This week's DVD releases aren't filling me with the thrill of last week. That brought Bogart and Bacall's signature collection complete with To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, Key Largo and one of my favorites, Dark Passage. The week prior brought the Warner Brothers Tough Guys Box set filled with the James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson heavy Bullets or Ballots, City for Conquest, Each Dawn I Die, "G" Men, San Quentin and A Slight Case of Murder. And then there was the Film Noir Classic Collection 3 that included Border Incident, the insane (but great) His Kind of Woman, the experimental Lady in the Lake, The Racket and the masterful On Dangerous Ground.
My place is happily, packed with DVD's.
As for now, three obsessions:
1. On Dangerous Ground Do they make actors like Robert Ryan anymore. Do they (women?) make men like Robert Ryan anymore? No. They do not. Not that the Robert Ryan in Nicholas Ray's magnificent noir On Dangerous Ground (1952) is the ideal (OK, well maybe he is). A time-bomb of psychotic rage (something Ryan perfected), Ryan's New York cop is so off-the-deep end, he's beginning to freak out his fellow fuzz. Like Travis Bickle, Ryan's a loner who can't stomach the dirt and sleaze he contends with on his nightly drives through the city. After he beats the piss out of a crook (he ruptures the guy's bladder), he's assigned to hunt a killer in the more rural, snowy upstate, where he meets the blind Ida Lupino, sister of the chief suspect. Topped by Ryan's rage (which twists into a kind of impotent choler), the film excells from a powerful Bernard Hermann score and exciting, modern touches by the poetic Ray. A hand held pursuit is especially resonant. Pure expressionistic misery. And yet, oddly romantic.
2. Gram Parsons' Nudie Suit If you recall, I had one of those Gram Parsons fan moments while visiting his famed death room at the Joshua Tree Inn. Like every dork attempting to get a real taste of Gram in any way possible, I swore I saw his ghost. But it could have been the xanax (I also had a panic attack in the desert). Anyway, let's just pause and apprecitate Parsons' drug embroidered Nudie Suit. And check out more of his suit with this Flying Burrito Brothers look at Sin City.
3. Anna Karina singing Serge Gainsbourg's "Rollergirl" Years back, when I had a band (for about one week and two seconds), the only song I wanted to sing was Serge Gainsbourg's "Rollergirl." Our band got it down (and in French) and then promptly never performed/practiced anything after that. But that's not the only reason I've been long obsessed with this growly, sexy song, I always wanted to actually see Anna Karina sing the thing. Knowing Gainsbourg crafted The Anna Show, I searched for any pirated copy I could find to no avail. But thanks to the wonders of You Tube, I found it. Oh Anna. Dig her socks. And glasses. And...dear god she was hot.