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What a surprise this was. If I have ever seen it before then it would have been decades ago. It’s gritty feel, excellent acting and emotional reach were at odds with the relative glamour of the later Rocky films I had seen. 

It became pretty formulaic I guess but this first one actually won Oscars. If it had ended there it would have been seen as a classic, because it kept coming back, diluting it’s essence, it ultimately blew the critical goodwill, though the success of the final film a year or so back suggested the public goodwill was still there.

I liked Talia Shire best but Stallone was great too, and Burgess Meredith terribly moving. Really affecting and well done.

All good, and the kids liked it too. Now for the sequels.

What a surprise this was. If I have ever seen it before then it would have been decades ago. It’s gritty feel, excellent acting and emotional reach were at odds with the relative glamour of the later Rocky films I had seen.

It became pretty formulaic I guess but this first one actually won Oscars. If it had ended there it would have been seen as a classic, because it kept coming back, diluting it’s essence, it ultimately blew the critical goodwill, though the success of the final film a year or so back suggested the public goodwill was still there.

I liked Talia Shire best but Stallone was great too, and Burgess Meredith terribly moving. Really affecting and well done.

All good, and the kids liked it too. Now for the sequels.

New David Bowie compilation in November. Nothing Has Changed. Artwork under wraps.

A fresh chance to own another copy of Space Oddity.

Looks like a decent best of though. Some obvious inclusions of course but some different mixes and some unheard stuff, a new song.

Frankly, at this point it doesn’t matter what it has on. It’s all good. We’re blessed.

Didn’t go a bundle on this. Odd direction from Ryan Murphy. Tone rather curious. Light and comedic vibe to tell a strange and tragic tale. Actors mostly good, though the main actor was poor I thought. A sort of pre-disastered Kurt Hummel. Too fey and wispy for the role somehow, which I guess seems ironic, but a more robust actor carrying the film would have helped. 

Alec Baldwin and Anette Bening particularly good, but the whole added up to little and I was not enlightened or engaged. 

I slightly preferred the film the kids made me watch last night. A remarkable piece about a man afflicted with an eating disorder, trapped inside an obese body, the tragic outcome of indulgence by overweight parents unable to stop loving him too much. 

The man, successful in his work, was unable to find love and desperately unhappy. Ultimately he was able to find a solution through drugs which helped him towards dramatic but temporary weight loss. He found that the weight loss made him more attractive, that he was perceived much more in the way he wanted to be seen, but he was less kind, harder, arrogant. Some of the softness had been lost, he was edgier, crueler.

It was a profound meditation on change, pursuit, desire, following ones dreams and ultimately being undone by them. A happy ending resulted when he was able to return to his larger frame but find love. I had not seen the film before but we all enjoyed it. 

It was called The Nutty Professor and starred Eddie Murphy. It was very good. I shall look out for more of his work.

Didn’t go a bundle on this. Odd direction from Ryan Murphy. Tone rather curious. Light and comedic vibe to tell a strange and tragic tale. Actors mostly good, though the main actor was poor I thought. A sort of pre-disastered Kurt Hummel. Too fey and wispy for the role somehow, which I guess seems ironic, but a more robust actor carrying the film would have helped.

Alec Baldwin and Anette Bening particularly good, but the whole added up to little and I was not enlightened or engaged.

I slightly preferred the film the kids made me watch last night. A remarkable piece about a man afflicted with an eating disorder, trapped inside an obese body, the tragic outcome of indulgence by overweight parents unable to stop loving him too much.

The man, successful in his work, was unable to find love and desperately unhappy. Ultimately he was able to find a solution through drugs which helped him towards dramatic but temporary weight loss. He found that the weight loss made him more attractive, that he was perceived much more in the way he wanted to be seen, but he was less kind, harder, arrogant. Some of the softness had been lost, he was edgier, crueler.

It was a profound meditation on change, pursuit, desire, following ones dreams and ultimately being undone by them. A happy ending resulted when he was able to return to his larger frame but find love. I had not seen the film before but we all enjoyed it.

It was called The Nutty Professor and starred Eddie Murphy. It was very good. I shall look out for more of his work.

Sep 9

Boyhood Black Album Tracklist

Couldn’t resist looking up the tracklist of the Solo Beatles CD Ethan Hawke gives his son on his 15th birthday.

Have now made the playlist up on iTunes and rediscovered a word of new songs and great contexts for them to exist in.

A wonderful letter as sleeve notes too, adapted from Hawke’s own notes to his child on compiling the disc.

Sep 6

Watched this tonight. August, Osage County. I guess you’d call it Southern Gothic, with explicit nods to Carson McCullers and implicit ones to a raft of what you mights call “this kind of thing”. Hysterical, overwrought, talky, fighty.

Really well done but not terribly involving or moving. I liked some of the characters and all were well acted, but frankly none of them spoke to me or made me feel any of their pain. There was something faintly of the homage about it. To something past. Gone. It felt old fashioned and unlikely.

Nice to see Ewan McGregor and Benedict Cumberbatch in very American roles.

Streep had fun with her part. Wild and manic. Julie Roberts was the best thing about it, really inhabiting her role, enjoying stretching out. She has become a really impressive actor and all the better for holding out for roles which she wants and can do something remarkable with. She’ll keep growing and getting richer I think. In the right way. Deeper.

Sep 6

Finally got round to finishing The Honorable Woman. There were times we looked guiltily at each other, my wife and I, and said, silently, “Shall we give up?”, but we never did. We persevered. Through the epic slowness, the enigmatic stillness, the vague allusions and uncertain conclusions. We knew it would be worth the journey, and so it was. Utterly gorgeous, complex, original filmmaking.

I do question whether the plot warranted 8 hours and I reckon it will have lost a fair number of viewers along the way. It was sometime numbing, confusing, slow, stately even. If it had begun unwrapping its presents a bit sooner it would have had a better birthday. But hey, in the end, it’s the presents that matter not the speed of the unfurling, and the gifts were ultimately blissful.

Performances were uniformly excellent, with loads of great work for some great actresses. Stephen Rae kind of walked away with it though, with the lightness of his playing being the great defense against indolence and self indulgence the early episodes had.

Gripping TV. Well done Hugo Blick and all who sailed with him.

Saw Boyhood in the FACT cinema in Liverpool last night.

Absolutely beautiful. Quickest three hours of my recent life. Profound, remarkable and important.

Provoking questions about a life lived, the film is as much about parents as children. I thought the final sequence with Patricia Arquette struck a particularly sad note because she seemed to feel her life had been worthless, had added up to nothing but actually the achievements of her children, her own career, her impact on the Mexican plumber, and no doubt on the many she had taught, showed that even a low key, seemingly minor key life, can be responsible for magic. She should celebrate, not ache.

I recognized the journey of Ethan Hawke’s character. From a desire to live, to burn, to be mad, to be one of Kerouac’s children, giving way to real life, compromise, acceptance, and a job in insurance. He played the changes beautifully, as he always does. His relationship with Richard Linklater has been the greatest part of his career. I have followed him all the way, from the shy character in Dead Poets Society, to the funny, warm, intellectual wannabe of Jesse in Before Sunrise. Finding echoes in him in the roles he’s played and the way they have grown.

The film was profoundly moving and richly thoughtful. I felt like I might cry at various points, not because of a single moving point or outcome, but because of the overall sense of progression and the perspective, unique because of the singular form, which bore a life aloft and showed it to us as it is really lived. In the quotidian, in the small details, in the dull eventlessness which marks most lives.

Beautiful and blessed.


Gena Rowlands photographed by Leo Fuchs on the set of The Spiral Road, 1962


Great photo. Wonderful actress. See Another Woman for her in a different time but equally coolly beautiful.

Gena Rowlands photographed by Leo Fuchs on the set of The Spiral Road, 1962

Great photo. Wonderful actress. See Another Woman for her in a different time but equally coolly beautiful.

(Source: julia-loves-bette-davis)

Volume 2. Gorgeous. Intense and painful, but finely wrought. A vision of an unexpected hell. Piling drugs upon drugs. Whirling, urgent, needy and lost. A sad but funny tale. 

I’m tempted to read all five of these in a run but liking breaking them up and making the series last.

Volume 2. Gorgeous. Intense and painful, but finely wrought. A vision of an unexpected hell. Piling drugs upon drugs. Whirling, urgent, needy and lost. A sad but funny tale.

I’m tempted to read all five of these in a run but liking breaking them up and making the series last.

Shit the bed. It’s London.