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    February 24, 2008

    Yesterday Was a Reading Day...

    I read so many different blogs and newspapers and shrunk text media I am blue and about to faint.  However, I wanted to say hi to you all and let you know I have a great post in Universo Anárquico about the days when I lived with Mommy and Daddy back in Rio de Janeiro. We used to listen to the radio and mute the TV for teh Oscars©.
    Daddy's usual line was, "Zefa, look at him! He looks like he's my grandfather!" It was true. Daddy aged well and died prematurely. Mommy would tell him to shut up so she could listen to the broadcast. Then she would go off on a story on Liz Taylor's life. Mommy read a lot of Screenplay, Photoplay, all these older magazines pre-People.
    Liz Taylor brought about how horrible Debby Reynold's fate had been, what a drunk Richard  Burton was, and so on and so forth till Daddy would be exasperated and yell, "For crying out loud, Josephina!"
    The use of her full name would intimidate her. Zefa, pronounced ZEH- fah, is her nickname in Brazil. Mommy won't be watching the Oscars tomorrow. She is in a convalescent home, losing a bit of herself at a time, slowly, slowly.  Daddy looked  good  but  passed at age 59.   Mommy will  be  88 this February 29.  She's strong like an ox.
    I was fed movies from an early age. I love the  moving pictures.  So,  I came here today  to tell you to  visit the links in my  post in Portuguese on  stars and films.  I  tried very  hard to choose original  videos.  I  hope I succeeded.

    Now, I must go faire do-do. Monday I will show you the latest  moves in  France.  It's not  about Carla Bruni or Sarko, or  strikes.  It's moves, the latest fad in  the streets, literally.  I still think we do it better.  As Craig Ferguson would say,  "I know, I know!"  We fell in  love with his show.

    Hey, while blogging I watched Tina Fey's passionate speech about Hillary and womin-bitches. Go  Tina Fey and go Hillary!

    Remember to eat lite and avoid alcohol. Stay healthy.

    My tips? Okay. The Cohen dudes for directing and screenplay, etc.in No Country for Old Men.There Will Be Blood for cinematography, editing, etc.
    Javier Barden for best actor, the girl in Juno for best actress, and these are just my hunches. 

    See you back on Tuesday, I hope and forgive my typos, but  keyboarding isn't easy when one has hydrocephalus.

    November 12, 2007

    Scarlett Johansson - So What?

    The one time I saw Scarlett Johansson that sealed my impression of her as an awkward actress was not on film. That was Saturday Night Live, on NBC, after I had seen her in "Lost in Translation", in which I disliked her acting, too.  Saturday Night Live is impromptu acting, with a little bit of rehearsing -- I saw a bit of it backstage long time ago. So, she was hostess on Saturday Night Live, which can make or break actors and bands. She was a dud.
    Scarlett Johansson reminds me of a teenager whose stature got stumped and breasts overgrew. As American men are traditionally crazy about breasts, Terry-Thomas delivers a magnificent monologue on that, and the search for youth is timeless, well-documented in Nabokov's book and Kubrick's Lolita, adaptation of the book, here we have Scarlett Johansson, click on her fan-site at your risk.
    She is young, but so is Natalie Portman. To Scarlett's disadvantage, Natalie Portman was on SNL acting comfortably in a time span close enough for me to compare the two young actresses. Woody Allen is on his third movie with Scarlett. But he says she is no Diane Keaton. That reminds me of the lover/husband in Matchpoint, a film I finally watched tonight. She is what she is: a slightly hoarse voice, a good mistress, a seductive elf-like creature, little else than lust,
    Friburgorjspelled in her lips and ... bosom. A child actor, she hangs out with the right people and says the right things at the right times. Good luck, Scarlett, now I understand better why your face (and bosom) is posted in headers of hip blogs, and why you are revered. You are Lolita revisited, politically correct, Hanging out with the right people, whose lips will kiss, tits will smother, and ... I hope your acting improves and lasts to be more of a Diane Keaton's.

    November 04, 2007

    Bye Bye Brasil - A Tribute to Anisio Medeiros

    Anisio Medeiros was my professor at Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo of the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, FAU-UFRJ.  He taught at the Escola de Belas Artes, too. A set designer, costume designer, art director and architect from Piauí, a state ridiculed before Acre took its place as motif of scorn, Anisio was a genius ahead of his time. And because I loved all films in which he worked, and heard viva voce his stories on how the set was designed (or improvised) or how the costumes were created from scratch, I dedicate this gathering of souvenirs to him.
    Bye Bye Brasil has been released here, with subtitles, not bad of a subtitling job, on DVD. Read the NY Times review by Vincent Canby at a click on Bye Bye Brasil above. The film is by Cacá Diegues, who belonged to Cinema Novo and made a cool transition to a Tropicalist æsthetic code in Bye Bye Brasil. Caravana Rolidei is a poor circus on wheels trio, then a quintet. The Rolidei is a phonetic version of Holiday. They seek towns where TV (Globo) hasn't arrived yet, the hypnotic power of a TV set worshiped up in the main square of little towns.

    The æsthetic motif of the costumes is great. A hairdo that twinkles with Xmas lights, the clothes of the poor, of the Native-Brazilians, all of it is political in a subtle way, sending us to the days when the Redeemer(coup d'état 64-85) built pharaonic roads, gold was found in the Amazon, but I am moving to the set design. Oh, well. The choices of places in Brazil is perfect: the riverbank town, the palm trees by the ocean, the burned and had Amazon (in 1980!) and Brasília, the destination of poor migrants straight into favelas.

    I don't want to spoil the film for you. All I want you to know is this is genius if you are interested in Brazil or Brasil.  Cacá Diegues bittersweet good-bye to a Brasil that becomes a Brazil and a Caravana Rolidei that becomes a Caravana Rolidey, with a y, letter inexistent in Portuguese, sum up the Tropicalist message: we devour the foreign products but spit out something different, the message of cultural cannibalism that knows no boundaries. Click here for a great article on this film.

    None of what you see in this film and in so many other ones would have been possible without Anisio Medeiros. I was a poor draftsperson with a pencil. He made me the model for our B&W classes. Scorning the Oiticica which follows anyone in the Oiticica family, he would announce to all,

    "We can't start the class without Tina Harris."

    I remembered him due to my cybertroubles with passwords and nicknames. He would tap the floor with one foot, impatiently, while I finally arrived, late as usual, holding a cigarette, ready for my modeling time. The best souvenirs I have of Anisio Medeiros are of his sharing with us how he designed scenes improvising, as in Macunaíma, where foam was modeled to look like meats in a gigantic black bean casserole. Others are catty gossip which dies with him and us, his fave students. Finally, I did learn a lot of tricks in color techniques, from the precise names of colors to how to obtain them. Watercolor is about transparency, pastels are about several layers over each one of them. It is impossible to replicate our color sessions. I cannot fathom students sitting under a freeway in a dangerous area of downtown in order to capture how luminous a poor area can look. Or on the streets of downtown Rio anywhere nowadays.

    I take my hat off to Anisio Medeiros, thank my schoolmate who refreshed some memories of him this morning and encourage you to watch this and all other films he participated in. A fine art director, genius in improvising, with peculiarities that make him a star in an era of constellation of architects teaching at FAU-UFRJ, Anisio Medeiros, wherever he is, for my friend remembered him today, too, will be tapping his shoe for a long wait, I hope,
    waiting for Tina Harris, some day, some time. Just a taste of Bye Bye Brazil for you.

    November 01, 2007

    Coffin Joe - Cult, Horror, and Politics

    The day is perfect for commentary on Coffin Joe's second film of his trilogy. We watched the second one, in which he pays dearly for his deeds in the first one and those in the beginning of the second one, "Tonight I'll Possess Your Body."   I will get into the film tomorrow, meaning later on today.  We were lucky to catch it on IFC,  and it may run again.  A campy  set,  with real spiders and real people playing actors, the theories of José Mojica Marins, the writer-director of these home-made très campy films can be viewed as revolutionary or reactionary.  I am old Batbut not old enough to have seen his films in the 60s. This second one, kinda about reincarnation à la Brazilian, was filmed in 1967. It was a back-to-the-future feeling to see utensils, furniture, girls and their make-up just like me in 1967.   After the Catholic Church fiddled around with its calendar we got three holidays in one. Today is All Souls Day and tomorrow is the Day of the Dead in Brazil. Today is el día de los muertos  and everyday is a horror day in  California, where gas and food sky-rocketed. I won't mention national scandals.  Nialler has some good "horror music."  We stick to the horror stories, don't we?
    C ya soon! Later, after some ZZZs and ... coffee. Stay with a bat in the meantime while I get ready to put together a great analysis of Coffin Joe. Later.

    -- tina oiticica harris from an outdated MacBookPro to the readers of Anarchic_Universe

    June 21, 2007

    SICKO - Check It Out - Roger Moore

    SICKO - Check It Out - Roger Moore 

    Hello, I forgot to  share this with you:

    Here's to your healthcare system:  You know of my dealings with it. Check out this link, with a short video of the film and lots of Michael Moore goodies.

    The video is très kewl.  I have no intention to become a vampire, though.
    Annie Lennox Bat_show_31007_nhs_22

    May 28, 2007

    Utopia v. Dystopia

    This is a summarized version of today's post at Universo Anárquico. I know I should have gone to the beach.  How could I go to the beach after seeing this in the LATimes?  I never knew we had an Arlington West in Santa Monica.

    Utopia and Dystopia go hand in hand.  A Utopia is a fantasy world in which everything is perfect. A dystopia is a society where things go wrong.  Utopia-dream/dystopia-nightmare.  Generally dystopias are placed in the future.

    The most famous ones, for my generation, are:

    • Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley.  A dystopia in which people are engineered genetically, there is no sex, but lots of soma, a feelgood drug.  Things go wrong when one Alpha whose mother was a runaway, and had sex,  goes ...

    • Nineteen-eighty-four, by  George Orwell.  I saw the movie and many years later read the book.  In this dystopia everybody is in a permanent state of paranoia. There is a war nobody knows much about.  Big Brother is watching through the telly at all times.  Winston falls in love, uh-oh.  Doesn't this one sound familiar?

    • Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, which goes quite well with Truffaut's film.
    Ray Bradbury explained how the first seed was planted when he was walking in the San Fernando Valley, in Los Angeles.  The seed was a short story, The Pedestrian. I read it at age thirteen.  It is here:

    The Pedestrian

    I will write about the paranoid Phillip K. Dick, whose work Hollywood loves.

    And then about William Gibson, the Cyberpunk creator, whose Neuromancer is coming up.

    I'll be back!

    March 15, 2007

    I Will Protect You, My Google!

    There can be no doubt there is no lost love between Google,Inc. and me ever since the beginning of my blogging career, at that sucky tenement hall called Blogger. There I had two blogs vandalized. In Orkut, another prized Google property, I was the butt of these same punks, who spread porn-photomontages, slurs, threats, all the good stuff. They never did anything about it; actually, they played with the Brazilian lack of knowledge of our laws to do nothing. Sometime last year, a Joe Blow from San Diego called here to listen and called back to say they would do nothing.Google_calls

    They trampled on rights of bloggers. Of Belgium. Sour losers. They are Google. The Google.

    A sense of justice compels me to defend Google. Ever since YouTube became Google's everybody wants a bite. Dodo Cicarelli, the boyfriend, You can call me XXX kelp," went ahead to sue and shut down YouTube, if only for a day, in Brazil. Money makes the world go around.

    Now, the righteous Empty V and Viacom want 1.64 bill. to let go of the meaty bone of video clips/film that belong to them. I thought EmpTv didn't want videos anymore. I've been paying extra to get VH1 Classics. The way things are going, the Stanford brethen will be holding a cup somewhere around Union Square. And it won't be for Java.

    Therefore, comrades, fellow bloggers, the conversation begins. Let's defend the Mini Me Evil Empire. How can we blog without a YouTube video to make up for our lack of creativity, time, dedication, whatever and nevermind?

    Google, I stand by your side. Won't you believe me and marry me for the rest of your 64 billions? Oh, only one of you, okay, 32 billion is okay. I won't call it porn wealth. I'm not into either. :Wub:


    February 26, 2007

    In the End, We All Go to the Beach

    "Never on Sunday," Jules Dassin, directed, Melina Mercouri acted and sang. I was too young to see one one the three or four films Daddy watched in his whole life. In this movie, Melina plays a sex pro who misunderstands the Greek tragedies she goes see. She retells them with,"And they all went to the beach." Happy are all.

    That's the feeling the Academy wishes to convey when they put on a magnificent spectacle of film and performing arts. Everybody happy, please, saying "Cheese" to the cameras. "There is nothing to understand; it's understood," as the rock song goes --The Pretenders' "I'm the Adultress."

    Can any of you fluent English speakers understand why the world watches the Oscars? Most jokes are for people who live in Greater Los Angeles. What is the 405? Carson? Why "Crash," the film? Why a minor Scorsese?

    I think people all over the world like to watch like Chauncey liked to watch. Chauncey is the gardner played by Peter Sellers in "Being There." Some of my Brazilian friends claim they understand "British English." I'd like to see them among the people in Blackpool, Manchester or Liverpool. All those stars, their faces, clothes, the TV broadcast makes us feel like neighbors till the lights go out and we are back in our rooms and they in their limos.

    I like to see film clips. I feel sad at the time of the tribute to the departed in 2006. Bruno Kirby, James Brown, some I thought, "I thought this person was dead!" Now s/he is. I like to see some of my favorite actors. And I love to diss those I don't like.

    I like to bet on who will get an award. This is February. Ever since they moved the Awards to Black American History month, our brothers and sisters in oppression have lucked out. Just recently, we had Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, Halle Berry:wub:, and now Forrest Whittacker and Jennifer Houston. Both not only African-American but chubby, like me.

    It's sad how many Greengoes cannot speak a language other than English. Ennio Morricone, whose whistled and stomped "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" is unforgetable and one reason I started to appreciate Clint Eastwood's work as an actor, Ennio Morricone can't speak English (or won't, like the French.) Clint Eastwood should know some Spanish by now, English is a second language in California; it seems his wife is a babe whose language would be Spanish.

    So we show the world we are helplessly monolingual until some tech miracle helped Clint Eastwood translate Ennio Morricone's speech. I shoul let them know B12 Partners is multilingual as evidenced in the Universo Anárquico.

    A rule of thumb for the Academy is to award the sexless statuette to those about to kick the bucket and/or have been passed over too many times. Another is the winner at the Directors' Guild of America shall win.
    Recently, the Academy had been splitting the award for best film and best director. This time, a less herculean directing effort gave Scorsese both. Lucas will never win as a director. It is said he likes to direct those things he creates for his sci-fi movies. Alan Arkin finally won. Peter O'Toole, how long will he have to wait? Neither Paul Newman nor Henry Fonda went when it was a shooin they'd be awarded. Too many times facing disappointment.

    I knew from the buzz around town Mirren would win. I prefer Queen as in the rock group. The cult of royals makes me sick. La Deneuve was gawgeous, another example of monolingual French rebellion. And I was told she is no longer "Marianne," the beauty with bare breasts who symbolizes the French Republic.

    The shadows forming symbols for nominated films were pretty kewl. Most of the broadcast was smooth, better than other years. I was happy for some people; for others, I asked myself, "What's with this dress?" Jennifer López already has a huge derrière. Why a dress with a huge skirt? Gwynneth Palthrow has no boobs, even after having had two children. Why flaunt the scarcity? Beyoncé, I think, had a dress unsuitable for a dance witha partner. If she sneezed, we'd be happy; at least she has something to show.

    What was Penélope Cruz thinking? Maybe she thought of "Marie Antoinette II?"

    Now, I must go for other subjects. One is scary; the other is nice.
    Good evening, my friends.

    November 17, 2006

    Enjoy: Os Mutantes

    Please remember I am in California. I am three hours behind EST and six hours behind most of Brazil. Besides, that neck situation is making me drowsy. All this is to ask for your understanding for my being a little behind, no pun intended.

    When I opened my mail I saw the most amazing photos of Os Mutantes I had yet to see. I won't have time to translate the text today but I will leave the photos here:

    There we go, Part 1, click pleaseclick

    Then, the greatest highly professional video of Os Mutantes, playing Batmacumba, written by Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso. Performance at the Pitchfork Festival, B12 Partners were there.

    Are you ready? Let's join them. Click.

    Part Two: Mutanfotos. Same blog: blog by Antonio Carlos Miguel. Globo.com. The most fantabulastic photos ever! Click, please

    Enjoy, later on today, the developments re. UCLA.

    September 10, 2006

    Tina's Arabian Nights

    One day a sultan got very angry he caught his wife with a slave. All they were doing was carrying a little talk about the birds and the bees. The sultan, enraged, pulled his sword and killed the two while they counted up to sixty-nine.

    He swore he would have a young maiden, as pure as freshly fallen snow, every night a different one, and after taking advantage of her he would kill her.

    This routine went on for a while until his Secretary of State couldn't find not even a harlot for the sultan. The Secretary of State, Cond'hom Alreahiceah, started crying, fearing death. The fearless daughter of the Secretary of State,
    Sh'am-less' Hal-bloggah, voluntereed to go spend the night with the ruthless sultan and swore she would stay alive for many nights.

    This is the beginning of the Arabian Nights, 1001 Nights. They didin't like exact numbers, ancient Arabs. Disney /ABC don't like exact anything.

    And, in my best Forrest Gump mode, I declare that's the end of that. Or have I seen these tactics before as in the Swift Boat, the flip-flopper, the trashing of the White House by the Clintonians ?