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One final thing I have to do ...

In 2012, Vertigo climbed to the top of the Sight and Sound Poll as the greatest movie of all time, thanks to the largest sampling of film critics ever taken.  That's a climb even more impressive than Scottie Ferguson in the closing scene of the movie.

Hitch employed a great number of tricks, starting with a classic misdirection.  We are led to believe he is going to follow up on the success of Rear Window, replacing Lisa with Midge in a playful apartment scene very reminiscent of what we had seen before.  Jimmy Stewart is the constant between the two films.  He is now "Scottie" Ferguson, a retired police detective recovering from a nasty fall he took when he couldn't quite make the jump between two buildings in the opening scene.  But, unlike the invalid he played before, Scottie has pretty much recovered and is ready for action.

No sooner do we get to know Midge than Hitch introduces us to Madeleine through a long lost friend of Scottie, who is now managing a shipp…
Recent posts

The Never-ending story

One of my problems during this lockdown has been staying focused.  I thought I would read more, but no book has held my attention for very long.  I got about halfway through The Satanic Verses before asking myself what is the point of all this?

I was trying to figure out why Rushdie faced a fatwa from Iranian clerics?  The only thing I could figure out was his representation of Mohammed as Mahound, a young evangelist trying to convert the king of some giant sand castle to Islam.  Apparently, Mahound is a derogatory term for the great prophet.  It seems Rushdie had fun with revered Muslim names in general, which didn't make the Ayatollah very happy.

Islam is still off limits when it comes to making caricatures of its principal religious figures, as we learned with Charlie Hebdo.  No religion today takes itself more seriously than does this religion, much to the chagrin of Arab comics.  You play with its central figures at your own risk.  Rushdie spent a great number of years "…

Chihiro's amazing story

Studio Ghibli has turned out many wonderful movies but none quite like Spirited Away.  Chihiro took the world by storm in 2002, as this film became a global phenomenon, winning the Oscar at the 2003 Academy Awards for best animation feature.  Hayao Miyazaki did not go to the Dolby Theater to receive the award, citing the war in Iraq.

I suppose Miyazaki has Disney to thank for lending English voices and distributing his films in the US, but Studio Ghibli and Disney have gone in two separate directions when it comes to animation.  Miyazaki still rejoices in hand-painted frames while Disney has gone entirely Pixar.  It's ironic because the anime master was influenced by early Disney animated features and it shows in his meticulous work.  Upon seeing Spirited Away for the third time, Roger Ebert described it as a film of "generosity and love."  Every corner of every frame is filled with moving scenes, not just technically but emotionally, something you could only find in ea…

The Abrams Touch

It was around Season 6 that J.J. Abrams introduced Jacob and Esau into his television series Lost, and viewers had to endure them for the remainder of the once popular show that you can now watch as syndicated reruns.  The ABC series had already enticed an Evangelical audience and so Abrams and his co-creators decided to shed the earlier science fiction and metaphysical trappings in favor of Biblical ones.  The theme became so heavy handed that it was almost impossible to watch, but after investing so much time into the show I followed it to the bitter end.  A shame really because there were some great moments in that series early on.

Abrams has now sunk his claws into Westworld.  This last season was virtually unwatchable, as Abrams appears to have hijacked the show in favor of his Old Testament musings, with the godhead represented by a spherical quantum computer system named Rehoboam that rules the world through an intricate set of algorithms.  Lording over this machine is Engerra…

Perish Judah

Peaky Blinders has had a lot of fun playing with historical figures ranging from Jesse Eden to Winston Churchill.  In Season 5 the writers take on Oswald Mosley, perhaps one of the most notorious Britons of the 20th century, as he started the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s, largely in response to the stock market collapse that he ascribed to Jewish money laundering.

Mosley is portrayed as being insidiously evil in the television series, a sexual predator who not only fucked his wife, but her sister and his mother-in-law too.  He inherited a sizable fortune and married into an even greater fortune, allowing him to not only play with any woman he liked but to fund his own fascist movement, modeled after Mussolini, eventually becoming close chums with Hitler as well.

The salute Perish Judah apparently comes from Hitler, a reference to the death of Jews, who the Nazis and like-minded ilk were convinced were responsible for the economic depression that fell across the American and…

Don't f*ck with the Peaky Blinders

I had put off watching Peaky Blinders for years because of the ads on my facebook timeline.  Some enterprising pugs were trying to sell what they call Peaky Blinders caps, oblivious to the history behind the flat caps or the infamous Birmingham gang for that matter.  So, I took this as one of those fad television shows not worth looking at.

Blinder simply refers to being a dapper dresser, and "peaky" may have referred to the peaks of their flat caps, but these caps were never called "peaky blinders."  They were called a great many other things but are most commonly referred to as "news boy caps," as they were widely used by news boys during this era.  Before that they were called scally caps, bunnets, paddy caps, and cheese cutters, depending on what part of the British empire you lived in.  This style of cap can be traced all the way back to the 14th century, but became very popular during the interwar years, which Peaky Blinders is set in.

With that ou…

Here Comes Mr. Jordan

Now that the Tiger King phenomena has subsided, America is tuned into The Last Dance, an 10-part lovefest of Air Jordan, who apparently wants to make clear to everyone why he is the GOAT.

I've avoided this documentary, largely because I find myself nonplussed by the snippets I pick up via Yahoo!  The documentary focuses mostly on Jordan's second run with the Bulls, when the team racked up an impressive number of wins and three NBA titles, leading many basketball pundits to label him and the Bulls the greatest of all time.

We are now sufficiently enough removed from the Celtics dynasty of the late 50s and 60s that racked up 11 titles in 13 seasons, led by Bill Russell, that few can remember them.  Los Angeles wasn't too shabby during this era either, but they just couldn't get past the Celtics even after they brought Wilt Chamberlain on board in an attempt to level the playing field.  This was how good the Celtics were.  They beat LA each and every time during that inc…