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| blogging since Oct '01
This is Gordon Osse's blog.
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"He who does not at some time, with definite determination consent to the terribleness of life, or even exalt in it, never takes possession of the inexpressible fullness of the power of our existence."
all faces followers of
All colors, beams of
-- Akhenaton, "Hymn to the Sun"
Opt your children out of Pentagon harassment
WHO I WORK FOR: Mount Hope Wholesale
Wholesale nuts, grains, fruits and spices (and more) shipped from Cottonwood AZ
(Tell them you heard about them on Gordon's blog!)
WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY:
(r) = re-viewing
God Told Me To (1976, Cohen)
Whispering City (1947, Otsep)
Times and Winds (2006, Erdem)
Dirty Money (Un flic) (1972, Melville)
10th District Court (2004, Depardon)
RFK Must Die: The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy (2007, O'Sullivan)
The Furies (1950, Mann)
In a Lonely Place (1950, Ray)(r)
The Adjuster (1991, Egoyan)(r)
Mad Men The Buddha of Suburbia Intelligence (2006, Haddock) Family Guy
SUGGESTED VIEWING: The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004, Curtis) [available for streaming/download here]
It has been in place for only a few weeks, but "Don't Miss a Sec.," a contemporary art installation that is in essence a mirrored outhouse on a construction site near the Thames, has been raising heated, even violent emotions. While it may provide a fine opportunity to indulge in voyeurism and exhibitionism at the same time - like going to the bathroom in the bushes, if the bushes were in the middle of the street - in reality the experience is proving prohibitively unnerving to some.
"I'd worry that there's an act of subterfuge," said Martin Dukes, as he agonized over whether to go inside. "You flush the loo and suddenly the mirror is reversed and everyone can see in." He decided against it.
The basically suppressed military comedy Buffalo Soldiers will be out on VHS/DVD on January 13th
Part M*A*S*H*, part Sgt. Bilko, and with more than a hint of Kelly's Heroes thrown in for good measure, this is a grim commentary on a moribund and bored military outpost where the troops are mostly recruited from the ranks of scofflaws and hooligans who'd much rather be smoking dope and retooling the local black market to suit their needs than actually "be all they can be" (they'd much prefer to be as high as they can be, and frequently are). [link]
Turner Prize winner is a 43-year-old potter with a wife and kid -- and a penchant for "dress"-ing up
Imagine a transvestite potter in the US getting a prestigious art award and mass media publicity... I can just hear the Calvinist whiffleheads bloviating now...
Make sure you check out his gallery page. Some of these (the layered ones like "Strangely Familiar" and "Primitive Form") are quite beautiful and haunting. The topical and "artworld commentary" ones are sometimes funny, but it's hard to imagine paying £40,000 (around $70,000 right now, with the dollar worth so little) for them (Perry's vases were fetching up to that before the prize was awarded). Either way you need to see the larger pics to appreciate them at all.
The ice age reached its coldest point during a 70-year period from 1645 to 1715 known as the Maunder Minimum, named after the 19th century astronomer, E.W. Maunder, who documented a lack of solar activity during the period. Stradivari was born a year before the Maunder Minimum began and produced his most prized and valued stringed instruments as the period ended -- from 1700 to 1720.
Columbia's Lloyd Burckle noticed that correlation and contacted Grissino-Mayer, who discovered an unprecedented period of slow tree growth in Europe, from 1625 to 1720, characterized by compact, narrow tree rings. Their conclusion: that "narrow tree rings would not only strengthen the violin, but would increase the wood's density."
Writing in short, emphatic sentences, Whitehead riffs poignantly and playfully on myriad strategies for urban survival as he incisively distills the kaleidoscopic frenzy of the city into startlingly vital metaphors and cartoon-crisp analogies. Intensely sensory in his details, wistful and funny in his psychological disclosures, he makes everything come to mythic life, from the fury of rush hour to the strained etiquette of subway riders to Central Park, Times Square, Coney Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge. [Booklist]
The latter book will be published in February, and looks to provide a deep cultural context to complement Robert Hughes recent highly acclaimed study of Goya's work. What a year for Goya books . . . and unfortunately, how relevant his vicious, unsparing depictions of war still are . . .
Much of Feld's book is a loving investigation of the later paintings; of the repeated images (hoodlums, limbs, light bulbs) that make them up, and of the zeal and sincerity with which Guston painted. Feld describes the older man as only a familiar could. We are shown his manner of speech, his physicality, his anxieties about art and life. Each chapter is paired with one of Guston's letters, which give an idea of how manic and voracious their conversations must have been. What is most moving here is how these two spurred each other on in their thinking and their art. Feld so obviously felt that Guston was, as he told him in a letter, "the only painter on which it [was] even remotely possible to write intelligently."
I was researching Carlos Fuentes after reading the excerpt from his old essay on Buñuel at Criterion, and came upon his interview.
Read the Buñuel piece at least.
Sight connects. Bu?uel has filmed the story of the first capitalist hero, Robinson Crusoe, and Crusoe is saved from loneliness by his slave, but the price he must pay is fraternity, seeing Friday as a human being. He has also filmed the story of Robinson's descendants in The Discreet Charm, and these greedy, deceptive people can only flee their overpopulated, polluted, promiscuous island into the comic loneliness of their dreams. Sight and survival, desires and dreams, seeing others in order to see oneself. This parabola of sight is essential to Bu?uel's art. Nazarin will not see God unless he sees his fellow men; Viridiana will not see herself unless she sees outside herself and accepts the world. The characters in The Discreet Charm can never see themselves or others. They may be funny, but they are already in hell. Elegant humor only cloaks despair.
Blow-Up is one of my favorite films (I just noticed on IMDB that it was based on a Cortàzar short story!), and he popped up places like Northern Exposure (great turn as a former KGB agent) and Heaven's Gate (urp) before Gladiator (urp again).
Opera singer, painter, actor, director, producer. Never knew half that about him.