Music: Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band

Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band only made one album together – The Mountain (1999). It’s a great album. Instead of recycling bluegrass standards, they recorded an album of all new Earle songs. Apparently, there was a conflict and they did not record again. See #18 in this interview with McCoury. There are bootlegs of concerts in Oslo,Norway and Malmo, Sweden with great performances. The Mountain was proceeded by one song together (“I Still Carry You Around”) on 1997’s El Corazon.

Robert Bresson’s Une Femme Douce

Robert Bresson is one of my favorite film directors. While some of his films are available on DVD and Blu-ray (primarily from the Criterion Collection). I have only seen Une Femme Douce (1969) once and that would have been in the early 1970s but I still have strong memories of it. It has never been released on a US Blu-ray or DVD. New Yorker Films did have a VHS version. The entire film can be found online. It’s based on a Dostoevsky short story.

Bresson’s films never pander to the audience and are not fun to watch. He always addresses serious subjects like like faith and some of his characters commit suicide. He drains suspense – in A Man Escaped, you know from the title that the main character got out of prison. Bresson uses non-professional actors and the color palette in this, his first color film, very understated. Dominique Sanda, who starred in this film, went on to a successful film career.

Une Femme Douce explores the marriage between a woman who committed suicide and her husband. She commits suicide at the beginning of the film and her husband tries to figure out why. His narratives in voice overs don’t always match what you see on the screen in terms of the happiness of the marriage.

Bresson didn’t show things you know didn’t happen. The suicide is shown by a scarf falling slowly from a balcony to the ground and traffic stopping on the street below. You see this before you see the body. The first clip below shows this opening scene.

I have a French lobby card set I got on eBay and an 8×10 glossy I got at Cinemabilia in New York. I have attached photos of two of the cards and the picture.

Here’s an interview with Bresson from 1970. I remember reading it back then. The writer, Charles Thomas Samuels, later committed suicide. Une Femme Douce was Bresson’sA most recent film at the time of the interview.

My favorite experience at minor league baseball

I saw a Class A game played by the Salinas Spurs who hosted the Bakersfield Dodgers. It was on a cold Tuesday night and the attendance was under 600. The Spurs were an independent team at that point. The Bakersfield Dodgers pitcher walked a batter on four pitches, then threw three balls to the next guy. The pitching coach came out to talk with him.

The PA system played the Final Jeopardy theme music and someone shouted out “What is a strike? The pitcher clearly didn’t know. I’m sure he heard it since there were so few people there and little crowd noise.

Extreme Texas voting law

Texas is enacting a terrible voting law that will suppress voting and make it easier to overturn an election.

Cicada Parade-a in Baltimore

This is great – using the cicadas to inspire art.

more Baltimore cicada art

Film: The Machine Girl/Tokyo Gore Police

Here are trailers for two 2008 Japanese films from Tokyo Shock that I watched recently. They’re outrageously violent. The Machine Girl was especially creative- it had a bra that had drill bits. In one scene a woman blows a hole through a guy’s stomach, then puts the gun through the hole to shoot someone else. A character shoots nails into a guys face.

I’m not going to tell you these are great films but they are entertaining if you can handle all of the bloodshed.

The phony 2020 audit mania has spread to Wisconsin

Most Republicans will never accept the election results. I fear they will invent fraud to justify their phony audits.