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February 26, 2007


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Are married housekeeper-women really happier than footloose college girls?

* Amazon customer-reviewer "Clotilde de Valois" is one dizzy, madcap, inspired writer. Brackets, tildes, breathless switchbacks, arch asides, gasps, notes to self ... She's like an even higher-camp version of John Ashbery.

* John Massengale gives Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House a mixed review.

* Joanne Jacobs reports that 30% of California students drop out before getting a high school degree.

* Today's great line comes from Bookgasm's Alan Mott. He's discussing a book of film crit:

As an academic film essayist, Dyer is that rare critic who chooses to focus on the film itself, rather than use the film only as a springboard to discuss the theories of dead French assholes.

* There's one specific reason why Bishwanath Ghosh feels sorry for atheists ...

* Eight of the ten fattest countries in the world are in the South Pacific.

* Rick Darby thinks it's important to wake up to the fact that the U.S. is not a capitalist country.

* Glenn Abel brings the happy news that the Criterion Collection will be bringing out a DVD of Kenzi Mizoguchi's "Sansho the Bailiff" in May. "Sansho" -- one of my fave-est of fave films -- has been one of the latest-in-coming-to-DVD of all film masterpieces.

* George Wallace is crazy about Elvis Perkins and "The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny." George earns himself this week's "Mr. Eclectic" award.



posted by Michael at February 26, 2007


As an academic film essayist, Dyer is that rare critic who chooses to focus on the film itself, rather than use the film only as a springboard to discuss the theories of dead French assholes.

Michael, I resent that. I am one of those Academic Film Essayist's and I only discuss the theories of LIVING Frech Assholes.

On a more serious note...One thing to note about the overweight people of the South Pacific: Before the introduction of processed foods to their diet, they relied heavily on Coconut Products and especially Coconut Oil. The reason I mention this is that Coconut Oil is the MOST Saturated of all the Saturated fats. Yet, without Trans Fats and Processed foods in their diet, Heart Disease and Obesity were rare.

This is my own little Hat Tip to Nina Planck (and the Weston Price Foundation).

Posted by: Ian Lewis on February 26, 2007 12:31 PM

Whoops! Rick Darby seriously missed the reason that Wal-Mart has joined the diversity mania.

Wal-Mart is the defendant in a class action lawsuit alleging discrimination against women. The suit was certified despite the fact that the complaining class consisted of 6 women.

Wal-Mart, like most corporations, is trying to buy some indemnity from lawsuit by prattling about diversity. The villain here is the lawsuit industry.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on February 26, 2007 6:54 PM

Are married housekeeper-women really happier than footloose college girls?

Drat! Leonard on that site beat me to it and said it best:

"Correlation is not causation. It may be that happier women tend to get married."

Posted by: Upstate Guy on February 27, 2007 9:18 AM

Glad to hear you like Sansho so much, Michael. I love it too. In fact, I suppose that if I were ever forced to choose only 10 movies to save from incineration, Sansho the Bailiff would almost certainly be one of them. Just thinking about the movie is enough to give me an artgasm and set my brain riffing on its themes.

Is there another movie that so artfully plays cruelty against compassion, male against female, greed against sacrifice, and instinct against inheritance? I can't think of one. Sansho goes after some of the Big Themes right off the bat, but it never feels preachy or didactic. It's like a Dickens novel as composed by Bach...which doesn't makes sense but feels about right.

I've had a French DVD of the film for awhile, but I'll likely still buy this new one, especially if it has some nice extras. I just wish there were more Mizoguchi available on DVD in this country.

Posted by: Ron on February 27, 2007 9:44 AM

Your Rick Darby piece brought to mind something tangentially related, which I recently came across:

Does technological advance make the decline of freedom and independence, and the increase of state regulation, inevitable? Fred Reed says so.

Posted by: anon on February 27, 2007 11:16 PM

Re the Mott entry/quote:

For a friend's birthday last July, I bought several of those BFI books: The Birds, Seven, Groundhog Day, Lolita, The Third Man. Paglia's essay on The Birds is a bigger mess than her poetry criticism, not by any means an easy task. Richard Dyer's essay on Seven, however, is as good as Mott says: down-to-earth, but with a lot of angles I hadn't considered before.

Posted by: J. Goard on February 28, 2007 1:23 AM

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