R.I.P.: Nicolas Roeg

I pretty much lost track after The Man Who Fell to Earth, but after all the decades some impressions remain as vivid as when they were new.

I saw Don’t Look Now at the old Crystal Theater in Missoula. I remember trembling with anxiety and never being so sorry I attended a movie alone. Thought the dum factual resolution of the plot was not nothing, but did not matter ultimately.

The version of Bowie in Man Who Fell was simply a superb addition to the ones he came up with himself, over and over. But I preferred the Mick Jagger in Performance to the one we have in this world. Bet I wouldn’t be as tired of him these days as I am of the human Mick.

There Is No Bottom For the Bar to Reach

Charlie Pierce knows this is a day for reflection on evil acts and scumbag behavior.

First there was this incredibly evil development. Which was kinda hidden and kinda not. I didn’t understand back then just how well “noise” of events could conceal the most important messages.

Next, another ugly history lesson. I thought Starr was going to be the  phony-scumbag bottom. HA! This is a key insight that had not occurred to me:

(One of the worst things about the current media elite is that so many of them came of age during this extended kabuki and became convinced that this is the way things are supposed to work, an attitude many of them brought with them into their coverage of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign.)

 

Josh Malerman, Excuse My Ignorance

  1. About 15 years ago, Tee Pee records sent me a promo of the debut by the band High Strung.  I loved it, never got around to writing about it, never received any more material from the group, forgot about them.
  2. I read a couple of positive reviews of  Black Mad Wheel, a horror/sci-fi novel with a music theme and a fascinating plot.
  3. And the author is High Strung honcho (songwriter, lead vocals and guitar) Melerman.
  4. And he’s involved with other movies and novels.
  5. High Strung’s Moxie Bravo (nice title, huh?) which I listened to today for the first time, is an eerie, elliptical garage growler. Must dig into catalogue.

The Conan of the Future

This afternoon devoured Riad Sattouf’s The Arab of the Future 3: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1985-1987. May have more to say but I must get in that Riad and his buddies obsession with the 1982 Conan the Barbarian movie was an utter surprise hoot (Sattouf does a marvelous job of capturing the kids’ imitation of the Schwarzenegger scowl).

The Edgar Rice Burroughs reissued paperbacks had been thrilling me since Junior High School and the same Frazetta cover art drew me to Robert E. Howard’s Conan books when they first appeared. And it was a serious graduation — Howard was more modern, more violent, more weird, more fevered than ERB.

I outgrew Howard and his hero (who I started calling “Onan the Barbarian”) before the reissue series finished up. I needed fiction characters with interiors. I knew little about Howard’s life except that he was from Texas and most of his Conan material had appeared in the sacred Weird Tales. Everything came flooding back when I saw the captivating and wonderfully realized 1996 film The Whole Wide World (Vincent D’Onofrio performance of a lifetime). I immediately tracked down the Novalyne Price book One Who Walked Alone (more apt title, but I see why they didn’t use it). Both the film and the memoir are hugely recommended for their presentation of the value fantasy had for certain isolated souls trapped in the vast Western horizons. The Price book makes a more explicit case for Howard’s fatal fixation on his mother.

If You Don’t Have Everything Bessie Smith Recorded You’re Missing Out

“Blue Spirit Blues”

Had a dream last night
That I was dead
Had a dream last night
That I was dead

Evil spirits
All around my bed

The devil came
And grabbed my hand
The devil came
And grabbed my hand

Took me way down
To that red hot land

Mean blues spirits
Stuck their forks in me
Mean blues spirits
Stuck their forks in me

Made me moan
And groan in misery

Fairies and dragons
Spitting out blue flames
Fairies and dragons
Spitting out blue flames

Showing their teeth
For they was glad I came

Demons with their eyelash
Dripping blood
Demons with their eyelash
Dripping blood

Dragging sinners
To their brimstone flood

“This is hell”, I cried
Cried with all my might
“This is hell”, I cried
Cried with all my might

Oh, my soul
I can’t bear the sight

Started running
‘Cause it is my cup
Started running
‘Cause it is my cup

Run so fast
Till someone woke me up