Saturday, November 26, 2011


 "The Testament Of Dr Mabuse" was written by Fritz Lang and Norbert Jacques, directed by Fritz Lang, and released in 1933. It is eerie, spooky, semi-plausibility at it's black and white finest. Matter of fact with an almost documentary film style, "The Testament Of Dr Mabuse" wastes no time revealing the startling nature of it's story.

 Detective Lohmann (Otto Wernicke) is faced with the unfolding of a secret army serving a hidden master. Only slowly did he begin to associate Dr Mabuse (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) with the growing chaos, even as Dr Mabuse sat ( ten years) frozen in his asylum bed hovering at the very edge of life. 

Lots-o-subtitles and German, but it's an unrelenting twisted story. I kept coming back till I'd watched all of it. Good thing too, cause they pulled it from instant-view shortly thereafter. Definitely strange enough to watch again if it reappears in my instant queue.


 With his love-life hanging by a frayed thread, Lab technician Virgil Gurdies embarks on a quest to make the best goat cheese in the world. This Austin shot indie, was written and directed by Cliff Bogart and Kyle Bogart and released back into the wild in 2009. This is a tale of security like a well attached and heavy anchor, with the creative impulse and the longing for excellence straining for the sky like a sleepy kids helium balloon. Starring Mark Scheibmeir, Sidney Andrews, and Stephen Taylor Fry, Artoi The Goat won't let you forget "If not now when?"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


The clips I found about this movie didn't have the feel of the CCC described in the movie, so I settled for a vintage news reel. I had heard tell from depression era folks of the Civilian Conservation Corp, but never really understood what it had been about. How it came to be, what work was done, by whom, how they were effected, and what happened to it, were all covered in this movie.

Looking for the clip I was caught up in the spirit of the times. The stuff I found most interesting were the social reforms proposed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt that were subsequently implemented and then mostly gutted by recent trickle down types, in the run-up to the orgy of deregulation that led to our current set of economic challenges. I was tempted to use the FDR "Second Bill of Rights" speech as my clip, but the news reel I found is a better tease for this movie. For me, these speech links seem to sum up the "Let's not just lay here and suffer" mentality FDR brought to the country when it needed to hear it.

  The CCC embodied the spirit of FDR's push to make immediate, real, and lasting improvements in the lives of everyday Americans. His "I Welcome Their Hatred" speech demanded an end to the organized crimes of organized money. Alf Landon's response to his, "Warning About Today's Republicans" durring his 1936 re-election campaign had columnist Dorothy Thompson snickering, "If Landon had made another speech FDR would have carried Canada too." I hope this stuff isn't as relevant and timely as it seems to be, but we do need a whole lot of bridges and dams repaired and or rebuilt.