15 februari

gårDagens kvinna: Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982)


Bergmans relation till den italienske regissören Roberto Rossellini gillades inte av det amerikanska folket..När hon lämnade Hollywood och ett tolv år långt äktenskap höll senator Edwin C Johnson ett timmeslångt tal i den amerikanska Senaten där han kallade henne “a free-love cultist”, “a powerful influence of evil” och “Hollywood’s apostle of degradation”. När det ogifta paret fick en son, Robertino, i februari 1950 kom nya amerikanska fördömanden. Hon hade fått två Oscars, för Gaslight (1944) och Anastasia (1956) och fick ännu en 1974 för Murder on the Orient Express, så hon var väl förlåten vid det laget.

The Daily Bridge


Bayonne Bridge
Kill Van Kull, between Bayonne, New Jersey and Staten Island, New York.
The steel arch bridge opened in 1931.
Length: 1 762 m; longest span 511 m.



* Looney Tunes: Buddy: Buddy the Gob – USA 1934 13/1 I Freleng

Urusel kvalité, normalt skulle jag inte titta på något liknande (vem gör det?), men det är den äldsta Looney Tunes som jag inte sett. Det hade kommit 59 innan, den första 1929.

Buddy apes

* Looney Tunes: Buddy: Buddy of the Apes – USA 1934 26/5 Ben Hardaway

why do i have
* Merrie Melodies: Why do I have those dreams – USA 1934 30/6 I Freleng

* Looney Tunes: Buddy: Buddy’s adventure – USA 1935 5/3 Ben Hardaway

Merry old.jpg
* Merrie Melodies: The merry old soul – USA 1935 17/8 I Freleng

Flowers for
* Merrie Melodies: Flowers for madame – USA 1935 20/11 I Freleng


Gershwin on the Internet

I dont think

179. I don’t think I’ll fall in love today
Treasure girl 1928 – Lyrics: Ira Gershwin
No recordings found.

I dont thin


Watched Today:

* Kurosawa, Akira: “Tsukuru to ire koto wa subzuraki” /It’s wonderful to creat Japan 2002 Yoshinari Okamoto
When I first saw Seven Samurai back in the 70’s I had no idea that I one day would have seen all of Kurosawa’s film. Back then a Japanese film was a rare bird in a film club. During the years I saw the film in several versions. It is one of those films that was drawn and quartered for different markets. Only rarely do I buy a DVD with a film I have already seen, there are so many un-seen films out there. But to get the 3-disc box from Criterion was essential since it seemed to be the definitive when it comes to length, quality and extras.
This extra is a part of the Toho Masterworks series and gives a lot of detailed background information on the shooting of Seven Samurai. The final battle scene in the rain was never intended to be so muddy. The shooting of the scene took part in winter time and the set was covered by snow, which needed to be hosed down with water.
The constant (artificial) raining turns the whole image into a violent battle in the same way that the water from the shower adds to the violence in Psycho. It wouldn’t be the same if the attack happened after she turned off the shower. Graphic aspects is a most powerful tool in story telling on film, and also one of the most under-used.
Sequences from Seven Samurai was often used as examples during the ‘70s in the then popular courses on how to write an effecient film script. So it is interesting to learn from this documentary that the film was suppose to start with an attack of the robbers on another village, but Kurosawa decided against it because he didn’t want to start a film with a too complicated. This is of course a standard Hollywood principle, if you are doing a film about shark attacks start with a shark attack, to give the audience an impression of what to exact. In the final version of Seven Samurai the robbers hoover on their horses above the village discussing if they should do this village too, but decide to come back after the harvest. The heads of the horses move across the screen creating a violent graphic curve, similar to the rain at the end. It works the same way, but more subtle.

* LT: The Honey-mousers: “Mice follies” USA 1960 McKimson
A spoof on the comedy series The Honeymooners only three shorts were made, and this was the last one, so another completion. This series was unusual, more dialogue then usual, and a nice touch in this one is that most of the action happens off screen.

Reading Matter:

There is a new book by Ethan Mordden on one of my favourites, Kurt Weill (and Lotte Lenya), reviewed by NY Times.
It looks like it is not absolutely necessary reading and the reviewer gives a couple of alternatives. Speak lowe, when you speak of love, a selection of letters between Kurt and Lotte is a good place to start. I have read it. There is nothing like letters and private diaries. August Strindberg (22 volumes), Bertolt Brecht, Mark Twain, Samuel Pepys, James Boswell, Shelley, Byron, Mary Shelley and Mary Woolstonecraft are some of my journeys through other’s lives.

Finished reading:

* Schånberg: Göteborg (1981)

This book is a good starting point if you know nothing or very little about Göteborg. It was written as a part of the series Våra levande landskap covering the whole of Sweden. The best part is the historical, from ice age to present day. It turns a bit simple describing the present day Göteborg, not much has happen since the ‘80s.

Watched Today:

* Borgen, episode 21 (the 1st of the 3d season)
An English daily paper wrote some time ago about Borgen how amazing it was that the film makers managed to make the audience care for if the plans for a new highway outside Copenhagen were going to get through or not. Even a so mundane political situation can be high drama in the right creative hands. The Danish series are very popular on British telly  and the English have to get used to reading subtitles and listen to the Danish language.
Boxing Day seem to be a special jumper day in Britain. On Sky News they were discussing this fashion when someone referred to Sarah Lund, no further explanation necessary.
The new season of Borgen looks promising, but the Danish way doesn’t always succed. The third season of Forbrydelsen is very much below the two first. When the series first arrived it seemed an impossible task to keep one murder case going for ten episodes, but by changing directions several times it managed to keep the interest. The third season just goes on and on without developing the basic story of a kidnapped girl, throwing in hide & seek situations now and then when Lund rather silly and unnecessary goes off on her own. And the political side story lacks interest and doesn’t add anything. I lost interest half way through and stopped watching around episode seven.

Watch the two first episodes of Borgen.

* Bletchley Circle – 3 episodes
A few year’s after the war four girls from Bletchley Park, where they were a part ot the secret work to crack the German’s codes, get together to use their logical skills to find a murderer. This is silly. When they are supposed to do sophisticated and complicated things they just go through the motions, checking time tables and drawing diagrams. And we are supposed to think they are clever. The idea is good, but it needs a script writer with a Bletchley Park mind to do a clever script. Remove all the talk about the secret’s act and what’s left is just an ordinary cosy crime story with a typical rescuing of a lady in peril at the end.
If you want something interesting from this area, read the book Enigma by Robert Harris or watch the equal exciting movie based on it.

* LT: Bugs Bunny: “Rabbit’s feat” USA 1960 Jones  with Wile E Coyote
This is the only time I have seen the Coyote outside the Road Runner shorts. Perhaps Jones was trying to rescue him from his continously depressing failures in his efforts to get a bird meal. He doesn’t succeed any better against the rabbit.
I am working my way towards completeness of the LT/MM shorts and have arrived to the 60’s. Most of them I have seen throughout my life in cinemas, television and DVD. And now I am filling in the gaps through You Tube. But, not everything is available, or the quality of some of the uploads are too bad. This is what I still haven’t seen from before the 60’s:

Buddy the Gob
Buddy of the apes
Why do I dream these dreams?
Flowers for madame
Buddy’s adventure
Buddy’s bug hunt
Buddy in Africa
A merry old soul
Uncle tom’s bungalow
Porky’s snooze reel
Saps in chaps
Hobby horse laffs
Tokyo Jokio
Bee deviled bruin
Each dawn I crow
Which is witch?
Home tweet home
Caveman Inki
Boston quakie
Mouse-taken identity
Now hare this
To itch his own
Here today, gone tamale
Tweet dreams (search on this title and you get Justin Bieber)

Looney Tunes – And a reading list

The best collection of Looney Tunes on DVD is the Golden collection in 6 volumes with 4 discs in every volume. The Warner animated shorts were generally divided into two series, Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes, and films from both are included despite the title of the collection. The series run from 1930 to 1969 with a couple of late-comers 1987 and 1988.
The Golden collection is a good start, but there are many more, and most of them can be found on You Tube. In my search for completeness I am checking, in chronological of course,  the once I haven’t seeen. The quality varies, low resolution, strange stretching of the image, sound track in Spanish or Italian, or no sound track at all, because someone own the music. And all the title searchers don’t result in a hit, at least not on the film. A search today that included “tweet” and “Looney Tunes” gave Justin Bieber as a result.
I try to watch at least one every day and I am using three books to keep track of my results:
Beck/Friedwald: Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. A complete illustrated guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons; Friedwald/Beck: The Warner Brothers Cartoons; and Lenburg: The encyclopedia of animated cartoons.

The latter book lists the titles according to the animated characters. These I have compleated:

Amos ‘n’ Andy (RKO)
Babbit and Costello (WB)
Beaky Buzzard (WB)
Beans (WB)
Charlie Dog (WB)
Chip an’ Dale (Disney)
Claude Cat (WB)
Donald Duck
Droopy (MGM)
Felix the Cat (RKO)
Figaro (Disney)
Foxy (WB)
George and Junior (MGM)
Goofy Gophers (WB)
Goopy Geer (WB)
Ham and Ex (WB)
Hubie and Bertie (WB)
Little Cheezer (MGM)
Marc Antony (WB)
Mickey Mouse
Piggy (WB)
Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy (Famous)
Ralph Phillips (WB)
Silly Symphonies
Sniffles (WB)
Spike and Tyke (MGM)
Superman (Fleischer)
Tex Avery cartoons (MGM)
Toonerville Trolley (RKO)
Two Curious Puppies (WB)
Warner Bros. Cartoon Specials

Watched today: LT: Road Runner and Coyote: “Fastest with the mostest” USA 1960 Jones

When Road Runnder and Coyote first appeared in 1949 they were Warner’s liveliest animated characters, and the first films were full of inventive situations. But the concept was very limited and by 1960 the routines have not only become repetitious, but also badly executed. The later films seem to rely on the Coyote falling down from even bigger heights. This one is actually more painfull than funny. I hope he gets the bird in the final film.

A couple of years ago I realised that most of the books I bought ended up on the shelves. So at one point, I told myself: Every new book you buy you have to start reading the same day. Today I have three dangerously high piles of book surrounding my bed and another in the bathroom. I try to read 1-4 pages in as many books as possible before sleep overtakes, but it was a long time since I managed to get to the bottom in even one pile. Now, this is not quite as mad as it sounds. I try to limit myself to one novel (at the moment Zola’s L’argent in Swedish) and one crime novel (Freeling: Love in Amsterdam) at one time (but I’m afraid I got stuck half-way through Austen: The annontated Pride and prejudice and I haven’t paid much attention lately to Weiss: Die Ästhetik des Widerstand, although I got to the beginning of the third volume).
No, most of the books are of a kind you wouldn’t want to read too much of at one go, diaries, poems and a lot of factual books, history and travel. On the downside, it takes forever to get through most of the books. On the up side, I will finish a new book every now and then.
Whenever I finish a book I will endeavor to share my thoughts, if any, in this blogg. To give you an idea what you can expect, here’s my list of  “active” reading items:

Tarkovskij: Martyrologion
The autobiography of Mark Twain, volume 1
Churchill: The second world war: 1. The gathering storm (another 5 volumes)
Muller: Rembrandt
Kiehn: Broncho Billy and the Essanay Company
Brecht on art and politics
The developing child
Dumaux: King Baggot
Film Curatorship
Lines of resistance
Koszarski: Fort Lee
Koszarski: Hollywood on the Hudson
Spehr: The man who made movies
DK Human
Cavalcade of the 1920s and 1930s
DK: Animal life
The entertainers
A historical atlas of the Jewish people
Austen: Pride and prejudice
The television detectives’ omnibus
The crime lover’s casebook
Schnitzler: Art of love
Swedish reflections
The portable Hawthorne
Everyman: Mexico
Insight: Chicago
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English language
Wonderful inventions
Rayadhyaksha/Willemen: Indian cinema
Finler: The Hollywood story
Clarke/Crisp: The history of dance

Brummer: Anders Zorn
Stowe: The annotated Uncle Tom’s cottage
The annotated Walden
The rest of the books are in Swedish
Om & till Povel
Blom: Evita, Cats, Fantomen och de andra
För hundra år sedan
Stern: Ett litet barns dagbok
Allhem: Östergötland
Göteborg förr och nu III
Göteborg förr och nu:VIII Östra Nordstaden i Göteborg (and several more volumes waiting)
Göteborgs Historiska Museum: Årstryck  1975
Lagercrantz: Strindberg
Om vi inte minns fel. Karl Gerahard 1891-1991
Jul i Göteborg
Wessberg: Västra Hisingen
Kullander: Sveriges järnvägs historia
Fröding: Det forna Göteborg
Zola: Pengar
Stenström: Örgryte genom tiderna I-III
Schånberg: Göteborg
Det glada Göteborg
Oxelqvist: Göteborg i dikten
Atlestam: Fullbokat
Efter hundra år
Seger i Europa
Göteborg: Kulturhistoriskt värdefull bebyggelse 1
Göteborgarnas hus
DK: Havet
Lavery: Skepp
Konsten under den italienska renässansen
Roosvald: Boken om bokmässan
Ramel: Lingonben
Gerhard: Oss greker emellan
Engström: Medan det jäser
Weiss: Motståndets estetik
Henrikson: Verskonstens ABC
Buongiorno italia, vol 2
Leonardo Konstnären
Timm: Dröm och förbannad verklighet
Odstedt: Dan Andersson – liv och diktning
Bernstein: Att uppleva musik
Kronologiska anteckningar om viktigare händelser i Göteborg