Should have won...Deborah Kerr in Black Narcissus.
Joan Crawford ... Possessed
Susan Hayward ... Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman
Dorothy McGuire ... Gentleman’s Agreement
Rosalind Russell ... Mourning Becomes Electra
Loretta Young ... The Farmer’s Daughter
If you know Takashi Miike at all, then you’re probably a good enough horror fan already. If you don’t know him then, as long as you like horror, body horror in particular, you’re missing out. Miike is like a Japanese Eli Roth, though he’s older, more varied and prolific, and often less sardonic. Eli Roth is a monument in current American Horror, triumphant mainly because of his “gore porn” contribution to the 2000s’ “Splat Pack” era, supplementing Saw’s economic revival of horror with Hostel, an instantly memorable assault on America’s fascination with sexual conquest in Europe.
Miike, like Roth, understands horror and where we are, in the Third World, on a dark and filmic level. He’s responsible for years of films worth your time and attention, often considers the same limits as Roth and other American body horror filmmakers, leading us through the lives of an experimentally distorted family in Visitor Q (2001); a flamboyant serial killer in Ichi the Killer (2001); and amid the Yakuza in a David Lynch-ian for 2003’s Gozu.
Miike is perhaps most well know for 1999’s Audition, but don’t skip is unaired episode of Showtime’s Masters of Horror series, “Imprint”.
This video from the much-lauded post-dubstep duo’s Crooks and Lovers album features an appropriately unpolished young couple in a markedly low budget setting while the track’s samples make ample use of room tone to give the whole setting an open air feel. And then there’s some shots of roadkill for some reason.
George Gershwin’s “Summertime” might be the most frequently recorded song ever covered by female vocalists. There have been thousands of renditions, including classic versions by artists as talented and different as Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, Ella Fitzgerald, and Joni Mitchell, not to mention male vocal and instrumental musicians by such legends as John Coltrane, Sam Cooke, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, and Brian Wilson. But the finest version in all of its operatic glory must be that done by Leontyne Price. She just lets her jaw drop and wails when the song calls for it and then lets the lullaby softly purr as needed. Price nails every note. Here’s a live version from 1981, almost 30 years after she first performed it before an audience, and Price still sings the song perfectly.
I attended a Gin Blossoms show in Kansas City last week. I couldn’t help from thinking about this: How could one name a band Gin Blossoms when only some original members remain part of it? How does one properly define a band or group nowadays? When a critical member (de)parts, does the show still go on? Are simply hits and name recognition enough, not to mention the explicit, blatant bamboozlement of a likely uninformed public?
Troubled songwriter and guitarist Doug Hopkins unfortunately killed himself in 1993, after the band terminated him; he wrote the band’s major Billboard hits “Hey Jealousy” and “Found Out About You”. Watching singer Robin Wilson sing these songs and cheerfully work the audience, tambourine and all, was a bit unsettling to me; same goes for Hopkins’ “replacement” on guitar, Scott Johnson. But the band does have a new album due later this month.