Saturday, August 09, 2008

Sport, art and activity
"While many artists and arts institutions have wished for an end to the tick boxes and quotas of Blairite "socialist realism", if they now get what they wished for in the form of a flight to "quality" (and the market), will this create more latitude for critical and political art or open the way for unaccountable cuts and capricious, commercially-based funding decisions? In short, what will happen to the money if art stops being sport? As arguments for the economic and "social" value of creative activity and cultural industries are exposed as inflated by economic downturn, both art and sport may turn out to have been mere contributors to the emerging crisis, factories (or at least "digital workshops") of fictitious value whose stream of liquidity is now drying up. However, State funded art, as a relatively weak contributor to major league capital projects such as the Olympics, is likely to feel the squeeze before aestheticised mass sport does..."

Friday, August 08, 2008

Local trees

YouTube - Marc Bolan & T.Rex - "Ride A White Swan" [French TV '70]

first 45 I ever bought--sometime that year...

interesting Vancouver history blog Past Tense on “The Dope Craze that’s Terrorizing Vancouver”--

"A 1955 MacLean’s Magazine article entitled “The Dope Craze that’s Terrorizing Vancouver” estimated there were more like 2000 addicts in the city. The writer calculated that this amounted to “one addict for every two hundred and fifty citizens. This not only gives Vancouver the highest rate of drug addiction in the Western Hemisphere,” he continued, “but means that if the city’s rate of addiction continues to increase as at present, the crop of addicts now being born will constitute one in every sixteen Vancouverites...”

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