Scott Ellington's Blog

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In the past 5 weeks…

…I’ve lost the use of three hard disks, one internal, two external.  These losses in storage capability probably aren’t to dust, shock, abuse or my carelessness.  They’re probably the logical consequence of authorized, official updates to my operating system; MS Vista 64bit.

I have to say “probably” because dialogues and alerts provided by my operating system are remarkably misleading, and every potential remedy I’ve tried, instruction I’ve dutifully followed (where intelligibility and reason permit) since these problems began to arise has resulted only in a noteworty waste of time.

So, I’m soldiering on with work-around solutions, deprived of about half of my library, and contemplating ways to migrate my stuff to a new (and unaffordable) platform that might perform its fundamental functions up to and beyond the expiration of its goddamned warranty.

In brief, the cinematic highlight of the past five weeks has been Budd Boetticher, a name I learned a couple of years ago from Martin Scorsese’s The Century of Cinema.  Back then, I found The Tall T on VHS at Amazon, enjoyed it and planned to investigate the remainder of the Ranown cycle.  But life got in the way.  A random Henry Jenkins tweet reminded me last month of my Boetticher resolve, so I caught the remaining films via NetFlix, which also gave me access to a peek at Burt Kennedy’s films and some standard Randolph Scott, Peckinpah, Leone…for contrast. 

I like Boetticher’s themes, his attitude toward Hollywood (Fuck ’em) and I really like watching his influence spread far beyond the Western, the 60s, and Hollywood to exemplify clean, incredibly-efficient filmmaking rooted in character development in conjunction with a straight-forward plot.  I think most of the value I found in the Boetticher approach is reflected in Jeremiah Johnson, and the primary modern practioner of his filmmaking style appears in products made by Malpaso. 

Brief.

Justified  didn’t intrigue me much, despite the praise Sam Ford (a reliable source of excellent information) sprinkled on it librally regarding its Eastern Kentucky setting.  (Sam’s a Western Kentuckian.)   The pilot episode turned me entirely around with sharp, intelligent dialogue, blistering pace, and a full-on creative environment that made Timothy Olyphant (who [I think] did not understand what Milch was getting at — at all) almost totally palatable.  It didn’t hurt to discover that Graham Yost (Speed [catch the commentary], Band of Brothers, Boomtown, From the Earth to the Moon, Raines) is the showrunner, with Keith Henderson (the son of a good friend who turned me on to Boomtown) working as editor on four (?) non-consecutive episodes, and Nick Searcy (From the Earth to the Moon, among other excellent things), Matt Craven (everything!), Earl Brown (great underplayed comedic/dramatic work on Deadwood).  But the major revelation for me in the first season of Justified is the complex and fascinating contribution of Walton Goggins.

John Christian Plummer (a name with which to reckon in future, mark my words) turned me on to the fact that David Milch’s pre-Deadwood series, Big Apple can be streamed (and downloaded) from YouTube.  And it’s far more than eminently worthy of that insignificant effort.

Like I said, brief.

None of the computer problems I’ve been having these past few weeks have prevented me from blithering in this blog, but “New&Improved technology” (that doesn’t fucking work anything like properly) provides powerful disincentives to use it as a means to a thought archive.

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10 Jul 10 Posted by | Uncategorized | 15 Comments