Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Beverly Sills has died. Many thoughts, but specifically she represented the era (1950s) of a quite indigenous American art. She was the first American opera singer to develop a major career by performing in this country: she didn't look to Europe for her validation.

On Friday, i read Carolyn Brown's "Chance and Circumstance", her memoir of her life as one of the premiere dancers with Merce Cunningham. Here, again, is the idea of American artists, trying to forge unique styles and forms. There were some funny segments in the book. It was hilarious to read Carolyn Brown's description of "Nine Evenings", because she felt the whole thing was a debacle, with things not working, all sorts of technical problems, etc. I read Larry some of her comments; Larry noted that Carolyn Brown made a mistake: she quotes the patron of the event, "Mrs. Albert Last"; Larry said it should be "Mrs. Albert List" because it was Vera List who was the patron. I also read him the passage about Toshi Ichiyangi, and Carolyn Brown's comment about Toshi's then-wife, Yoko Ono. Hilarious! As Larry said, it's 40 years, but these people are still keeping these in-fights alive.

While i was at the gym, breaking news came over the TV: Bush commuted the sentence of Scooter Libby. Of course: we knew it was going to happen. This president does not believe in any laws... he's like Richard Widmark in the Preminger film of "Saint Joan", he's a giggling idiot who believes in his god-given power. We really are in Dodge City, a place of total lawlessness, and the biggest lawbreaker is our president.

TCM showed the full-length version of Joseph Losey's "The Damned" last night, which ran 95 minutes as opposed to the American cut of 87 minutes. Of course, that meant their schedule was screwed up for a while. But it was great to see it. It's still one of my favorite Losey films.


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