Monday, February 27, 2006

The unfaithful wife

Saw this really interesting French movie that was remade some years back as "Unfaithful" with Richard Gere and Diane Lane. But this version is so much better. First, the character of the husband is a kind of a wimpy guy something that makes his violent act muclh more surprising. The character of the lover is different too since he is a very likable guy, which makes our feelings for him to be very mixed. And if you thought the ending is "Unfaithful" was ambiguous, the ending here is positively obscure. It is one of the most open endings I have seen in a movie.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Woody Allen quote

To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love, but then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer, to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love, to be happy then is to suffer but suffering makes one unhappy, therefore to be unhappy one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you're getting this down.


My first big trip in a long, long time begins soon. I am looking forward to it. Went to Borders and bought some books and have been searching the Internet for tours, tips etc.
I even e-mailed a friend from my childhood who I haven't seen in 30 years who lives there. Could make for a really interesting reunion.

more Chabrol movies

More obscure movies. I saw two this week. Both by French director Claude Chabrol. "Ten Day's Wonder" is a typical early 1970'sinternational production starring Orson Welles, Anthony Perkins and Marlene Jobert. It's a murder mystery with a pretty cool twist ending. The other "Les Biches" about a love triangle that leads to murder. Both movies are truly eerie and moody. Nothing much happens. But the suspense consists in thinking that something WILL happen.


I saw this strange piece of urban architecture the other day. Reminded me of how one feels some days.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

time passages

One of the most interesting and sad things about growing older is seeing places that you used to know disappear. The old movie theater. The shop around the corner where one used to buy baseball cards. One day someone decides to create a mall, an apartment building and those places from yesteryear are gone. This post is about a house that will soon be destroyed. A place where I spent many wonderful, wild hours during my teenage years. The place where I had my first beer. It was the perfect place for a party thanks to the gorgeous terrace. Since the house was owned by a shipping executive, the stairs from the second to the third floor were similar to those used to enter cruise ships. And the third floor had a maritime quality to it.

I also remember that this was place that I used to visit to listen to the latest music since my friend who lived there was always the first with the new albums. I remember listening to Jim Croce, ELO and many others.

Once my friends's family sold the house I used to look at it and reminisce about it.
That was until two years ago when a good friend moved there for a few months. It was a thrill to see the old house again. She had a party there and I was able to once again have a beer in the old third floor.

But now, the house is going to be destroyed to make way for an office building. What you see in the photo will no longer exist in a month or so. Gone. Just like that.


I've been really busy at work. So much work and stress that I haven't been writing new things here. Hopefully this will change over the weekend once I get more relaxed and in the mood for writing. I have been planning my upcoming vacation and I am really looking forward to it. I need a few days to get away and see new things. For the first time, I am taking my laptop with me in order to create a kind of travel diary that I will post here. I think it will be a nice experiment in writing. Anyway. I need to get another cup of coffee.

Friday, February 24, 2006

more Steven Wright quotes

Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect.

I bought some batteries, but they weren't included.

If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

I have an existential map. It has 'You are here' written all over it.

I was walking down the street wearing glasses when the prescription ran out.

It doesn't make a difference what temperature a room is, it's always room temperature.

Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died.

Last night somebody broke into my apartment and replaced everything with exact duplicates... When I pointed it out to my roommate, he said, 'Do I know you?'

Thursday, February 23, 2006


In a few days I will be here. Can't wait to be there.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Steven Wright quotes

On the other hand, you have different fingers.

Someone sent me a postcard picture of the earth.
On the back it said, "Wish you were here."

Cross country skiing is great if you live in a small country.

I used to work in a fire hydrant factory.
You couldn't park anywhere near the place.

It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to have to paint it.

Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time.

What's another word for Thesaurus?

You can't have everything. Where would you put it?

A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths.

If you were going to shoot a mime, would you use a silencer?

reconsidering John

I'm a huge Beatles fan. And I listen to their music a lot. But something interesting is happening. I am listening less and less to John Lennon songs and more and more to McCartney and Harrison songs. To my ears Lennon's music is becoming more distant, more corny, less interesting, very pretentious. Whereas "Band on the Run" and "All Things Must Pass" still sound fresh, "Imagine" sounds more and more like pure mush. In a way, it seems to me that Lennon's music is very overrated due perhaps to his tragic death.

Of course, it would have been very interesting to see what he would have written in the past 25 years. And it would have been mindblowing to see if he would have renewed his songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney.

But all we have is those 10 years of solo work. And quite frankly, it's not as amazing as legend will lead you to believe.

small mysteries

I've been watching movies by an interesting French director called Claude Chabrol. He's considered a kind of "French Hitchcock", although I guess Henri-Georges Clouzot was called that too. He makes really interesting little suspense films that are short on action but full of interesting characters. Sometimes the suspense is more psychological than anything. And I guess some people may find his movies boring but I find them very interesting. And in this era of overblown crap like "Firewall" and those Ashley Judd preposterous thrillers, it is kind of refreshing to see small movies about regular people facing suspenseful situations.

where I should be today

But I won't. Because I work at the only advertising agency in Puerto Rico working today.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I love my digital camera

I read somewhere that if you take a walk with your camera at any given time you will find things that make cool photos. And well, it works. Here is a cool one. God knows what the hell this is.

let's smoke and watch a movie

The other day people were talking about the new smoking law in Puerto Rico. And I began recalling the days when people smoked everywhere. I remember especially at movie theaters. In fact, they had cigarette selling machines at the lobby! And in the back of the theater they had a special area for smokers. There was a glass so that smokers could see the movie while they had their cancer inducing break. This photo is from the old Puerto Rico theater and you can see the glass at the back of the auditorium.

movie websites I like

There are some amzing websites on the net about movies.

My favorites are (everything you want to know about any movie or actor) and (a compilation of movie reviews) (a website about the weirdest movies in the world) (amazing site about cult movies)

www. (another site for off the wall movies)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

"Trinity" movies and the art of fooling people

During the early 1970's Puerto Rico became flooded with an avalanche of silly Italian westerns: the Trinity movies. These movies were parodies of the Clint Eastwood-Sergio Leone westerns and featured all kind of slaptick situations. I remember loving them as a kid. But unfortunately, they are the sort of films that when seeing as an adult, are
a huge letdown. They are silly, boring and well...stupid.

The Trinity movies featured Terence Hill and Bud Spencer, but local movie theaters would rip people off by showing "fake" Trinity movies such as "The Cousins of Trinity". People would go to see these movies and suddenly realize that neither Hill nor Spencer were in the movie. They would do the same thing with Bruce Lee movies with titles such as "The Clones of Bruce Lee" starring Bruce Li (get the sly name change?). These were the days long before E! and the Internet and theater owners could get away with fooling people like that.

Best film of the year

Last night I saw the final hour of this amazing movie "Best of Youth". Looking back I have to admit, all the critics were right, this is the best film of 2005. I have no idea whether it was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. But if it wasn't it's an outrage. This is a gem. A truly wonderful movie. With dialogue and images I'll always remember. The kind of movie I will revisit again and again.

Movies are shit

Has anyboy noticed that it's been a long time since there has been a good movie in a regular movie theater (not Fine Arts). I used to love going to see movies, buy some popcorn and be entertained. But all movies in multiplexes are shit. 16 screens of crap. Garbage. Mierda. "The Pink Panther?", "Firewall", "Big Momma's House 2", "Date Movie".
Anything aimed at people over 16? No. Anything with the slightest intelligence to it? No. Anything interesting? No. No wonder everyone is staying home, watching DVD's or watching series on HBO. The movies are not for us anymore. Movies are background noise for 15 year old kids who ocassionally watch the screen when they are tired of text messaging each other.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

It's official

I have officially becomed a middle aged guy. Because I tried reading "Maxim" magazine yesterday and couldn't. I used to love this magazine and clones of it such as FHM. I used to think it was funny, clever, cool and everything else. In fact I tried to use some of the magazine's attitude when I was writing ads. Yestterday I found the magazine silly, dumb and not clever at all. Maybe the magazine got dumber but I'm afraid it's something else. I am not young anymore. Which means Esquire and Arena magazines are now the ones for me.

More from el Capitan

I have become a complete fan of these books. They are the perfect escapist books. They are fun, full of adventure, they have a little bit of historical fact and they are well written. The adventures of el capitan Alatriste is the literary equivalent of old adventure movies like "Gunga Din" or "The Man who Would be King". You could almost read them while eating popcorn and having a soft drink. Complete and intelligent fun. A true pleasure.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

San Francisco

I'm planning a vacation. I need a few days off in a city that combines both a metro area and nature. And I'm figuring San Francisco is a nice place. I can enjoy the city sights and at the same time visit the wine country and see the redwood trees. I'm still not sure when I'm going, but I am looking forward to it.I need a break. I need to see new things.


These days I've been reading a book on the life of actor Bela Lugosi. He led the kind of life that would make for the ultimate "E!True Hollywood Story". He made "Dracula" back in 1931 and became the most recognizable movie star in the world. He then made a series of bad decisions and he ended up a drug addict making the worst movies imaginable ("Bela Lugosi meets a Brooklyn Gorilla"). It is a tragic story but a truly interesting one. And once feels for the man, a nice person that showed how fleeting fame can be. Ironically, after he died he received the recognition of film historians. You may remember Tim Burton's "Ed Wood" and Martin Landau's Oscar-winning portrayal of Lugosi.

It's St. Valentine's Day

Monday, February 13, 2006

Best of Youth

Newsweek called it the best movie of the year. I just watched the first two hours of this six hour movie and I loved it. Up to now, it's about two brothers in 1960's Italy.
They are very close, but each one takes different paths.One becomes a cop,another a radical student. This movie is full of subtle touches and amazing acting. Can't wait to see the next 4 hours.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Stones concert

Last night I saw the Rolling Stones at the Coliseo. It was pretty good. The sound was kind of annoying, they cranked it up real loud but sounded kind of distorted. One could barely hear Mick Jagger singing. Sometimes one could barely recognize the first chords of a song. Someone told me the Coliseo has serious acoustic problems because it was not built with concerts in mind. I guess they built it for hockey.

The real highlight was "Start me Up" which seemed to be the only Stones song that many people attending knew by heart. There were Stones fans there but one could tell there were a lot of people who were there because it was the "trendy" thing to do. Not many people were singing along the old Stones hits, it was a crowd who knwe the Stones from the 1980's...not the ones from the the 60's and 70's.

So all in all, it was a pretty good concert. Was it worth $400??? I guess if you had never seen them before live, maybe. As for me, hmmmm...I don't know.

My photos will be in a museum

I got a call from the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico. Someone saw my pictures of the old Riviera theater in my blog and now they want to exhibit them a part of an exhibition about the old movie theaters of Santurce. The Cinerama one will also be there. This is so cool.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

what the fast forward button was made for

I just saw this movie on DVD. By the 500th explosion, it was too much. So I saw the last hour on fast forward. No wonder Spielberg did a good film like "Munich" after doing this stupid movie. He must have felt like the biggest hack in the world.

New Fine Arts theater in Hato Rey

The Caribbean Business reports that Caribbean Cinemas will open a state of the art 6 screen Fine Arts Cinema and Cafe in Hato Rey, near the Banco Popular building. The screening rooms will feature good sound, stadium seating and will serve wine ect. The old Fine Arts theater in Miramar will close down temporarily for remodeling and will open again (they always say that). It will be great to finally have a good venue to see independent and foreigh films. I do hope the Miramar theater is really renovated because it would be sad to see it dissapppear.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Good Night and Good Luck

I had told myself I would never visit the Fine Arts theater again, but last night I went to see this excellent movie. It deals with the battle between Joseph McCarthy and CBS journalist Edward Murrow. It was a battle between someone who was willing to destroy all civil liberties in order to acquire power and a journalist(and an entire organization-CBS) who was willing to expose him. In this age in which tv networks are timid when it comes to critizing the government, it is amazing to see the courage of CBS at that time. The movie is in black and white and McCarthy is presented by using actual footage form the era. This is a really terrific film.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


I just realized it's been 20 years since I finished my master's studies at the Annenberg School of Communications at U Penn.
Looking back, I realize I did not need to have gone there to work at what I do now. With my bachelor's degree would have been enough. There was way too much theory and very little practice. It was a communications school for people who want to explore things like "What is communication? and ""Is non verbal language really language?". The years there didn't help me at all to become a better advertising person.Sad to think so, but it's the truth.


Orson Welles once said that the worst thing a film could do is "make you feel nothing".
Well, this movie did just that. It is full of fancy art direction and camera work, but it is the most empty movie I have seen in a long time. I could only stand one hour of seeing this movie about two lovers in 1960's Hong Kong. This is a movie with no one to love, no one to hate, no one to try to understand, no one to find interesting. I hated this movie, wait...I didn't..I felt nothing towards it.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

In her Shoes

Oh, my God. This is embarrasing. I actually saw this chick flick and worse, I liked it. What is going on with me? Well, actually this is a chick flick directed by Curtis Hanson, who made "L.A. Confidential" so it has a pedigree. But seriously, this is a really enjoyable movie about a relationship between two sisters and about family ties.
The ending, involving an EE Cummings poem, can be viewed as moving or corny, but nevertheless this is a nice way to pass two hours.
By the way, the movie features a moving performance by Norman Lloyd, an actor who used to work in old Orson Welles movies and in the 1980's tv series "St.Elsewhere". It was nice seeing him still acting.

Corpse Bride

I saw this movie last night and I loved it. I didn't see it in a theater because it didn't play at the Metro and I hate going to the multiplex in Plaza. This movie is a lot of fun. It has a dark sense of humor (obviously) but it has many surprising gags and in the end it is essentially a sweet love story. Great voice work by everyone involved, including Christopher Lee. I had great time watching this,

Will they suck so much here as in the Super Bowl?

This is a question going through a lot of people's minds this week. The Stones are coming to Puerto Rico and we have all paid excessive prices for tickets. But everyone figured the Stones are still a great band. Suddenly last Sunday we saw them at the Super Bowl and panic set in. The Stones sucked. Their heart wasn't in it. It all seemed kind of lame. They looked like tired old men. What will happen on Saturday? Will we see the exciting Rolling Stones or a band pretending they still care?

Scarlett Johansson on Vanity Fair cover

The next cover of the magazine. Something tell me they will sell a lot of issues.And I will get a whole lot more visitors to the blog. Thanks,Scarlett!!!!

Monday, February 06, 2006

instead we got Roselyn Sanchez Medalla ads

Fuck those local ads during the Super Bowl. We missed out on some good commercials and had to settle seeing Roselyn Sanchez Medalla ads. The local ABC affiliate sucks!!!!

half time shows

My favorite? The U2 show. It was the Super Bowl after 9/11 and when U2 cama on stah,
the name of every person who died on that tragic day was projected throughout the stadium. It was one of the most emotional moments of my life.
Second, the Paul Mccartney concert. It was great to sing along with Paul.

the game

The game was always a thrill. Going into the stadium and feeling all the excitement. Realizing there a millions of people watching this on TV and that you're THERE. My favorite game? the 49ers vs. the Bengals. The Joe Montana comeback drive.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Bowl Sunday- morning

Sunday meant the "Super Bowl Brunch" where the Crowley people would treat us to a delicious meal. We would enjoy the buffet and then Pete would give us the tickets. It was fun to figure out where we were seated. Then Pete would give a speech about what it felt like to play in a Super Bowl and what the players were probably going through before the game. Then he would tell us to be on time for the bus or to catch the subway on time. The expectation would grow. It was almost game time.

Super Bowl-Saturday

On Saturday we would usually visit the NFL Experience, a sort of football fair full of memorabilia and games. It was fun. Or we would visit different landmarks. In th case of New Orleans, we would drink, listen to jazz bands, street performers and see more women taking their tops off. Saturday night was the hardest night to find a dinner reservation, a coupleof times we went to an activity called "Taste of the NFL" where a top chef from every city with an NFL team would prepare a meal. So you would from booth to booth, tasting dishes from all over the country. One time we were invited to Joe's Stone Crab where we saw Cindy Crwford on the table next to us and saw Dennis Hopper and a bunch of other famous people.

Super Bowl The cities.

Part of the fun is getting to know a city. Thanks to the annual trips I was able to visit the Grand Canyon, one of the most amazing places you will experience in your life. No photo can do jsutice to that sight. It is a feeling omparable to seeing the ocean for the first time. That overwhelming. I was also able to enjoy New Orleans , a city that would stage a Mini Mardi Gras that weekend, complete with "Show your tits" screams. When I was there, the Packers were playing and sometimes just saying "Go Packers!" to a female fan would mean she would show you her breasts.

Getting to the Super Bowl-Friday

Today is Super Bowl Sunday. This year I'm not going to the game. So I thought about reminiscing about the times I did. We would usually arrive at the host city on a Friday. Stay at a $59 a night hotel that would magically cost $300 a night for Super Bowl weekend. Still it was great.Then we would meet Pete (see photo), who worked for the compant that wouldinvite us to the game. We would talk about the game (he played for the Oakland Raiders when they won the Super Bowl). Then he would invite us to dinner.
As for the rest of the day, it was just driving around, getting to know the city and enjoying the party atmosphere.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Club Med Punta Cana

This is where I spent my first vacation when I started working. It was a beautiful, amazing place. Met many people from Canada and the US there... and had a great time. Interesting moment: after a few drinks a hostess there confessed how much she envied Puerto Ricans for having a U.S. Passport and how many times she had thought about stealing a passport from one of the guests.

Scarlett Johansson

Posting her photos increases traffic to the blog. So here I go again.

The Third Man

One of my all time favorite movies. A man travels to post-war Vienna looking for his friend Harry Lime. To tell you anything else would be unfair. This movie has gorgeous photography, a haunting musical score, a great perfomance by Joseph Cotten, a really underrated actor. And a supporting performance for the ages by Orson Welles. This movie also has one of the best endings of any movie ever.

Sir Paul and Cat

I found this amazing photo the other day. Paul McCartney and Cat Stevens,two of my favorite musicians. singing together recently. What makes it more amazing is that Stevens had retired and suddenly, after 20 years here he is singing "Let it Be".
I wish there was a video clip of this performance somewhere. I've tried searching the Internet to no avail. Still it's a nice photo.

Carnal Knowledge-when HBO came to town

Back in the 1970's HBO appeared in Puerto Rico. Up to that point TV was really conservative we had CBS, ABC, a local cable channel and the local channels. Suddenly we had this channel which featured nude scenes. It's hard to believe now, but this created quite a stir. Naked breasts on TV? Derrieres? It was the talk of the town. Everyone wanted HBO. And I remember that "Carnal Knowledge" was the movie that started the uproar. 'Did you see Ann-Margret in 'Carnal Knowledge' last night?" was the talk in the school hallways. A million adolescent fantasies were caused by this movie that today could almost be PG-13.