Sunday, April 29, 2018

WESTWORLD

WESTWORLD – The 2016 premiere season was the most-watched of any HBO original series. It’s based on a 1973 scifi Western, written and directed by novelist Michael Crichton, in his first theatrical feature. Westworld is a futuristic park where visitors explore fantasies artificially without personal consequence, no matter how illicit the delight. The series has been praised for its visuals, story and performances. Evan Rachel Wood stars as Dolores Abernathy, the oldest host still working in the park. In her burgeoning self-awareness, she discovers her artificiality and the hidden powers at play in running the park. Finally in 2018, SFX have caught up to enable a film fantasy portrayed visually in a way that’s believable/ stunning. It wouldn’t have been possible to realize the author’s vision in 1973. Since filmmaking needed 45 years to catch up. 











Sunday, April 22, 2018

DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP

DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP - Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy envisions a yellow stone church on the Santa Fe plaza. The book follows his life and the construction of the Cathedral Basilica. In Willa Cather’s ‘Death Comes for the Archbishop’, she gracefully describes the haunted beauty of New Mexico. The landscape is desolate and rich in culture, including gluttonous priests, along with sympathetic descriptions of the Hopi and Navajo. The book (which appears on several best-of lists) is episodic in scope. The author successfully describes grand visual details of the region that are like nowhere else. Such that New Mexico culture becomes a character in its own right. 


Sunday, April 15, 2018

ART BELL

ART BELL - As the 90s drew to a close, late in the night, Art Bell excited radio listeners with stories of campfire ghosts and creatures hidden in shadows. The show Art started, Coast to Coast, brought in 10 million radio listeners at its height. I was listening and remember the night he made his announcement in 1998. Art said his safety was being threatened, he quit his radio job on air, and planned to go into hiding. He came back to the show but left again and the network attempted to replace Art with George Noory. But how can a visionary be replaced by a reporter? Art Bell transformed popular culture by suggesting psychic phenomena really existed, and discussed his favorite conspiracy theories. Aliens, time travel, ghosts, UFOs, science and ancient civilizations. Art had several more false starts and sudden retirements up to 2015 or so. Finally he died at his house in Pahrump AZ on April 13, 2018. If you haven’t discovered the classic Art Bell radio shows don’t shortchange yourself. Go uncover those hidden gems.


 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A QUIET PLACE

A QUIET PLACE - This 2018 post-apocalyptic horror film was directed by/ stars John Krasinski, along with his wife in real life Emily Blunt. With a screenplay developed by Krasinski, Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, the film opened last weekend in the top grossing spot, along with rave reviews. A family lives in silence afraid of predators that hunt by detecting the slightest sound. The search for a quiet place under the constant threat of attack builds suspense and tension. For me, originality comes first, and this is a film that delivers. You must go watch this movie and soon.