Monday, April 17, 2006

So many things happening.

DVD Beaver had another financial crisis: it's such an elaborate website, and Gary really doesn't want to do too much advertising on it, so he's losing money. But i've been trying to get DVDs through the links. Jonathan Rosenbaum has contributed two recent pieces to the site. I should put in a plug for DVD Beaver: people should click on http://www.dvdbeaver.com and take a look, it's an amazing site because the reviews are very specific about the quality of the DVD production, with amazing comparisons and screen captures. Gary just reviewed the Tennessee Williams boxset that Warners will be putting out.

It's funny: Gary lives in Mississauga, which is a suburb of Toronto. When i realized that, it brought a pang, since that was where Lance lived. (That's another long story.)

My brother came by and we did my taxes. I always feel like that line Laurie Anderson said (in 1982 or so): under the line that says occupation, i feel like i should cross it out and put hobby.

In current events, more generals are coming out against Rumsfeld. Generals! Of course, the White House is now rounding up as many generals as possible to discredit the ones who are speaking out. That is the way of George W. Bush! Not to answer the criticisms, but to smear those who dare to speak out.

Carmen sent us an e.mail, asking if we know of a film called "Pickpocket"! It was showing at the library up in Yonkers. Carmen is (sometimes) hilarious: the guy can be totally oblivious. Of course i would know "Pickpocket". Which reminds me that the article i promised the Masters of Cinema/Robert Bresson website needs to be finished!

What am i doing? I can be such a procrastinator.

Michael Giltz notes that this season's "American Idol" seems to be petering out, with the singers somehow less exciting than in other years. The Mandisa controversy seems to have been one of the only lively points in this season's competition. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that so many of the people are really professional: they've been on the outskirts of the music industry for years, and so you're seeing a lot of people who hadn't quite made it, and now you know why.... it's not like a whole bunch of real amateurs (and, say what you will, Diana DiGarmo, Fantasia, Ruben Stoddard, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken were all amateurs when they entered the competition) who are really straining to prove they can sing. The people who were amateurs (such as Ayla, David, Kevin) got eliminated early.

Dave Kehr's website has a lot of people commenting on an observation made in an interview by Harold Ramis.

On the Male4Malescorts site, Brett Holt has a new picture: a picture showing his face rather than his torso. I'm glad: Brett's really so handsome.

At some point soon, i want to read some of Gavin Lambert's other novels. I've read his books on Norma Shearer, on Natalie Wood, and on Lindsay Anderson, and the interview book with George Cukor... and i've read "Insiade Daisy Clover" but i'd like to read his other novels...

Jim Wolcott had a piece on Dwight Macdonald in the Times Book Review: for some reason (and i know the reason) it reminded me of David Denby's article on Susan Sontag. But it was actually quite touching, and Wolcott showed a real appreciation for Macdonald.

The point that so many movie people seem unable to understand: can you admire a writer even if you disagree? In terms of film: i often disagreed with Macdonald, but still he was a fun writer to read in Esquire in the 1960s.

One of the only truisms that i have is that if a critic is enthusiastic about something, and can't make you want to see it, then that critic isn't such a good critic. It's not making a wisecrack (most people can do that), it's making you want to rush out and see/hear/read whatever is under discussion. Jed Perl did that when the Guggenheim Museum had its amazing retrospective on African sculpture; his writing was so rapturous about the work, i had to see it for myself!

Jennifer Homans has an intriguing review in this week's New Public about some recent dance pieces in which sex and nudity are on display. I also liked her review of Marcia B. Siegel's book on Twyla Tharp. Which reminds me that it's been maybe a decade since i've run into Marcia. so you how often i go to dance now....

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