Remembering the Sound of Hal Douglas

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Hal Douglas passed away last week. Who, you ask? Hal Douglas. Yes, you know him. Or at least you know what he sounded like. From his NY Times obituary: Mr. Douglas was known for a generation in the voice-over industry as one of the top two or three go-to talents, along with Don LaFontaine, the most prolific, [Read More...]

SSF: “Bill Bonner, Vintage Photo Archivist”

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Looking back through my smallish (but rapidly expanding) collection of shorts, I recognize something that I’ve known for some time: I gravitate greatly towards animated shorts. That’s not going to change — because STILL A KID! – but I can also promise that live-action shorts will crop up from time to time (especially sci-fi ones). The [Read More...]

The Stunning Images of Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Stalker”

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A few days ago, a friend and I watched Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker for the first time. As I’ve remarked in the past, I love Tarkovsky. I find him brutally, brutally difficult — almost hopelessly obscure, undeniably challenging, deeply metaphysical. And Stalker is certainly no exception. I have thousands of ideas about what it means, and exactly [Read More...]

SVS: “Silverado”

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Remember a few weeks ago when I recommended The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, even though I wasn’t quite sure why I love it so much? Well, today’s I’m recommending another Western. But this time, I know exactly why I love it. It’s not groundbreaking. It’s not profound. It’s not particularly “Influential” or “Complicated” or “Inspiring” [Read More...]

One of the Best Baseball Stories EVER Is Finally Over

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Yesterday, one of the most fascinating, most inspiring, most inscrutable baseball players in recent memory finally decided it was time to hang up his cleats. View image | gettyimages.com Rick Ankiel has retired. A quick backstory: Rick Ankiel was a “can’t-miss fireballer.” In 1999, he was named the Minor League Player of the Year by both Baseball [Read More...]

Sam Rocha’s “Late to Love”

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That’s Sam Rocha. One-time Patheotte. Academic. Soul-Singer. And most of all, a soul-searcher. He’s got a Ph.D. And a Kickstarter project for a SoulBluesJazzFunkFolk/Gospel album called “Late to Love.” An album that takes its name from St. Augustine’s “Confessions.” A project with the stated intention of making “the craft of the music its main priority.” The soundtrack of a [Read More...]

SVS: “The Secret of Kells”

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The Secret of Kells is one of my favorite… …no, wait. I’m going bigger than that. More confident. Let’s try again. *Ahem* The Secret of Kells is one of the finest animated films in recent memory. Period. (It’s also the first film I watched in New York City. And by “first,” I mean “only.”) Sprung from the fertile [Read More...]

SVS: “The Blue Planet”

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Sometimes, I get all fired up and excited about something I’m going to recommend, only to discover that it’s not available on any of the mainstream streaming platforms. When that happens, I’m always crushed. Have to start all over again. (Yes, if I was organized/thinking clearly, I’d check first, before getting my hopes up. No, [Read More...]

SVS: “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”

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Sergio Leone’s legendary “Spaghetti Western,” The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, is currently streaming on NETFLIX INSTANT. Yes, today’s Valentine’s Day. No, this isn’t a good Valentine’s Day film, though I did spent a couple of minutes (or hours, maybe) trying to figure out how to sell it that way. It was a tough sell. …so [Read More...]

SSF: “Into The Atmosphere”

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I may be a happy Wyomingite now, but I’ll always be from SoCal. Which means this will always get to me. (HD and full-screen, please.) Gorgeous piece on a breathtakingly gorgeous subject. Michael Shainblum, the short’s creator, had this to say about his work and about the state that inspired it: “Into The Atmosphere,” is [Read More...]


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