Archive for March 11, 2008

Catch Him If You Can!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 11, 2008 by dcairns

Secret Window 

Another weird-ass dream. My friend Robert has come round one evening, along with another friend, Mark Bender (in reality the two don’t know each other and Mark is in the US right now) and Steven Spielberg is there too. I think Spielberg is the first person to notice that, although the night sky is perforated with bright stars, as you approach the window they become grey smudges, then cheerful pastel blobs. Then we notice that the building across the street looks like the one in NOSFERATU, and that there’s a guy in the window there who looks like Wilford Brimley. General jubilation.

Photographs are taken, and soon the window is wide open and Robert is sitting on the sill, legs dangling over a three-storey drop. I think to myself, “I should warn him to be careful there,” and at that instant, his buttocks slide off the sill and he drops silently from view.

A frozen moment of sickening horror, and then Mark charges to the window and impulsively vaults out into space. Does he hope to catch Bob on the way down? Spielberg and I exchange a startled glance then rush over and look down.


I remember a statistic I just read — in any fall of more than two storeys, your chances of death are at least 50%. I can’t remember where I read this, and in fact it may have been in another dream.

Down on the pavement, Mark is getting gingerly to his feet and staggering about, looking for Robert. But Robert cannot be seen.

We run downstairs. Spielberg, the big film genius, is as big an idiot as I, since neither of us has called an ambulance or even grabbed a phone. We find Mark, still hobbling, with perhaps many small broken bones in his feet, still looking for Robert. Robert is nowhere to be seen.

As I am waking up, I come up with a solution to the mystery, but I’ll only put it in the comments section after hearing your own suggestions.

The Big Street


A Movie

Posted in FILM with tags , on March 11, 2008 by dcairns


Couldn’t get the sucker to embed, but if you click on the above it should all happen. Bruce Conner’s A MOVIE.

I remember when movies were like that! As a tiny kidlet, watching cowboy movies on TV, and not understanding most of what went on. It really was like a stripped-down bunch of cliches galloping across the prairie for no reason. When the good guy fought the bad guy, I immediately got confused. I kept trying to remember who was wearing which shirt or had which colour hair (people all looked alike then).

I don’t know if it’s Conner’s intention, but this piece brings back the confused state of childhood for me in a rich and mmmm, kind of pleasing way!

(Thanks to David Ehrenstein for linking to Dennis Cooper’s blog where I found this.)

The Grady in Question

Posted in FILM, literature with tags , , , , , on March 11, 2008 by dcairns

I now have my copy of the 2008 Film Issue of The Believer magazine. Where’s yours?

Butterball rally

“…any era like the ’30s (go ahead, NAME ONE) must balance its tricksters and vamps with a victim class, a clown army of chumps awaiting fleecing, but a populace drunk on Groucho could never be satisfied with any ordinary dope, the kind born every minute. They demanded, and rightly, that Hollywood must and should provide unique and startling specimens of homo sap, from Guy Kibbee (obese rodent, shaved and perspiring) to Billy Gilbert (bursting chimp, eyes like frightened marbles jammed in a heap of dough). And so, to add to the wondrous variety, a mild butterball was born, and they called it Grady Sutton.”

That’s as much as I dare quote from the article within by immortal bard B. Kite and myself (“Yeggs, Grifters and Patsies: A ’30s film Bestiary”). Re-reading it, I was pleased at how well our styles merged, so for those curious about such things, I will just say that B.K. authored the opening section on glib flimflam artist Lee Tracy (worth the cover price alone).

Other attractions include Werner Herzog shooting the breeze with Errol Morris, Nick Hornby on Todd Haynes, Todd Haynes on himself, a look at the late Leonard Schrader’s secret and shameful lobby card collection, and an article by Michael Atkinson whose very title should set all film-dotards a-tremble with the Eight Forms of Sensory Arousal: “Anna Karina and the American Night.”

Plus free DVD of a hairy man raving.