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du Garbandier

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Everything posted by du Garbandier

  1. Kino Lorber is having a massive sale on its line of Studio Classics blu-ray and dvd releases. Many blu-rays are at their lowest prices ever, in the $8-10 range. It is an especially strong sale if you are interested in film noir, westerns, 70s action films, classic thrillers, disaster movies, classic comedies, etc. Free shipping on orders of $50 or more. A number of items show up as out of stock but you can still order these. Some titles that stand out to me: Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema box set Various fun comedies, including several w/ Peter Sellers (The Party, After the Fox, and others), Gene Wilder's Haunted Honeymoon & Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother The Fritz Freleng Collection cartoon box set, along with several other Freleng titles Various classics, such as The Ox-Bow Incident, Broken Arrow, The Enemy Below Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat and The Paradine Case Classic noir titles like Pitfall, 99 River St., Boomerang, The Scar, The House on 92nd St., Witness to Murder
  2. Kino Lorber Studio Classics Blu-Ray & DVD Sale Through August 6

    Yes, it is absolutely remarkable. Kino Lorber says on its Facebook page that "we doubt we'll ever have a sale of this size ever again."
  3. Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble

    I would try placing a hold on it at your store via the website. If the employees can't find it, you can often do a ship-to-home order where you still get the membership discount. I'm not sure if you have to be at your store to do that, or if you could do it over the phone.
  4. Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble

    If anyone buys Criterions online, starting today you can get a $10 B&N reward card w/ every $50 you spend on BN.com. July 17 through July 22. Note that the reward card is redeemable only from August 9 through August 19th at 2:59AM EST. Of course, the downside to buying online is that you don't get the 10% membership discount.
  5. Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble

    ATTENTION SHOPPERS Barnes & Noble's 50% off Criterion sale returns on Tuesday, July 11 and concludes August 7th. Stalker, which I believe releases July 18th, stands atop my wish list. I may also consider the Marseille Trilogy, L'Argent, Woman of the Year, and Ozu's Good Morning. Unfortunately, Sacha Guitry's La Poison will be released a week or so after the sale ends. I like The Story of a Cheat so much I will certainly grab La Poison at a later sale.
  6. Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble

    There is a 30% off B&N coupon good through this weekend. Here's the instore coupon. The online code is BNBFRIDAY16. Alas, like just about all other coupons this sale, it excludes Criterions. I printed a few and used them on signed books (by Tony Bennett, Billy Collins, and Jon Klassen). You could probably also get some solid discounts on vinyl or non-Criterion films.
  7. In Heretics, G. K. Chesterton enjoins: In my limited experience, a significant portion of users—though perhaps not a majority—partake in social media for what might be deemed the purpose of "rational tweeting." (I use "tweeting" as handy shorthand for use of any social media, be it Facebook, Vine, Instagram, etc.) Most frequently, I observe, the rational tweeter seems devoted to the airing of grievances political and religious in nature. Two receptions tend to ensue from the rational tweet: mutual commiseration or outraged contradiction. I wonder if anyone has had a similar experience. I find it useful to inquire into my motives for tweeting. Do you find that, on balance, social media increases or diminishes your general happiness in daily life? Does it affect your capacity for reflexive and prayerful gratitude? Or is it more like a mirror, only reflecting the happiness or misery you may or may not bring to it? I'm just thinking out loud here.
  8. Upcoming Criterion Releases

    I picked up A Brighter Summer Day, Chaplin's The Kid, and the Whit Stillman Trilogy. Also I believe the sale goes through the end of July, so I might snag The New World when it releases on the 26th. I will absolutely draw the line there. But not before considering A Touch of Zen. No more after that. Unless...
  9. Upcoming Criterion Releases

    Sorry y'all. The 8/40 coupon is indeed no longer working, according to multiple reports. Bizarre, since I used it just yesterday, and was planning to use it a few more times. B&N must have put the kibosh on it. Apologies for leading you astray, my fellow Criterionphiles... I believe you might still get the coupon to work if you get a friendly cashier willing to override the system. Personally I don't like making waves with coupon stacking on Criterions, since they are already worth the money. And also I am a coward in general. The only coupon that seems to be working on Criterions is a $10 off $50, which was emailed this morning. It's an individual specific code, so I don't have a link. If you're a member you may have gotten one in your inbox.
  10. Upcoming Criterion Releases

    UPDATE: Members at the bluray.com forums are reporting that B&N may have stopped accepting the 8/40 coupon overnight, at least on Criterions. Someone tried to use one this morning and the system didn't accept it. I'll try to see if this is indeed the case. I hope not, but if so, my apologies for unduly raising hopes.
  11. Upcoming Criterion Releases

    If you've a Barnes & Noble membership, you can use this coupon in store to save another $8 on top of the 50% off and member discount. I picked up The In-Laws blu-ray for about $10.50 with tax.
  12. In (dis)honor of Bloomsday, the estimable Joe Carter rantingly and entertainingly explains why he, like a number of others, execrates and abominates James Joyce's Ulysses: QUOTE Ulysses isn't The Greatest Novel Ever Written because it fails to do what even most third rate works are capable of doing: communicating its meaning. Joyce was too busy trying to cram the detritus of his erudition into the work to bother making a connection with the reader. He may have succeeded in making suckers of those who are impressed by technique. But for most readers�those of us who believe art should produce some type of emotional effect�his effort is a miserable failure. Ultimately, Ulysses is to literature what The Birth of a Nation is to film; a impressively horrible work that may (possibly) be admired but cannot (surely) be enjoyed. No doubt, fans of Joyce will say that I'm wrong. They will say that I am failing to put in the effort required to grasp the beauty of the novel. They will argue that I am discounting the remarkable use of language and linguistic technique. They will say that I am missing the point. These people will say many things. These people are usually English professors. They don't know any better. Here is an extended version of my comments (which I posted in reply but are still awaiting moderation as of now): In The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James writes: QUOTE Where to seek the easy and the pleasant seems instinctive�and distinctive it appears to be in man; any deliberate tendency to pursue the hard and painful as such and for their own sakes might well strike one as purely abnormal. Nevertheless, in moderate degrees it is natural and even usual to human nature to court the arduous. It is only the extreme manifestations of the tendency that can be regarded as a paradox. Let me suggest that one difference between Ulysses and, say, Finnegans Wake, may be that the latter is an "extreme manifestation," readable primarily by those literary masochists who deliberately "pursue the hard and painful as such," for its own sake. Exceptions abound in both cases, of course. But the testimony of countless readers suggests otherwise--and no, Joe, not just insecure English professors and majors, but insecure persons of all majors, professions, ages, races, and genders enjoy Ulysses: it is entirely possible to accept Ulysses as an invitation to "court the arduous," and as a result of that courting to obtain true enjoyment. While some douchebags do like to rub their "erudition" in the faces of others (and often their erudition is superficial and crumbles upon closer interrogation), their snobbery says nothing significant about the quality of the work itself. People can be snobbish about anything, highbrow or lowbrow, so long as it lets them securely inhabit that inner ring of which C. S. Lewis spoke. People have a way of latching onto the smallest ornament or bauble if they find that by virtue of it they can wield exclusionary power over others; that says a lot about people but very little about the thing itself. Furthermore, I suspect that those who behave really snobbishly about a book may not really enjoy it themselves; perhaps they are snobs because they feel as though they should enjoy something but do not. After all, gratitude is the dominant note of the truest forms of literary pleasure, and the grateful reader wants to share his or her joy with others, not rub it in their eyes. Those who lord their tastes over others do not love a work for its own sake, but for their own sake, and thus they do not fully love the work (or themselves, for that matter). If pompous readers (and non-readers!) really wanted to lord something unreadable over the rest of us, they would push and preen over Finnegans Wake, that crackerjack humdinger of obscurity in comparison with which Ulysses reads like, well, a crackerjack box. But Finnegans Wake rarely appears on the top ten lists. Many who like Ulysses dislike or otherwise cannot appreciate Finnegans Wake. Vladimir Nabokov, for instance, loved the former book but derided the latter as a "petrified superpun" and "one of the greatest failures in literature" (a "monstrously bad book," he might even have said). Furthermore, Nabokov said in an interview: QUOTE Ulysses towers over the rest of Joyce's writings, and in comparison to its noble originality and unique lucidity of thought and style the unfortunate Finnegans Wake is nothing but a formless and dull mass of phony folklore, a cold pudding of a book, a persistent snore in the next room, most aggravating to the insomniac I am. Moreover, I always detested regional literature full of quaint old-timers and imitated pronunciation. Finnegans Wake's facade disguises a very conventional and drab tenement house, and only the infrequent snatches of heavenly intonations redeem it from utter insipidity. I know I am going to be excommunicated for this pronouncement. But Nabokov was not excommunicated by critics, partly because he was Nabokov but just as likely because far fewer critics love or even read Finnegans Wake than Ulysses. The fact that even today, every so often a passionate rant like Joe's geysers forth against Ulysses suggests to me that the book has a certain level of readership which Finnegans Wake lacks. People respond to it viscerally; it divides people. I'm not saying that anyone has to love or hate either book. But surely it is possible to see that others may enjoy Ulysses for reasons having nothing to do with material insecurity or elitism or having been "suckered." A large part of the problem, I think, must be with how Ulysses�and literature in general�is taught (if it is taught at all anymore). Nabokov himself said that while "Ulysses is a splendid and permanent structure, [�] it has been slightly overrated by the kind of critic who is more interested in ideas and generalities and human aspects than in the work of art itself." Students are trained to extract ideas and allegorical meanings from Ulysses, focusing on Stephen Bloom's wanderings as a strict retelling of the Odyssey, and thus reading Joyce's novel quickly becomes a sort of tedious scavenger hunt for parallels of allegory. But by no means is it necessary to read in such a manner. As Nabokov said, "there is nothing more tedious than a protracted and sustained allegory based on a well-worn myth. [�] We say "stop, thief" to the critic who deliberately transforms an artist's subtle symbol into a pedant's stale allegory." Rather than punishing the work for the sins of its critics, perhaps a more fruitful approach would be to seek out and engage the "subtle symbols" of the work of art itself. At any rate, to say as Joe does that Ulysses "cannot (surely) be enjoyed" is�on its face�merely to dress what is a personal predilection in the finery of a critical pronouncement. Joe writes: "But for most readers�those of us who believe art should produce some type of emotional effect�his effort is a miserable failure." Leaving aside the question of what art should or should not do, this statement is questionable. Consider Nabokov himself: his chief criterion for what he sought in fiction was "aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm." And he treasured Ulysses and consistently taught it in his classes. According to Joe, "Ulysses isn't The Greatest Novel Ever Written because it fails to do what even most third rate works are capable of doing: communicating its meaning." Let's call the sort of art that is reluctant to communicate its ostensible meaning "difficult" art. Recall what the poet Geoffrey Hill once said about difficult art: QUOTE We are difficult. Human beings are difficult. We're difficult to ourselves, we're difficult to each other. And we are mysteries to ourselves, we are mysteries to each other. One encounters in any ordinary day far more real difficulty than one confronts in the most 'intellectual' piece of work. Why is it believed that poetry, prose, painting, music should be less than we are? Why does music, why does poetry have to address us in simplified terms, when if such simplification were applied to a description of our own inner selves, we would find it demeaning? I think art has a right � not an obligation � to be difficult if it wishes. And, since people generally go on from this to talk about elitism versus democracy, I would add that genuinely difficult art is truly democratic. And that tyranny requires simplification. [�] And any complexity of language, any ambiguity, any ambivalence implies intelligence. Maybe an intelligence under threat, maybe an intelligence that is afraid of consequences, but nonetheless an intelligence working in qualification and revelations�resisting, therefore, tyrannical simplification. So there are different reasons why a writer might resist explicitly communicating her meaning. Perhaps she is difficult because she is ego-driven and seeks new forms through which to express her love for the sound of her own voice. But might not a writer also be difficult for precisely the opposite motive, because she seeks to honor the reader's intelligence, and even to honor the difficult mystery of the real? I think Ulysses is not an insult.
  13. DVD and Blu-ray deals

    I know we have the Barnes & Noble coupon thread, but I thought we could use a dedicated all-purpose deal thread. Right now, Amazon has a limited-time sale on Criterion's Essential Art House box sets (Vols. 1, 3, and 4) for $25 a piece.
  14. [see also the Kindle and other e-readers thread] I have owned and used a Kindle for a while now, and I thought I would put together a little hodgepodge of links and notes for the benefit of anyone who may be interested. I post this here and not in the Kindle thread because my comments mostly pertain to the subject of ebooks, not to the readers themselves. Although I have used only the Kindle (hence the Kindle-centricity of my sources), many of these links should be useful to owners of other devices. Essential links Inkmesh. A very useful ebook search engine. Lets you restrict your search to free ebooks.The Kindle Store. When I look for a particular ebook I almost always check Amazon's offerings, even though free books can usually be found at multiple sites. For one thing, you don't have to manually transfer books to the Kindle as Amazon sends them to it automagically. But the main reason I like to use Amazon's copies is because Amazon collects online--here--whatever you highlight and annotate on your Kindle. It's handy to have my notes and quotations all in one place online, where they may be easily copied. But as far as I know Amazon only does this with books you procure from Amazon, not with books you get elsewhere.Manybooks.net. A very large repository of free ebooks in a multiplicity of formats. Many of these are derived from Project Gutenberg's editions. I use this site all the time.Project Gutenberg. The one and only.Mobileread Forums. A large community-driven collection of free ebooks in various formats. A lot of material here that you might not find elsewhere. For instance, you can find handy omnibus collections of various authors from Arthur Conan Doyle to Earl Derr Biggers. Other ebook sources The Internet Archive. This is a massive, cluttered site, unwieldy and, to say the least, not ideally searchable or navigable. Yet it is truly loaded with books unavailable elsewhere, free or otherwise. Where else can you find classic oddities as The Biography of a New York Hotel Scrub, Little Pedlington and the Pedlingtonians, Ralph Keeler's Vagabond Adventures, and Studies in the Art of Rat-Catching? You will often find multiple versions of a single work, scanned from different libraries. And in my experience a lot of these versions are simply unreadable textually--thus if you find something you want, you may be forced to go with the PDF download, if your reader supports PDF.Project Gutenberg: Australia and Canada. As you probably know, if you live in Australia or Canada you have access to public domain books which in America are not yet in the public domain. Members of the Mobileread forums have converted a number of these books into ereader formats.Munseys.Feedbooks. Software Calibre. Terrific ebook management software. Convert an ebook from one format to another. I used Calibre to produce a handy, easily-browseable and navigable collection of Samuel Johnson's Rambler essays, as well as an edition of Thomas Traherne's Centuries.Kindelabra. A nice tool for managing your Kindle Collections. Useful if you have a lot of books you want to organize relatively painlessly. A few ebook recommendations The incomparable Saki. Thanks to the advent of ebooks, the impossibly wonderful tales of Saki are swiftly procurable. Saki is the Shakespeare of sardonic bemusement. Witty and cruel and unforgettable.Stephen Leacock. Author of many great literary parodies and zany stories. On the downside, his humor is sometimes dated and frankly befuddling from today's perspective. But I will always cherish Leacock's Nonsense Novels, which is a great, quick read.Stoner, Butcher's Crossing, and Augustus by John Williams. Three remarkable, remarkably varied novels by this neglected, supremely gifted American writer.The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson. This is the perfect sort of book to read on the Kindle. A splendid, funny adventure story.Various classic nature books. From the likes of Gilbert White, Thoreau, and so on.G. K. Chesterton. Amazon also has 29 of his books in a single collection for $0.89, if you don't wish to bother downloading these titles individually.Hilaire Belloc. A wide variety of Belloc's works are available as free ebooks. I can personally vouch for Hills and the Sea, On Nothing and Kindred Subjects, On Something, and The Path to Rome.P. G. Wodehouse. And another Amazon omnibus. These collections are very handy, but in practice they can be difficult to navigate. Also, due to their size they may take a little longer to flip between pages than the individual titles.
  15. Upcoming Criterion Releases

    I think it is a puzzle. How about...Odd Man Out (the Carol Reed noir)?
  16. Upcoming Criterion Releases

    The Jacques Tati boxset is out now, and looks wonderful.
  17. Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble

    I'd be willing to trade my unopened Criterion copy of Paris, Texas on blu-ray (which is a great movie, but...let's just say I wouldn't leave Solaris unopened). DEAL! I'll message you to swap shipping addresses.
  18. Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble

    Well, it was going to happen to me sooner or later. I bought the Solaris blu-ray only to realize I already owned it. Instead of returning it I wonder if anyone would like to trade me some other Criterion blu-ray for it? I don't have any particular titles in mind.
  19. Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble

    I bought The Hidden Fortress and Il Sorpasso.
  20. Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble

    The Sale has returned.
  21. Ebooks: Sources and Recommendations

    Totally agreed.
  22. Ebooks: Sources and Recommendations

    Some great C. S. Lewis criticism/literary history ebooks are on sale for $3.99 at Amazon. Incidentally, I wonder if there is a referral link I might use to benefit Image for links like this.
  23. Films/TV Shows Responsible for Reviving Books

    Jason Diamond at Flavorwire predicts Grand Budapest Hotel will help create new interest in Stefan Zwieg's books. I rather hope so. Incidentally, you can find a nice piece on Zwieg in Cultural Amnesia by Clive James. I remember hearing that Lost singlehandedly caused a spike in Flann O'Brien interest when it used his great novel, The Third Policeman. What other examples might there be of movies or shows calling attention to lesser known books?
  24. The Lego Movie

    Let me take a parenthetical moment to recommend a classic Anthony Lane piece about Lego from 1998. Now back to your regular programming.
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