Monday, November 11, 2019

New work. Mixed on board Oct-nov. 2019

Friday, November 08, 2019

Marie LaForet 1939-2019

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Parasite 2019

A Tale of Two families. Set in South Korea this superb and troubling film concerns the haves and have not's in the country, but of course it could be set anywhere. One family the Kim's so below the poverty line that the director Bong Joon-Ho has them living in a squalid cramped dirty sub basement while the Park family lives in a bright open beautifully designed modern home where light and beauty is a constant fixture in the house. The plot or storyline if you prefer is complicated and I have to be very careful not to give any of the twists and turns away. I will say that the story is about one family who wants what the other family has and goes to great lengths and imagination to get what they think they deserve. Joon-Ho who is a national treasure in Korea and is mainly known here for "Snowpiercer" a wild and epic sci-fi horror jolt and he is at this time a favored candidate for a best director Oscar for "Parasite" and how well deserved that would be. The film is lush with stunning horizontal scenes of beauty and despair and it can be said that the house itself is one of the major stars of the film, along with the great cast. Top notch is Song Kang-ho as the poor father who is a major star in Korea and a favorite of Joon-Ho and has appeared in most of his films. Also great is Lee Jung Eun as the kind of ditzy and out of it wife of the rich tycoon and both should get Oscar nominations. A lot of the material is disturbing and shocking, we just don't expect any of it, at least I didn't which adds to the brilliance of the film, there were audible gasps heard in the theatre throughout the film so take this as a warning. A possible contender for the best film of 2019.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Pain and Glory 2019

A lovely few hours spent at the Bam yesterday viewing the latest film from Almodovar. A memory piece by him which is affecting and moving and with a stunning central performance by his long time collaborator Antonio Banderas. This is an artist's journey that moves back and forth between the present where Banderas who plays a film director in deep pains (both physical and mental) travels back in time with the help of drugs to his childhood. Banderas is visited and visits live ghosts of his past along with the old fashioned ones who we all have. Filmed on a set that duplicates the real apartment of Almodovar with his art and books, the film can be criticized for being too settled, and lacking the usual outrageous comedy that Almodovar is noted for. However there were parts I still chuckled at, and sat there amazed at how brave and open this marvelous filmmaker is. I once wrote him a fan letter and he sent me a lovely signed photo which I sold, in a way one artist helping another artist. He uses some of his regular troupe of actors including the special Penelope Cruz who just gets more beautiful with the passing of time. She plays his mother when young and another actress plays his mom when older. The film is bright and colorful with profound insights into what it is to be an artist, a gay man, and a human being which this director is so good at showing us.It is also sexy in parts. See this one. One of the ten best films of the year so far.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Ed Clark 1926-2019

Friday, October 18, 2019

Kendall Shaw 1924-2019

Another sad passing to note. I knew Kendall when we were members of a gay art group. He was sweet, kind, smart and generous also fun to be around. He had marvelous pot luck brunches at his loft in Soho and as I said he was always fun to be around. As is often the case in life we lose touch with one another and then its too late.

Bill Macy 1922-2019

I discovered him before Maude in some off broadway and off off broadway shows several at the Judson Memorial Church.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Elijah Cummings 1951-2019

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


Monday, October 14, 2019

scotty Bowers 1923-2019

Saturday, October 12, 2019

John Giorno 1936-2019

Friday, October 11, 2019

Robert Forster 1941-2019

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

september-October 2019

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Alienist 2018

This is a very good but not great tv series based on the very popular novel by Caleb Carr that had millions of us gasping in shock and horror. The story concerns a horrible serial killer (are there any other kind) who spooks and kills among the very rich and very poor of 1896 New York City. His targets are young male prostitutes mainly ones who dress as young girls. That is enough of a plot device or twist to grab us and hold us in our living rooms for 10 episodes. The cast is attractive and fine with Daniel Bruhl as the title Alienist, Luke Evans as a newspaper illustrator and Dakota Fanning as the first woman to work for the police and an assistant to the police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt. Together they form a boy’s adventure team, adult Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew who try to outguess and stop the grisly murders that are piling up like the horse manure in the streets. The calling card of the killer is horrible and graphic, this series doesn’t fool around when it comes to grim and graphic so this is definitely not for the faint of heart. For everyone else this one should keep you guessing and a big draw is the superb production design which pretty much soars and thrills with its details from gaslight street lamps, to cobblestone streets and wide panoramas of the growing city. Everything awful then is still awful today, the corruption, the prejudice, the poverty, the crime, the anger I think this is part of the story that Carr wants to tell, wants to remind us of. Everything is different in Gotham but it’s all the same.  The ending seems a little rushed and wish that they had slowed down a bit. The look of the series is dark (in lighting)  and fast in action and plot movement. Supposedly a second series based on another Alienist book is on the way. And oh yes I should include the definition of Alienist as it appears at the opening of each episode “In the 19th century, persons suffering from mental illness were thought to be alienated from their own true natures. Experts who studied them were therefore known as alienists.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Every Pigeon September 2019

Ash is purest white 2019

An intimate epic made by the highly regarded Chinese director Jia Zhangke and as highly regarded as he is, this was the first film by him that I’ve seen. Set in China at the beginning of the 21st century it’s the story of an attractive young low on the scale gangster and his equally attractive moll like girlfriend. Their small empire consists mainly of mahjong parlors and cheap discos where the patrons dance to The Village People. There are conflicts among the various gangs, nothing unusual about that and one night during an exciting kinetic and exuberant car ride the couple played by Zhao Tao (who is married to Zangke)  and Liao Fan are set upon by a bicycle riding gang of teen thugs.  Liao is pulled from the car and badly beaten and Zhao grabs  a gun that was left in the car by Liao  and sets off some shots stopping the carnage but not killing anyone. Refusing to give up Liao as the owner of the gun she is sent up the river for five years while Liao only gets one year. In a few brief scenes we see her prison routine and on her release she sets out on a long journey to find Liao and instead finds a China quickly changing just as she has changed. This might remind some of those many women melodramas of the 30’s & 40’s that starred Barbara Stanwyck or Joan Crawford as a strong female on her own and doing damn well at it. Things are rough for Zhao, she is robbed, has no money is confused and lost by all the changes that took place while she was locked up, but she is smart at her own cons and these scenes of her doing the grift are terrific and fun. At the same time she continues on her journey to find Liao and things don’t go so smoothly and in the last half of this long leisurely beautifully photographed movie Zhao and Liao finally meet up but life and their relationship is not the same, nor will it ever be. Both actors are wonderful with Zhao giving an especially compelling and superb performance and is in it seems every scene of the movie. No doubt a film not for everyone, it is as I said long and leisurely paced, but each scene has surprises and Liao Fan is very easy on the eyes, and Zhao Tao is remarkable.  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Phyllis Newman 1933-2019

Saturday, September 14, 2019

small sketchbooks pieces september 2019

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Oddball Magazine sept. 2019

Robert Frank 1924-2019

The great Robert Frank has passed. I have always loved his photographs and can look at them all day. I am sad. I met him once very briefly years ago and was struck by how shy he was.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Carol Lynley 1942-2019

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