by Sam Juliano
As we inch closer to the mid-way point in November, we are still enveloped by warmer temperatures than usual in the tri-state area around the Big Apple, with much of the same predicted for this current week. Before we blink we will have Turkey Day upon us, to be followed by the holiday season, all the long-anticipated late year movie openings and the heart of the football season.
After nearly five years of the same design (courtesy of my excellent friend from Down Under, Tony d’Ambra, who continues to offer up sage advice and specifications) I did something this past week out of the clear blue, impulsively and without warning changing the site’s theme in seeming contradiction with some of the more austere aspects of our home’s communal scholarship. The verdict is in, and it is markedly split down the middle. Some have opined it is garish and in your face, while others think it is the best thing since ice cream. To be sure I am still investigating all the possibilities, and haven’t definitely settled on the dark wood design, but it offers vividly toned typography, a great font style for the comments, a superb background for photos, terrific color coordinated post headings and two sidebars. The downside is I can’t seem to include the “WitD Team’ on said sidebar and there is no longer the option of a movie banner. However I know at a little cost I can probably get those revisions made. I am still exploring all the various possibilities. I will say that I am personally fond of this new theme, favoring two others that were briefly employed over the past days. I know ‘taste’ is the great equalizer in affairs of the heart, which I guess in my case sometimes wins poll position over the mind. I’d love to hear some opinions from those who comment on this thread.
A book reading event in Manhattan by distinguished artist Ida Pearle and a Saturday evening rock show by Nemyses in Little Ferry, New Jersey complicated my plans to see both Steve Jobs and the new Peanuts movie over the weekend, though my wife Lucille and three of the kids did manage to see the latter and all came in with favorable reactions. However I did get to the movie theaters twice, once on Friday evening to see a solid Irish made horror film and the other a marathon five hour plus HD broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera house of Richard Wagner’s Tannhauser, conducted by the ailing but spirited James Levine for the Wednesday evening encore running from 6:30 to 11:35. Though the Met production offers up the finest presentation of this “least” of Wagner’s operas, everything is relative. It still contains some spectacular passages, the singing is first-rate and Levine conducts with passion and precision The main choral theme of course is one of the most ravishing and identifiable musical passages of all-time. I witnessed Otto Schenk’s production years back at the opera house, so it was interesting to get the close-up perspective available in the HD broadcast. Some of the opera is soulful and sublime, while part is electrifying.
I also saw an atmospheric Irish horror film, “The Hallow” which often scared the Bee Jesus out of you. My daughter Jillian attended with us and was seen covering her eyes for some of it.
The Hallow **** (Friday) IFC Film Center
Tannhauser (live opera) ***** (Wed., Edgewater multiplex, from Met Opera)
All Links have been updated:
At Noirish, the renowned writer John Grant has penned a superlative review of the 2002 made-for-TV German/American/South African film “Borderline”: https://noirencyclopedia.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/borderline-2002-tvm/
At FilmsNoir.net Tony d’Ambra has posted a full list of films noir in US Library of Congress National Film Registry: http://filmsnoir.net/film_noir/list-of-films-noir-in-us-library-of-congress-national-film-registry.html/
Stephen Mullen offers up a riveting read with his new post “This Week in Grifting,” where he discusses the balmy fall weather in Boston, the World Series and Mr. Ben Carson as well as his impeccable musical lineup: http://listeningear.blogspot.com/2015/11/this-week-in-grifting.html
Joel Bocko has published a fascinating review on a prevalent aspect of “The End of Evangelion” at I Lost It at the Movies: http://thedancingimage.blogspot.com/2015/11/absolute-terror-images-from-battle-in.htm
At Mondo 70 Samuel Wilson has penned an excellent essay on the new James Bond film “Spectre”: http://mondo70.blogspot.com/2015/11/on-big-screen-spectre-2015.html
At It Rains…….You Get Wet Robert Tower offers up a splendid assessment of the 2016 lineup of books and movies: http://le0pard13.com/2015/11/03/on-the-lookout-for-books-and-movies-2016/
At Filmacability Dean Treadway has offered up a brilliantly authoritative examination of the year 1961 in the cinema: http://filmicability.blogspot.com/2015/11/1961-year-in-review.html
At Tuesdays with Laurie, our great friend Laurie Buchanan offers up a terrific post titled “Beauty Knows No Pain”: http://tuesdayswithlaurie.com/2015/11/03/beauty-knows-no-pain/
Over at Attractive Variance Jamie Uhler’s monumental post on horror films watched during October leads the way: https://attractivevariance.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/october-2015–horror-wrap-up/
At Movie Classics, Judy Geater is leading with an important Sinatra Blogathon update: https://movieclassics.wordpress.com/2015/11/03/sinatra-blogathon-update/
David Schleicher has penned a wonderful post titled “I’m So Glad I Live in a World Where there are Octobers at The Schleicher Spin: http://theschleicherspin.com/2015/11/02/im-so-glad-i-live-in-a-world-where-there-are-octobers/
Our longtime friend the film maker and movie lover extraordinaire Jeffrey Goodman has posted the thirty-first four film roundup at The Last Lullaby, one that includes a Maurice Pialat film: http://cahierspositif.blogspot.com/2015/11/favorite-four-part-thirty-one.html
Jeff Stroud’s latest post at The Reluctant Blogger is a spirited one titled “Blank Page”: https://jeffstroud.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/blank-page/
Over at Patricia’s Wisdom, the terrific book reviewer and friend Patricia Hamilton has penned an excellent review of “Sing Them Home” by Stephanie Kallos: http://patriciaswisdom.com/2015/11/sing-them-home-a-wonderful-and-restorative-novel-stephanie-kallos/
Over at Ferdy-on-Films, Marilyn Ferdinand has penned an extraordinary review of 1990’s “To Sleep With Anger” http://www.ferdyonfilms.com/2015/to-sleep-with-anger-1990/26397/
J. D. Lafrance’s offers up a terrific review of the classic “Chinatown” at Radiator Heaven: http://rheaven.blogspot.com/2015/11/chinatown.html
Shubhajit Lahiri has penned an excellent review of Wim Wenders’ 1975 “Wrong Move” at Cinemascope: http://cliched-monologues.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-wrong-move-1975.htm
Terrill Welch’s incomparably beautiful Creative Potager blogsite leads up with “Paiting and then selling paintings are done on a different breath: http://creativepotager.com/2015/10/06/painting-and-then-selling-paintings-are-done-on-a-different-breath/
Sachin Gandhi has penned a terrific review on the Brazilian “She Comes Back on Thursday” at Scribbles and Ramblings: http://likhna.blogspot.com/2015/10/she-comes-back-on-thursday.html
At Enic-Cine, our good friend Murderous Ink in Tokyo has written yet another fabulous piece of scholarship – the third part of “Ozu, Pickles and Rice Bran”: http://www.enic-cine.net/ozu-pickles-and-rice-bran-part-3/
At The Seventh Art the exceedingly gifted writer Srikanth offers up reviews on two Hindi films under the banner grouping titled “Love in the Time of Gonorrhea”: http://theseventhart.info/2015/08/02/love-in-the-time-of-gonorrhea/