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August 26, 2005

Just Found! - Ingres' Pigalisque with a Slave

The good folks over at the Fogg Museum at Harvard think they have Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres' greatest work "Odalisque with a Slave" in their possession. It turns out what they have is really just a study Ingres did in preparation for this just-found masterpiece.

Pigalisque with a Slave

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August 25, 2005

I saw Tony Cox -- 5 points!

This is kind of old. OK, very old. But this celebrity sighting was exciting for reasons you will see, so I had to rate it...

So, I saw Tony Cox, one of our finest working little person actors and star of Bad Santa, having lunch at Mel's Diner on Sunset.

Let's rate him, shall we? This time, I think I'll start him with 5 points.

First of all, the guy is kind of hard to miss. He's only 3-1/2 feet tall. -2 for ease of sighting.

Tony Cox, one-time Ewok

He has had quite a distinguished acting career, dating back to the early 1980's. He has appeared in big movies like Up In Smoke, Spaceballs, Beetlejuice, Me Myself and Irene, and of course, Bad Santa. +2 points.

However, he has also appeared in: Jekyll and Hyde... Together Again, Beaver Gets a Boner, Valet Girls, Hollywood Hot Tubs 2, Spaced Invaders, and even the Michael Jackson Disneyland video Captain Eo. -3 points.

+1 for being in cult classic (and personal favorite) Friday, in which he played the husband of the hot neighbor who, I believe, has an affair with Bernie Mac in the film.

And now the exciting part: Cox played an Ewok in Return of the Jedi!!! Finally, I've seen someone in a Star Wars movie. OK, he's wearing a little furry costume and you never see his face, but he was there. And also in the 2 Ewoks TV specials.
Star Wars factor: +2

Final score: 5 points.

Posted by JoshHornik at 06:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 24, 2005

Grizzly Man, the anti-March of the Penguins

The authors of March of the Penguins and Timothy Treadwell, the ill-fated subject of the movie Grizzly Man, seem to have viewed nature with the same rose-colored glasses.He was a hairy bear; he was a scary bear.
While Penguins' narration told us how difficult it is for penguin parents to leave their babies and what joy the family unit (which stays a unit for all of 1 summer) gets from being together, Treadwell idealized the bears and foxes of Alaska into a fantasy of universal oneness in which a human could live peacefully with such wild animals.

And if the March of the Penguins filmmakers were a little less than honest about things like parents abandoning babies and mates, you might say Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man's greatest strength is its honesty. It is an honest account of Treadwell, including both friendly and antagonistic viewpoints on his life and death. And, most of all, it is an honest portrayal of bears as wild animals, "indifferent" machines that eat to live.

It would be impossible for it not to be, since its subject is Timothy Treadwell, who lived among the bears of the Alaskan peninsula every summer for 13 years, videotaping them and proselytizing for conservation, until one of the bears brutally killed him (and his girlfriend) and, yes, ate him. This fact alone fills every shot of Treadwell with the bears with dread and morbid fascination.

And there are many shots, because Treadwell recorded hundreds of hours of himself with the bears, speaking into the camera to tell the viewer how dangerous the bears were and how any wrong move could spell his death. It is fascinating to watch, because it is clear that Treadwell understood the danger and even shows fear at times when a bear makes an aggressive move in his direction, but at the same time, seems to think himself free of all danger. His death was surely due to hubris, years of survival among the bears making him feel closer and closer to being a bear himself, an accepted member of their family, and above danger.

Treadwell stands dangerously close to a bearThe movie Grizzly Man is doubly fascinating because it not only explores the world of the grizzly bear (with incredible footage left by Treadwell himself) but also the man Treadwell, who Herzog discovered to be an equally rich subject.
Although I would have liked to see even more about Treadwell's past, Herzog does ponder his inner demons, his relationships, even his sexuality, and most importantly, what would cause a person to camp by himself, in mortal danger in the wilderness, every summer for 13 years.

It becomes clear that Treadwell was a disturbed individual, but at the same time, it seems that his life only took on meaning after he found the bears. And whether or not he was insane or stupid to let himself (and his girlfriend) be killed the way he was, it does not seem tragic at all. I don't know how much good he did for the conservation movement, but it is safe to say that Treadwell himself (and Herzog) feels the bears "saved" him, just as if he'd found Jesus.

As for me, I am scared in retrospect for having gotten with 200 yards of a grizzly at Sequoia National Park, and I highly recommend this film.

Posted by JoshHornik at 05:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 18, 2005

Back in a big way!

I have been shamed out of silence. When sporadiblogger (any chance I can get that word into the modern lexicon?) David Hornik writes a new blog entry faster than you, you really know you have been slacking.

Since I haven't posted in such a long time, I knew I had to come back strong to really blow people away!

Check out this site: Stuff On My Cat dot com

Posted by JoshHornik at 10:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack