23 August 2014

Drawing, personal fun fact, movies & a reading

Below is a drawing that I made with loving care specially for this blog entry. And below that is a paragraph that I wrote, explaining one of my daily rituals. And below THAT are a few words about recent movies that I've watched. And last of all is a recording of my voice reading a poem that I love. By the way, all the while I've been typing these words, I can hear outside of my window a noise that sounds like an alien's flying saucer. (It still hasn't stopped...)

untitled drawing by tertius radnitsky

Personal fun fact:

Over the course of each day, I use up exactly 3 martini glasses. So, every morning, I perform the ritual of washing the previous day’s stemware. After lining them all up neatly in a row, I drip one drop of liquid soap into the inverted cone bowl of each stemmed glass. Going from one to the next, while I administer the dripping of these 3 drops, I chant my revision of the trinitarian formula: "I hereby baptize you in the name of the vermouth, and of the gin, and of the olive garnish." Then, instead of concluding with the word Amen, I mimic The Man from Another Place and say: "Let’s rock!"

Movie news:

By calling this section "movie news", I only mean that I'm going to list the titles of a couple films that I watched in the last few days. And the reason that I want to share these titles is that I love them.

Babo 73

Why has it taken me so long to learn of the existence of the movies of Robert Downey Sr!? In a previous entry, I took a self shot with the disc case to celebrate my enthusiasm for the first of his films that I watched, called Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight. On the strength of that movie alone, I purchased a box set of Downey's films; and the first in the set is Babo 73, which was originally released in 1964 and is apparently the director's first feature. I wasn't expecting this movie to be able to impress me as much as the other, but it absolutely did — I am in awe of it. There is a line from William Blake's book The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, which came to my mind as I watched: "Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius." Downey strikes me undoubtedly as this kind of genius. Here's a still from the film:

That's Taylor Mead, who plays the President of the "United Status". By the way, the song that plays during the Babo 73 opening credits is now one of my favorite instances of music in a movie's beginning. A couple other of my favorites are the credits to Pulp Fiction, and the opening pop song (etc.) from Antonioni's L'Eclisse.

OK now here's the second movie that I watched... actually I should say RE-watched, because I've seen it many times before, and always with overflowing admiration:

Pickup on South Street

I love this 1953 movie too much — but I'm running out of time as I type this entry, so I'll say almost nothing about it. It's better to simply watch it than to talk about it, anyway, I think.

By the way: Samuel Fuller, the director of Pickup on South Street, is one of the few filmmakers from that generation whose scenes sometimes strongly remind me of David Lynch — and I mean that as the highest praise (I'm a Lynch fanatic). This may be obvious to other Lynch fans, but I like to state the obvious because it strengthens the memory. Certain movies by Billy Wilder also seem pre-Lynch Lynchian.

I couldn't resist sharing the above still frame from Fuller's film. For those of you who can't decipher sex symbols, that's Jean Peters playing the role of "Candy".

Lastly, a reading

The poet's name is new to me: Serge Fauchereau. The poem is another that I found in Ashbery's Collected French Translations. I fear that these poetry recitations are less interesting to others than they are to me, and also that I'm recording too many of them; but I keep sharing them because I enjoy reading aloud, and I also recently acquired some portable equipment that makes recording my voice very easy. (I'll give the text at the end. As usual, my reading should appear directly below — if it doesn't, here's a link.)

The text below appears very small, but you should be able to click to enlarge it, or open it in another window or something. I don't know how to force it automatically to display any larger on this page.

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