Ennui. Estrangement. Existentialism? L’Avventura.
The 1960 Italian movie is populated by figures who are unmoored in the modern world. They drift maybe searching for new anchorages or are just content to keep meandering until running aground.
An ideal movie to watch again during the last languor of summer. Which is when the story reveals itself. Continue reading Too Cool for This Room
The 2023 silly season turned sinister PDQ, didn’t it? Continue reading This Silly Season
America continues apace pell-mell and hellbent towards further popular cultural infantilization.
We’re increasingly surrendering the ability to discuss and debate topics which might demand those participating in them to not only hold two opposing thoughts at the same time, much less let them shunt over onto other tracks. Though never as deft with simultaneous multiple moving parts as older societies, what Americans lacked in veritas we made up for in verve.
Thanks to the make it easier for the coloring book clarity brigades to contribute and thereby muddle the point, issues have lost their shades of gray. These have hardened into blacker or whiter blocs. Now, mentioning the word “nuance” makes more and more Americans reach for their revolvers. Where the verbal or written rapier sliced artfully, we now wail and flail with rhetorical bludgeons. Continue reading Illuminated in the Dark
Could it be that our real existences can frighten us deeper than what imaginations may conjure?
Atmospheric movies and artful live stagecraft can make flesh crawl. Or even startle audiences out of their skins. Continue reading Monstrosities
A Las Vegas acquaintance sought to pry some odd information from me. He asked the male equivalent for boudoir pictures. Until he’d wondered aloud, who knew one existed? Continue reading Samples of His Seraglio
Chewing the fat with long-time Las Vegas residents never tires. By that I don’t mean retirees who’ve descended here from elsewhere. Those people invariably have nothing interesting or worthwhile conversationally to add. Just complaints about today and regrets regarding opportunities deferred then dismissed through lengthy delay.
There’s only so much wistfulness one should hear until it starts burdening the present. Besides, once here and once monotony sets in too many of them become pill-poppin’ day drunks. Continue reading The Spear Carriers
Once, reporters wore the label of an “ink-stained wretch” as a badge of honor. Okay. At least a snarly backhanded compliment.
Now, with electronic media shrinking the importance of hard-copy print on the public mind, more and more of those purporting to be reporters weigh lighter anchors in their professed profession. Although a higher percentage of today’s byline bearers hold masters degrees, perhaps better preparatory might’ve been working on a factory assembly line. Continue reading Chagrin and Bare It
The Singing Monument
Met a fellow staying at El Cortez. He was in his late 20s, just on the cusp of grasping the ways of the world. Or so I incorrectly presumed. Continue reading Two from Las Vegas
Too bad the ancients never divined movies. That way the celluloid art could take its rightful place among the other nine Muses. Instead if old enough in the eyes and opinions of the young and callow, films of certain vintages do not share wine’s ability to age well. Continue reading Persuasion at 24 Frames a Second
From now until Halloween night fright film fans ought to be in their peculiar heaven. Continue reading Nightmares in Black & White