by Sam Juliano
All of the sudden we have approached the final leg of the summer journey with the dog days of August now in full gear, and the fall season well within an earshot. Of course the eighth month of the year is a prime vacation period, and many in our midst are preparing to travel. The baseball season playoffs are beginning to take some kind of shape, and as a Yankees fan I am most pleased with the way things are developing. The summer school program I have been teaching since late June ends this coming Friday, August 7th, leaving a bit more than three weeks for a summer respite. Lucille also has approximately the same time off until she reports back in near the end of the month.
The Childhood/Adolescent Films Countdown continues to move forward most impressively as the half way point has nearly been reached. The page views and comment totals are quite fine, and as always first-class writing has been published by numerous bloggers. I want to thank everyone involved for their quality submissions on every front. The project will continue into October.
Lucille and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary on Wednesday (July 29) by taking in the new Broadway musical Amazing Grace, which was staged at the Nederlander Theater on 41st Street off Seventh Avenue. Unfortunately this highly derivative work (Les Miserables) showcased a weak and unmemorable score and nothing special in the “book” department. The sets and the performances though were fine enough. We had a better time having dinner at the Red Lobster right around the corner. Certainly a memorable evening regardless of what we thought of the show.
On Monday night we watched COURT at the Film Forum, meeting up with our longtime friend Kaleem Hasan. The film, an unapologetic indictment of the Indian judicial system, rates a solid grade. Once again I rewatched some blu rays and DVDs, a few attached to the countdown:
Court **** (Monday night) Film Forum
Small Change (L’Argent de Poche; 1976) **** 1/2
No Greater Glory (1934) *****
My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) **** 1/2
The Third Man (1949) ***** (new 4K restoration)
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970) *****
Our very good friend and master-class film and music writer Stephen Mullen (Weeping Sam) has offered up a tremendous editorial at The Listening Ear on the killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe by the now in-hiding Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer:
Cecil the Lion: this has been dominating the internet lately – a famous lion on a wildlife reservation in Zimbabwe was lured off the preserve and shot by an American dentist called Walter Palmer who paid $50,000+ to kill a lion. International outrage follows. Palmer’s dental practice is chased out of business in short order by internet abuse and real life protests. Well – he deserves it. It’s hard to fathom the awfulness of this person – flying around the world to kill rare animals for fun, at least some of the time breaking the law to do it; and then look at the way he immediately blamed his guides when he got caught! A real class guy.
It really is an awful story – I just don’t get it at all. I understand hunting – I don’t have any interest in it myself, never did, but I grew up in semi-rural places, and most of my family still lives in rural and semi-rural places, I have always known lots of hunters. And they strike me as being as unlike this Palmer character as I am. Hunting deer and birds – they hunt things they plan to eat (and that seems like a baseline: if you aren’t going to eat it, don’t kill it – not a complete moral system there, but an irreducible core of one); they hunt things where they are part of the ecological system. Deer hunters help control the population, which can cause problems when it gets too big – they have replaced the wolves and puma humans killed off centuries ago… And most of the hunters I know are also part of the ecology in the sense that they hunt where they live, hunt in the same environment. They live with deer year round; they share the ecology; the deer eats their zucchini and they eat the deer…. All this is completely unlike Palmer: he isn’t eating the lions and elephants and bears he’s killing; he isn’t hunting creatures who are plentiful and have no other predators – in fact some of them are quite rare; and he isn’t part of the ecology of the place he’s hunting in. He’s flying halfway around the world and paying someone else thousands of dollars to let him take a shot at something. Oh yeah – the deer hunters I know do their own shooting; they don’t hire a band of locals to take all the risks and do most of the work. There’s simply no level of contempt deep enough for this fucker.
I have re-printed last week’s links here, but have revised a good number of them:
At Noirish our great friend the esteemed prolific author John Grant has published one of his most spectacular essays ever for the magnificent British picture “Whistle Down the Wind” starring Hayley Mills: https://noirencyclopedia.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/whistle-down-the-wind-1961/
At Overlook’s Corridor, the cinematic storm trooper Jaimie Grijalba is involved in a remarkable series focusing on Hispanic American films that have won awards. The latest in his impressive string is the 2014 Cuban work “Vestido De Novia”: https://overlookhotelfilm.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/5dop-5-vestido-de-novia-2014/
Over at Twenty Four Frames, our great friend and writer John Greco offers up a terrific review on Delmer Daves’ 1957 western classic “3:10 To Yuma”: https://twentyfourframes.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/310-to-yuma-1957-delmer-daves/
At Mondo 70 Samuel Wilson has posted a fantastic essay on “Ant Man”: http://mondo70.blogspot.com/2015/08/on-big-screen-ant-man-2015.html
At Tuesdays with Laurie, our great friend Laurie Buchanan has all her friends and readers most intrigued by her new post “I’ve Got A Secret”: http://tuesdayswithlaurie.com/2015/07/28/ive-got-a-secret/
Over at Attractive Variance Jamie Uhler offers us an authoritative musical capsule piece titled “Three Days of Bass”:https://attractivevariance.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/three-days-of-bass/
At Movie Classics, Judy Geater has posted a fantastic piece on the John Western western “Angel and the Badman” as part of a recent blogathon: https://movieclassics.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/angel-and-the-badman-james-edward-grant-1947/
Our longtime friend the film maker and movie lover extraordinaire Jeffrey Goodman has posted Part 29 of his series on four films that recently has impressed him. His latest roundup contains some great stuff: http://cahierspositif.blogspot.com/2015/07/favorite-four-part-twenty-nine.html
Ever exploring new angles the resilient Tony d’Ambra has posted a brilliant piece on “Noir Beat: The Finnish Connection” at FilmsNoir.net:http://filmsnoir.net/film_noir/noir-beat-the-finnish-connection.html/
Over at Patricia’s Wisdom, the terrific book reviewer and friend Patricia Hamilton has posted a fabulous review on Marty Wingate’s “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”: http://patriciaswisdom.com/2015/07/between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place-a-potting-shed-mystery-marty-wingate/
At Scribbles and Ramblings Sachin Gandhi speaks glowingly of the Childhood/Adolescent Countdown and offers up his own superlative list – one that was submitted for tabulation: http://likhna.blogspot.com/2015/07/top-childhood-films.html
At It Rains….You Get Wet Robert Tower has posted a marvelous review on the superhero flick “Watchmen”: http://le0pard13.com/2015/07/31/watchmen-film-review/
J. D. Lafrance’s fantastic countdown review on 1989’s “Dead Poets Society” is now leading the way at Radiator Heaven: http://rheaven.blogspot.com/2015/07/dead-poets-society_31.html
Aaron West has posted a superlative piece on Terry Gilliam’s “The Fisher King” at Criterion Blues: http://criterionblues.com/2015/08/01/the-fisher-king-1991-terry-gilliam/
Shubhajit Lahiri has penned an excellent review of Woody Allen’s 1992 “Husbands and Wives” at Cinemascope: http://cliched-monologues.blogspot.com/2015/07/husbands-and-wives-1992.htm
Weeping Sam’s latest post at The Listening Ear is brilliant and multi-faceted, and it is titled “Murder, Empathy and Some Songs”: http://listeningear.blogspot.com/2015/07/murder-empathy-and-some-songs.html
At Unseen Films the incredible Steve Kopian speaks of the last weekend of the New York Asian Film Festival:http://unseenfilms.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-final-friday-at-nyaff-2015.html
Roderick Heath has written a stupendous and exhaustive essay on the first Oscar winner for Best Picture, “Wings” at Ferdy-on-Films: http://www.ferdyonfilms.com/2015/wings-1927/25376/
At Lost in the Movies our longtime friend Joel Bocko is leading up with a banner piece on “Neon Genesis Evangelion: Episode 11″: http://thedancingimage.blogspot.com/2015/07/neon-genesis-evangelion-episode-11-day.html
Terrill Welch’s incomparably beautiful Creative Potager blogsite offers up all kinds of nature-inspired sublimity, and leading up is a ravishing post on “Northern California Contemporary Landscape Oil Paintings: http://creativepotager.com/2015/07/24/northern-california-contemporary-landscape-oil-paintings/
At Filmicability Dean Treadway’s latest post is a superlative examination of the famous film year 1941: http://filmicability.blogspot.com/2015/07/1941-year-in-review.html
At Vermillion and One Nights Murderous Ink has posted a unique and fascinating piece on “Bing Crosby and Art of Recording”: http://vermillionandonenights.blogspot.com/2015/06/bing-crosby-and-art-of-recording.html
David Schleicher has penned a superlative book review (though one of disappointment) on Margaret Atwood’s “The Heart Goes Last” at The Schleicher Spin: http://theschleicherspin.com/2015/07/26/im-bored-first-while-the-heart-goes-last/
At The Reluctant Blogger the photographer Jeff Stroud has a wonderful and inspiring new post up celebrating his new abode and all the artistic holdings he has worked to build. Congratulations to our very good friend: https://jeffstroud.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/consider-your-self-at-home/
At The Seventh Art the exceedingly gifted writer Srikanth offers up a fabulous review on 2015’s “Papanasan” by Jeethu Joseph Tamil: http://theseventhart.info/2015/07/04/ellipsis-81/