June 2018


Veronica and Thomas leave for Wisconsin by car tomorrow.  My sister, Alison, and I leave by truck on Sunday.  That means there will be no posts until we are well and settled in California sometime in early July.  As for comments, well, we will approve them when we see them and can approve them, which may take some time.  So please be patient.  It will be hard for Veronica to find time to do that while with her family and hard for me to do it while strangling and/or being strangled by my sister.

I kid, of course.  Why, here’s a recent picture of Alison and I getting along:

So, while we have fun on our trip (“Yes, I can read a book while you spend 90 minutes plus whatever overage is waiting for someone to score in your World Cup match.”  “It is only the biggest spectator sport in the world, you jackass.”) rest assured that eventually your comments will be perused and approved.

Good times on the road ahead!  California here I come.  Right back where I started from.  In August of 1992.

Over a decade back now, Powells City of Books asked for a poem of 20 lines or less that summed up how you felt about Portland (it was for a contest).  I found it while packing and so, it seems like an interesting post as we say goodbye to yet another city. (more…)

A Century of Film
TriStar Pictures

The Studio

Victor Kaufman is the father of TriStar Pictures.  The name came about because Kaufman convinced Columbia Pictures (where he worked), CBS and HBO to combine to form a new film production and distribution company.  In at least one sense, it was the first major film company formed in Hollywood since RKO in 1928.  The reason Columbia was involved, in spite of already producing their own films, was to form a relationship with HBO which had become extremely powerful in terms of dealing with the majors (You can read more about this and the state of the industry in the early 80’s in History of the American Cinema 10: A New Pot of Gold: Hollywood Under the Electronic Rainbow, 1980-1989, Steven Prince.  The story of the formation of TriStar begins on page 25).  By 1984, TriStar had produced its first film (The Natural), although Where the Boys Are ’84 (which was only a TriStar distribution, not a TriStar production) beat it into theaters by just over a month, debuting on 6 April 1984.  But 1984 wasn’t that profitable (“in its first year of operation Tri-Star gained only a 5 percent share of the domestic theatrical market” (Prince, p 31) and by the end of 1986, CBS has sold their shares to Columbia and Time (the parent company of HBO) had sold them half of its shares as well.  A note here on the name: it was spelled with the hyphen until 1991 and was then dropped. (more…)

A nice ensemble pic from M*A*S*H that doesn’t really have a corresponding scene in the book.

My Top 10:

  1. M*A*S*H
  2. The Twelve Chairs
  3. Women in Love
  4. Lovers and Other Strangers
  5. Patton
  6. Floating Weeds
  7. The Joke
  8. Mississippi Mermaid
  9. Where’s Poppa?
  10. Catch-22

Note:  Not a strong Top 10, although at least it has 10.  The 2-5 are the weakest as a whole since 1965 and there won’t be a weaker group until 1976.  They look even weaker because they are between two very strong years.  Patton would have been #9 in 1969. (more…)