By Don Paterson
I love all films that start with rain:
rain, braiding a windowpane
or darkening a hung-out dress
or streaming down her upturned face;
one long thundering downpour
right through the empty script and score
before the act, before the blame,
before the lens pulls through the frame
to where the woman sits alone
beside a silent telephone
or the dress lies ruined on the grass
or the girl walks off the overpass,
and all things flow out from that source
along their fatal watercourse.
However bad or overlong
such a film can do no wrong,
so when his native twang shows through
or when the boom dips into view
or when her speech starts to betray
its adaptation from the play,
I think to when we opened cold
on a rain-dark gutter, running gold
with the neon of a drugstore sign,
and I’d read into its blazing line:
forget the ink, the milk, the blood—
all was washed clean with the flood
we rose up from the falling waters
the fallen rain’s own sons and daughters
and none of this, none of this matters.
From the new issue of The New Yorker, here.
perkypaduan came over for lunch -- store-bought soup and fruit and nuts -- and the rest of American Gangster, the director's cut, and to my delight not only had Ridley Scott not added any gratuitous violence to the extended edition, he had added an extremely gay ending in which Richie picks Frank up from prison and runs off with him to Harlem and they live happily ever after. Frank's wedding is still in the deleted scenes, but not Richie and Frank running off together after Richie is safely divorced and Frank's wife is safely back in Puerto Rico! I still don't understand why so few of the actors in this film and most of the production team were overlooked for awards.
After dinner, we decided that before seeing Crystal Skull, we really should make sure the kids remembered Raiders of the Lost Ark, which none of us remembered watching within the past five years though I know we all watched Last Crusade together not that long ago. So we put it on. Maybe that was a mistake, because I know the new movie can't possibly compare. I first saw Raiders the last day of ninth grade, when I graduated from junior high school, and it hasn't dated a bit; it's still the most fun movie I've ever seen. krabapple and I were talking not long ago about the theology and the wrath of the Hebrew God of this film, and He still creeps me out, but I have much, much higher tolerance for Him when there are Nazis around. And I completely forgot that Katanga was Kingsley Shacklebolt until I heard him speak.
This mother sheep had two very frisky lambs to contend with.
They must have known what was coming.
The sheep under the electric clippers did a great deal of bleating and complaining.
The lambs were only slightly more cooperative.
Once shorn, the sheep got to go rest in the barn.
The young goats were spared such indignities...
...but they had plenty of silly behavior of their own.
I can't believe idiots vandalized Stonehenge. Or rather, I can believe it but it makes me want to throw up. Though this is less infuriating really than the impending extinction of Tasmanian devils, and, really, the state of Texas. With all the insanity about theoretical children potentially being injured by fan art involving characters of indeterminate ages, Texas can't find a way to protect real live girls from underage rape and childbirth? Why don't all the hysterical anti-chan people go down and harass the old men with multiple young wives? They can bring along the one-man-one-woman "Defense of Marriage" fanatics who don't seem nearly as distressed over polygamy.