let us talk of many things

Let us start with how that book title has always sounded icky to me.

I like this one much better!

Next, let us talk of Karl Rove. SKIP THIS RED TEXT if you hate politics and journalism.

I want to read the definitive proof that Rove initiated and approved the infamous 2000 election year smear campaign about John McCain's illegitimate black child. I don't want articles that say he did, I know there are hundreds. I want the one that proves it.

I don't want to argue about what a slimeball Rove is. That's not the issue. It's a journalism issue that I am interested in. I would just like to see the proof behind this one "fact", that Rove was behind this particular smear. I concede that it could be true, and that it could be proved. But all I can find is articles that reference other articles where it was concluded that bla bla bla.

Anybody got the smoking gun? A fact-filled article or report that proves it to you?

Since I sneeringly posted two bizarre ads from the October 31 1949 LIFE Magazine, I'd now like to give it a pat on the back for this ad art that is just plain handsome. It is VERY HARD to do that kind of cross-hatching and make it look good. A cold snowy night that actually looks cold and snowy - damn near impossible! It's really a dying art. Who does it now? Berni Wrightson's Frankenstein is what immediately comes to mind.

I just love this ad...

The following is purely selfish.

I am going to use the "tags" here to hel;p me accomplish a personal goal. I need to create a list of 100 great movies, to prove to someone there are actually 100 movies that I think are great. There are actually many many movies that I think are great, but I can't just rattle off a hundred. My mind does not work that way.

I started a list, but I keep misplacing it. So I am going to use the "tags" feature in blogger to gather all my movies once I get them all thought up and typed in here.

This is a list of great movies that tell a story. So documentaries like Vernon, Florida, which is totally great, do not count. Monty Python's Meaning of Life won't make the list, but Holy Grail will. Milestones like The Great Train Robbery may be historically important, but they do not cut the mustard. I'm talking about movies that tell one long story, and are practically perfect.

These are not in order of greatness. They are just listed as they occur to me.

1. To Kill a Mockingbird
2. Alien (1)
3. Aliens (2)
4. John Carpenter's "The Thing"
5. Term of Endearment
6. Saving Private Ryan
7. Runaway Train
8. Pee Wee's Big Adventure
9. Blade Runner
10. The Aviator
11. Boogie Nights
12. Iron Giant
13. Slingblade
14. Monsters Inc
15. Holy Grail
16. Peggy Sue Got Married
17. Planes Trains and Automobiles
18. Oh Brother Where Art Thou
19. Hudsucker Proxy
20. Nothing to Lose
21. The Jerk
22. Hoosiers
23. Little Miss Sunshine
24. Dirty Harry

All for now, back to work...


HemlockMan said...

1. To Kill a Mockingbird
2. Alien (1)
3. Aliens (2)
4. John Carpenter's "The Thing"
9. Blade Runner
13. Slingblade
15. Holy Grail
17. Planes Trains and Automobiles
18. Oh Brother Where Art Thou
19. Hudsucker Proxy
24. Dirty Harry

Those are the movies on your list that I would include on a list of good to great films. Maybe not all of them on my 100 favorite, but good films. The others you listed I either didn't like, felt were totally inconsequential, or I've never seen them.

BLADERUNNER, for all of its Christian imagery, is my all-time favorite movie. Strangely, I find it to be, both in style and plot execution (pardon the pun), one of the most logical films I've ever seen.

Are you going to include THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY? What about ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST? How about THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (another Christ-imagery film that I admire quite a lot)?

I think that I could make a "100 Favorites" list, too. But it would take a lot of consideration. And I'm too tired for that right now.

As for Rove...I will say this (I trend away from political commentary here): This administration has proven itself to be practically leak-proof and with no way to force them to talk (Congress won't or can't force them, and the judiciary is in their pocket), there is no way at all to EVER find out if Rove ordered the "black baby" smear.

So I seriously doubt that anyone ever had any proof that he either concocted it, or ordered it.

Janet said...

You already know that To Kill A Mockingbird is at the top of my list, and I'm a sucker for Hoosiers...if it's ever on, I'm hooked...Shawshank sucks me in every time, too...

Jed said...

Robert Crumb. Robert Crumb carries on the great cross-hatching tradition. I'm sure there are others. I remember the Wrightson Frankenstein book--I admire it, but it still seems like he was emulating better artists from the past, like col and that other guy. His real talent, I feel, is his use of spot blacks-the House of Mystery stuff. He hasn't done anything worth a damned in at least 20 years though.

Have you seen Guy Davis' Marquis comics? That's some good black and white right there.

This one here (the ad) has a Charles Dana Gibson sort of feel, but Gibson did it better. Gibson was all technique though. There are only so many Gibson girls you can look at before your eyes glaze over.

I do like some of the movies on your list, though I can't fathom Terms of Endearment.

I didn't take you for an Alien, Bladerunner sort of guy, but of course, both are excellent, and John Carpenter's Thing has some of the best old school make-up effects of all time. Back then movie magic actually meant magic as in illusion--there was a lot of practical--as in not optical, as in not done in post--awesomeness in that movie, stuff that probably looked just as cool on the set as it did on film. Due to an unfortunate release date--when ET was doing big box office--it undeservedly bombed. That's right up there with Night Of the Living Dead when it comes to my All Time favorite horror movies. Also the 70s Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Great stuff. We're in Bisette territory now.

You know, storytelling in the traditional sense alone does not always a good movie, make. Have you ever seen anything by John Cassavettes? Cassavettes has probably had more influence on my life in general than any other artist. So don't mess with him. Also Mike Leigh is good.

Dirty Harry? Really? Don Siegel was a friend of Cassavettes so maybe there's something to it.

Carl Rove is the devil. You know that right? It almost doesn't even matter if that's a rumor considering all the other shit he's responsible for.

Mark Martin said...

H-man, for all of your religion-bashing, you obviously crave a savior. You just want one that works for you and does not carry a lot of human-induced baggage.

Am I getting warm? Don't panic - I'm not trying to "witness" to you. I just find the current loathing and mass hysteria over religion fascinating.

Janet - You too, huh? You probably can get into sports in general somewhat, but I have absolutey zero interest in organized sports. It's odd that Hoosiers is on my list.

Jed - I told you I'm not going to get into the whole Rove=Devil thing here. I'm focused on that "meme" that is so often reported as fact right now. I realize there is a Big Picture, or a forest, beyond it.

I agree that Wrightson seems - I dunno, too "slick"? This ad art has a quality that is missing from Wrightson's stuff. Crumb's is magnificent. I don't think he uses negative space as brilliantly as the old masters. His stuff always seems to have a holding line. But it's still amazing. He and Wrightson can cross-hatch rings around me the size of Saturn's!

Jed said...

I wasn't attempting to start an argument about Rove, but yeah, the comment was unnecessary. I have no desire to debate about Rove. The moral bankruptcy of Rove, like that of Kissinger, isn't worthy of debate.

You know, I have nothing against Christianity in general, but I do have a problem with religious fundamentalism in general. And this means any kind of fundamentalism: Islamic, Christian, Jewish Orthodox or even scientists who believe there is any such thing as objectivity. Unfortunately the fundamentalists tend to make the most noise these days, and us folks who have no religious history or traditions or were alienated from religion as children see mostly that. This, I believe, is what contributes to many dismissing religion in general.

"Mass hysteria" is most definitely overstating it, and there's nothing new about people of different faiths and different politics clashing. From what I understand, a greater percentage of people than not in this country claim christianity in one form or another to be their faith, so when anyone of that particular faith in this country claims persecution I find it highly suspect.

Religion and politics are hopelessly intertwined--most religions ARE political organizations, but faith, isn't. This, I think, is where folks in the secular world get confused. You can be of the Catholic faith and still not believe everything that comes out of the Pope's mouth or believe in what the church body politic stands for.

Also I'd like to make a distinction between Christianity and the teachings of Jesus as presented in the Bible. Christianity represents one interpretation of those teachings, and of course, there are numerous interpretations within that religion and faith. I think Jesus was likely a great rabi and a stand-up guy, and from the little that we know (and who knows what the guy was really like?) a great humanist. But that's only one person's interpretation.

I don't see any reason to reject Christian symbolism and iconography on general principal. It makes for some great vampire stories, for one thing.

However, I'm no great fan of forced symbolism of any kind in art, Christian or otherwise. The academic tradition of disecting and gleaning out Symbolism with a capital S from every form of art their is, is often about as useful and illuminating as counting license plates on the highway. Though I do believe you can emphasize or express an idea using symbols, (some people call this language) more often than not, a (insert phalis-like object here) is just whatever it happens to actually be, and sometimes you end up missing the forest for the symbolism.

No fans of Cassavettes out there? Not even Elaine May's Mikey and Nicky? Where are my people?

Jed said...

It's fair enough to make reference to Christianity when discussing Jesus, because The New Testament in is a Christian document, but that doesn't mean that all references to Jesus are by definition Christian. After all, many of us don't consider Jesus to be a messiah, but appreciate many of the ideas attributed to him.

If I may quote the great words of Doobie:

"Jesus is just alright with me, jesus is just alright, oh yeah"

WWJD my brutha!