HELL DRIVERS–A FILM NOIR SPECIAL

This film was shown in early 2013 as part of the San Francisco Film Noir Festival. It shows not the upper class British that got most of America’s press attention, but was more like an urban Grapes of Wrath, focused on the plight of those who were trying to make ends meet. Many in the cast went on to become hugely successful.

HELL DRIVERS

Until the above was screened @ San Francisco’s Castro Theatre, I had no familiarity with it @ all. There was a special tribute to British Film Star, Peggy Cummins & she was there, in person, to meet & greet her fans, newly converted & those already very aware of her contributions to the Film Noir Era. It was very gracious of her to autograph my DVDs that I brought in just for that occasion. This film presented a very nitty-gritty look @ Post World War II real British working class culture. There was no Royalty flitting around from place to place. These were ordinary people Hell-bent, you might say, on just earning enough money to keep the landlords satisfied. If lucky, they had enough extra from their pay to buy food, much of which remained high-priced & under ration for many years after the War was over. It was not an easy film for most Americans to connect with, but I think the pacing of it, the focus on the plight of the poor, made it real, and gave us some history that took the focus from London & palaces, to the people who could not take a daily bath, who had, at most two sets of clothing, and were in a dog-eat-dog world before the term became linguistic parlance. What we got on our side of the Atlantic, in terms of British culture, was usually painted up to show nothing but the very rich & we lost track that the average person there was not having an easy time of it due to economic restrictions that granted very few opportunities for culture & wealth to trickle their way down. Very well done, written, acted, directed! Bravo!

A BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED PIZZA BOX

A well-designed pizza box is worth its weight…in..pizza….Well, that’s a start. I like the clean design & think their pizza is very good. It’s tasty without being greasy. Has enough toppings without topping overkill, and the crust is light, without being too brittle or tough.

Don’t know how or if the film inspired the pizza or the pizza inspired the film–but I think together, they’d make a terrific night in.

Eating pizza that is well made & being inspired by an image of the Statue of Liberty is nice!

Eating pizza that is well made & being inspired by an image of the Statue of Liberty @ the same time is nice!

Instead of Popcorn, have Pizza! And don’t Escape from New York, embrace it!

And a bonus zip from Ernest Borgnine, remembering his part in this film.

Need Scaring? Fresh Blood?: You’re Next

Some people operate (they cut you open) on a quota system. We have blood banks that need some investing.  YOU'RE NEXT!

Some people operate (they cut you open) on a quota system. We have blood banks that need some investing. YOU’RE NEXT!

This was not just another slasher film. True, I was in need of my between Full Moon blood fix, my reflection was not showing up in mirrors & I spent the last several days suppressing the urge to make projectile vomiting when my nostrils were confronted with the smell of garlic. Yes, I was blinded by morning light. I knew the only help I could get was in “Band-Aid” form. So, I took that option, and went to see the newly released YOU’RE NEXT.

My needs were more than sated. This is not just another slasher subset of the horror film genre. There was cause & effect. I groaned at the first scene, thinking, all I would get out of this was my need for fresh fake blood flowing from all apertures. What a set up! That’s what the director intended–you think you are going down the usual well paved road of bloodbath, and you are, but this time it’s different. You care about each character. You wonder what can you do to stop this! How can you send out brainwaves to these flawed (but not unlikable) people to stop the inevitable slaughter? In short, you wish you were not a hungry vampire in need of a fix, but a reliable, responsible, thoughtful person who cares about content and the craft of telling a story. You start wanting to be a paramedic, anything to be a Good Samaritan. Alas, the film goes on as written, and you did not get a call from the casting director. So you sit, helpless, as an audience member helping to do your part in keeping films in the theatre, digressing from the edge, the point of what this is all about…

This is a birthday cake where you get to have it & eat it too, along with a liter or two of transfusions. Keep your kitchen knives in FULL VIEW. Have extra ones handy & find a nice place to keep a baseball bat & a sledge-hammer. If you want to go over the deep end (and they don’t, but you might just want to do this as a conversation piece) install a guillotine behind the rubber tree plant in your living room. There’s no room for leaving any defense mechanism unmentioned or overlooked as your inner survivalist must attempt to thrive in this thrilling adventure of a family dinner that never got around to the second course, not to mention the pies that sat uneaten in the kitchen. The attention to set detail is as much a star as the actors. This wealthy family did not have a frost-free refrigerator, in fact, they had an old, old one that had the original factory logo painted over by hand. Their home was beautiful but not by Architectural Digest standards, but the kind of gentility lived out by wealth that lives an understated lifestyle. They keep their names OUT of the papers, and they’d consider having a personal Facebook account as something that other people might do.–But, despite their near aristocratic approach to life, something went horribly wrong. And I want you to go find out for your self just what that was & talk to me. I need your comments, always–and help me make it through the night without screaming.

Know at all times where your knife set is.  If you hide them, you will lose precious seconds, time lost that could have saved your life.

Know at all times where your knife set is. If you hide them, you will lose precious seconds, time lost that could have saved your life.

If you hear a tapping noise & you think no one else is in the house, you are wrong.

If you hear a tapping noise & you think no one else is in the house, you are wrong.

I had hoped that I would not be reporting my demise, that I could keep a journalistic & professional distance between myself & the subject matter...but sometimes things happen that are just outside of our control, no matter how well intended that may be.

I had hoped that I would not be reporting my demise, that I could keep a journalistic & professional distance between myself & the subject matter…but sometimes things happen that are just outside of our control, no matter how well intended that may be. Call 911!

Yes, I am on Facebook, and all that other stuff. I need your reassurance that this won’t happen to me…or, else…

YOU’RE NEXT AND YOU KNOW IT!

AND THOSE THAT MADE THE BRILLIANCE HAPPEN SHARE SOME THOUGHTS

If you wake up & can still walk upright without assistance, go to AMC Theatres 1000 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco & be prepared to be NEXT! Ne

Κομμάτι της καρδιάς-Janis Joplin

Ήχος της ήταν μια σύνθεση Leadbelly, Billie Holiday, και άλλοι στους οποίους είχε προσελκύσει. Έχει ακούσει και μάθει και απορροφάται από αυτά ιοντική εκτελεστές. Στο τέλος, Janis Joplin δημιούργησε το δικό του μοναδικό ήχο της υπογραφής. Σε συνεντεύξεις και συζητήσεις έδωσε πάντα πίστωσης σε αυτούς που της δίδαξε. Όπως εξελίχθηκαν τα πράγματα και παρά την σύντομη ζωή της, που μας δίδαξε. Η δουλειά της ήταν ότι ενός χαρισματικού καλλιτέχνη και την κληρονομιά υπομένει.

JANIS JOPLIN–1970/Photo Credit-Δημόσια Τομέα του ΔιαδικτύουPhoto Credit-Δημόσια Τομέα του Διαδικτύου

Image

Unknown Artist

Have had this for years. Know nothing of the artist, when done, name of work. I just like it & have it @ work in a ‘rescue’ frame I glued together. So far it has worked & looks good, better than my photograph with annoying glares can show.

Nice bit of art by one of the most famous artists in the world graces my work desk: A. Nony Mous.  I am guessing it is less than 500 years old.

Nice bit of art by one of the most famous artists in the world graces my work desk: A. Nony Mous. I am guessing it is less than 500 years old.

PICASSCO FROM BACK TO THE PICTURE-Guernica (1937)

Guernica is to painting what Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is to music: a cultural icon that speaks to mankind not only against war but also of hope & peace. It is a reference when speaking about genocide from El Salvador to Bosnia.”–Alejandro Escalona

This painting is one that struck me at an early age. I have never seen the original & unless I travel to Spain, probably never will, as the Spanish government now considers it a National Treasure & too fragile to undergo the stress of extensive shipping & handling required by foreign exhibitions. My first art book was one of Picasso & it featured this painting. I remember studying it at an almost obsessive level of intensity. To this day how such horror, terror, violence, and inhumanity could be perpetrated remains outside of my scope of understanding.

Despite the emotional turmoil it represents, from the time I saw this work, I had a feeling someday that I would have a copy. The original is huge, monumental in size.

Photograph showing the size of the original Guernica with a boy as a viewer.

Photograph showing the size of the original Guenica with a young boy as a viewer.

After a recent visit to BACK TO THE PICTURE, I bought a reproduction that could be accommodated within the confines of my apartment dining area. Below, is the result of that effort. The reproduction is a poster that has been clear coat mounted on a resin coated box, by Master resin coater Wan Chun. The process of coating the poster paper is labour intensive, and requires the utmost of patience, skill set, and technique. The ideal environment for this to be done is in an ‘airtight’ room, meaning an enclosed area that has little or no air motion. This reduces the risk factor of any imperfections in the drying process of the resin. Air motion can cause bubbles in the resin during the setting process, as was explained by Derek Hargrove, Manager & Curator of Back To The Picture. It takes a minimum of seven coats of the resin to capture just the right essence of sheen. Careful & gentle cleaning with a soft cotton cloth may be used to remove dust build up.

THE TERRIBLE MEMORY OF WAR IN A PEACEFUL ENVIRONMENT–LEAST WE FORGET!
GUERNICA by Pablo Picasso

The art of presenting a reproduction of a world famous painting.

The art of presenting a reproduction of a world famous painting.

Guernic by Pablo Picasso, 1937-cropped to show better detail.

Guernica by Pablo Picasso, 1937-cropped to show better detail.

The concept of Guernica as fully dimensional sculpted work is beautifully & reverently depicted in this You Tube Video.

What I Did For Love/A CHORUS LINE

A link with the past is something to be treasured, and provides comfort for the future in a tangible way that is not easy to explain. This is, in part, why I enjoy having a person who has achieved something of singular importance autograph something that is connected with that thing that brought him/her acclaim. Tonight, I was able to have Donna McKechnie sign my long treasured copy of the Original Cast Album of A CHORUS LINE. It was fine way to celebrate Mae West’s birthday, 17 August 2013. My copy is in near-mint condition. With a bit of luck, it will remain that way. The power of the autograph will not make it sound any differently, but the thought that she held it in her hands for a fleeting moment & signed it, just makes having it feel even more special.

That musical was the huge thing going on during the time I was attending Butler University, Indianapolis. A legacy (what else?) radio system was in place in the cafeteria. When “What I Did For Love” was played, everyone would sing, often in full voice. The memories of that are splendid.

It was not till many years later that I saw a touring company perform this & I loved the music all over again. At this point, I don’t remember how many times I have seen it, but several.

Autographed by Donna McKechnie, my copy of A CHORUS LINE.

Autographed by Donna McKechnie, my copy of A CHORUS LINE.

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