Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Film stocking

HEAT WAVE from Jason Cooper on Vimeo.

I feel fortunate that thus far this year I haven't experienced heat as extreme as this is supposed to be. But then, technically, summer is just starting now.

This young filmmaker has an infectiously goofy sense of humor. Perhaps the first time we see Sock Cop will be far from the last time.

Monday, June 18, 2018


As I was reminded today, it's really hard to take being near someone who's okay with spitting on the sidewalk. Because if they do it once, odds are they'll do it again. And you're reminded that other people do this too. Until you start to wonder what part of the street it's okay to stand on, leave your bag, etc.

Of course, as with the guy I saw at the bus stop today, the odds are pretty good they'll be doing 20 other obnoxious things too.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Get a room!

Recently watched Don't Bother to Knock. It's a 1952 thriller in which a shy and fragile woman is hired to babysit a little girl in her parents' hotel room while the father is getting some kind of newspaper award. Then she turns out to be nuts and dangerous. This is a good one for a few reasons:
1. In what has to be considered a pretty high-quality cast in general (Richard Widmark, Anne Bancroft, Elisha Cook Jr., etc) Marilyn Monroe is a standout as the babysitter. Monroe was a more internalized actress than she was generally given credit for at the time, and I suspect her background in the foster care system helped inform her performance here.
2. There's a pretty bold jazz soundtrack by Lionel Newman, one of Randy's uncles. Bancroft's character sings several songs as well, and either he or whoever she was lipsyncing to had a good set of pipes.
3. Aside from the girls' parents attending the newspaper banquet, the action never leaves the hotel. It uses that setting to the fullest, setting up a varied dynamic between the major and minor characters who work there. Nothing is wasted.
The movie also has a sharp sense of humor about itself. From a certain point of view it's a comedy.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Hear that train a-rumblin'

So yes, I've been reading this book edited by Marshall Berman and Brian Berger, New York Calling: From Blackout to Bloomberg. Partly for research, partly just because it interests me. The novelist and memoirist Jim Knipfel has a great essay on his experiences riding the subway. He has a funny observiation
(In fact, I've often suggested that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority - the corrupt and ill-managed agency responsible for keeping the whole system running - should use Walter Hill's 1979 low-budget street-gang fantasy The Warriors as a public relations tool. No other film in recent memory more loudly sings the praises of the near-Germanic efficiency and reliability of the New York subways. Whenever you want a train, the film promises, there'll be one waiting for you.)
I remember The Warriors, and I always thought of it as a science fiction movie, although no one else seemed to consider it one. It's about one of the most heavily populated cities in the world, but the gangs never run into shopkeepers or winos. Just other gangs. Oh, and there's a foxy black chick spinning records at a radio station. So are these people the only ones who were immune to radioactive fallout? Did aliens scoop up 90% of the city but left all the old-looking teenagers? What?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

About buildings and food

I've been reading a book about New York and how it's changed since the blackouts and other things that happened in the city. More about that later, perhaps. But one of the changes, of course, is that so many of the kind of people who made the city what it is are being priced out. So this project certainly strikes me as interesting, and could perhaps provide a needed countertrend.

Providing housing for the formerly homeless isn't an easy task, though. Obviously money and rent are an issue, which maybe hopefully this modular housing can help resolve. But there's also the fact that a lot of people don't want to live with the homeless, or the obviously poor. You can factor in the fact that there are irritating people in any group, but I think a lot of Americans think the poor are immoral and so their suffering is God's will. That's at least a common interpretation of a lot of Protestant doctrine. So the HPD really needs to commit themselves to being firm.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Emptied out

So yeah, this.

I passed by the location of the old Cable Car the other day and took a look inside. Not much to see. The counter where they served food and beverages is still there, for now. That's just until they can haul it away.

As my friend Gary says, RISD's kicking them out doesn't make sense. Nothing is likely to have the same draw, so do they think they'll be making more money?

Of course I also wonder why they never applied to be a historic site. Seems like they would have qualified.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Huh. Huh.

This evening while waiting for a bus I saw a kid - under 25, maybe a lot under - wearing a The The t-shirt. Which surprised me in a way that seeing young folks wearing Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin gear. I mean, The The never really broke through to the mainstream. But I respect those who go deep, so here's to 'em.