Monday, August 13, 2007

A Letter to Roger Ebert

Los Angeles has a few tresures. One of those jewels is The New Beverly Cinema. It is the ONLY repertory movie theater in LA. Sherman Torgan, founder and jack-of-all-trades at the New Bev, died recently. The following is a letter I wrote to film critic Roger Ebert about Torgan and the New Bev.

If you are lucky enough to have a rep movie house in your area, give them your business.


Hello Roger – I hope this letter finds you well and improving.

I am writing today because Los Angeles lost one of its angels. Sherman
Torgan, the founder and proprietor of The New Beverly Cinema, here in
Los Angeles. The details, biographical and otherwise, can be found

I'm not sure if you were familiar with Mr. Trogran. Something tells me
that you might have been. I have this image of you popping into small
theaters wherever you find you yourself. But the reason I am writing
is not so much to eulogize Mr. Torgan but to express anxiety. You see,
"The Bev" is the ONLY repertory movie house in Los Angeles.

This bears repeating: in Los Angeles… Hollywood… a town built on and
supported by the film industry, there is only a SINGLE rep theater. I
actually didn't know this fact prior to this week. Living in LA, you
take for granted that you can find whatever you want if you are
willing to drive. But reading the various obituaries and tributes, it
became clear that Mr. Torgan and his small movie house provided an
exclusive service. Three times a week the Bev changes its offerings.
Three nights of Brando followed by two nights of Peter Sellers
followed by two nights of Keaton (and maybe even a midnight of Repo
Man thrown in for good measure). The sheer variety of the offerings;
the eclectic, eccentric, idiosyncratic selections communicated to the
moviegoer that someone loves movies as much as I do. High-brow,
low-brow, middle-brow, Mr. Torgan understood that variety was the
spice of life and the life's blood of a cinemaphile.

Sadly, with the passing of Mr. Torgan, the Bev's days may be numbered.
Years of providing the best bargain in town (a double-feature for $7
is what they charge NOW!) to an increasingly select audience have
taken it's toll. Perpetually on the verge of closing since it opened
in 1978, the Bev may finally be on its last legs without its

My ulterior motive in writing to you, Roger, is not so much to lament
the passing of a great Angelino and friend of cinema, but to touch on
your inherent sympathy for the cottage industry that is the repertory
cinema house. If I can walk ten block in Paris, France and find two
rep houses, it is scandalous that in 500 square miles only one house
can be found to honor the diversity of world cinema. Perhaps you can
use your bully-pulpit to sermonize and perhaps evangelize the need to
maintain and expand this invaluable cultural resource.

Thank you, Roger, for taking the time to read my petition.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Deconstructing a Movie I've Never Seen Based on a Single Image from the Film

In the vein of one of my old professors at CSUN:

I don’t know anything about this film but I can tell you everything you need to know about the relationships based on the poses of the characters. Wilson, head half-tilted, eyebrows up, arms in a shrug, hands up-turned to catch his juggles; Dillon, body towards Hudson, face turned towards Wilson. Hand in pocket, teasing his cock with the hand closest to Wilson, left arm disappears behind Hudson/support-wall. Eyes frowning in disbelief over some Rabelaisian nonsense perpetrated by Wilson, and yet, a half smile, still. Hudson, stiff as a board at right angles from Wilson. Her arms folded like an angry mother, but also framing her breasts because she does want Wilson to find her attractive (co-Nordics?). The only thing out of place… she is smiling. Her body is saying yes/no, her face is saying “I’m just a girl.” COLOR: Hudson: brown (fecal); Dillon: dark blue (invisibility); Wilson: red (sexual passion; excitement); light blue shirt (homo-erotic harmony with Dillon); brown pants: (corprophilic harmony with Hudson; desire for sexual humiliation).

Sunday, February 11, 2007

EXCLUSIVE! Excerpt from Anna-Nicole's final diary entry!


To the degree we are uncertain, we must confess that there is no such thing as an absolute truth. Rather there are degrees of refutability and falsification. “The sun rose today and has done so for billions of years; therefore, the sun will rise tomorrow.” We would say that this inductive statement, rather than being “true” has a very low degree of refutability. In other words, in order to falsify that statement, a refutation would have to have to be of a very high order. Whereas, the statement, “the moon looks like a wheel of blue-cheese; the moon therefore is made of cheese” has a very high degree of refutability because what is required to falsify the argument would be of a very low order.

Another problem with scientific knowledge is that language itself is inadequate to the task of expressing truth. Early scientists realized this and created mathematics. However, though math is a more refined language, it is nonetheless still a language. For example, while it clear that a number can be divided into fractions to an infinite degree, we can nonetheless move from “1” to “2” instantly and without issue. In the material world, there is nothing which can be infinitely divided. At a point, matter breaks down into its constituent atomic parts which then further divide into sub-atomica, then onto a quantum stage, and possibly, etcetera. But at that point, the “thing” itself is no longer the “thing” but rather a part of what might be termed “the general composite” (matter, space, gravity, etc.). If we were attempting to generate an inductive conclusion from this, we must admit that there are no divisions whatsoever, but rather a wholeness within an implicit, universal order.

However, everything I have said must be rendered suspect by the very fact that I am using language to describe it. Any notion that a fundamental truth has been forwarded must be rubbished until such time as direct access can be obtained.