Friday, October 01, 2004

Charles Taylor on "The Big Red One"

"When the late writer Veronica Geng said in 1988 that Oliver Stone's "Platoon" wasn't "as good as a Sam Fuller war movie," she was committing a heresy against the prevailing critical orthodoxy. With the exception of Brian De Palma's "Casualties of War" (which never found an audience), none of the big prestige war movies that have appeared since the late '70s -- the mucked-up "Apocalypse Now"; "Platoon" and Stone's even more appalling "Born on the Fourth of July"; "Full Metal Jacket"; and "Saving Private Ryan," a film that pushes war-movie gore to its limit while returning the subject to '40s homefront platitudes -- can match the humanity, the craft, or the deft mixing of moods and emotions in "The Big Red One."

It may seem strange to speak of the decorousness of a tabloid filmmaker, but the key to the power of "The Big Red One" can be found in these sentences from Fuller's autobiography: "See, there's no way you can portray war realistically, not in a movie nor in a book. If you really want to make readers understand a battle, a few pages of your book would be booby-trapped. For moviegoers to get the idea of real combat, you'd have to shoot at them every so often from either side of the screen." " Posted by Hello

A Utopian's Submarine from 1859

"The silence that accompanies the dives; the gradual absence of sunlight; the great mass of water, which sight pierces with difficulty; the pallor that light gives to the faces; the lessening movement in the Ictineo; the fish that pass before the portholes--all this contributes to the excitement of the imaginative faculties. . . . there are times when nothing can be seen outside by natural light, when one sees nothing but the obscurity of the deep; all noise and movement stops; it seems as though nature is dead, and the Ictineo is a tomb. " Posted by Hello

excellent long account of the recording of the original Smile

"The diamond necklace played the pawn," Wilson sang. ". . . A blind class aristocracy, back through the opera glass you see the pit and the pendulum drawn.

"Columnated ruins domino," his voice reached upward; the piano faltered a set of falling chords.

In a slow series of impressionistic images the song moved to its ending:

I heard the word:

Wonderful thing!

A children's song!

On the last word Brian's voice rose and fell, like the ending of that prayer chorale he had played so many months before."

 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Manhattan from Jackson Heights, 1938

received these lovely books from
Insurance Editions
35-48 80th Street #52
Jackson Heights, NY 11372

from "Knowledge Follows" by David Perry


The baslilisk tracks led to the Department of Anthropology
The professor's mouth formed a stone O
He stood in treated grass, the flute effects of afternoon wind
piched angle and forced right
so beautifully unlike life

He's still alive inside
soft and hot in the sun

from "Reticular Pop-Ups" by Carol Szamatowicz

Diary of Dr. Malmude

Any second now the pelts will fall off the rack,
the serpent soap its bedroll.
I dare not part from my assigned parts--
frequentor of solitide,
devil-may-care sister-mommy,
slice of light in a barque for two.
You're a real bright warm-up,
dashing through your smoke,
lights on your heels.
I dream a cold snap in the tropics,
sun slant uncertain, clock fucked
though we seem to be on time.
I scribble in the hay,
loll around in a bed of potulaca.
Got my thermos to keep me warm.
We stick to vegetable medicine,
never read the news,
ripen open the window,
vote the old city ticket
from nineteeen ought something.
All our shocks are furrowed,
above the psychic mechanisms of trash,
the economy of the few, far too few
have saved their eggs for us.

from "Daydream" by Kostas Anagnopulos

The sky employs many today
People benefit from it
They'd rather horse around
In the new addition
Too hyper for me
There's a kink in the system
They lock the loaf in the freezer
No further instructions
They mourn the day
Ultimately, they take a nap
For the better part of it
Oxygen is delivered
Cars peter out
Ramps are shut down
We need a speaker system
Minus the thunder
The sky is spoken for
The yellow-bellied sapsucker
Sings for its supper

 Posted by Hello
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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Ornette Coleman (ts) with
Don Cherry (pocket trumpet); Jimmy Garrison (b); Ed Blackwell (dr).
[1] Cross Breeding
[2] Mapa
[3] Enfant
[4] Eos
[5] Ecars
Total Time: 41:05
Recorded in New York City on 22nd and 27th March 1961.
 Posted by Hello

Robert Frank Coloring Book

(thanks Bifurcated RivetsPosted by Hello

'Europe's biggest mushroom' found
"The Swiss fungus is considerably smaller than another Honey Mushroom growing in the US.
Found in the Malheur national forest in Oregon, that fungus covers 890 hectares (2,200 acres) - making it the largest living organism ever discovered. " Posted by Hello

Neil Young Joins a B.C Air War or "Do you do that often, or is this Crofton?

"Crofton and the mill are just a short ferry ride across Stuart Channel from Vesuvius on Salt Spring Island. An exclusive, 851-acre residential development is to be built to the north of the sleepy island hamlet, making the 405 new homes and 1,200 residents at Channel Ridge by far the largest development on the Gulf Islands. The selling of the island as a bucolic paradise is not made easier by the presence of a pulp mill to the southwest."
 Posted by Hello
Michael Beschloss recommends some books about US presidential campaigns, includes my favorite "What it Takes", but omits "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72", "The Selling of the President", "American Melodrama" and "The Boys on the Bus", still...
History's Notable Films, Reconsidered.

"Seriously: Who names a sled?"

Monday, September 27, 2004

"Shadow Artforms"

"Once favor has shifted away, an artform may continue on pretense, like deposed royalty in exile; at the same time the culture at large may still go through motions of respect, without anymore having any contact with the living artists. Then, the image of the artist in that medium acquires a different, shadow-power. The artist becomes a symbol, & carries the weight of dreams that more mainstream art-heroes (whose lives are all too visible) cannot. "

Sunday, September 26, 2004

much on Bill Daniel's sunset scavenger including Texas Punk, houseboat days and "the world's most mysterious boxcar artist"... Posted by Hello

Skeeter Davis 1931-2004

Why does the sun go on shining?
Why does the sea rush to shore?
Don't they know it's the end of the world,
`cause you don't love me anymore?

Why do the birds go on singing?
Why do the stars glow above?
Don't they know it's the end of the world?
It ended when I lost your love.

I wake up in the morning and I wonder why
ev'rything's the same as it was.
I can't understand, no I can't understand,
how life goes on the way it does!

Why does my heart go on beating?
Why do these eyes of mine cry?
Don't they know it's the end of the world?
It ended when you said good-bye. Posted by Hello

from Inkblot Record author Dan Farrell a look at San Francisco Sewer Air Vent Covers with a brief history--

"One "well-known" member of the elite women's California Club asked "What is the use of putting up fine houses when on stepping to your very door in the finest residence quarter you are greeted by such odors as one meets on Pacific Avenue? We must cleanse ourselves inwardly before we can have a beautiful exterior or properly enjoy it." To cleanse "inwardly" seems to refer to both moral character and one's bowels. It is common after all to refer to the "bowels" of the city when speaking of the underground. A purgative is a physical cleansing and a moral or spiritual purification. Would a new, scientific, sewer system bring a moral purification? If the social problems of the city were reduced to the dysfunction of a body, science could be relied on to cure it. A modern sewer system, like a healthy body, should carry sewage "rapidly to its outfall outside the city, so that no time would be given to decomposition . . ." and should be" . . . flushed at intervals. . . ."" Posted by Hello

"Swimming Pool, Welch, West Virginia" O. Winston Link Posted by Hello