George Bailey In Jail (from the archives) So, after the end of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, you know George would still go to jail, right? I mean, just because George got the same town he'd stolen the money from to give him more doesn't change federal bank regulations. "Fucking Clarence," George muttered during the daily sodomy. "Fucking fucking angels." Then at night he would scream "YOU USED ME FOR YOUR GODDAMN WINGS!" till his cellmate beat him to sleep. They all thought he was insane. But he was fine to pass around for cigarettes. And his stutter only got worse and worse each day. When no one was around, "There is no escape, George," a disembodied voice would giggle to George in his cell. Mr. Potter was his only visitor. But he didn't speak; he would merely chuckle for 5 minutes, then left. The following Christmas Bailey cursed life and all the pain it brought. But at least there was his memory of that wild night with Violet to comfort him. All those awful things she had to do for that wad of money. _________________
Happy Christmas Yer Ass! - The Pogues - "Fairytale of New York" (live, 1988) The greatest Christmas songs and stories are not the religious ones, nor about miracles, nor the ones talking about how warm and cozy the holiday is, nor about gifts. It's about the way the season brings out what you lack in sharp relief. It's a little midlife crisis every December, where you cannot help but take stock of everything you lost or fucked up in the previous year, and think, Christmas should be better, but it's like this instead. But like Camus' Sisyphus, you realize the absurdity of it, say "fuck it" and go on with Christmas anyway. Because what else are you going to do? The one day a year you absolutely have permission to just say, "fuck it, life goes on." And that's what the best Christmas stories and songs are about. Being Scots-Irish I'm biased, but I've always thought this one the best of those. So--The fucking Pogues, with the sadly late Kirsty McColl, "Fairytale of New York," here live in 1988.
Andrei Tarkovsky: "Andrei Rublev"(1969) and "Stalker" (1979) A double feature of my favorite two from Tarkovsky, the "Soviet Kubrick". Or perhaps Kubrick was the American Tarkovsky?
As embedding has been disabled by Mosfilm, you will have to click on the links to watch. Sorry. But it's worth it. Both these films are among the greatest ever made--especially the first one. His masterpiece Andrei Rublev (1969)
And a foreboding of Chernobyl, which also may have caused the cancer (because the area it was filmed was contaminated) that killed him, the film's star Anatoliy Solonitsyn (also the actor who played Rublev ten years before that), and others involved. That would be Stalker (1979)
I really don't care if you think Russian films are long, slow or boring. Give these films a chance, because they're magnificent. You'll see. __________________
Christmas Fast Approaches: Give The Gift of LULU (and more) Hey, you know what would make a really original and appreciated gift? I have a suggestion! Do your friends have great taste? They do? Then why not give my new and somewhatacclaimed graphic novel, LULU Book 1?
Peter O'Toole Dies. Here is His Greatest Performance: THE RULING CLASS (1972) Another of my favorites passes away--my favorite actor, period: Peter O'Toole, at 81, so I guess it had to happen eventually, but still sad. In my opinion the greatest actor of the last 50 years. Here is his greatest performance ever, in its entirety: THE RULING CLASS by Peter Barnes and Peter Medak (yes, all of them Peters; I may have posted this before, but who cares). If you haven't seen it, fix that now. This was a project that was very, very dear to him, and he's brilliant.