C’est ma santè . . .

July 30, 2008


Quote of the Day

July 29, 2008

Enormous, fierce, his jaws clacking in a formidable grimace, the monkey, with one hand, has seized a young ebony, and torn it, with all its roots, from out of an herbous heap of broken stones.

—Catulle Mendes

Books to Buy

July 26, 2008

Charles Morice – The Re-Appearing

Henri de Régnier – The Libertines

Jean Jullien – Four plays for the Free Theatre

Gli Zitelloni (1958)

July 21, 2008

This is yet another of the long list of Italian films that should be issued for the English speaking market.

Starring Walter Chiari and Vittorio De Sica, both great comic talents (the latter was actually more as much of a comic actor as a director of Neorealism), this is a pretty fast-paced farce beautifully complimented by the music of someone they credit as “Italo Greco”.

The story is basically one of an older man telling a younger, Marcello, that ‘men should never marry’ and going on to point out the bad side of married life. Next thing we know, Marcello is arrested for killing the lover of his fiancé . . .

Anyhow, a tightly scripted piece of cinema, full of many, many funny moments. 

It should be noted that one scene which has Chiari dancing absurdly is certainly a direct rip-off of a scene in Visconti’s Le Notti bianche with Marcello Mastroianni, which had come out a year earlier. Chiari’s mannerisms are pretty much move for move those that Mastroianni used, though the latter of course to somewhat better effect.  

Il Petomane (1983)

July 20, 2008

This is the truly strange and truly true biopic about Joseph Pujol, the famous French performer who, in the golden age of French decadence, earned 20,000 francs a day . . . farting.

Yes, it sounds not only absurd but stupid. Well, it is absurd, but the film is far from stupid. Featuring a brilliant performance by the great Ugo Tognazzi and Mariangela Malato in an excellent supporting role, this is a must see for fans of Italian cinema. It is not only funny, but also has a certain amount of depth and absolute charm. Part of this comes from the fact that Tognazzi is able to play roles like these completely straight faced and with a fair amount of dignity.

Johnny Depp has apparently expressed some interest in doing a remake of this film. Need a screenwriter Mr. Depp?

Those Spartans . . .

July 19, 2008

An Athenian said that he considered speech his most valuable possession, the Spartan replied, “Then when you are silent, you are worthless.”

Quote of the Day: on The Yellow Book

July 18, 2008

“Let the collector of first editions take comfort. Foolish he may be—we ask him to admit it for the sake of argument—and vain he may be: but no collector that we have ever heard of is foolish or vain enough to hoard, even if he should be mad enough to purchase, the first or any other edition of ‘The Yellow Book.'”

Speaker, April 28, 1894

Bloody Territories (1969)

July 17, 2008

This is a pretty decent Yakuza film I saw today. Though it has its faults (the women are plastered in make-up of neon tinge) it is worth viewing for those who like the Japanese gangster genre. The music (by Hajime Kaburagi) and street scenes are particularly striking.

See You Next Tuesday, The Second Coming

July 16, 2008

My story Rood has just come out in a book called See You Next Tuesday, The Second Coming. If you buy it from the publisher directly (as per link) it is only 10 bucks, so give it a try. The huge list of contributors is as follows:

  1. Brendan Connell (Switzerland)
  2. Aryan Kaganof (South Africa)
  3. Steve Finbow (UK)
  4. Jónas Knútsson (Iceland)
  5. Lyttleton (CA, USA)
  6. Aaron Burch (MI, USA)
  7. David Gianatasio (MA, USA)
  8. Jimmy Chen (CA, USA)
  9. John Roberts (VA, USA)
  10. David E. Oprava (UK)
  11. Lannice L. Montague (CA, USA)
  12. Paul Kavanagh (NC, USA)
  13. Vanessa Gebbie (UK)
  14. Casey Anderson (WA, USA)
  15. Chelsea Martin (CA, USA)
  16. Davina Owombre (Nigeria)
  17. Elizabeth Ellen (MI, USA)
  18. Michael Fowler (OH, USA)
  19. D.M. Schwartz (CA, USA)
  20. E.P. Chiew (UK)
  21. Mary McCluskey (UK)
  22. Tom Sheehan (MA, USA)
  23. Randall Brown (PA, USA)
  24. Marie Shield (CA, USA)
  25. Sara Crowley (UK)
  26. Melissa Lee (UK)
  27. Mary Lynn Reed (MD, USA)
  28. Bonnie ZoBell (CA, USA)
  29. Tria Andrews (CA, USA)
  30. Donna D. Vitucci (OH, USA)
  31. Terri Brown-Davidson (NM, USA)
  32. Debbie Ann Eis (CT, USA)
  33. Garrett Socol (CA, USA)
  34. Zachary Vora (CO, USA)
  35. Douglas Campbell (PA, USA)
  36. Grant Perry (UK)
  37. Leslie Jamison (CT, USA)
  38. Harold Jaffe (CA, USA)
  39. Kevin Ó Cuinn (Germany)
  40. Blake Butler (GA, USA)
  41. Erich Mulhall (Canada)
  42. J. A. Tyler (CO, USA)
  43. Errid Farland (CA, USA)
  44. Justin Taylor (NY, USA)
  45. Kevin Sampsell (CA, USA)
  46. Vincent Louis Carrella (CA, USA)
  47. Savannah Schroll Guz (VA, USA)
  48. Douglas Lee (China)
  49. Lee Klein (PA, USA)
  50. Steven Coy (CA, USA)

Quintana (1969)

July 12, 2008

This western takes place in Mexico. When people get shot, they spin violently around. The lead actor, an Italian who goes under the pseudonym of “George Stevenson” is a complete unknown and delivers a performance unremarkable enough to ensure that his career will be short-lived. The female lead, Femi Benussi, who was in a ton of films in the 60’s and 70’s, sports a huge black wig which surpasses the absurd. Panchos, gunshots, horses. But the film does have two things to recommend it:

1) A very nice score by Felice Di Stefano.

2) Good cinematography by Vitaliano Natalucci. I have never seen a film with so many crooked-angle shots. Probably about a third of the film is like this, which makes for interesting viewing.