Sunday, June 29, 2008


I've always found comfort in Edward Hopper's Gas(1940). A solitary man, with only enough room for a single car. Deal with Life's problems one at a time. One at a time.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

2nd Amendment, punk

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms in one hand, with a cell phone in the other, straddling the center white line with both knees 15 mph below the speed limit, large dice hanging from the rear view mirror, shall not be infringed.

"I know what you're thinking. Did five vote against or only four? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself.... "

Friday, June 27, 2008

beautiful libraries

A recurring dream that arrives almost every night finds me lost in a catacomb of wooden mahogany shelves filled with old fragile books in beautiful libraries.
How breathtaking it would be for those dreams to materialize!

Ah, maybe one day to travel and get lost in every one of them.

Friday, June 20, 2008


At 7:59 tonight we've drifted into Summer...

...She was out on the lake by herself, drifting and leaning back with a large white cross-stitched lake hat shading her light Garbo face with one leg kicked over the side, big toe dipping into coldness, and she was re-reading a favorite book. On the shore she could hear children laughing. Some were pleading with ice cream chins to venture out onto the lake as well.

She wasn’t alone really. She imagined Holden and Phoebe Caulfield adrift with her, astern and balancing the boat so it would never sway off course or tip over. Holden adored his sister. She held the book briefly against her heart, closed her almond eyes and thought of that wonderful phony-less relationship. But she didn’t think too hard. It wasn’t like Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity. Something easier on the noodle such as the Theory Of Relatives. She laughed quietly as she thought: “hey, that’s pretty good. Now who would come up with that?” Her mind glided as she made up the silliest names she could imagine. Dr. Herman C. Whalefish. Or Professor Percival R. Klingtonbird, Jr. Or how about Dr. Fritz J. Beakersniffter. "Yes", she laughed, Dr. BeakerSniffter’s Theory Of Relatives. She must remember to attend his lecture at the University. She promised herself she would not snore too loudly and upset the good Professor.

She opened her luminous eyes and went back to her beloved story. Peering up and over the edge of the well-worn book she noticed a puffy white cloud up in the sharp blue sky that resembled a blooming rose. She set the book gently down by her side, pushed her lake hat back a bit, raising an arm imagining she could touch a sulfur pedal....

Friday, June 13, 2008

fade in:

I love the Cinema. Generally speaking, I give a film about 20 minutes to pull me in before I fidget and move on to something else. Not that I have anywheres to go really.

Mostly, it all has to do with the opening sequence. Sometimes it's all I need to stay with the picture show.

Three minutes into Citizen Kane is that eye-opening 'News On The March!' which follows a one word whispered opening. I'm hooked.

A young child's box of wonders opens To Kill A Mockingbird (title created by Stephen Frankfurt), including a closeup of what seems a seeing eye marble that rolls its way clear, with an unobtrusive theme by Elmer Bernstein that returns only at the end of the film.

Hitchcock's Rear Window is always near the top when I make out my top 10 favs of all time. The blinds slowly open, then the camera pans slowly to show the entire courtyard, and we seemingly hear the city and feel the relentless heat.

A catchy tune is enough. I admit it. Nilsson's breezy rendition of Everybody's Talkin' works in perfect step in introducing us to Joe Buck, and we can't help but to keep following the adventures of that dumb Midnight Cowboy.

But my all-time favorite opening sequence is from Oliver Stone's JFK. Backed by the drumming of John William's brilliant score, with a historical montage intertwined with newly shot footage of events leading to that horrific event, I'm pulled in to a fascinating flic!

Any fade ins that capture your fancy, Dear Reader?

Thursday, June 12, 2008


The glass is not half full, nor half empty.
It's completely empty because the
half I wanted was on the bottom.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

girl with the laughing face

I love this candid photo of Marilyn. Not sure of the photographer's name, year, or location. But that snapshot casts my imagination aloft and...I just wonder...
There she was, and having been out the whole morning shooting lively subjects like glistening park benches, brown tree lines, and a pesky juggling street mime(yes, without balls) I wanted to murder anyway, I had just the one shot left in my bulky Vagabond 120 camera.

Having stepped out of the hot Sun into the cool lazy ceiling fans of The Jazz Kitchen, I immediately saw her blonde hair. And I spied a table with one empty chair next. Stealthily moving in that direction, with the help of a distraction by the ensemble starting their next number up on the narrow bandstand lit only by bicycle lamps, I found myself with a slight offset lane directly in front.

The Jazz Kitchen was a wonder. Old dusty Railroad lanterns of burnt red, flouresent green, and dull yellow were displayed on an upper ledge behind the wooden bandstand and shiny steel counter. Huge windows, reminding me of the open air on an ocean cruise ship, gave me all the back light I could ever hope for. Probably too much light for the sniffing and squinting pale woman sitting next to me. I'm guessing the wife of the undertaker.

The Girl was too smart for the easy shot and had me pegged from the outset, even after I pretended to scan the glossy bulk of a menu with my heart pounding. Since I knew my opportunity was short I looked for an opening, perhaps a thoughtful 'peering into the distance' shot while she was conversing with her friends. But, damn it, she was staring at me every time I lined up a shot. Then it occured to was her playfulness; once, briefly, she buried her face in her sweater. She didn't mind the least bit.
I!.that's good, baby!..released the shutter and captured her light.

My confidence soared. My burger and fries platter with an inedible side pickle arrived, Johnny and His Silver Band were jammin' in fine foot-bobbing form, and I got an idea to move in. The ketchup bottle! I rose and moved towards her table. She was the only one there that made eye contact with me. Steady unbroken eye contact.
"May I borrow your ketchup?" I asked, my nervous upper lip stuck to my teeth.
"Gently tap the neck with two fingers."
"The waitress showed me."
"Oh. Thanks. OK."
She winked.

And, quick it seems, she was gone in a wink. At the front door she looked my way once more. And she was laughing.

Returning the next day without my camera, hoping to see her again, Johnny, the dark mysterious lead singer and bass player behind those seemingly impenetrable shades, sat next to me at the counter after sweating a number that sounded like music Marilyn would've loved to shake her hips to from the caper film across the street at The Moving Picture, raised his shades, and almost in a whisper commented, "her ass is lovelier than most women's faces." He grabbed a toothpick, nodded, and returned to the stage.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

film of the day

"people like what they know nothing about"

The studio executives in Sullivan's Travels(1941), my favorite Preston Sturges film, seem to be trying to tell us one thing is sure, by gumm, and that is The Secret Of Life is to stay right at home, take care of business, and don't think you can venture out into the unknown to find your true significance.

Baloney. Deep dish baloney.

John Sullivan (Joel McCrea), a genius comedy 'picture director' known for such smash hits as Ants In Your Pants of 1939, wants to get out of Hollywood, in more ways than one, to make a social commentary: to "hold a mirror up to life." He wants to make O Brother, Where Art Thou? despite protestations of studio execs. His idea is to set out on the road as a hobo (yes! a vagabond!) with ten cents in his pocket to experience first hand the plight of the down-trodden.

He meets up with a down-on-her-luck actress, The Girl (the lovely Veronica Lake), who knows a lot about hunger, and along the way this satire takes an unexpected dark turn. It turns into the type of film his producers have told him in the first place that the movie-going public avoid. But not too dark - during a dialog-less montage, the two get their very own ants in the pants.

Sturges also has along for the ride (in a luxurious land yacht shadowing Sullivan) his usual wonderful eccentric company of character actors, including William Demarest, Eric Blore, and Franklin Pangborn. And they have most of the best lines. The funniest, and the ones you lean forward and stop crunching your popcorn to hear clearer.

More than a sublime movie about movies.

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