Define "a Life"...

... still searching for a clear definition of that thing people keep telling me I need to get...

Location: Springfield, PA

Friday, May 01, 2009


Since Rob posted some of his lifetime pass artists, I thought I'd weigh in. I agree with Rob on the Cohens (I'm a film behind on them, too, at the moment). Alan Moore, too. Steve Martin has moved into a phase of his career in which I take him a la carte -- I'll pass on things like Cheaper By The Dozen. But if it's, say, something Martin himself wrote, I'll check it out.

And I'll toss out a few of my own:

Steve Forbert.  A new album is an automatic no-brainer purchase. Hell, even a live recording is an auto-buy, regardless of the venue or the vintage. I'm at a loss to explain why this folk-rock singer-songwriter from Meridian, Mississippi, should connect so readily and so deeply for me, but I don't question it. "It's often said that life is strange, but, hey, compared to what?"

Clint Eastwood.  I've not been on top of Eastwood's recent films, which is a shame. He's one of the few Hollywood folks whose work I almost whole heartedly trust. That's certainly the case with Eastwood as a director. Even when the film is just straight-up entertainment, his even-handed mastery of the craft of cinema narrative assures that I will be entertained. Eastwood learned his craft through long observation and experience with some talented folks, and perhaps that's why his films just feel good to me. His directorial style is very no-style transparent, utterly unaffected and un-effected by the jumbley short-attention-span visual trends of recent years. I'll miss him when he's gone.

Jackie Chan.  Okay, there's the Hollywood pap like The Tuxedo. Hollywood's never known quite what to do with Jackie. But even in those wrong-headed vehicles, he's fun. And when Jackie's able to be Jackie, well, there's nothing like him. I wish someone would get ahold of his older films and give them a proper treatment and release on DVD. You can never have too much Jackie Chan.

J.D. Salinger.  I know it's a bit weird to say, since he hasn't published any new work in my lifetime. But what there is, I like. And there is this urban myth that he's been writing the whole time he's been holed up in Cornish, New Hampshire, and that we may see more Salinger after he dies. That last bit is probably optimistically apocryphal. While it's likely enough that he may have continued to write after he stopped publishing, I think it's less likely he's lining things up to be released after his death. Still...  If it shows up, I'll read it.

I'm sure a few more candidates would present themselves if I looked over my shelves.


Blogger Rob S. said...

Good choices. I considered Chan -- I'm always happy to take a chance on his movies, certainly -- but he doesn't quite reach that height with me.

You know what would be wrong and awesome? If J.D. Salinger were writing a comic strip for Bill Watterson.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Eric Aitala said...

I think I've been to Meridian once or twice... Mississippi is a hard place to grok unless you've been there.


3:14 PM  

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