Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


Leave a comment

Our Lady of Lourdes

Over the holidays TCM broadcast an old film about Bernadette, the young village woman who allegedly saw the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes. It was a good film. Made me think about the whole thing. Here’s a pic of a Catholic church named after all that.

Image via Tumblr

Image via Tumblr – Click for fullsize


Leave a comment

Biblical sensuality, 1959 Hollywood style

Solomon and Sheba 1959 via Tumblr

Solomon and Sheba 1959 via Tumblr

Sheba, a great pagan Queen comes to seduce Solomon, the Israelite King, with the intent of his destruction. Turns out she falls for him and vice versa. After many twists and turns, Sheba converts to Judaism and God rules that they each remain in their separate nations. This is loosely based on the Biblical account and other religious commentaries (opinions, arguments) external to the Bible.

It was nice to see Yul Brynner as a young man with hair. And Gina Lollobrigida is enchanting. I love discovering classic actors heard about in childhood but never seen in action. She is fantastic. A major Hollywood sex symbol in the late 50s and early 60s. Apparently Howard Hughes invited her to work in Hollywood earlier on, but she declined, preferring Europe. This may have delayed her career a bit. But I respect her for doing what she wanted, and not being swayed by the eccentric tycoon.

I enjoyed this movie. When historical films are well done, as this one is, it always gets me back to the books. The battle and temple scenes are especially good. Maybe they’re not entirely accurate. I don’t know. I’d have to spend weeks researching that. But overall, the excellent visuals help me to flesh out not just Biblical passages about Solomon but much of the Old Testament… a curious work of power, as Northrop Frye put it.


Leave a comment

Go with the flow

Some kid left their beach ball on the beach. Video zooms in after a few secs…

Last night about 100 miles East of Toronto, Lake Ontario. I might go into YouTube and rename this Go With the Flow. After all, wind isn’t really caused by gravity but by atmospheric pressure. 🙂


Leave a comment

Watch Married to the Mob and other golden greats… free!

Image via dollskill.com

I’ve been restoring old computers and learning more about the ins and outs of software and especially hardware. I’ve always enjoyed software but never used to be a hardware person at all. And I thought I never would be. So the only “operation” I did with old computers was remove the HD before tossing them into the electronic recycle bin (we do that in Canada).

I regret that now. Recently a CR-ROM went on the fritz with one of my old computers. And I have thrown out 2 CD-ROMs in the past. One of them might have worked. But they’re gone… because I was stupid and didn’t foresee that I would become interested in hardware too.

I did, however, successfully upgrade some RAM from one computer to another. I was very pleased that I could do that, and it actually worked.

My hardware knowledge is limited, though. So most of my free computing time is spent trying to figure out new ways to get stuff for free, legally. Recently I discovered a Firefox add-on that enables you to do just that. It’s an add-on to watch older or second and third-rate streaming movies. It must be legal because the site that offers these streaming movies hasn’t been taken down.

Anyhow, I tested it out and found an old 80s flick that I never watched: Married to the Mob with Michelle Pfeiffer, who was one of the hottest stars of the 80s. I clicked on the film – via the add-on – and sure enough, it started streaming. Credits over railroad tracks, if I remember right. I wasn’t in the mood to watch the whole thing so clicked if off after a few seconds. But hey, if anyone is interested…

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/search/?q=free+movies&appver=46.0&platform=windows

 


Leave a comment

Heath Immortalized

I don’t go to theatre movies too often. I much prefer my own space, pausing the show if it gets boring or if I want to get a snack. But I did see Heath Ledger’s last film. It was a Batman something-or-other. I can’t keep track of the Batman films. I liked the 60s TV show. It was light and campy. But when Batman took a darker turn, I think it lost it.

Apparently Batman was a bit of dark character to begin with. So the movies are, I think, closer to the original comic book series than was the TV show. But I liked the zany surrealism of the 60s TV Batman.

Most of us probably know the story about Heath Ledger becoming overly absorbed by the character of the Joker. I remember thinking that his performance was outstanding. Little did I know that it would be a factor in claiming his life (If I remember the story right, that is). Comics and pop culture buffs please correct me here if need be. I mostly post this photo because I think it’s a great shot of some compelling street art.


Leave a comment

Instead of watching the Academy Awards…

English: Zappa and band. Bob Harris, Yamaha CS...

Zappa and band. Bob Harris, Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer and vocals, Arthur Barrow, bass. Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY. Oct 25, 1980 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, I didn’t watch the Oscars tonight. It just seemed too trivial this year for me to waste my time. Just wasn’t into Americano pop culture. At least, not that version. Not this year.

I do like a lot of US movies though. And Frank Zappa, who was a born and bred American.

So what did I do? I listened to an audio course about early Christianity. Learned about a sect, the Ebionites, who were Jewish but accepted some version of Jesus as the Messiah. Not the official version, though.

Then I listened to some 70s Chick Corea, which reminded me of this gem:

Somehow seemed appropriate for NOT watching the Oscars.

Eat That Question – Frank Zappa In His Own Words

Top 10 Songs With the Weirdest Titles

ALICE COOPER Celebrates 45th Anniversary Of Love It To Death And Killer Albums; InTheStudio Audio Interview

Mick Ronson

Finding more ways to Jesus

Presty the DJ for Feb. 14

Frank Zappa on Guitar Soloing

Frank Zappa plays a hunchback on a children’s show narrated by Vincent Price, 1983

Some Thoughts About Innovation From Various Authors


Leave a comment

Pixels – DVD Review

Official poster for Columbia Pictures’ film “Pixels” – Wikipedia

Last night I returned some library material to a branch that I don’t visit too often. Browsing the DVD section I saw a fresh copy of Pixels. I’d been curious about it, so checked it out.

I was drawn into the film fairly quickly. Being about 20 yrs in 1982, where the movie begins, it brought back a host of memories. Some good, some not so good.

Adam Sandler plays Sam Brenner, a “loser” working as a tech installer. His orange outfit even has the word “nerd” in the corporate logo. Sort of a cliche these days, one which I doubt actual tech installers would appreciate.

On the other hand, Sam takes on an attractive “snob” (Michelle Monaghan) who wouldn’t kiss him because of his lowly status. And he does it well. So the film is a bit more complicated than merely perpetuating harmful stereotypes.

What really grabbed me in this movie was its integration of early video games, 80s pop culture, and the idea of an ET invasion. If you extend your imagination a bit, I think this movie is pretty good. I laughed here and there. Yes, drifted a few times… but one can always hit the pause button and get a coffee or snack when that happens.

On the whole, I felt that Sandler and the supportive cast did a good job. I wouldn’t say “great” but again, it was the synthesis of old, new and the beyond that made the difference.

More or less panned on other web sites. I think this film was just a bit too clever for some learned “critics” whose minds are too regimented to appreciate a flick that doesn’t fit into the current sci-fi box. True, it appears stupid and silly. One reviewer just called it “tediously bad.”¹ But something higher was going on. At least, it was for me.

Final word – Pleasantly surprised.

MC

¹ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixels_%282015_film%29#Reception