Unlike Battleship Potemkin, Fritz Lang’s M actually lives up to the hype. While it has fewer twists and turns than you might expect of a surrealist German tale of a child murderer starring Peter Lorre, Lang is able to create an atmosphere in this pre-noir that is nothing short of remarkable.
November 30, 2005
When I rented this “classic” from Netflix a few months back, I was not all that impressed. It had some interesting visuals, I suppose. Groundbreaking, yes. But not all that entertaining. And I am from the “a film must be entertaining to be good” school. Which it is with mixed feelings that I herein note that it has surfaced on Archive.org. I suppose that every serious student of cinema must check it out at some point. But it might be better seen in a film class or a revival house. Or at least seen with a pristine print, if such a thing exists. Anyway, it’s there, in all its public domain glory. Enjoy.
I have been the editor of inter alia for some time now. Over a year. And I have discovered that while I am generally rather polite and reserved in person–or at least so I intend–I can become quite snarky in print. I published an article in the latest issue entitled “Hunting for Snarks,” wherein I attempted to emulate the style of the lovable curmudgeon Andy Rooney. I ran a paragraph railing against the College of Law‘s electronic job board, partly as a faux Luddite, partly as a true cynic, but mostly as a reflection of the professional disaster that is our Career Services Director. I pointed out that she does not seem capable of putting in a full week or finding employment for our graduates outside of Idaho. And I stand by this estimation.
This morning I received, in an awkward personal exchange with Mrs. Fulfer, a card in an envelope bearing my name. She said, “thanks for the mention” or “thanks for the PR” or some such sarcastic retort, before handing me the card in question. After opening the card at my carrel–the desk/cubicles we lowly law students are provided at which to live three years–I was faced with a watercolor print of the University’s Administration Building. Inside, in an endearingly childish scrawl, was a quick note, expressing regret that I had a “misunderstanding on where to access the online job board. How funny to think no jobs had been posted since August!” She also invited me to make an appointment so that she might assist me in finding post-graduation employment. Lovely.
The thing is, of all the people I have asked about this, no one knew that the electronic job database had moved. There was no message sent that I can recall. The old database did not link to the new database, or suddenly disappear. After a cursory look at the new database, I am convinced that indeed, a number of jobs have been entered since August. But without actually bothering to tell anyone how to access this list…
I just finished reading V for Vendetta, Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s graphic novel from the early 80s. And it is one of the most marvelous things I’ve ever come across. Such a sharp contrast from the very disappointing The Dark Knight Returns. [Although, as a side note, I just realized that snippets of DKR appeared in one of my favorite episodes of the television incarnation of Batman (The Animated Series/New Adventures), "Legends of the Dark Night."]
November 29, 2005
The late Chief Justice Rehnquist once wrote an opinion (in Paul v. Davis) in which he quoted Jusice Powell‘s “observation” that the 14th Amendment “did not alter the basic relations between the states and the national government.” Isn’t that precisely what the Civil War Amendments did?
November 27, 2005
“I can’t publish unauthorized copies of, say, Presumed Innocent; I can’t make a movie out of it. But I’m perfectly free to write a book about an idealistic young prosecutor on trial for a crime he didn’t commit.”
Footnote 14: “It would be called ‘Burden of Going Forward with the Evidence,’ and the hero would ultimately be saved by his lawyer’s adept use of Fed. R. Evid. 301.”
Judge Kozkinsi, of the Ninth Circuit, is a comic genius. He wrote the above in his dissent from an en banc rehearing denial in White v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (the infamous robot Vanna White case) in 1993. It’s gold, no?
I’m trying to corral my book club into reading a David Sedaris book. I read Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim several months back and was unable to contain my laughter. So I figure it would be good to share that with others while delving into Holidays on Ice or Naked (the two other titles my library actually carries; no Barrel Fever for me without a cash outlay).
November 26, 2005
Years later, while listening to Opie and Anthony during my daily commute, I heard Mario Cantone again. And fell in love. The man is absolutely one of the most talented comics out there. I even started watching “Sex and the City” and suffering through his mediocre Comedy Central Presents special to see more Mario.
So you can imagine my surprise to discover that Mario appeared in the Broadway premiere of Sondheim’s Assassins. I saw a production of Assassins five or six years back in New Brunswick, New Jersey. And fell in love. To the point where I wrote a short story for my creative writing class centered on it. And Mario was playing Samuel Byck. Which put him in direct competition with the perpetually overrated Sean Penn. Hooray for Mario!