Posts tagged Film
Damn. Les Blank died
I’ve blogged about him a few times on here before, but damn, Les Blank just died. His films have lightning spirt in them, every weird and garlicky and gap-toothed one of them.
Thanks for giving them to us Les. You’re a beauty !
Manhattan d. Woody Allen
So I closed out Thanksgiving weekend all nostalgic for family and friends, and well, mainly my dog, in NY and the movie Manhattan was on television so I figured I’d watch it. Never seen it before. Not really a Woody Allen fan, but I like a few of his films. Everybody tells me Manhattan is the one to watch, to get him, to get it. Did I? Maybe. Woody Allen films have great dialogue, but it was only the first line that his character utters in scene that really stuck with me:
Isaac: The important thing in life is courage.
And everybody talks about the scenery in Manhattan, the look of the film, the opening sequence to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, of course the Queensborough Bridge, which is beautiful, no doubt. I’ve spent many mornings and late evenings walking past that bridge. There’s an actual Gondola, which gives it a foreign, out of place and time look in New York City, but what in New York City isn’t foreign and somewhat out of time.
But the most stunning sight, the absolutely supreme strike, is a young Meryl Streep, playing Allen’s ex-wife who left him for another woman.
She is also writing a book about their breakup, and it’s release is a cog in Isaac’s anxiety. Of course, who would want a book released to the public containing any sort of intimate details of your relationship? It is the narcissistic achilles heel of every writer, right? : another writer’s honest account of the same situation.
And Allen - the director - plays this perfectly, casting Streep who, beyond her beauty also holds this power card in the castle of his ego that he cannot steal back. It’s a great set up. A great look, especially in contrast to Isaac’s new love interest Diane Keaton. I can’t stand Diane Keaton in Woody Allen films. I mean, I just don’t get her. Maybe you’re into her. Most fans are, it seems. I don’t know how one can look at any other woman in Manhattan the move, or any beautiful nightscapes in Manhattan the place after seeing young Meryl Streep though. A Helen of Troy if ever…
Hey if you get a chance, check out Frontline tonight on PBS. My friend Travis Rummel and his video company Felt Soul Media have footage from a documentary of theirs in a piece called Alaska Gold. The documentary, and the PBS special, explore the fight going on in the Bristol Bay Region of Southwestern Alaska where two industries are colliding. The Bay is the last great wild Sockeye Salmon fishery in the world, providing livery for an entire region of fisherman, but it is also home to a $500 Billion mineral deposit—Pebble Mine—of Gold, Copper, and Molybdenum, whose wealth two foreign companies have proposed to extract at the expense of ruining the precious ecosystem in the Bay. Politicians will soon decide.
Travis and Felt Soul make great fishing documentaries like Eastern Promises and their latest, DamNation, which examines the shifting mindset in river sustainability away from dams. Check them out. And here’s the movie poster for DamNation: an actual photo taken in October 2011 of the one-time illegally dammed Elwha River in Washington’s Olympic National Park, which is now GONE. And rightfully so. Let the Rivers flow…
Not Only A Maestro, But A Personality Too
So Werner Herzog’s original name was Stipetic, but he changed it to Herzog because ‘Herzog’ means ‘Duke’ in German and he felt there should be a character like a Duke Ellington or a Count Basie running around in Cinema.
So who is the Duke in Literature?
ALL THE HUSBANDS ARE DEAD
There are no more first hand accounts of what it was like to be part of it. John Cassavettes, Peter Falk, Ben Gazzara. Too late, if you were waiting for something. This is good though. Time to write your own movie, a new movie. Time to buckle down if you’ve already begun.