Monday, December 30, 2013

The Exterminating Angel

From time to time I get around to watching a DVD from NetFlix (understandably everything is not available streaming) and this time it was The Exterminating Angel by Luis Bunuel. Plot: Before a very posh dinner party can even be served, the household staff can't get out the door fast enough and as it turns out, they're unknowing harbingers of doom. The posh dinner party continues but guests cannot seem to leave when it's time to go. What starts out as a let's stay after the party bit becomes a complete nightmare as guests cannot only not leave the house, they cannot leave the room they're in. Beautifully shot in black and white with Bunuel's surreal direction. Lots of symbolism - the rich - the church - and a bunch of things too artist for me to comprehend. These sort of films are much more interesting to watch then present day mainstream fare.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Curse of the Cat People and E!True Hollywood Story: Tonya Harding

Got a chance to see The Curse of the Cat People @ Garfield Park Conservatory on Saturday, Dec 21st. The place was packed. I just think it's so cool that folks flock to see 16 mm and 35 mm films. Hosting the film was Indy's premier film historian Eric Grayson. Rain, rain, rain. Eric's films are such a treat! He hauls in  his own project equipment and he always has a vintage cartoon before each film; Tubby the Tuba was a delight!

Yes, the movie is a 1944 sequel to Cat People, but there really isn't a curse and there really aren't any cat people in this one. Having said that, there are a few characters who were in the original Cat People which sort of makes it more of a where-are-these-charaters-now kind of movie. Simone Simon and Amy Carter are both so beautiful.  Their beauty really adds an extra layer of magic to their scenes together. Sir Lancelot played Edmund, the personal cook and model ship cleaner, who lends an air of how wealthy the family must be. These sort of films are like the ultimate time capsule. Clothing, style of speech and hair products captured on state-of-the-art at the time media. We need to thank our lucky stars for folks like Eric who fight to save a these precious reels of history.

I admit, I cannot take my eyes off of a proper train wreck. I somehow stumbled on E! True Hollywood Story: Tonya Harding and watched the entire 1.5 hour documentary. I remember when this happened and I thought I knew most of the facts, but it turns out there were some head shaking details that I was not aware of that really makes this an even more ridiculous story than I already thought it was. My absolute fav factoid and their ultimate downfall was being so cheap they put their trash bags outside of Dockside Saloon & Restaurant for pick up. Kathy Peterson, the owner, had a way of dealing with these I-won't-pay-for-my-own-trash-pick-up folks by going through their trash and tracking them down. She found mail with Jeff Gillooly's name and address, envelopes with Tony's handwriting and doodles, and a check from the US Skating organization. Tonya - take a lesson from Survivor and the song Eye of the Tiger - "Rising  up to the challenge of our rival!"

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Super 8 and The Hunger Games

As my tastes (music, clothes) seem to be permanently stuck in the late '70's, a guy at work insisted that I watch Super 8. Oh my goodness!! What a delight!! This goes on my very short list of fav movies I've seen this year. The film is set in 1979 (a very good year, I might add) in a small industrial (back when there we actually jobs in small towns) town in Ohio. I normally don't care so much for special effects; they tend to dominate a movie and any hope of a plot is a pipe dream. The special effects in Super 8 know their place. They merely serve to enhance a great cast, clever plot, and there is such attention to detail that  it's as if it was actually filmed in 1979. I could watch this movie over and over. Apparently, J. J. Abrams is known for his use of lens flare. He's gotten a bit of flack and some goofy parody YouTube videos, but I actually like it. As you can kind of tell in the above picture, it added to the old timey feel and a sort of a play on the title. It is, after all, a movie.

I also watched The Hunger Games. Blah. Yawn. It really didn't appeal to me. The dialogue and characters were so flat. Don't get me wrong - Jennifer Lawrence can act. She's making a silk purse out of a sow's ear here. It just didn't make sense to me that the games would be of such interest if they were held every year. Wouldn't every 4 or 5 make more sense? Do the math - if 2 people are chosen every year from a district, that means 20 kids would die in just 10 years. It also didn't make sense to me that raw materials would be produced by the districts and then used by the capital. Uh…doesn't someone have to convert these raw materials into useable goods? Everyone who works in the capital - folks who prepare the elaborate meals - the guards - train personnel all live in the capital? All the talk about getting sponsors ended up only being marginally important, as it turned out you just needed a little help from your appointed handler. I would think the finale shot entirely in the dark would kill the ratings. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lance who?

Caught The Armstrong Lie @ Landmark Cinema last night. I'd followed the story after it broke, but the film manages to shed light on even more fraud, lies, and insider finagling. Great camera shots from bike cams makes for cool peloton shots. There is a section in the film that explains the terms - peloton - domestique - so that non-cycling viewers can understand the importance of some of The Tour racing strategy.

I followed road racing back in the day. Greg LeMond was an American who just happen to win the Tour de France (officially the only non-European to win) three times and I think we all realize, beyond the shadow of a doubt, did it "clean". For whatever reason, America just wasn't really interested in Greg or The Tour. Lance and LeMond publicly battled - LeMond accused Lance of doping. Armstrong managed to squelch LeMond's bicycling manufacturing contract  (LeMond bikes) with Trek (Trek manufactured LeMond bikes and took Lance's side).  America didn't really get interested in The Tour until Lance came along. The French loved LeMond and hated Armstrong.

Lance seems to continue to dole out the fodder. A recent news article about the "reconciliation" meeting between Lance and Christophe Bassons is a classic Armstrong move; it's not enough to disagree with our critics, we must crush them. Think about this for a moment. If everything Lance said was true, "I do not dope", would it warrant  essentially annihilating the critics' careers and characters? In real life, when you accuse someone of something and they get very angry beyond what is required, it's a sure sign they are guilty. Seeing how Armstrong seemed to go above and beyond what would be a  normal reaction points to someone who was ready to cut the tongue from the witness, least he speak again of the horrors he has seen.

It appears that there is a film in works about Armstrong's life. Sorry, I'm not really interested. I think the person here who deserves a cycling biopic movie is Greg LeMond; this is the stuff of real champions.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Of Sea Storms and Cheese

My dreams lately have been quite a delight. I actually have to wake up and fall back asleep in order to get really vivid detail.  The other night, I dreamt that I lived in a corner  apartment in some sort of high rise building. It was storming out and at one point I opened the cream colored curtain to revel a sea. The storm was fantastic - electric blue an much ado about lightening. Breathtaking! The light bouncing off of the sea/ocean was a bit like strobe lights, but in the distance…a lovely ball of light coming from an enormous lighting strike. The image above is almost there on the color, however my dream storm had much more contrast with the clouds and much more lightening. 

Last night's vivid dream had a section where I was in a desert landscape and I could see a caravan coming because of the swirling dust in the distance. The caravan turned out to be (yep) giant cheese wheels - like above only much larger - with exotic animals on top. One had a camel with a bit of light blue paint applied to its neck, lying down on its side and one had the most beautiful tiger all stretched out. Sometime there were a couple of these mega cheese wheels stacked on top of each other giving height to the animal. The wheels had been placed on large wooden carts that I believe were being pulled by horses. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Street Girls and Alucarda

Cult Movie Night @ Gary's last night.  First out of the gate, Street Girls. Oddly enough this movie really wasn't about street girls at all.  They weren't really strippers either. The tiny glittering gem in an otherwise bleak landscape of bland acting and a non existing script, was the ever paripatetic Michael Albert character. Not only was this character constantly pushing his bike complete with a basket on the handles bars (he is never seen riding, only pushing) he also occasionally shows up as the cross dressing Sabine. Oh, and his sister's name is Sally who seems to just hang out most of the time. The very last scene in the movie is a hoot.

Up next, Alucarda.  So much yelling and screaming. I'm possessed, no, I'm possessed. Hey, we're possessed. The glittering bit of interest here were the gypsies (complete with a gypsy caravan). The nuns (? they had to be nuns, as after all it was  a convent) were dressed in Alexander McQueen-ish mummy wrap blood soaked outfits. Speaking of nuns, there were monks present as well, but they were dressed traditionally. BTW, even I know that nuns and monks don't co-habitate. Some of the scenes were were quite well composed and were quite horrific. Guillermo del Toro has expressed an appreciation for the film in interviews. I would love to know who did the poster above, as it reminds me of the work of Esteban Maroto.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Kill Your Darlings

Checked out Kill Your Darlings @ Landmark in Keystone last night. The movie captures how/when the original members of the Beat Generation met via Lucien Carr and one significant event that changes all of their lives forever. Daniel Radcliffe continues to shed his Harry Pottery skin with his portrayal of a very young Allen Ginsberg. We're all quite familiar with the image of an older Ginsberg; this younger version who is still under his parents roof before embarking to collage, is quite striking. Reading a bit of the background, I think there might have been a few things that needed more clarification. It wasn't clear from the movie that Burroughs and Kammerer had been very close friends since primary school. Speaking of Burroughs, the best part of the movie was any scene with Ben Foster as William S. Burroughs. Oh my - I could not take my eyes off of him. His young Burroughs was just exactly how you'd picture him; oh so strange and oh so into the goodies. 

And…if you'd like to hear a poem from a much older Ginsberg, I blogged about The Ballad of the Skeletons back in October. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Watched Argo last via NetFlix DVD. Confession: I almost never sit though a movie in one setting; it typically takes two at a minimum. I watched Argo in one 2 hour session. The movie is so well edited that the 2 hours really seems much less. And...yes, we had to watch Ben Afleck take off his shirt (geezzz....really). And....he's the director. That must make for some pretty awkward moments. (BTW, B. A. does not do it for me) All that aside, Argo is a very, very good movie. 

Alan Arkin and Bryan Cranston are scene stealers. I could not take my eyes off of either of their faces when they spoke. You just sort of hang on every word. Alan Arkin has the most expressive mouth! I'd love to see him chew food. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Girl on the Run and The Runaways

Girl on the Run is a hoot! These movies are so much fun to watch. It's like watching something that came out of a time capsule. Qwerky characters, well tailored clothing, and "hot dames" abound. I remember the hootch show tents at the county fair when I was a kid. The master of ceremonies would trot out these scantily clad women and tease the audience with what they would see in the actual show under the big tent. He must've known what he was doing as long lines would form for the next show. 

A couple of weeks ago, I ran across these pics from Brad Etleman on CNN and I just couldn't stop looking at them. At some point I stumbled onto a blurb about The Runaways movie.  

I tried watching The Runaways movie about a year ago and I didn't last 5 minutes. Boo! I was a Runaways fan growing up; this movie looked like crap. Well, let's see if I can get past the ridiculous opening scene. Ok, silly opening aside, it's an ok movie. There seemed to be a pretty good effort to at least be true to some of the facts. I read in an interview with Brad Etleman, that Kim Fowley used "dog" as an adjective for everything. Cherie Currie's bed spread in one scene looks exactly like the one in one of Brad's pics. 

The movie reminded me of how feral things are when you're sixteen. I made my own t-shirts like Joan and I hid "special" clothes or jewelry to wear outside of the house like Cherie. I couldn't sing, couldn't play an instrument, and I didn't have looks. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fritz Lang's Destiny

I saw Fritz Lang's Destiny last night @ the Irving Theater. Eric Greyson ran the projector and gave a brief history before the film and a question and answer session after. The special effects, interesting characters, and stories within a story that occur in vastly different time periods make this film a must see. Seriously, it's worth watching just to see the final tale that involves an ancient Chinese magician.  I feel lucky that I got to see it on 35 mm film with a live piano accompanist in an old theater in the midst of renovation which really helped "set the stage" for this classic. You'll notice more than a few scenes that have clearly been snatched and used by other film makers; Fritz Lang did it first.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Frankenstein and some Skeletons - 'Tis the Season

I remember when Frankenstein hit the Midwest airwaves. I had no idea about the background of the song, however, until now. I also didn't know that Edgar was the first person to strap on keyboard. I love the mini banter session at the beginning of the video between Edgar and Rick Derringer. Goodness, such soft spoken gentlemen. Edgar Winter is so thin and elegantly pale; his hair just shimmers. Man, he can rock the glad rags too.

Ordinarily, a poem set to music is called a song. In this case, it's a poem accompanied by music. Timely piece.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Joseph Szabo

Tom on his car

I am such a sucker for black and white photos, but Joseph Szabo's pics take the cake. He captures what it meant to be a teenager in the late 70's splendidly. No, I wasn't some hot, popular babe by any stretch - uh no. I do, however, remember riding around in a car, listening to music, and trying oh so hard to be what I thought was cool. Thank the godz this was all pre-cell. If you wanted to call someone you had to use a pay phone.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Arising From the Ashes of its Predecessor

Many moons ago I woke up in a hospital after a pretty horrific car wreck. My car had been broad-sided and torn in half - everything from the wind shield on down was on the other side of the road. For whatever reason, I ended up with no major injuries. I had maybe 6 stitches in my knee and 5 stitches on my head. That's it. No brain injury at all. I realize how much of a game changer that could've been. I could've woken up to a brand new me. Like these two artists, would I have been able to forge a new identity from what remand of the old me?

I am humbled by the life they have managed to create for themselves. We, the audience, can only peer inside their lives and never be able to understand what it would mean to rebuild yourself with no memories for a point of reference.

I highly recommend watching Marwencol - you will be blown away. I've watched 2 fantastic movies this year, and Marwencol is one of them.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I Should've Been a Fan of The Cars

 I never cared for The Cars when they "came onto the scene". I never cared for that new wave rock synth sound. I absolutely refused to give it a listen. I longed for what I though of as the "true" rock groups - Led Zeppelin for example. Yes, I am rolling my eyes as I type this. I thought that Ric Ocasek sang all the songs and that it was basically vocals over synth. I'm convinced now that The Cars were the perfect antidote to the testosterone fueled mega-super groups who rented jets to get from point A to point B to avoid checking out of hotels. "Has anyone taken groupie roll call yet?" Yawn.

My brother and I lived with my grandmother and we used to watch Midnight Special on Friday nights. By the time The Cars made an appearance on Midnight Special, my grandmother had passed away and we were living with my dad and step mother. This was a real game changer. My dad ruled the TV and that was that. If he didn't want to watch something that was that. We were never able to watch Midnight Special again (that was the least of our worries, however).

I'm wondering if I'd had a chance to watch that episode I would've seen that The Cars were a real band and they were probably worth following. The synth/keyboards added this additional layer that sort of blended with the guitars. I must say, they picked the ultimate name for an American band. Ric Ocasek played rhythm guitar and wrote the songs. He embraced his odd appearance by choosing very cool, modified rockabilly jackets with wacky ties. Ben Orr sang at least half the songs. While he actually looked like a rock star, I don't get the impression he acted like one. Clearly the camera guy had a bit of thing for Ben while filming this performance. I had no idea that Ric and Ben were originally from Columbus, Ohio, which proves that, yes, cool people can come from the great Midwest. They were friends in high school and clearly each other's alter ego. Greg, Elliot, and David seemed like those really nerdy but talented guys you'd know in high school.

I have to admit, "...I don't mind you hanging out and talking in your sleep..." is adorable compared to the in-your-face command to ..."squeeze my lemon..." Yep, I can see myself cruising around in the summer listening to The Cars on my eight tracker player if I had it to do over.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

40 Days of Dating - You Can't Fight Pheromones

Confession: Like a large number of other folks, I followed the 40 Days of Dating blog. I also admit to voting that the pair would not be together at the end of the experiment. I never thought they were right for each other. There's always a good reason someone is single even though they've dated 65 females. I'm still amazed he could get women to go out with him. Tim always appeared quite odd looking to me in pictures. What was going on here?  I couldn't put my finger on it until I realized he has a massive comb over. I'm bringing this up since he seems to go to great lengths to focus on someones short comings (wrong color shoes, hates job, wears too much black) and he's not willing to deal with the CO. Tim comes off as trying too hard to look younger and just looking ridiculous in the process (too short pants, backwards ball cap, rolled up sleeves). He couldn't care less about art. Really? He came across as having a job he didn't particularly hate, but he didn't love either.

Jessica has it right. Thanks to evolution, and the chemicals released in the brain during orgasm, couples bond. Online dating will never work. We can't pick our preferred mate off of the shelf; we have to smell them. Have you ever met someone who is physically attractive but there's just nothing there once you get closer? On the other hand, have you met someone who you initally thought wouldn't be someone you'd spend time with only to find you are completely captivated by the smell of their skin and shape of their teeth? You can't fight pheromones.

Initially I thought Tim had the higher profile job of the two. It turns out Jessica is a partner at Sagmeister & Walsh. Oh! What a finding this turned out to be. I don't recall ever hearing about Stefan Sagmeister before. Talk about a truly interesting person! At 52 he has this effortless boy-ish charm of someone who is quite clever but quite humble at the same time. I've trawled YouTube for his videos. Below Stefan talks about the power of taking time off.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook

This is going to sound terrible, but I really didn't care for this movie. I really got tired of the "trash-bag" gag; that was funny once. I think the thing that really rubbed me the wrong the way was the main character's obsession with the crappy ex-wife. In real life it drives me nuts when people refuse to move on when their SO has replaced them with someone new. I realize that sounds pretty darn cold. I sound like some know-it-all who has it all figured out. Yawn.  Yes, know-it-alls are boring.

Now that I am thinking about it, I've known several Pats in my life. Sometimes the Pats were female but for the most part, they were male. I can remember a few times where it had been six+ months since the person had dumped them for someone else and the Pats would be plotting the reunion/re-hookup. I guess I have this built in defense mechanism - if they don't want me - great - good riddance - it's been swell - I can do better. Don't let someone drag you to the bottom of the lake.

SLP is one of those movies that explains everything to the audience. That is something I really don't like in a movie; it's not necessary to spell everything out for me. Near the beginning of the movie, Pat is talking with his therapist. The therapist tells Pat the incident that led to his trip to the Baltimore mental health facility. Uh....not sure there was any value add in doing that. It get it, I got it!

Ok, so it wasn't all bad. De Niro showed us how it's done; that man can act! And it wasn't all crazy-man stuff for Pat as he ends up standing up for his friends, even though it means getting himself in trouble. Anupam Kher, Bend it like Beckham, makes an appearance as the court appointed therapist. Chris Tucker, Ruby Rhod in The Fifth Element (loved that role), plays Danny, the Baltimore mental health facility friend who keeps popping up unannounced. Jennifer Lawrence has to be one of the best young actresses on the planet, but I feel she could really play a character with a bit more depth. Man, she was just amazing in Winter's Bone. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Die Antwoord - I Fink U Freeky

This is one stunningly beautifully video by Roger Ballen. I ran across Die Antwoord a couple of years ago in Interview magazine. I promptly tore out pages of their pics for future reference. Caution: Their videos are quite addictive.

For those interested, there's a book about the making of the video.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

Stop the presses, take the day off work, watch every episode of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. least the first one, posted here.

I loved this show as a kid! I realize now that even then, I had a thing for quirky characters and wacky plot lines. The spin-off series Fernwood 2 Night is to die for.

Sammy Davis, Jr., that classic cool cat, recorded an ode to the show called, "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman".

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Dutch Cycling

I knew Amsterdam was a cycling mad city, but I had no clue about why. US cities followed the opposite path. Let's build an interstate highway - let's get child safety seats. Let's not get on bikes.

Oddly enough, Indy is about the same size as Amsterdam. Indy has come a long way on embracing the cycling culture, but we're not Amsterdam. Many miles have been added to the Monon Trail infrastructure making it easier to get from one end of the city to the other. The Indy Bike Hub allows downtown commuters a place to park their bikes, shower, etc. There are folks who do commute via a bike - summer thru winter. No, we're not Amsterdam. I can't imagine a commute to work that didn't involve a scene from Death Race 2000. You would arrive at work with a smile on your face.

Oh my! Look at this article from a NY Times about the new Copenhagen Bike Superhighway. A couple rode their bikes to hospital when the wife went into labor! Air pump stations!

Saturday, July 20, 2013


I've lamented for a while that so far this year, I have yet to see a film that knocked my socks off. I saw that film last night - Medora. Medora is a documentary about the loosing basketball team the Hornets and how the players attempt to cope with their lives in a small town in Indiana who has seen its glory days come and go. The idea for this film came from an article in the New York Times.

I was on the edge of my seat the entire time; it was hard to watch at times. My brother and I were lived with my grandmother in a small town not far from Medora. I could really relate to their lives. Tossing kids around like last years lawn ornaments is really tough to deal with. Anyway....

Medora is an absolutely amazing film. Interviews with older folks who talk about the glory days, scenes of bleak, endless harvested corn fields with criss-crossing railroad tracks, abandoned trailer courts near the river, and 16mm home movie clips tell the tale of a small town struggling to keep its identity and pride in its local school system.

Medora won some well deserved accolades from the film festival.

BTW, I have a brick from the Medora Brick Plant.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I wanna see my smiling face on the cover of the Rolling Stone...

Dr Hook and the Medicine Show made this song a hit in 1973. It's always been an honor to be on the cover. Kudos to Rolling Stone for the article on Tsarnaev, but do not immortalize him on the cover.

I remember back in the 1990's when James Brown, editor at British GQ was fired after including Rommel and "the Nazis" in a feature about the best-dressed men of the 20th century. You just don't go there.

I challenge Rolling Stone magazine to put Charles Ramsey on the cover. Now that's what I call a hero!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Not So Mysterious Randy Polumbo

Love Stream #2
I blogged about Randy Polumbo and Shari Elf back in 2009.  I'd met them both in 2006 @ the Good Folk Fest in Louisville and hadn't actually read anything about them for a couple of years. There were a handful of pictures of Randy's work on his website and Shari made mention of him on her website. During my little chit chat with them that day, I mentioned that I liked Randy's work too. He seemed so puzzled - how had I seen his work?  He seemed very reluctant to post pics about his work. Times have changed...

A couple of weeks ago I wondered how the two of them were doing. Randy lived in New York and Shari lived in Joshua Tree, CA. He bought a house in Joshua Tree and sort of made it his own. I guess he rents the place out when he's not there. 

Randy's work has evolved and just exploded! His original LED lit dildo and condom alien light bouquets have evolved into blown glass sculptures that resemble the original material in shape and form, but now appear as fields of alien flowers installed in converted 1960's airstream trailers. 

Here's an interview that contains pictures of some of the early items I saw and in this article in Men's Health, Randy shares ideas for obtaining items to repurpose. In this interview he talks about his abusive dad and how that pushed the brothers to make it on their own. This repurpose stuff really interests me. I managed to bag a small pallet from Lowe's; we'll see how that goes. I want to stain it and put rollers on the bottom and possibly a piece of glass on top. 

What ever happened to long distance relationship? Don't know the details, but it seems that the new woman in Randy's life is Meghan Boody. He no doubt kept running into Meghan at various art venues in New York. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Venice Home and Garden Tour

Ok, darn, so I've already missed the 2013 Venice Home and Garden Tour. Like, I was going to actually make it there anyway. My ideas of Venice, CA are stuck in the '70's - Surf's up, Dude! Uh....I'm way off here, aren't I? The canals are the attraction for me. I have a kayak (quite unused these days) and it would be cool to just pop in and scoot around the neighborhood. I love Catherine Hardwicke's version of Venice in the 70's ala The Lord's of Dog Town (which, btw, is one of my favorite movies) The film contains my favorite Heath Ledger role - Skip Engblom. Check out Stacy Peralta's Dogtown and Z-Boys skate culture documentary for some great 70's CA pics.

Yeah....these aren't surf shack hangouts; these are very high end homes.

I stumbled onto an article about John Frane's 1930's bungle. I like the architectural element of stacking bricks around an above ground fire pit (I know - "pit" is the opposite of "above ground").

Back to Catherine... there are quite a few scenes shot in the inside of Catherine Hardwicke's Venice Beach home. Her home is a nod to the surf culture of yore and she has some really quirky art work that gives the place some personality. That's what I thought all Venice Homes looked like.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

M*A*S*H + IBM + Atari

The cast of TV version of M*A*S*H (not to be confused with the movie version of M*A*S*H) did a series of personal computer adds back in 1987. They're all so happy!

Before the IBM gig, Alan Alda did a series of commercials for Atari. The one below from 1984 is a hoot! "Serial link peripherals"....How many takes did that one take? So.....if Alan Alda isn't his dad.....who is he? It's kind of creepy he's getting dressed in a dorm room.

Oh my - this are so cute.

Oh dear.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Therapy Helps Troubled Teens Rethink Crime

I heard this story on NPR on the way into work yesterday. Late one night in November 2007, Amadou Cisse was accousted by a young man named Demetrius Warren. Warren demanded Cisse's backpack and water bottle. Warren ends up shooting Cisse at point-blank range. The case prompts the folks from the University of Chicago's  Crime Lab to perform a "social autopsy" on every youth homicide for a year. They found out that the conventional ways we think about crime doesn't make sense. They found that the majority of youth homicides are hastily planned sudden altercations that have terrible consequences because one of the parties has a gun and decides to use it.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Yuck: A Fourth Grader's Documentary About School Lunch

Trailer: Yuck - A 4th Grader's Short Documentary About School Lunch from Maxwell Project on Vimeo.

I heard this story on NPR on the way to work earlier in the week and I was laughing out loud! Wow! His school has a fab menu online, but offers up your typical school lunch fair. Who doesn't cringe when they think of grade school cafeteria food anyway? My school didn't bother to hide behind a fancy menu - it was what it was. I still make jokes about the porcupine meatballs. eeeewwwww....

It does, however, bring up the important issue of the school lunch program. With budgets stretched so thinly, cafeteria staff are strapped to produce nutritional meals with little to work with.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Forger's Masterclass Series

I've watched all 10 episodes in the The Forger's Masterclass featuring John Myatt. If you have any interest in art, I highly recommend watching them. John, as you may recall, was quite infamous for forging works of art and selling them through his dealer John Drewe, who forged documents of authenticity. These works were sold at Sotheby's and Christie's in both London and New York.  Myatt estimates he sold about 200 of the works, of which only 60 have been recovered. Who wants to admit they bought a fake?

After watching the series it becomes quite clear why Myatt's fakes were so believable. He didn't just copy works; he got right into the artist's head head and painted just as they would have. John offers tips from own studio as well. The show is really quite good as you get to the see the thought process of each guest artist as they attempt to imitate the master featured. Myatt offers tips to help them work it out. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Real Fleetwood Mac - Who Knew

I came across video snippets from Oprah's Master's Class series on YouTube and watched the Stevie Nicks mini set. Growing up, who didn't want to look like her? All that talent and looks to boot (sorry, I had to throw that one out there). I must confess, I never bought a Fleetwood Mac album. In the Master's Class series Stevie describes a day after New Years 1974 meeting with the surviving members of Fleetwood Mac to see if her and Lindsay were up to snuff (me so funny).  This got me thinking... Who *was* the original Fleetwood Mac band? I knew there was a prior version of Fleetwood Mac before Stevie and Lindsay, but I had no idea that the original line up was a blues band. Familiar with the song Black Magic Woman by Santana? That was them - Peter Green wrote it and it was quite a hit song for them back in the day. Apparently the band would remind the audience of this fact before singing it live on stage.  

Ahh.....the price of frame.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Safety Not Guarenteed

I loved this movie! Put it in your NetFlix queue now! Safety Not Guaranteed is an adorable these-folks-are-made-for-each-other-but-don't-know-it-yet movie filmed around Ocean Shores, Washington. You truly do not get to pick the folks you are attracted to. No matter how crazy it all seems. Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass have a natural chemistry a lot of on screen romances lack. This film is a prime example of why I prefer a low budget indie film over a mega budget Hollywood blockbuster - Qwerky story, off beat location, and some dang fine acting.

Things to Come, Julien Donkey-Boy, and Trash Humpers

I saw this movie via NetFlix streaming. Things to Come is a film written by H. G. Wells in 1936 and I highly recommend watching this tour de future.

Bravo to the folks who designed the sets. Well done! No paper plates on strings here. It's fascinating to the quality of work done on the special effects. The one above shows what eerily resembles a flat screen telly.

I also need to document the movie I saw at Alex and Natalie's last month - Julien Donkey-Boy. I saw this one several years ago, but I could set through it again. It was a movie made under the Dogme 95 movement - no special effects or over the top technology could be used to create the film. I like the look and feel of this movie. The use of hand held 16 mm cameras gives the film this grainy home-made texture.'s mixed media cinema.  

After a lovely meal - Alex and Natalie are practising foodies who can Cook (I use upper case C because these 2 are amazing in the kitchen) - I wanted to skip the second film Trash Humpers. It turns out several of us were willing to skip this gem. Alex talked those of us who were heading to the door to at least stay and watch a few minutes. Oh dear....all I can say is, if you are ever offered the chance to see Trash Humpers, run quickly in the other direction. I'm not even going to post a link. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Les Miserables

The night before the Oscars, I ran out to see Les Miserables. I'd read so much about how hard the non-singing stars had trained to sing. I must confess, I've never seen the musical; given the opportunity I would fly out the door to buy a ticket. I guess I had some goofy idea this would not translate to the big screen. It's a movie that has elements I like - tragedy, comic relief, and singing.

Honestly, wouldn't it be fun to have a National Sing Everything You Say Day?

I went to Joe and Brian's for Oscar night again this year. They have a huge screen and open their house up for a pitch-in - fancy dine night. Several folks walked out early leaving a handful to watch the entire show.

Yes, I know - the Oscars occurred months ago. I've got to properly track my movies.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Paul McDonough Photos From 70's

I saw these pics from Paul McDonough's exhibit "Sight Seeing". What a blast from the past! It seems funny now to see chicks in bathing suit tops and shirtless guys, but that was that was part of the summer uniform in the 70's. Remember, this was pre-jog bra, pre-technical wear. I wish I could see the exhibit in person; these are just to die for!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

TSS Duke of Lancaster

The TSS Duke of Lancaster has seen better days. She was a steamer passenger ship that ran from 1956 to 1979. She is currently beached near Mostyn Docks in Wales. She's recently gotten a face lift. Graffiti artists from around the world have sought out the old dame to add a bit of spray paint

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I'm a Cyborg, But That's Ok and Naptown Rock Radio Wars

Friday night @ home I watched I'm a Cyborg, But That's Ok by Park Chen-wook. Young-goon (yes, that's her name in the movie) works in a radio factory and one day decides to connect herself to a wall outlet. She is promptly sent to a mental institution that seems to be filled with folks who are eccentric and quirky rather than actually possessing psychological disorders. It's quite cute! Il-soon (Rain) sings a goofy song to Young-goon that includes a yodeling chorus. Never fear, there are come really violent scenes to break the cute-ness.  I just love the art work (again, presumably done by the clients) behind Il-soon above.

 The toes on Young-goon's right foot light up when she's fully charged.

The Irvington Theater had a free showing of the documentary  Naptown Rock Radio Wars Saturday afternoon. Once upon a time, people got their music from one of three places; a concert, an album, or a radio station. NRRW follows Indy's two big players battling for the air waves - WIFE-AM 1310 and WNAP-FM through the 60's and 70's. WNAP was the nation's first successful all FM  radio station. You don't have to live in Indy to enjoy this documentary. Very well done and very interesting subject matter for those of us who remember when DJ's ruled the world. Wacky contests and promo concerts were the norm. Some of the DJ's in the film were available for a book signing (yes, I  bought the book) at Irvington Vintage after the movie.

Oddly enough - I Am the Muffin Man was the first song WNAP played when it came on the air. Hmmm...I hear instruments in this video that no one seems to be playing.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Djang Unchained - Super Bowl NOT

I caught Django Unchained at the Glendale 12 on Sunday. No Super Bowl (yawn) for me. Kudos for using the opening score from the original Django; that's one killer song!

Back to Django Unchained....

Tarantino cleverly manages to create a new genre - Spaghetti Western meets Mandingo meets Blazing Saddles meets Blacksplotation. Is this a Oscar worthy movie? No, probably not. Is it a must see movie that will have you forming opinions (no fence riding here) and creating interesting dialogue with your friends? Yes!

I laughed out loud, I gasped out loud, I cringed and shook my head many times. This is technically a long movie, but it really didn't feel 1 minute too long. I was delighted to see two actors I really admire who appear in two of my favorite television series.   Eto Essandoh, who played the physician/pathologist on Copper, plays a slave who can't take the Mandigo fighting any longer. Walter Groggins, who played Boyd Crowder (oh so bad) on Justified, plays Billy Crash - a guy who can handle the torture handy work for Calvin Candie. Although Billy Crash only appears in a small part of the movie, Walter Groggins steals the scene from everyone else. He even comes up with the really evil swagger that just defies description. Can you slink along just a little bit more?

Similiar to the scene in LOTR that plays homage to Sean Bean's character Lt Col Richard Sharpe, where Boromir is holding a shard of the sword of Nassil and says, "Still sharp.", DU has it's own out-of-band-actor-homage with the original Django - Franco Nero. Django is sitting at the bar at the Cleopatra Club, and Franco Nero sits at the other end. There is a quite humorous dialogue about the pronunciation and spelling of Django between the two "Djangos".

I've never cared for Leonardo DiCaprio. Never. Until now. I cannot imagine anyone else who could've played such a spoiled, racist phrenology elitist. His insistence on following politesse protocols to the tee that soon erupt into a gun slinging fray is beauty. So polite.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Nothing Is Easy and Killer's Kiss

Friday night I saw Jethro Tull: Live at the Isle of Wight 1970 - Nothing Is Easy. It's a mini-documentary with Ian Anderson commenting on Jethro Tull's performance on the 5th day of the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. Ian explains how the standing-on-one-leg-while-playing-the-flute came about.

Now...the really interesting thing for me is what I learn after watching a movie. In this case, I had no idea until after watching this, that the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 was the largest musical event of this its time. I'd heard of the festival before, but I'd always thought..."Oh, that's nice. They probably had 10,000 people watching." I love it when I'm really wrong.

It was a 5 day (yes, 5) music festival with 600,000 in attendance! Much larger than Woodstock. I stand corrected. Bob Dylan was there! It was Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's second gig. Interestingly enough, Woodstock (at White Lake) and Isle of Wight (pronounced - White) have similar sounding names for locations.

I watched Stanly Kubrick's second film Killer's Kiss on Saturday night. This black-and-white film noir pulled no punches; I'm a sucka for bw film noir. Filmed mostly at night in some really seedy Manhattan locations, KK tells the tale of down-on-his-luck boxer who meets a pay-for-a-dance girl and decide to move to Seattle. The guy who owns the club where the girls dances has other ideas. Scrumptious camera work combined with peeking-at-ny-in-those-days locations makes this one of the most eye-candy films I've seen so far this year. There is a fight scene in a mannequin shop that would've worked in a 60's noir art film. Who doesn't like a good mannequin shop shot? Parts of this film were very contemporary.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Indy homeless must choose cold over shelter to stay with pets

 This is a very sad story. Only people with pets can understand the bond people have their animal buddies. The other important part of the story is that if you are a couple, you must be married in order to stay at a shelter. Really?

RTV6 - Indy homeless choose cold over shelter to stay with pets - Local Story

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Confession:I saw my first Greta Garbo movie Saturday night @ Kathy's house - Ninotchka. This was part of the Indy Film Buffs Meetup Group series. She play a Russian envoy sent to straighten out three Russian delegates sent to purchase some stolen jewels. She is all about the party...Russian party that is. It's not a film I would advise someone to watch, but I'm glad I saw it. Garbo is so attractive. She has timeless beauty. She could walk down the street today and turn heads.

I made some Ghirardelli chocolate brownies to take. I was pretty happy until I got to Kathy's house and Brian had brought a Hazelnut-Almond  Dacquoise - yep. Oh, btw, he's a professional baker. I'd never even heard of such a thing. He said he spent two days on it. Holy cow! The meringue ends up being sort of wafer like. My my, it was magnificent!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Frank Zappa: Over-nite Sensation and Apostrophe

I watched a short documentary last night - Frank Zappa: Over-nite Sensation and Apostrophe. I was exposed to Frank Zappa at a very young age. My brother and I delivered newspapers 6 days a week, all year long. The route was so large that part of it had to be done from a car. Grab papers from the back seat, walk several blocks, grab papers...rinse repeat. We always listened to WAKY  radio out of Louisville, KY. As an adult I realize was a truly hip radio station it was.  Bill Bailey was one of the main DJs - he rocked.

Every winter WAKY radio played Don't Eat the Yellow Snow on a regular basis.  As a kid, I remember thinking of Frank's music as Cosmic Jazz; it was too deep for me.

Several years ago I read America the Beautiful: A Novel, by Moon Unit Zappa. It's obviously somewhat autobiographical of her life growing up with Frank and trying to find her way as an adult living the shadow of a genius. In the documentary she comes off as sounding like her dad only thought about groupies, which is probably for the most part a perk of the job, but I'm guessing like Dweezil she realizes Frank was many things. Dweezil gives us a technical breakdown of some of the songs on both of those albums. Fellow musicians also give their account of working with Frank.

I used to have one of those Frank on the toilet posters long ago, but I have no idea what happened it it.

Frank Zappa played the bicycle on the Steve Allen show in 1963. Steve Allen is really annoying and Frank comes off as Mr. Cool.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola

I'd watched the trailer for this movie at least 5 times and decided that I would be able to squeeze in a 2.5 hour movie last night. Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola is a fun movie to watch! Here is an explanation of the title.

The story follows a wealthy entrepreneur named Harry, who has visions of using the farmer's land to build a huge factory. He as two personalities - one when his is drunk and one when he is sober. His daughter, Bijlee, is betrothed to a local politician's son, Baadal, who is a rude fool with no empathy. Early in the film as a show of his love and wealth, Baadal buys Bijlee a South African dancing troupe because she likes African music. The dance troupe ends up in all sorts of scenes where dancing is required. Harry's man Friday, Matru, tries to keep the drinking to a minimum while clearly simmering for Bijlee. Very appropriate dancing/singing scenes. Now that I do Zumba, I can really appreciate an athletic dance number. I was tapping my foot and wiggling in my seat to the music. I laughed out loud several times!

There is a scene where Matru accuses Bijlee of having the Meena Kumari complex. This is precisely why I watch movies; if I can learn something I previously didn't know, then it's all good.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Blood as Well as the Castle of Fu Manchu

Movie Night @ Gary's last night - The Blood of Fu Manchu and The Castle of Fu Manchu. In the first movie, Fu Manchu was an idea guy with a very attractive, equally evil daughter, and hot slave women. He clearly had some sort of empathy for them as he called them by name. I could not take my eyes off of Tsai Chin as Lin Tang. There were several scenes where she was wearing a very bright pink lip stick. The gem in this film however, was Richard Palacious as Sancho Lopez. I loved his hat and pistola.

In the second movie Fu Manchu has yet another idea for world domination, but alas, he has no time. And boy, did Fu let us know that. I lost count of how many times Fu uttered, "We don't have time" every time someone suggested that something wasn't quite getting done correctly/safely. Working in IT for so many years, you know that phrase is a death nell for what ever evil project is in the works. He needed a good project manager.

I should've counted the times I heard the name Nayland Smith and the number of times I heard a gong being struck (I like the sound of a gong being struct btw) in both movies. Aayye!

Speaking of gong, of course I think of T-Rex and Get It On. Some dapper bloke to Marc's right named Elton plays piano in a spiffy poddle print gladrag.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I like hanging out on a pirate ship!

I saw this album listed on Fistful of Culture. Holy Cow! Who doesn't want to hear these folks sing Pirate chanteys? Looks like the predecessor Rogue's Gallery was released in 2006. Who knew?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Holy Motors

I've wanted to see Holy Motors by Leos Carax since I saw the trailer. Confession: I've watched the trailer 4 or 5 times. The Movie Buffs had a Meetup scheduled to view the film on Sunday afternoon. It wasn't the movie I thought it was going to be, which is good. I thought it would be more like the short film he made for Tokyo! - Merde(which I just loved). I will say this, Carax does not make films where you going to say, "I saw that coming." It's not that I liked it or didn't like it; I'm glad I saw it.

We decided to dine at Tian Fu after the movie. Oh my goodness, never going back again. The service was terrible. We had to ask for water 3 times. The tea was terrible too. How do you mess up tea? You leave the tea bag in and never take it out. Yuck. Very bitter. The Age Tofu was mushy and tasteless. My nabeyaki soup had a bunch of cold, white pre-packaged noodles at the bottom. There were five of us and everything came out at different times. Entrees came out before appetizers, appetizers got lost, etc.  There were 2 other smaller tables of peeps in the restaurant, it's not like they were busy.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

How to Suceed in Business Without Really Trying

Yes, I actually watched this movie (it took 2 days). I'd never actually seen it all the way though and I didn't want to watch something "heavy". This is going to sound funny, but I used to have a crush on Robert Morse when I was a wee lass. My fav Robert Morse movie is The Loved One. He had that beauty mark on his face and that amazing split between his front teeth. Almost no one can sing except Michelle Lee which makes it quite entertaining in an odd way. The over the top choreography is the icing on the cake! Anyone who has ever had a job can relate to the fact that good old fashioned back stabbing and ass-kissing are tried and true methods to get you to the top.

Interesting observation - Robert Morse play Bertram Cooper on Mad Men. Bertram has an office that contains traditional Asian art  and a few Rothko paintings. In HSBWRT, Finch ends up president of the company with an Asian themed office. There is no way this is a coincidence. turns out Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men wanted Bertram to be the Finch character - complete with a Japanese fetish.

Bertram Cooper's office on Mad Med. Asian screen on left, Rothko paining on right. Oh, and you must take your shoes off at the door.

A different angle.