Thursday, October 4, 2012

Happy 117th to Buster Keaton

Happy Birthday to the great genius of cinema.

October Watch: Lake Mungo (2008)

Remember when I said "hey, give me some ideas for spooky movies to watch during October?"  Well, some of you humans did so.

One of those humans was Nathaniel Capp, who recommended the 2008 documentary Lake Mungo to me.  I knew it was Australian and creepy, and that's all he'd told me.  "Go in without knowing anything" he said, and so I did.  To discuss the movie is to spoil the movie, so...  anything you read below is your problem.

But I will say, it is definitely some decent October Halloween viewing.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Octoberama! Audrey Totter!

Audrey Totter looks sweet enough, but she might also know how to use that knife.

Getting Your Hands on Louise Brooks

Despite my more than occasional posting of images of silent-era actress Louise Brooks, I haven't seen that many movies in which she appears or stars.  The DVD and Blu-Ray market never found the conversion of silent films profitable, and the legal streaming market hasn't caught up with the massive backlog of what has been preserved (Netflix currently has four Brooks films, one of them is streaming - and that fifth one is a doc, not a Brooks movie).

Why this is, I don't know.  I don't know how Netflix and other companies make the decision to stream films, but I am familiar with the incurred cost that comes with taking up bandwidth, at least when it comes to AWS.   I assume the math is complex.

TV.  Why you no stream this at me?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Octoberama! Ann Miller!

We refuse to not post pictures of Ann Miller in witch costumes.

Groucho Marx - 122 years young today

Happy Birthday to a great American, Groucho Marx.

Why should I care about posterity? What's posterity ever done for me?
                                               -Groucho Marx

If I need to say anything else about Groucho, you need to go back to the beginning and start over.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Opera Watch: Götterdämmerung - We Wrap It Up with Opera #4

People, let me start at the end and the advice I have for you:

If you see some gold at the bottom of The Rhine, just leave it.


more or less how Jamie sends me off to work on Mondays

We broke up the fourth and final of The Ring Cycle Operas up into three separate viewings, one per act, as the opera stretched over roughly five hours of TV time. Götterdämmerung (in Ingles, The Twilight of the Gods) catches us up with our hero, Siegfried and his beloved bride, the fallen Brünnhilde as they make pronouncements of eternal love to one another. What we know, that they did not see in the previous scene, was that The Norns (basically, The Fates) have foreseen the end of The Gods and bad times for everyone associated.

Octoberama! Joan Crawford!

Each day of October, we'll be counting down to Halloween with Signal Watch Worthy imagery, movie reviews, posts, etc...

If you want to contribute anything from pictures to guest posts, feel free to contact me, and let's do it!

For our first post, what's creepier than a smashingly happy Joan Crawford?  I believe this is Halloween, 1933.

Nothing in Particular

I have nothing new to add.  Nothing to report.  The weekend was fine.

Friday night I stayed in and watched opera and worked out at home on the elliptical.  Saturday I got up and saw The Time Machine, then had to run around and buy things as Paul and Juan came over to watch the game.  I didn't go to bed til 1:00 AM, and then had what Ruiz (one of the guys I chat with on Twitter) would call "The Odin Sleep".

I didn't rise til almost 10:45 on Sunday, and I was having a bizarre dream in which I was driving cross-country in the endless plains of South Texas and came across a small park (about thirty feet by thirty feet) in the middle of nowhere dedicated to George W. Bush.  You could put a coin in a slot in a metal box about four feet high and find out how closely related you were to our 43rd President.  My dream ended as I was disassembling the machine with a flathead screwdriver and stealing the quarters, intending to use them for gas money.  There were ten or twelve quarters in the machine.

Today I went to the gym for the second time in a week as I try to bounce back from my late-summer hiatus.  I really missed not just the weight maintenance associated with the gym routine, but that I genuinely am less irritable when I get to hit the gym.  I suppose it burns off whatever petty annoyances do that make you coil in on yourself.  I'm not sure the treadmill or elliptical do this for me, but the weight machines most certainly do the trick.

I was also starting to finally make some nice progress with the weights in June and July, and now I have to start over like it's last spring all over again.  I suppose it's fine, and I seemed to have my endurance back today (unlike when I went to the gym around Tuesday), but it let's me know what time and the slow decay of the body after 35 is doing to me.

This evening my folks picked us up and took us to San Marcos to see Jamie's mom, who is now about a month out of the hospital and doing seemingly better with every visit.  The progress is still on a demonstrably upward slant on the non-existent graph, and I think we all have reason to be impressed.  We also watched video of Dick and Judy's trip to Cuba from earlier this year, and the footage is absolutely mind-boggling.  When Cuba opens up after the Castro Bros. die, you're going to want to get there early, before the American construction companies come in and bulldoze everything.  It's a truly time-warped place, and it is going to explode once American dollars are flowing in.

Anyway, happy Monday.  Happy start of October.  Happy start of the last quarter of the year.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sci-Fi Watch: The Time Machine (1960)

Credit to Jason, he alerted me to the showing of the The Time Machine (1960) as part of The Alamo's Kids Club series of movies.  It's safe to say I have never sat down and watched this movie end-to-end.  What I did not know was that I had seen probably 90% of this movie in bits and pieces over the years.

Seen as a whole, it's an absolutely fantastic bit of cinema, and earns its place among the pantheon of pre-Star Wars classics, with one foot in the 19th Century HG Wells-penned source material and another in the atomic-age sci-fi boom, but landing squarely with a relentlessly tough view of humanity in something that looks like a family adventure film.  I'd also argue that, as a huge Planet of the Apes fan, I can definitely see parallels in what Serling was doing with his adaptation of the French novel of Planet of the Apes in order to tell his own Time Machine-line story.