Tuesday, December 10, 2019

happy tunesday! ("k'she'at bochah at lo yafa" by arik einstein)

This song has been on my mind a bit lately. I'm not sure how it entered my head, but it did. This is one of those situations where I found out that a recording I love is actually a cover version. I first knew the version by T-Slam, and only years later came across the original version by Arik Einstein.
I like them both, but have a strong preference for the original.

The title translates to "You're Not Pretty When You Cry." There are other Youtube videos of Arik Einstein's recording that have better sound quality. But they don;t have the groovy visuals.

As a side note, New York musician Eyta Mirsky recorded an accoustic version for his Youtube channel. That one is here:

And, hell, while I'm presenting different vesrsions, here's the T-Slam recording that I first knew:

Sunday, December 8, 2019

cinema history class: the leopard man

Session: Horror-Noir—Does It Exist, Week 1
Movie: The The Leopard Man (1943)
Directed by Jacques Tourneur

As always, there may be spoilers here. And the trailer may be NSFW and/or NSFL


After a leopard escapes its handler, people start dying -- apparently by leopard attack.  Hilarity ensues.

The story was interesting enough, and there were a few good moments -- notably the blood ozzing under the door during the first attack. And the story was kind of interesting. But there really wasn't enough in this movie to really grab my attention. Joe adamantly disagreed with me, which prompted me to rewatch the movie on the intertubes (thanks, dailymotion.com). It's just too slow-moving to hold my interest. In class, I gave it a 7 (as reflected below). After trying to rewatch it, I need to revise my grade down to a 6.

But I should note that this did clearly make the case that there is a nonempty intersection of film noir and horror. Logically speaking, I don't see how that's even a question. Film noir is about style -- lighting, camera angles, tone. Horror is defined by the story. There's really nothing to make the two incompatible.

Me: 7
Dave: 9
Ethan: 7
Joe: 10

Thursday, December 5, 2019

cinema history class: the new york ripper

NOTE: I have corrected this. As initially posted, it had incorrect ratings.

Session: Welcome to My Nightmare, Week 4
Movie: The New York Ripper (1982)
Directed by Lucio Fulci

As always, there may be spoilers here. And the trailer may be NSFW and/or NSFL


Young women i New York City are being stalked and viciously murdered by a serial killer. A grizzled police detective teams up with an academic psychologist to solve the case  Hilarity ensues.

I'm glad this wasn't the first Fulci film I ever saw because, frankly, it was more graphic and brutal in its violence than his others, and it's good to have gotten my feet wet with the others.*

If you want a solid hardcore slasher movie, this may be just right for you. The blood was gross. The plot was interesting, and everything was tied together pretty well. There were some good red herrings that kind of threw me off, and that's good to see.

I also liked it because I'm into movies having good realistic footage of the New York subway (as opposed to scenes meant to be set on the New York subway that obviously weren't filmed on it). But, in general, this had some good scenes of the gritty pre-Giuliani New York City. This was the city of my high school years. It's easy to romanticize it -- and I have plenty of friends who do -- but I don't really want to go back to it. That said, it's fun to see it portrayed in the movies.

But that damn duck voice was really frickin' annoying. It actually was important for the plot, but I hated it. I wish they could have worked without it.

Me: 8
Dave: 9.9
Ethan: 10
Joe: 10
Sean: 3 out of 4

*Analogous to this, the first Elvis Costello album I ever bought was Imperial Bedroom, and my first Bob Dylan album was Desire. It was hard to appreciate these works without having the context of their previous careers.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

father/daughet breakfast -- a new tradition

Sharon and I are working on building a new tradition -- weekly father/daughter breakfasts.

The idea came to me a few weeks ago. Sharon wants to get a part-time job, and needed paperwork from the Department of Education. Afterwards, she was hungry so we went for a bite to eat.

And it was nice. Hanging out and chatting with her. Neither one of us staring at our phones.

I already spend a lot of time with Ethan. We have our (more or less) weekly cinema history class, and our weekly trips to the farmers' markets. And Asher gets a lot of my attention because, well, at home he demands it. But Sharon spends a lot of time at home working with the Overwatch team that she manages, and on her artwork. It would be easy enough to simply forget to interact with her, and I don;t want that to happen.

Since our unplanned lunch, I have started making it a habit to go out with her Saturday mornings (or early afternoon, if that's what works). We've done it now for two week,s and will be doing it again next week. It's great to spend the time with her. Just chatting and eating. I hope this tradition lasts.