Recent comments

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Miscellaneous Art of the Week (2014)   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Well, re-listening to Klemperer's right now and -- DAMN...

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Miscellaneous Art of the Week (2014)   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Yes, maybe exaggerating just a little? :-) I've heard all those. Barbirolli's is my favorite overall, but you can't go wrong with any of them. They're all very worthy. Each has its own strengths/insights and I think it's just a matter of what one prefers. Admittedly, it's been a couple years since Walter and I was just thinking the other night about giving it a try again, so I'll probably do that... IMO, Barbirolli gets the sonic ambiguity, the balance/split between tonal and atonal, between beauty and everything else, the most accurately, and the extraordinary detail, complexity and dexterity of his performance has never been equaled (to these ears). These factors cause an accumulation of emotional depth that I've never experienced quite as well with the others. Though again, I have to revisit Walter's, and it's been a fairly long time since Klemperer too.

    Note: Barbirolli's probably took me a couple more listens than any other to get fully acclimated to, but (so far?) I've found it to be the most extraordinary and rewarding.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Miscellaneous Art of the Week (2014)   2 weeks 1 day ago

    I own more recordings of Mahler's 9th than any other work of music, and want to say that Barbirolli's (and especially all the overrated Bernstein and Karajan recordings as well) are downright unlistenable (well, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit) compared to Bruno Walter's 1961 stereo recording. Really, the only other recording that comes close is Klemperer's. Have you heard it yet?

  • Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (2012 Updated List) - Ones I Own   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Genesis (Abacab), Rush (Permanent Waves), Phil Collins (Face Value), Joe Jackson (Look Sharp!), 10,000 Maniacs (In My Tribe) all missing, to name a few.

  • Rock : 100 Greatest Albums   2 weeks 2 days ago

    :-D it actually sounds even weirder than THAT. Imagine Red Crayola covering Steve Roach.
    Ok, no, that would be way too insane. Joking aside, the band’s name (Natural Snow Buildings) is actually a perfect description of how their music evolves (specially the longer compositions) and how it feels. Priceless stuff.

  • List of Oscar nominated actors and actresses by date of death   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Available on Netflix for the ten last
    Bold means Oscar nominated role
    Bold caps means Oscar winning role
    * means recommended movie

    - The Forger, 2012 (USA, Ger, Aut, Sui, Lux)
    - The Walker, 2008 (Bra, Mex, Arg, Col)
    - Diamonds, 1999 (USA)
    - A Foreign Field, 1993 (USA)
    - Misery, 1991 (UK, Ire) *
    - All I Want for Christmas, 1991 (USA, UK, Ire)
    - How to Marry a Millionaire, 1953 (USA) *

    - Old Dogs, 2009 (Fra, Sui, Bel, Lux)
    - August Rush, 2008 (Bra, Mex, Arg, Col)
    - Jakob the Liar, 1999 (Bra, Mex, Arg, Col, Ger, Fra, Aut, Sui, Bel)
    - GOOD WILL HUNTING, 1998 (UK, Ire, Bra, Mex, Arg, Col, Fra, Nor, Swe, Den, Fin, Ned, Bel, Lux) *
    - What Dreams May Come, 1998 (UK, Ire, Bra, Mex, Arg, Col, Ned) *
    - The Birdcage, 1996 (USA, UK, Ire, Bra) *
    - Jack, 1996 (Ned, Bel)
    - Jumanji, 1995 (USA, Can, Fra, Bel)
    - Mrs Doubtfire, 1994 (Bra, Arg, Col, Fra) *
    - Awakenings, 1991 (Ger, Aut, Sui, Bel) *
    - Dead Again, 1991 (Bra, Mex, Arg, Col) *
    - Hook, 1991 (USA, Bra, Mex, Arg, Col, Fra, Nor, Swe, Den, Fin, Bel)
    - The Fisher King, 1991 (UK, Ire) *
    - Dead Poets Society, 1990 (Nor, Swe, Den, Fin) *
    - Good Morning, Vietnam, 1988 (USA, Can) *

    - Lee Daniels' The Butler, 2013 (Bra, Mex, Arg, Col) *
    - The Big Wedding, 2013 (USA, UK, Ire)
    - World's Greatest Dad, 2009 (USA, Can, Bra) *
    - Shrink, 2009 (Nor, Swe, Den, Fin)
    - RV, 2006 (Can, Bra, Mex, Arg)
    - The Final Cut, 2005 (Bra, Mex, Arg, Col)
    - Insomnia, 2002 (UK, Ire, Bra, Mex, Arg, Col) *
    - Bicentennial Man, 1999 (UK, Ire, Bra, Mex, Arg, Col, Nor, Swe, Den, Fin)
    - Deconstructing Harry, 1997 (UK, Ire) *
    - Flubber, 1997 (USA)
    - Nine Months, 1995 (UK, Ire)
    - Toys, 1993 (UK, Ire)
    - The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, 1988 (USA, UK, Ire) *

    - The Ultimate Gift, 2006 (Bra, Mex, Arg, Col)
    - The Notebook, 2004 (Bra, Mex, Arg, Col) *
    - Space Cowboys, 2000 (Nor, Swe, Den, Fin)
    - Twilight, 1998 (USA)
    - Support Your Local Gunfighter, 1971 (Bra) *
    - The Great Escape, 1963 (Can, Bra) *
    - Move Over Darling, 1963 (USA) *
    - The Children's Hour, 1961 (UK, Ire) *

    - A Thousand Words, 2012 (Can, UK, Ire)
    - Video Girl, 2011 (USA)
    - Baby Geniuses, 1999 (Can, UK, Ire, Ned, Nor, Swe, Den, Fin)
    - Cop and a Half, 1993 (UK, Ire)

    - The Carpetbaggers, 1964 (UK, Ire) *
    - Houseboat, 1958 (UK, Ire) *
    - Sabrina, 1954 (USA) *


    - Made in Dagenham, 2010 (Can) *
    - A Christmas Carol, 2009 (UK, Ire) *
    - Doomsday, 2008 (Can, Bra, Nor, Swe, Den, Fin)
    - Outlaw, 2007 (Nor, Swe, Den, Fin)
    - Paris, Je T'aime, 2007 (Ned)
    - Son of the Mask, 2005 (Can)
    - Unleashed, 2005 (Bra, Mex, Arg, Col)
    - Vanity Fair, 2005 (Nor, Swe, Den, Fin) *
    - Den of Lions, 2003 (USA, Bra, Mex, Arg, Col)
    - Maid in Manhattan, 2002 (USA) *
    - Enemy at the Gates, 2001 (Nor, Swe, Den, Fin)
    - A Room for Romeo Brass, 1999 (USA)
    - Cousin Bette, 1998 (USA)
    - Twenty Four Seven, 1997 (USA) *
    - Hook, 1991 (JSA, Bra, Mex, Arg, Col, Nor, Swe, Den, Fin)
    - Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1988 (USA, UK, Ire) *
    - A Prayer for the Dying, 1987 (UK, Ire)
    - Zulu Dawn, 1979 (USA) *

    - The Muppets, 2011 (UK, Ire, Nor, Swe, Den, Fin, Ned) *
    - The Fighting Temptations, 2003 (UK, Ire)
    - Leave 'em Laughing, 1981 (USA)
    - The Black Stallion, 1979 (Bra) *
    - Pete's Dragon, 1977 (Ned)
    - The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County, 1970 (USA)
    - Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961 (Can, Bra, Mex) *
    - The Last Mile, 1959 (USA)
    - The Bridges at Toko-Ri, 1954 (UK, Ire) *

    - Salinger, 2013 (USA)
    - A Late Quartet, 2012 (USA, Can, UK, Ire) *
    - The Master, 2012 (Bra, Mex, Nor, Swe, Den, Fin) *
    - The Ides of March, 2011 (Nor) *
    - Moneyball, 2011 (Can) *
    - Jack Goes Boating, 2010 (Can)
    - Pirate Radio, 2009 (Can)
    - Doubt, 2008 (Bra, Mex) *
    - Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, 2007 (Bra, Mex) *
    - Mission: Impossible III, 2006 (Nor, Swe, Den, Fin) *
    - CAPOTE, 2005 (USA, UK, Ire) *
    - Strangers With Candy, 2005 (Nor, Swe, Den, Fin)
    - Along Came Polly, 2004 (UK, Ire)
    - Cold Mountain, 2003 (Bra, Mex, Nor, Den, Fin) *
    - Punch-Drunk Love, 2002 (USA, Can) *
    - Red Dragon, 2002 (Bra, Mex) *
    - Almost Famous, 2000 (Bra, Mex) *
    - Flawless, 1999 (Bra, Mex)
    - The Talented Mr Ripley, 1999 (USA, Can, UK, Ire, Bra, Mex, Nor, Swe, Den, Fin) *
    - The Big Lebowski, 1998 (Bra, Mex) *
    - Next Stop Wonderland, 1998 (Bra, Mex)
    - Boogie Nights, 1997 (Nor, Swe, Den, Fin) *
    - Nobody's Fool, 1994 (USA) *
    - When a Man Loves a Woman, 1994 (UK, Ire) *
    - Leap of Faith, 1992 (USA, UK, Ire)

    - House of the Sleeping Beauties, 2006 (USA)
    - My Sister Maria, 2002 (USA) *
    - Vampires, 1998 (Bra, Mex, Arg)
    - The Rose Garden, 1989 (Mex, Arg, Col)
    - Marlene, 1984 (USA)
    - A Bridge Too Far, 1977 (Nor, Swe, Den, Fin) *
    - Julia, 1977 (Can) *
    - The Odessa File, 1974 (USA) *

  • Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Guitarists   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Where are the African guitarists? The greatest ever guitarist was African! Doctor Nico Kasanda. He met with Jimi Hendrix in Paris who recognised the genius of Nico's guitar work. Internet lessons of Nico guitar scores/riffs indicate recognition of this unsung artist who would make Clapton look ordinary!

  • Most Invigorating Albums (Rock/Jazz) [in-progress]   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Good call, I would say that my latest additions will be a toss up between that, Music for Airports, Pavilion of Dreams, and Dreamtime Return.

  • Most Invigorating Albums (Rock/Jazz) [in-progress]   2 weeks 3 days ago

    I recommend Kind of Blue for #1 ;)

  • Favorite Literature   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I guess I could borrow Portrait from a library. I'll let you know if I do!

    Same goes for you: I'm quite curious about your thoughts on Notes from Underground :D

  • Rock : 100 Greatest Albums   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Fo shizz. So then, Music for Airports played forwards then backwards, by Neutral Milk Hotel. Got it! :-)

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Miscellaneous Art of the Week (2014)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Yes, I have his self-portraits on my ridiculously long "to do" list of works to more thoroughly evaluate. I agree, that Self Portrait at 63 is possibly his most moving ... in short: the effort/pain in his face, the loneliness/oblivion, the darkness closing in around him...

    Whoa, I must've missed that "flayed ox" Rembrandt. Never seen that work before. Helluva crucifixion :) Perhaps an inspiration for Francis Bacon?

    Hopkins remarks killed me into sudden goosebumps, and almost brought some tears. I feel very close to Beethoven's piano sonatas, and they may be my favorite cycle of his, though -- man -- there are his f-ing symphonies to contend with... His piano sonatas are probably his most personal though (String Quartets having the best argument). But, anyway, Beethoven is my favorite artist of any kind, so it's difficult not to get sent to pieces when someone as eloquent as Hopkins describes my sentiments so well...

    Speaking of Beethoven, DAMN Karajan's 1977 Symphony cycle is incredible (with perhaps the best Symphony 3, 5 and 8 by any conductor). I've been revisiting them this weekend, and it's ikely Karajan's best Beethoven cycle, and very possibly the best overall by anyone.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Miscellaneous Art of the Week (2014)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I will never dispute the value of Nightwatch, as Rembrandt is Rembrandt is Rembrandt (who else could show God in a flayed ox?? Or inject so much vitality in seemingly haphazard lines) but the self-portraits--taken in sum--are, for me, perhaps the greatest story ever told, in any form. I couldn't tear myself away from the Self-Portrait at 63. There's a strange, teasing quality to the mouth that I can't shake... I don't have the eloquence to write about them, but Antony Hopkins's remarks on Beethoven seem pertinent:

    The thirty-two piano sonatas of Beethoven are his most significant and revealing biography, worth more than all the thousands of pages that have been written about him. In them we see not the exterior events of day-to-day life, as we do in most biographies, but the infinitely more important life within. In these sonatas lie the stages of a great composer's journey, which paradoxically began with the complete confidence of a young man who knew he had the stuff of genius, and which ended in loneliness, with the composer cut off from the world by a barrier of silence, pushing bravely but sometimes gropingly into a new era.

    Perhaps I'm mistaken and it's really the sonatas which are the greatest story ever told!?..

  • 10 Paintings and others   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I'm not knocking the appreciating or study of art from books. I won't see every piece by Bruegel but I can enjoy them work in books. I can also change my opinion of works I've seen later on the internet. I'm from Scotland which isn't a great place for art but then i'm not far from Europe.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Miscellaneous Art of the Week (2014)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Okay, I'll ignore that one. Hopefully a new one on the way at some point?

    RE: nudes, I totally agree it largely depends on the artist. I went through tons of them within those 15000, all of them modern, approx 1950 - Present, and virtually all of them derivative/almost became parodies...

    Love Rembrandt! I've almost added Nightwatch to my 8.8/10+ list on a few occasions and find several of his others to be absolutely amazing.

    I went through a bit of Titian last year and found several of them great. Need to revisit/re-evaluate before adding to my list(s).

    Oh, James...

    Yes, Verdi IS :-)

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Miscellaneous Art of the Week (2014)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    First off, please stay off my Favourite Paintings list!!!!!!!! It is hopelessly out of date :). None of my lists have been attended to in ages, but the Painters one in particular expired long ago.

    I admit I have not yet hit a saturation point with nude females, but it all depends on the execution. People like Rembrandt, and Titian engage me irrespective of their subject matter. I am reminded of what James wrote about Shakespeare: "The subjects of the Comedies are, without exception, old wives' tales--which we are not too insufferably aware of only because the iridescent veil so perverts their proportions. The subjects of the Histories are no subjects at all; each is but a row of pegs for the hanging of the cloth of gold that is to muffle them".

    I know what you mean about finding people to go with, it's not uncommon for me to wind up at the theatre alone and then be surrounded by what seems to be the entire senior population of the city. But I never regret going. I'm also becoming more and more convinced that Verdi was a genius of the highest order.

  • Favorite Literature   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I have not read Notes from the Underground, although I've intended to for ages now. Thank-you for reminding me. I feel like I've neglected Dostoevsky, having only read Crime & Punishment.

    While Washington Square is a good book I do not think it ranks among James's best; it was a necessary prelude to the astonishing masterwork that is The Portrait of a Lady. It, and Confidence, are best understood as experiments in which James negotiates artistic problems. Portrait would be, I think, the best place to begin. And from there the brilliant late short stories and novellas: "The Jolly Corner", "The Altar of the Dead", "The Beast in the Jungle", "The Figure in the Carpet", "The Middle Years", etc.

    If you ever get around to James (Washington Square or otherwise) do let me know what you think!

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Miscellaneous Art of the Week (2014)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    What?!?!? You mean you can't hear Iggy's obvious homages to Ode to Joy? ;-)

  • Rock : 100 Greatest Albums   2 weeks 4 days ago

    It's a work of genius, dude. Enjoy taking your crack. Just a heads up: It's a lo-fi double album and it's mostly very slow.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Miscellaneous Art of the Week (2014)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Nah. You’re right. We can certainly compare the quality. We always do!
    I have heard Beethoven's 9th and Fun House several times, I love them both and I think they’re on the same level. It would be pointless to compare them musically though, so I won't even try to :-)

  • Most Invigorating Films (in progress)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Thanks, I'll have to revise mine at some point ... Metropolis probably still #1 for me too though.

  • Most Invigorating Films (in progress)   2 weeks 5 days ago

    RE: GBH... yes he is :D

    By the way, I tried making a rough list of Most Invigorating Films myself. This is what I've got so far:

    1. Metropolis (1926)
    2. Touch of Evil (1958)
    3. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
    4. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
    5. Breakaway (1966)
    6. North by Northwest (1959)
    7. The Truman Show (1998)
    8. A Hard Day's Night (1964)
    9. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
    10. The Terminator (1984)
    11. Brazil (1985)
    12. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
    13. The Incredibles (2004)
    14. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1980)
    15. Face/Off (1997)
    16. The Dark Knight (2008)
    17. Seven Samurai (1954)
    18. The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
    19. High Noon (1952)
    20. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
    21. The Great Escape (1963)
    22. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

    Not sure about the order after #9 though.

  • Favorite Literature   2 weeks 5 days ago

    If you haven't read it, I highly recommend Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground.

    Also, something I was curious about: the only Henry James book I have, for some reason, is Washington Square. Is that one worth reading according to you?

  • Favorite Painters   2 weeks 5 days ago

    How did I not know you made this list?????????????????????????????

    EXCELLENT choices :-)

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Miscellaneous Art of the Week (2014)   2 weeks 5 days ago

    It isn't really that much different than your qualitative comparison between Fun House as 10/10 and, say, Astral Weeks or Passion as 9.5s on your rock list, is it?