Sunday, July 27, 2014
Sun eats holes in the gloomy blue-grey
Branches slap the bus as it passes
My angel stirs in her sleep and awakes
We chat and game with words
Sun forces open the clouds
Air above us brightens
Time before us stops
Bus below us rattles
Other lives behind us move on
They drop like big eggs
Death falling from above
Kingdoms fall apart
Journeys always end
Time crumbles all things
Next to the griddle
On bar stools, we watch him cook
Oily snowflakes fall
Little blizzard from my head
Must buy new shampoo
Sordid club music
Repulsive pop worship
Blood beats like hot drums
Duct taped lunch box
Silver, logo smeared
Holds melted ice packs
All lights are shut off
Blanket of silence settles
Over the whole house
Give greetings to him
Add zest, Lone Lemon
Next to the bus stop
I like to feed little goats
My old bus tickets
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Friday, March 11, 2011
Alters story is tragic and inspirational. He refuses to hate the German people for the violence and cruelty that the Nazis inflicted on him and his family. If Alter can refuse to hate, we have no excuse.
The immensity and deliberate, industrialized cruelty of the Holocaust are difficult to comprehend. We know it happened because the Nazis kept meticulous records. These death camp balance sheets are evidence of an inhuman cruelty that should never be allowed to happen again.
Despite the historical evidence (films, mass graves, pictures, balance sheets, and historical sites), holocaust deniers tell others that it didn't happen. They do this to justify their own racist beliefs or because they despise the attention that society gives to victims. As the Holocaust's survivors succumb to old age, the number of Holocaust deniers is increasing.
An increasing number of media personalities will routinely blame victims or refer to minorities as racists or Nazis. They do this because they perceive victimhood as power, which they crave. If we allow hate mongers to call themselves victims, we do a disservice to past, present, and future victims of violence.
Repeated use of the word "Nazi" on political television shows is a deliberate attempt to change its meaning. If we allow this word to be watered down until it is becomes slang for "nationalization" or "jerk", the Holocaust will be harder for future generations to understand.
Survivors of genocides such as the Holocaust or the Khmer Rouge retell their stories even though it hurts them to do so. They show us their physical and emotional scars to teach us that hatred and genocide can happen anywhere.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Good actors, such as Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang, were wasted on stereotypical characters and given bad dialogue. I didn’t know C.C.H. Pounder was in this film until I saw the credits.
Avatar could have been much better if someone had worked at building a decent screenplay. This was really apparent in the Giant Tree destruction scene. This scene was moving, but it didn’t affect most of the human characters. It was also a lost opportunity for Ribisi’s corporate character to transform.
I didn’t regret leaving the art house and seeing this with an audience. I paid $10 to ride a new type of rollercoaster, which is what this film was. I got my money’s worth, but this is not something that I want to re-watch.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
3 Women is an experimental movie based on a dream. (Criterion Commentary, 2004) As such, it is open to multiple interpretations. This essay will attempt to show that 3 Women is an artistic work by describing the feel of the movie, the technique used to create the film, and its separation from story driven films. One possible interpretation of the film will be presented.
The opening shots are composed of slow dissolves and extreme close-ups of young maidens attending to old men and women at Desert Springs. This geriatric spa introduces the elements of water and loneliness to 3 Women. Secondary characters in Desert Springs are either bland or two-dimensional. They exclude Millie (Shelley Duvall) and Pinky (Sissy Spacek) from the workplace social scene and ridicule them.
The Purple Sage Apartments is the second of 3 Women’s settings. The apartments are built around a large pool, which contains one of the three reptilian frescoes used throughout the movie. These frescoes, painted by Willie (Janice Rule), represent the struggle for identity shared by the three women. The pool is used as a gathering place for the Purple Sage residents, who also exclude Millie and Pinky. Their ridicule of Millie is a cruel rebuttal to her attempts at gaining their acceptance.
The only place the two main characters are accepted is Dodge City, a saloon/racetrack/shooting range owned by Edgar and Willie. Dodge City is the only one the three settings that does not contain water. It is here that Edgar (Robert Fortier), the only male main character, is introduced. His character is a feminist’s worst nightmare. He swaggers drunkenly through the film, womanizing both Millie and Pinky and abandoning Willie during labor. (3 Women, Roger Ebert, 2004) He is represented on Willie’s frescoes as the lone oppressive male.
The second half of the movie begins after Pinky falls into the pool. The heavy symbolism of the pool sequence implies a birth, rather than a death. Roger Ebert describes this scene as a “tear in the structure of the film”. (3 Women, Roger Ebert, 2004) The pool scene has an emotional, rather than logical, impact on the viewer. It is best described through shot by shot analysis.
The camera shows a pregnant belly on the pool fresco. It cuts to a reflection of Pinky falling upwards toward the surface of the pool and crashing into it. The water explodes as she breaches its surface. In the last shot, Pinky is floating facedown, as if dead. Her position and the blue lighting imply that the birth is stillborn. The Mother, Willie, and one of the apartment males wade into the pool to deliver her to the outside world.
After her rebirth through this near-death experience, Pinky is a changed person. No longer introverted and childish, she is outgoing and flirtatious. She pushes Millie from her role as Maiden and exerts her sexuality on the males at the Purple Sage and Dodge City. Confused and humiliated by her loss of identity, Millie withdraws into herself. The banal façade of the first half falls away into a string of dreamlike scenes that lead to the film’s finale.
As the ending nears, she gradually takes on the role of Mother. When Willie becomes the Crone, after the stillbirth scene, Millie’s transformation is complete. Having claimed identities and independence from Edgar, the three women form a family unit and move into Edgar’s house. Their family unit is as barren as the arid landscape around them. It has no men, and therefore no children or future will be produced. The final shot is of a pile of discarded tires, which Altman jokingly refers to as Edgar’s grave. (Criterion Commentary, 2004)
3 Women does not resemble a typical Altman film. Shots are understated during the first half of the film, which is concerned with banality and un-fulfillment. (A Cinema Of Loneliness, 1988) Active zoom shots are slow or barely noticeable. Long pans accentuate the dreariness of Desert Springs and long shots are used to accentuate Millie’s confusion. Overlapping audio, Altman’s signature technique, is used sparingly. Altman uses mirrors and expressionistic framing techniques to reduce or split his medium and close-up shots.
3 Women is an unusual, interpretive film that premiered in a year that would define the blockbuster era. Experimentation, and Robert Altman, would soon be pushed out of mainstream American cinema. (3 Women, David Sterritt, 2004) Altman’s 3 Women won awards from the 1977 Cannes Film Festival, L.A. Film Critics Association, and New York Film Critics Circle. (Allmovie.com) It currently stands as one of Altman’s most unique works and is being rediscovered by modern audiences.
Altman, Robert commentary. 3 Women. Dir Robert Altman, produced by Scott Bushnell. Perf. Shelly Duvall and Sissy Spacek. 1977. Criterion Collection, 2004
3 Women, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times, c2004
Reprinted on rogerebert.com
Kolker, Robert Phillip
A Cinema Of Loneliness: Second Edition, 1988
[Oxford, N.Y.]: Oxford University Press, c1988 (pages 372-378)
3 Women, 2004
Reprinted by the authors permission on Criterion.com
Allmovie.com, 3 Women: Awards Tab
Robert Altman: Director / Producer / Screenwriter
Robert Altman: Director / Producer / Screenwriter
Scott Bushnell: Producer
Charles Rosher Jr.: Cinematographer
Dennis M. Hill : Editor
James D. Vance: Art Director
Chris McLaughlin: Sound/Sound Designer
Richard Portman: Sound/Sound Designer
Jim Webb: Sound/Sound Designer
Monty Westmore: Makeup
Tommy Thompson: First Assistant Director
J. Allen Highfill: Consultant/advisor
Bodhi Wind: Mural Art
Performers: Shelley Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Janice Rule, Robert Fortier
© Howard DiNatale II 2009