| contact: drbenway at priest dot com
| 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]
greencine interview with alex gibney, the director of No End in Sight, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, The Trials of Henry Kissinger, 2008 oscar-winner Taxi to the Dark Side, and Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S Thompson
At the end of the [Taxi to the Dark Side] you bring up the importance of your father, who was an interrogator during WWII, and his disgust at what is going on now in regards to the US practicing torture.
It's interesting. When I'm actually looking now at some of his interrogation logs - I just went through his house, looking at some of his old letters and stuff. They're interesting to look at.
But what he told me was basically he had great success by just befriending these guys. And that's what FBI interrogators and other good interrogators will tell you. Generally, you treat them as human beings and you begin to have a dialogue with them on that basis. Human beings are not that different. There's no different kind of human being that is a terrorist. There's no different kind of human being that is Japanese.
At the time, we, from a propaganda perspective, put a lot of effort into convincing ourselves that these were a different kind of human being. They didn't have the same value of life that we did. After all, they flew airplanes into targets, you know, just like al Qaeda. But my father said, "Look, we'd sit around with them and talk. And over time they gave us a lot of pretty good information." And indeed, I used to go drinking with my father and some of his former prisoners. It's hard to imagine that, you know, ten years down the road for the war on terror. So he felt that things were different.
To some extent that's revisionist history. We did some horrible things in World War II. But I do think that there was a sense that the rule of law was terribly important. We were supposed to be ruled by laws, not men.
What's dispiriting about this current administration is that it's just the opposite. In other words, the Commander in Chief is all-powerful. Whatever it is that he decides should be able to supersede any law. That's so fundamentally wrong.
That's something that my father wouldn't recognize, because he believed he was fighting for something. That he was fighting for a sense of American ideals. Now, they may have not always been observed, but he was fighting for a higher ideal - that we were the good guys. Compared to Japanese fascism or Nazism, we certainly were the good guys. So it was very dispiriting to him to see us essentially acting like Nazis or the KGB.
though anyone my age knew widmark, i didn't realize his talent til i watched Panic in the Streets, Night and the City, and Pickup on South Street. too bad he was typecast due to his remarkable turn in Kiss of Death as giggling psychopath tommy udo.
i'll also remember him as ben caxton in Against All Odds, one of my guilty pleasures.
have to check out The Street with No Name, No Way Out (1950) (can't believe i've missed those two) Yellow Sky and the Madigan series.
Coming soon will be broadcasts of live baseball games, rock concerts, classic TV shows and an array of other offerings not associated with the silver screen.
From nickelodeons to drive-ins to multiplexes, American movie theaters have always evolved with the times. But the latest evolution, set off by stagnating attendance and advances in digital technology, marks the first time that movie theaters have reinvented themselves without motion pictures as the centerpiece.
“Exhibitors are heading toward showing more than just movies faster than anyone expected,” said Ted Mundorff, chief executive of Landmark Theaters, which operates multiplexes in California, Texas and New York, among other states. “Live simulcasts of sporting events or whatever won’t displace the first week of ‘Harry Potter,’ but they might displace the fifth week.”
Chains in Tennessee and New Jersey sell $25 tickets to performances of La Scala operas. AMC and Regal, two of North America’s biggest chains, have promoted concerts (Celine Dion), marathons of classic TV shows (“Star Trek”) and seasonal events (the St. Olaf Christmas Festival). On April 24, hundreds of theaters are scheduled to show highlights from the Drum Corps International World Championships.
good interview with elias merhige from the time of shadow of a vampire's release
If you look at Herzog’s Nosferatu, which I respect very much, what you see is an homage to the master, which is what Murnau is for Herzog. Shadow of the Vampire is much more irreverent, and more about invigorating an enthusiasm for the period, and about trying to invoke the past within the present. If those guys were working today, what would their color palette be? How would they work with sound? In the film, I tried to suggest that wherever I could. When the images are in color, for example, we’re in digital surround-sound Dolby stereo. But when we move into black and white, I asked my sound editor to transfer all the sound to wax cylinders, so that everything goes down to mono and sounds a bit ancient. You’re actually doing time travel with your ears.
Customer accounts at financial institutions are kept separate from banks’ and dealers’ own holdings to protect those funds if the broker has to seek bankruptcy protection.
But the bigger worry for hedge funds and others that do business with Bear Stearns is whether the firm will be able to honor its trades. Of particular concern are the insurance contracts known as credit default swaps in which one party agrees to guarantee interest and principal payments in case an issuer defaults on its bonds. Investors in such contracts with Bear Stearns are closely studying whether they can get out of them or have them transferred to a more stable firm.
Compounding the problem, some big investment banks this week stopped accepting trades that would expose them to Bear Stearns. Money market funds also reduced their holdings of short-term debt issued by Bear, according to industry officials.
“You get to where people can’t trade with each other,” said James L. Melcher, president of Balestra Capital, a hedge fund based in New York. “If the Fed hadn’t acted this morning and Bear did default on its obligations, then that could have triggered a very widespread panic and potentially a collapse of the financial system.”
an interview with my friend jeph jerman on the occasion of his performance at the K=RAA-K folks' displaced sounds festival in belgium this week
You mentioned that you also played in various rock bands. How is making music with a band different from presenting 'found sounds' to the audience?
Jerman: "In practice there may be little difference, as each may be presented in a concert or club-like situation. But the aim of rock music and all other popular styles past and present is to directly involve people's emotions. A lot of "found sound' type presentation is also directed in this way, and that's fine, it just doesn't interest me.
There does seem to be a growing interest in listening though, and more and more people seem to be interested in sharing information about it."
i watched both No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood in the last week, I'd have to say any of the films I picked from the ones i watched last year were more satisfying, at least
they were both well done and had some fine performances, daniel day-lewis' making the latter the more compelling.
but Blood was muddled and flat, and Old Men even flatter.
lord save me from any more flinty down-home evangelical sermonizing about the "rising tide" and "signs and wonders", even if its partly comical.
for a vastly superior experience, watch the BBC series State of Play, like Old Men co-starring kelly macdonald. it's fast, smart, emotionally complex and probably better than the american film re-make in the works, even with helen mirren. and bill nighy kicks ass.
for that matter, gone baby gone and the Jesse James movie were both just as good as the 2 headliners here.
Vanity Fair has obtained confidential documents, since corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war. The plan was for forces led by Dahlan, and armed with new weapons supplied at America’s behest, to give Fatah the muscle it needed to remove the democratically elected Hamas-led government from power. (The State Department declined to comment.)
But the secret plan backfired, resulting in a further setback for American foreign policy under Bush. Instead of driving its enemies out of power, the U.S.-backed Fatah fighters inadvertently provoked Hamas to seize total control of Gaza.
Within the Bush administration, the Palestinian policy set off a furious debate. One of its critics is David Wurmser, the avowed neoconservative, who resigned as Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief Middle East adviser in July 2007, a month after the Gaza coup.
Wurmser accuses the Bush administration of “engaging in a dirty war in an effort to provide a corrupt dictatorship [led by Abbas] with victory.” He believes that Hamas had no intention of taking Gaza until Fatah forced its hand. “It looks to me that what happened wasn’t so much a coup by Hamas but an attempted coup by Fatah that was pre-empted before it could happen,” Wurmser says.
The botched plan has rendered the dream of Middle East peace more remote than ever, but what really galls neocons such as Wurmser is the hypocrisy it exposed. “There is a stunning disconnect between the president’s call for Middle East democracy and this policy,” he says. “It directly contradicts it.”
i remember when pundits claimed that the republicans' strong suit was foreign policy. . .
Nobody’s perfect, but The Independent’s Middle East correspondent’s skill, originality, fearlessness and tenacity on the ground make him one of the greats. He reported Iranian troops being gassed by Saddam Hussein (then backed by Rumsfeld and Ronald Reagan), chronicling their deaths by coughs of blood and mucus. He exposed America’s Abu Ghraib-style torture in Iraq. He’s interviewed Osama Bin Laden three times – terrifically evocative, riveting reportage, which opens [his book] The Great War For Civilisation. “You couldn’t write that with Google.”
A deep sense of history moves through Fisk. “I tell you the movie which really does capture war, the issue of conflict and the ways it affects human beings – apart from Untergang (Downfall) – Paths of Glory. Kirk Douglas and that terrible story of the three men who were executed for cowardice: that’s the Battle of Verdun.”
So, who exactly is producing fiction for the media? Who wrote the Zarqawi letters? Who created the fantasy story about Osama bin Laden using a network of subterranean bases in Afghanistan, complete with offices, dormitories, arms depots, electricity and ventilation systems? Who fed the media with tales of the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, suffering brain seizures and sitting in stationery cars turning the wheel and making a noise like an engine? Who came up with the idea that Iranian ayatollahs have been encouraging sex with animals and girls of only nine?
Some of this comes from freelance political agitators. It was an Iranian opposition group, for example, which was behind the story that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was jailing people for texting each other jokes about him. And notoriously it was Iraqi exiles who supplied the global media with a dirty stream of disinformation about Saddam Hussein.
But clearly a great deal of this carries the fingerprints of officialdom. The Pentagon has now designated "information operations" as its fifth "core competency" alongside land, sea, air and special forces. Since October 2006, every brigade, division and corps in the US military has had its own "psyop" element producing output for local media. This military activity is linked to the State Department's campaign of "public diplomacy" which includes funding radio stations and news websites. In Britain, the Directorate of Targeting and Information Operations in the Ministry of Defence works with specialists from 15 UK psyops, based at the Defence Intelligence and Security School at Chicksands in Bedfordshire.
'A place like Guinea Bissau is a failed state anyway, so it's like moving into an empty house.' There is no prison in Guinea-Bissau, he says. One rusty ship patrols a coastline of 350km, and an archipelago of 82 islands. The airspace is un-patrolled. The police have few cars, no petrol, no radios, handcuffs or phones.
'You walk in, buy the services you need from the government, army and people, and take over. The cocaine can then be stored safely and shipped to Europe, either by ship to Spain or Portugal, across land via Morocco on the old cannabis trail, or directly by air using "mules".' One single flight into Amsterdam in December 2006 was carrying 32 mules carrying cocaine from Guinea-Bissau.
The official admitted 'this has happened quickly, and the response has been tardy. They're ahead of the game.' And it didn't help that most Western diplomatic presence had left Bissau during the fighting, preferring to operate from neighbouring Senegal. The US and Britain shut up shop in Bissau in 1998, the Americans only last July reopening a diplomatic office in response to the cocaine raids.
Although much of the cocaine goes directly to Spain and Portugal, London is becoming an increasingly prominent final destination, says the official - because of the street prices the drug commands - yet Britain also has no permanent diplomatic presence in Bissau, and has not joined the Iberian countries and the EU in contributing to the latest UN plans to help the country. According to the UNODC, the UK and Spain have now overtaken America in the consumption of cocaine per head.
once again, cheap legal regulated drugs would end this trade.
The ringing is explained by Julian as the sound of ear cells dying. Once those cells die that frequency can never be heard again. It is a sound that many people are familiar with and probably do not give too much thought. The ringing is a subjective, diegetic sound. Theo is the only one in the story world who is able to hear it since it is the sound of his own ear cells dying. But the fact that his ear cells are dying has little to no effect on the film. It is the repetition of the sound and the moments at which it occurs that give the ringing its meaning. These moments are always connected with Theo. Other moments with similar meanings for other characters use different high-pitched sounds.
The discovery led to the biggest public health notification operation in U.S. history, brought demands for investigations and caused scores of lawyers to seek out patients at risk for infections.
Thousands of patients are being urged to be tested for the viruses. Six acute cases of hepatitis C have been confirmed. The surgical center and five affiliated clinics have been closed.
"I find it baffling, frankly, that in this day and age anyone would think it was safe to reuse a syringe," said Michael Bell, associate director for infection control at the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
By contrast with the associations that the wearisomely over-used appellation ‘funky’ routinely evokes - the organic, wholesome and homely - Liquid Liquid’s take on funk, like The Pop Group’s, was eerie and estranging. In Liquid Liquid’s hands, rhythm does not underwrite a pallid One World humanism, but emerges as a depersonalizing, ecstatic force, whose intoxicating power divests language of sense. Principato is more of a shaman than a singer, and his incantations, inducing and instantiating a state of rhythmic possession, suggest a state of beatific delirium. That state, in which consciousness is intermittently interrupted, is perfectly captured by the phrase from ‘Cavern’ which lends this compilation its title, ‘slip in and out of phenomenon’. (Melle Mel’s adaptation, ‘something like a phenomenon’, itself multiply sampled, suggests a substantial solidity that Liquid Liquid’s sound – drivingly physical yet elastic, ectoplasmic – never exemplified.) This is one of the few semi-legible linguistic fragments on the LP; here, even language is used percussively. Like Damo Suzuki’s babble or Shaun Ryder’s dosser drivel, Principato’s vocals deploy words as rhythmic components, sonorous blocks all but evacuated of meaning.
i remember them but didn't click with them, or a lot of other post-punk.
the new novel featuring "kenneth anger", "the rolling stones" and "charles manson & bobby beausoleil" by zachary lazar is quite good: Sway.
Michael Clayton is also well done, and should appeal to many.
If you haven't heard of the BBC series about a 5-star hotel in London called Hotel Babylon, you should check it out. it's glitzy and the music is annoying, but it's co-written by a veteran of the real thing, and the actors do a good job.
i was looking forward to the release of Criterion's Post-War Kurosawa because i'd really wanted to see his version of dostoyevksy's The Idiot, but it turned out to be my least favorite so far of the set (i haven't finished Scandal yet, and have no interest in One Wonderful Sunday right now). No Regrets for Our Youth was particularly good. setsuko hara is even more remarkable than i knew from her ozu flicks. The Idiot has fine performances by mifune, setsuko and masayuki in the title role, but it's way too long (nearly 3 hours) and melodramatic.
Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders should be essential viewing for everyone over 13. it's much more engaging and funny than it sounds, and the information is very important.
other recommendations: Jia Zhang-ke's Still Life (had to buy a region 3 copy of this from yesasia but it's very reasonable) & Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone (he does a very good job, as do all the players).
not that impressed with: The Brave One, Syndromes and a Century, King of California, 3:10 to Yuma.
also liked: Shattered (2006), Chalk, The Island (2006), Adam's Apples (if you like bone dry scandinavian comedies, a classic), Missing Victor Pellerin, and In the Valley of Elah.