Sunday, September 11, 2011


On the anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, 2001, I remember that the United States of America stands for one thing above all else:


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Movie etiquette

Dear Moviegoers,

It is NOT okay to come in after the lights have gone down and ask those who are already comfortably settled in to change their seats when there are plenty of STILL EMPTY seats to choose from.


Friday, July 01, 2011

Foreign Correspondent

Someday I'm going to write about my all-time great movie-going experiences and Foreign Correspondent is going to be near the top of my list, along with The Empire Strikes Back and Forbidden Planet!

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940, Foreign Correspondent is one of my favorite movie-going experiences not so much because of the theater where I first saw it some thirty years ago - the Valley Art in Tempe, Arizona - but because it was an absolutely dazzling print! I would not consider it an exaggeration to compare the quality of the print to that of a well-cut diamond. I could not possibly begin to convey just how sharp and crisp it was, or the range of contrast which gave it an illusion of depth that made it almost three dimensional. I'll never forget the sheer lucidity with which Rudolph Mate's cinematography conveyed the sense of space in the interior of the windmill, nor the sparkling elegance of the hotel conference scenes at the beginning. It's too bad those qualities don't come through on video, but Hulu does have a pretty good copy. I watched it - again! - last night - which is why I'm writing about it this morning!

Whether you watch it online or on DVD it's a great movie for the 4th of July weekend! It's one of those movies - along with Casablanca - that perfectly captures the mood of a world on the brink of war. The ending - where Joel McCrea delivers a great patriotic speech in a London radio studio while bombs are falling and the lights are going out, and yes, the chorus does start singing "The Star Spangled Banner" - always gets to me.

So if you're looking for an example of genuine, cynicism-free patriotism, here ya go!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Has Oklahoma lost an architectural treasure?

The unrepeatable experience that is Bruce Goff's Bavinger House appears to be gone now - whether forever or not, I do not know.

According to a story in The Oklahoman, the house recently sustained serious and extensive damage. For many years I read that the Bavingers were a private family and did not allow visitors. I did not know that the house had been open to the public in the last few years. Had I known this, I certainly would have made the pilgrimage.

I can't help but wonder about the effectiveness of Bob Bavinger's effort to promote the house as a tourist attraction. I have been on an email list for Frank Lloyd Wright's Price Tower for some time now. The first I ever heard about the Bavinger House being opened to the public was this morning when I read the story about the damage.

If the damage to the Bavinger House is irreparable, the loss will certainly be equal to that of Shin'enKan, the house Goff designed for Joe Price outside of Bartlesville, which was detroyed by fire in 1996.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Muppets: I've been following the new Muppet movie trailers & the newest one, "Being Green" is classic, old-school Muppet Show subversiveness. Absolutely hilarious. But will the whole movie be this funny?

Moneyball: "Moneyball", the book, was about how Billy Beane re-invented the game of baseball. In "Moneyball", the movie, Brad-Pitt-as-Billy-Beane throws desks and chairs and seems to leave the thinking to Jonah Hill. What would be so wrong with a movie that shows one, single character as an integrated human being who can think and take action based on his own thinking? And actually be the good guy! Pass.