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Six Martinis

The blogosphere is a wonderful thing. I found Sixmartinis and the Seventh Art in my search for a decent picture of the Peter Maloney 4th Street Draw Bridge in San Francisco. Here is her blog's raison de être — "What is the Significance of SIXMARTINIS? in the movie THE BIG KNIFE, Shelley Winters holds all the secrets- and she's been drinking. Jack Palance is worried that she'll find her voice with her sixth martini. This is my voice." Having not found the photographs I want, I am now inspired to return to S.F. and wait for the bridge to open so I can photograph that counterweight in action. Meanwhile, via Sixmartinis, I can catch up with some old films like, Schatten - Eine nachtliche Halluzination (1923), aka Warning Shadows, directed … [Read more...]

Let The Right One In

Let The Right One In [Låt den rätte komma in] It is the cold deep winter of northern Sweden. Snow falls upon the well-kept, charmless suburb of Blackeberg.  An old man is covering the windows of his apartment with a patchwork of corrugated cardboard, some of it with chunks of advertising left on. Inside, he readies a set of very used equipment for a grisly mission, to provide fresh human blood for the young vampire who is his "daughter".  In the same building lives a young boy and his mother. The child is 12-year-old Oskar, (Kåre Hedebrant) a gentle, introverted, and highly intelligent boy, with flaxen hair and an angelic face. At school, he is the perfect mark for a group of bullies who taunt and humiliate him. Later, in the courtyard … [Read more...]

Werner Herzog, February 20, 2009, Royce Hall, UCLA — Part 3

Werner Herzog continued..."What I Learned": Part 3 OK, here comes the fun part!  Herzog shows footage from his oscar nominated Encounters at the End of the World. I feel a total disconnect between up and down. Had the explorers not been wearing wetsuits and flippers, had I not watched the bubbles of air float up, I would swear that we were looking back at earth from the moon. Are we on top of the world looking down or reveling in an enchanted abyss? Once you have oriented you realize that indeed these aquatic astronauts have entered this underworld via a 30 foot shaft drilled into the Ross Ice Shelf, Anatartica.  Back on dry ground or high ground, Herzog talks about man's ability to fly and … [Read more...]

Werner Herzog, February 20, 2009, Royce Hall, UCLA — Part 2

Werner Herzog continued..."This is what I learned": PART 2 That Werner Herzog is a lover of language and poetry. He speaks of the witnessing, the taxonomy of Virgil's Georgics, a paean to the earth and all that grows and grazes there. Herzog tells of the Icelandic Codex Regius, thought to have been written in the 1270's. How he was allowed to actually hold the delicate document, made up of 45 vellum leaves, and of its return journey to Reykjavík in 1971 accompanied  by  the full Danish military escort. He further narrates on the oral traditions of Iceland preserved and reserved for vital consolation. Women whose husbands have been lost at sea, recite all 800 verses of the Codex to purge their … [Read more...]

Werner Herzog, February 20, 2009, Royce Hall, UCLA — Part 1

Werner Herzog truly has an infinite amount of things to speak of. I wanted to speak about this lecture sooner, but in attempting to do so I found myself, like Alice, sliding down the proverbial rabbit hole, tracking sown some strange and wondrous knowledge. Here is what I learned: PART 1 That George Murphy and Fred Astraire danced and sang their hearts out in the Cole Porter "Broadway Melody of 1940". If you get a chance to see it on the big screen, do it! That Werner Herzog is a human enthusiast, a champion of the raw psyche, condensed emotionality, "Fever Dreams", and the "Ecstatic Truth". Thus being said, he is the prime candidate to direct opera. Documenting the Wodabee tribes of the Sahara provides Herzog with … [Read more...]