| 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]
Imamura's Ballad of Narayama was easily one of the best movies of the 80s, and by itself made him a special director in my book. From what I remember of it, I doubt whether it's aged a bit.
I wasn't that crazy about The Eel or Warm Water Under a Red Bridge, though Dr Akagi wasn't bad.
I haven't seen much of his earlier work, but am interested in The Profound Desire of the Gods in particular (after reading The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film), and secondarily Vengeance Is Mine & The Pornographers.
A unique director anyway, and worth checking out, especially if you're interested in Japanese cinema -- his was a darkly comic and idiosyncratic vision.
Winners: Ken Loach's The Wind That Shakes the Barley, about the Irish fight for independence in the 1920s, Bruno Dumont's Flanders, Almodovar's Volver, Rachid Bouchareb's Days of Glory (North African Muslims joining the French against the Nazis), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Babel (starring Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett) & Wang Chao's Luxury Car (Un Certain Regard winner) among others.
Girl: Oh my god. Don't even mention his name to me. I hate him so much. Guy: You mean hate him like you'd wanna set him on fire hate him? Girl: I mean hate him like I wouldn't even shit on him if someone else set him on fire. Guy: Uh... I believe the phrase is "I wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire". Girl: Yeah, whatever. It's all the same when you're lactose-intolerant.
"I don't feel any different, I'm not dead. Someday, I will be, but I won't know it. Everything is already done and I know exactly what it's going to be like even though I won't know it when it happens"
Coming next: burial in missile silos which will survive a direct hit from a drone nuke and global warming and earthquakes and thousands . . .of . . . .years of . . . erosion. . . . . . . ..
A little lesson about empire -- and its corrosive effect on democracy and everything else -- from ancient Greece
Some time ago an army was dispatched over seas under the banner of crusading democracy. Not only would it break the back of tyranny, it would also secure untold riches and resources in the process, the politician in charge promised.
The year was 415 BC, the expeditionary force hailed from Athens, its destination was Syracuse in Sicily, and it was the brainchild of Alcibiades.
Athens was at war with her rival for supremacy in the Greek world, Sparta, in an internecine bloodletting which was to range across the Mediterranean and would rage on for a generation. Men would fight in this war who were not born when it first began. When it ended, both victor and vanquished would have reason to rue its beginning.
The eight-episode show is a collaboration between Jeffrey Deitch, the SoHo art dealer, and Voom, a high-definition satellite network. The producers came to the project with an odd mix of television and art experience. Besides Mr. Deitch, they include Tamar Hacker, an Emmy-winning producer who worked on the PBS series "American Masters" and has helped make documentaries about Alfred Stieglitz and Robert Rauschenberg, and Abby Terkuhle, who as founder and president of MTV Animation brought "Beavis and Butt-head" to the nation.
When an open call was issued in March 2005 for artists to audition, about 400 showed up in SoHo on a frigid Tuesday morning. They lined up for three blocks around the Deitch Projects gallery on Wooster Street for the chance — if they were lucky — to get 30 seconds of attention from Mr. Deitch or one of the critics and writers he had enlisted as judges.
Two artists camped out in sleeping bags to be first in line. An artist collective at the back of the line hid inside a huge foam-rubber head, with a cigarette the size of a baseball bat jutting from its mouth. ("Is this the line for Aerosmith tickets?" one artist inside the head asked, trying, like many others there, to mock the event while still shivering to be a part of it.)
The half hour of additional scenes and Coppola's commentary for both versions are what's most interesting, but the post-production featurettes on disc 2 will be fascinating too.
Only the Director's cut of Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven will compete with this release as the serious film fan's DVD of the year.
Also: Ridley Scott was apparently never happy with the re-release of Blade Runner in '92, despite the nearly unanimously applauded improvements over the original version. Now comes word that a Final Cut will be available for a limited time starting in September, after which a 4 disc set of all 4 versions + extras will be released.
Interview I'm in the process of reading with Mike Davis on BLDG BLOG on his new book Planet of Slums, how Ridley Scott has defined the iconic "alien Other" for most Americans through his films Blade Runner and Black Hawk Down, the remarkable success of the car bomb and why the worst urban slums are the best training ground for soldiers, among other things [Ballardian]
After seeing their ad on the back of Arthur and noting that enoshop uses their shirts, I checked their site out.
I like where they're going as an ethical workplace bucking outsourcing and all, but their sizing doesn't work for a wideboy like me. But then I'm not the "youthful type" they're aiming at. . . and I'm not into "snug" in general, clothingwise.
Reminds me of Deva's stuff which I tried out back in the 80s, but never felt quite right either, though not because the clothing was snug.
My body type is not easy to buy for though.
The website loads slow and somewhat wonky with Opera or Firefox too, at least on my WIN98 relic, a bit too fancy.
But if you want a snug fit, you've probably got a um big processor.
Since I wanted to get the free shipping on my new remote from amazon, I decided to take the plunge and order the 4-disc Director's cut of Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven even though I haven't seen the theatrical release, because the price was killer ($17.46, reg $34.98), and I'm interested in the period & think Susan will be into it too
The price will probably go up on Tuesday when it's officially released.
The DVD Talk review linked above was the cincher I guess.
The three companies that turned over their customers' records -- AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon, which combined carry roughly 80 percent of the nation's landline calls and half the wireless ones -- issued terse statements saying they valued their customers' privacy and did nothing illegal. A fourth firm, Qwest, refused the government's request, despite what USA Today reported was heavy pressure by the NSA, including a suggestion that Qwest might not get future classified work with the government. In a written statement, the attorney for former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio said his client believed "these requests violated the privacy requirements of the Telecommunications Act."
You have to bend pretty low to make a corporation like Qwest -- which regularly pays fines for poor customer service -- look like a defender of the public good.
Of course the Bush administration has set new er standards in so many ways. . .
Checking out the TCM schedule for the week, I chanced upon a darkly hilarious comment by "zetes" on Walk Softly, Stranger, a little-known b starring Joseph Cotten & Alida Valli -- yeah, from The Third Man, which leads to the comment. . .
Nice noirish quote from it on the main page though:
Bowen: Why don't you sit down? Chris Hale: I wouldn't sit on your death bed.
"I can't imagine something more irresponsible than putting a soldier suffering from stress on (antidepressants), when you know these drugs can cause people to become suicidal and homicidal," said Vera Sharav, president of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, a New York-based advocacy group. "You're creating chemically activated time bombs."
Also from localerts: AZ Senate President Ken Bennett's son gets off easy after participating in broomstick assault on 18 boys at a summer camp near Prescott
Several of the 18 victims left the courtroom angry and frustrated. Since the assaults, many have had trouble sleeping and going to the bathroom, their parents say. Their grades have slipped, and many are undergoing counseling for victims of abuse.
"I think it's pretty stupid," Zachary Motcheck, 13, the first to report the assaults to authorities, said of the sentence. He and his parents have been outspoken about the case. "It's unfair, and it's just because Bennett's dad is a senator . . . What they did was wrong and they both deserved more jail time."
Keaton Koch, 13, another victim who has spoken out publicly with his parents, said Bennett's apology was self serving.
"I think they should get 10 years in prison," Koch said.
The case garnered national media attention after the Yavapai County Attorney's Office said it did not consider the case as a sex crime and could not prove that Bennett and Wheeler had any sexual intent.
On Friday, Judge O'Toole said he also did not believe this was a case of sexual assault. He called the conduct "extremely reckless and dangerous . . . It was not intended to be criminal in nature."
According to the World Health Organization, the suicide rate in Japan was 24.1 per 100,000 people in 2000, the second-highest among Group of Eight industrialized countries after Russia's 39.4. Rates for other G8 countries included 18.4 in France and 10.4 in the United States.
Yamada, who has written that an income gap in Japan has widened recently following the breakdown of a traditional social safety net such as lifetime employment, said a rising risk of dropping out of the middle class was behind the high suicide rate.
He said counseling and offering therapy would not prevent suicides induced by such fears.
In a bid to bring down the number of suicides to pre-1998 levels over the next 10 years, the government unveiled a package of measures in December.
But is mainly focuses on promoting counseling and building more fences on train platforms to prevent people from jumping in front of trains, a common method of suicide in Japan, as well as trying to limit access to Internet sites that promote suicide.
No religious proscription exists against suicide in Japan and it has long been seen as a way to escape failure or save loved ones from shame or suffering economic hardship.
Analysts have also said if Japanese insurers stopped paying life insurance claims for those who kill themselves, the number of suicides triggered by economic problems would fall drastically.
What is so surprising about finding a site like this in South America, I don't understand. Is this just weak-minded Eurocentrism? Has the writer ever been to the Serpent Mound in Ohio or Palenque in Mexico?
In case you're not on the moveon.org list or haven't heard otherwise, check out the save the internet site to protect Net Neutrality, which Congress is aiming to sabotage for the plutocrats
"'Net neutrality' is a concept that is still unfamiliar to most Americans, but it keeps the Internet democratic. ... One of the Internet's great strengths is that a single blogger or a small political group can inexpensively create a Web page that is just as accessible to the world as Microsoft's home page. But this democratic Internet would be in danger if the companies that deliver Internet service changed the rules so that Web sites that pay them money would be easily accessible, while little-guy sites would be harder to access and slower to navigate. Providers could also block access to sites they do not like."
They will be prevented from copying and distributing files they purchase through two mechanisms: one that requires them to enter a password before watching a file, and another that allows the file to be viewed only on the computer to which it was downloaded.
Some good links at this post on the WFMU blog re Tsai Ming-Liang's The Hole, and the music behind the film's remarkable musical interludes by 50s/60s chanteuse Grace Chang (mp3s posted)
I tried to get this used online recently and got this instead. Fortunately I got a prompt refund and didn't have to return it. I tried to watch it but found it drab, trite and impossible to stay with.
Anyway, Tsai's The Hole is one of my favorites, and probably the most upbeat of his films, which are not generally very cheerful. OK, I'm understating a bit here -- they're dominated by long takes and alienated characters that would send Antonioni running from the theatre -- but he's really an excellent director, one of the best around.
The Hole is also a forerunner of his latest festival stunner The Wayward Cloud, from what I've read anyway. If you're interested in what he's about, this isn't a bad place to start.
Jeph mentioned Herzog's recent release The Wild Blue Yonder to me the other day, and I can see nothing about it that doesn't sound pretty damn cool
"The film, - a hybrid of documentary material, footage of the actor Brad Dourif as an extraterrestrial resident in America, hallucinatory images from space and the sub-arctic, and a soundtrack featuring a Senegalese singer, five Sardinian voices and a Dutch cellist – is mesmerising and beyond categorisation.”
In many nations, the net used to be the only uncensored outlet and the place people turned to for news they would never hear about through official channels.
However, noted the report, governments have woken up to the fact that the people they regard as dissidents are active online. Many are now moving to censor blogs and the last year has seen many committed bloggers jailed for what they said in their online journal.