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Showing posts from September, 2008

David Cronenberg's "The Fly" - LA Opera, The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, September 27, 2008, 2 p.m.

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I should mention this from the start, so you can determine the level of my bias in regard to David Cronenberg's The Fly:

The first cat that I owned, outside of living at the home in which I grew up, was a sweet-natured seal point Siamese beauty named Brundlefly.

The cat probably deserved a name more befitting her gorgeous looks, but I was deeply in thrall with Cronenberg’s brand new version of The Fly at that time, and after seeing it more than a half dozen times in its first couple of weeks of release, there was no other choice as regards a name for a new kitten in my home than Brundlefly. I hated people who just named their cats Ms. Boots or Whiskers or Puss-Puss, and wanted to name her something that would start conversations. Unsurprisingly, this one started many a discussion, and gave me the opportunity to expound for several years on my love for this film.

Twenty-two years later after that naming, I found myself telling Jen, who never actually met sweet Brundlefly, that I would…

Recently Rated Movies #63: The Revival

Welcome back, Rik, to a feature that you seem to have forgotten about on The Cinema 4 Pylon!

Pardon me, dear readers, while I argue with myself briefly regarding one of the chief reasons why I started this blog almost three years ago. Yes, you know the score by now as well as I -- the Pylon is meant as a working writer's notebook, a collection of pop cultural and movie reviews, and a place where I can work out all of the psychobabble junk which I need to burn off before it drives me even more bonkers than I am -- yes, all of this has been mentioned numerous times before here and duly noted. But, especially as a foundation on which to build columns and ideas for the Pylon -- and, eventually, Cinema for Space Lovers the website -- I also meant the Pylon to be a place where I can keep a running track of every film that I watch, whether I wish to write about them fully or not.

In the past few months, I have really gotten away from this.

Part of the reason is that I really didn't want…

Spout Mavens Disc #14, Part 13 of 13: Shorts! Volume 3 - Archipelago (2004)

Director: Leon Siminiani
Spain/Puerto Rico, 18 minutes, color
Cinema 4 Rating: 6

And so, the short film Archipelago, with its triangle of players representing the past that more often than not rubberbands back to snap most of us smack in the face, drifts coolly up to me at a time when I seem to be on the verge of my own inevitable haunting by past. As far as I can make it out, the haunting is not of a malicious nature, but I am definitely getting the feeling of some serious ghosting going on about me.

Recently, coincidentally or not, as I approached my 44th birthday, I began to see the signs. New Facebook friends, forged from old friends, lovers from spurious romances, those we wished to have as lovers in some momentary but glorious lapse of reason, part-time enemies and mild acquaintances of my cruel past – the same cruel past we all share, and a past which grows daily, no matter how we pretend to not care, with each additional tiny, cruel step we take forward every second of every day…

Disney World Postscript: Brainwashed by the Perfect Girlfriend Channel

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You might wonder why, if my vacation in Disney World was supposed to be about, in the immortal words of one Elmer Fudd, "west and wewaxation at wast," why I spent so much time snapping out dreamy-eyed mashnotes about the place (always laced, though, with my usual snarky little diatribes against this and that personal injustice). The truth is, I didn't spend that much time writing. I sleep, even on vacation, relatively little -- six hours tops, most nights -- and so I would wake up far before anyone in our cabin, and not wishing to rouse them all too early, I would just sit in a corner of the bedroom in the darkness and type away. As the notes may attest too, most of the writing was mere muscle memory -- hey, remember these letters on the keyboard? -- and much of it flowed out almost automatically. But there was a purpose behind the facade of merely writing, something I discovered last year when I spent six days and nights at the park.

Mainly, I had to keep writing because…

Notes on D-World 9-21-08 Sunday

Get up at 6:30, sad but tired, knowing we probably stayed a little too long this time. I write for a while, and the usual fury with which I attack typing lessens the sadness to a great degree. After I shower (as usual, just before everyone else starts rising), I pack everything up in a far more methodical fashion than I normally do, mostly to kill time but also to make sure I am not forgetting anything. And then, after some toast and tea, I go back to writing while the girls get ready to leave. We head to to Outpost just before 11:00 am, the standard hotel checkout time, and check our bags in at the Magical Express for our ride back to the airport much later in the afternoon. Sande, however, leaves well before us at 11:50, and her Express shuttle arrives a few minutes before that and we hug her and see her off on her way.

Down a member of our happy little party, Jen and I still have around three hours to kill before we absolutely have to be back at the Outpost for our own shuttle. We m…

Notes on D-World 9-20-08 Saturday

Our last full day here. Magic Kingdom in the works for evening, but day to be spent at Hollywood Studios with Mary and her sister Marg. Plans to ride Toy Story Midway Mania a couple of times. Everything else up in the air. Will probably grab book on the Box Office insanity at AFI store.

However, wake up with immense, pounding headache at 3:00. Plans to go up to Trading Post for WiFi dissolve when I don't fully wake up until after 7:30. Head still aching. Shower. Sit on porch to write, drink soda and take Advil. Tiny, 3/4 inch frog (or toad) hops timidly across the railing of our porch, right in front of me. Woodpeckers in the trees. Larger, orange and brown-speckled 3-inch toad that is apparently living under our cabin is not out right now, though we have seen him the last two nights coming home.

Sande makes scrambled eggs and heats up the remainder of the Macadamia-crusted chicken she got at Puck's the other night. Marg and Mary meeting us between 9 and 10. Should make the park…

Notes on D-World 9-19-08 Friday

Epcot is the thing this day. We have yet to do the left side of the park (facing in), and we really want to ride Mission Space again, though this time, due to my wishy-washy (but decidedly not washboard) stomach, I will ride the wimpier version. The shuttle buses line up almost perfectly for us on the way, and we are there in less than half an hour. Unbeknownst to us, there are people riding in with us, whom we notice, that we will get to know briefly on the way back. When we enter the park, we stop for an official photo in front of Spaceship Earth -- that's the gigantic, omnipresent golfball -- but when we walk up to the entrance for the ride, we notices how long the lines are, and we decide to catch it later.

None of us have ever seen Ellen's Energy Adventure, and yes, Ellen is Ms. Degeneres (or Mr. Degeneres or Mrs. De Rossi or however they wish to have it), and yes, she is alternately charming and annoying on this ride. The filmed portions combine her with Bill Nye the Sci…

Notes on D-World 9-18-08 Thursday

My plans for a constant walkabout in the mornings truly were waylaid by the intrusion of this ankle injury. While the swelling was only minor, and has mostly gone away, on the inside of my leg, there is pain to the touch, and every time I take a step to the left, I feel anywhere from minor discomfort to shooting pains up my leg. I decide to relax this morning and watch the first disc of the Zappa Plays Zappa concert, which runs nearly two full hours and is still playing when the girls get up for the day. I, of course, am as happy as can be with my headphones on listening to Zappa, and pretty much block myself out for the morning.

We catch a larger boat over to the Magic Kingdom, and spend the opening hour wandering through the stores, as Sande is looking for a couple of lighter shirts to wear and I have a need to look at books on Disney's history and design. There are five Imagineering books available, but I decide to look them up on Amazon later, though the savings when matched wi…

Notes on D-World 9-17-08 Wednesday

Sande has purchased tickets for us for the Cirque de Soleil show in Downtown Disney for later in the evening, so our entire schedule is based around making it to that show by 5:30 pm. We decide that the Animal Kingdom, which closes daily at 5:00, is perfect choice, especially since we haven't hit it yet. At the bus stop, we encounter a quartet of older people with various disabilities who are cared for by two extremely patient and kind helpers. The woman in Minnie ears who sits next to me while we wait for the bus points out all of the different colors on her striped shirt and tells us over and over just how much Todd, the male half of the helpers, well, helps her. A second woman keeps Sande and Jen busy pointing repeatedly to her purple Princess cap. She doesn't say as much as the other woman, but she laughs constantly. Todd gets very sheepish every time the first woman repeats his name. The other helper talks to us for a while, and you can see how tired both of them already …

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