On July 18th, I am scheduled to leave for London (again), having promised to do a flat-sit for a friend.

As one of the oldest bloggers on the block, I feel compelled (sort of) to offer this thought to anyone out there who reads this. It was a perception apparently popularized by Chesterton, but I remember reading somewhere that it was first expressed by someone earlier. Poets are like prostitutes: first we do it for love, then for a few friends; in the end, mostly for money.

(Even Cid, whom I miss, and who, to the end of his days, bless him, hoped for a Nobel.)

Perhaps all blogs are, even at their most informative and useful, egocentric, even narcissistic. Everyone thinks that they (we) have something of import to say, or at least something which needs saying, or which someone else wants to read/hear. I'm no different. In my Profile I list no "favorite music" not simply because, like books or films (or paintings), there is no end to the lists one can amuse oneself by making (favorite mall: Ala Moana, Honolulu), but because, in my case, having become severely hearing-impaired (Meniere's) over the years, all music comes to me now as too distorted to listen to anymore with pleasure, and the sounds I remember loving (obviously quite Retro) - from the sadness of Satie's GYMNOPEDIES, and Glass's BEAUTY & THE BEAST, and Billie Holiday and Chet and Piaf and Aznavour and Sinatra's ONLY THE LONELY vinyl album, Steeleye Span, Ralph McTell, Christy Moore, Sandy Denny's song "Farewell" and Joni Mitchell's BLUE to the deep introspections of Miles and Monk and Coltrane, the otherworldliness of Sun Ra, to quite personal favorites like Blossom Dearie and Astrud Gilberto and Sade and Trudy Pitts/Mr. C, to Ewan MacColl, Kirsty MacColl, Pete (& Peggy) Seegar, Guthrie (pere et fils), Fred Neil, Dylan, the ballads of Springsteen (with Clemons), a sentimenal weakness for country & western songs like By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Wichita Lineman, a bit of bluegrass (Doc Watson) & some blues et. al., Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Leonard Cohen, - are now only nostalgia.

However, I still have a bit of a pedagogic interest in adding to the list of favorite films Profile space won't allow, and so here are some movies not otherwise profiled or mentioned in my previous posts. Obviously, the list is open-ended and infinitely becoming.

Silents: NAPOLEAN (but NOT with the nepotistic intrusive score Coppola added). CITY LIGHTS.

Old Welsh Culture: HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY, LAST DAYS OF DOLWYN, and especially the film version of Dylan Thomas's great UNDER MILK WOOD.



Old-Time French: Vigo, Truffaut, THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG and ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS, and Godard's innovative masterpiences, one after another, from BREATHLESS through to ALPHAVILLE.

Tracy/Hepburn, ...etc., etc.

Film discussions and films listed under Profile and films alluded to on other blogposts and this clearly incomplete list dedicated to veteran film afficionados, Leon Lewis and Jeremy Taylor, from whom I learned so much.

For those desiring to read film theory/criticism, the two poles seem to me to be Jurij Lotman's SEMIOTICS OF CINEMA and Manny Farber's NEGATIVE SPACE, with any number of English language writers on film from McDonald to Kael to Sarris, et. al., somewhere in between those two extremes, along with whatever these days has been translated from the old CAHIERS DU CINEMA. Kenneth Anger's HOLLYWOOD BABYLON is still a lot of fun (as is his SCORPIO RISING), and Philip French's review essays for THE OBSERVER for over 40 years now (!) will doubtless one day be collected between covers. Robert Warshow's "The Gangster As Tragic Hero" is, in my opinion, the best short film essay ever written. Some prefer his companion piece, "The Westerner" ("probably the last art form in which the concept of honor retains its strength" he writes). A particular favorite of mine, among so many, is William Claxton's forgotten gem, LAST STAGE TO THUNDER ROCK. I did mention in passing in an earlier post that Kevin Brownlow's THE PARADE'S GONE BY is the best starting point for anyone interested in cinematic history.