Sunday, December 25, 2016

Farewell 2016

SO IT'S TIME GET BEHIND THIS STRANGE/HORRIBLE/INEXCUSABLE YEAR AND PUSH IT OVER THE CLIFF - AS A WARNING TO ALL FUTURE YEARS.

     MAY WE BE SAFE FROM FAME,
     MAY WE HOLD OUR FAVORITE SONGS CLOSE TO OUR HEARTS,
     MAY WE BE FREE OF OPPRESSION,
     AND MAY WE ALL, IF THE CHANCE ARISES, BE CLOSE ENOUGH
     TO THAT BASTARD DEATH OR THAT BASTARD TRUMP,
     TO SPIT IN HIS EYE AND KICK HIM IN THE SHIN. . .

AND, MAY WE ALL FIND THAT SPARK IN OURSELVES, THAT 2016 TRIED SO HARD TO EXTINGUISH!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

PAC NW Wingspan

     There are things about living in the Pacific Northwest that catch me by surprise - surprises not found in Southern California, South Texas, New Orleans, etc - like a glimpse of motion.  I looked up from my laptop to catch a glimpse of body and left wing swoop up, across the upper left corner of the living room window and then a thump on the roof.  I love living in a world of eagles.  To see them soar far over head;  perched high above, watching; or coming close to let you know they're here.  I do love being caught by surprise.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

"Arrival"

     The road was hard, the weather harder. It took a turn or two to find the old farm. He left the motor running and stood from the driver's seat. The last he'd been here, he was certain he would never see the house again. Cold fingers had to coax the key to memory; with a rusty jiggle the lock conceded and he was certain he would never leave. . .

Sunday, January 3, 2016

RIP Vilmos Zsigmond

Sad question to start off the new year...

What is wrong with this world? I know, that's a loaded question these days – I guess I should say, what's wrong with Hollywood? I went on IMDB this afternoon and the top news story was that “The Maus Awakened” had taken yet another billion dollar boffo box office record or something. The second story was the passing of cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond – the last of the greats reduced to second billing. A passing that should be heralded. McCabe and Mrs. Miller and Heaven's Gate two of the most beautiful westerns ever shot. Not to mention Deliverance, The Deer Hunter, and my first three seconds on screen The Sugarland Express. (I have to add one of my favorite films of the last twenty years, Life as a House.) Hollywood always seem to reduce a career to a footnote in favor of what is filling their coffers at the moment. I called Zsigmond as the last of the greats; as he was the last of my personal top five – Haskell Wexler (who we lost last week), Conrad Hall, Gordon Willis, and John Alonzo. The light and shadows that these men shaped over the passed fifty years was the art I grew up with and their passing is a major loss – fortunately, we have new and fresh eyes like Rachel Morrison and Benji Bakshi joining the ranks of Robert Richardson, Michael Chapman, Roger Deakins, John Seale, and Roger Pratt, et al - to carry on. RIP Vilmos.
Set of The Sugarland Express. Courtesy of ASC.