The Brown Bunny

November 28, 2010

I enjoyed “Buffalo 66” when I saw it in the theater all those years ago.  I remember finding the lost characters strangely affecting and the style of the film complementary to that emotional impact.  Fast-forward to last week and “The Brown Bunny” was sitting on my desk, fresh from Netflix, waiting to be watched.  I’d heard about the controversy and Ebert’s evisceration of the Cannes screening of the film, but I also thought that the film could be one of those anti-commercial successes that critics dislike, but are worth watching.  When the movie ended, I thought I’d been wrong.  However, a few days later on, I am still thinking about the movie, which should be a good sign.  Somehow, Vincent Gallo convinces people, talented people, to work on his movies, so there should be something going on in them, somewhere.

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Photo apps

November 14, 2010

So, I have always been interested in photography, since high school.  My friend Chris and I would sometimes ditch school and go walking around DC taking pictures.  We would go out at night till all hours, shooting.  We’d spend hours in his basement darkroom, developing film and printing pictures.  I still am into it, but I don’t spend nearly as much time and effort as I want to or as necessary to get better and get better results.  Still, I do some.  And I have an iPhone, which makes it a bit easier to take quick shots.  Read the rest of this entry »

Dark Was the Night

November 8, 2010

I bought the album “Dark Was the Night” on the recommendation of some music blog or other.  I’ve liked lots of the “Red Hot…” albums and this one was along the same lines.  Various artists and working to benefit AIDS research.  There were many artists on the album that I really like: Sufjan Stevens, Grizzly Bear, Bon Iver, Iron and Wine, Feist, etc.  So, I bit.  And I was listening to it and this haunting song came on.  I was sure it was Nina Simone.  It sounded like a song that I had heard as a child, some rendition of a traditional song reborn as protest song.  I was born in Jackson, Mississippi to some hip, modern parents, part of a wave of conscious white folks moving to the South, and they certainly would have been on to some New Folk like this. Read the rest of this entry »

NPR

October 24, 2010

Two interesting stories have been in my mind the last few days.  One is the story of former NPR journalist Juan Williams and his firing.  The other is the story by Susan Straight in this month’s The Believer.   So far, the best essay/commentary I’ve read on Williams came from Glenn Greenwald, writing in Salon.

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ICA

August 10, 2010

I was in transit today and got to spend a few hours at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.  It’s a rather small museum; there were really only two exhibits and then the collection.  Overall, though, I enjoyed it and was especially struck by a few of the works.


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Dogville, USA

July 28, 2010

Lars von Tier’s dogma movies have always attracted me.  The lack of music, the natural(ish) lighting, the handheld camera; it all adds up to a more moving experience, I find.  In Dogville, however, he changes his m.o. a bit, though the effect is still quite arresting and moving.   Read the rest of this entry »

Rushmore

December 2, 2009

I saw “Rushmore” in the theatres in 1998, when it came out and loved it then.  It was funny, it was hip with a sort of smirk, and it had some great actors, as well, of course, as Wes Anderson’s trademark cool, catchy, and esoteric soundtrack.  After “Rushmore” hit, I went and saw “The Royal Tenebaums” and then rented “Bottle Rocket” and saw “The Aquatic Life.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Hidden Spot

November 15, 2009

We went, finally, to Thai Xing last night.  I’d been looking forward to it for awhile, as the legends have grown.  A one man kitchen. In his living room. Hours of waiting for the food.  Bliss when it arrived.  Nothing could have lived up to it, but it did turn out to be a super night.  I thought it would be similar to House of Nanking, one of our favorite restaurants in San Francisco, where you sit cheek and jowl with your neighbors, the chef tells you what to have, and they hustle you in and out to get the   most turnover possible.House_of_Nanking_D

 

 

 

 

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Cafe Milano and Fotoweek

November 14, 2009

Bergman I was given a certificate to Café Milano a few weeks ago and Kate and I decided to go on Thursday, as well as checking out some of the photos from DCFotoweek in Georgetown.  I had already gone to see some photos down at the National Gallery, which I found quite interesting.  There were two shows at the Museum; one focused on developments in the darkroom over about a century, starting with daguerreotypes and ending with folks like Lee Friedlander and Diane Arbus.  The other gallery had portraits by Robert Bergman (see above), which were quite haunting and fascinating. Read the rest of this entry »

Two flicks

October 30, 2009

CabiriaI watched two movies this past week.  One was 50 years old, the other was brand new.  One was written by an Italian and the other by a Brit .  One was  “Nights of Cabiria”, by Fellini, and the other was “The Invention of Lying”, with Ricky Gervais.  And shockingly, I know, I preferred the Fellini.

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I think that both the films have the possibility of provoking some interesting ideas and insights about people and society.  But “The Invention of Lying” did not deliver, while “Cabiria” certainly did.

“Lying” gives you the premise and the plot in the first minute, via voice over.  It’s like a high schooler’s script, stating the obvious so that you don’t have to work very hard to show the intricacies of what could have been a really interesting idea.

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