Friday, April 24, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Reconsidering Johnny Mnemonic

Some people study method acting but I'm studying wooden acting so I rented Johnny Mnemonic last night. This is my second time viewing this Robert Longo vehicle since it first came out. It stars two beautiful men: Keanu Reeves and Henry Rollins. Udo Kier is in it too! Rollins plays a doctor who is fighting an evil pharmaceutical company (an oxymoron?) that a has a cure for a terrible disease but will not release it. They want to continue making money treating the symptoms. International courier and mercenary Johnny stores the stolen code for the cure in his brain where the data has been uploaded via a socket in the back of his head (shades of John Astin in Candy). At the end of the movie everyone tells Johnny they have to hook him up to a dolphin in a dangerous download and he may die. He just wants to continue his plush courier expense account lifestyle and not be a hero. He loses it. Atop a mound of dried asphalt he yells "I WANT ROOM SERVICE! I want a club sandwich." Speaking of John Astin, Patty Duke is coming to the Castro Theater in San Francisco in July with a screening of Valley of the Dolls. I have it from the mouth of the producer, Marc Huestis who lives just a few doors down from me on Telegraph Hill. Why do I keep pronouncing mnemonic as pneumatic? There must be a special method by which I can remember this. The first time I saw Marc Huestis he played a hot male in fishnet stockings - a pool boy to Doris Fish in the play Sluts Au Go Go. This satire featured the girls going on a Bob Hope tour of Afghanistan and mind you this was in 1980. The other members included "Tippi" and Miss X. Now, what was I talking about? Oh yes, Johnny Pneumatic is not such a bad movie.

John Astin teaches method acting at at Johns Hopkins University.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Name that doll

This is my first doll which I bought at the T&C a junk store on Haight Street when I first moved to San Francisco and was still green (not jaded). The store had old dolls, this one is probably from the 30's. She smokes, that is, she has a tiny hole in her cupie-doll type lips. I didn't do the cupie lips in the drawing. She reminds me of Dietrich in Witness for the Prosecution. The scene where Tyrone Power ("Christine - don't say that!) first sees her performing "Ask What the Boys in the Back Room Want" in a ship captain's cap. Tyrone is on R&R from WWII. Click on her picture to see her at larger size. It's your turn to name her in our fabulous contest.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yankelovich Mushiness Index

We've all seen those pictures of Japanese street fashion: hipsters dressed in wild clothing...ducktails, Victorian outfits and various mashups. Two of them were at the Japantown Mall. The question is: are they locals or did they accompany Hello Kitty on her trip from Japan. I do hope I win the trip for two to Tokyo during this weekend's Cherry Blossom Festival.

A clarification about the terms "this weekend" vs. "next weekend". "This weekend" means the weekend coming up. "Next weekend" means the weekend after that. Wars have been fought over this.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sisters' Event

Bryce unzipped his sleeping bag as ground cover at the Sisters' event on Sunday - the inside was camo, unknown to him, and he exclaimed - How butch! We disapprove of war and would not normally buy camo, except by mistake.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rabbits are scary enough

This is from the latest issue of National Geographic. Don't you think rabbits are scary enough without adding sharp teeth. Notice the plaid vest however. What musical number are they performing?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

In the Luxembourg Garden

Ophüls is a name he made up and one of the most beautiful words in the French language. I'm home watching his film Rondel. There is never any pretense of reality in his films. That is my philosophy. Films should either be 100% "real" or 100% fantasy. An early scene has a carousel that reminds me of Rilke's poem:

In the Luxembourg Garden I see a carousel and its shadow turning,
On board the children are riding,
A zebra and a giraffe.
Some kind of elk.
A little boy has his arms round the head of a burning lion that bears its teeth,
a girl rides a horse that has been frightened.

Translation by Digdug

Friday, April 3, 2009

William Kentridge at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

This is a huge show laying out Kentridge's work on paper, drawings, stop-action films, films, and puppet shows. It's about politics in South Africa, authoritarianism, the body, aging, time, emotion, and the cosmos. Plus opera. Don't miss it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hawaiian Fusion

Roland had to arrive first. He owned the place. So when he entered the kitchen of his Hawaiian fusion restaurant Like Me there were 50 cockroaches on the floor all holding an open copy of Metamorphosis in their front legs.

Roland barked, "Aren't you all supposed to be at your 8:oo o'clock Freshman English class? Now go put on your Eton-style uniforms and peddle off the the local junior college. You're late!"