The Blue Raccoon

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Charon's Busy Boat

Image from Media-Atrium: Rogue Classicism archive.

I want to recognize writer John Stodder and his quite elegant "From the Desert to the Sea..." that, one day, if I ever figure out how to work this thing (and if anybody cares) The Blue Raccoon will grow up to resemble one day. His appreciation on the passing of Ingmar Bergman, Bill Walsh and Tom Snyder is encompassing and appropriate.

I agree with Mr. Stodder about Tom Snyder versus Charlie Rose. My respect for Rose plummeted when I observed his interview with Sir Anthony Hopkins and in the closing moments of his broadcast asked Hopkins to " do a bit of Shakespeare." Hopkins blinked a bit, retained his composure with a slight tight smile and said something to the effect, "Well, I haven't," and Rose realized -- or I hope he realized in that moment -- what a stupid request he'd made.

Within a few days of that demonstration of Bad Moments In Television Talk Show History, I looked on as Jay Leno-- and my sense is he wasn't joking, and perhaps, perhaps meant it one way and it came out another -- that Holly Hunter's Best Actress Oscar for The Piano was a little surprising because, "You didn't say anything in the whole movie." Hunter glared at him as though plasmic destructo beams might shoot out of her eyes and I cannot recall now who or how the gaffe was recovered. She must've said something funny to alleviate the situation.

This is why, if I am seeking that kind of late night chat and humor, David Letterman is and always has been my go-to guy.

I watched Snyder, late at night as a kid, and I always felt a little naughty because of the hour. I remember seeing Rollergirl spin around at one show's conclusion, as the lights came down. Seems to me that's as fitting an epitaph as any.
Stodder's closing line suits me, and the underlying obsessions that I'm promulgating here. "It’s a big day in the history of the 20th Century, which the 21st Century relentlessly digests." Well put. Or as the bardic tune of yore has it, "Time keeps on slippin', slippin' slippin' into the future."

Or to put it another way, And The Ship Sails On.

More tomorrow.

The fourth and final section of the dense yet thrilling series, "Seven Kinds of Denial Just to Get Out of Bed," is on the gantry though experiencing some solid fuel intake issues.

Attenzione: Chris at escapegrace informs--this shows you how little I watch TV anymore-- that on the very same day that Ingmar Bergman left the projectionist booth, so did
Michelangelo Antonioni.

A few years ago as part of this salon my wife and I regularly attend we watched the original Blowup. Though made in 1966, the themes of a photographer playing the role of both recorder of events and exploiter of them seemed just as current, though the famous mime tennis scene though still retaining its humor just seemed to go on and on.

Still, its references to a murder that may or may not have happened and how the audience has to decide what to believe seems as relevant as recent postings on the blogosphere.

One the reasons I knew the film wasn't because of any cultural astuteness on my part, but as a kid I had a set of the World Book Encyclopedia, and their complementing Year and Science Year books. In one of the Year volumes--if memory serves it was 1969--was a discussion about the rise of sex and violence in film. My adolescent sensibilities were more attuned to the first part of that equation, and beautiful little color pictures of Ann Bancroft bared, or the iconic raised leg, from The Graduate,

Faye Dunaway leaning on a door jam wearing a white dress and holding a Coke bottle from Bonnie and Clyde, (and probably shaping my interest in lanky, beret-wearing, high-cheeked women),

and some images of frugging nudity from Blowup. Thing is, I didn't think the film was all that sexy -- distant and weird, yes.

Years later, while touring Scotland with my wife, we were tired and experiencing their television programming when we stumbled across Zabriskie Point. The foment of the 1960s wasn't always able to make the cross over into art. Though I wonder if the concluding explosions of the bourgeois house may have been in Coppola's mind when he blew up Kurtz's compound. Either way, neither film had a real ending, just explosions.

Regardless, Tom Snyder is having the best show in the history of the cosmos right about now. Too bad they can't Podcast from there...[Insert Snyder chortle]

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