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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
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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]
I never even got through the Jane Campion movie of An Angel At My Table, never mind her books; but I feel a kinship nevertheless with this New Zealand native who was institutionalized and given shock treatment because "she was just someone who preferred to be alone, and who was different from most other people", as a Brit shrink later claimed.
John Huston: The Man, The Movies, The Maverick is on disc 2 of the new DVD release of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and it's quite a good film bio (2 hours long), though it doesn't probe his dark side as much as I'd like. Particularly in light of his relationship with the guy who might have been the Black Dahlia killer (see Steve Hodel's Black Dahlia Avenger: The True Story); also check out Peter Viertel's White Hunter, Black Heart (the basis for the Eastwood movie, which isn't that great).
Of the 3 new Palm DVD comps of short film (music video and ads) honchos Michael Gondry, Spike Jonze & Chris Cunningham, only the latter is of lasting interest -- particularly the Aphex Twin "Come to Daddy" video. Not before bedtime though.
Northfork is worth seeing, but didn't quite gel for me, the conceit not backed up by enough strength of vision or something. I might feel different about it in time though.
If you haven't seen Black Narcissus, you really must, esp. if you want to see what can be done with studio sets to recreate exteriors. Cinematographer Jack Cardiff won an Oscar, and the production design by Alfred Junge is astounding. It's also a penetrating little study of reconciling human emotions with spiritual aspirations.
John Boorman's The General is one of his best, as the reviews claim, and a tour de force for Brendan Gleeson. The disc also has 2 versions, the black and white Boorman no doubt preferred, and a "desaturated color" version which I didn't bother with.
Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Kyua (Cure) from '97 is just out on disc and it was very good I thought. Quite creepy yet subtle and thoughtful. I couldn't find any of this other Kurosawa's other films out here, maybe this one will spur interest.
Caught Andre de Toth's '59 psychological western Day of the Outlaw on TCM this weekend, and it's well worth seeing. Burl Ives and Robert Ryan are very good in this stark study of barbarity and the alternative against the backdrop of 19th century Wyoming. It's not on tape or disc yet though.
They're among my favorite artists, and I applaud the attempt to move things forward. But this is still only a transitional step, and it won't stop "illegal" downloading, natch -- nor will the RIAA's guerrilla tactics. I sure as hell am not going to even download wmas (despite good sound quality), as the Micro$uck player is a beast that should be put to sleep, and no one's going to settle for less than total control/ownership of files downloaded.
And CDs wouldn't be a dying format if THEY WEREN'T SO DAMN EXPENSIVE...
As an aside, the sound quality on CDs also varies drastically. The Eno stuff on Editions EG generally sounds like it was recorded under a mattress, while Gabriel's sounds fine, as I remember (last album of his I listened to much was Passion, I have to admit).
Music downloading has if anything gotten people BACK into music, at a time when there seems less and less music out there anyone's really dying to hear. And being able to sample mp3s is the best thing to happen to new artists since the 78.
OK, there's words galore about all this on the net, so I'll stop there.
"You don't get to go to war with your core customer. You have to court him."
Music & Movie thug-generals exhibiting drunken death throes anew
To tell the tale of how films get to black-market stores and shacks across every continent, from Beijing to New York City and to computer hard drives everywhere, TIME tracked the winding journey of The Last Samurai (full disclosure: Warner Bros. and TIME share the same parent company). And the trajectory confirms that movie executives are right to be alarmed. But it also shows that most of their protective acrobatics are, at best, just buying time. The harder it is to get a movie, the more pirates want it. "It's like a piece of gold," says one male American downloader. That's an unsustainable dynamic, says Eric Garland, CEO of BigChampagne, which tracks the most popular entertainment downloads...
The title of the USA Today article is strikingly poignant: "532 John Does accused of sharing songs"
Though no guns were brandished, the bust from a distance looked like classic LAPD, DEA or FBI work, right down to the black "raid" vests the unit members wore. The fact that their yellow stenciled lettering read "RIAA" instead of something from an official law-enforcement agency was lost on 55-year-old parking-lot attendant Ceasar Borrayo.
"They said they were police from the recording industry or something, and next time they'd take me away in handcuffs," he said through an interpreter. Borrayo says he has no way of knowing if the records, with titles like Como Te Extra?o Vol. IV and Musica de los 70's y 80's, are illegal, but he thought better of arguing the point.
The RIAA acknowledges it all -- except the notion that its staff presents itself as police. Yes, they may all be ex-P.D. Yes, they wear cop-style clothes and carry official-looking IDs. But if they leave people like Borrayo with the impression that they're actual law enforcement, that's a mistake.
"We want to be very clear who we are and what we're doing," says John Langley, Western regional coordinator for the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit. "First and foremost, we're professionals."
Napster is back, and it's as painful as a mid-day hangover, and as welcome as a phone call from your ex-wife. Innocently named "Napster 2.0"-- as if we'd just been waiting for an upgrade these past three years-- it's back in our faces, crawling out of its dot-coma through a barrage of ads with that original cat-faced logo. Napster is back, and now you can pay for it.
Twyla Tharp's new primer on "strategies for focusing artistic impulses to yield results": review
The Creative Habit proffers questionnaires to complete (and Tharp's own revealing answers), ideas for organizing time and space, exercises for overcoming blocks, and rules for getting work done. Though its context is a choreographer's world, its principles are universally applicable and sound. Read it as you ponder your New Year's resolutions. It could change your life.
That old Protestant work ethic again. Which has its good and bad points.
I'll check it out, but I doubt it'll get me to a boxing gym to work out for 2 hours before breakfast like she does.
The Space Merchants - Frederick Pohl & C M Kornbluth Collected Memoirs of Charles Willeford Kingdom of Fear - Hunter S Thompson The Big Clock - Kenneth Fearing The Burnt Orange Heresy - Charles Willeford Kafka Was the Rage - Anatole Broyard Black Hornet - James Sallis Jarhead - Anthony Swofford The Monkey's Fist - William D Pease Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said - Philip K Dick Once Upon a Distant War - William Prochnau (r) Altered Carbon - Richard K Morgan The Edge of the Crazies - Jamie Harrison Set This House in Order - Matt Ruff Dhalgren - Samuel Delany Local Color - Jamie Harrison The Songs of the Kings - Barry Unsworth The Vatican Exposed: Money, Murder & the Mafia - Paul L Williams Eye of the Cricket - James Sallis The Drought - J G Ballard The Last Good Kiss - James Crumley The Machine in Ward 11 - Charles Willeford An Unfortunate Prairie Occurrence - Jamie Harrison The Cat From Hué - John Laurence A Drink Before the War - Dennis Lehane Pattern Recognition - William Gibson The Wrong Case - James Crumley Darkness, Take My Hand - Dennis Lehane The Franklin Cover-Up: Child Abuse, Satanism and Murder in Nebraska - John W DeCamp Bluebottle - James Sallis New Hope for the Dead - Charles Willeford Blue Deer Thaw - Jamie Harrison Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life - Laurence Bergreen Tourist Season - Carl Hiaasen (r) Silent Coup: The Removal of a President - Len Colodny & Ron Gattlin Cypress Grove - James Sallis Black Dahlia Avenger - Steve Hodel Box Office Poison - Alex Robinson The Sorrow of War - Bao Ninh The Wind From Nowhere - J G Ballard The Man Who Was Thursday - G K Chesterton As Above, So Below: A Novel of Peter Bruegel - Rudy Rucker Cybill Disobedience - Cybill Shepherd
Sometime when I'm not at all depressed and up for some fine acting, I'll finally rent Boys Don't Cry -- and the new Charlize Theron film Monster, about serial killer Aileen Wuornos, directed by Patty Jenkins
Louis Bayard's Mr Timothy is a Victorian psychological mystery taking off on the character of Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol and sounds like a hoot: review
Indeed, what's best about this novel has nothing to do with what makes it such an exciting story. Tim is still untangling his complicated grief over his father's death, seeing his ghost everywhere. In letters to the late Bob Cratchit, Tim recounts the discomfort of being the subject of his father's sentimental visions of how a little crippled boy should act.
"It was a bit like a serialized novel," he notes with a touch of poststructural humor. "I couldn't recall even thinking the words you assigned to me," he writes to his father. "But those were the words I was assigned, and so they became my words, and you became my teller." Desperate to please his father, he practiced the dewy look, the hopeful sigh, the pitiful cheeriness, contorting his character more surely than that mysterious illness could ever twist his legs.
But now, with both his parents gone and the Cratchit family dispersed, Tim must be his own narrator in a story of his own making.
I don't keep track of what I see (though I will be this year), but Catherine O'Hara should definitely be nominated for any award she likes for A Mighty Wind. . .maybe it's just a generational thing, but Return of the King was very moving for me. . .I thought Lisa Chlodolenko's Laurel Canyon was underrated. . .Freaky Friday was entertaining but not as good as I'd hoped.
Of course, many movies I enjoyed weren't released last year. For one, I just watched Quai des Orfèvres and it's easily as classic a noir as Double Indemnity or In a Lonely Place. If he's known at all, Henri-Georges Clouzot is remembered for Les Diaboliques and Wages of Fear (both of which were "honored" by Hollywood remakes), but I could find NO books on this remarkable writer and director -- in English anyway. If you can, watch Quai and Le Corbeau (The Raven) (coming out next month), both on Criterion. The dialogue moves along pretty quick, so you have to watch/read carefully if you don't know French, but it's worth it.
Le cercle rouge -- while entertaining -- is overrated I think. And I thought Auto-Focus kicked butt, dark and unsettling as it is.
And I'm looking forward to Lost in Translation, In America, Spellbound, School of Rock, Bad Santa (who would've thought Terry Zwigoff would make a hit Christmas movie -- er, offbeat as it is...?), and (without too high expectations) demonlover on disc.
I'll comment on other films I saw last year as they come to mind.