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Month: March 2005

Nap time

Look, people are either likely to see The Big Sleep if they get the chance or not, right? But there are going to be some people with good intentions who never get around to it. To those people I say this: go see the damned thing if you ever get a chance. That’s what movie theaters are for, after all.

The plot makes little sense. Somewhere in the transition from Chandler to Faulkner (who wrote the screenplay) by way of Leigh Brackett (who wrote an earlier version of the screenplay, and who much later wrote the first version of The Empire Strikes Back), some of the connective tissue of the novel vanished. No harm, as they say, and no foul. It’s not so much the plot that matters; if you’re seeing this movie, you ought to be seeing it for the lushness of the women and the dialogue and the violence. Virulent violence, really. There’s nothing like a thug.

Lush really is the word. I mean, you can watch the actors just wallowing in the words. Doesn’t hurt that Bogart and Bacall were falling madly in love, but Martha Vickers doesn’t have that excuse and she was just as reckless with her verbiage as the rest. Ditto Dorothy Malone, but more so; ditto Regis Toomey and Elisha Cook, Jr. If Bob Steel isn’t the model for every psychotic henchman ever filmed subsequently, I’ll eat my hat.

Anyhow, go see the damned thing. It’s good to be reminded where Sorkin and Whedon and all those other snappy dialogue young turks learned how to write like that.

“I don’t mind if you don’t like my manners, I don’t like them myself. They are pretty bad. I grieve over them on long winter evenings.”


Edgy now

This struck me as just a stupid loudmouth.

This made me relieved that the people getting violent are ineffectual.

This has me worried. I’m not sure why; perhaps it’s that the third time is a charm, or perhaps it’s that Hal Turner has an audience. Maybe it’s because Jeb Bush nearly sent armed men in. Hopefully it’s just a publicity stunt to boost Turner’s ratings; hopefully none of his listeners take it as an indication that they should join him.

James Lileks thinks we should keep Terri alive because Christopher Pike was a hero. That has nothing to do with the above, but I’ve spent all week staring at it while I try to avoid Schiavo posts. Now that I’ve finally made one, I figured I’d shoehorn it in.

Mostly, at this point, I feel sorry for her parents. People keep lying to them. It sucks.

Word to the wise, pal

The Brattle begins their LA Noir film series tonight with Los Angeles Plays Itself. It’s a documentary/clip show about the way LA has been portrayed in film over the decades. In a weird kind of a way, it sounds like Ackroyd’s London in cinematic form; Los Angeles is a character in this movie, not just a subject.

Also showing over the course of the next week or so: Chinatown (Jack), Criss Cross (not the boy band), This Gun For Hire (Veronica Lake, Alan Ladd), Point Blank (Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson), Collateral (Tom Cruise), and To Live And Die In L.A. (everybody Wang Chung tonight). Sweet lineup. Must viewing.


Paul Shirley graduated from Iowa State in 2001; now he plays basketball for the Phoenix Suns, a team which is arguably the best basketball team on the planet right now. He’s the 12th man on a 12 man team, so he doesn’t actually play very much. This means, apparently, that he has time to blog.

And man, someone needs to sign this guy to a book deal, unless he’s ghostwritten. I hope he isn’t. I’m surprised this stuff is getting onto — he’s unrelentingly blunt about the opposition, life as a 12th man, all that fun stuff.

We started off like a ball of fire, making up for our errant shots in Atlanta several fold. The Bobcats, on the other hand, were flailing away at the exact opposite end of the spectrum. They looked like a CBA team —fitting, since their arena and fans fit that mold. In the early going, Charlotte was nearly as inept as the Hawks were the night before. Jason Kapono started off on about a 1 for 10 tear and it appeared that the rout was on. I began considering the possibility that there could very well be a bit of playing time in the offing and started paying at least cursory attention to what was going on in timeouts, in case Coach D’Antoni said something like, “From now on tonight, everyone will be shooting with his left hand. Deviation from this plan of attack will result in castration immediately following the game.” I would really hate to miss one of those instructions, come out firing, and because of my own mental lapse, ruin the rest of my life.

The style’s rough enough so that I kinda think it really is him writing it. Good for him.

FanTasia 2005

Here’s the plan:

FanTasia 2005 takes place from July 7th to July 24th of this year. I’m going for either one or two weeks of that period; haven’t decided which yet, won’t decide until the schedule is out, which will be sometime in June. I’ll be renting a furnished one-bedroom near the venues, and anyone who I know and don’t mind sharing space with is welcome to come crash there for any or all of my visit. I figure it’s my God-given duty to inflict weird and fantastic movies on people, see.

My coverage of last year’s FanTasia begins here. If you’re interested but not sure if you’re invited or not, drop me a line. I’ll post more when the schedule is out, including recommendations.

No dignity

Abstract Appeal, a blog run by a Florida lawyer, has a summary of the Terri Schiavo case. He includes a painfully stark summary of her medical condition, and links to various rulings in the case.

I could get all political, but you know whether or not you think the federal government should be deciding if a woman with no cerebral cortex should live or die. Either way, it’s sad that she’s being used as a political pawn.