Monday, May 29, 2023

neil postman | baby talk, a vaudeville act, and culture-death

When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility. 

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

photo | rick colhoun | east van vw


Sunday, May 28, 2023

premier league promotion for luton town fc


Luton Town Football Club has just been promoted to the English Premier League.  


Luton is a bit north of London, a near neighbour of Leighton Buzzard to the west and Stevenage to the east.  Stevenage, of course, being the home of our beloved back garden radio DJ, Deke Duncan.  BBC Archive, 1974


Their 10,000 seat stadium, Kenilworth Road, has been the club's home since 1905.  (Liverpool's  Anfield holds 54,000; Man United's Old Trafford, 74,000). On three sides, brick row housing butts up against Kenilworth's outer walls. Fans enter through a narrow underground passage; away teams reach the park via a corrugated metal walkway, above neighbours' back gardens.  


"Like it or not, Kenilworth Road is real life, proper old school football, and it should be embraced or scorned upon at your peril," according to club boss Gary Sweet.   


BBC, May 28, 2023

Sunday, May 21, 2023

my movie montages

I love the movies. And I like making things. So I spend a lot of time making movies out of the movies. Here are links to some of my ongoing montage projects.  (Note: They're always best with headphones, or good speakers. The bigger the screen the better.)

Here's the latest...

or one month at a time...
A Month At The Movies In Two And A Half Minutes 
October | dates only | dates + titles 
November | dates only | dates + titles   
I prefer the versions with no titles, just a stream of images and sound. But if you're curious about what movies the clips are from, or about the events depicted, there are versions including those things as well 

Date Movies
The whole obsession began with the project of finding date references in movies.  It started with watching The Longest Day on June 6, 2004, which led to the search to find one movie for each day in the calendar year. Which led to finding a lot more than one movie clip for each day of the year. Which led to making montages for specific days, usually the birthdays of friends. I've created maybe seventy of the darn things, but most of them were posted on a defunct Vimeo account. Here are links to a handful I've put up on the YouTubes.
Jan 6  
Jun 7  
Sep 2  
Dec 22  
Dial V for Video
A tribute to video stores, a trailer for International Independent Video Store Day. 40 movies in 4:32.  Here.  

Good Time Diner
My son-in-law plays in a band, and they thought it would be a blast to project movie clips behind them while they play, and during breaks. So I got to make some really long montages! Welcome to the diner! Here's a minute-and-a-half trailer for one of their gigs, but unfortunately there are some restrictions for viewing the longer montages at the moment.  When I get those sorted out, I'll post links here. In case anybody's got 45 minutes to spare sometime...  ,

NT GUILTY: You need a good lawyer?
Movie clips about lawyers and the law, a graduation present for my daughter Katie's graduation from law school. Probably my favourite. Montage, not daughter.  Here

The Movies Go To The Movies: Marquees
A chronology of movie-going, as seen in the movies. A work in progress; here's how far I got by May 30 last year, starting with a 1915 screening of "The Curse Of Drink" at The Gem (from the film "On Moonlight Bay") through to "The Bicycle Thief" at The Rialto in 1991 (as seen in "The Player"). 

Earth Day International Film Festival: End of the World Edition
And here's the trailer for an imaginary film festival. Just for fun.

Friday, April 07, 2023

saunders lewis | to the good thief

You did not see Him on the mount of the Transfiguration
Or the night He walked the sea;
You never saw corpses colour when bier and grave
Felt the force of His cry.

It was in the hour of His flaying and His filth you saw Him,
Under whip, under thorns,
And nailed, a sack of bones, outside the city,
On a stick, like a scarecrow. 

You did not hear the parables shaped like a Parthenon of language,
Or His tone in talking of His Father,
Neither did you hear the secrets of the upper room,
Or the prayer before Cedron and betrayal. 

It was in the revel of a crowd of sadists carousing on sorrow,
And their shriek, howl, curse, and shout,
You heard the profound lament of the broken heart of their prey,
'Why have You forsaken me?' 

You, crucified on the right; on the left, your brother;
Writhing like toads that were skinned,
Flea-ridden pilferers tossed as retainers to deride Him,
Courtiers for a mock king in agony. 

Oh master of courtesy and manners, who enlightened for you
Your part in the savage charade?
“Lord, when you enter your kingdom, remember me,'
The kingdom conquered by dying. 

Rex Judaeorum; you were the first to see the mocking
Blasphemy as a living oracle,
You were first to believe in the Latin, Hebrew, and Greek,
That a cross was God's throne. 

Oh thief who stole Paradise from the nails of a stake,
Leader of heaven's nobility,
Pray that it may be given us too, before the hour of our death,
To see Him and know Him.”

translated from the Welsh by Joseph Clancy
painting: detail from Andrea Mantegna's 'Crucifixion' (c. 1457)

Saturday, March 18, 2023

mary karr | the voice of god

               Ninety percent of what’s wrong with you
                  could be cured with a hot bath,
               says God from the bowels of the subway.
                  But we want magic, to win
               the lottery we never bought a ticket for.
                  (Tenderly, the monks chant, embrace
               the suffering.) The voice of God does not pander,
                  offers no five year plan, no long-term
               solution, nary an edict. It is small & fond & local.
                  Don’t look for your initials in the geese
               honking overhead or to see thru the glass even
                  darkly. It says the most obvious crap—
               put down that gun, you need a sandwich

Sunday, January 22, 2023

the institute of useless activity

The new official name for my study.  How do I get a proper plaque made?  


Saturday, January 21, 2023

photo | roy salmond | water beads on a patio tarp


no filter / no black & white

rube waddell

This is Rube Waddell, an American baseball player from the early 1900s.
In the middle of a game, Waddell would disappear to chase fire trucks. He was easily distracted, so opposing fans would bring puppies to the game which would have Waddell running over to play with them.
American sportswriter and baseball historian Lee Allen wrote that in 1903, Waddell was "sleeping in a firehouse at Camden, New Jersey, and ended it tending bar in a saloon in Wheeling, West Virginia. In between those events, he won 22 games for the Philadelphia Athletics, toured the nation in a melodrama called The Stain of Guilt, courted, married, and became separated from May Wynne Skinner of Lynn, Massachusetts, saved a woman from drowning, accidentally shot a friend through the hand, and was bitten by a lion."
It should be noted that Waddell was incapable of memorizing his lines for his part in The Stain of Guilt, so he was allowed to improvise his lines in every show. The play went on to critical acclaim.
In 1905, Waddell shared a room with baseball catcher Ossee Schreckengost who refused to continue sharing the room unless there was a clause in Waddell’s contract that forbade him from eating crackers in bed. It should be noted that it was common for players to share the same bed in hotel rooms while on the road. That same year, he missed the World Series after injuring his shoulder while trying to destroy a straw hat.
He did however, went on to win a Triple Crown in pitching. If the Cy Young award had existed during this time, Waddell would have won it over Cy Young himself.
Waddell never used the locker rooms and would come to the stadium in street clothes and strip down naked and change into his uniform for everyone to see. He then would proceed to grab drinks and hot dogs from spectators and down them before getting to the pitcher’s mound. He was so confident that he would occasionally tell his outfielders to vacate their positions and then proceed to strike out his opponents one by one. He would then cartwheel or somersault back to the dugout.
He died of tuberculosis at the age of 37 on April Fool’s Day, 1914.

Friday, January 06, 2023

cormac mccarthy | i live in a windmill


What about you?

I live in a windmill. I light candles for the dead and I'm trying to learn how to pray.

What do you pray for?

I don't pray for anything, I just pray.

I thought you were an atheist.

No. I don't have any religion.

And you live in a windmill.


from The Passenger, by Cormac McCarthy

Saturday, December 31, 2022

a year at the movies... in half an hour

In case you can't identify one or two of the movies, here's a rundown of everything in "a year at the movies... in half an hour" - twelve months, thirty minutes. A different film clip for every day of the year.

There are links to some of my other montages over here.  

And watch for the first six-hour instalment of my 12-hour (and maybe eventually 24-hour) round-the-clock montage of movie clips, an hour per month, January through December from noon to midnight. The first six hours will premiere in September 2023 at the Richmond Cultural Centre, as part of Richmond Arts & Culture Days (exact dates to be announced).  

But for now, here are the credits for the thirty-minute mashup...

Jan1   The Hudsucker Proxy
Jan2   Che 1: The Argentine
Jan3   On The Road
Jan4   The Motorcycle Diaries
Jan5   Dr. No
Jan6   Spotlight
Jan7   Dragnet (1987)
Jan8   (500) Days Of Summer
Jan9   Notorious
Jan10   The Bourne Ultimatum
Jan11   Contagion
Jan12   Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
Jan13   Walk The Line
Jan14   The Wrong Man
Jan15   Les Choristes
Jan16   Night of January 16th
Jan17   Au Revoir Les Enfants
Jan18   Escape From Alcatraz
Jan19   To Live and Die in LA
Jan20   Aguirre: The Wrath of God
Jan21   The Black Dahlia
Jan22   The Shootist
Jan23   Rocket Squad
Jan24   Love & Mercy
Jan25   Dragnet (1966)
Jan26   L.A. Confidential
Jan27   Somebody Up There Likes Me
Jan28   The Adventures of Tintin
Jan29   Starkweather
Jan30   X-Men: Days of Future Past
Jan31   La Bamba
Feb1   Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
Feb2   Groundhog Day
Feb3   Legends of the Fall
Feb4   Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story
Feb5   The Andromeda Strain
Feb6   United
Feb7   Hibernatus
Feb8   I Wanna Hold Your Hand
Feb9   The Prestige
Feb10   Blue Crush
Feb11   The Song of Bernadette
Feb12   The Wrong Trousers
Feb13   Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Feb14   Some Like It Hot
Feb15   Vanya on 42nd Street
Feb16   Letters From Iwo Jima
Feb17   To End All Wars
Feb18   Inside Llewyn Davis
Feb19   The Matrix
Feb20   Eyes Without a Face
Feb21   Malcolm X
Feb22   Sophie Scholl: The Final Days
Feb23   Flags of Our Fathers
Feb24   Twin Peaks
Feb25   Sylvia
Feb26   Junebug
Feb27   The Count of Monte Cristo
Feb28   One Night in the Tropics
Feb29   The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes
Mar1   Wild Bill
Mar2   Camelot
Mar3   Top Gun
Mar4   The Battle of Algiers
Mar5   Lady Bird
Mar6   The Lincoln Lawyer
Mar7   Bird
Mar8   Wolf
Mar9   Mary, Queen of Scots
Mar10   The Lives Of Others
Mar11   Quiz Show
Mar12   Attack of the Crab Monsters
Mar13   Dumbo
Mar14   Topsy-Turvy
Mar15   Julius Caesar
Mar16   Grave of the Fireflies
Mar17   Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Mar18   Boondock Saints
Mar19   Green Zone
Mar20   Dogville
Mar21   The Man Who Knew Too Much
Mar22   Surf's Up
Mar23   Frost/Nixon
Mar24   The Breakfast Club
Mar25   Amazing Grace
Mar26   Planet of the Apes
Mar27   Alpha Dog
Mar28   The Bourne Supremacy
Mar29   Chocolat
Mar30   The Good Shepherd
Mar31   Casanova '70
Apr1   The Conversation
Apr2   Saving Mr Banks
Apr3   The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Apr4   Kramer vs Kramer
Apr5   The Miracle Worker
Apr6   Good Night, and Good Luck
Apr7   The Devil and Daniel Webster
Apr8   Super 8
Apr9   The Manchurian Candidate
Apr10   The Hiding Place
Apr11   The Elephant Man
Apr12   Molokai: La Isla Maldita
Apr13   Apollo 13
Apr14   Titanic
Apr15   Interstellar
Apr16   One Froggy Evening
Apr17   A Man For All Seasons (1988)
Apr18   The Trip To Bountiful
Apr19   Ed Wood
Apr20   Downfall
Apr21   The Fog
Apr22   The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
Apr23   The Incredibles
Apr24   Two of Us
Apr25   Miss Congeniality
Apr26   American Hustle
Apr27   Across the Universe
Apr28   Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
Apr29   127 Hours
Apr30   The Killing Fields
May1   Chungking Express
May2   Zero Dark Thirty
May3   The Horror of Dracula
May4   Juno
May5   Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing & Charm School
May6   Wall Street
May7   Copying Beethoven
May8   Iron Man 3
May9   Mars Attacks
May10   Taxi Driver
May11   Dunkirk (1956)
May12   The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
May13   The Dreamers
May14   Capricorn One
May15   Horton Hears a Who
May16   Hitchcock
May17   Kill The Irishman
May18   Seven Days In May
May19   Unbroken
May20   My Fair Lady
May21   Kagemusha
May22   Rise of the Planet of the Apes
May23   Heaven
May24   The Aviator
May25   Captain America
May26   Despicable Me
May27   Dream Lover
May28   And Now For Something Completely Different
May29   Dazed and Confused
May30   Shakespeare In Love
May31   Suicide Club
Jun1   All The President's Men
Jun2   The Pride of the Yankees
Jun3   Superbad
Jun4   Shaun the Sheep
Jun5   Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Jun6   The Longest Day
Jun7   Bruce Almighty
Jun8   Andre
Jun9   Brighton Rock (1947)
Jun10   Blade Runner 2046
Jun11   Goodfellas
Jun12   War and Peace
Jun13   Friday the 13th
Jun14   The Natural
Jun15   Raging Bull
Jun16   Forrest Gump
Jun17   Atonement
Jun18   The Notorious Bettie Page
Jun19   The Time Machine
Jun20   Farewell, My Lovely
Jun21   Mississippi Burning
Jun22   The World's End
Jun23   Andrei Rublev
Jun24   Rainman
Jun25   The Year of Living Dangerously
Jun26   My Life As A Dog
Jun27   Eight Men Out
Jun28   Somewhere in Time
Jun29   Field Of Dreams
Jun30   Knocked Up
Jul1   Parasite
Jul2   Independence Day
Jul3   Jaws
Jul4   Zodiac
Jul5   Gone Girl
Jul6   Nowhere Boy
Jul7   Inherit The Wind
Jul8   The Silence of the Lambs
Jul9   The Diary of Anne Frank
Jul10   Patton
Jul11   Chariots of Fire
Jul12   The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Jul13   Gangs of New York
Jul14   Claire's Knee
Jul15   One Day
Jul16   Double Indemnity
Jul17   Waking Ned Devine
Jul18   True Grit
Jul19   Babe: Pig in the City
Jul20   High Fidelity
Jul21   O Brother Where Art Thou
Jul22   Braveheart
Jul23   Secrets & Lies
Jul24   Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone
Jul25   I'm Not There
Jul26   Evita
Jul27   High Noon
Jul28   Good Morning, Vietnam
Jul29   The Godfather
Jul30   The Irishman
Jul31   Son of Sam
Aug1   Do The Right Thing
Aug2   Mission of the Shark
Aug3   Demolition Man
Aug4   Casino Royale
Aug5   The Spy Who Loved Me
Aug6   The Blues Brothers
Aug7   The Walk
Aug8   Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
Aug9   The Third Miracle
Aug10   FUBAR
Aug11   Mama Mia
Aug12   When Worlds Collide
Aug13   Julie and Julia
Aug14   New York, New York
Aug15   Taking Woodstock
Aug16   This Is Spinal Tap
Aug17   Howl
Aug18   Into The Wild
Aug19   It's A Wonderful Life
Aug20   Green For Danger
Aug21   The Bourne Identity
Aug22   Dog Day Afternoon
Aug23   The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Aug24   The Last Days of Pompeii (1959)
Aug25   The Day of the Jackal
Aug26   American Sniper
Aug27   The Town
Aug28   Medium Cool
Aug29   Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Aug30   Amelie
Aug31   George Washinton
Aug32   Un 32 aout sur terre
Sep1   Gone With The Wind
Sep2   Moonrise Kingdom
Sep3   The Queen
Sep4   Moneyball
Sep5   The Straight Story
Sep6   The Last Man On Earth (1964)
Sep7   Labor Day
Sep8   The Star Maker
Sep9   I Am Legend
Sep10   Breach
Sep11   The Big Lebowski
Sep12   Cry Freedom
Sep13   Ringu
Sep14   Smoke
Sep15   A Streetcar Named Desire
Sep16   Snow Falling on Cedars
Sep17   "42"
Sep18   The Simpsons Movie
Sep19   Amistad
Sep20   Changeling
Sep21   Around The World in Eighty Days
Sep22   Che 2: Guerilla
Sep23   Wah Wah
Sep24   Brokeback Mountain
Sep25   The First Day of the Rest of Your Life
Sep26   The Killers
Sep27   Superman Returns
Sep28   Godfather III
Sep29   Chinatown
Sep30   61*
Sep 31   Auntie Mame

1   Willie Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
Oct2   Donnie Darko
Oct3   Mean Girls
Oct4   Black Hawk Down
Oct5   My Left Foot
Oct6   Midnight Express
Oct7   Days of Heaven
Oct8   Sergeant York
Oct9   Apocalypse Now
Oct10   The Shape of Water
Oct11   Pawn Sacrifice
Oct12   The Life Aquatic
Oct13   The Knowing
Oct14   The Right Stuff
Oct15   Thirteen Days
Oct16   Frequency
Oct17   The New World
Oct18   The Prisoner of Shark Island
Oct19   The Grand Budapest Hotel
Oct20   Slumdog Millionaire
Oct21   Back To The Future 2
Oct22   X-Men: First Class
Oct23   Rushmore
Oct24   The Fellowship of the Ring
Oct25   Henry V (Olivier)
Oct26   Back To The Future
Oct27   Wyatt Earp
Oct28   The Perfect Storm
Oct29   Seabiscuit
Oct30   Simon Birch
Oct31   The Shining
Nov1   Rosemary's Baby
Nov2   At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul
Nov3   The Thing From Another World
Nov4   Argo
Nov5   V For Vendetta
Nov6   Rat Pack
Nov7   Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Nov8   Teen Wolf
Nov9   Good Bye Lenin!
Nov10   Recount
Nov11   Me and Orson Welles
Nov12   The Last Picture Show
Nov13   Back To The Future 3
Nov14   In Cold Blood
Nov15   Capote
Nov16   Infamous
Nov17   The Army of Crime
Nov18   Milk
Nov19   Bernie
Nov20   Napoleon Dynamite
Nov21   Michael Collins
Nov22   Nixon
Nov23   The Ice Storm
Nov24   Executive Action
Nov25   Ready Player One
Nov26   Magnolia
Nov27   Rocky
Nov28   American Gangster
Nov29   Raising Arizona
Nov30   Cinderella Man
Nov31   Mame
Dec1   Take The Money and Run
Dec2   Casablanca
Dec3   Pleasantville
Dec4   Agatha
Dec5   Vanilla Sky
Dec6   From Here To Eternity
Dec7   Amadeus
Dec8   Chapter 27
Dec9   20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Dec10   The Lost World (1960)
Dec11   Psycho
Dec12   Twelve Monkeys
Dec13   1941
Dec14   47 Ronin (1994)
Dec15   Babette's Feast
Dec16   The Proposition
Dec17   Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan
Dec18   Shadowlands (Hopkins)
Dec19   The Karate Kid (1984)
Dec20   American Psycho
Dec21   Christmas Vacation
Dec22   Scrooged
Dec23   The Bounty
Dec24   Ben-Hur (1925)
Dec25   Conquest Of Space
Dec26   My Night At Maud's
Dec27   Cast Away
Dec28   Silver Linings Playbook
Dec29   The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Dec30   Doctor Who
Dec31   The Apartment