SVS: “The Quiet Man”

I'll begin at the beginnin'. A fine soft day in the spring, it was, when the train pulled into Castletown, three hours late as usual, and himself got off. He didn't have the look of an American tourist at all about him. Not a camera on him; what was worse, not even a fishin' rod.In my charmingly contrarian way -- a phrase I say mostly in the hopes that if I repeat it enough, it'll become true and I'll be charming instead of just contrary -- I've long and frequently gone on the record as pre … [Read More...]


Experiencing Pop-Culture Through A Four-Year-Old Filter

A few months back, I recounted a hilarious and/or horrifying episode involving David (The Fourth Son), James (The Fifth Son), the Just Dance 2 game on our Wii, and The Jackson 5's "I Want You Back."Fast forward to a few days ago, when Cormac was storming 'round the living room belting out "Walk Like The Giff·i·ans!!!" at the top of his lungs. At first, right after I realized that he was offering his own particular pronunciation/translation of the Bangles but right before I made the JD2 connec … [Read More...]


Finding Peace at the End of the World

The headlines have me down a bit today. Not because they're new and/or unexpected, but because they're the exact opposite. So when a Laughing Squid headline flitted across my screen that promised something both "Stunning" and "Incredibly Serene," I thought "That's just what I'm looking for." (The fact that it also said "Antarctica" was just a bonus, really.)It is definitely stunning. And serene. Especially in full-screen HD (which is my recommended viewing configuration for this one). It'll l … [Read More...]


SSF: “The Alchemist’s Letter”

A few months back, I saw some promising publicity on/artwork from a short film called "The Alchemist's Letter." But since the short itself was not yet available, I put it in my "Draft-and-Follow" folder for a later date.Today (at long last), I can happily report that your patience -- which you probably did not even realize you were exercising -- has been richly rewarded.When Veridian, an estranged young man, receives his late alchemist father Nicolas’ inheritance (voice of Academy Award® … [Read More...]


SVS: “Groundhog Day”

Little League Season (aka, Full-On Parental Insanity) is upon me, which means my Instinct for Self-Preservation (aka, Cut Down On Everything But Baseball-inct) is about to kick into high gear. So I might be sort-of mailing these Streaming Video Suggestions (SVS) in for a bit. Going straight for the low-hanging streaming fruit, so to speak; swingin' at the softballs instead of for the fences.Here's the thing, though: I'm lazy, for sure. But I'm not mean. So I'm recommending Groundhog Day. … [Read More...]


Roger Deakins on Shooting Westerns (and More)

After (re)turning to the Coen Brothers' True Grit last night with a couple of friends, I was reminded of two things. Well, quite a bit more than two, actually. It's incredibly re-watchable. But let's keep it simple, shall we? So...two things:First, Roger Deakins is, and has long been, and will soon cease to be (I say hopefully) my very favorite non-Oscar-winning cinematographer of all time. (Seriously. It's getting silly, people. Someone give that man a statue already!)Second, this 2007 c … [Read More...]


Those Baroque Jesuits

OK, so that title's a) click-baity (because The Pope), and b) not accurate. It should say "Jesuit," not "Jesuits." Because I'm talking about one. Namely, Domenico Zipoli: Italian Baroque composer who worked and died in Córdoba (Argentina). He became a Jesuit in order to work in the Reductions of Paraguay where his musical expertise contributed to develop the natural musical talents of the Guaranis. He is remembered as the most accomplished musician among Jesuit missionaries. I stumbled ac … [Read More...]


James, Our Own Little Man of Mystery

James, The Fifth Son, is a bit of a riddle to me. A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, to be precise. Here's the latest (hilarious and inscrutable) example.I came home this afternoon to find him huddled over a pile of cardboard scraps -- the remains of the display Sean had produced as part of his science experiment -- with a Magic Marker clutched in each little fist. Head at near-table-top level, he was scribbling furiously away at something, but what exactly that something is wa … [Read More...]


SSF: “Wanderers”

Having recently watched Interstellar (and re-watched "Ambition"), I am reminded of Erik Wernquist's Webby-nominated short, "Wanderers." I especially like the way he includes a humanizing element in nearly every sequence, to give us a sense of scale and emotional impact. And the final shot is fantastic. (Also, be sure to visit the gallery on Erik's "Wanderers" mini-site, where he includes hi-res images and a bit of the thinking/science behind the creation of each shot.)A vision of humanity's e … [Read More...]


SVS: “Sunset Boulevard”

A murder has been reported from one of those great big houses in the ten thousand block. You'll read all about it in the late editions, I'm sure. You'll get it over your radio, and see it on television -- because an old-time star is involved. One of the biggest. But before you hear it all distorted and blown out of proportion, before those Hollywood columnists get their hands on it, maybe you'd like to hear the facts. The whole truth...Today, a classic. A legend. And a true … [Read More...]