Friday, March 30, 2012

How People Find Bunched Undies Part 2


Recent searches that have led folks to the blog.....


adultery in movies
 Bet that returned a hit or two.

space ghost porn.
C’mon, is nothing sacred?

boy touch girl body part
A shy porn surfer

what is that lipstick on the glass he is upset in the restaurant
Wha?

bunchie eats stuff.
Same to you buster!

Slave mistress knees
Sorry, only got Claire’s Knee

grandmother naked
How does that lead here??

black emanuelle betamax
Time to upgrade Dude.

freakin shit
Kids and computers, nothing but trouble

nude bunching jumping
Sounds painful

movie stars that are democrats
and Google melted...

pornographic Oscar Award.
This year they certainly were.

robin wright breaking and entering thong.
I don’t remember that scene…

purple vomit.
Wasn’t that a Hendrix song?

 porno naked boode
Good grief, everyone knows how to spell booty….

adolescent egocentrism
Can you say redundant?


beer vomiting.
Should be an Olympic sport…


hot undies guy
Yep, that’s me.

incest mature.
Gross

wilford brimley on a bunchie.
Words fail me….


How People Find Bunched Undies Part 2


Recent searches that have led folks to the blog.....


adultery in movies
 Bet that returned a hit or two.

space ghost porn.
C’mon, is nothing sacred?

boy touch girl body part
A shy porn surfer

what is that lipstick on the glass he is upset in the restaurant
Wha?

bunchie eats stuff.
Same to you buster!

Slave mistress knees
Sorry, only got Claire’s Knee

grandmother naked
How does that lead here??

black emanuelle betamax
Time to upgrade Dude.

freakin shit
Kids and computers, nothing but trouble

nude bunching jumping
Sounds painful

movie stars that are democrats
and Google melted...

pornographic Oscar Award.
This year they certainly were.

robin wright breaking and entering thong.
I don’t remember that scene…

purple vomit.
Wasn’t that a Hendrix song?

 porno naked boode
Good grief, everyone knows how to spell booty….

adolescent egocentrism
Can you say redundant?


beer vomiting.
Should be an Olympic sport…


hot undies guy
Yep, that’s me.

incest mature.
Gross

wilford brimley on a bunchie.
Words fail me….


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition!: The Mill and the Cross (2011)****


The Mill and the Cross is an attempt to get deeply into the creative mind by removing the boundaries between artistic vision and objective reality. The film shows us the world – 16th century Flanders to be precise – through the eyes of painter Pieter Bruegel (Rutger Hauer), and gives a flavor of the harsh realities depicted in his allegorical extravaganza The Procession to Calvary, completed in 1564. By means that alternate between mesmerizing and clumsy, director Lech Majewski fills in the painting’s backstory, and creates a bleakly intriguing glimpse into Bruegel’s life and times. Along with an informative art history lesson, viewers will get a vivid reminder that maybe the 21st Century isn’t so bad after all.



Working extensively with mattes, Majewski imposes Brugel’s visual stylistics on rustic scenes of daily life. This “living painting” technique is tricky – Eric Rohmer tried a similar approach in 2000 with The Lady and Duke, and achieved unwatchable results -  but generally it’s quite successful here, and at times the composites are breathtaking. But Majewski goes a step further, and presents the objective sights and sounds that served as Bruegel’s inspiration. These scenes are among the film’s most effective, and eventually make a few of the complex green screens seem stiff and self conscious. A sequence filmed in a giant grist mill features extraordinary images of early belt and gear engineering, accompanied by subwoofer friendly sound effects that evoke the hellish grinding of condemned souls.


Like life in the 1500s, The Mill and the Cross moves at its own lugubrious pace, offering the space to savor its best moments. Its depiction of daily routines is rooted in stark realism, bringing to mind Olmi’s lumbering agrarian opus The Tree of Wooden Clogs from 1978. In Majewski’s unhurried exposition, we see Bruegel rising at dawn to begin his day of preliminary sketches, soon followed by an impossible number of tow-headed little Bruegels, all rolling out of the crowded bed like clowns from a Volkswagen. Before Mom can begin the breakfast preparations, a flock of squalling geese must first be cleared from the warm kitchen, and they’re not too happy about it. Grim humor, intentional or not, abounds early in the film, as a young couple drag their prized calf up a hillside for a foggy picnic while a musician, in the broadest sense of the word, accompanies them on a rumbling early version of the saxophone.


But the imagery is the thing, and Majewski serves up a visual feast not soon to be forgotten. Elements of Bruegel’s vision dominate the film’s second half, and take it beyond a medieval slice of life and into the realm of splendor. Not all the ideas work; the composites of Bruegel discussing the painting with his patron (Michael York) come off as surprisingly flat and studio bound, while a re-imagining of the Passion with Charlotte Rampling as Mary seems more like a producer’s idea than part of Majewski’s larger vision. And ultimately Pieter Bruegel the Elder remains a cipher. In a career laced with eccentric characters, Hauer’s dreamy wandering, sketch pad in hand, ranks as one of his oddest performances. While Majewski was clearly not interested in a standard bio-pic, the later reels lack human interest and the change in narrative scale make the film less approachable; like the stanchions that guard The Procession to Calvary today at Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum. Hidden within the optical wonders of The Mill and the Cross is a great film. It doesn’t quite reach the screen intact, but what’s there is pretty darn amazing.



No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition!: The Mill and the Cross (2011)****


The Mill and the Cross is an attempt to get deeply into the creative mind by removing the boundaries between artistic vision and objective reality. The film shows us the world – 16th century Flanders to be precise – through the eyes of painter Pieter Bruegel (Rutger Hauer), and gives a flavor of the harsh realities depicted in his allegorical extravaganza The Procession to Calvary, completed in 1564. By means that alternate between mesmerizing and clumsy, director Lech Majewski fills in the painting’s backstory, and creates a bleakly intriguing glimpse into Bruegel’s life and times. Along with an informative art history lesson, viewers will get a vivid reminder that maybe the 21st Century isn’t so bad after all.



Working extensively with mattes, Majewski imposes Brugel’s visual stylistics on rustic scenes of daily life. This “living painting” technique is tricky – Eric Rohmer tried a similar approach in 2000 with The Lady and Duke, and achieved unwatchable results -  but generally it’s quite successful here, and at times the composites are breathtaking. But Majewski goes a step further, and presents the objective sights and sounds that served as Bruegel’s inspiration. These scenes are among the film’s most effective, and eventually make a few of the complex green screens seem stiff and self conscious. A sequence filmed in a giant grist mill features extraordinary images of early belt and gear engineering, accompanied by subwoofer friendly sound effects that evoke the hellish grinding of condemned souls.


Like life in the 1500s, The Mill and the Cross moves at its own lugubrious pace, offering the space to savor its best moments. Its depiction of daily routines is rooted in stark realism, bringing to mind Olmi’s lumbering agrarian opus The Tree of Wooden Clogs from 1978. In Majewski’s unhurried exposition, we see Bruegel rising at dawn to begin his day of preliminary sketches, soon followed by an impossible number of tow-headed little Bruegels, all rolling out of the crowded bed like clowns from a Volkswagen. Before Mom can begin the breakfast preparations, a flock of squalling geese must first be cleared from the warm kitchen, and they’re not too happy about it. Grim humor, intentional or not, abounds early in the film, as a young couple drag their prized calf up a hillside for a foggy picnic while a musician, in the broadest sense of the word, accompanies them on a rumbling early version of the saxophone.


But the imagery is the thing, and Majewski serves up a visual feast not soon to be forgotten. Elements of Bruegel’s vision dominate the film’s second half, and take it beyond a medieval slice of life and into the realm of splendor. Not all the ideas work; the composites of Bruegel discussing the painting with his patron (Michael York) come off as surprisingly flat and studio bound, while a re-imagining of the Passion with Charlotte Rampling as Mary seems more like a producer’s idea than part of Majewski’s larger vision. And ultimately Pieter Bruegel the Elder remains a cipher. In a career laced with eccentric characters, Hauer’s dreamy wandering, sketch pad in hand, ranks as one of his oddest performances. While Majewski was clearly not interested in a standard bio-pic, the later reels lack human interest and the change in narrative scale make the film less approachable; like the stanchions that guard The Procession to Calvary today at Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum. Hidden within the optical wonders of The Mill and the Cross is a great film. It doesn’t quite reach the screen intact, but what’s there is pretty darn amazing.



Friday, March 23, 2012

News and Notes: TGIF Edition

The weekend is almost upon us, and I've got my recreational beverages on the chill. I'm beginning a major renovation project next week, so if posting is light you'll know I've fallen off a ladder or shot a nail through my finger or something. At any rate, here's some pleasant thoughts for this beautiful Friday afternoon....

Emilie Dequenne Stars in Joachim Lafosse's Loving Without Reason, due to premiere this year at Cannes.

Cannes will be happening soon, and Alt Film Guide has some interesting tidbits about the films that should be ready in time. It's a heavyweight slate, with offerings from Malick, Haneke, Reygadas and Resnais to name a few. Check it out! Exciting stuff for any film snob: Part One and Part Two

And don't forget, Mad Men returns this Sunday. It's been awhile but I'm sure Don Draper has adjusted to being a good family man, with a new marriage and all. He said sarcastically. At any rate, the preview looks amazing...

News and Notes: TGIF Edition

The weekend is almost upon us, and I've got my recreational beverages on the chill. I'm beginning a major renovation project next week, so if posting is light you'll know I've fallen off a ladder or shot a nail through my finger or something. At any rate, here's some pleasant thoughts for this beautiful Friday afternoon....

Emilie Dequenne Stars in Joachim Lafosse's Loving Without Reason, due to premiere this year at Cannes.

Cannes will be happening soon, and Alt Film Guide has some interesting tidbits about the films that should be ready in time. It's a heavyweight slate, with offerings from Malick, Haneke, Reygadas and Resnais to name a few. Check it out! Exciting stuff for any film snob: Part One and Part Two

And don't forget, Mad Men returns this Sunday. It's been awhile but I'm sure Don Draper has adjusted to being a good family man, with a new marriage and all. He said sarcastically. At any rate, the preview looks amazing...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Fire This Time: Letter Never Sent (1960) ****



Bergman and Nykvist, Bertolucci and Storaro, Welles and Toland; the history of cinema is replete with great partnerships between directors and cinematographers. Through potent mixtures of chemistry and vision, these collaborations created works of iconic visual style, endowing the world with a lexicon of cinematic reference. Films like The Seventh Seal, The Last Emperor and Citizen Kane are so deeply entrenched in the canon they can usually be identified from one mere frame. While not as well known to westerners, director Mikhail Kalatozov and cameraman Sergei Urusevsky comprised an equally impressive artistic symbiosis in the Soviet Union during the early years of the cold war.




Hopefully Kalatozov and Urusevsky’s days of obscurity will come to an end with Criterion’s stunning blu-ray edition of Letter Never Sent, a chilling adventure from 1960 built from the whole cloth of nihilist nightmares. Like Russian dolls, the film presents reflections of Man’s relationship with the natural world in strata that lead ever deeper into the primal. Soviet society is on the verge of a historic technological breakthrough, but the means of achieving it lay buried deep in Mother Earth, and she does not dispense her spoils easily. As a small band of geologists will discover, the race to conquer the unknowns of outer space is infused with irony; for within the Soviet Union’s own borders exists a realm as untamed and remote as the moons of Saturn, and equally perilous.


Four Soviet scientists are dispatched to an unpopulated, sketchily charted region of Siberia in search of a long rumored lode of diamonds; a rich vein the Kremlin hopes will pay for its ambitious space program. The expedition is led by Sabinin (Innokenti Smoktunovsky), a laconic explorer of steely resolve who has attempted this search before only to come up empty. Accompanying him are the brawny Sergei (Yevgeny Urbansky) and a soon to be married couple: enthusiastic young Andrei (Vasili Livanov) and the beautiful Tanya (Tatyana Samoilova), who are head-over-heels in love. The first half of the film is devoted to the party’s trudge into the forbidding taiga, where weeks of rough living and back-breaking labor await them. But just as it appears the intrepid band will be rewarded for their efforts, a raging forest fire threatens to engulf them. With acres of towering spruce igniting like tinder, Sabinin and his associates realize that survival will require a herculean and heroic fight, a fight that must be successful to insure Russia’s reach for the stars.



Criterion’s previous Kalatozov/Urushevsky release – 1957’s The Cranes are Flying - was a spectacular showcase for the pair’s visual wizardry and Letter Never Sent continues their tradition of exquisite imagery. Gone are the complex, highly coordinated long takes involving thousands of extras that made Cranes such a bravura piece of filmmaking. Letter Never Sent is a more personal and philosophical work, although it too eventually radiates into grandiose scale. The film’s sudden shifting from internal monologue to a natural world gone mad is shocking and stunning, like the intrusion of a terrifying dream on quiet meditation. Urushevsky’s camera captures the brutal beauty of the smoldering taiga with stark compositions reminiscent of Ansel Adams’ brooding vistas of Yosemite. His rock steady handheld from Cranes is equally impressive here, tracking the exhausted explorers over miles of rugged terrain with the precision of motion control.



Letter Never Sent is a film that manages to transcend an overbearing score and an underdeveloped script to deliver a cinematic experience that triumphs on sheer visual aesthetics. Despite enormous physical challenges, Kalatozov and Urusevsky created a nightmarish wilderness journey, pitting the resilience of the human spirit against nature’s dark and deadly forces. Its attempts at profound commentary may be lacking, but Letter Never Sent remains a marvelous and harrowing spectacle, and this hi-def offering is a worthy addition to any cinephile’s library. We can only hope that 1964's I Am Cuba, considered by many to be Kalatozov and Urusevsky’s finest achievement, will one day get the deluxe Criterion treatment.


The Fire This Time: Letter Never Sent (1960) ****



Bergman and Nykvist, Bertolucci and Storaro, Welles and Toland; the history of cinema is replete with great partnerships between directors and cinematographers. Through potent mixtures of chemistry and vision, these collaborations created works of iconic visual style, endowing the world with a lexicon of cinematic reference. Films like The Seventh Seal, The Last Emperor and Citizen Kane are so deeply entrenched in the canon they can usually be identified from one mere frame. While not as well known to westerners, director Mikhail Kalatozov and cameraman Sergei Urusevsky comprised an equally impressive artistic symbiosis in the Soviet Union during the early years of the cold war.




Hopefully Kalatozov and Urusevsky’s days of obscurity will come to an end with Criterion’s stunning blu-ray edition of Letter Never Sent, a chilling adventure from 1960 built from the whole cloth of nihilist nightmares. Like Russian dolls, the film presents reflections of Man’s relationship with the natural world in strata that lead ever deeper into the primal. Soviet society is on the verge of a historic technological breakthrough, but the means of achieving it lay buried deep in Mother Earth, and she does not dispense her spoils easily. As a small band of geologists will discover, the race to conquer the unknowns of outer space is infused with irony; for within the Soviet Union’s own borders exists a realm as untamed and remote as the moons of Saturn, and equally perilous.


Four Soviet scientists are dispatched to an unpopulated, sketchily charted region of Siberia in search of a long rumored lode of diamonds; a rich vein the Kremlin hopes will pay for its ambitious space program. The expedition is led by Sabinin (Innokenti Smoktunovsky), a laconic explorer of steely resolve who has attempted this search before only to come up empty. Accompanying him are the brawny Sergei (Yevgeny Urbansky) and a soon to be married couple: enthusiastic young Andrei (Vasili Livanov) and the beautiful Tanya (Tatyana Samoilova), who are head-over-heels in love. The first half of the film is devoted to the party’s trudge into the forbidding taiga, where weeks of rough living and back-breaking labor await them. But just as it appears the intrepid band will be rewarded for their efforts, a raging forest fire threatens to engulf them. With acres of towering spruce igniting like tinder, Sabinin and his associates realize that survival will require a herculean and heroic fight, a fight that must be successful to insure Russia’s reach for the stars.



Criterion’s previous Kalatozov/Urushevsky release – 1957’s The Cranes are Flying - was a spectacular showcase for the pair’s visual wizardry and Letter Never Sent continues their tradition of exquisite imagery. Gone are the complex, highly coordinated long takes involving thousands of extras that made Cranes such a bravura piece of filmmaking. Letter Never Sent is a more personal and philosophical work, although it too eventually radiates into grandiose scale. The film’s sudden shifting from internal monologue to a natural world gone mad is shocking and stunning, like the intrusion of a terrifying dream on quiet meditation. Urushevsky’s camera captures the brutal beauty of the smoldering taiga with stark compositions reminiscent of Ansel Adams’ brooding vistas of Yosemite. His rock steady handheld from Cranes is equally impressive here, tracking the exhausted explorers over miles of rugged terrain with the precision of motion control.



Letter Never Sent is a film that manages to transcend an overbearing score and an underdeveloped script to deliver a cinematic experience that triumphs on sheer visual aesthetics. Despite enormous physical challenges, Kalatozov and Urusevsky created a nightmarish wilderness journey, pitting the resilience of the human spirit against nature’s dark and deadly forces. Its attempts at profound commentary may be lacking, but Letter Never Sent remains a marvelous and harrowing spectacle, and this hi-def offering is a worthy addition to any cinephile’s library. We can only hope that 1964's I Am Cuba, considered by many to be Kalatozov and Urusevsky’s finest achievement, will one day get the deluxe Criterion treatment.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Waitin' Downtown in a Railway Station: 35 Shots of Rum (2009) ****1/2


35 Shots of Rum is a remarkable existential drama about the intersection of some thoroughly unremarkable lives. Loosely based on Ozu’s Late Spring, director Claire Denis plops us into the middle of the daily doings of a family of immigrants – what’s left of the family anyway – in a grimy outer suburb of Paris. What follows is a series of snapshots that, at first blush, depict the quiet desperation and common banalities of everyday life. But through her unique directorial prism, Denis is able to illuminate nuggets of bravery buried deep within. As a narrative, 35 Shots of Rum doesn’t advance so much as infect, and while ultimately there’s little in the way of catharsis, viewers will find the film a satisfying and haunting sojourn.


Interweaving train tracks serve as an introductory metaphor, and while the steel strands present a confusing selection of paths, they eventually all end up in same place. Along these mesmerizing rails travels the alert and focused Lionel (Alex Descas), a middle-aged RER driver of African descent. Returning home is his 20-ish daughter Josephine (Mati Diop), an attractive young woman who has her heart set on an electric rice cooker for her birthday. Josephine’s mother died years ago, and she and Lionel evoke the tender silences of family members who have survived a shared trauma. Gabrielle (Nicole Doque), a mature lady cab driver is folded into the narrative mix without a word of explanation, along with a businessman named Noé (Gregoire Colin).


Denis allows us to flounder with these relationships for awhile, creating in viewers an intriguing sense of a departure into the strangely familiar. 35 Shots of Rum manages to link worlds of dreams with complacency, forging a scenario that seems almost too real to be real. Slender, fragile threads define reality for Denis’ characters, and when those strings are severed new possibilities – both good and bad – soon emerge. When Noé’s ancient cat dies, he realizes he can finally move to accept a lucrative job offer, while Lionel’s former co-worker (Julieth Mars Toussaint) will find retirement an untenable adjustment. Meanwhile, another passage looms as Lionel prepares for Josephine’s past due departure from the nest, but the shy attentions of a café owner (Adele Ado) offers a glimpse of the possibilities for his new life.


Despite momentary flights of fancy, for Denis’ characters the routine of life proceeds at a desensitizing rhythm, just as passenger trains travel their scheduled routes in a hypnotic clatter. The most revealing moments of backstory occur near the end of the film during a road trip to a German village, where details of Lionel’s life are given bittersweet clarity. Descas and Diop shine in this sequence, projecting a mix of deep respect and mortal awareness through poignant and gentle moments. Their long voyage as parent and child is drawing to end, and soon they must separate under the thick gray skies of Parisian winter. Like the windows of a speeding train, Claire Denis has made us appreciate, understand and see a bit of ourselves in 35 Shots of Rum’s passing reflections. And if we look past the nearby blur, the quiet wonders of the human landscape are revealed in the distance.


Waitin' Downtown in a Railway Station: 35 Shots of Rum (2009) ****1/2


35 Shots of Rum is a remarkable existential drama about the intersection of some thoroughly unremarkable lives. Loosely based on Ozu’s Late Spring, director Claire Denis plops us into the middle of the daily doings of a family of immigrants – what’s left of the family anyway – in a grimy outer suburb of Paris. What follows is a series of snapshots that, at first blush, depict the quiet desperation and common banalities of everyday life. But through her unique directorial prism, Denis is able to illuminate nuggets of bravery buried deep within. As a narrative, 35 Shots of Rum doesn’t advance so much as infect, and while ultimately there’s little in the way of catharsis, viewers will find the film a satisfying and haunting sojourn.


Interweaving train tracks serve as an introductory metaphor, and while the steel strands present a confusing selection of paths, they eventually all end up in same place. Along these mesmerizing rails travels the alert and focused Lionel (Alex Descas), a middle-aged RER driver of African descent. Returning home is his 20-ish daughter Josephine (Mati Diop), an attractive young woman who has her heart set on an electric rice cooker for her birthday. Josephine’s mother died years ago, and she and Lionel evoke the tender silences of family members who have survived a shared trauma. Gabrielle (Nicole Doque), a mature lady cab driver is folded into the narrative mix without a word of explanation, along with a businessman named Noé (Gregoire Colin).


Denis allows us to flounder with these relationships for awhile, creating in viewers an intriguing sense of a departure into the strangely familiar. 35 Shots of Rum manages to link worlds of dreams with complacency, forging a scenario that seems almost too real to be real. Slender, fragile threads define reality for Denis’ characters, and when those strings are severed new possibilities – both good and bad – soon emerge. When Noé’s ancient cat dies, he realizes he can finally move to accept a lucrative job offer, while Lionel’s former co-worker (Julieth Mars Toussaint) will find retirement an untenable adjustment. Meanwhile, another passage looms as Lionel prepares for Josephine’s past due departure from the nest, but the shy attentions of a café owner (Adele Ado) offers a glimpse of the possibilities for his new life.


Despite momentary flights of fancy, for Denis’ characters the routine of life proceeds at a desensitizing rhythm, just as passenger trains travel their scheduled routes in a hypnotic clatter. The most revealing moments of backstory occur near the end of the film during a road trip to a German village, where details of Lionel’s life are given bittersweet clarity. Descas and Diop shine in this sequence, projecting a mix of deep respect and mortal awareness through poignant and gentle moments. Their long voyage as parent and child is drawing to end, and soon they must separate under the thick gray skies of Parisian winter. Like the windows of a speeding train, Claire Denis has made us appreciate, understand and see a bit of ourselves in 35 Shots of Rum’s passing reflections. And if we look past the nearby blur, the quiet wonders of the human landscape are revealed in the distance.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Columbia Record and Tape Club, November 1973

I stumbled on this while sorting through papers at my parents' house. It's a magazine/catalog for the Columbia Record and Tape Club from November 1973. Club members received these in the mail every month.

Right click on the image, then left click on "Open Link in New Window" to get a zoomable enlargement big enough to read...






In those days, albums were available in LP, 8-Track, cassette or ubersexy reel-to-reel. And if you wanted that month's selection you need do nothing!





The theme that month was famous musical duos, including Ferrante and Teicher who appear to have had special toupees made for the occasion.





Next were the rock selections.  I wonder whatever happened to Blue Mink?





Then we get into Pop and Easy Listening. Imagine being the writer that had to come up with these album blurbs. It must have been difficult to find fresh ways to say basically the same thing over and over.




More Pop, including the great Lawrence Welk. I can hear him now: "Wunnerful, wunnerful! Now da boys are gonna play dat great Duke Ellington hit, Take A Train!"





Here's some Country selections. It's surprising to see Jimmy Buffet in this category. And weren't Redd Foxx albums a little risque for Columbia?




Then we have a sort of genre free-for-all. Seiji Ozawa only recently had to cut back his schedule due to age and health. He's been conducting a long time.





And here we have a belly dancer and Boot Randolph side by side with Beethoven and Bach. Boots had a great career as a country-western sax player, of all things. If you ever watched Benny Hill, you've heard Boots.




Here we have the entire Jazz and show tune selection, pretty pathetic. One of the soundtrack albums even features the N-word. Amazing. Columbia Record and Tape Club was definitely not geared to the musical tastes of urbane sophisticates.
On the right is an offer for a gizmo to store your 8-Tracks. Even in today's dollars 14 bucks plus shipping seems a little pricey for a box that only holds 24 tapes.








Columbia Record and Tape Club, November 1973

I stumbled on this while sorting through papers at my parents' house. It's a magazine/catalog for the Columbia Record and Tape Club from November 1973. Club members received these in the mail every month.

Right click on the image, then left click on "Open Link in New Window" to get a zoomable enlargement big enough to read...






In those days, albums were available in LP, 8-Track, cassette or ubersexy reel-to-reel. And if you wanted that month's selection you need do nothing!





The theme that month was famous musical duos, including Ferrante and Teicher who appear to have had special toupees made for the occasion.





Next were the rock selections.  I wonder whatever happened to Blue Mink?





Then we get into Pop and Easy Listening. Imagine being the writer that had to come up with these album blurbs. It must have been difficult to find fresh ways to say basically the same thing over and over.




More Pop, including the great Lawrence Welk. I can hear him now: "Wunnerful, wunnerful! Now da boys are gonna play dat great Duke Ellington hit, Take A Train!"





Here's some Country selections. It's surprising to see Jimmy Buffet in this category. And weren't Redd Foxx albums a little risque for Columbia?




Then we have a sort of genre free-for-all. Seiji Ozawa only recently had to cut back his schedule due to age and health. He's been conducting a long time.





And here we have a belly dancer and Boot Randolph side by side with Beethoven and Bach. Boots had a great career as a country-western sax player, of all things. If you ever watched Benny Hill, you've heard Boots.




Here we have the entire Jazz and show tune selection, pretty pathetic. One of the soundtrack albums even features the N-word. Amazing. Columbia Record and Tape Club was definitely not geared to the musical tastes of urbane sophisticates.
On the right is an offer for a gizmo to store your 8-Tracks. Even in today's dollars 14 bucks plus shipping seems a little pricey for a box that only holds 24 tapes.








Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday Shout Outs!

Former Village Voice critic J. Hoberman (whose untimely dismissal was discussed here) is back at the keyboard and busier than ever, writing about film for a number of publications. Visit his website to keep up with his latest work.




Mary Birdsong, who played the hilariously androgynous redneck Officer Kimball on Reno 911 - oh, and she had a supporting role in the Oscar nominated The Descendants - has a delightful new blog that will disabuse you of any notion that the movie biz is all tinsel and glamour. Visit Big Mama's Honeymoon Underpants today and click the follow button. (And follow this blog while you're at it.)



Speaking of followers, our friend Hana Gomoláková has a beautifully written review of Four Suns, the new film by Bohdan Sláma (the creator of Something Like Happiness and The Country Teacher).  Hana's article includes an interview with the director. Check it out...

Tuesday Shout Outs!

Former Village Voice critic J. Hoberman (whose untimely dismissal was discussed here) is back at the keyboard and busier than ever, writing about film for a number of publications. Visit his website to keep up with his latest work.




Mary Birdsong, who played the hilariously androgynous redneck Officer Kimball on Reno 911 - oh, and she had a supporting role in the Oscar nominated The Descendants - has a delightful new blog that will disabuse you of any notion that the movie biz is all tinsel and glamour. Visit Big Mama's Honeymoon Underpants today and click the follow button. (And follow this blog while you're at it.)



Speaking of followers, our friend Hana Gomoláková has a beautifully written review of Four Suns, the new film by Bohdan Sláma (the creator of Something Like Happiness and The Country Teacher).  Hana's article includes an interview with the director. Check it out...

10 Years of The Savages

The Savages struck a vibrant chord with me when it was first released 10 years ago. It’s all about a pair of 40-ish siblings...