Sunday, November 16, 2014

Death of a visionary

Why are you here?

Why are you taking this course?

Why film?


The three questions asked by Professor Manupelli on the first day of class, "Introduction to Cinematography," University of Michigan, circa, 1970.

After an hour of toying with us, stripping us of all ego and pretense, we walked out the door at the end of class with his voice bellowing the one answer to all three questions, "Art, for art's sake!" I will never forget that class, those questions, his answer, nor the enlightening poignancy of spending a semester learning from this man, teacher and artist.

In an interview he did in 2009, he said this about teaching film at U of M:

"I came here in ’62. The curriculum then was drawing, painting, design — period,” Manupelli said. “I tried to get them to do sound as design. You don’t need to be a musician to make music. I didn’t get to teach film for nine years, and (I worked) without pay; I took the deal because I wanted to get at the students.”

Here I am, 44 years later, one of the students in that room and one who will never forget the meaning of,

Art for art's sake.

George Manupelli died in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, where he lived, on Sunday, Sept. 14 at age 82. He was a filmmaker, artist and professor at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design.

Death of a visionary

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Closure

I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm
Your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm
Yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new
In city and in forest, they smiled like me and you
But now it's come to distances and both of us must try

Your eyes are soft with sorrow
Hey, that's no way to say goodbye


Friday, September 19, 2014

Pacing The Cage

"I was just, I mean there was a lot about the way I was living at the time that just wasn't working and I was really feeling that and that's pretty much the song. You know, I don't think those feelings were unique to me, or unique to that time and place, they're, they're feelings that everybody, I think, well as its says in the song: sooner or later it's going to get ya. Um, hopefully not for long and not often, you know but...."

Who Knows Where The Time Goes?

Sandy Denny (6 January 1947 – 21 April 1978)

Across the evening sky, all the birds are leaving
But how can they know it's time for them to go?
Before the winter fire, I will still be dreaming
I have no thought of time

For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

Sad, deserted shore, your fickle friends are leaving
Ah, but then you know it's time for them to go
But I will still be here, I have no thought of leaving
I do not count the time

For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

And I am not alone while my love is near me
I know it will be so until it's time to go
So come the storms of winter and then the birds in spring again
I have no fear of time

For who knows how my love grows?
Who knows where the time grows?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dignity, Part III - Finale

Eric Anderson is another one of those brilliant singer-songwriters of the 60's. This decade remains the pinnacle of creative output of the American/British folk tradition. I could name them all, their great songs, and probably have in the 10 years of this blog, but this post is about Eric Anderson and in particular one of his songs that except for Dylan's body of work, sits right atop that entire sphere of artistic expression. My third and final post on Dignity.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Softer Side Of Dignity

Dignity Lesson #1 - Don't listen to songs on the radio.

I first heard this song during my coming of age years of the 1960's in my home town of Detroit, Michigan. In those days, I would go to bed with a transistor radio next to my pillow, listening to new music out of Great Britain (aka The British Invasion) from WBZ in Boston, music that had not yet made it to the Motown-laden airwaves of Detroit. If ever a song would set a romantic path for the rest of my life, it was this one. What makes it such a remarkable piece of music is how that same sense of longing that I felt on listening to it for the first time on that anonymous night in a long forgotten 1960's Michigan, can be revisited, appreciated, and even felt, 47 years later on some soon to be forgotten summer's night in the Arizona desert, circa 2014.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dignity

"I will never, ever give a woman my dignity. When a woman is taking advantage of my kindness, when she is taking me for granted, when she thinks that her mere presence is enough for me, I will walk away. Absolutely no woman can treat me in any other way than I believe I should be treated. No matter where I am in life, no matter whom I’m with, dignity will be a part of my spirit, until the very end."

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Invisible

Gravity; Consciousness; Future/Past; Memories; Atoms; Light; Electricity; All But 5 Galaxies; Radio Waves; All We Don't Know; The Point Of This; The Point Of Anything.

We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know.

W. H. Auden