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“To God, there is no zero.”

When I look back at the most memorable cinematic experiences of my childhood -- a self-indulgence I undertake with almost terrifying frequency -- there is one film in particular that strikes me as a real outlier. Titles such as Flight of the Navigator and Blackbeard's Ghost and The Absentminded Professor and "Zorro" all make sense to me, and while the intensity of my love can be a bit difficult to justify (though it is doubtless heavily tinged by the rosy fingers of nostalgia), the fact that my y … [Read More...]

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Summa Shorts: “Katedra”

...The reds, yellows, and blues of Madeleine shine like dawn through the ribs of the Cathedral, everything here is either in shadow or painted with viscous colors. I'll sit, I'll quiet my heart. I thought that it would be mainly fear, an animal terror, but I feel only regret now, a great, motionless, heavy regret, the squeezing weight of dark water. No thoughts, no instructions for the body, even my eyes are dry. There is only a little tightening in my chest. But why speak, silence is better … [Read More...]

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Streaming Suggestion: “Good Eats”

For a couple of weeks now, I've been planning to use today's post to recommend one of my guilty TV pleasures. But then I realized something.There was no guilt.So, rather than whispering something in your ear with a furtive (almost obsequious) glance over my shoulder to see who might be looking down on me with a shocked expression (and perhaps even a twinge of disdain), I'm gonna say it out loud:"Good Eats" is streaming on NETFLIX INSTANT.Pop culture, comedy, and plain good eat … [Read More...]

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Playin’ In My Jukebox: James Hill on a Ukulele

This is amazing stuff.So amazing, in fact, that my instinctive response was: "That's got to be fake." And then he dove right into "Billie Jean."Gosh.His name's James Hill, he's a ukulele player (and HOW!), a Canadian, and -- as his website describes him -- "a man on a musical mission." I'm not quite sure what that musical mission is, but if he's playin' it, I'm in. (There's no such thing as "too many virtuoso uke players," as far as I'm concerned.)Of particular interest to me … [Read More...]

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“What is left is Art. I think we must all admit that.”

If Cooper had any real knowledge of Nature's ways of doing things, he had a most delicate art in concealing the fact.It's Wednesday. Which, as I've doubtless observed (complained about/whined over) in the past, is not my favorite day of the week. So I'm in the mood for something cathartic. (Translation? I'm on the lookout for something mean. Because misery and company and all that.)And so, in an effort to put this particular Wednesday well-and-truly to rest, I'm going with what is pro … [Read More...]

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“Grim Grinning Ghosts” and the Magic of Thurl Ravenscroft

For no particular reason other than because it's a bit October-y and I like to post thematically/seasonally-appropriate music from time to time and because, unlike Tom McDonald, I don't know country music much, dark or otherwise.Also, because I was recently listening to NPR's "All Songs Considered" fascinating podcast with John Congleton and he brought it up.And because I was amazed at how instantaneously those first cords brought back (with astonishing vividness) my memories of … [Read More...]

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Summa Shorts: “L3.0″

Today's short is a beautifully-rendered French bit about a robot struggling to hang on after the "End of Civilization as We Know It." (Keep an eye out for the glass effects, in particular, because they're gorgeous. Beautifully done.)In addition to being a) French, and b) beautifully made, the whole thing's actually a bit creepy. It's October, though, so "creepy's" OK, right?Leo, a Hi-Tech ‘pet’ robot, wanders alone in Paris following the mysterious disappearance of nearly all living spec … [Read More...]

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Streaming Suggestion: “Chicken Run”

They're CHICKENS, you dolt. Apart from you, they're the most stupid creatures on this planet. They don't plot, they don't scheme, and they are NOT organized.Today's suggestion is a bit of an oddity for a cantankerous cinematic curmudgeon like me. One of those rare homage films that I actually enjoy as much as -- maybe even a teeny-tiny bit more -- than the original(s) to which it is paying such loving homage.Chicken Run, the Great Escape-themed gem from stop-motion masters Nick Park and … [Read More...]

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A Breathtaking Matterhorn, Courtesy of Robert Bösch

From Mammut Alpine:July 14th 2015 is the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn. The mountain, which is probably the most photographed in the world, was in the headlines again. In preparation for the anniversary celebrations, Swiss mountaineering specialist Mammut, together with the Zermatt mountain guides traced the route over the Hörnligrat ridge in a chain of lights, paying homage to the first ascent of the roped party with Edward Whymper.The accompanying … [Read More...]

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“To Keep My Memory Alive and Healthy”

It is a pity I can’t receive my own letters. If they produce as much wholehearted approval at their destination as they do at their source, they should indeed be able to keep my memory alive and healthy. -- Flannery O'ConnorWhat a great quote. Yes, as a die-hard and dyed-in-the-wool O'Connorite, I suppose it's only fair to admit that I'm pre-disposed to enjoy this sort of thing. But it's just so quintessentially O'Connor: smart, sarcastically self-deprecating, and with a hard core of truth a … [Read More...]


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