Thursday, December 28, 2006

"Forget it, Jake. It's The Nocturnes"

Don't know what it is, but a lot of items "noir" came across our desktop this past week. Always a fan of Film Noir, ecspecially in its postmodern 'neo-noir' reincarnations (LA Confidential, Chinatown, etc.). First came this blurb about the film "Nocturne" on the excellent Noir of The Week (NOTW) blog.

Later on (and probably thru some tangental googling), I stumbled on the Zimbio site, with its section devoted to Film Noir, and an interview with the same Ian Hill who did the Nocturne review above. Best soundbit of the interview seems to be Mr. Hill answering the question: "So, what is film noir?" Answer: "The best answer yet seems to be much like the Supreme Court Justice's on pornography: 'I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it'”

Finally today, in the Podcast I receive from Brooks Jensen of LensWork magazine, there was a discussion on lighting and a recommendation for the film "The Big Combo" and how that can help anyone seriously interested in b/w photography! Also, the NOTW review is here.

All good suggestions for a Nocturnes weekend "noir fest!"

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

"Submitted for your approval . . ."

I dunno - maybe it's a knee-jerk reaction to the general din of the holidaze muzak (too many years spent in the retail arena, I'm afraid) and the unavoidable end-of-year lists/awards/tributes, etc. - but I'd like to mention a song that, IMHO should receive an award for "The Most Energetic Twenty Seconds Witnessed in a Pop Record" (METS-WIPR), of late. The song, "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" by a young (barely out of H.S.!) Power Punk/Pop band (makeup by Green Day?) from Las Vegas, Panic! at the Disco, contains what maybe the perfect chorus in a Pop Song:

"I'd chime in with a "Haven't you people ever heard of closing a goddamn door?!"
No, it's much better to face these kinds of things with a sense of poise and rationality.
I'd chime in, "Haven't you people ever heard of closing a goddamn door?!
"No, it's much better to face these kinds of things with a sense of . . ."

The band gets a minor award, of sorts, for including the phrase "sense of poise and rationality" in the lyrics to this frantic composition (and, is that a Glockenspiel in the mix, as well!?).

Pour the champagne, Pour the champagne! - Pure Pop for Now People.

View the video at

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed; photo copyright Rhapsody Online)

Monday, December 25, 2006

An American Master

Jeez - I've GOT to get more serious about these posts - maybe find out about these events, airings, etc BEFORE they happen! Anyway, last week or so PBS aired a very interesting show about Rod Serling, on of The Nocturnes' faves. "Rod Serling: Submitted For Your Approval" concentrated a lot on his early days writing and basically shaking things up in U.S. Broadcasting during the 1950s (think Cold War, McCarthyism, etc.). Always struggling with conservative, fearful network execs, he finally resorted to fantasy/science fiction to get across his messages about serious issues. Mini "Morality Plays," if you will. Enter the Twilight Zone (featured DVD below - October 11, 2006 blog).

Favorite sound bite by Serling - from the episode's promo: "I found that it was all right to have Martians saying things Democrats and Republicans could never say."

Definitely catch it, when it airs again - done by Thirteen/WNET (New York) - the show is part of the American Masters Series - fascinating stuff - I recommend the one done about Alfred Stieglitz. BTW, Annie Leibovitz is to be featured on January 3, 2007 at 9 pm (check local listings, as they say).

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed)

Friday, December 08, 2006

"Interiors: The F-Market Line"

Work (six prints) from Tim Baskerville's series: "Interiors: The F-Market Line" can be viewed in the Hallway Gallery at RayKo Photo Center - 428 Third Street, SF - thru December. BTW, there is an opening tonight (Friday 12/8) from 6-9pm, for the Winter Selection Exhibition in the main gallery, so it might be a good time to drop on by and see the fantastic facility the people at RayKo have developed!

Also, there's a big show (30 prints approx.) of the Streetcars happening at Fort Mason Center, Landmark Bldg A (Administration), January 2 thru February 16, 2007. There's a nice write-up of the work in their monthly calendar for January - look for it! The online version is now up on the Fort Mason Web site - read all about it!

As part of a comprehensive 10-year project, TimBaskerville continues to photograph and exhibitblack and white photography of the interiors ofthe restored historic streetcars operated by theS.F. Municipal Railway (MUNI) and the MarketStreet Railway, a nonprofit organizationsupporting the preservation of rail transportation.The light, fine detail and elegance found in theinteriors of these proud old cars represents a modeof transportation all but gone from the hustle-bustleof our modern age and is captured in the series, "Interiors: The F-Market Line."

(Source: Third-Person "Mystery Shopper")