Friday, February 16, 2018

Betty

"Along Comes Betty": Art Blakey drums, Lee Morgan trumpet, Benny Golson tenor sax, Bobby Timmons piano, Jymie Merritt bass. From '58.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Moon and the Stars

Happy Valentine's Day to mine

Monday, February 12, 2018

Blue Rose

Friday, February 9, 2018

Near Dark

But first the light. The Kennedys at their Virginia country home, 11 days before Dallas.

No sound, plenty of heartbreak.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The River


Two young lovers, Henriette and Henri, have a brief but intense tryst during a holiday in the country. Years later, for a moment, the two meet again; then she is called back to her real life by her inadequate husband. People do bold things and make mistakes. How can anyone tell which is which?

What is realistic in the story is the basic, pitiless understanding that this is the way of the world. Here the river is much more than mere radiance. For ships that pass in the night, or in the day, the river is a facilitator without memory or morality. So this 40-minute movie needs only one brief reunion to measure the mistake, and the way in which the girl will never forget it. Jean Renoir's A Day in the Country (1936) becomes a work about memory, destiny, and time -- and a river that is always the same, always transient, like the present tense: beautiful but indifferent. A perfect subject for a moving picture.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

At the Stake


Exposing the #MeToo/#TimesUp life-haters, David Walsh, here are.

And the funniest man in England, Jonathan Pie, concerning Mr. Phil Neville.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Beautiful Dreamers


The most delightful, moving, and funniest parts of current US culture -- parts I never would have dreamed of -- have been given to me by my daughter Saya. She is crazy for (as I am) The Powerpuff Girls and she began to ask about a name that kept popping up: Craig McCracken, the show's creator. So we checked and found something even more wonderful: McCracken's second anime series (2004 - 2009) Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. (The great Wander over Yonder is the third.)

Foster's Home is literally an orphanage for characters once cherished by their children creators -- then forgotten due to the children "growing up." It features 8-year-old Mac and his sassy, bossy imaginary pal Bloo. And their special circle of friends: Mr. Herriman, the proper English bunny who runs the place; a red, very tall drink of water named Wilt; Eduardo the purple minotaur who cries at everything; grand dame Mrs. Foster who owns the orphanage; her granddaughter and housemaid Frankie; and Coco -- part palm tree, part airplane, part deflated raft -- and very beautiful. (Coco was imagined by a small girl who was stranded on a desert island after surviving a plane crash, after floating to the island on a raft.)

Here, Mrs. Foster and Mr. Herriman throw an Adoption Fair for the orphanage -- sabotaged by our friends, for who wants to lose any of these wonderful creations?

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Bitch

Extreme in its moodiness and control, aggression, violence, sexuality, opaqueness -- Luis Buñuel's Un Chien Andalou (1929) is worthy of its name. And reputation.

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Enemy

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

On Fire


The two great social artists of the depraved, despairing, and endlessly criminal 21st-century United States are David Simon and Oliver Stone.

In 2016, Stone produced Ukraine On Fire -- a documentary exposing the so-called Orange and Euromaiden "revolutions" for what they were: U.S. intelligence operations aimed at taking over not only Ukraine but a more important piece of geo-strategic real estate -- Crimea. Unsurprisingly, Stone could not get the film theatrically distributed in the U.S. or in any western country. A Russian-dubbed version was available immediately and aired on Russian television, but the people of the "free world" were left without access.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Vlad


Courtesy of the great Stephen Cohen.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Word

Fifty-seven years ago ~ 22° with a wind of 20 mph, making it feel like 5°.

The ice was broken.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Percy

Walker Percy in his 1971 dystopian novel Love in the Ruins paints a picture of a morally degenerate America consumed by hedonism, wallowing in ignorance, led by kleptocrats and fools, fragmented into warring and often violent cultural extremes and on the cusp of a nuclear war. It is a country cursed by its failure to address or atone for its original sins of genocide and slavery. The ethos of ceaseless capitalist expansion, white supremacy and American exceptionalism, perpetuated overseas in the country’s imperial wars, eventually consumes the nation itself. The accomplices, who once benefited from this evil, become its victims. How, Percy asks, does one live a life of meaning in such a predatory society? Is it even possible? And can a culture ever regain its equilibrium when it sinks into such depravity?

The single-minded pursuit of happiness, with happiness equated with wealth and power, creates a population consumed by anxiety and self-loathing. Few achieve the imagined pinnacle of success, and those who do are often psychopaths. Building a society around these goals is masochistic. It shuts down any desire for self-knowledge because the truth of our lives is unpleasant. We fill the spiritual vacuum with endless activities, entertainment and nonstop electronic hallucinations. We flee from silence and contemplation. We are determined to avoid facing what we have become.
All of Chris Hedges's brilliant, impassioned reading of Love in the Ruins can be found here.

And here for the novel itself.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

End Game

Chris Hedges at his very best.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Dial "S"

During a set in New York City, he died of a heart attack at his piano, fifty-five years ago tonight.

Sonny Clark was 31 years old.