I’ve come up with bumper stickers that I believe accurately reflect the values that many in this county hold near and dear. As everyone knows, there are few ways that so effectively and concisely sum up one’s raison d’etre than … Continue reading
Here are the old pages. We are in the process on condensing pages, so you may find yourself redirected to a different page. Don’t worry! The material you are looking for is in that page! Items 1 – 1000 26 … Continue reading
One of the best things about Facebook is that it allows you to enter a nickname for yourself. So if your real name is “Lil,” but everyone knows you as “Nancy,” you could add “Nancy” as a nickname. I don’t … Continue reading
Why do people read a biography of Shakespeare? Either as a substitute for or as a supplement to a reading of his work. I may read about Byron or Orton because the life itself is both well-documented and well worth … Continue reading
Last week, Steve Benen wrote, Steve King Unveils Radical Court Scheme. It seems that King is proposing a new law, Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act of 2015. It would stop federal courts from having jurisdiction over cases related to … Continue reading
I recently read Garrett Epps’ fantastic, Wrong and Dangerous: Ten Right-Wing Myths About Our Constitution. I consider myself pretty well read on this stuff, but I learned a great deal from this little book. But by far I learned the … Continue reading
I got to watch a little television recently, and I saw a commercial for the Acura TLX. It is apparently a car. But what struck me was that the music for the commercial was “My Way” performed by Sid Vicious. … Continue reading
Probably my biggest problem with religious people, as I generally find them here in the United States, is that it is all style and no content. I usually refer to them as “Cultural Christians.” And that’s a good why to … Continue reading
The Chris Christie administration has put out a fake movie trailer for, No Pain, No Gain. It apparently has to do with a tour Christie will be doing this summer to push for ever more cuts from public employee benefits. … Continue reading
Alan Parker is one of my favorite film directors. Unlike most film directors who are often great in their own ways, Parker is an artist. I don’t think it is any surprise that he directed two of the best filmed musicals ever: Pink Floyd—The Wall and Evita. And that’s not even counting Fame and The Commitments, which are kind of musicals. He has a stunning visual style that somehow manages not to call attention to itself like Martin Scorsese’s (with all due respect to that great artist).
Despite the fact that he has made so many wonderful films (eg Midnight Express), my favorite Parker film is Angel Heart. And I feel that I need to defend it. Parker is well know to me as providing director commentaries during which he says almost nothing. He often gets involved in watching the film and says nothing. And he’s aware of this because he even mentions it from time to time. On one of his commentaries, he even concludes that it is okay that he isn’t saying anything. For the record: no it isn’t.
But on the commentary track for Angel Heart, he mentioned that he had shown the film to his mentor. I don’t currently own the DVD, so I can’t say who it was. But the mentor did not like the film. He claimed that being able to make a film was such a great opportunity that one should only use it to make important films. I don’t know if this is what caused Parker to go on to make Mississippi Burning or the artistically catastrophic The Life of David Gale or other later films of varying quality. But his mentor was wrong—profoundly wrong. Angel Heart is probably the most serious and important film that Parker ever made.
This is my opinion, of course. It is the result of my interest in ontological questions. But before I get to them, I must warn you: if you haven’t seen the film (or read William Hjortsberg’s excellent novel Falling Angel) you should stop reading. In general, I don’t believe in spoilers. But Angel Heart is a great mystery story and you owe it to yourself to watch it cold. So the rest of my article is “below the fold.” Continue reading
Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of the British television series Agatha Christie’s Poirot. It’s the one with David Suchet in the title role. I remember watching it when it first came out; I was blown away by Suchet in … Continue reading
I just watched D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary about Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour in the United Kingdom, Don’t Look Back. This was the second time I’ve seen it; the first time was about 30 years ago. What struck me most both times … Continue reading