Carole Lombard, William Powell, My Man Godfrey, 1936. God, I love Carole Lombard so much - watching her in the opening scene with Powell (who’s no slouch himself), it’s hard not to be astonished at how effortless she makes it look. Her delivery is so fluid, so natural - watching her act is like watching an expert seamstress let silk flow through her hands, cherishing the luster, the quicksilver quality of the fabric. She’s a sharp contrast to most of the actresses of her era - I watched Bringing Up Baby the other night, and Hepburn’s performance felt so screechy and artificial, a nonstop aural assault, two hours of forced madcap japery.
Today’s Google animation - Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
I was so sad to see that Saul Leiter has died - I just loved his work. Still, almost 90 years on this planet, and he spent that time making so many beautiful images: a life in full.
Coil, “The Snow (Answers Come in Dreams I)”. Tonight my friend Celia said to me, “The snow passes through so much filth on its way down”; I thought immediately of this song. I love its feverish, erotic density.
I went with my architect to visit my new apartment today; she was the first person who’s seen it other than my real estate agent. It was a great visit, in large part because she genuinely liked the apartment; now it seems like less of a wildly impulsive move, and more of a first step towards something less grand, but still great. Afterward, I had lunch around the corner at Juni, Shaun Hergatt’s restaurant in the Hotel Chandler on East 31st; I think I shall become a regular here, if only for the incredible Feather Ridge Farm egg poached under a black truffle espuma, with olive oil “rocks” and crunchy Funion-style potato chips. It’s a bit of an unlikely thing - and not 100% pretty to look at, resembling some chunks of white lime cast down on a black volcanic ooze, but it’s one of the tastiest things I’ve had in a while. I mean, it’s hard to go very wrong with black truffles and eggs. In any case, it’s really hard to photograph in a way that makes it seem appetizing, so instead here’s a photo of beef cheeks with Bordelaise sauce, parsnip purée and Tokyo radishes - as beautiful and interpretation of a classic dish as that egg poached in its black truffle sarcophagus was modern.
An extraordinary - and extraordinarily beautiful - video that has been created from taking single still photographs, parsing them in Photoshop, then animating them in Adobe After Effects.
Few things have inspired as much awe in me recently as this video exploration of an African ant colony. The complexity of the structure, its elements and the “achievement” of its construction are dazzling. Really, it’s a moving notion, these tiny creatures working so hard to build this vast hive/city.
Well, here are words I never thought I’d say: Goodbye, Stately Jaze Manor. I’ve sold my apartment here on 12th Street, a place I’ve inhabited for 20 years, and where I’ve weathered the best and worst days of my life. I love this place to bits, but it was time to cash in - and time for a change. I’ve been stagnating, lately.
I shall miss it desperately, but the offer I put in on a studio on lower Fifth Avenue in what used to be the Waldorf-Astoria residence hotel has been accepted, and since it’ll be an all-cash deal, things should be slowly. It needs a gut reno (Boo! But, also, Yay!), but when it’s finished, it’ll be beautiful. Still, I have loved living at the Zachary so much; it has been a beautiful place in which to live, and a beautiful way in which to live.
Just back from CAPTAIN PHILLIPS; I thought it was just extraordinary. I’m not sure how accurate it was, but it was so beautifully made - well-written, impeccably directed, superbly edited, and with performances from the two leads (Hanks as Phillips, and Barkhad Abdi) that were both heartbreaking in their own different ways. Even though I knew what the outcome was, the film managed to be more gripping than GRAVITY. Just so, so good.
Lou Reed, “Street Hassle”. At dinner tonight, a friend asked me if I liked Lou Reed; this was the first song that I thought of. I think it has all of the elements that made him great in my eyes: a willingness to mess with song structure, an extraordinary gift for texture and arrangement, the even-handed embrace of grim topics, all jingling together on top of an astute pop sensibility. I mean, the “hook” to the song is basically modulations of a four-note sequence, and remains completely compelling for the song’s over 10 minute length. Bruce Springsteen, banned from recording his own material because of legal disputes with his former manager, sings the “Slipaway” section uncredited.