Sarah Miles Did Not Reveal Her Breasts
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Unlikely things happen in films. Who would have ever guessed that Yuko Mishima's The Sailor Who Fell From Grace From The Sea
would have been made into a movie re-set in Dover with Sarah Miles and Chris Christofferson? That was the case in 1976. I remember seeing the almost blatant nude shots of the couple in Playboy. Then I enjoyed Sarah Miles in The Big Sleep
(1978) with Robert Mitchum. They had worked together to my satisfaction in Ryan's Daughter
And so I was pumped up for my photo engagement with Sarah Miles in 1987. The session almost became an anticlimax to my expectations and only now can I accept it all and even smile thinking about it.
Sarah Miles faced my camera with her hair up. In a Michael Caineish accent she instructed me, "I have here a transparent blouse. Make sure my tits don't show!"
Friday, March 02, 2007
A bad cold can devastate an old guy like me. As I walked down the stairs this morning nothing was working and the knees just about buckled. It made me remember Vancouver dancer Cori Caulfield who can walk, move, dance with such ease as if she had Teflon in her joints. And so I have the opportunity to put up this photo of her which is one of my favourite pictures ever of a dancer.
Cori's back, a lovely back is all that the one that I saw so many years ago, wasn't. I was with my father and we were taking the subte
back from a movie on Lavalle Street in downtown Buenos Aires. We were on our way to Retiro station and the train to Coghlan. It was near carnival and I spotted the bare back of a woman on the end of the other subway car. There was a lot of singing and chanting. It was one of those murgas
or carnival street bands that sing the samba in the streets of Buenos Aires during carnival. I was repelled by the woman's muscular and ugly back. I was only 8 or 9 and I did not understand at the time that she was probably a man dressed as a woman.
In some way when I photographed Cori with her apple I exorcised that terrible image from so long ago.
Cori Caulfield on space
Xalapa, Paricutín, Mantealbán - Absolute Greenness
Thursday, March 01, 2007
On those Friday evenings of long ago we could smell the humidity and hear the insects as our VW went down from Mexico City's 2250 meters to Xalapa's (in the state of Veracruz) near sea level. In the darkness, our VW's ancient 6 volt headlamps could not show us the spectacular gamut of greenness of the jungle vegitation that defines for me what Xalapa was and is. But we had passed through Xalapa enough times during the day to remember the green of this city of coffee and the famous Olmec heads of its anthropolgy museum. It was a green that may have eluded a young woman that I spied staring at shot glass of creme the menthe at a Jefferson Airplane concert I had attended in San Francisco in 1967. No drugs could have revealed for her the greenness that Rosemary and I could imagine, and, at the same time smell in Xalapa on our way to Veraruz and my mother. We would look forward to the unmuffled sounds of sea level and the smell of salt and the Gulf of Mexico.
If a blog has a limitation it is here where it is obvious. You cannot smell nor in its present configuration hear any sounds. Worse of all there is no room for the space of a panoramic that will show the scope of Mexico's landscapes or the wonder of its ruins. Forunately in Andrew at Paricutin (above left), Rebecca was there when I took my friend's picture last year.
Maybe this year, if we go to Oaxaca, she will also understand the scope of the ruins of Montealbán. Jorge, Andrew's friend and mine can be seen here leaning on a stella at the bottom left.
The Scourge of God and Blue Mouse Ears
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
|Hosta 'Green Fountain'|
There is a curious resurgence of my memory for botanical Greek and Latin that happens every year about now. As I sense spring in the air, in spite of last night's snow fall, my memory for the names of plants comes eking back. Andre is fixing the white picket fence that went down with the November storm. He is Bosnian but must have the blood of Attila in him. My plants have confided in me that Andre does not need a horse to be The Scourge of God. His boots are enough. I hope my hostas are still asleep and out of the way of Andre's boots. The promise of beauty is in the air and my memory of the unexpected detail of unopened hosta flowers comes to mind. This one, Hosta
'Green Fountain' reminds me of Star Trek's Birds of Prey. I must remember to order Hosta
'Blue Mouse Ears' for Rebecca from Thimble Farms on Saltspring Island.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
My Argentine painter friend Juan Manuel Sanchez approaches everything he does as a problem with a solution. The moment he marks a sheet of paper or a canvas he initiates that problem. Then he must "resolver" it. I have learned much from him by just thinking this way. As evidence I have two recent photographs that I took to illustrate articles in the Georgia Straight. One, because it is in colour, only appeared as seen here on the web version.
Marcus Youssef adapted Naguib Mahfouz's novel Drifting On The Nile
to a play. In a first version both he and friend Camyar Chai acted in it. In the recent Vancouver version, Chai directed the play. I wanted to convey the professional intimacy between these two men.
For the Banana Boys
a play about the travails of being Asian in Canada I simply scanned a couple of bananas and with Photoshop I aranged them around my photograph.
Alas! Juan Manuel Sanchez is not coming back from Buenos Aires and I will miss his conversation and his instruction on art. I wanted him to teach Rebecca to draw or paint. Perhaps Juan is old fashioned or perhaps he is not, but he flatly refused to teach her anything until she was 11. It would seem that the second best solution will be for me to pass on to her some of what Juan taught me. I am sure that Rebecca will "resolver" it.
Martin Scorsese, A Beard & John Hinckley
Monday, February 26, 2007
It is amazing how short a memory we all have for movies and how we forget challenging movies of the past. One of them was Martin Scorsese's 1976 Taxi Driver
. I saw it because I have always been a fan of Cybill Shepperd. But the film brought shocks I wasn't prepared for. Taxi Driver (and many forget) might have influenced John Hinckley
in his assasination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.
I did not know I was striking a cord when I faced Scorsese with my camera and asked him about Hinckley. His immediate retort was a shocking (for me), "He wrote to me before he did to her (Jody Foster)."
What would have led Martin Scorsese to grow a beard when he came to Vancouver in 1998 to promote his 1998 The Last Temptation of Ch
rist? So here it is, a picture of Scorsese wearing a beard.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
It is not often that I ever write in my blog the happenings of the previous day. But at Northern Voice
yesterday and the day before I was subject to sights and lectures, most of them well over my threshold of understanding, that I have to comment on them. This annual Vancouver based blogging conference is attended by normally unseen and unacknowledged gurus that keep our web pages and blogs from collapsing as photons into the aether. At 64 I may have been part of a handful of older bloggers yet a young one Maikopunk
in her blog points out some of the sights that amazed me the most. Lawyer Kevin O'Keefe
noticed the strange interaction of the conference. I sat next to a friendly Serbian photographer who could multitask in a way in which I could only stare in awe. While listening to a complicated lecture on identity and security he edited 100 digital pictures (that he had taken minutes before during a conference coffe break), colour corrected them, cropped them and uploaded on to Flickr
. Or there is this different link Flickr 2
There was a constant reference to change, a change that was much faster than most could possibly cope with or understand. There was an emphasis on blogging platforms like DRUPAL and WebPress. Friendly arguments arose on which of these platforms were more user friendly. There was a nuts and bolts lecture on how to become a citizen journalist. I was amazed to find out that an apparently sane woman admitted to having over 400 online identities.
But at the end of the day I was left wondering, as people adopt and adapt all the latest advancements for blogging for the creation of online communities, if the ethical problems that arose were being ignored or simply passed over. I would reject that any online sense of intimace can ever rival a face to face one.
For my talk on why I blog I brought a very large light jet print of Rebecca (seen above). I put it to one side of the also large screen that projected my blog for yesterday that also was illustrated by a photograph of Rebecca. At the end of the talk, nobody came down to investigate the large photograph. One woman asked me, "Why did you bring that photograph, after all you already had one up on the screen?"
Could it be that for some the only reality is the one they see on the laptop screen?