Saturday, January 15, 2022

REPOST FROM LAST YEAR

In honor of his birthday, I took down from its shelf A TESTAMENT OF HOPE: The Essential Writings Of Martin Luther King, Jr. I decided to open it at random and point to a sentence and post it. The page was 226, the end of his Nobel acceptance speech, and this was the sentence:

"I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits."

Friday, January 14, 2022

...UPON A TIME

 
Photo taken in the late 1980s on a timer by the photographer and longtime friend Bobby Miller of him between the now long departed but then love of my life, Joan Baribeault, and me on our couch in the home we rented in Santa Monica, and my daughter Caitlin on the floor, all beneath a Bill Sullivan painting.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

THE POWER OF THE DOG

 
I resisted watching this film because the trailer made the movie seem depressing. But several friends assured me it wasn't. They were right in a way. It's a plaintive, mostly dark delve into the theme of malevolent bullying, so it's not an easy film to watch, but brilliant cinematography and acting made it worthwhile for me. The actors—Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and especially Kodi Smit-McPhee—playing the four main characters should all be nominated for Oscars, as should Jane Campion for directing. Oh, and to get the ending, you may have to see it twice, or look up some commentary about it. I just let it resonate as it haunted me for days after seeing it. Still does.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Friday, January 7, 2022

SIDNEY POITIER R.I.P.

 
Blackboard Jungle came out in 1955 when I had just become a teenager and half the boys in my 8th grade class at Our Lady Of Sorrows grammar school came to school the day after it opened calling each other "daddy-o" and wanting too be in a gang. The one I became a part of for a while was the Spartans, all Irish-Americans, like me.

But the actor who made the deepest impression on me and played the coolest character in the film was Sidney Poitier, who I only realized years later I fell in love with watching him in that movie. And over and over again in every other movie I ever saw him in. No matter how badly written or executed a film was, Poitier always elevated it just by his presence alone.

I never got to meet him but he still became a part of my inner life from Blackboard Jungle on, and will remain so. R.I.P.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

PETER BOGDANOVICH R.I.P.

 
I only encountered the director/actor/writer Peter Bogdanovich in person once. I was renting and living in, with my then two kids, an illegal-for-living-in loft on the corner of Duane and Greenwich in a rundown sparsely populated neighborhood soon to become "Tribeca" and woke up one morning to a movie being shot outside my window, a scene for They All Laughed starring his new love Dorothy Stratton.

When I found out it was him shooting the film, I rushed down to the street hoping for the chance to tell him how much I dug Daisy Miller and At Long Last Love, the movies that critics and audiences rejected but I saw value in. I don't remember getting to actually talk to him but Dorothy Stratton sitting in one of those movie-director chairs smiled at me.

He was not just a talented artist in the filmmaking business, he was also one of the most interesting directors, actors, writers ever, who made something unique out of his rocky careers. Rest In Pictures Peter.