Saturday, January 27, 2018

Saturday commute cl: Cinema calls

Weeknights of Hitchcock are won-
derful escapes from news of Dav-
os, although St Moritz is peril-
ously close in his first Man Who
Knew Too Much. Not the heaviest
burden for our Davos spokesman,
this particular week, of course,
but lamentations from gymnastics
have also weighed upon the mind.

A cinema such as Hitchcock's, so
compelling from someone else's
point of view, is just the thing
to drive a fellow down the road,
to pick up an entertainment, in
Graham Greene's term of art, for
another dive into the vortex of,
may one say, credible blondness.

Detestable as a genetically hide-
bound aesthetic must be, there's
only so much escape one can ask,
from the molestations of a pair
of living headlines. On the fair
assumption, that an evening of
self-defensive homicide with a
blonde might square that circle,
I see no reason not to Dial M
for Murder, a remedy to pull 
focus for any Saturday commute.

Lately, however, I notice a
persistence of a leading la-
dy's image at this page, for
which I would not wish her to
be held responsible, although
it would be Presidentially ne-
farious, to deny that she is.

Still, to mitigate damages to
her fame, I expect to pick up
a copy, too, of Vertigo, for
which she was not accountable,
for all the likelihood that
one might have looked for her
at Ernie's, or living at the
Brocklebank off Mason Street.

But one can't be shopping so
swell as San Francisco, for 
anything less than impeachment.

iii  William Gedney
      untitled photograph

Friday, January 26, 2018

Suppose it were Friday cxlviii: As we were looking

                     Or che in fondo un miraggio
                     di vapori vacilla e si disperde,
                     altro annunzia, tra gli alberi, la squilla
                     del picchio verde ..

There is a way of appreciating
Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window,
which sees it as a classic ex-
ercise in his telling a story
about the world from a hero's
subjective "point of view."

It is. It happens, in a way
he unravelled completely -
some years later in Vertigo -
equally to tell a story to
him about himself, that the
director unveils to us only
slightly in advance: that he
is looking for someone he can
trust. Who knew, it would be
someone who could dissolve
his point of view and redeem
its narrative of voyeurism?

Who doesn't think of Montale,
writing poems at the same
time, who could just as eas-
ily have been imagining the
entrance of Omar Sharif in
David Lean's Lawrence of A-
rabia, every time there is
Grace Kelly, coming to see
the captive Jimmy Stewart?

With his imagery Hitchcock
showed change and prepared
its renewal, so much more
volatile than a gunshot by
a distant rider in Arabia,
that it keeps pace with a
revolution in the subject
of trust, continuing today.
I don't accuse him of not
wishing to go so far. It's
the reach of his eloquence.

                  Now that in the distance a mirage
                  of vapors shifts, dispels,
                  the green woodpecker's shrilling in the trees
                  announces something else.

Eugenio Montale
Collected Poems
  1920 - 1954
Jonathan Galassi
  translator and editor
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998©

Alfred Hitchcock
John Michael Hayes
Robert Burks
Rear Window
Paramount, 1954©

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Origins of Wednesday lxii: Girl, 20

  I crib a title of a wickedly funny
  novel by Kingsley Amis, to embrace a
  screen illusion of unforgotten re-
  membrance to Californians of one's
  age in the 1950s. A sudden inspira-
  tion of one's mother, to take my old-
  er brother to Philadelphia to be in-
  troduced to his grandfather via the
  Super Chief, left my father and my-
  self to borrow vacation houses of 
  friends in Palm Springs and Balboa,
  to improvise a sort of holiday in
  sitù. I can just see my brother, an-
  noyed by a fish fork for the first
  time, as I remember the falling in-
  to, in a wicker basket on the Rivi-
  era, of the most thrilling face a
  boy could ever look upon in those
  days, if not still. Even now, our
  archest critics speak of the geni-
  us of Hitchcock, in so many vernac-
  ulars, for all their tortured acad-
  emicism, it can make one car-sick.

  He raised a generation of America,
  on delight to be the ungrown child.
  Neither our director, nor our men-
  tor, he is our trust officer, ad-
  ministering remittances of an es-
  tate in endless probate. We ought
  to be able, it seems upon this ump-
  teenth announcement of Oscar nom-
  inees, to imagine one of these wor-
  thies, sixty years hence, sharing
  chicken with Grace Kelly or Cary
  Grant, from a hamper which will
  shortly frame their kiss. The one
  this canny Magwitch thieved for us,
  as if expecting some future tide
  of artistically advanced maturity,
  and allowed the heart to inherit.

Alfred Hitchcock
John Michael Hayes
Robert Burks
To Catch a Thief
Paramount, 1955©

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ps-s-s-t, they're back

                 Call it, the back with two beasts,
                 if that helps. Our previous entry's
                 welcome of their flight seems only
                 to have hastened remonstrance, not
                 to enjoy release from their clutch-
                 es. Now the great factory of our
                 frenzies frames its refinancing as
                 implicit, anyway, in this union of
                 states. And what a wonderful floor-
                 show they have held over, from its
                 blame for the abandonment just end-
                 ed, in the promise of demagoguing
                 it all over again, for newer welts
                 to praise the balm of government,
                 that flogger's springboard to fame
                 and electoral advancement, for pry-
                 ing deeper fissures in our patience.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

The American government did close, by the way

One had thought not to mention it
whilst others might still be out 
for their Saturday ride, but good
news is rare enough, much less on
the occasion of that government's
initial anniversary, that a happy
medium had to be struck, between
draining the cellar of blanc de
blancs, or spending the day under
a decorous gag order, no matter
how luscious the linen. A mild an-
nouncement on the Sabbath seemed
unprecipitous enough, and so here
it is: the most injurious, yet ad-
dictive corruption of public life 
is in remission.

It had not ever been so, that
Americans should have instit-
uted such a structure of de-
bauchery, debasement, plunder
and compulsive belligerency in
the offices of Washington, DC
to which they exile the needy,
and the fee-finders of simple
services. By the time, then,
that government in their land
had achieved its present ad-
vances upon the imagination,
the sensation of wear and tear
had begun to inspire defenses.

And these are not salubrious con-
ditions for the flourishing of a
happy government. Within a day of
perceiving how this closure tant-
rum might backfire against the
values of their real estate, den-
izens of the new government were
out and about on the sermon cir-
cuit of broadcast news, to blame
the citizenry for sustaining en-
thusiasms they'd been forcefed by
these very conduits. Oh, my. How
notoriety does outstrip us all, as
fashion glides into another season.

Louis Prades  i, ii, iv

Francisco Basile  iii