Archive for December, 2013

“Nebraska”

Posted in Film with tags , , on December 29, 2013 by kozmicdogz

Nebraska-poster2

“Nebraska” is the new film from director Alexander Payne. Written by Bob Nelson, the film stars Bruce Dern, Will Forte, and June Squibb.

Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) has received a letter in the mail that says he has won $1 million dollars. He is married, old, alcoholic, he can’t drive, but he wants this money to buy a new truck and an air compressor.

Grant sets off from his home in Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska where the letter is from. And since he can’t drive he is of course walking .

Alexander Payne who was born in Nebraska shot his film in black and white and it is beautiful. It is also sad and funny, as well as cringe making along the way. It is not for everyone.  Although not as accessible as some of his previous films, “The Descendents” (2011), “Sideways” (2004), “About Schmidt” (2002), there is plenty to like about this film.

Dern is completely believable as an old curmudgeon on a quest that his family try to convince him is folly. There may be some who will say it is too slow and maybe too sad, but it is a good story about a man with a mission and a son who loves him.

Where “Winter’s Bone” (2010) made me want to avoid the Ozarks, Nebraska doesn’t look so good either.

Go see it.

Advertisements

Merry Christmas!

Posted in Music with tags , on December 25, 2013 by kozmicdogz

Shortest Day Welcomes First Day of Winter

Posted in Environment with tags on December 21, 2013 by kozmicdogz

Today is the first day of Winter, the Winter Solstice. The day in the Northern Hemisphere when the sun is low on the horizon and we get the least amount of daylight.

The leaves have all fallen. The temperature has dipped below freezing a number of times, but the last few days have felt like spring. Par for the course in the Piedmont region of Virginia.

The sunrise yesterday was something special. Turned the sky red and then orange. The full moon of the 17th was spectacular and still lights the sky.

Hard to believe Christmas is just days away. As a child the wait to Christmas seemed to take ages, but as an adult time flies by at an incredible speed and December goes by in a blink of an eye.

Enjoy the daylight today, there will be more tomorrow.

Saturday Night Double Feature

Posted in Film with tags , , on December 15, 2013 by kozmicdogz

Richmond has been going crazy with fun and cool stuff to do. So what did we do last night we stayed home and watched a double feature of “The Visitor” and “Junebug” while trimming the Christmas tree. We missed both films when they originally came out in the middle of the last decade, but both were fun and well worth a view.

TheVisitorPosterJunebug_poster

“The Visitor” (2007), directed by Tom McCarthy (“The Station Agent“) and starring Richard Jenkins, the father from “Six Feet Under” is the story of an economics professor who recently widowed has been sliding by in his academic career and is forced by his department head to present a paper in NYC. Walter travels to the city and finds a young couple living in his apartment which he has not visited in months. He gets involved in their lives and starts a new one. Themes of immigration and loneliness.

“Junebug” (2005), directed by Phil Morrison and starring Embeth Davidtz as an outsider art gallery owner and  Amy Adams as a young pregnant woman who lives with her in-laws and whose husband is uncommunicative to the point of  hardly even being there. A nice surprise was Scott Wilson, Hershel, from the Walking Dead as the silent, yet strong father. A nice ensemble cast that looks at the dynamics of a rural North Carolina family whose oldest son has married a worldly artistic woman (Davidtz) and come to visit while trying to woo an outsider artist whose work is both a bit deranged, and fascinating.

Both films leave you with the main characters carrying on with their lives in a way that will leave you wondering what they learned. Will they be better people? I think so. A great double feature which I nominate for a weeks run at the Biograph, if it hadn’t closed in 1987.

Oh well.

Some of the cool stuff missed recently:

Crispin Glover at the Byrd, Hamaganza, RVA Krampus walk, RVA Christmas Parade, etc…but there is plenty more to come!

Pearl Harbor – December 7, 1941

Posted in Politics with tags , on December 7, 2013 by kozmicdogz

It was 72 years ago today the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and finally brought the US into World War II.

PearlHarborNatArchives01

My father had been drafted into the Army prior to the attack and was having Sunday spaghetti dinner at his mother’s house with friends when the news arrived. Here is my post from last year.

The Survival of American Silent Feature Films: 1912-1929

Posted in Film with tags , , on December 4, 2013 by kozmicdogz

“The Survival of American Silent Feature Films: 1912-1929” by David Pierce from the Council on Library and Information Resources (clir.org) and the Library of Congress.

A 73 page report on the status of the surviving American Silent Films. Abstract from CLIR.

silentFilm

From the executive summary:

This report focuses on those titles that have managed to survive to the present day and represents the first comprehensive survey of the survival of American silent feature films. The American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films documents 10,919 silent feature films of American origin released through 1930. Treasures from the Film Archives, published by the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), is the primary source of information regarding silent film survival in the archival community. The FIAF information has been enhanced by information from corporations, libraries, and private collectors.
…..
Only 2,749 (25%) of American silent feature films survive in complete form. Another 562 (17% of the surviving titles and 5% of total production) survive in incomplete form. Of these, at least 151 titles survive in versions that have one reel missing. Another 275 titles survive in versions that are not complete, missing two reels or more. This includes the films that survive only in 9.5mm abridgements and many of the Eastman Kodak Kodascope 16mm home library releases where footage was eliminated to reduce the running time. Finally, there are 136 confirmed fragments, where one reel or less survives. There are probably many more odd reels in collections, unidentified and uncataloged.

Thanks to Kevin B for first letting me know about this. By the end of the day it was all over the news and FB. An important report.

An Evening With Crispin Glover

Posted in Art, Film, Writers & Writing with tags , on December 2, 2013 by kozmicdogz

GloverPoster

Crispin Hellion Glover returns to the Byrd Theatre for the “Crispin Hellion Glover’s Big Slide Show Pt. 2.” He performed at the Byrd Theatre in December 2010, with readings and slides. You can read all about it here. If you want to experience one of the more unusual evenings you will ever experience go see Glover on December 5th at the Byrd Theatre.

Here are the particulars:

Date: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Time: 9:45 PM

An Evening With
Crispin Hellion Glover

This Special Appearance Includes:
Crispin Hellion Glover’s
Big Slide Show Pt 2:
Mr. Glover will present a one-hour dramatic narration of eight different profusely illustrated books.

Images from the books are projected behind him during his performance.
Then A Screening of
It Is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE
Plus
Q&A session and Book Signing
Admission $20
Ticket Window opens at 9pm
(cash only)
Tickets On Sale Now At:
Video Fan
Chop Suey Books

NO ADVANCE TICKETS SOLD AT BYRD!
jamesriverfilm.org

%d bloggers like this: