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Archive for February 6th, 2017

color-1

by Sam Juliano

Near the conclusion of A. H. Taylor’s The Color Machine the Mayor of Colormazoo addresses a crowd of testy petitioners with judicial clarity that hearkens back to  Shakespeare.  When this wise and all-knowing arbiter of righteousness asks his chagrined audience to “lend me your ears” one may recall Mark Antony’s funeral speech in Julius Caesar, but the final resolve is more in tune with the closing monologue of Romeo and Juliet, when Prince Escalus lays the rightful blame on the city’s warring families -the Montagues and the Capulets- whose adversarial episodes have resulted in foolhardy skirmishes and a tragic end.  Taylor understandably steers clear of any notion of violence, but his telling implication is abundantly obvious.  The book’s titular oracle is something you might expect to see in a Roald Dahl novel, especially in view of the biting irony of having to fix something that should be permanently destroyed, but Taylor relies on an idea that proposes that if people can’t see the errors of their ways, the proverbial rug will be pulled from under their feet.

Taylor’s black ink pencil drawings are accompanied by full page bleeding color puddles that are meant to convey that the long tradition of seeing things through the prism of color has now been suspended.  The full page color washes are meant to look drab and saturated, and they project a distinctly bleak picture.  A motley group of fuming residents are practically riotous in the opening spread.  A woman with a snail-like hairdo carrying an umbrella, frame lurches forward, while another belies his inner countenance under a wolf costume and others carry on as if their taxes had tripled.  A church in the background is meant to accentuate an underlining hypocrisy in this sorry hamlet of ignorance and prejudice, a place where one’s color means much more than their character, their integrity or their religion.  One man bullies a child, and others make angry gestures from windows.  The enraged crowd appear as if they will accept nothing less than full kaleidoscopic reinstatement.  Their ugly demeanor has been  downgraded for the youngest students of course, but one can’t help being reminded because of the context of the scene in To Kill A Mockingbird when the townspeople hellbent on mischief decide they will take the law into their own hands when they storm the jail where Tom Robinson is being held.  Taylor’s delightful rhyming prose sets the parameters of this impasses as one between “the town and Mayor”: (more…)

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indignation-1

indignation-2

Two screen captures from the American masterpiece INDIGNATION based on a novel by Philip Roth

by Sam Juliano

Atlanta Falcon fans are not doubt still numb after last night’s Super Bowl debacle.  But if you are a Patriots fan like our fearless leader Donald Trump you are right now experiencing pure gridiron ecstasy.  It was certainly the most fantastical conclusion of any football championship game I have ever seen and I’m still wondering how it was possible that it played out the way it did.

Those who are interested in seeing my Top Ten and runners-up list, I apologize, but I still need one final week.  It will be posted on Monday, February 13th.  Right now it seems likely I will have a tie for my #1 position, as it is becoming fairly impossible to choose one over the other.  But until Monday, I might still change my mind a hundred times more!  🙂 We are still talking about the television countdown as a viable project for this year, but nothing has been yet decided remotely.

I finally caught up to the college drama set in 1951, INDIGNATION -based on a novel by Philp Roth – and it is a staggering masterpiece.  Though it was in theaters over the summer, I had to avail myself of Amazon Prime.  We saw: (more…)

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