Sunday Salon 3-30-14

Time: 7:00 Sunday morning, just returned from my morning walk on a very cloudy day.

Place: At my main computer, typing another Sunday Salon, somewhat to my surprise!

Reading: As I haven’t checked in for several weeks, I’ll start with a few quick updates. I have finished reading Roger Lipsey’s The Spiritual in Twentieth-Century Art (a review of which is about 75% complete and will be appearing here in a few days), The Circle by Dave Eggers, and Michael Coe’s Angkor and the Khmer Civilization. I am in the middle of Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live by Martha Beck, which I am hoping will give me some answers to important questions. I have also made good progress in Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work, and may well finish it today. While I’m enjoying Kleon’s latest, it isn’t grabbing me quite the way his Steal Like An Artist, which I reviewed, did. Perhaps this is because the earlier book dealt more with the nature of creation, whereas this new effort is focused more on getting yourself and your work in front of an audience. I am happy to see, though, that one of the major themes in the new book matches up with my way of thinking – focus on things you really care about, and others who are interested in those same things will make their way to you.

Watching: Last night I watched a couple of films from the boxed set Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project. Djibril Diop Mambéty’s Touki Bouki (1973) felt like a brightly colored Senegalese riff on Godard’s Breathless – which I don’t mean as a criticism, as Touki Bouki had a lot of energy and inventiveness of its own. Emilio Gómez Muriel’s Redes (1936), which he co-directed with Fred Zinnemann of High Noon and A Man for All Seasons fame, was a somber semi-documentary story of some poor Mexican fishermen finally growing tired of having their work exploited. Had my brain been working properly, I would have linked the title of the film with the similarly titled work by the distinctive Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas (1899-1940). Sure enough, Revueltas wrote the movie’s spiky score, which lent the film a lot of vitality and atmosphere. I was glad to get back to watching films again after a long break, especially the foreign and “art” and indie films that I like so much. I also attended a lecture yesterday by Dr. John Spike on “The Art of Florence” at the Nevada Museum of Art, connected with the Museum’s most enjoyable new exhibition Italian Baroque: Paintings from the Haukohl Family Collection. Read more