Friday, July 29, 2016

Antidote

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Turn of the Shrew

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Good Boys, Good Girls


Four shorts from the late Abbas Kiarostami.

Bread and Alley (1970)



Experience (1973)



Two Solutions for One Problem (1975)



The Chorus (1982)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hot!

As stupid and pointless as is summer in New York City. Still . . . a favorite.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Antidote

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

Fundamental

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

Monday, July 11, 2016

Ghosts

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

Falling?

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