25 October 2014

Things heard, a beat, a collage, etc.

I always wondered about the lowercase "o" in the Museum of Modern Art's abbreviation "MoMA" – whenever I would see this, I would think to myself, 'Why are only three of the letters capitalized?—Why not simply drop the "o" altogether?' But now I realize that the "o" MUST be kept in the acronym, in order to distinguish the Museum from its archrival: Mixed Martial Arts.


Who requested an uglypic? Here's a 2-piece collage: I taped one magazine clipping atop another clipping. There are rips in the paper. No thought or effort was expended on this process whatsoever.

Things I heard

Underneath the present section of this blog post, I will give a minor thought about a movie that I recently watched. The thought is not worth reading—I'm not saying this to be modest or self-deprecative; I really mean it (that's why I'm positioning the present section first and leaving the bad part to fend for itself in the netherworld below)—but I couldn't bear to consign it to the waste bin, so now we all have to ignore it here online.

What I really want to relay are the two interesting things that I heard while listening to the movie's commentary track, which, by the way, was spoken by the noted film historian Sir Christopher Frayling:

Heard thing #1:

Clint Eastwood derived his breathy delivery (which is associated with his tough-guy characters) from Marilyn Monroe.

Heard thing #2:

The abovementioned film scholar Frayling attributed the following quotation to the writer Mark Twain: "In America, you're famous for your latest work; in Europe you're famous for your greatest work."

A beat!

Before moving on to the movie note, here is a tune to play when you drive in your jet: Furniture Beat 000028. (I made it myself.)


I fell so deeply in love with Sergio Lenoe's film ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST that I quickly requested copies of his other titles. The one that I watched yesterday was FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE. It's the movie that he made right after A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (which I watched earlier and loved as well). Here are a couple of thoughts that I had after finishing that film:

The director Leone chose Lee Van Cleef to play one of the two main characters, alongside Clint Eastwood. The film historian Sir Christopher Frayling, who provided a commentary track on the disc that I watched (and whom I found brilliant and helpful), explains that, prior to FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, Van Cleef usually just played the "second villain from the left, who dies early on in the film". Frayling notes that Leone took a chance on Van Cleef, because he loved his face and the way that he carried himself. Leone didn't bother, before filming, to find out if Van Cleef could handle such a large role (the parts that Van Cleef was accustomed to playing gave him either very little or nothing to say); but Van Cleef ended up working marvelously.

The funny thing that I myself noted, when I heard this detail about Van Cleef usually playing the "second villain from the left, who dies early on in the film," is that Klaus Kinski plays precisely that "second villain" role in this Leone picture; yet, roughly six years later, Werner Herzog would cast Kinski as the lead in one of his own masterpieces (note the plural: 'masterpieces' – I'm unabashedly biased in favor of Herzog) titled AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD; and his performance demonstrates as much genius as I've ever seen in a film actor.

I'll end this with two screen shots; the first shows Kinski in Herzog's film, and the second shows Eastwood & Van Cleef in Leone's.


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