Monday, December 31, 2012

Christine Edzard's Little Dorrit

The film by Christine Edzard, released in two sections, three hours each, titled Nobody’s Fault and Little Dorrit’s Story, made in 1987, is the finest of all adaptations of Dickens’s novels. The settings, costumes, miniature work, photography, script, direction, and, above all, casting, of faces and bodies and voices, create a world on film that is the nearest equivalent so far to that presented by Dickens in his best work. Do not forget


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Yearly Christmas Tree

Pretty much every year I try to put together an interesting Christmas Tree for my own entertainment and the indulgence of my nostalgic tendencies. Last year I was in Connecticut, so I went out into the woods behind my brother's place and cut down a few hemlock branches and arranged them into the semblance of the Yuletide symbol.

This year, being home in San Francisco, I went to the Christmas Tree Lot, found them to be way overpriced, and left empty-handed but intending to return with the necessary thirty dollars for the smallest possible tree (without the stand, which would have been an additional twelve bucks.)

When I got home, before removing my boots, I decided to empty the compost bucket since it was full. So I went down the back stairs to the garbage area of our building, lifted up the lid to the big green compost bin, and what should I find fit snugly inside but a perfectly fine fresh Christmas Tree very much like those I had just been pricing at the corner of Market and Duboce.

I assumed at first that it must somehow be damaged or gravely flawed, but on removing it from the bin I saw it was unharmed and not even befouled by the cruddy container in which it had so recently been stuck. Why one of the other tenants in my building would have discarded a perfectly good Christmas Tree, I could only imagine.


Perhaps one roommate bought this tree and a second brought home another or better tree without consulting their friend first. It may have been a gift which the receiver was too polite to openly refuse. In any case, I was happy and somewhat astonished to have found it in this manner and not too proud to make use of it

Thin Mar Oo has been pilfering some of those old fashioned glass ornaments from the hotel where she works.

My sister sent me some papier mache pieces, an angel and two pears, that she made a couple of years ago, and the rest of the ornaments I either found or put together on my own (ribbons, origami and the like.)

It's the most traditional looking Christmas Tree I've had in many years and therefore fulfulls one of its central functions in an exemplary way.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Nutcracker

In Honor of the great Saturnalian Festival that is upon us, and carrying on with my current fascination with Christine Edzard's remarkable Cinematic Oeuvre (though hers is a sadly Parsimonious Career,) here are some fairly Pretty Pictures from the Great British Filmmaker's Adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffmann's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, which she made in 1997 (under the auspices of IMAX, with whom, not surprisingly, she had some serious disputes.) It's a too brief 37 Minutes of Film but fuller than most Presentations of this Tale.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Reality being too prickly for my lofty character, I found myself nonetheless at my lady's, a great grey-blue bird soaring toward the moldings of the ceiling and dragging my wing through the shadows of the evening. At the foot of the baldaquino holding her precious gems and physical masterpieces, I was a fat bear with purple gums and fur hoary with sorrow, my eyes on the crystal and silver of the sideboard. All became shadow and fiery aquarium. In the morning - bellicose June dawn - I ran through the fields, an ass, braying and brandishing my grievances, until the Sabines of the suburbs came to throw themselves upon my chest. Bottom par Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud La réalité étant trop épineuse pour mon grand caractère, -je me trouvai néanmoins chez ma dame, en gros oiseau gris bleu s'essorant vers les moulures du plafond et traînant l'aile dans les ombres de la soirée. Je fus, au pied du baldaquin supportant ses bijoux adorés et ses chef-d'oeuvre physiques, un gros ours aux gencives violettes et au poil chenu de chagrin, les yeux aux cristaux et aux argents des consoles. Tout se fit ombre et aquarium ardent. Au matin - aube de juin batailleuse, - je courus aux champs, âne, claironnant et brandissant mon grief, jusqu'à ce que les Sabines de la banlieue vinrent se jeter à mon poitrail. Bless thee, Bottom, bless thee, thou art translated.