Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer 2. 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017

Otto Warmbier 1994-2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Jim French 1933-2017

Attention must be paid. Jim French, the renowned male physique photographer known for his hypermasculine imagery of muscular and sometimes hairy men has died at 84.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

oddball Today
Click on the link to read the poem and see this image

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Edit DeAk 1949-2017

Adam West 1928-2017

Friday, June 09, 2017

Glenne Headly 1955-2017

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Elena Verdugo 1925-2017

Loved her tv show meet millie when I was a kid

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The Loved Ones 2009

Harsh and scary. I had never heard of this Australian horror feast until I read through my latest issue of Film Comment and an interview with the director Sean Byrne. The author Laura Kern raved about The Loved Ones, so I thought what's good for Film Comment is good for Ira Joel. I did some more research on it and found a 98% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes which is very impressive so I ordered it through Netflix and watched it last night, and promptly had vivid nightmares. This is not for the faint hearted or the squeamish, but die hard horror freaks should get a bounce or two from it. It's like eating way too spicy food, you love it, but later on the acid reflux hits you in a big way. The plot is simple a young attractive male teenager is in a car accident and there are rough patches for him after that including being kidnapped by a very disturbed young woman and her really sick dad. References abound and bounce off the walls including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Carrie, and even those silly light hearted teen comedies made by John Hughes in the 1980's. The film is mean and nasty but it is also funny and smart and thankfully its short because I was very stressed out by it. So did I like it, yes I did. See it but be warned this is not a day in the country, a picnic by the lake. You can almost smell the blood. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Notebook drawing June 2017

Roger Smith 1932-2017

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Florine Stettheimer. The Jewish Museum

This seems like the perfect show for spring in New York. I went yesterday when the museum is free, and I think this is the best deal in the city simply because the other exhibitions on view are hardly worth the 15.00 entrance fee. But hey I went for Florine and I was not disappointed. Even though the show is small and a little cramped her paintings drawings and collages were magical and beguiling. I've always loved her quirky work. The paintings are full of busy twisty little figures, the creme de la creme of high society and artistic circles of New York City that once was. Stettheimer was rich and privileged and was known for her mix and match parties and social gatherings. She painted her mother and sisters over and over along with some noted folks of the time including her good buddy Marcel Duchamp. The textures and colors of her works are bright and flashy with built up surfaces and textures here and there. They pull you in, you stop and stare, a smile crosses your face and for a while you are happy again. For a little while that is, until you remember that there is an orange monster in the white house. She also made her own frames and the one she made for her Duchamp painting is a doosie. The paintings have a sophistication but also might be mistaken for a self taught artist living their days in a mental hospital or a prison up on the Hudson. There were many new discoveries here for me, the small works with collaged material were especially good, and all the stuff on her theatrical collaboration with Virgil Thompson for the opera 4 saints in 3 acts was also a welcomed treat. See this one, but again take advantage of the free day on Saturday. This is a pretty museum but their exhibitions can be overworked in the curatorial dept. with cramped and busy installations like the two dreadful shows up on the 2nd floor.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Seven Days In May 1964

Watched this relic of the cold war the other night, and although not very good, it does have things in it that are way too close to our current political situation and delivers a kick or two. . Directed by John Frankenheimer with a screenplay by Rod Serling its a cheap looking thriller about the take over and take down of our country by the military. Led and run by the granite like Burt Lancaster who has it in for the president played by Frederic March who has just signed an arms treaty with the soviet union. Burt doesn't like that, and starts a covert plot with other army brass to take it all down. The plot is uncovered by Kirk Douglas who is his assistant and is also made of granite, but is not a traitor and brings the news of the plot to the president. There are stock cardboard characters including Edmund O'Brien as the alcoholic southern senator who is a close friend of the president and who helps save the day, the good ole boy. Also there is Martin Balsam who once again meets a bad end as the loyal friend and confidante of the president and best of all there is Ava Gardner as an aging Washington D.C. gal about town who has been around the town more than once and has some dirt on Burt. The film looks cheap as if it's made of cardboard but it works, if not as a great work of art or even a very good film then as a document of a time long long ago. And there are all those phones, television sets and other quaint things from the early 60's to give one a chuckle or two, plus there's Ava a little worn and blowsy but still very lovely.

student exhibition flyer

My close friend Lee made this flyer for my senior class exhibition. Its going to be a short view, not even a day but the work is wonderful.

Marie Cosindas 1923-2017

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Things To Come 2016

                    This is the second great performance from Isabelle Huppert in 2016. The first was in “Elle”, which is the complete opposite of her work in this lean but complex work about a woman entering middle age and the pitfalls that fall on her. In other words its’ about life and how we handle it. In this film Huppert (who I consider our greatest actress working in film) plays Natalie a philosophy professor married for 25 years to another teacher of philosophy who throws a wrench into her life that could cause someone with less resolve than Natalie has to fall apart in a puddle of nothingness.
                  Lucky for Natalie and lucky for us that she has her intellectual prowess to help get her through the slings and arrows that come her way. This is a fascinating film and I never thought that I would find the life of a somewhat dull intellectual so engrossing. This is due to the great Huppert whose character over a span of a few years grows and changes but also remains the same, reserved a little too tight but also expansive with the people she deeply cares about.
             The deepest relationships (besides her two children) are with a former anarchistic somewhat pretentious student and what we think might happen between the two doesn’t. He has a delicious large farmhouse that he shares with other young like minded political philosophers and writers and Huppert goes for a long weekend visit that ends abruptly in a situation that I totally related to, it was something that I have done myself when hurt by someone who meant much to me.
            There is a terrific scene where Huppert goes to the movies alone to see Abbas Kiarostami’s  “Certified Copy” another “philosophical” but more dense movie about relationships where a guy sitting behind her tries and fails to aggressively pick her up and ruins the film for her. On top of her martial woes Natalie is also dealing with her hypochondriac mother played to perfection by the great Edith Scob who is an important memory in my movie life for her role in “Eyes Without A Face” and her mom’s overweight comic relief black cat.
         Also looming in her life are problems with her academic publisher and his much younger and condescending editors who push her to jazz up her books with flashy covers (I actually liked them)  because they are not selling well and pushes her up against the wall. All of this, the whole movie is Huppert’s and to just watch her walk across a room or show frustration over a missing book or run to catch a train is pure joy, at least for me, she is that great. The final scene with the credits rolling uses the song “Unchained Melody” to heart wrenching perfection.  This is the first film I’ve seen by the writer-director Mia Hanson-Love, and will definitely check out her other films if I can find them.  One of the 10 best films of 2016.
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