Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Irishman 2019

Saw this last night and I was very disappointed in it. It not a terrible film but ,it was a rehash of his previous "mafia" movies, it was like he was leaving breadcrumbs in the forest for us to find our way out of this predictable movie. His use of his old stand by guys was also not welcomed. The only performance worthy of a look was Pesci. DeNiro was well DeNiro who had a few good moments for sure, but Pacino was a big mistake, and gives his usual loud performance, Scorsese would have done better by not using him. There was also an annoying lack of contrast and development of his woman characters who are just cardboard and familiar. They are simply not there. Contrast his use of women with Edie Falco and the other females in The Sopranos He ordinary use of decor and costume and his use of popular music and gliding camerawork is old and predictable. Also his cheap use of the cute little in joke of Pesci meeting up with david farey who he played in JFK was pathetic. The De-aging gimmick didn't bother me too much, but was it necessary. Also the plot was too confusing at times, and yet also too simplistic. bang bang you're dead, and the titles of how these mobsters died got old by the second time he used it. I don't understand the raves its getting are we so hard up for something marvelous that we fall for the first thing that is 3 1/2 hours, does this signify important? It had no shading or color it just plods along for its unbearable running time. Maybe I'm just tired of horrible awful people getting the royal treatment.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Jonathan Miller 1934-2019

At The Galleries

Spent a crowded day of art in Chelsea yesterday. Looking at so much stuff tires me out and the very high lighting in some of the places get me dizzy and I have to leave quickly. This happened at the Peter Halley show, so bright and colorful but I had to get out fast and all those steps and little rooms. Also climbing stairs to upper floors of galleries is out of the question for me, I really was huffing and puffing to get up to the Melvin Edwards show, and of c
ourse the nice receptionist told me oh we have an elevator. It was hidden somewhere in another entrance. No big deal but if you are going to show on upper floors count me out. I did pretty much like all I saw. Went to the new Pace building which I thought hideous and dull to see the marvelous large show of small drawings by Richard Tuttle. Glad to see that he is not making those awful clumsy big stage set like pieces anymore or at least not for now. Again the gallery was lit too bright for me, and the spaces are ugly and cramped. Also liked his wall pieces down the block at another Pace space, why don't they just take over the whole block already and be done with it. Also impressive were the 8 very large charcoal drawings by Robert Longo at Metro Pictures, political in nature and quite amazing in his touch. This time the gallery was almost dark and moody the darker to see you my dear. Also liked those big decorative paintings by Philip Taaffe, so delectable I wanted to lick them. If you're going to be pretty this is the way to go. Gary Panter has been one of my favorite comic book artists for forever, and there is a platter of his work on the walls of Fredericks & Freiser. His books are also marvelous so if you can't afford one his drawings get yourself one of his works between covers. Also not bad was Marianne Boesky hanging of Donald Moffett's 3-D wall paintings relating to "nature" but reminded me of those cookies of my youth (not as big of course) that we would have at elementary school snack breaks, the surfaces looked like the icing on those cookies that I loved especially the white vanilla ones. Finally my favorite show with some reservations ( I wasn't included) was the one hundred drawings at Mathew Marks gallery. What's not to like as my mom would say and there was something for every taste. My usual complaint is the lack of labels and instead having to walk around with a 20pg checklist. I would have liked to have just looked at the drawings instead of having to keep checking on who did the Goddamn thing. Of course I could have looked at the work like the beautiful young woman who I kept seeing all over the place did without a list. I know I missed many shows but so what.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Howard Cruse 1944-2019

A terrible loss, and that worthless orange pile of shit still walks this earth. I am disgusted.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Gahan Wilson 1930-2019

Friday, November 22, 2019

Michael J. Pollard 1939-2019

Monday, November 18, 2019

Peaky Blinders 2013-2019

A five year deep dish series about a British crime family whose ascent from Gypsies to brash crime and murder big wigs is what I have been watching of late on Netflix streaming. Based on a real life gang and set in Birmingham beginning in 1919 these on the rise small time hoods are on the make led by the two heads of the family Tom played by the compelling actor Cillian Murphy and his aunt Polly played magnificently by the great Helen McCrory. Basically they are a psychotic group of miserable souls with none more miserable and psychotic than the oldest brother Arthur acted with scary realism by Paul Anderson. They deal in gambling, booze and anything else that comes their way with fast money written on it. The whole clan are unbearable and brutal great looking and  sexy as hell and brilliant to watch. Their name Peaky Blinders supposedly come from the caps they all wore with razor blades in the peaks ready at a moments notice to blind their opponents, but some historians call that inaccurate but do note that they were indeed fancy dressers.  The entire cast is great and special note will be made for the stunning cameos by Aidan Gillen as a fellow Gypsy criminal and the great always surprising Tom Hardy here playing an Orthodox Jewish gangster and leader of a ruthless crew of Jewish mobsters. Seeing is believing. The only failed performance for me was by Adrian Brody channeling Al Pacino as a vindictive New York Mafia boss out for revenge who travels all the way to Birmingham to get it. We get it also and man that bad Italian accent. The makers also place some real life people in the series including a brief Winston Churchill and a deeper appearance by Oswald Mosley the British Fascist leader in series 5, played with devilish delight by Sam Clafin. There are also some terrific unknown to me actresses who play sisters, molls, girlfriends and wives and know how to wear a dress well. The accents are thick and sometimes hard to understand, but you get use to it because the series is so visually reverting with thick skin plots that constantly surprise you. There are lots of stunning set pieces and watch how the cast walk and strut their stuff amid the dirty streets and rough and tumble factories and bars that they also run. The series makes use of contemporary music instead of time centered pieces and is highlighted by the title song by Nick Cave.  The makers are particularly careful and accurate when it comes to the rich production details and the costumes. The whole thing is a sit up and take notice smack in the face show but not for everyone, the violence is unrelenting and bloody the betrayals are everywhere and then there are those haircuts. 

Two New Small Sketchbook drawings.

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.
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