Filmish: A Graphic Journey Through Film

I had a difficult time getting ready for my class. I had memories of my brother, whose life ended one year ago yesterday. I’m deeply sad to think about his grave out there in Orange County. I finished reading the graphic novel “Filmish: A Graphic Journey Through Film” by Edward Ross. I had to question his perspective if he was seven years old when he first saw “Jurassic Park.” The book is divided into seven sections: The Eye, The Body, Sets and Architecture, Time, Voice and Language, Power and Ideology, and Technology and Technophobia. The content doesn’t really go into the areas of acting, cinematography, editing, and music. I couldn’t see why many of the examples were cited, like “Die Hard” and many films since 2000 that I had never heard of. Ross goes from one example to the next so quickly that the statements are not very satisfying. It was hard for me to tell what references the numerous illustrations were making. It was amusing to see Ross in the book, involved in the movie scenes somewhat like James Corden in one of his skits. I thought that one of his most interesting observations was about Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator.” However, would I say that it was Chaplin’s greatest or most significant film. No. I didn’t go along with what Ross had to say about the 1980s and racism and sexism. If he didn’t live through some of these times, he’s not speaking with much authority. One thing I have to say about technology and films is that technology has been used to give us spectacle, something to look at, whether it is a wide screen, 3D, or CGI. It sometimes adds something to the art of film, but it usually makes films seem less human. Actors are right about one thing. The best thing you can put up on the screen is a human face. I looked through the notes in the back of the book to see what an illustration on page 42 was supposed to be. I had no idea just from looking at it that it was Megan Fox. Do any of us care about Megan Fox? I’m not going to remember her at all in the years to come. I think we’ll read through this book again in a few years and be puzzled at a lot of the content. Looking at the cover, I am so annoyed that the image of Ross himself is the largest, dwarfing Malcolm MacDowell, Charlie Chaplin, Sigourney Weaver, and the cast of “The Wizard of Oz.” One irritating thing is that no one seems to have told Ross about spoilers. He constantly reveals endings and key elements and plot points. Perhaps no one cares about these things anymore. If I complain about a book like this, I should write a book of my own. It would take a huge amount of effort, and I’m not sure that anyone would read it, anyway. Everyone already thinks they’re an expert on movies, just like everyone thinks their taste in music is definitive. When I returned home, I watched the Tonight Show from February 12, 1985, which featured Bob Uecker, Mark Hudson, and David Horowitz. “Mr. Belvedere” was going to have its premiere a month after this show. Mark Hudson was not the Hudson brother who married Goldie Hawn and became the father of Kate Hudson. That was Bill Hudson. David Horowitz showed us some deceptive packaging of cookies and a French shirt that was made in Hong Kong. I was tired and went to bed early. During the night, I heard the news of the death of George Martin. He did live to be 90 years old. I think he did contribute a great deal to the Beatles music, helping to keep it from sounding trendy. I’m grateful for all that he gave us. I think he made our lives richer. I also heard the news of Bernie Sanders’ victory in Michigan. The question is how the polls could have been so far off the mark. What does this say about television news reporters who seem to be behind the times and lazily accepting information? Today there is a break in the rain, so I guess I have to go out there and get some things done before the next storm drenches me. I’m looking forward to spring break, which will start at the end of next week. Some of the people who died on March 9 include Robert Mapplethorpe (1989), Charles Bukowski (1994), Fernando Rey (1994), George Burns (1996), and the Notorious B.I.G. (1997). Today is a birthday for Keely Smith (84).

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