and movie trailers. So naturally, I should buy this car, meet someone on this site, call her on this cellphone through this provider, watch this movie and afterwards take her to eat this food.


The movie is absolutely correct. But sitting there in front of a television, which is the biggest advocate of The Moron, it was really difficult to finish the program. I felt like a boxer, boxing a winning opponent and my trainer, at my corner, is shouting useful advice and strategies but not to me. He's shouting them to my opponent. Alright, that was an awful analogy. Let me give it another go. It felt more like sitting for a dentist, who uses candy to fill a cavity. As I said the movie is absolutely correct, in that the masses for whom entertainment and consumption are tailored for, are at a risk of becoming idiots. However, this film excludes those who stand to benefit by an idiotic populace. This is not a failure of the movie as it wasn't intended to do much more than critique how mindlessly we enjoy ourselves today and the consequences of this behavior.




"Men who think neolithically about themselves and so scientifically about matter, that they can devise and manufacture the weapons of modern war, are not likely to found a stable civilization. One should either be entirely neolithic or entirely modern. It is in the power of educationalists to breed up a generation that shall be entirely modern."




Technology does not make you modern. Regardless of the apps on your i or G phone, regardless of tracking devices in your car or passport, the appliances in your kitchen or the entertainment system in your living room. However, all these ideas were creatively designed, engineered, and marketed by innovative and highly imaginative people. Yet, this technology does not exercise creativity or constructive imagination in the consumer. Where are we heading then? The above quote is by Aldous Huxley and was from an essay written in 1926. Why is it still just as true? As Eyedea wrote on the subject of technology, "...we think we're so smart but there's not much to know." Sadly, there is much to know, an infinity of possible answers to unasked questions and curiosities, but we don't want to think about it. Such wonders, I state sarcastically, belong exclusively to scientists.




I hope others have watched Idiocracy and got the message. To me, Idiocracy is not about, What If This Were To Happen? Its about Look, This Is Happening!


At the end of the movie, as is usual of network television, the credits were sped up and cut to half a screen, shared with a brief review of upcoming programs, so that the viewer would not become bored, as an idiot would become if constant activity weren't maintained.


2009/09/19

All In a September Day's Nothing

I am sitting in my room listening to Asobi Seksu. This casts a gray veil over my eyes. I've just finished spending a good portion of the afternoon reading Identity Crisis, its a DC graphic novel involving the Justice League (yeah, I get down like that). Its dark enough outside that I have my room light, like a halo over my head, shining in holy advertisement. I'm debating whether or not to give The Notorious Betty Page another chance. The DVD is piled atop my bureau along with other DVDs that I don't consider essential enough to seat as part of my main collection. I debate this in between guilt sessions, self-appointed, glowing from Grass' Tin Drum that beats louder and louder for overdue attention, that was in fact propitiated, instead by a comic book. Also in mind, is an essay by Aldous Huxley about The Dalton Plan. I think about how this method of teaching seems really stimulating and does in fact serve prosperous results. I recall the essay and realize how much more I've enjoyed Huxley's writing over the evolving reads and moreover, how bad my memory truly is.


Soon dinner is served and I interrupt myself for my stomachs sake. Somewhere on TV, The Last Samurai is showing. Tom Cruise teaches samurais a valuable lesson which they've in turn taught him. This is happening somewhere on some channel on my television set, which remains off. Mary Harron definitely deserves another chance.


Yesterday I shopped with Kiki, rather I accompanied Kiki as she shopped. This made me realize how well behaved my spending impulses have been as of late. Of course, they have had no choice, four dollars occupied the vast, abandoned tunnels where my checking account used to be; that was until Thursday when they were joined by yet a few friends to warm but not remove the murk from which they are now currently based. I spotted a few books I wanted from Strand. Camus, Nabokov, Woolf, all the old friends threw cutting glances and I edited our visual conversations short, as short in fact, as my wallet. Kiki, seemed cheerful. I like when she's cheerful, it makes things alright.


At this moment I am now thinking whether I want to hear Peter Gabriel or 2pac. Here Comes The Flood or Never Had a Friend Like Me. Whatever I choose is just to provide a soundtrack for my debate and self-abasing guilt, for my stomachs and their financial appetites, for Lily Taylor and Helen Parkhurst, for the attention of superheroes and the negligence of reservation.


I don't know where I'm going with this but I just hope I can say that and everything else, honestly.

2009/09/15

Please, Please Don't Eat the Daises

I mean, I really love Doris Day.


"...supposin' it showers while you're eatin' flowers,

the hours will be wasted away."


Start the Week with Jazz and a Foiled Assassination Plot




The Man Who Knew Too Much - (1956)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

James Stewart and Doris Day



I love Doris Day. Even more so as a mother on screen.



Paris Blues - (1961) Directed by Martin Ritt

Starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward

Sidney Poitier, Diahann Carroll, and Louis Armstrong


My new favorite music film. There's this one scene where the smoke from a train billows upwards, the camera is set above looking down at an angle that tapers the far end of the railroad at the top of the camera. As the train leaves the station, the smoke rises and fogs most of the camera and the scene whites out. This is one of my favorite scenes, mind you none of the actors starring in the film are shown in this scene, at least I don't think they are, If I'm wrong then they are too far in the distance for too short a time before the fog hid them.


This is yet another Martin Ritt film, I've been watching a couple of those now.

2009/09/13

Her Beauty's Like a Bunch of Rose

The Long, Hot Summer - (1958) Directed by Martin Ritt

Starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Franciosa,

Orson Welles, Lee Remick, and Angela Lansbury


I really enjoyed watching this but I won't share details as to why. I have more important matters to simultaneous confess and attend. Attendance by Confession, if you will.


Angela Lansbury, viewing this movie has made me realize that I really find her attractive. Something about the shape of her face, her big eyes and full chin, that neck that, oh my lord, calls for my canines with the lure of vampiric fetish. She was about 33 when she acted in this film and about 19 when she made her debut in Gaslight in 1944.


She's also a really good actress, though I haven't seen her in much, what I have seen already displays range of character. A strong manipulative mother in the Manchurian Candidate, a snobby high society adulteress in The World of Henry Orient, a delusive mother who won't except that her son's no good in All Fall Down, a sassy, british house maid in Gaslight, and a country woman itching to get hitched in The Long, Hot Summer.


Big Talk


My niece is a walking, talking two year old thing who has a lot to say, a good portion of it isn't even part of any language. I wonder if she thinks that anything is a word if you simply say it, not understanding most words that are said, her idea of our language must seem as foreign and spontaneous as hers is to us. She is probably of the impression that talking doesn't need to be done with actual words, if you have some recognizable words and the right tone and expression, then you'll be able to communicate and what's more important, understood.


My niece recognizes the tone of a question, the high ending pitch of inquiry. She'll usually answer with a yes or no, she'll even dress it up with an "uhmm..." before answering. She learns new words and expressions every week, both english and spanish. She sings the alphabet song, of course its her own arrangement where a,b,c and l,m,n,o,p are her favorite parts and appear more than once in the song, especially l,m,n,o,p but who can blame her when its the best part of the alphabet song, period. Sometimes she'll mix Twinkle Twinkle Little Star into the alphabet song, seamlessly, might I add. London Bridge is Falling Down and Itsy Bitsy Spider are also part of her repertoire, yet less frequent.


She doesn't like to be disagreed with or argued. If she tells you she's a "bad boy" don't contest. If she tells you she's "five" because its her favorite number or "purple" similarly, because its her favorite color, just let it be. Otherwise, you're looking for trouble. I must admit that I usually am looking for trouble. I truly do enjoy our bickering. I most likely have the mind of a two year old anyway, so its not as if its unfair or anything like that. And boy could that little girl howl, I mean she really lets me have it. At times when she mimes the removal of my ears for a snack, for instance, nothing upsets her more than my snatching of my ears back from her and throwing the imaginary piece of cartilage across the room. Of course, no matter how much we fight, a dance and some cartoons later, we're back to cool-day-la.


Whenever I hear her pass by, mouthing off one of her toddler jargon monologues, I smile. And she is definitely on to something because I truly do understand 90% of the long sentences she formulates, regardless if they're composed of just a few "real" words and the remainder being filler. The feeling is expressed successfully. Isn't that the real point of communication?



(this is not my niece but I bet

she's just as crazy)

2009/09/10

Love Letters to Tomorrow: iHeart


Dear Tomorrow,


Love is that inevitable downfall; that swift, uncontrolled sweep that makes useless your best judgements and restraints. I don't want much to do with it. Though, one does become lonely, one does garner necessities for intimate companionship and relative affinities to be shared with a counterpoint to one's self. At times a feeling is felt, a sad feeling that implies a failing to develop new love, from both within others towards yourself and worse still, from within yourself towards others. At this point you desire very much to be proven wrong.


I write to you because you, perhaps only you, know well enough where love may come, who it will knock for and who it will leave with or without. These things are ever yours and kept there from us until you're done with them and we, done with the past. So it is then, that I write to you and ask, request that there be a love like the kind I've felt and that when it does knock, beckoning for whom it beckons, that that cherished noun does but yield and embrace love and fall away, carried away by tidal waves of love. I hope that this abandonment never fashions itself obsolete or archaic, like a gadget in between accelerating technologies, something deserving only the retrospective sympathies of nostalgia. Much like a music mini-disc or a human.



Yours, so long as true is true,


-The Man Who Believed His

Was the Last Love Loved.

2009/09/09

Murder: So Careful Its Not a Crime Anymore


Hard Contract - (1969) Directed by S. Lee Pogostin

Starring James Coburn, Lee Remick, Lilli Palmer,

Burgess Meredith


I don't know where to place this movie. Not that I'm too crazy about categories to begin with but it has all the available elements of an action movie, even if only for a climax. Yet its not an action movie, there isn't much action in the film. Its a love story within an action film drama slightly blended with social commentary, so within this limitation its a romance of, as the film itself states, "97% control and 3% emotion." The script was very well written, in particular, the dialogue but the story also plays out wonderfully. S. Lee Pogostin who directed the film also wrote the screenplay.


And I truly believe that James Coburn was the inspiration for John Corben/Metallo of the Superman WB animated series.





And also...


Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte - (1964)

Directed by Robert Aldrich

Starring Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland,

Joseph Cotten and Agnes Moorehead


Very satisfying thriller about murder and psychological manipulation. Like most good thrillers there is a twist but instead of drastically shifting into the twist thus surprising the viewer, we are slowly eased into the plot twizzler. Its not so much a sharp turn as it is a blunt curve that works really well even though you see it coming. The effect for me was that I saw the surprise coming but because it was in plain view for so long I discarded it as a possibility.


Bette Davis is top notch material. She always has that presence, no matter what age or role, there is a strong foundation of character available to the screen.


2009/09/07

Cold Souls



Voskhozhdeniye / The Ascent -

(1977) Directed by Larisa Shepitko

Starring Boris Plotnikov, Vladimir Gostyukhin

Lyudmila Polyakova


Larisa Shepitko. The same year Bowie released Low and Heroes. The Ascent. I wrote not to long ago that Whiteout should've been filmed in black and white, when you watch The Ascent you'll understand why. The contrast, the uneven contrast of that vast white, blank canvas that overwhelms whatever darkness is presented against it. The Ascent is very spiritual and subtle, where the film is heading remains elusive to prediction, however once arrived at, each fold of the film is a soothing unraveling like that of gauze from a healed wound. I noticed that the earlier scenes of the film have more white as they mainly take place on open fields covered in snow, while in later scenes, the snow is interrupted by trees, houses, later removed completely by a shed/holding cell. In fact, we do not see another shot of 90% snow on the screen after a certain point in the middle of the film. This is not a complaint. What the story seems to do is, as the settings darken, the true nature of the characters brighten to plain view and are revealed to us.


Why are Criterion Collection films so expensive? Its not just that they're expensive its that they tend to be the only available edition of most of those films. It becomes that you have no choice, though, one never knows what a clicking trip to amazon.com may have in store for a DVD collection.

2009/09/06

Cameras or Guns, One of You Are Gonna Shoot Me to Death

Blow-Up - (1966) Directed by

Michelangelo Antonioni

Starring Vanessa Redgrave,

David Hemmings, Sarah Miles


Running Scared - (2006)

Directed by Wayne Kramer

Starring Paul Walker, Cameron Bright,

Vera Farmiga, and Chazz Palminteri

2009/09/05

A Quietly Noisy Relaxed Intensity


Mademoiselle - (1966)

Directed by Tony Richardson

Starring Jeanne Moreau, Ettore Manni,

Keith Skinner


Man, Tony Richardson. I think I'm all for making fall season about as many Tony Richardson films as I can watch. As a matter of fact, Mademoiselle will be shown at IF:AF on November 18.



Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? -

(1966) Directed by Mike Nichols;

Starring Elizabeth Taylor and

Richard Burton


You'd think there was gold under their skin the way George and Martha tear into each other. Its so merciless and unrelenting. Watching the film, you've very little idea what their limits are until the end. They scalpel into one another with such surgical discipline, that is at the same time as intense as Van Gogh's brushstroke as it is as seemingly spontaneous as a Jackson Pollack. However intense or spontaneous there is subtle method to their madness but even so when they underestimate the other's blows they are at the drop of a dime taken by surprise when the attack billows beyond control from either side.

That Sound in the Background

My Monthly Aresian Horoscope

March 21 - April 19


I could be a serial killer. It isn't the violence or the regard and respect for life that stops me. I stop me only from that last reserve of fear, a reservoir in fact, abundantly holding the thirst at bay, there is no thirst to go further so long as that fear holds me there.


I know perfectly well what would happen past that point. The thrill of acting out that desire, that freedom after drilling out of that fettering inhibition. How fulfilling to finish that which the mind initiates. How proud, how greatly satisfied, magnificently palliated even, as if it were from an ailment I were temporarily dismissed of; as it were it not rather from an ailment I was dismissed towards.


I could be a serial killer.


That first time would not be enough. Nothing is of a lasting duration, everything slips away or the memory becomes insufficient, I'm left a drunk sucking liquor off ice cubes. My thirst will not silence any less when that reservoir shrinks to a puddle. And that first time is all it takes to dry the reserve to half its inhibition. In its place, in the negative space, the half-empty, what plays in its stead is a dare, a thrilling, exciting dare that is always new, that displays for the first time for all to see what's there at the bottom of that man made lake. Fear becomes mud. One doesn't regularly drown in mud only gets himself dirtied. And in the mud there are two types of people, those who get partially dirtied and must become clean right there and then, and then there are those who don't see the difference between being a bit dirty and going further.


I have an obsessive personality, that is, I obsess and form habits easily. Given the amount of happiness or temporary pleasure I derive from certain activities I could become addicted no sooner than once after losing my virginity to that activity. It all takes nothing more than that first step past the last reserve of fear.


I could be a serial killer.


I'd repeat again and again, there's no reason as to why I should stop besides boredom. Even if I wanted to stop, if the personal satisfaction outweighed the personal discomfort afterwards, I wouldn't. The personal discomfort would probably be momentarily silenced by the next exorcising of the haunting act itself. This would become the final surviving bliss I'd be capable of, perhaps even suitable for.


Yet, all this said and nothing done as the reservoir is ever so faithfully obliging to that thirst. I am only a coward and can only empty the literary correspondent to that reserve through words. This isn't enough, its all a matter of how much you are aware of this fact, it isn't enough.

2009/09/04

Confessions of a Crap Artist: A Punctual Failure

When I was in high school, I was an awful student. I do not mean that I was the rowdy, back-talking, antagonistic teen who threw erasers or batteries at teachers and stole homework from other students, etc. No, it was far simpler than that, I was just inattentive and genuinely disinterested in school. Unique? No. I was one of the many who felt exactly the same way about high school during the most unsure years of our lives.



To make matters worst, I was also very punctual. I held a nearly immaculate attendance and rarely was ever late to class. In class, however, I'd space. I'd travel in my mind and every 45 minutes of a period would be a vague hallucination, a mirage at my peripheral while I'd spend my daydreams on more relative matters such as, girls I had constant crushes on, what I'd do with superpowers, and becoming the best hip-hop lyricist before reaching eighteen years of age. I didn't cut class regularly until senior year (you'd think that'd be the year I start sharpening my act) and even then not as often as others, who, starting far earlier than myself had by that point dropped out or only made monthly appearances maybe out of boredom.



No, I'd appear every day to class to attend my failure. I was there for every step of the decline. I didn't care for homework or well prepared studying, eventually I didn't even feel embarrassed for not caring, I'd stare teachers in their disappointed faces a bit proudly and say, "no, I didn't do the assignment." What a stupid kid. It would've been nice to have been interested. Most of the teachers that really taught me anything were around for my elementary and middle school years but by the time of high school I was of the idea, 12 years of schooling is a bit much. Needless to say the thought of college horrified me, the idea of even more school after all this high school business is finally over. In fact after 4.5 years of high school (you didn't really think I graduated on time did you?) the only thing I was grateful for were a few friends, fewer free lunches, and my handwriting, which I stole from U.S. History's Mr. Garabidi, and that was in night school.


The ironic thing is, everything they taught in school that didn't interest me, I later read about or learned on my own through books, films, music and people; and so, I was fascinated by history, math, science, and literature at one point or another but all these points follow one another, only after high school.


It still amazes me that I sat in class day after day, writing rhymes or sketching while the teacher mumbled a lesson in the background. I'd be there for the only reason that I had nowhere else to go, nothing better to do. Retrospectively, its not something I'm too proud of. I should've had somewhere else to go, something else to do. If school was a waste I should've left it instead of wasting my time failing classes. Since then and possibly also because of "then" I have developed a hatred for time wasted. Yet I can't help to think that I'm starting to feel these current days are waste. I feel like I'm sitting through my current present life daydreaming while a lesson is being mumbled in the background and I'm punctual as fuck, I'm there for every second of the blasted thing yet I'm failing but I won't leave, I won't cut or skip out, I just sit there disinterested, inattentive and passing the time.

September Make It Happen



If I could request one thing from the media

this month, what, what, what ever shall it be?


Whiteout. A film to be released Sept. 11, 2009. Starring Kate Beckinsale as a U.S. Marshall investigating a murder in Antarctica (yea, murders happen there too). Based on a graphic novel written by Greg Rucka and penciled by Steve Lieber. To be clear, it was written wonderfully by Rucka and penciled marvelously by Lieber. The graphic novel has no color, its in black and white, with maybe more white than black (reminder, it takes place in Antarctica).


Now, my request is that this film's trailer is exposed as a hoax and that the real film is not this thawed out tragedy of an adaptation. My request, is that the real Whiteout film is in fact in black and white, shot in the widest format of film, does not star Kate Beckinsale as Carrie Stetko (if Carrie looked like Kate Beckinsale she'd probably go into acting not federal law enforcement).


2009/09/03

Farewell Atlantis


Here Comes The Flood

by Peter Gabriel

from the album Peter Gabriel (Car)

released 25-February, 1977


when the night shows

the signal glows on radios

all the strange things

they come and go, as early warnings

stranded starfish have no place to hide

still waiting for the swollen easter tide

there's no point in direction

we cannot even choose a side


i took the old track

the hollow shoulder, across the water

on the tall cliffs

they were getting older,

sons and daughters

the jaded underworld was riding high

waves of steel hurled metal at the sky

and as the nail sunk in the cloud

the rain was warm and soaked the crowd


lord, here comes the flood

we'll say goodbye to flesh and blood

if again the seas are silent in any still alive

it'll be those who gave their island

to survive

drink up dreamers, you're running dry


when the flood calls

you have no home, you have no walls

in the thunder clash

you're a thousand minds, within a flash

don't be afraid to cry at what you see

the actors gone, there's only you and me

and if we break before the dawn,

they'll use up what we used to be


lord, here comes the flood

we'll say goodbye to flesh and blood

if again the seas are silent in any still alive

it'll be those who gave the island

to survive

drink up dreamers, you're running dry