Sunday, April 30, 2017

Stoker Awards; Agatha Awards; Derringer Awards

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Overlooked A/V: films, television and more; links to reviews, essays, podcasts and more

The weekly assembly of links to blogposts, reviews, essays, podcasts and other items of interest about audio/visual work, usually first-rate and deserving of one's attention but sometimes less so and sometimes deserving of obscurity, up to and including opera, stage drama, conventions, museum exhibits, videogames (and boardgames), and more. This week we have some braiding, in large part thanks to the Great Villains Blogathan, now in its fourth year, but not to that fine project of Kristina Dijan, Ruth Kerr and Karen Hannsberry exclusively. Thanks to all who have produced the items linked to below! And please let me know if I've missed yours or someone else's.  
Legend (1985) written by William Hjortsberg

Sparing a thought on the occasion of the deaths of writer/professor William Hjortsberg (a friend of writer and blogger Richard Wheeler) and Jonathan Demme. 
Todd Mason, with apologies for a day's delay this week, as well

A. J. Wright: Alabama actresses before 1960

Alice Chang: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Anne Billson: The Life of Oharu

The Big Broadcast: 23 April 2017

Bill Crider: Beau Brummell (1954 film) [trailer]

Bob Freedlander: The Big Heat; Experiment in Terror

Brian Busby: Tour de Force

Brian Lindenmuth: films based on the fiction of Lewis  B. Patten

B. V. Lawson: Media Murder

Colin McGulgan: Money, Women and Guns

Comedy Film Nerds: Faith Choyce

Cult TV: George and the Dragon

Cynthia Fuchs: Headshot; Queen of Katwe

Dan Stumpf: Big House, U.S.A.

The Dana Gould Hour: Kliph Nesteroff, Drew Friedman; Pete Aronson

Not solely how it should've ended, but also how it wasn't remotely well-written at any point.

Courtesy Lee Goldberg

Elgin Bleecker: Charade

Elizabeth Foxwell: First Edition: "Elmore Leonard" (1984 long interview)

Eric Hillis: Hard Times; The Entity

The Faculty of Horror: 2016 in review

George Kelley: Dead Again; Teen Titans: The Judas Contract

How Did This Get Made?: Escape from LA  (see Movie Sign with the Mads)

Iba Dawson: Feud: Bette and Joan

International Waters: Andy Kindler; Scott Thompson; Sara Morgan; Chris Morgan

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: Ducks and Drakes; Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?; Fast Break; Crime Does Not Pay: "Desert Death"

Jack Seabrook, John Scoleri, Jose Cruz, Gilbert and Peter Enfantino: 2016 film, tv and more highlights (and less so)

Jackie Kashian/The Dork Forest: Rebecca Sugar on musicals

Jackie Kashian and Laurie Kilmartin: The Jackie and Laurie Show  

Jacqueline T. Lynch: Night and Day; De-Lovely

Jake Hinkson: Chicago Film Society

James Reasoner: Lady on a Train

Janet Varney/The J. V. Club: Amy Shira Teitel

J. D. Lafrance: Glengarry Glen Ross (film)

Jedidiah Ayres: On the Job

Jerry House: "Max, the Heartbreaker"; 1960?? Jimmy Cricket! (ABC Radio 1947 documentary of sorts featuring Disney voice actors)

John Grant: The Medusa Touch; La Foire aux Chimères; Flesh and the Spur

John Scoleri: Dark Shadows Before I Die

John Varley: Poltergeist (1982 film); The Night Manager

Jonathan Lewis: The Funhouse (1981 film)

Judy Gold/Kill Me Now: Cathy Ladman & Leslie Popkin; Laurie Kilmartin/Part 2

Karen Hannsberry: Great Villains Blogathon, Day 1


Kate Laity: She's Beautiful When She's Angry

Ken Levine: belaboring the joke; WGA labor action

Kim Newman: Mindhorn; I Start Counting; Drive, He Said


Kliph Nesteroff: Here Come the Stars (1968 television); The Phyllis Diller  Show

Kristina Dijan: Children of Paradise; The Dark Tower (1943 film)


Laura G.: The Richest Girl in the World; Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival; Other Men's Women; Wanted! Jane Turner; Ladies of the Jury

Lindsey D.: Broadway BabiesRome Adventure

The Long Shot: Betsy Sodaro

Maltin on Movies: festivals

Martin Edwards: CWA Annual Conference

Marty McKee: Superman and the Mole Men; The Golden Gate Murders

Mildred Perkins: Dracula's Daughter

Mitchell Hadley: Atlanta television, 27 April 1977; TV Guide, 23 April 1977

Movie Sign with the Mads: Escape from New York; The African Queen

Noel Vera: Hell or High Water

Patricia Nolan-Hall: Speedy; Hammett's Casper Gutman in film

Paul D. Brazill: The Bed-Sitting Room

The Projection Booth: The Red Shows; eXistenZ

Phil Nobile, Jr.: Roger Moore on Live and Let Die (courtesy Paul Brazill)

Raquel Stecher: Panique; The Graduate at 50

Rick: The Fortune Cookie; Detectorists

Rod Lott: Attack of the Morningside Monster; Beware! The Blob

Ruth Kerr: Great Villains Blogathon

Salome Wilde: The Scarlet Hour v. Pushover

Scott A. Cupp: Night of the Lepus

Serena Bramble: The Light Between Oceans

Sergio Angelini: Inspector Morse: "The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn" (Sergio points us to Chris Sullivan's post on this episode.)

Stacia Kissick Jones: Macbeth (1948 film); Daisy Kenyon

Stacie Ponder: The Haunting


Steve Lewis: Desire and Hell at the Sunset MotelNine Lives are Not Enough; The Black Tent

Stephen Bowie: UK television: The Man in Room 17; It's Dark Outside; The Plane Makers; Public Eye

Stephen Gallagher: The Beast of Hollow Mountain

Television Obscurities: Your Television Babysitter (Dumont Network, 1948-51)

Todd Mason: Soundstage, Jazz Casual, Playboy's Penthouse and other jazz television and film footage featuring Lambert, Hendricks and Ross or Bavan

Tynan: The 400 Blows; Divorce, Italian Style

Vienna: That's Entertainment!

Walker Martin: Windy City Pulp Convention 2017

Yvette Banek: The Manchurian Candidate (1962 film)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Whole Lot of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross (and LH & Bavan): Saturday Music Club

The two versions of the trio that were the greatest US exponents of jazz vocalese...the first episode of the third season of Fargo features their recording of "Moanin'" prominently...the first album stack features that recording, from LH&R's first CBS LP:


Jumping back a year or so, to their first album:
















And a collection that includes the second album, from Pacific Jazz, The Swingers!, and other sessions:


And then their third album, with Joe Williams, Sing Along with Basie:


Live video tracks and fellow travelers:








The second album with CBS: LH&R Sing Ellington (and it continues to include the third CBS album High Flying, which begins with "Come on Home" and ends with "Mr. PC", and a few other tracks--which will follow, though you might have to hit the "Watch on YouTube" button when and if it pops up below):

The post-High Flying tracks are 
"Walkin'"
"This Here" aka "Dis Hyuh"
"Swingin' Till the Girls Come Home"
"Twist City"
"Just a Little Bit of Twist"
"A Night in Tunisia"
and an alternate take of "A Night in Tunisia"









The Real Ambassadors (with the Brubeck Trio, Carmen McRae and Louis Armstrong):


Ross leaves, and Lambert, Hendricks and Bavan go forward; 
Live At Newport '63:


LH&B's second album, Basin Street East:


And their third and last...they break up, and in 1966, Lambert killed by a truck while fixing someone's tire for them on a roadside:


And a stack of video recordings, led off by a 1975 Soundstage episode featuring Ross and Hendricks:

Friday, April 21, 2017

FFB: 100 Best Books books (and lists and such)

The other day, FFB founder and usual gatherer Patti Abbott was asking her social-media correspondents what she should look into for key works of fantasy fiction, since she felt that she hadn't done enough reading in that area. She received a lot of mostly good suggestions, in the way such things go, and I was reminded of all the works that exist, as books of recommendations and online lists of varying degrees of institutional and demotic weight, that try to scratch the same itch...and the books, certainly, are there to make a few bucks while serving their argumentation and illumination purposes as well.

I'm also surprised, given that I'm a sucker for such volumes, that I've only "formally" addressed two of the (primarily) crime fiction volumes of this sort in FFB entries, H.R. F. Keating's Crime & Mystery: The 100 Best Books and David Morrell and Hank Wagner 's anthology Thrillers: 100 Must Reads, while mentioning others from time to time, such as Anthony Burgess's Ninety-Nine Novels and particularly Stephen Jones and Kim Newman's Horror: 100 Best Books, which, like the Morrell & Wagner is one of those which taps a hundred or so other writers to chose a single volume they'd like to highlight as one of a hundred that deserve inclusion. Sentiment plays a role at times, as does a certain desire on the part of some contributors to challenge the assumptions of the reader (Robert Bloch, for example, cited a now rather obscure book by a now rather overlooked writer, Alexander Laing's 1935 novel The Cadaver of Gideon Wyck; Robert McCammon brings in Walter Van Tilburg Clark's brilliant and harrowing western The Track of the Cat). The Newman and Jones book was eventually followed by Horror: Another 100 Best
Books, which as a second bite is if anything more interesting than the first, as most of the low-hanging classics were already dealt with in the first volume...allowing for the argument, in all senses, to move onto not only those inexcusably missing from the first volume but also more works that are more usually thought of as Not Horror, but fantasy, suspense fiction, science fiction, absurdist fiction and the like to be proposed in the horror context. 

Seemingly, Michael Moorcock and James Cawthorn's Fantasy: The 100 Best Books would be the title we all should collectively have handed to Patti, along with the more narrowly-focused David Pringle volume, Modern Fantasy: The 100 Best Novels. The Moorcock and Cawthorn is a better selection of titles, in part due to the wider range of dates and not restricting itself to novels (though it does overrepresent novels), and including fewer items (while still including some) that are more historically important or interesting (and usually both) than remotely good by any stretch of critical consideration: several relatively minor writers get two selections in the Moorcock/Cawthorn while others are missing altogether, while Pringle, while including such worthies as R. A. Lafferty and William Kotzwinkle (and more Angela Carter than the other guys did), also finds room for the execrable work of  Stephen Donaldson and Robert Heinlein's at best half-assed Glory Road. M&C inexcusably leave out Borges; neither book includes any Italo Calvino or Jane Yolen or...

But since these are all matters of taste, tempered by genuine desire (usually, at very least) to soberly assess the quality of the given work, and none can be considered a True Writ From On High except by the dullest among us (and, yet, sadly, too often they are treated thus, by the most institutional among us), as is clear when one also considers the similarly intended Modern Library rankings, between their editorial panel's choices of the 100 best fiction books  (with mostly selections that are hard to argue with, except in the rankings, and a few that are ludicrous or nearly so) and the popularity poll the Modern Library gathered votes for at the same time (many ludicrous choices, and some merely obviously the result of fannish enthusiasm game-rigging the votes, and a few choices that are notable for being rather better than some on the panel's list).  Flannery O'Connor and Thomas Pynchon made the Vox Pop list, along with trash from Rand, Hubbard and Bach, but didn't make the Expert List, which instead assures us that Winesburg, Ohio (interesting, but more groundbreaking than immortal) and Tropic of Cancer were more worthy than anything by any number of other, better writers, including O'Connor and Pynchon. Larry McCaffery and Radcliffe students were among those who came up with widely-circulated lists in response...McCaffery's was (mostly) better than the Expert list, the Radcliffe list slightly better on women writers but worse overall. 

And, always, this is an ongoing discussion...and all cited are valuable reminders that one needs to know of, at least, all the items in each collection to have a true grounding in each field. For more of today's books, please see Patti Abbott's blog. Next week, I'll be hosting, while Patti and Megan Abbott wonder if they'll be walking away with with odd little Edgar Allan Poe busts, from the Mystery Writers of America annual convention.