Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Syd Mead 1933-2019

Friday, December 27, 2019

Sue Lyon 1946-2019

Thursday, December 26, 2019

End of 2019 . Three small pieces from my sketchbook

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Ozark two seasons

“I had a very stressful day,” a character in this riveting 2-season show says to another character, and I could certainly understand this. The characters in this series about drug cartels, and a middle class family from Chicago who get sweep up in it have stressful days and nights, and sometimes mornings and afternoons. The audience I would think would also have stress watching the terrors and perils of the Byrd family, I know I did.  The show opens in Chicago where Marty Byrde a financial advisor played wonderfully by Jason Bateman and his business partner are meeting with the head of a Mexican drug cartel played by the handsome and little seen actor Esai Morales. Things are not right, Marty and his partner wash money for the cartel, money is missing and soon the things that are not right will get out of hand. Deaths and escapes begin and the Byrde family fly off for the Ozarks, which is a destination, they arrive at by chance and desperation. The family Byrde is made up of a cheating wife played with her usual greatness by Laura Linney (does any actress show nastiness and contempt better than her?) and their two children a girl 15 and a boy 13, which seems to be a prerequisite for television series these days. The kids are wise and knowing and both will play an integral part in the family’s travails so they can stay. Yes the series is about drugs, gangsters and murder, but it is really about families, good and bad and the troubles that they get into. The villains are all over the place most of them are scary and evil and some can be found in places of justice and law enforcement. They are compelling and hard not to watch. The cast is full and rich with many actors unknown to me and some familiar like Harris Yulin, the fine Scottish actor Peter Mullan with a perfect Southern accent, The great British actress Janet McTeer who plays the cold as ice lawyer for the cartel, and Julia Gardner who is rough and raw as the daughter of a local small time crime family living out their trash lives in a trailer park. Bateman who also directed a few of the episodes was basically unknown and unseen by me, since I never saw his network TV. shows that were mainly geared for his teenage followers, so his performance came as a welcomed surprise to me, he is brilliant. The violence is harsh and most of it is off camera but still there is enough shown that some can become rattled by it, there is hardly anyone left standing at the end of season 2. Brash, unconventional and startling this one is right up there with Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Six Feet Under, Mind Hunter and The Sopranos. I can offer some criticisms of it but why bother when overall it is so good.  A third season is planned.              

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Panamarenko (pseudonym of Henri Van Herwegen 1940 – 2019

Anna Karina 1940-2019


I've been put in facebook jail once again for 30 days for what I think is a rather mild and innocuous post. I even forget where I posted it. It seems I am on their shit list and if I could find a better place to meet with friends I would leave it. Any suggestions?
"the gov. is full of pieces of shit like this cracker. we may not be able to get rid of trump by impeachment, but lets do our best to rid our gov. of these souless criminals."

Friday, December 13, 2019

Danny Aiello 1933-2019

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Rene Auberjonois 1940-2019

Marriage Story 2019

A tale of two cities and one very messy divorce between two nice people.The nice people, the couple are played vividly by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson who not only share a disintegrating marriage but the same kind of puffy lips. There have many movies that display failing marriages in all their miserable glory and this one will I think be fondly remembered down the road. Set in two of the most difficult cities in the world we literally walk in on the end of this creative marriage involving a theatre director and his actress wife as they set about ending their marriage that has been cracking for some time. There is a young son caught in the cracks which is also usual with this kind of melodrama. There are always children. Scarlett takes off for an acting job in her home town of L.A. where she settles back in her childhood home with a zany mom played by the zany actress Julie Hagerty and Adam continues on his avant-garde minimal and mainly off broadway theatre career back in the big apple. They fight. Adam travels back and forth and forth and back hoping to spend time with his son who is pretty much detached from him and on the way wins a McArthur grant, how nice and contrived. Lawyers. Scarlett hooks up with Laura Dern a high pitched high power and high priced one who is all sharp angles and edges, she's like a paper cut that will never heal. Meanwhile Adam finds a couple of his own one also high priced and sharp played by Ray Liotta and a more gentle one acted by Alan Alda, both are compelling and riveting. A lot of it was embarrassing for me to watch, simply because it is so raw and angry but watch I did. Well written and acted with a surprising musical interlude near the end of the film where the leads sing songs from the Stephen Sondheim musical "Company" and with a fairly predictable somewhat upbeat ending where everyone walks away with all parts intact. Look to this one to do well with the Oscars.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Ron Leibman 1937-2019

Thursday, December 05, 2019

December 2019. Mixed on cardboard

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Mindhunter 2017-2019 Series 1.

Deep and dark. This is a compelling series now on Netflix streaming based on fact concerning the F.B.I.’s Behavioral Science Unit and the growth of it thanks to 2 of the agents who in the mid 70’s set out to interview and archive the stories of horrendous serial killers. Back then the term was not yet “invented” and we are there when the agents have their ah ha moment and give birth to the now familiar term. The title of the series is a play I think on the very good Michael Mann movie “Manhunter” from 1986 which is an early look at the monster Hannibal Lecter and his serial killing and is much better than the later “Silence Of The Lambs.” The series set in many places around the country, but filmed mostly in West Virginia and Pennsylvania is very talky which might turn off some viewers, but I found it chewy and tangy. The series is also not graphic since none of the murders and crimes are shown which also might be a turn off to all those network crime shows viewers. The horror comes from their interviews with the killers and one of them Edmund Kemper a giant of a monster played by the terrific Cameron Britton is particularly scary.
We get our knowledge from the killers just as the 2 investigators do and occasionally we get a glimpse at some awful evidential photos. Jonathan Groff who is known as a Broadway musical heartthrob and theatre star plays Holden Ford a young and attractive instructor at the F.B.I. headquarters in Quantico Virginia Where he teaches bored young recruits on hostage negotiations. His name brings up two iconic figures for me Holden Caufield and John Ford I might be projecting here, but since this is a project of the director David Fincher and his name is not factual I might not be too far off the mark.
The other agent who is avuncular and opinioned is Bill Tench (another “real” fictionalized character played by Holt McCallany with great relish. The higher ups at the academy are not too happy with the work the two misfit agents are doing but go along with them at least for a while. Into this duo mix comes a young attractive female psychologist Wendy Carr played by Anna Torv who teaches at Boston University and for a while commutes between the two cities as a consultant but at the urging of the assistant director agrees to transfer to the academy on a permanent basis and takes up residence with the two guys in the basement of the building. She also brings with her a huge grant for the work from several foundations and a past. All three of them have pasts and degrees of troubling lives some more than others, which add to the characters having weight and reality. The director David Fincher served as executive producer and directed the first two and last two episodes of season 1 and he is no stranger to dark material. I’m thinking especially of his trio of startling films”Zodiac”, “Se7en” and “Fight Club” all of which have troubled “heroes” and a great sense of place which this series also has. Highly recommended.
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