rathmadder

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About rathmadder

  • Rank
    Linguistic Barthian Thinker
  • Birthday 02/01/1968

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  • Occupation
    writer
  • About my avatar
    its death from the seventh seal.
  • Favorite movies
    ikiru la belle et la bete lord of the flies (peter brook) the searchers the fisher king North by Northwest Tokyo Story Ugetsu Monogatari The Wind Will Carry Us La Grande Illusion
  • Favorite music
    bach - cello suites kinks - village green preservation society streets - a grand don't come for free pentangle - sweet child prince - sign o the times Richard and Linda Thompson - I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight. Radiohead - Kid A. Louis Armstrong - Plays WC Handy. Bob Dylan - Shot Of Love. NERD - In Search Of.
  • Favorite creative writing
    dillard - pilgrim at tinker creek peck - road less travelled camus - the plague day - the long loneliness pelecanos - nicks trip Barfield - Saving The Appearances. Black Elk Speaks. The tale of Genji - Lady Murasaki. Kafka - complete stories. Kundera - Unbearable lightness of being. The City Game - Axthelm. The Summer Game - Angell. Sound of the City - Gillett.
  • Favorite visual art
    Titian - Assumption. (Frari, Venice). Raphael - Transfiguration (Vatican museum). Van Gogh's Room in Arles (Musee D'orsay). Caravaggio - The Taking of Christ (National Gallery, Dublin) Monet - Gare St. Lazare (Orsay)
  1. Ridley Scott seems an odd choice to make a film of Blood Meridian which is an incredibly dense, complex and metaphysically inclined novel. He's a skilful director but there doesn't seem to be very much profundity at work in Gladiator, Black Hawk Down or American Gangster for example. Perhaps I'm being a bit uncharitable here and he will outdo himself in getting to grips with the material. But they seem an odd match, Blood Meridian is so far removed from a normal Western. Peckinpah would have been the man for it, in fact the book sometimes reads like it owes something to his films. I don't know if there is anyone who mines the same seam at the moment. In a totally unrelated development I saw Hudsucker Proxy on satellite last night and it was much better than I remembered though the Jennifer Jason Leigh performance was every bit as grating this time round.
  2. Ever since reading Blood Meridian I've thought it would make a wonderful movie. A friend of mine insisted it would actually be too violent to get made in any way which was true to the book. And after watching No Country For Old Men I'm inclined to agree with him. McCarthy's vision is extraordinarily bleak and largely predicated upon the notion that violence is an eternally occurring primal drive, hence the epigraph to Blood Meridian about the discovery of an ancient skeleton which appears to have been scalped. The movie was brilliantly made, the suspense when Moss is being chased by the Mexicans and the dog and when he is close to being caught in the motel by Chigurh is reminiscent of the best of Hitchcock. The scenes are like jet-powered versions of similar scenes in Blood Simple. But when Moss is killed off-camera I couldn't help wondering why we'd been cajoled into investing so much time in worrying about his well-being. This is also not the Coens fault but the fact that 21st century audiences seem so innured to violence meant that, when I saw No Country in the cinema at least, a lot of people laughed at almost all of the Chigurh killings as if the victims had no more reality than characters from South Park. I thought it was tremendously gripping until the final half hour when the various chases and sub-plots seemed oddly futile. I also thought the Woody Harrelson character seemed superfluous. Wonderful acting from Kelly McDonald though. Maybe fatherhood has made me soft but I think I'll always prefer Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski to the more noir Coen productions.
  3. What wonderful taste everyone seems to have. If you like British folk, check out Julie Fowlis who is a young Scottish singer currently making huge waves on this side of the pond. I saw her in Galway during the Summer and it was one of the finest concerts I've ever seen. If anyone is interested in checking out Irish music specifically, Bothy Band 1975, Island Angel by Altan, The Well below The Valley by Planxty, Chieftains 4 (or 5) are canonical and the best current bands are Lunasa, Dervish and Danu. Good to see Anne Briggs getting a mention too, there is some wonderful singing on the Topic collection. Folk Roots New Routes by Shirley Collins and Davey Graham is an English classic from the sixties which has stood up well. And if anyone wanted to check out Celtic music in its widest sense, The Renaissance of The Celtic Harp by Alan Stivell is the definitive Breton album. Also good to hear John Martyn getting his due, I swa him recently too, he's had a leg amputated but still soldiers on. Irish piping is an acquired taste but is probably the gold standard of Irish traditional music, if anyone wanted to be really adventurous, they could check out the legendary Seamus Ennis or the man he influenced the great Liam O Floinn.
  4. 1. Nashville 2. Thieves Like Us. 3. McCabe and Mrs. Miller. The Player, Gosford Park, The Long Goodbye are all wonderful as well. The scene with Keith Carradine getting shot on the bridge in McCabe is great as is the fact that he's reunited with Shelley Duvall in Thieves. Wasn't Shelley Duvall wonderful too. And Karen Black, Ronee Blakley, Ned Beatty and all kinds of other people were never as good as they were in Nashville which for my money is the best American film of all, like a Fellini with more control and better subplots. The music is good too, I must play my Haven Hamilton album in tribute.
  5. Generally they're portrayed as maniacs kicking over the easel and scaring off the crows in the cornfield, though that's not always inaccurate. A really great, and forgotten film, about a painter is Rembrandt which is a British film from the thirties in which Charles Laughton is magnificent. It ends beautifully on a note of serenity which shows that artists are not always tortured by their calling but sometimes get great serenity from it. Having said that I thought Theo and Vincent was terrific. It's a wonder there hasn't been a great movie about Goya for example.
  6. Hello, I haven't been on here in a year or so (my wife had twins). And I missed it. And the best gig I saw in 2006 was a thing called Came So Far For Beauty in Dublin which was a four hour show of people covering Leonard Cohen songs, included in the line up were Jarvis Cocker, Nick Cave, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Mary Margaret O'Hara and Beth Orton. Awesome. But then again Leonard Cohen is about the best songwriter in the world IMHO.
  7. I read Fortress Of Solitude recently and thought it was the perfect book about growing up, the detail, the characterisation and the sheer chutzpah of the prose were astonishing. Also read and liked Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland (the first of his that I've read) and Rip It Up And Start Again by Simon Reynolds, a brilliant account of post-punk music 1978-1984 which is one of the best music books I've read. Has anyone read the Anne Rice Jesus book. I got it as a present and haven't looked at anything by Anne Rice since I was thirteen and read Interview With The Vampire and thought it was perhaps the greatest book ever written (Thirteen, I stress, thirteen.) Also read The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon, such flair from a twenty two year old, I was consumed by jealousy. And Democracy by Joan Didion, I've always liked her journalism and this was good though her books of collected essays are probably better.
  8. You weren't so far off with Xavier Buckeye. Sorry to see the end of Syracuse if only because I don't suppose we'll see too much more of Gerry McNamara now (though then again I thought that about Jameer Nelson when he left my favourites St.Joes).
  9. I like Franz Wright a lot. He has gotten involved in controversy from time to time but the poems themselves are full of generosity and a genuine spiritual yearning. Raymond Carver's poetry gets overshadowed by his short stories but is good. It might be an Irish thing but I think few contemporary writers are as good as Seamus Heaney. Czeslaw Milosz was terrific too. I noticed some people mentioning William Cowper, who's one of my own personal favourites. Well, the Irish poet Brian Lynch just published a novel, The Winner Of Sorrow, about Cowper's life. It's been well reviewed and nominated for awards and quite deservedly, it's very good indeed. (There's some fine stuff on the evangelical ferment of the time, and a good portrait of the slave trader turned hymnist John Newton. I notice Jeffrey Overstreet mentions him in another forum.) You can probably get it on amazon.co.uk if you're interested. Don't diss song lyrics vis a vis poetry, though, is there a better modern religious poem than Every Grain Of Sand from Dylan's Shot Of Love album? I haven't posted in months, two new twin daughters don't leave much time for thought let alone writing, but it's nice to be back.
  10. I don't think there's any way round the play's anti-semitism other than to observe that Shakespeare, like most artists, was bound up with the prejudices of his day. And the fact that the Jewish character is nailed specifically because of his greed (that old Christian canard) further emphasises how stereotypical the portrayal is. But, and there's usually a but with Shakespeare, he still can't resist giving Shylock the hath a Jew eyes speech which, even if it was supposed to be comedic at the time as someone said earlier in this thread, is still one of the great theatrical pleas for tolerance. Which doesn't make all the bigotry worthwhile but at least counters it to some degree. On the other hand, to digress a little bit, the smug self-satisified one dimensional anti-semitism of TS Eliot, Henry Adams, Edith Wharton and some of their cohorts seems a lot worse if only because you would have presumed that it would be more unacceptable in an ostensibly more civilised society. It's a good adaptation I thought even though my favourite Shakespeares would still be Olivier's Henry V and Polanski's under-rated Macbeth.
  11. The Passion Of The Christ The Lord Of The Rings - Return Of The King Any Rocky film The Sting
  12. Thanks very much everyone. As usual you've come up trumps. Interested to see In his Steps being mentioned, I read that last year and while it's not the best written book in the world it is certainly a powerful piece of work and one which had an effect on me. I'll check out the recommendations. On the distinction between Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, there's a difference in my mind anyway. I recall reading something by John Stott where he said Evangelicals are less absolute about the literal nature of biblical truth and more engaged with society as opposed to a tendency towards separatism among Fundamentalists. Anyway, thanks very much.
  13. Re the first reply whatever people think might be helpful I'll listen to. Thanks Dan Buck, I've seen Hell House mentioned here before and will try to get a copy.
  14. I wonder if anyone could help me. This is in connection with a project I'm working on. Could you recommend any books or movies about someone from an Evangelical background, probably but not necessarily a preacher, trying to spread the Good News in the world. The Apostle is the one that comes to mind movie wise and I suppose I'm wondering if there are many novels or other movies which tackle the same theme. I'd be grateful for any help. Thanks.
  15. Watching The Ashes with baited breath Matt (having developed a taste for cricket when I lived in London, around the corner from The Oval which I went to most Sundays in the season.) I have a feeling this is the year England are finally going to do it. Flintoff in the second test was magical, like the old film clips of Botham in 1981. Seriously folks, cricket is one of the great sports, I think it would appeal to anyone of a discursive mindset because it unfolds so painstakingly like a classic television series, a test series becoming an epic and each day of a test its own self-contained drama. By the way Ireland have qualified for the next World Cup. How's the rugby going by the way, presumably you're on a break at the moment?