Friday, September 29, 2006

sexiest woman alive

Esquire magazine has been teasing us with photos like this before announcing who they consider the sexiest woman's Scarlett Johansson.

Will she get a parade at her home state???

James Taylor song I heard last night

Walk down that lonesome road all by yourself
Dont turn your head back over your shoulder
And only stop to rest yourself when the silver moon
Is shining high above the trees

If I had stopped to listen once or twice
If I had closed my mouth and opened my eyes
If I had cooled my head and warmed my heart
Id not be on this road tonight

Carry on

Never mind feeling sorry for yourself
It doesnt save you from your troubled mind

Walk down that lonesome road all by yourself
Dont turn your head back over your shoulder
And only stop to rest yourself when the silver moon
Is shining high above the trees

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Notorious Betty Page

I saw "The Notorious Bettie Page" on DVD. It tells the story of the pinup queen of the 1950's. It deals with all the hypocrisy of the sexual mores of the day. And it is interesting to see how the U.S. was like in pre-Playboy era.

Gretchen Mol is amazing as Bettie. She delivers an Oscar worthy performance. The movie is not really groundbreaking, but it is entertaining.

The DVD also features a documentary on the real Bettie Page and a short film of that era. It could be rated PG-13 today.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

U2 at the Superdome

Bono seems to heal people. Five years ago, his pot 9/11 performance at the Super Bowl was one of the most dramatic, fantastic performances ever. Last night his performance in the pre-Game "Superdome is back " NFL football game was truly amazing. It was something to see. When he sang "The Saints are Back", it was a cry for renewal, a cry for a whole city that wants to be back on its feet. Truly amazing.

Monday, September 25, 2006

the old cinema

This is what's left of the old, grand Paramount theater in Santurce. One of the original Santurce cinemas. A place where our parents and grandparents spent countless hours watching movies, dreaming their dreams with Cary Grant, Boris Karloff, Marilyn. The place big singers such as Carlos Gardel and Libertad Lamarque used to appear. The place I saw "The Godfather" as a kid. Now it is like this.

This is the way we treat our historic buildings. Either this or we tear them down to make a huge building with 200 apartments and a chain restaurant.

In the meantime, the Paramount is like this.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Last night I went to the Rangers-Panthers game at the Choliseo. I don't know much about the game, but it was a fun time. And I guess everyone there was feeling the same way. It was such a strange sport to bring to Puerto Rico that one had to go just out of curiosity and out of a sense of rewarding the people who had the guts to bring something different here. Because I get the sense that the promise that the Coliseum would bring so many new things to the island has not really being fullfilled. 90% of the time it is filled with the same shit they used to bring to the Coliseo Robert Clemente.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Hard Candy

I just saw this movie. It is a dark, disturbing movie about a pedophile who takes home a 14 year old girl he met through the internet.Only things don't turn out as he had hoped. There are moments of great suspense in the movie. And it features the most intense torture scene since "Audition". The whole thing is not entirely believable, but I guess that's not the point.

All in all, not a popcorn movie, but interesting and offbeat.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Old talk show

I've been watching the old Dick Cavett shows on Turner Classic Movies and I am reminded of what a great program it was. Whereas talk shows today are so shallow and simply an excuse to plug a movie or a CD, Cavett shows made people talk. Which is the point of a talk show, when you think about it.

Last night show featured Robert Mitchum, one of the most mysterious movie stars ever. A guy who would never open up to interviewers (his "yes" and "no" answers were famous) and here he was talking about his life, his hopes, his philosophy of life. Suddenly this private person was willing to talk about anything. And the great thing was that it is not done in a serious way, but through anecdotes, jokes.

Next week's show is a 1970 interview with Alfred Hitchcock. I am sure it will be the best thing on tv all week.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Isn't it interesting?

For years this group has been bullying others, attempting to quiet every opposing point of view by force and intimidation. They don't believe in freedom of thought, they don't believe in freedom of speech.If you oppose them, they resort to the most basic thuglike tactics. They have done this for a long time.

So it's interesting to see people such as Silverio Perez and Jacobo Morales condemning them. These guys are the ones that supported them all these years. They supported them because they were bullying estadistas and populares, but now, when they act like thugs against "artistas", they are the bad guys.

Sorry Silverio. Sorry Jacobo. You created these monsters. You suported them.They are your little Frankenstein creatures. And now like in the Mary Shelley book, they are turning against their masters.

So fuck you, Silverio. Fuck you, Jacobo. I am really happy to see you complain. Because now you know how it feels to be in the other side of these assholes you supported all these years.

Seduced and abandoned

I have never been a big fan of Italian comedies. I don't like the broad humor in them and sight of actors trying so hard to be funny. But I read this one was diferent. It's about a man whose daughter gets pregnant and the crazy steps he takes to save his daughter's and his family's "honor". It's a movie that pokes fun at the all the absurdities of a male dominated society. It has some really dark humor and there are moments of real genius as when the son in the family, a wimpy guy, is sent to kill the father of the baby. As is usual in any Criterion Collection DVD, it is full of extras. You can become an expert on Italian cinema just watching them.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

On renewing friendships

The other day I finally found the e-mail of a long lost friend. Someone who was very close to me in the late 1980's. I mean, we would see each other every day and talk about life all that. We lost touch around 1990 and had not heard from her since then. Well, I wrote to her. And gave her an update of my life and of common friends. She wrote back, happy to hear from me and asked about a couple of other friends. I wrote and told her about them. End of e-mails.

Once again I realized something. You can't go back to your old friends like that. Yes, you can keep in touch. But you can't renew an old friendship to the way it was. It is naive to think that the old magic is going to be back. All the things you had in common are gone, they are years in the past. Each person has a different reality, some new things to face in their everyday life.You can talk about the good old days for half an hour, but that's it.

I don't regret I was able to get in touch with my old friend.It was great to know she was doing well. And I thank the new technology that now makes it possible to find long lost friends. But no amount of technology can bring back things the way they were. Ever.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

It was one year ago today....

Exactly one year since I went to Miami to see the Paul concert. From "Magical Mystery Tour" as the first song to "Penny Lane" to the "Hey Jude" sing a long. The greatest concert I've ever seen.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I swear this appeared in Primera Hora today

por: Héctor Aponte Alequín PRIMERA HORA

Grandes como sus metas. Firmes como su compromiso con la actuación. Saludables como su sentido de responsabilidad al cuidar su cuerpo.

Aunque el aumento de 20 por ciento en el volumen de sus senos es relativamente pequeño, para Nashalí Enchautegui simboliza el crecimiento que se le avecina como actriz y como mujer.

Verlos en su nueva dimensión, de copa C a copa full C, la remite, además, a otra de sus grandes ilusiones: ser madre.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

La Grande Illusion

Quentin Tarantino once joked that the movie "Platoon" could be summed up as "war bad."
Well, here is a war movie much more complex. A masterpiece. A movie in the Top 10 best movies of all time list.

It is the story of some French prisoners in a German POW camp during World War I. You can see how the nature of war is changing. You see how the aristocratic officers on both sides have more in common with each oher than with the common soldiers on their side. It shows how soldiers on each side have more in common with each other than with the ruling classes from their native country.

And what is the "grand illusion"? Perhaps the idea, common until that time, that war was somehow "civilized". But more than anything the "grand illusion" was the concept that World War I was "the war to end all wars." The one that would end fighting forever. An illusion indeed.

This is deeply humanist film from perhaps the most humanistic director ever, Jean Renoir. There are moments of humor, love, pathos and scenes of real beauty.
It's on Turner Classic Movies as part of their "Janus Movies Month"

Monday, September 11, 2006

5 movies that make me smile

1.Local Hero
2.Top Secret!
3.Ed Wood
4.Monty Python and the Holy Grail
5.movies on Mystery Science Theater 3000

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Nada es nada, a no ser que nosotros mismos convirtamos ese nada en algo.

Nothing is nothing unless we ourselves convert that nothing into something.

Emilia Pardo Bazan, El Revolver.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

United 93

Shot in a documentary style, this acccount of what happened on United flight 93 and on the ground on September 11, 2001 is one of the most emotionally draining films I have seen in my life. It is so brilliant, so well made, acted, photographed that you feel as if you were right therein the middle of the chaos.

We relive all the confusion, terror and horror of that day, both on the ground at the FAA and on board, in a very real way. And the uprising of the passengers is not treated in a "Americans fight back" spirit, but in the really basic sense of people who decide to take a risky decision because it was better than simply doing nothing.

Watching this movie I noticed how much I moved my body sitting in the sofa. I was cringing, covering my mouth, placing my arms over my chest in an almost protective mode. It is that emotional, it is that amazing.

Rent this today.

things we don't do anymore- part one. Studying a music album.

Remember the experience of buying record albums? In this age of dowloading music and buying CD's, we have forgotten the experience that buying albums used to be. We would go to a record store, study the cover (remember how huge they were!)and read the songs list. Since we couldn't possibly know how the songs were like, we looked for clues in the song titles. A clever, interesting title could mean a good song. Maybe.

When we took the record home ,we would look at it and examine the cover art then we would open it and look at the gatefold. There we would find the song's lyrics. So we would have our first listen while reading the lyrics at the same time.If a certain lyric attracted our attention or touched us in some way, we would read it again and again.

After a couple of listenings, we would read the gatefold again and look for names of guest musicians playing in it. "Look, such and such a guy is playing the keyboards...". That would add an extra special something to the enjoyment of the music.Hell, we even read the "Thanks" section to see if we recognized any musician.

In a way, a record album was not just about the music. It was about an artist making a complete statement through sounds,lyrics, art direction.

Believe me, I don't miss the scratchy records of old and all its problems. I love what digital recording has done. But I somehow miss that special experience that only a record album was abe to provide.

Friday, September 08, 2006

that day

It was five years ago.
I was at the office when a co-worker commented "A plane crashed into the World Trade Center." I thought maybe a small plane had lost it's way and done that. There was a famous incident in the early 30's when a plane had crashed into the Empire State Building. So I figured it was something like that.

Then we tried to get into the CNN site and couldn't. There was no huge tv in the office but somebody had a small B&W set. And there we saw the whole thing as it unfolded. With a million thoughts in our heads, from how many people were dead to what this all meant. And how everything was going to change because of it.

Nobody really worked that day. We all sat there, dazed and stunned.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

great PJ O'Rourke quote

"The weirder you're going to behave, the more normal you should look. It works in reverse, too. When I see a kid with three or four rings in his nose, I know there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about that person."
P. J. O'Rourke

getting all deep

I bought this book at Borders a long time and have been re-reading it. Although it sometimes gets a bit pretentious, there are some interesting points made in it about
myths across all cultures and how all religions basically tell the same tales and share the same myths.

It also has some pretty cool quotes,like this one from Zen philosopher Alan Watts, about concentrating in the here and now:
"You're wishing for a situation that is not the one you are in. Just realize that you are ruining the experience that you could be having there while waiting by thinking it should be otherwise."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

This is so cool!!!!!!!!

This is one wonderful thing I never thought would happen. Cat Stevens is back!!
From Rolling Stone magazine.

Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)
An Other Cup
Out November 14

The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens' first album of pop songs since 1978 recalls the heart-tugging folk-rock of classics like Tea for the Tillerman. But because of Islam's 1977 religious conversion and subsequent world events, the new songs - about love, faith and world peace - have an added resonance. "Midday," about Islam's native London, carries a somber message: "I like to take a walk out in the midday/And avoid the city after dark." Listen for the lovely "Heaven/Where True Love Goes," on which Islam sings lyrics that seem to reflect his famous conversion experience in the surf of Malibu: "If a storm should come and you face a wave/That may be the chance for you to be saved."

this woman is a genius.

Reina en la Casa de las Leyes

Por Libni Sanjurjo Meléndez
* (11:38 a.m.) Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza, Miss Universe 2006, aseguró que de ser legisladora propondría un proyecto de ley para mejorar a Puerto Rico.

the stupidity never ends

I saw this documentary in 2002 on CBS. It is THE document about 9/11 simply because it was so real. Two French filmmakers were doing a documentary on NYC firemen when the towers were attacked. They actually went in the towers filming what was going on in the lobby, on the staircases. Forget about Oliver Stone'smovie, this was the real thing.It was one of the most amazing things I have seen in my life. Now it's running into trouble because of the FCC tough rules on indecency following the Janet Jackson
Super Bowl prank. Un-fucking-believable.

Network affiliates balk at 9/11 doco
04 September 2006

LOS ANGELES: Dozens of CBS television affiliates are balking at network plans to rebroadcast the acclaimed documentary 9/11 for fear that coarse language by firefighters in the film may incur stiff new fines for indecency.

About 12 CBS affiliates have opted to skip the documentary altogether and run other programming in its place, while a dozen others plan to air the film later at night when fewer children are watching and more mature content is generally allowed, network sources said on Friday.

They said two dozen additional affiliate stations were still undecided about whether to preempt or delay the documentary, set to air on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks on America by suicide hijackers.

The two-hour film, produced by French filmmakers Gedeon and Jules Naudet and retired firefighter James Hanlon, was aired twice before by CBS in 2002 without regulatory consequences.

But broadcasters have become extra cautious about running afoul of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission amid an ongoing crackdown on profanity and other content the agency deems to be in violation of its decency standards.

The real Yasuri

We were fooled. Wikipedia reports that the Yasuri video was a joke from the beginning, created by a Panamanian model-tv personality called Catherine Severino.

"The panamanian reggaeton tv show "Sin Censura", adquired the rights and made a video. Catherine didn't want to star on the video, since she tought that her image is not in anyway like the character the song is about, the producers of the video went directly to the panamanian ghetto of Chorrillo, mentioned on the song, and picked a woman more related to the character to play it. It was filmed as a joke too."

So we cannot feel superior and laugh at the video anymore. We were tricked. What is the world coming to?

Monday, September 04, 2006

a favorite movie. still.

I had not seen "The Idolmaker" for over 20 years and last night I saw it again. It has always been a favorite of mine. I remember seeing it when I was in college at the Grandview theater in St.Paul, Minnesota and really liking it. I liked the music, the way it reflects the music scene in the pre-Beatles rock world when music talent had nothing with to do with success in pop music. It was all about looks (kind of it like it is now).

I also really like the performance of Ray Sharkey as an Italian-American guy who makes a living creating pop idols. I imagined that Ray Sharkey was going to be the next big actor, the DeNiro of the 1980's. Sadly the movie was a flop. Sharkey became a drug addict, ended up in grade Z movies and died of AIDS, although he did create a sort of tv icon with his supporting role in a tv series called "Wiseguy".

Anyway, it was great seeing this wonderful little movie after so long. I still love the silly music, the corny but wonderful Italian restaurant scenes and the once in a lifetime performance by the "should have been famous" Ray Sharkey.

It's on DVD. You can order it from CD Universe.


Was she taken hostage by Hezbollah and liberated or something?
How completely stupid and melodramatic....

Sunday, September 03, 2006

bedside reading

1.Foreign Correspondent- a novel about Italian exiles in France during World War II. A really, cool, spy thriller-romance.

2.Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film-Bought this years and years ago and have been browsing it again. A movie full of reviews of the weirdest movies ever.This book is so much fun.

Two light books for a long weekend.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

horror classic finally on DVD

As you can tell, I love horror movies. But this one is really special. This is one of the great ones. Released in 1971, I saw this one as a kid at the old Paramount theater in Santurce and I always wanted to see it again. Finally it's on DVD and I decided to take a look at it and see whether it's still a scary movie.It is.

The movie has a simple plot. A woman (Jessica) just out of a mental institution, her husband and a friend move into an old house in a small New England town. They meet a pretty strange young woman who becomes friends with them. But then Jessica starts seeing ghostlike people and hearing voices. Are they real? Are they just in her imagination? Is everyone there a ghost? Is this all a dream? You keep changing your mind every minute.

This is a perfect movie to watch with the lights out. There's no blood, no special effects. Just a feeling of unease and yes, pure terror.
Available at Borders and Suncoast.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Nike Maria Sharapova

I bet all the people who pride themselves in winning ad awards at Cannes would trade all their little statues for a chance to shoot something like this.

"not after we bought super-duper doppler radars!!!!!"

I find it interesting that no local tv station mentioned this on their weather reports.

MIAMI (Reuters) - The number of hurricanes churning through the Caribbean toward the United States this year is likely to be less than once feared and may even be less than normal, a noted U.S. hurricane research team said on Friday.

The Colorado State University team formed by pioneer forecaster William Gray cut its forecast for the Atlantic hurricane season for a second time and predicted there would be 13 tropical storms with five of them becoming hurricanes.

The new reduction reflected a widespread trend among experts to cut their expectations for 2006 to well below the record number of storms last year -- bringing some relief to millions of American coastal dwellers.

One factor leading to the revisions are indications the El Nino weather phenomenon may take shape in the Pacific in the autumn. El Nino conditions, an unusual warming of Pacific waters, suppress hurricane activity in the Atlantic.

Another factor was a high level of West African dust over the Atlantic, Colorado State University researcher Philip Klotzbach and Gray said in a statement.

"Current conditions in the Atlantic indicate that we will now see a slightly below-average hurricane season with far less activity than was experienced in each of the last two years," Klotzbach said.