Friday, July 22, 2016


Monday, July 18, 2016

Changing the World

Like the greatest novels, or paintings, or pieces of music, Kiarostami's films have an intellectual weight, an emotional intensity and a truthfulness that give them almost an intimidating quality. Rigorous, but lively, austere, but not ascetic, his films are both of the world and apart from it, accepting of what is beautiful in life and critical of everything false and cruel. The experience of Taste of Cherry does not end when one exits the cinema, as is the case with the majority of films, even many so-called art films. The work continues to inspire thoughts and feelings, to challenge one intellectually and morally, for days, perhaps forever. This is the sort of film that changes people.
-- David Walsh
Walsh's full and moving tribute to Abbas Kiarostami can be found here.

Taste of Cherry (1997).

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Bern in Hell

Paul Street says it.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


The greatest two-way player in NBA history. And the greatest teammate.

Monday, July 11, 2016


I've never been much of a fan of Rod Serling or his original Twilight Zone. (Its contemporary genre sister One Step Beyond has always seemed more genuinely strange and mysterious and honest). There's a quality of over-literary slumming to most TZ episodes (the same feel I get from Herb Leonard's Naked City and Route 66 [George Maharis!] -- Method Museums both). Yet, from the position of hate and degradation we're all covered in by our current Commodity Culture, to deny the show's occasional greatness is absurd.

Episode number five was called "Walking Distance" -- premiering October 30, 1959 and starring the sadly forgotten Gig Young (who seems to have once lived in the Amberson mansion). Strange to say for a network TV show, but the greatness of "Walking Distance" is in its music -- perhaps the most moving ever written for a single episode of any series, by Bernard Herrmann, coming off of Vertigo and North by Northwest, and preparing for Psycho. An excess of love seems to come from the sound, a kind of abnegation and loneliness which speaks of what is tender and what is lost forever. Herrmann's music contains the ghost of tenderness itself. (And how much better the episode would be without Serling's nail-on-the-head narration.)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Take Five

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Midnight the Stars and You

Thank you, Jack Torrance, wherever you are.

Monday, July 4, 2016


Dr. Michael Parenti: "Reflections on the Overthrow of Communism," again from 1998.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mailer on the Clintons

A lion speaks of pigs past and future (and other things), from March of '98.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

LSP x 2

Why has Lumpy Space Princess been so ignored during the last few seasons of Adventure Time? ~ seasons clearly taking a perverse pleasure in putting Finn the Human and Jake the Dog further and further away from places, characters, and situations which made the show something beyond oddball: community, the adoration of quirks and uniqueness which comes of friendship, Finn’s love life, Jake’s new fatherhood, Marceline, Tree Trunks, Princess Bubblegum. The recent seasons have been pretty much all oddball. Few of the major characters surrounding Finn and Jake have been featured. What has been featured are curious figures we have never seen before (or will see again): James Baxter the Happy Horse, a large tree, the forever screeching Earl of Lemongrab, Finn’s hat, the Great Bird Man (not Chris Anderson), and a place called Puhoy. Almost no members of the Candy Kingdom or its many lovely princesses. And no LSP.

She's the funniest and dearest character on a very funny and dear show. With her pale-purple and lumpy body and star-implanted forehead, her Valley Girl personality and voice, she loves to eat almost as much as she hates her parents. She is lonely and needy and always cute. And very obsessed with her ex-boyfriend Brad.

Whom we meet in “Trouble in Lumpy Space,” where LSP accidentally bites Jake’s leg, causing him to turn into Lumpy Jake. So Finn must save him as LSP and her BFF Melissa only care about making it to the weekly Promcoming Dance.

My favorite episode in the series is “The Monster”: LSP runs away from home, joins a pack of wolves (who at last figure out she’s not a wolf and try to eat her), escapes the pack, finds a tiny village with lots of crops, eats all the crops and so is proclaimed a monster by the tiny villagers, sees the light and returns home.

Lucky parents.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Place

Fauré and Bonnard.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Every day is. . .

"I've believed all my life that children have more to teach adults than the other way around. The person who has never dealt with children is a spiritual cripple. It is children who not only open our hearts but our minds as well. It is only through them, only in seeing the world through their eyes, that we know what beauty and innocence are. How quickly we destroy their vision of the world! How quickly we transform them into the image of us shortsighted, miserable, faithless adults!" -- Henry Miller

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Every Tuesday Morning

The Great Black Hope, every Tuesday in the White House:

Easily the strongest and most complex American fiction film on the corporate-vampire cesspool from which 9/11 was born, there's not a chance in hell that Stephen Gaghan and George Clooney's Syriana (2005) would be considered for production in the Land of the Drone Killer, a one-eyed land where fascist midgets such as Christopher Nolan, Kathryn Bigelow, Beau Willimon (ooh la la), Seth MacFarlane, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff stand tall. George Clooney (George Clooney!) now begs for financing. And the immensely talented (and brave) Stephen Gaghan? Hasn't made a movie since.

From the Golden Age of Bush/Cheney, Syriana.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Belated 90th

Steve Allen, Burt Lancaster, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Tony Williams and lots of smoking: "All Blues" from 1964.

Miles at 90.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Murder Pimp

Wall Street house nigger Barack Obama committed his latest act of Aggressive War by assassinating Taliban Emir Mullah Akhtar Mansour -- incinerating him not with one drone strike, but with four.

Thomas Gaist with a deep and brilliant two-part analysis of the murder.