Sunday, March 02, 2008

Tonight, waiting for the arrival of Bill Jones and Mark Flores from L.A.; in town for the Whitney Biennial (Bill's "Tearoom" is one of the installations this year) and finally there were several articles on the Biennial in the New York Times, in Friday's art section and in Sunday's Arts & Leisure section. The article on Friday concentrated on the events that will take place "off-site" (outside the Whitney Museum building proper), this year at the Park Avenue Arsenal. The article on Sunday was a full-page (and for the NY Times, that's huge) article on Harry Dodge and Stanya Kahn. So i'm glad that the p.r. is kicking in; for something like the Biennial, this is crucial, because without the buildup, there's no excitement, and that can often stem the tide in terms of how people react to the Biennial.

This weekend, didn't really see much... but on Thursday and Friday, went to Anthology for press screenings of the upcoming Franju series. The prints were really old 16mm prints; the print of "Judex" was in terrible shape, in that the soundtrack was shot, so there was a persistent buzz all throughout the screening. So i was nervous about the print of "Therese Desqueyroux", but the print was fine. But what happened was that 16mm projectors had problems: one projector almost started smoking, and so the projectionist was forced to use just one projector, so the reel changeover took a few minutes. So "Therese" (which was only supposed to be 105 minutes) stretched out to more than 2 and a half hours. Plus the program of shorts was screened: i couldn't stay for all of them (i'd seen all of them before) but i did stay for "Le Grand Melies", and it's the same print (16mm, with the narration done in English) that must have been floating around for decades.

That said: even with all the problems, there was something magical about those films, Franju's style is just so mesmerizing.

Tomorrow, have to go to Councilman Gentile's office, to pick up an application for this year's STAR rebate. It's six blocks from here. Then have to go to the dentist, and then meet up with Dennis Poplin, who's coming in for business from Washington, DC.

On George Robinson's blog, he posted the review he wrote on "Vivere" when he saw it at the Tribeca Film Festival. He found the film very problematic: the predictable quality which i noted proved insurmountable for him, and the triteness of the plotting was enough to mitigate his interest. I understand his points, but i still found it quite charming in its visuals and in terms of the acting. (George's blog can be found at; he's also written a review of some of the films in the Rendez-vous With French Cinema series as part of his job at Jewish Week, and there's a link to his review on his blog.) And i realized (when i read George's review of "Vivere") that i hadn't really paid that much attention to the story... it was the kind of narcotic effect of just looking at a succession of finely calibrated images, similar to watching the Franju films (talk about finely calibrated images!).

On Joe Baltake's blog (, he has some very amusing comments on the Academy Awards, plus he has an item about the Courtney Cox series "Dirt": he's a fan of the show, but he fears that, in its second season, in an attempt to garner ratings, the show will lose its edge. So far, it's inconclusive, but tonight's episode was fun.

And this week's "L Word" amped up the sex. In fact, it also included a sex scene between Daniela Sea's character Max and the character of Jodi's sign-language interpreter (played by Jon Wolfe Nelson). That was probably one of the most far-out things so far on the show (and there have been many such). As an aside, this week's episode was directed by Rose Troche. Good for her!


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