Thursday, August 07, 2008

pre-Rockford James Garner as Phillip Marlowe from 1969, with Bruce Lee & Rita Moreno, on TCM tomorrow night. No "Long Goodbye" but not bad, either, while waiting for a cool cross breeze to find you. Preceded by his decent dog mystery "They Only Kill Their Masters"....

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Lower mainland & Ladysmith trees

Anne Bancroft day on TCM tomorrow--don't miss her in Jack Clayton's Pinter-scripted "Pumpkin Eater" if you get a chance--

"After her Oscar win, Bancroft fought for the plum leading role in this superbly directed and written adaptation of Penelope Mortimer’s novel, a nearly impenetrable portrait of a compulsively child-bearing woman fighting her way through a clinical depression. Bancroft’s performance here is nearly impenetrable, too; she’s so immersed in creating the extreme of this woman’s lower-than-low mood that sometimes her face is nothing but a tragic mask with the merest glimmers of legible emotion behind her liquid, widely spaced dark eyes. In flashbacks to happier times, Bancroft’s eyes squeeze shut whenever she’s taken with one of her overcome, juicy smiles, but this same smile turns into a choked grimace when she breaks down in Harrods department store: in extreme close-up, tears streaming down her face unconsciously, Bancroft laughs and strangles out nonsense words, as if she’s being pulled in two different directions at once (once, I watched The Pumpkin Eater with someone who had suffered a breakdown, and they said that Bancroft’s Harrods breakdown scene was the most accurate physical rendition of this sort of illness that they had ever seen).

Deploying a light British accent seems to focus and lighten Bancroft’s effects here, so that she feasts on Harold Pinter’s suggestive dialogue in the most disciplined way. At the same time, she dives into the more unappealing aspects of the role without even thinking of flinching, beating the hell out of her straying husband (Peter Finch), descending into the most unattractive depths of self-pity, and finally smiling with mingled hope, agony and outright madness in her last close-up. This is the kind of performance that can inspire awe; God only knows what Bancroft had to dig up to get to the emotion of that Harrods breakdown. In this film, she’s like a heavyweight champion defending her title with punches so hard that they seem to come from some primordial place; it remains her most ambitious, most mysterious work..."

Monday, August 04, 2008

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Georgia Russell - Livrés au scalpel
"Georgia Russell is a Scottish artist who uses a scalpel instead of a brush or a pen, creating constructions that transform found ephemera, such as books, music scores, maps, newspapers, currency and photographs. Represented by England & Co, she exhibited recent works in the gallery's December exhibition. She currently has three works included in the Holland Paper Biennial at the Coda Museum. Russell's next major exhibition will be held at England & Co in early 2009, and she will also have some works in the gallery's Summer Exhibition in July/August this year."

(thx LB)

Friday, August 01, 2008