Archives for the month of: September, 2012

Frank Langella used his eyes, tousled hair, and a turtleneck to seduce you with ease. His youthful seduction has been exchanged for an aged gravitas. He’d rather not have to look at the gradual transformation.

Frank Langella recently said in an interview on NPR that he doesn’t like to look at his movies. He made the analogy of going up into an attic and paging through photo albums, which forces you to look at your own aging over the years – and, as I extrapolate – the loss of the past, which is now contained only in a fragile image and perhaps an even more fragile memory.

For me, I don’t have to page through photo albums. Just watching old films, especially ones from childhood, sometimes brings me an acute sense of time passage and loss. Since I associate movies, TV, and music with specific periods of my life, I am often Read the rest of this entry »

I had always held out hope that the great triumvirate of Hal David, Burt Bacharach, and Dionne Warwick would reunite for one last great project, a classic album that would put a final stamp on their 1960s-early 70s run as the best long-term teaming of lyricist, composer, and singer in pop music.

Hal David made some appearances in the last decade with former songwriting partner Burt Bacharach and their most enduring interpreter, Dionne Warwick. Here is the trio in 2002. I wish they’d headed to the studio for a new album after the shot. Rick Rubin could have given it a go as producer. 

Not to be. Lyricist Hal David died on the first day of this September at the age of 91.

He’ll be forever remembered for a slew songs made classic by Warwick, but also by Dusty Springfield, The Carpenters, Tom Jones, The Fifth Dimension, and many others.

Though I cop to leaning toward the morose and maudlin in my musical tastes, fed largely by melancholy French chanson, wrenching rancheras, hard-luck country & western, and gloomy American pop standards, sometimes even I need a pick-me-up.

One of the first songs that I can remember from my childhood is Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head. A small child easily Read the rest of this entry »

Dennis Hopper is fatally fascinated by the Queen and her torpedo tits wrapped in tempting red velvety space fabric. And they haven’t even gotten her amazing hairdryer helmet off yet!

I recently took one of my occasional dives into American International Pictures with Curtis Harrington’s Queen of Blood, a talky, slowwww-moving, sci-fi feature from 1966 about an ill-fated space voyage to Mars in response to an alien distress call.

Most striking in the film are the very brief, gauzy, luminous shots of the alien ship, pre-crash, with no dialogue, lots of slow, silent movement, and a truly unearthly ambience. Don’t get me wrong; this film is AIP schlock, Read the rest of this entry »

Walt wants what Walt wants. At this point in the game, he’s asking for ten murders in under two minutes. His precision in chemistry is now focused in mass murder, and the swastikas of the white supremacists surrounding him do not look out of place. Walt would have made an excellent commandant at a concentration camp. Yeah, it’s come to that. There’s really no coming back from this depravity.

I’ve been watching this season’s Breaking Bad with a sense of dread and intensity like no other. Every season has been fantastic, but this one, perhaps because it was truncated to make way for another next summer, has drawn me into the dark mind of Walter “I want an empire” White – his wanton ambition, ruthlessness, cunning, duplicity, and delusions of grandeur: gliding over all. Director Michelle MacLaren and writer Molly Walley-Becketthave both been working with the series for years, Read the rest of this entry »