Saturday, August 22, 2009

on TCM tonight: Crime of Passion (1957)
“There you are deserted by him in whom you have placed all your faith. We are alone. Women tortured by fate, betrayed by all men. Where can we turn except to the heart and the understanding of another woman who knows what you are suffering? I feel for you. I suffer with you. I want to help you. Let me stand by your side in your fight for justice and compassion in a world made by men and for men...”

Thursday, August 20, 2009

it's Miriam Hopkins night on TCM , including three by Lubitsch...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Augustus Saint-Gaudens at the Met

Willowy and taut, she rests the toes of one foot on a sphere and leans forward a bit, into her shot, with athletic allowance for the coming recoil. Good luck deciding what she symbolizes. “Diana” seems to me sui generis, embodying sheer, somewhat mad inspiration in a manner that wasn’t uncommon in the era of Art Nouveau but was realized nowhere else with such Apollonian aplomb. It affects me as one of those moments—certain sentences by F. Scott Fitzgerald, say, or the better turns of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers—when an oxymoronic American dream of aristocratic democracy comes suddenly, briefly true...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

George WS Trow's classic NYer profile of Ahmet Ertegun:

Eclectic, Reminiscent, Amused, Fickle, Perverse
In 1956, at the age of thirteen, I went into a suburban record store and bought a copy of “Since I Met You Baby,” by Ivory Joe Hunter. This was an Atlantic record. I had heard “Since I Met You Baby” sung over the radio, but I had not seen a copy of the record. It was my sense of the situation, when I saw the record in the suburban record store, that to buy and then to own it would be a potent experience. I looked at the record jacket. On one side, there were depicted little stick people playing little stick instruments. On the other side, there were sketched portraits of Atlantic’s principal artists. There was a portrait of Ruth Brown (her eyes slightly slanted, her hair in a mysterious upswept arrangement I had never seen on any living woman), Joe Turner (mouth open, full mustache, little black bow tie), LaVern Baker, Clyde McPhatter, Ray Charles (a small pencil thin mustache and dark glasses), and the Clovers. Ray Charles, in his sketch, had been given the suggestion of a neck. The heads of the others floated on the jacket. The heads of the five Clovers floated together in a way that suggested no possible physical grouping. The names of the artists were printed in red under the black sketches. Black and red were at that moment the Atlantic colors. Across the top of the side of the jacket where the sketches appeared, there was the name “ATLANTIC,” in big black type. Under that was “Leads the Field in Rhythm & Blues,” in black type of a size slightly more modest. Under the sketches, at the bottom, in red script, were the words “And Many Other Exclusive Artists.” There was nothing on this record jacket that did not excite my interest. I was interested in the strange upswept hair of Ruth Brown, in the dark glasses of Ray Charles, in the little black bow tie of Joe Turner. I thought it would be a very strong thing to Lead the Field in Rhythm & Blues. I was interested in the Other Exclusive Artists. I felt, with some poignance, that this record—not just the song but the record, and not just the record but the jacket of the record—held some information that I needed to have. I felt, in fact, a certain pain, and even a certain anger. I felt pained that there was important information of great power of which I had no idea. I felt anger because I sensed that this information had been withheld from me deliberately...