drugs [2021)

We are finally catching up with Pauly Deathwish.

Here on his sixth album, drugs.

Good psychedelic surf start.

The romance must have seemed possible.

Christian trappings.

A great opening track.

Psychedelic Christianity.

Think of those private press releases from the ’60s and ’70s.

I’m hearing the joy and gravity of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.

The breakdown of this song “An Ocean of Cough Syrup” is where it’s at.

Maybe a bit of Kevin Ayers.

Wasted innocence.

After the party.

The party at the end of the world.

Certainly song lyrics reminiscent of Wayne Coyne.

Sonic Youth.

Yummy Yummy Yummy.

Pop psych.

Monkees.

Maybe the romance has faded.

Tabloid.

Even Dire Straits.

Walk of life.

Track 2 with acrobatic chord changes.

Music school.

Straight-up Fort Leavenworth presentation.

A pop song about biological warfare, economic warfare, psychological warfare, and divide/conquer.

This is some serious shit.

Not sure whether to call Billy Bragg or Glenn Greenwald.

This is the kind of shit that wins Nobels.

So maybe we are hearing the new Dylan here.

Imagine if Thom Yorke actually had something to say.

The bends.

Lift.

Leonard Cohen.

John Cale.

Anthemic.

This dude is definitely right-wing.

I guess you could say.

Imagine if Bob Dylan was actually in the John Birch Society.

That’s what you get here.

Hey, take it or leave it.

Ezra Pound!

But this dude is all about ‘merica.

And i got no problem with it.

Climax.

Constitution of the USA.

Time’s up.

“memes at the ready”.

Information warfare taken into the realm of head music.

Songwriting.

This guy is a danger…to the lame liberal establishment.

THIS MOTHERFUCKER HAS RELEASED 7 ALBUMS THIS SUMMER!!!!!!!

Kraftwerk.

Jon Spencer.

Martin Rev dipping Copenhagen.

Ministry?

Butthole Surfers?

Dabbling.

“Latinas for Trump”.

Wow.

Track 3 is a trucker song.

Set in Switzerland.

With production like Nigel Godrich.

It’s a long track.

But enjoyable.

Drum machine and acoustic guitar.

And funky clavinet.

Jerry Reed.

Amos Moses.

Yodeling!

FUcking hell.

Haven’t heard this since Jerry Lee.

Dwight Yoakam.

Chris Isaak.

But this is the kinda shit cognizant about There’s a Riot Goin’ On.

Spaced cowboy.

Travelogue of Swiss sites from cinema history.

I have a feeling this guy would drink Klaus Schwab’s blood.

This conspiracy platter is fine listening.

Variety.

French/German.

No Italian.

Except Cortina d’Ampezzo.

No Romansch.

Motorik.

NEU! meets Gram Parsons.

Who is/was this “Swiss Alps Truck-Driving Gal”?

Cosmic funk.

Like French band Air.

Great bassline.

Dancy filler track of highest quality.

Mike Lindell needs to hear this shit.

mark_packet.

recieve_good.

What if Wayne Coyne and Dave Fridmann actually made songs that spoke to something larger?

They’ve hit it occasionally.

You gotta have Jesus in your heart.

Brian Eno first four records spun out again and again.

Cornelius.

Stereolab.

And WHAT THE FUCK?!?

Delta blues?

Country blues???

Yes, indeed.

“COVID-19 Blues”.

Like late-period Dylan.

Seriously.

If Dylan passes, this dude is next up.

I know it sounds implausible.

Communism used to be risqué.

Now the tables have turned.

Paul Joseph Watson needs to hear this shit.

The human condition.

Dr. Steve Pieczenik needs to hear this song, “COVID-19 Blues”.

This is Stax.

Muscle Shoals.

Atlantic.

Booker T.

But with that San Antonio twist.

Pauly Deathwish from the Alamo city.

Augie Meyers.

Flaco Jimenez.

Is Trump still the President? ūüėČ

When was this written?

Why that move to Bedminster?

Cabinet meeting.

A unifying song.

Like “Dixie”.

Ask Abraham Lincoln about “Dixie”.

Masked and anonymous.

QAnon line as money shot.

Sweet harmonica.

Linn drums.

Beck.

Loop.

It don’t matter.

This record rocks the Walmart parking lot.

GUITAR SOLO!

Jimmy Vaughn.

B.B. King.

Richard Manuel tickling the ivories.

Band brown album.

Call Q.

Call Mojo.

Call Uncut.

Side two for all you vinyl lovers.

“Let’s Get Creative”.

Floyd delay.

Sexy song.

J. Spaceman.

Jeff Tweedy.

Kid A.

Really special production.

Which just goes to show that anything can be done with an iPhone.

Except privacy.

Tim Cook cocksucker.

In shitty record store.

Radiohead were our Beatles.

Or their Beatles.

Now many friends have left.

You can’t say White Lives Matter.

Can someone please tell Pauly Deathwish this?

Not that he SAID it.

Because he didn’t.

Trail of Dead.

Which makes sense.

Read this motherfucker’s bio on Spotify.

No slouch.

I happen to know some extra details which I may divulge at a later date.

Lots of training in music composition.

Multiple touches with Nadia Boulanger.

Sexy song.

T. Rex.

Bolan.

Jonny Greenwood.

Scott Pilgrim.

Edgar Wright needs to hear this shit.

No cap.

Dead ass.

Trans.

Neil Young.

Dead Man.

Thurston Moore needs to hear this shit.

Funny mention.

Watch the water.

August 20.

Rollerskate Skinny appreciation society.

St. Johnny.

Boo Radleys.

First Stereolab album.

Grandaddy.

Harvest drums.

Like it!

Like a Sonic Youth country album.

Made in a barn.

Nothing Ween about this shit.

Except for the trucker song.

Which is funny as fuck.

This dude definitely a QAnon.

“Midnight Rider”.

Paul Revere.

One if by…two…

Mercury Rev.

Suzanne Thorpe.

Applied memetics.

Oh shit.

First Eno record.

Desert island.

THIS is impressive.

Turns out to be motto of 4th Psychological Operations Group (4thPOG) at Fort Bragg.

The PSYWAR just got real.

Vietnamese ghosts amplified.

But this is Chinese.

China bio attack.

Fauci through China.

Focus on Peter Daszak and his absurd opera-singer brother.

There is going to be hell to pay.

Q-uantum of solace.

PCAPs.

Obviously, Pauly Deathwish loves the instrumentals from Bowie’s Low.

This is a constant touchstone.

Trance.

Meditative techno.

Ugh.

When the bass drops in on “Verbum Vincet ’72”.

Who was Q?

Who is Q?

Was Q a psychological operation?

From whence might it have emanated?

Roger Waters.

Hell to pay.

Criminal networks wiped off the face of the earth.

Peking opera.

Sue me.

LeBron James is a worthless cocksucker.

I think I would get along with this Pauly Deathwish guy.

8964.

We have it all…in Utah.

“Bluffdale” like Marquee Moon.

Meets chiptune.

Super Marquee Moon.

Even a bit of John Bonham.

Good drum sound.

Dubstep?

Riots worldwide.

No vaccine passports.

Here’s where BLM and MAGA come together.

Don’t vax us, man.

A unifying event.

The real racists are the totalitarian Democrats.

Am I doing this right?

Pepe Lives Matter needs to hear this shit.

Klaus Voorman bass.

Leave it in.

Smacked out of your gourd.

Phil Spector murdered by the Rona.

Lee “Scratch” producing The Clash.

People want to sleep forever.

Sleep through this global nightmare.

Gotta wake up.

But the reality is crushing.

So God gives us solace here and there.

Black ark.

Meandering.

Oar.

Moby grape.

Hal Blaine back in the barn stoned on some world-class shit.

Nodding.

Space-age.

Astral weeks.

Nick Drake.

Ending album on serious note?

“Cotton Ball Soup”.

Will the masses win?

Against the vaccine passport bastards?

Montreal.

Where’s GYBE?

No heroes can be found.

Where’s Thom Yorke?

Radiohead?

Bob Dylan?

WWIII.

iTunes.

Spotify.

-PD

Incompresa [2014)

This is the longest movie I’ve ever watched.

Not really.

But at one hour and 46 minutes, that’s not a good thing.

To feel like it’s taking forever.

Which is not to say this is a bad film.

It’s not.

It’s a very good film.

With a very disturbing ending.

Yes, I’m warning you.

Don’t (like me) get sucked in by all the cuteness and expect our still-mediocre filmmaker to give you a good ending.

But maybe I’m wrong…

Let’s investigate.

First, Asia Argento is a very talented filmmaker.

But she’s still mediocre.

There are two main problems with this film.

The editing (as in cut some of this superfluous shit out) and the ending.

My guess is that Argento could not bear to see any of her precious footage cut (to any significant degree).

So I am not complaining about the¬†d√©coupage¬†(editor Filippo Barbieri does a fantastic job…especially in the palimpsest intro), but rather the¬†montage¬†(in the French sense).

The ending is a cheap stunt.

David Bowie predicted such excess on¬†Ziggy Stardust…

I will leave it at that.

But suffice it to say that Asia Argento put her heart and soul into this film.

And much of it (most of it) is magical.

This was in spite of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s overwrought, tacky performance.

Charlotte is a wonderful musician.

One of the best alive.

I adore her music.

But she is a terrible actress.

Even so, Argento should have reined in Gainsbourg’s diva performance considerably.

Yet nothing can take away from the true magic contained in¬†Misunderstood¬†(this film’s title on Netflix).

Maybe it’s not Gainsbourg’s fault.

Maybe the role called for a soulless bitch.

But we’ve seen Charlotte in other dire films (like¬†Melancholia).

For all of Asia Argento’s imperfections as a filmmaker (and there are a few), she is like Orson Welles compared to the utter shite that Lars von Trier churns out.

Not to mince words, but “von” Trier has to be one of the worst filmmakers working today.

And so let’s get to why Argento marginally succeeds with this film.

The answer is so very simple:  Giulia Salerno.

Salerno must have been about 13 (or younger) when this film was shot [though she is ostensibly nine years old…in the context of the story].

Her acting, really, is a revelation.

The entire movie revolves around her.

She and her cat Dac.

It’s a sad story.

But Aria [Salerno] makes everything joyful.

Ah, the resilience of kids!

I was blessed with wonderful parents growing up.

Aria’s parents in this film are reprehensible in just about every way imaginable.

There is something of a Les Quatre Cents Coups to this tale.

Aria wanders back and forth.

With her little pet carrier (for the cat).

She has no stability.

Indeed, she ultimately has very little love at all.

I don’t want to spoil the story for you.

But here are the takeaways.

Asia Argento has the talent to become a world-class filmmaker.

This was an admirable and artful first effort.

It is a very special film.

Now it’s time for her to stop surrounding herself with ass kissers.

She’s not an auteur¬†yet.

[I don’t care who her father was!]

Giulia Salerno has the brigtest future imaginable as an actress.

She is now about 15 years old.

And she’s already put a performance like this under her belt.

I hope that Hollywood and the cinema of her home country Italy take notice of her incredible thespian gift.

And I will give Argento one more compliment:  she sure shocked the shit out of me with that ending.

And though it was trite and tasteless, it didn’t completely ruin what was a very fine film.

Indeed, the editor needed for the bulk of this film would have lopped it off forthwith (if they were at all worth their salt).

-PD

Nuovo Cinema Paradiso [1988)

One of the greatest of all time.

I wasn’t sure I could handle the flood of emotions this film was bound to trigger.

But I went for it.

And it is, truly, a masterpiece.

Essential viewing.

In the U.S. we know it simply as Cinema Paradiso, but I wish to honor director Giuseppe Tornatore by reviewing it under the Italian title.

This film is full of fear and regret…because it is reminiscence.

Gone long from home.

Many years away from family.

Moreover, there are few films which portray a pure love for cinema quite like this one.

What we have is a mentorship. ¬†Alfredo, the mentor…and Toto, the mentee.

There are so many magical shots…so many jewel-like devices of cinematic deftness which make this picture truly special.

When I was a young man, this film taught me the potential of cinema.

And my fear at the time was losing my past.

But now that I have, by the grace of God, returned to my homeland, my fear tonight was reimmersing myself in the beauty of misery.

Or the misery of beauty.

In accounting, they teach you to ignore sunk costs.

But the human psyche still yearns for the one that got away.

We analyze our past decisions.

We lament our judgement.

But the costs of love, the economic costs of love (the totality of what was at stake) cannot be so easily dismissed.

Maybe it was not meant to work out.

But there are some very painful, lonely yearnings which age us like a bottle of scotch.

Perhaps our pain will be someone’s joy.

We cannot live with a “letter never sent”.

But a letter never answered can be so indescribably mournful.

And so we have come back.

Having tried our luck and worked our hands to the bone.

And we praise God for the opportunity to see Alfredo again.

The whole family.

It’s a trade-off.

And lost love still leaves us wistful.

Maybe we don’t understand the reverse culture shock we have been battling.

For several years.

Maybe we are yet too young.

To see our homeland with eyes of clarity.

This is what Philippe Noiret tells Marco Leonardi.

You’re not old enough yet…to be here.

Noiret is really the star of this film.

With his big mustache.  And his close-cropped hair.

The projectionist.

But none of this would have been possible without the child.

Toto.  Salvatore Cascio.

His impish smile.  His hunger to learn.

We see a filmmaker in the making of himself.

And while Jacques Perrin is quite special as the grown-up Toto,

there is one key personality I must touch upon.

Agnese Nano.

This actress changed my life.

And I fell in love with her understudy.

Perhaps years later I did the same again.

Those blue eyes always kill you.

But it was when I first saw this.  In 1998.

I fell in love.

And it didn’t work out so well.

It was too much.

Ill-fated.

Romeo and Juliet.

I felt I was lower-class.

I had no confidence.

It is these things which we regret.

How a word could have been different.

How a revelation might have changed history.

But we praise God for Pupella Maggio.

Thank you, God, for your blessings.

This film has made me very emotional.

Because it is a masterpiece.

And we shall sail on.

Into the night sky.

And remember how Ennio Morricone guided our every blessed footstep in our Garden of Eden. ¬†Over paths encrusted with tiny diamonds here and there…which would catch the reflection of the moon. ¬†We walked the path the best we could.

-PD

Marina Abramovińá: The Artist is Present [2012)

As the world collapses, we have a few choices.

We always have these choices.

We seek truth.

And we endure.

We rebel.

And we find our communities.

As I write, America is in deep turmoil.

Boiling like a witch’s cauldron (some might say).

Perhaps I have written about it before…my ancestor…who was hung in Salem, Massachusetts for being a witch.

My relative, Susannah Martin.

Hung in 1692.

And if you are combing social media (like I am), you are likely to hear about Marina Abramovińá.

Let me start by saying that this is a beautiful woman.  A beautiful human being.

A genius.

But today’s context…a WikiLeaks email…a dinner invitation to Tony Podesta from Marina.

And specifically, the term “Spirit Cooking”.

I must preface by saying that there are other concurrent rumors abounding regarding Hillary Clinton.¬† The connection above is, incidentally, that Tony is the brother of John Podesta:¬† Hillary’s campaign chairman.

But back to these rumors.

I have not checked my phone in a couple of hours.

Anything could have happened.

Because it seems that SOMETHING (or 650,000 things) on Anthony Weiner’s laptop turned the stomachs of NYPD’s Special Victims Unit.

But again, there has (so far) been a mass media blackout regarding what is assumed.

It appears that there may be a massive pedophilia sting going on which directly relates to Hillary Clinton.  Furthermore, the evidence is pointing to possible child trafficking (in conjunction with said pedophilia).

We’re hearing lots of things here in America.

That there are incriminating photos of Bill and Hillary Clinton (and perhaps Huma Abedin as well) on the confiscated laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner.

Huma Abedin forwarded 650,000 emails to that computer.

From what I have read, this story could break at any moment.

As I said, I have not checked the news in a couple of hours.

But citizen patriots are all over these leads.

And so you can see how “Spirit Cooking” has been construed to be part of this vast conspiracy.

There is indeed a conspiracy.

But what role does Marina Abramovińá play in it?

I have no idea.

It would be sheer conjecture for me to venture a guess.

But a couple seconds of research reveals the bizarre video shot in 1997.

A recipe.¬† “Fresh breast milk.”¬† “Fresh sperm.”

This is what Abramovińá paints on a wall with a bloody-looking substance.

The recipe is to “mix” the aforementioned ingredients.

Correction, it reads “sperm milk.”

You can see why a casual observer might find this “recipe” concerning.

The next painting on the 1997 video is of the phrase “With a sharp knife cut deeply into the middle finger of your left hand.¬† Eat the pain.”

This phrase needs some explanation.

As evident from watching this 2012 documentary about Abramovińá, knives and cutting have been a significant element of her art.

She is an artist.

But indeed, she has likewise been drawn to the pentagram (both cutting it into her belly with a razor blade during one performance and lying in the middle of a giant flaming pentagram which surrounds her in another performance art piece).

She is a performance artist.

Think Joseph Beuys.

A third panel from the 1997 video reads “Fresh morning urine sprinkle over nightmare dreams.”

You can see how one might mistake such recipes for witchcraft.

But we must ask, might they possibly be?

Tony Podesta was ostensibly asking his brother John whether he wanted to come participate in some kind of ritualistic dinner.

Just how much was it faux-Satanism (or paganism) and how much was it real deal bizzaro shit?

This is where the child sex ring (if the rumors are true) potentially frames this “dinner” as perhaps more than just a Black Sabbath unplugged concert over a bottle of red wine.

The next panel of 1997:¬† “Spin around until you lose consciousness.¬† Try to eat all the questions of the day.”

Hell…that sounds like Hillary’s campaign!¬† Teetering off the curb on 9/11 (just as her campaign is listing)…and “eating questions”–trying to squelch doubts (and voices).

And here’s where art becomes hypocritical.

Again, to watch the 1997 video (as a non-artist) would be to see what is seemingly some kind of occult ritual.¬† The “paint” mixture appears to be real blood (animal?) in addition to possibly entrails and feces.

It is extreme art.

The video (1997) is in Italian (shot in Italy) except when Abramovińá breaks into English.

But she seems to utter the word alchimia (alchemy).

Again, the artist (no surprise) has a fascination with the occult (at the very least).

Back to that first panel about the breast milk and sperm…

It continues with “Drink on earthquake nights.”

And over a doorway (?) there is more “blood” with the words “Spirit Cooking.”

So we must ask, is this what the Podesta brothers were up to?

Incidentally, the email referred to earlier was actually an invitation for John Podesta’s wife Mary to come to the “Spirit Cooking” dinner.

Or!¬† It was to John (the recipient) with a lazy add-on question ending reading “Mary?”.

So then it looks like perhaps John and Mary were invited to spend an evening with brother Tony and Ms. Abramovińá.

As some on Twitter have noticed (apparently), the 1997 video ends with (literally) a dark crystal…a “mineral pillow” which is supposed to transmit energy to the person whose head is placed against it.

The video (1997) appears to have been shot at Studio Stefania Miscetti in Rome.

Other artists who have done “installations” there include Yoko Ono and (similar to Abramovińá’s style in this piece) Hermann Nitsch.

Art is not a crime.

Unless it’s real blood from say, for instance, a murdered child.

There’s no evidence of that in Abramovińá’s 1997 installation, but it is EXTREMELY DISTURBING to contemplate the possibility that the Clintons were running a child trafficking ring for pedophiles.

Again, as I’ve said, those details are just rumors at this point.

But a significant amount of circumstantial evidence (Jeffrey Epstein and the Lolita Express) gives credence to the possibility that the Clintons (both of whom flew on sex offender Epstein’s jet many times [Lolita Express]) were indeed up to something unspeakably sinister.

There’s also the Hillary connection to Laura Silsby (who was convicted of child trafficking in Haiti).¬† The charges against Silsby and others were “abduction and criminal conspiracy” (carrying a possible 15-year sentence in Haiti).¬† This is also courtesy of WikiLeaks.

Laura Silsby may be an excellent woman who was caught up in a misunderstanding.

Marina Abramovińá is an amazing artist.¬† I hope to God she is not in some kind of criminal circle with the Clintons.

But the NYPD sure seems interested in Weiner’s laptop.¬† The stories I have been reading point to something HUGE involving the Clintons.

But I must say…the film Marina Abramovińá:¬† The Artist is Present is a masterpiece.

This lady is a true artist.

A Serbian.  A beautiful feminist.

The film recounts Abramovińá’s three-month test of endurance at MoMA in New York City.

Abramovińá may very well be an innocent bystander in an otherwise slimy criminal investigation.

I see no evil in the heart of Marina Abramovińá.

I see immense wickedness in the heart of Hillary Clinton.

I think it is quite possible that Abramovińá’s occult fascination is merely part of her exploration as an artist.¬† No one gets hurt in her art.¬† She only hurts herself.¬† Like Iggy Pop.

The scary thing would be to imagine the possibility that a criminal network like the Clintons had taken artful concepts of simulation and affected them as reality.

Those who sat across from Abramovińá at The Artist is Present included James Franco (shown), Lou Reed (not shown), and Bj√∂rk (also not shown).

Apparently Lady Gaga showed up.¬† [I couldn’t care less.]

One final point…

The sense of temporality which Abramovińá affected with this piece bears a striking resemblance to the prolonged gaze of which Ingmar Bergman’s camera was so fond.

Great minds think alike ūüôā

So there you go, world.

An assessment of the lovely Marina Abramovińá from an ardent Trump supporter.

Try to process that one!

 

-PD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Viaggio in Italia [1954)

We push ourselves so hard.

For what?

So that we may see beauty.

For me, it’s this.

Though I can barely hold my eyes open, I see it.

I see what Godard saw when he was just a lad.

A very mature film from Roberto Rossellini.

But by mature, we don’t mean sexual.

Actually, more nuanced than that.

A celebration of woman as human being.

A celebration of Ingrid Bergman as auteur.

Just as much as her husband, the director.

It’s there.

The collaboration.

And it’s unlike any other film I’ve ever seen.

Perhaps…

she fell in love with his genius.

The war trilogy.

We have talked about the great films.

Just after WWII.

Rome, Open City.

Germany, Year Zero.

And enfin…

Paisan.

[in not quite that order]

These are our English names.

But Journey to Italy is a weird feast of linguistic absurdity.

“…you shameless hussy”.

It’s like this, see…

George Sanders and Ingrid Bergman are British,

but they’re speaking Italian.

This was so the Italians didn’t have to read subtitles.

But then George says to a prosititute,

“I don’t speak Italian” (or something)

in English…WHEN HE’S BEEN SPEAKING ITALIAN FOR THE FIRST HOUR OF THE FILM!

And then there’s the Italian tradition of postproduction.

No live sound.

In this film, no ambient noises.

It’s like George and Ingrid are touring Italy in a fucking Tesla Model S!!

And a bit of dialogue.

And a clip-clop and a cloche.

Get out of the way, donkey cart!

Such that at a certain point, we wonder whether Roberto was exploding not only genre (to reference James Monaco), but the Italian version of “the tradition of quality” against which the French New Wave set themselves so polemically.

ūüôā

It’s possible.

“Do you think I’m insane,” asked Elon Musk.

No, of course not.

You’re South African like me.

But at the heart of this film (this is a film review, right?) are the same marital arts (!) which made Benatar sing love is a battlespace.  What?

Before Godard and Karina, it was Roberto and Ingrid.

And the tension rubs.

Gimme friction, said Tom Verlaine.

And Paul Verlaine said some stuff which was ignored.

And Rimbaud shot his hand.  Or ran guns.

Back when Abyssinia.

Main point is this is beautiful film.

Plain simple.

And it’s no accident Mr. and Ms. Joyce.

 

-PD

 

Stromboli, terra di Dio [1950)

Trying to get over that mountain.

A volcano.

Stumble, fall.

Not meant to be.

In this place.

A sadness of place.

But I’m just a simple fisherman now.

Pulling in tunas.

Folkways.

She’s had it.

Ingrid in her plain pattern dress.

The wind never stops messing with her hair.

And it’s painful just to look around.

Out to sea.

Mario Vitale.  Takes a simple job.

But the town surveils.

So that the empty winds blow like in LAvventura.

On an island.

Ingrid from Sweden playing Karin from Lithuania.

Argentina does not accept her.

And so she marries.

The best option of no options.

But she has her spirit broken.

By tradition.

By dumb muscle.

She’s a little flower crushed by the rock.

But it’s true.

She’s a mean melancholic.¬† A flailing tuna with one last whip of the tail.

Hoping to return to the ocean.

And she is pricked on all sides.

Hoisted.

And piled with the other creatures lengthwise.

My heart breaks for Ingrid.

Because of Roberto Rossellini.

A new style of filmmaking here.

Similar to his other film of 1950:  Francesco, giullare di Dio.

The flowers of introspection.

Existentialism.

Italy.

And now in Ginostra you might find Jacopo Fedi catching octopi or Marco Nicolosi relaxing.

In real life (away from celebrities), it is hard to make friends.

What ŇĹiŇĺek might call “the desert of the real”.

Some turnovers you can eat, others you just have to live with.

 

-PD

Riso Amaro [1949)

Robert Bresson said, “I believe in cinema.”

In English?¬† Like that?¬† I don’t know.

But it is truly the thought which counts here.

Because I believe in cinema.

Cinema.

Maybe it’s my favorite word.

My religion.

The great omnist hymn of all lands.

Of all the hands which have pitched in to turn the wheels of the mind.

And so this film, Bitter Rice, is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

Not because it is flowery and seductive. [It’s not flowery.]

Not because there are perfumed stars in diamonds. [There’s no perfume.]

But because it is real.

As real as cinema gets.

Not the hyperreal of Harmony Korine’s Gummo.

Not even the transparent real of documentary footage.

But a real which is uniquely Italian.

To say neorealism is to cheapen the whole creation.

This is a masterpiece by director Giuseppe De Santis.

You must live through the rain to understand it.

You must have had no hope to fathom the slop.

You must wade in de water.

Because you are seeing Italian opera.

There’s no speech in the field.

No talking.

Workers are in the prison of labor.

Same kinds of rules.

But if you sing, that’s tolerated.

And so it all must be sung.  In the fields.

Puccini famously bragged about his facility.

Give him a grocery list, he said.

And Willie Sutton had his hygiene and motivators covered.

Even if he never uttered the famous phrase.

He ENJOYED robbing banks.

And, yes, that was where the money was.

And so the field workers not only display humanism.

Not only embody feminism.

But engage in a little triage worthy of Sutton’s law.

Taking the poor girl to the embankment.

[They’re all poor.¬† This is 1949 Italy.]

It’s not psychotic fugue, but psychogenic fugue.

Fugue state.

Thuringia.

The Axis Powers played a very bad game of chess.

Stretto was the shit hitting the fan.

“Ride of the Valkyries” mixed with heavy artillery mixed with vocalizations of agony.

Ristretto is what you get at Starbucks.

But, dear friends, don’t stop after the first half.

Let it finish.

Let it bleed.

Shine a light.

For Silvana Mangano.

Sylvania.¬† Someone has etched the word “hope” into the light bulb’s socket.

In the Schwarzwald.

The deep eerie mystery of the woods.¬† And Hitler’s aerie.

[Godwin golden mean]

34 21 13 8

almost Fibonacci but ending

aND nothing more Italian that an actress named Doris Dowling.

But that’s the way it went.

Direct descendent of opera verismo.

Our old favorites Mascagni and Leoncavallo.

But Netflix hasn’t gotten at the heart of what this means.

“Strong female lead” or some such rubbish.

Nice try…

But Riso Amaro blows all those venal pigeonholing strategies out of the water.

Cinema is not my God.

Cinema is my religion.

 

-PD

Twin Peaks “The Man Behind Glass” [1990)

I’m guessing this episode might best be chalked up to studio interference.

We’ve seen it before.

Take the James Bond film Spectre.

One can feel the executive sabotage.

But here is a little different.

From a quick glance.

ABC (presumably) wanted Lynch and Co. to move things along.

Enough with this suspense.

Or perhaps that was yet to come.

Perhaps this episode is like recitative in opera.

It has to be there (upon a time), but we kinda want it to be over.

We want the arias.  The choruses.

There’s no Maria Callas disc of “best-loved recitatives”.

[Recitativi?]

Yes. sì.

Here we run into a sort of auteur theory for stories.

Or perhaps we are running into auteur theory in its purest form.

If we assume the brilliance of David Lynch (and Mark Frost), then we will blame Lesli Linka Glatter for daft direction here.

But we have previously praised Ms. Glatter.  She has the chops.

So what was the problem with this episode?

Did the material (Lynch and Frost) save Glatter’s direction?

[Did Glatter’s direction ruin Lynch and Frost’s writing?]

Or did Glatter save a mediocre piece of writing by Lynch and Frost?

That’s the problem of episodes.

Chunks.

TV is inherently cubist.

And stories are not conceived with interpolated commercial breaks.

That’s why the stories suffer.

On TV.

The medium is faulty.

The medium gives very little respect for the creations it airs.

But hey:  at least the message is getting out there!

McLuhan would point out that the orientation of space and time determines to the largest extent how we interpret television shows.

[Which is to say, “…the medium is the message.”]

I would have to agree.

And so we are left hanging.

Perhaps for the first time.

Usually we are looking forward to the next episode.

But this time we’re just annoyed.

Because the episode is not a self-contained satisfying unit of entertainment.

Not this time.

You win some, you lose some.

We still love the story.  And the characters.

But we could have done without some of the clumsy fluff.

That was, by the way, my initial concept.

For my website.

A descriptive coup.

Clumsy fluff.

 

-PD

Paisà [1946)

Something about the late night.

And a war movie.

Makes me tired of fighting.

The ongoing war.

Identify:  friend or foe?

The Italian partisans were fighting against their own fascist government.

They were fighting against the Nazis.

This will be a little late in coming, but an idea can have a soft opening.

Applied Memetics.

Memetic engineering.

We bombed Sicily.

Clear the beaches.

A daughter-in-law (it is implied) was killed by our bombs.

Boom boom.

And now she cannot even have her wake in peace.

She was an egg for a larger omelet.  That should be remembered both ways.

Disgusting.  And no other way around it.

Warfare in 1943.

Is it a road?

No, it’s lava.

So many misunderstandings in war.

I’m an American.

Me.

The author.

It is the country of my birth.

And I love my country.

The partisans were fighting the fascists.

The fascists were the outgoing government.

More clearly, I defend the pillars.

Free speech.

Push the limits.

USE your free speech.

Get the word out.

Be wrong.

Apologize.

Try to get it right.

Study science.

Drunk in Naples.

Thinking of DeFord Bailey.

Born same day as me.

Harmonica Frank.

Ain’t talkin’.¬† Just walkin’.

You gonna have to eat those boots if you lose them.

Which is a contradiction.

Maria Michi was such a bitch in Roma, città aperta.

You remember?

We she comes face to face with torture???

And so the OSS fought with the partisans.

Training in explosives.  And survival.  Every possible scenario.

Basics.  Navigation of small boats.

Because poetry is always dangerous.

You might analyze an entire Yankees season in two minutes, but I am large vast, I contain mul,ti,tudes,,,

Improved upon by the collective unconscious.

What?

Well, Maria Michi redeems herself here.

Still a whore.

But a heart of gold.

Straight from central casting (as Webster Tarpley might say).

I believe it was The Thrills.

Love in vain?

Two lights…diverged in a forest…AC/DC

I alternate between direct and oblique.

That was Rome.

Most notable for war is Florence.

The Rucellai gardens…ah.

I haven’t heard that name in a long time—

Wan excrement.

Nick Tosches.

We take up Machiavelli to study war.

Because there is something worth defending.

As faded as it is.

Over five-hundred years ago…they were already lamenting.

It’s nothing new.

What Sean Elliott correctly calls curmudgeon talk.

Will Harriet Medin taste youth one more time?

Because the great painter-warrior seems to be in danger.

Across the Arno.

Putting the Po in poverty.

Lou Reed became Transformer.

The Wolf.  Lupo.

Call me Winston.

That Rosser Reeves should have died in 1984.

Better living through chemistry.

Thank God for mental illness.

Tonight I’m gonna rock you tonight.

Second request.

Uffizi with crated antiquity.

A more high-dollar GoldenEye.

Impenetrable.

We always rebel against our kind.

Youth.

The imperfect circle of mimesis morphed.

And meme.

Daddy-O.

Like watercolors one bleedingintotheother.

Which we would have called word painting for J.S.  In a cantata.  Or oratorio.

Wasn’t a “years of lead” scale attack.¬† Uffizi.¬† 1993.

But we seem to trace the progression of honorable men (OSS) to bizarre hydra (CIA).

Short sword for thrusting.

To each, his own.

The British (like the Catholics) are portrayed as spoiled twats.

[The Catholics (director Rossellini being Italian) are portrayed lovingly as myopic outliers]

Shakespeare would have been appalled by Shakespeare in Love.

And right before the “Fine” a noyade.

Viz. know your history.

I am guilty as hell.

Of being an idiot.

But I have a lust for life beneath this quiet desperation.

 

-PD

Senso [1954)

How does love turn into hate?

Does it ever work the other way around?

Hate into love?

Because the natural course seems to be love into hate.

Vulnerability into hurt.

Hurt into resentment.

And somewhere along the continuum, God forbid, revenge.

Senso, despite its extravagant period costumes and generous budget, is still a product of neorealism.

Sure…it’s hard for most of us to relate to a Countess.

That’s why I can’t read Tolstoy.¬† I can’t read Fitzgerald.¬† Not even out of curiosity or hatred.

I can only read Dostoyevsky.  I have only ever related to the outlaw.

Of outlaw literature.

But cinema does a funny thing.

We may not be able to really “get into” Il Trovatore or Der Freisch√ľtz, but occasionally a talented auteur can make us appreciate the truly foreign:¬† a higher social class.

In this case, it is the highest.

The nobility.

In English we might (but probably won’t) know it as the Third Italian War of Independence.¬† How confusing.¬† That would seem to entail a July 4th (for us Americans) three times a year (assuming there wasn’t a fourth war).

In plain terms, it was Austria vs. Italy (rather like a soccer match).

Football.¬† Footie.¬† FTSE.¬† Yes…

All rather humdrum after the smoke has wafted away.

Idiots, they call us.

Those who fight.

Some join an army.  Very brave.

Others expose themselves needlessly.¬† What might be termed “impulsive” or again “thoughtlessness”.

What does this?

In both cases, pride (generally speaking).

Sure, a professional soldier makes a decent living (as long as he or she is living), but said soldier is a chess piece of one type or another…always manipulated from above…lacking autonomy.

And yet, perhaps, no price is too high to pay people who are willing to die to defend their country.

But we must define country.

Defending those who cannot (for one reason or another) defend themselves is indeed honorable.

Defending the abstract structures and mechanisms of a state, perhaps less so…

And yet, a pride can infuse the defense of all of this (either separately or collectively).

And then there is the rebel.

Perhaps the rebel will never again find his army in the first world.

In terms of class warfare, then, the United States is a frozen conflict zone.

Just like Abkhazia or some other little-talked-about blip on the map.

Is there a class war?

Should there be a class war?

Shouldn’t wars of all kinds have been evolved out of existence long ago?

Yes?

No…the rebel shan’t find his army in America.

The battlefield has changed.

And as bathos is my witness, “love is a battlefield”!

Discourse on Benatar.

Cannot contain the dodo on his perch.

But never does Luchino Visconti stoop to such poor taste.

No.

Fever pitch, yes.

But poor taste, never.

Because he is telling Spengler’s story.

And he is still telling WWII.

There can be no avoiding that.  Nine years later.

It must be couched in allegory.

And I, like Baudelaire, am nourished by my own misery.

All of this I owe to Walter Benjamin.

Avoid the jalapeno pronunciation.  ~ath do us part.

Alida Valli gets to show more of her breadth here than in the criminally underrated Paradine Case (no pun intended).

Pennies and “the” will be eliminated from the verbal money supply.

Farley Granger is more of a maniac than in Rope (the Hitchcock closest to my snob heart).

Most importantly, Visconti sets the mood with Bruckner’s 7th Symphony.

And now Carlo Maria Giulini’s recording for Deutsche Grammophon makes more sense.

Senso in what sense?

Direction?

Love leaves you with a worthless compass.

The sun begins to revolve around the Earth.

What a perilous pleasure.

That we hope for forever until our end of days.

No matter the hurt…always more.

For the romantic.

 

-PD