December 2011

the two-fisted Gonzo image I used on my shirtsfor Terry and John

“We can’t stop here.  This is bat country.”  (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, p 18)

It’s Nixon who started all of this and I can’t help but think that would make Hunter smile.  When I was first getting into a serious love of film, one of the first great films I watched was All the President’s Men.  Then I read the book, and I was just hooked.  I could do a whole For Love of Books post on books about Nixon and the Nixon administration.  And I already had the makings of a serious political junkie, having been apparently the only fifth grader at Taft Elementary willing to offer up support of Walter Mondale.  I followed the trail through the primaries in 88 and less than four years later, had a serious conversation with my best friend, John, and we decided that of all the candidates, it was Bill Clinton that was the best chance – both for the country, and for getting elected.  I couldn’t get enough of it.  And through it all, I was reading books about Nixon.  So, somewhere along the line, not long after Nixon died, I bought a book called Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72. (more…)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: our three copies plus the film

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream

  • Author:  Hunter S. Thompson
  • Rank:  #26
  • Published:  1972
  • Publisher:  Random House
  • Pages:  204
  • First Line:  “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”
  • Last Line:  “I felt like a monster reincarnation of Horatio Alger . . . a Man on the Move, and just sick enough to be totally confident.”
  • ML Edition:  1996  (gold cover Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Other American Stories)
  • Film:  1998  (***.5 – dir. Terry Gilliam)
  • First Read:  Spring 1996


Our move is mostly done.  It’s mostly little crap, but with daylight gone by the time we’re done with work, it is going slow.  But I hope to have a new post up by the end of the weekend.

Roberto Benigni is only the second worst director – but would you recognize a picture of Frank Perry?

Here is the start of the list of all the 210 directors who have been nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards.  Using my point system (explained here), I have ranked all of them.  This initial list is only the bottom 10, but the rest of the lists will cover 25 directors at a time.

  • #210:  Frank Perry
  • #209:  Roberto Benigni
  • #208:  Adrian Lyne
  • #207:  Martin Brest
  • #206:  Mel Gibson
  • #205:  Michael Anderson
  • #204:  Richard Rush
  • #203:  Harry Beaumont
  • #202:  Irving Cummings
  • #201:  Scott Hicks

Most of the categories below are fairly self-explanatory.  For those directors with a Sarris Category, that is the classification assigned to the director by Andrew Sarris in his seminal book The American Cinema.  Since Sarris published that book, the first real guide to rating directors, in 1968, many directors aren’t listed.  All quotes noted from Sarris are from that book while all quotes noted from David Thomson are from the 2002 edition of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film.

It’s an interesting little tidbit that of the worst five directors, four of them are ostensibly still active, though, since 2003, only Mel Gibson has directed any films, and even he hasn’t been behind the camera in five years now. (more…)

Light in August

first edition cover of Light in August (1932)

  • Author:  William Faulkner  (1897  –  1962)
  • Rank:  #27
  • Published:  1932
  • Publisher:  Harrison Smith and Robert Haas
  • Pages:  507  (Vintage Corrected Text)
  • First Line:  “Sitting beside the road, watching the wagon mount the hill toward her, Lena thinks, ‘I have come from Alabama: a fur piece.”
  • Last Lines:  ” ‘My, my.  A body does get around.  Here we aint been coming from Alabama but two months, and now it’s already Tennessee.’ “
  • Acclaim:  Modern Library Top 100 English-Language Novels of the 20th Century (#54); All-TIME List
  • ML edition:  #88 (two dust jackets – 1950, 1966); College Edition; Gold  (2002)
  • Series:  Yoknapatawpha County
  • Film:  none
  • First Read:  Summer, 1996 (more…)