Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Witness 2015

I had just turned 17, living in Brooklyn with my family when this horrible story broke, and it truly affected me in a bad way. Now I finally caught up with the riveting documentary about the murder of Kitty Genovese, made and featuring her brother Bill who lost both legs in Viet Nam but this doesn't stop him from having a full life and determined to find out the truth about the murder of his older sister. This is a painful story and film, but it is as I said it is riveting and compelling as Bill follows leads and interviews still living witnesses as he tries to uncover what really happened. There are no heroes and one villain, the murderer of Kitty. It also finally comes out (no pun intended) that Kitty was lesbian and was living with her lover, who is interviewed but not shown, and there are no judgments about Kitty's closeted life, it was the early 60's after all. Kitty's father did manage to "kidnap" the dog that Killy and her lover owned and there is a touching moment when bill apologizes to her lover for what his father did. Not an easy film to sit through but I highly recommend it.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

May 2018 Mixed on Paper

oddball Magazine

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Clint Walker 1927-2018

UFT senior exhibition

Yesterday was our show and schmooze luncheon at the UFT where all the classes display the artwork done and I was pleased with the work the seniors did for my class. Its very ad hoc in terms of display. It was an assemblage, collage class including using playing cards.

Philip Roth 1933-2018

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Robert Indiana 1928-2018

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Patricia Morison 1915-2018

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Geoffrey Hendricks 1931-2018

another notable passing to mark. sick of all the good & creative people passing of late and the orange pile of shit is still walking this earth serving absolutely no purpose at all.

My Chinese senior art class more gems

Tom Wolfe 1930-2018

and donald trump still walks this earth. Unfair.

May 2018

Monday, May 14, 2018

Margot Kidder 1948-2018

Saturday, May 12, 2018

T-Men 1947

A new transfer of this hard ball little mouse dropping of a B noir movie has just been released and its a beaut. This was anthony mann’s big breakthrough film and provided him with more ease and access to make movies for the rest of his career. It was also the first meet up of him and the great cinematographer John Alton who is known for his moody black and white cinematography in many films of the noir era and beyond and who ironically won an Oscar for his beautiful color work on “An American In Paris.” Go figure. But its here in his low budget work that he really “Painted with Light” (His famous book on cinematography by the way is titled “Painting With Light)
In T-Men which stands for Treasury Men, Mann gives us for the first time in a movie the use of real money and a story about counterfeiters almost in a documentary style which was popular in the late 40’s with constricted tense intros by a member of the federal government or some other higher up who set the tone and made us know that what we are about to see really happened.
Mann and his screenwriters John C. Higgins & Virginia Kellogg put two T-Men played by Dennis O’Keefe and Alfred Ryder undercover to get the goods on these guys and gal counterfeiters which sets up the action and conflicts. O’Keefe who was a likeable but expendable sort of a guy was around for a long time in low budget movies and lots of t.v. and was underrated but in this film he gives what I can only call a terrific performance, do I dare say it’s the best male performance of the year? Watch him walk and enter a room as Vannie Harrigan one of the fake counterfeit crooks and you will understand my enthusiasm for him in this film.
There are other top notch performances in this little nugget of nastiness including the great Wallace Ford as the “Schemer” all greasy and corrupt and the equally great Charles McGraw as Moxie the head of the gang and rotten to his core. Also noteable is the look and energy of the film, small and low budget it’s full of darkness with pinches of low light and low lives that pretty much smacks us in the face with a bullying force.
The film is typical of the late 40’s down and out style of low budget crime and thriller movies both in the look and the story lines that made it to American movie screens without much fuss and fanfare. Some did good box office business (T-Men was a huge surprise hit) and some died quick deaths. The year of my birth was also the apex, the highline, the tops of Film noir with titles like Body and Soul, Brute Force, Born to Kill, Bury Me Dead, Crossfire, Dead Reckoning, Dark Passage, The Gangster, Kiss of Death, Nightmare Alley, and many others with dangerous and tempting titles.
T-Man like many of the noir films was set in a post war Los Angles, run down, mean and dingy with sinister streets, dark endless alleyways and cheap rooms in run down boarding houses. Of course low budgets was also responsible for many of the films staying home in their studio backyards along with on the cuff location street shooting which was a lot cheaper than building expensive sets.
Probably the most famous scene in the film is the nasty Turkish bath sequence where one of the characters meets his demise via being locked in a steam room and is scalded to death. There are many other intense scenes of brutal interrogations and beatings and one memorable scene where Dennis O’Keefe witnesses the death of a character and Mann and Alton slowly bring the light down on his face and the brim of his hat as we are left with a shadowy close-up outline of O’Keefe’s face. Real sweat and no make-up in this film.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

UFT retiree art class

Some nice work from my senior retiree class at the UFT.

Ermanno Olmi 1931-2018

Anne V. Coates-Editor of films

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Watershed Review

 Has just posted their latest issue with many of my notebook drawings. Click on the link then click on art and then my name. Nice and thank you

Some more treasures from my senior Chinese art class.

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