1. On the eve of Milk, a two-part remembrance by Marshall Fine of how he and one Ms. Anita Bryant memorably crossed paths. Part 1 here; Part 2 here.
["I argued then and would argue now that a critic's biases are what form his taste and his aesthetic. The professional critic, however, enters every event—be it concert, film, play, whatever—with a clean slate and reacts to what he sees, writing from the standpoint of that aesthetic. But this wasn't a discussion about the role of the critic. This was a firing fueled by social and economic pressure. I'd poked a finger in the eye of what would come to be known a few years later as the Christian Right. I had to go."]
["Anderson's anxious visit to a New York City gay dive to see the ex-lover who's become a pawn in Senator Van Ackerman's (George Grizzard) blackmailing scheme is in several ways the picture's most problematic sequence. Stylistically, it breaks from the film's long-take flow—a two-minute passage is splintered into ten increasingly agitated shots. The fragmentation reflects the sequence's garishness, with effete barkeeps, swirling lights and distorted romantic music (sung, hilariously, by Frank Sinatra) that make Anderson recoil. Subjective hysteria cracks objective contemplation. Everything is shot through lurid lenses, yet what's striking about the scene is the way it visualizes the character's revulsion less toward homosexuality than toward the dishonesty he discovers within himself. In that, he's closer to troubled Preminger protagonists like Jean Simmons in Angel Face or Jean Seberg in Bonjour Tristesse—characters left to face an inner abyss—than to queer sacrificial lambs like Shirley MacLaine in The Children's Hour or Sandy Dennis in The Fox."]
3. Ross Ruediger reviews The Centennial Collection DVD release of Sunset Boulevard.
["Surely everything poignant or insightful there is to say about Billy Wilder's acid-tongued masterpiece "Sunset Boulevard" has already been said. It's benchmark cinema - a highpoint of movie history. The film has been deservedly discussed, dissected and devoured by many an intellect more insightful than mine. No amount of words can really express what makes this movie the classic that it is; one must experience it in order to get it. Yet in the spirit of trying to reach anyone who has yet to be initiated into the cult, this review will endeavor (and likely fail) to give it a go."]
4. Why can't Odie sleep? Run, don't walk, to Big Media Vandalism and find out.
["I have been having some weird ass dreams. Perhaps it's my pressure pills, or job stress, or that I've finally fallen off the precarious cliff of sanity. If Freud and Jung were still alive, they'd want to cut out my subconscious and freeze it for further study. Listen to this:"]
["Milch does say that he had hoped to introduce a couple of new characters in the never-made fourth season, one of which was based on the sojourning father of John D. Rockefeller who passed himself off as a medicine man who was both a fraud (dispensing mostly alcohol as medicine) and bigamist. He'd be accompanied by a native medicine man whose tactictics were about the same. As it was it could only introduce a bit of their stories in season three. He seems as dismayed by the series' end as the fans. He talks briefly of plans for "Deadwood" films in the same breath of planned "Deadwood" dirigibles and "Deadwood" jockstraps (which were problematic, he said, because some thought it would infer impotence). Still, he adds, "It's a child who believes that such things go on for ever. It's a child also who believes you can't start over. But you can and you have to.""]
Quote of the Day: Kahlil Gibran
"If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees."
Image of the Day (click to enlarge): It does a Kal-El good.
Clip of the Day: Card Crusher hustler. (Via John Lichman.)
_____________________________________________________ "Links for the Day": Each morning, the House editors post a series of weblinks that we think will spark discussion. Comments encouraged. Suggestions for links are also welcome. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.