Sunday Salon 9-9-12

My first Sunday Salon in three months! Looking back, it’s hard to say exactly why I dropped blogging and Facebook for so long. It certainly isn’t like I spent my time doing something better! Likewise, I’m not sure why I’m returning now. But who needs a justification?

I recently came across a book, Austin Kleon’s Steal Like An Artist, that definitely gave me motivation to start writing again. I’ll be posting a review of the book tomorrow. Taking the short amount of time it takes to read this book would likely be of help to any creative person. Another book I purchased at the same bookstore, the Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino (a lovely place I highly recommend), was the mystery-police procedural The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino. Having just finished it, I also would like to call your attention to this engrossing read.

My recent trip to the California coast, documented with photos in my last blog entry, was largely spent in the Fort Bragg-Mendocino area staring at the ocean, an activity for which I apparently have a boundless capacity. But during the short part of that trip spent in San Francisco, I did take in an amazing exhibition, May Ray|Lee Miller: Partners in Surrealism at the Legion of Honor. Don’t miss it if you’re in the vicinity. I hope to write about that exhibition, and its excellent catalog, sometime soon.

That three months spent not writing also found me not watching many movies. This also seems to be changing, and while I’m here I’d like to mention a couple of really fine films I’ve seen recently. One, Remorque (1941), comes from the recently-released Criterion Eclipse set Jean Grémillon During the Occupation. Starring the great Jean Gabin, at his laconic best here, Remorque enlivens a fairly routine plot (a married tugboat captain is tempted by the possibility of romance with someone he saves at sea) with gorgeous cinematography and characters that are more complex and multifaceted than is the norm.

The other, very different, film, is what the Hungarian director Béla Tarr is calling his final film, The Turin Horse. Having finally seen this much-anticipated film, I can kind of understand why Tarr might feel that he has exhausted the possibilities of his particular style. Not that it’s a poor film – on the contrary, it’s very moving and beautiful. But it’s so minimal in its action, its lead characters so unwilling or unable to express much of anything verbally, that even fans of more adventuresome films might be scared off by the austerity and deliberate pace of The Turin Horse. But I loved it, and set it next to Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) and the infamous seven-hour Sátántangó (1994) as one of Tarr’s masterpieces.

See you again next Sunday!

6 thoughts on “Sunday Salon 9-9-12

  1. I have lived in California my whole life. I’ve traveled throughout the US, often longing to live in other places. But I do love the variety of California. Having lived in SF, Sacramento, and now the Central Valley, I have yet to visit Ft. Bragg. But in the 60s, I came very close to living there.

    Funny how that happens…the “almost” events.


    • Thanks for your comment! Being just barely able to keep up one blog, I’m amazed and impressed that you can do all the blogging you do, and read so much, and write so many books! I would definitely recommend Fort Bragg for a visit. The city is nice enough, but the coastline is especially attractive there, with all sorts of walking paths if you like a little informal hiking. And Mendocino, quite a lovely town, is just a few minutes away as well.

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