Friday, May 27, 2005

Announcing this for local viewers, as I haven't seen it promoted much:

POINT BLANK PROJECTS is pleased to announce its premiere event titled, "Los Angeles in (or as) Cinema & Literature; or, How We Got 'Here' from 'There," featuring talks by filmmaker Thom Andersen ("Los Angeles Plays Itself,") and writer and editor Paul Vangelisti (editor of "L.A.Exile," and Chair, MFA Writing, Otis College of Art and Design.) To close the night, two well-known Los Angeles musicians, Tom Watson (Slovenly/Red Krayola) and George Hurley (Minutemen/Red Krayola) will perform from 10 to 12am.

The event will take place at 8 pm, Saturday, May 28th, at the RecCenter, located at 1161 Logan Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026. Tickets for event are $10 and can be purchased the day of the event starting at 7 pm.

I'm so there. Sunday is tougher, speaking of here and there: Taylor Brady and Stan Apps at the Smell, Hollenbecq and Sam Lipstye at The Hammer, way 'cross town at nearly the same time.


My link to Snowglobe was bad -- I've fixed it below, but here it is again. Also fixed one of my "Greil"s. More on John Shaw's comments re GM/rockism later, probably.


Hello, Sister! (1931). Originally shot and co-scripted by Erich von Stroheim, based on a play by Dawn Powell; according to the UCLA archive's note, "Von Stroheim had hoped to bring a Viennese complexity to his American characters and to highlight their neuroses and desperation." Fox wasn't so into that, and hired one Edwin Burke for retakes. (And imdb credits yet others: Alan Crosland, Alfred L. Werker, and Raoul Walsh!) Pretty evidently a film of several minds: On the one hand, you've got attempted rape, a dismayingly extended cross-gender brawl, Luna Park rollercoaster p.o.v. shots, raunchy patter a quintuple-divorcee ("There are desperate times for everyone -- a girl's got no right to hoard. Give out!), ZaSu pits falling into an open sewer, pregnancy out of wedlock, and a comic drunk collecting dynamite through the whole movie who ends up blowing up the heroine's apartment building. On the other, it's all resolved into a tidy misunderstanding-driven love story. Some material involving waiting at a marriage license bureau that I wonder if V. Minnelli recalled for The Clock.

The star was one "Boots Mallory," from the 1931 Zigfield Follies, unusually ripe and lovely -- but with hardly any capacity for delivering lines. Her career only lasted until '38, and there's not a great deal about her online -- here's a group shot (scroll to 4th photo down) of 1932 starlets. She's two to the left of Ginger Rogers (who's two to the left of Gloria Stuart); the caption notes that she married James Cagney's brother. (By the way, the film this page is about, a 1933 Cagney vehicle called Picture Snatcher, sounds fantastic. And check that photo of him carving a turkey.) Oh, here's one other image, Player's Cigarettes trading card. (The site this is from is well worth exploring -- a repositority of viewable film memorabilia housed at the University of Exeter.)


Steve Evans' review of Lisa Robertson's chapbook Rousseau's Boat (which I have to order) comes just as I was considering getting a little deeper into Rousseau, possibly making a summer reading project of Reveries of a Solitary Walker, Cavellian philosopher Eli Friedlander's recent book on same, An Afterlife of Words, and maybe Cassirer's The Question of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. I taught The Social Contract in the expected manner in pol. phil. this term (I think I quoted him on the 'generality' of law here at some point, and found this idea emphasized in Rawls as well, filtered through Kant but basically unchanged.) but I also had them read Discourse on Inequality, and came out of it in confusion about how both books could belong to one writer -- which I guess is the 'question' of Cassirer's book.

And all of this without having consciously connected the Reveries w/ Robertson's "Seven Walks," which I had just been thinking of in the context of the derive. I want to go on with this, but I need to figure out which pile The Weather got into.


Before we get back to the rockism, what about the rock? If anyone championed last year's Black Is Beautiful, by Torrence's Rolling Blackouts I missed it -- thought there had been a Weekly feature, but it's not turning up. (Since the name is making you wonder, the guys look to be white and Latino in various proportions; the liner info is handwritten in a fwy overpass tag style.) Kept it around because I thought it was a great name for a So. Cal. band, finally listened, had my expectations exceeded by several lengths. In many ways, they sound like a band I wouldn't have been surprised to have encountered at, say, Al's Bar anytime from the mid-'80s to the mid-'90s, or maybe on Sympathy back when garage bands had four members -- but cleaner and sharper, with a blaaghy lead singer (think Pat Todd) up against vocal-group pads, nice rough/smooth effect. And guitars. Half the tunes put me in mind of "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night," and a slower number toward the end has an almost '50s-styled vocal break. I'm making them sound retro, but that's not really how the disc comes off. Good sign, qua rock: after 2 listens, I'm still not caring much about trying to figure out the words. Hope I see them live before I leave town, 'cos I don't want to guess at their chances of getting out.

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