Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Courtship of Winds

The Courtship of Winds has just published three of my drawings. You can view them at this link!ira-joel-haber-1/c17jf

Friday, January 29, 2016

Notebook drawing January 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Thornton Dial 1928-2016

Monday, January 25, 2016

Loew's 46th st. Theatre

What a thrill to view this link today. This was my neighborhood Loew's theatre when I was growing up in the Boro Park area of Brooklyn. The first memory I have is seeing Singin In The Rain in 1952 when I was all of 5 years old. I may have seen films here earlier than that. I saw literary 100's of movies here, had my first sexual encounter here as a teen and I had no idea how grand the theatre was. I did get in to see the theatre around 15 years ago telling the furniture owners that I was interested in buying some items. I didn't see the theatre like this but did manage to walk around the lobby and the mezzanine outside the balcony. My father's luncheonette was only a block away.  What a shock seeing these photos.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Notebook drawing January 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

Son Of Saul 2015

The sure shot foreign film to pick up the oscar next month is “Son Of Saul” which I saw the other day. It’s still ringing in my mind and ears (the use of sound is very important to the experience) and upsetting me in my waking and dreaming hours. The story takes place during a few horrific days in 1944 in Auschwitz-Birkenau where the main character Saul played with reverting intensity by a non actor Geza Rohrig  is one of the Sonderkommando prisoners Jews who were forced to help with the death and destruction of other Jews. They helped getting the victims into the gas chambers and afterwards collected the clothes and other belongings of the murdered souls and then forced to clean up the mess that the German monsters left.  The guards yell out to them to get rid of the “pieces” and it’s hard to watch at times and part of the brilliance of the film is that we don’t see much. There are quick snips and scenes mostly out of focus or off camera, but the effect is still devastating especially as we glimpse faces and bodies and feel the claustrophobia and tragic panic that the victims of the Nazi machine feel. We can make out figures fuzzy like ghosts moving naked and lost into the industrial size gas chambers to lose their lives simply because of who they are and as he goes about his ghastly chores Saul  notices a young boy who has survived the gas, but is sick and struggling for air, and his life is quickly taken by a German doctor who finishes what the gas failed to do. This is a heartbreaking scene one of many in this heartbreaking film  and as Saul watches he decides that this boy is his son and wants to give him a proper burial. We are never sure if this is indeed his son, and does it really matter anyway. He sets out to find a rabbi so he can honor this poor child with a proper send off and this is where the film becomes even more nerve wracking than it already is.  The director Laszlo Nemes whose first film this is uses sound to bring out the horror. We hear the screams and banging on the gas chambers doors, the cries of babies, the quick prayers, the yelling of the inhuman guards. He also filmed it in the old ratio of1.33:1 giving us a box like format that adds much to the tight and claustrophobic feel of the film making us feel like we are indeed there. One of the ten best films of 2015.

I’ve watched many films and newsreels and read many books about this horrific chapter of the 20th century and cried myself to exhaustion and I still can’t get a grip, or understanding of this. It has indeed poisoned me, causing me great hatred for Germany and its people, and yet my distress and hatred still goes on. It came with me when I went to Germany in 1971 where I was to have a show of my art in Cologne and to this day I still regret my decision to go to this hated place. But I was barely 24 and heady with the notion of being appreciated. I now know that this was wrong, and that I never should have allowed myself to step foot in this place. I compromised myself and sold out, but I swore that I would never again step foot in Germany.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ettore Scola 1931-2016

The director of "A Special Day" which oddly enough I just watched the other night. The film has two lovely and yes magnificent performances from Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren. Both actors play against type he is a gay man living in fear and about to be deported by the fascist government of Benito Mussolini and she is a dowdy put upon housewife. Both live in a huge apartment complex and the action takes place there on one day in 1938 when Hitler comes to Italy for a rally solidifying the alliance between Germnay and Italy. They meet by chance and have a poignant and short relationship.The film is shot in sepia tones with drops of red here and there and might seem a bit pretentious and precious to some, but one should not let this technique take away from this moving story.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Notebook drawing January 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Franco Citti-1935- 2016

Brian Bedford 1935-2016

Alan Rickman 1946-2016

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

a wonderful friend and artist

I spent the day yesterday in Chelsea with my old friend Joe Radoccia who is a wonderful painter. He was down from his home in Beacon New York to meet up with me and to take photos of me for a portrait he's going to do. I'm delighted that I will be immortalized by this beautiful artist. We took in some shows including a strong group show at the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery of Metal sculptures 1945-1970 which included some terrific works by a wide range of artists including the great Ruth Asawa, Nancy Grossman, Lee Bontecou and many others. Surprises galore here. The other wonderful group show was the Concrete Cuba show over at the 20th street Zwirner gallery on the 2nd floor. All small and abstract by a group of unknown Cuban artists who are all gone. These were great works done by a small group of artists during the 50's and 60's and they pretty much took my breath away, again a show full of surprises. Afterwards we went to the Rail Line Diner that use to be known as the moonstruck diner and Joe treated me to lunch. I had a nice bowl of chicken rice soup with a toasted bagel and Joe had eggs over with french fry potatoes.

Oddball Magazine

Oddball Magazine has just posted one of my recent notebook drawings along with a poem by Lynn White

The Gateway Review

Just got this in the mail yesterday. The Gateway Review with my art on the cover. Thank you Gateway Review

Monday, January 11, 2016

David Bowie 1947-2016

A very great loss. I'm heartbroken

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Notebook drawing January 2016

Thursday, January 07, 2016

The Literati Quarterly

Just found out that 3 of my works are in this Quarterly, The Literati Quarterly. You can view the issue at this link.

Notebook drawing January 2016

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Elizabeth Swados 1951-2016

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Red Omnivore Review

Red Omnivore Review has just published 14 pieces of mine including art and photographs. You can view them all at this link. To see larger images just click on each individual piece.

Monday, January 04, 2016

First notebook drawing of 2016

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Vilmos Zsigmond 1930-2016

The great cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond has died. Vilmos is gone but Pat Robertson still walks this earth. Unfair

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