Wednesday, November 28, 2018

San Francisco

Enjoyed my first visit with Julian in 1976. Spent time there every summer thereafter, culminating in three months living on Russian Hill in 1980. Visited the city, Big Sur, Russian River, Napa Valley, and more with Julian, Jake, Lynn, and repeatedly with Darryl. Love nearby Muir Woods and Sausalito, Favorite neighborhood is North Beach where City Lights Bookstore and Cafe Trieste are.

One of our favorite hangouts is Cafe Flore

Neighborhoods we like: North Beach

Nob Hill
Fillmore St (restaurants)

Golden Gate Park (Japanese garden and the museum)

Fisherman's Wharf

Castro Street

Land's End (and museum)

Lombard Street and Coit Tower

City Lights Bookstore
Lawrence Ferlinghetti 

Darryl In North Beach
My home on Russian Hill, 1980

View from our house.
Julian at work with our garden behind him. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Art of Film (updated and revisited)

The Art of Film -- Revisited

Who's your daddy? ... Chinatown

What makes a film a valuable work of art? The answer is complicated by the fact that there are many different ways for a film to make manifest what its subject or subjects are. For meChinatown is a great film because it 1) Tells an intriguing story on two levels, the story of the building of Los Angeles, and the corruption it entailed; the love story of two unlikely lovers caught up in the larger story. 2) It does this visually as well as through dialogue and narration. The images and scenes of the film are key to the unfolding of the story. Music and cinematography are essential exciting elements. 3) the film is coherent despite the intricacies and complexity of plot, unfolding of characters, and surprising revelations. The characters in the film change and grow more aware as the story unfolds. 4) The film is brilliant with profound insights into character, history, human nature, love, corruption, the power of evil, capitalism, naivete, and disillusionment, to name a few. It is a dark story, but whether a film is "uplifting," or depressing, or shocking, or whatever does not matter so long as it possesses such qualities as the above four. My one caveat is that I am bored with the contrived "Hollywood ending," resembling the unnecessary, but now too often performed, "happy ending" to a good massage.

Recent films I think excel, some of which I've posted commentary* :

On The Road (review)

Weekend *
Melancholia by Lars Van Trier*
Take This Waltz by Sarah Polley  (review)
Perks of Being a Wallflower (review)
Dangerous Method (review)

Past Films that have shaped my life and my understanding of life include:

 Akira Kurosawa
(truth is subjective)

But this is just a sampling.
It is also essential to mention the great directors whose films have shaped my life:

Federico FelliniBernardo BertolucciAlfred HitchcockRoman PolanskiWerner FassbinderKen Russell, Peter Greenaway
Lina WertmüllerDerek JarmanPedro Almodovar, Ang LeeJohn WatersIngmar BergmanLouis MallePier Paulo PasoliniKurosawaLuis BunuelJohn Cameron MitchellSarah Polley  and good old Woody Allen
(all are clickable)

The one
we sat down
and had a drink with:
John Waters--


Updated for 2012-2018:

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
There Will Be Blood
God's Own Country
Get Out
The Before Sunrise trilogy of films
The Budapest Hotel
Call Me By Your Name