Monday, December 31, 2007
Tip o' the cap to the loverly Lela Dowling on this, her birthday, as well. Go! Give her some business!
Friday, December 28, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
I know, it baffles me too!
Yes, it is kind of funny....
Eh? What's that? Well, sure I'll go get eggnog...
Merry Christmas to you all out there, and Scarlett as well...
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
There are so many reasons Hitchcock is a Saint of The House of Fun, but I have a very particular one in mind. What's interesting about it is that it's not just about film, or even just about artistic creation generally.
It's really about what you do when you get to the top. Top of what? Doesn't matter. It's about how you deal with things when everyone around you acknowledges that you are the best, the peak, the go-to guy. Most people coast; some pontificate, some simply repeat what got them there, even if that won't work to move them any further.
Alfred Hitchcock in the late '50's was in such a glorious position. His work in the '50's is a string that anyone would envy: To Catch A Thief, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest. All of these, North by Northwest in particular, are in the center of what the studios would want to make over and over; great leading man, great soundtrack, story, direction. I think they would have wanted several 'North by Northwests' if Sir Alfred were willing to grind them out. And, mind, I'm not saying these films aren't great, they are. Let's check out the super cool intro to North by Northwest, thanks to the animation of Saul Bass and the music of Bernard Hermann; watch for Hitch at the end of the clip!
But as great as all these films were, for Hitchcock it simply wasn't enough! He wasn't going to be content to just make product, even really, really good product. He had follow his fetishistic, voyeuristic impulses all the way, past what he had started to show us in Rear Window and Vertigo. He had to give us... Psycho.
Here's what Entertainment Weekly has had to say about it:
[my emphasis] Yes, yes, I know that's a bit much, but it's just to give you the idea!
My point is not about whether you like this particular genre of film or not; it's to give Alfred Hitchcock props for doing what we wish all people at the peak of their profession would do. Spending their hard won cultural capital on not merely vanity or maintaining the status quo, but raising the bar even further! Doing only what someone in that position could do! Just for this alone, Alfred Hitchcock will always be a Saint of The House of Fun.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
as the condition of Cynnie's blog states, here it is!
Everyone who has a blog is welcome to participate:
The first three persons who leave a comment on today's post will have a gift from me within 365 days. But there is one condition they will have to do the same on their own blog and do the same promise. It's Pay It Forward.
Just like Cynnie, the gifts will be silly, and will be sent out...soon as I can!
Monday, December 10, 2007
If you're out there sweet Ms. B, we all want you to return, even some of the Althouse commentariat as well! Otherwise, we'll be picturing you in sequels to Midnight Express....
We hope to find your prose again, under the proverbial tree this year...
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Really if you think of it... more like myself and Camie, the prequel right? Half the people around here I have to treat like Elijah Cook, jr. in Maltese Falcon, and we have to somehow get a picture of Camie in the Breakfast at Tiffany's getup (maybe in front of Tiffany's!!!) Well, we can dream...
At those crazy people amongst the living who don't get what a comedy life really is! I should know -- I direct mighty fine comedies!"
Billy Wilder, Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn (and an unknown shutterbug!) on some set in the Afterlife shooting a mighty fine comedy, no doubt... and finding us even funnier!
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Here's a note from Nappy on the 202nd Anniversary of the Battle of Austerlitz:
I am pleased with you. Everything I expected of your dauntlessness has been fulfilled by you today, at Austerlitz. You have crowned our colors with immortal fame. The enemy army, comprised of a hundred thousand men, led by the Russian and Austrian emperors, was pulverized and crushed in less than 4 hours. Those who escaped the brunt of your weapons were drowned. Forty battalions, Russian Emperor's Guard flags, one hundred and twenty cannons, twenty generals, and more than thirty thousand captured - this is the outcome of this monumental day. Despite its superior size, the reputed Russian infantry was not able to withstand your assault, and you need not fear any opponent anymore. The third coalition was defeated and destroyed within two months. Peace is not far in the future. However, as I promised my nation before I crossed the Rhine, I will establish only such a peace that would provide me with an assurance and ensure our allied with compensation.
When my nation placed the Emperor's crown upon my head, I trusted that you would maintain it in the brilliant lustre of fame, which is the only value it holds for me. But at the same moment, our enemies wanted to destroy and debase it. They wanted to force me to place this iron crown, tainted by the blood of so many of our people, on the head of our most cruel enemy. You have suppressed and ruined those arrogant and senseless efforts, on the anniversary of your Emperor's crowning. You have proved that it is easier to threaten and hold us in contempt than it is to defeat us.
When I have completed everything that is necessary for ensuring the happiness and prosperity of our fatherland, I will lead you back home to France. There you will be treated to my most kind and generous care. My nation will welcome you with open arms. It will be enough to say: I fought at Austerlitz, in order for everyone to rejoin: this is a hero!
In our Emperor's tent at Austerlitz, 12 Frimaire of the year XIV.
Situation at 3-4 p.m. on the 2. december 1805
Have a nice Sunday! Invade the various Austerlitzes in your life!