Saturday, March 18, 2006

review of a new Peter Lorre bio--

"For as long as Lorre is on the screen, you find you can�t look anywhere else. This was partly because of his quite deliberate scene-stealing manoeuvres. Robert Alda, the father of Alan, acted with Lorre in a horror film which has since become a cult called The Beast with Five Fingers. You �had to be prepared� for his �little tricks� all the time, Alda claimed. When other actors had turned away, you could safely assume they were out of the scene. �Not Peter. He would turn his back on you and his hands would be going behind his back, and he would have things to do with his back pocket, or that famous trick of his of unleashing his collar from the front, or those hands were giving themselves a self-manicure, or anything to keep the camera�s eye on him.� If you keep your eyes on him you see him deliberately making too much play with some sugar tongs or lighting cigarette after cigarette in an ostentatious manner."

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Friday, March 17, 2006

double Lorre and Greenstreet on TCM starting 2115 with Eric Ambler's "Mask of Dimitrios"...

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excellent Rachel Moore on Patrick Keiller--

"In Patrick Keiller's films, the space that we are being asked to reconsider however is the space around us. Much like the similarly disenchanted Epicureans, we turn now for our re-enchantment to the world of matter. Earth, water sky. Bricks, mortar, steel. Rivers, tracks, roads, and, best of all, bridges. These are the plastics that shape not just how we live, but consciousness itself. And then there are causeways that emanate from the earth's core through arduously constructed landscapes of stone fences, housing estates and factory chimneys right up to the clouds; taking us from the mythic to the mundane to the majestic, from birth to banality and back again. For yes, our landscape looks sordid and tawdry. From high voltage towers that litter the countryside through the suburban shopping mall to the crumbling cement of the city, a world of effaced relationships lies dormant. These relationships are, for each of us, by turns historical, political, autobiographical, archaic, and aesthetic. Thus our task is to enliven that which lies dormant, to stir the sentient springs that portend our awakening. I think of that dormant mass as the Archive of Natural History. Access to this momentous mix of myth, nature, history and sensation lies not behind the authority and classification systems of that other archive, but in the one before us. "
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a good excuse to look up Patrick Kavanagh--


My black hills have never seen the sun rising,
Eternally they look north towards Armagh.
Lot's wife would not be salt if she had been
Incurious as my black hills that are happy
When dawn whitens Glassdrummond chapel.

My hills hoard the bright shillings of March
While the sun searches in every pocket.
They are my Alps and I have climbed the Matterhorn
With a sheaf of hay for three perishing calves
In the field under the Big Forth of Rocksavage.

The sleety winds fondle the rushy beards of Shancoduff
While the cattle-drovers sheltering in the Featherna Bush
Look up and say: "Who owns them hungry hills
That the water-hen and snipe must have forsaken?
A poet? Then by heavens he must be poor."
I hear, and is my heart not badly shaken?"

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very thorough Neglected Books round-up...
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Thursday, March 16, 2006

"Magnolia auriculata" by William Bartram from Barton-Delafield Botanical Illustrations
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thats right folks, my first reading in Nanaimo since the Joe Clark administration, with Victoria poets Weldon Hunter and Lindsay Colahan
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"No More Mowing" by John DeMartelly, from a wonderful website devoted to Hay In Art w/ writing, incl. John Clare--

"I often roam a minute from the path
Just to luxuriate on the new mown swath
& stretch me at my idle length along
Hum louder o'er some melody or song
While passing stranger slackens in his pace
& turns to wonder what can haunt the place
Unthinking that an idle ryhmster lies
Buried in the sweet grass & feeding phantasys
This happy spirit of the joyous day
Stirs every pulse of life into the play
Of buoyant joy & extacy---I walk
& hear the very weeds to sing & talk
Of their delights as the delighted wind
Toys with them like playfellows ever kind.

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Lest We Forget

"We're proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who's physical, who's not a complicated guy like Clinton or even like Dukakis or Mondale, all those guys, McGovern. They want a guy who's president. Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It's simple. We're not like the Brits."

(MSNBC's Chris Matthews, 5/1/03)

&c &c &c...

on the streets of Kitsilano, Chris reminds us that Magnolias predate bees! Best magnolias I ever saw were in Charlotte, NC, where they let them arch and canopy over the streets...

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Monday, March 13, 2006

Samuel Beckett and Caspar David Friedrich, etc:---

"He would study a painting inch by inch, going back to a gallery to re-see what had enthralled him, whether it was the Pieta at the National Gallery in Dublin or Friedrich's tempestuous canvasses that mirrored Malone's turbulence in "Malone Dies". A bare tree, a moon and two figures that he had seen at an exhibition of Friedrich's in Berlin served as the first glimmer for the writing of Waiting for Godot, a work he claimed to have embarked upon to get back his sanity and away from "the awful prose" he had been writing."

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

interview with the great John Hurt--

'You have to find the character's emotion, that's what being a performer is. Looking at Richard Rich [in A Man for All Seasons], looking at Quentin, looking at whoever it might be, and trying to describe it and understand it as if it were a painting.' When was the first time he did that? Hurt lets out one of his barking laughs. 'I've never done it, never really done it. Someone once asked me, "Is there anything you regret?" and I said, "Everything!" Whatever you do, there was always a better choice.'

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