"So we beat on, boats against the current"

M. here - sorta like Kafka's K., but hopefully a little funnier. I'm currently working on an M.A. in Literature, continuing my work in academia as a scholar on Philip Roth, Woody Allen, Ingmar Bergman and Mad Men.


Going to The Reel Thing this weekend? Don’t miss this panel on Criterion’s restoration of The Apu Trilogy featuring Lee Kline and Chris Zembower on August 23rd!

“The Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray is considered to be among the most important achievements in the very rich and diverse tradition of Indian cinema. But when Criterion set out to remaster the three films of the trilogy – Pather Panchali, Aparajito and Apur Sansar, there was no indication of how difficult the task would be. The films were beautifully shot in black-and-white by Subrata Mitra, Ray’s great cinematographer, but have long been available only in low quality video editions and rare 35mm prints.”

“This presentation will talk about the preservation program for these films conducted in the 1990’s by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which included the devastating fire at a film laboratory in 1993 that damaged or destroyed a number of negatives. There were no technologies available in 1993 capable of restoring the deeply damaged film elements. When this current Ray remastering project was initiated, these materials were revisited. Many portions were indeed burned to ash. Nevertheless, some of the negative had survived, and after further inspection and consultation with the Academy Film Archive, the fragments were consigned to Bologna’s Immagine Ritrovata, where technicians rehydrated the film, painstakingly fixed the sprockets and other physical damage, and made 4k wet gate scans of the remaining reels for all three films. This work required hundreds of hours of exacting and meticulous hand labor by expert film preparators. Using fine grain masters and duplicate negatives from Janus Films, the Academy and the BFI, suitable replacements were made for the non-usable or missing sections of the original negatives. To control costs, a workflow developed for a previous project (A Hard Day’s Night) was deployed.”

“The presentation will be in four sections: outlining the importance of the films, the 1994 preservation project, the phase of detailed film repair and scanning, and the 4k workflow that made this project economically feasible.”

If this doesn’t mean that we’re getting an Apu trilogy box set in December, or sometime next year, then FML while I GDIAF. 


The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air 2x09 - “Cased Up” (November 11, 1991)

(via juliakip)


“The characters that I play are real. They are real so they have as much right to be portrayed as any other characters.”

— Robert De Niro

(via octupusjam)

The country is only concerned about non-violence if it seems that [black people are] going to get violent.

It’s not worried about non-violence if it’s some Alabama sheriff

—James Baldwin, "The Negro and the American Promise" (via sonofbaldwin)

(via likethebrimofahat)


Edna Ferber was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on this day in 1885.

“Life can’t ever really defeat a writer who is in love with writing, for life itself is a writer’s lover until death – fascinating, cruel, lavish, warm, cold, treacherous, constant.” ― Edna Ferber



The Arrest of the “Voudous”: African-American Leaders’ Conflicted Response to Police Tactics in the Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case of 1870

During Reconstruction, the biracial police force of New Orleans responded to the rumors that Mollie Digby, the kidnapped daughter of Irish immigrants, had been captured for use as a human sacrifice. The police arrested more than a dozen “prominent Voudous,” even when it was clear the women had no connection to the crime. “Their influence over the negro population is such,” the New Orleans Times said of the female Voodoo detainees, “that with proper appliances the truth may be brought out.”

Many African Americans viewed the arrest and interrogation of black women with ambivalence. On the one hand, they wanted the integrated Metropolitan Police to succeed and felt the force was being unfairly criticized as ineffective by the white press. On the other hand, they thought officers were unjustly harassing black women. In late June, the John Brown Pioneer Radical Republican Club, a leading black political organization from the Digbys’ Third Ward neighborhood, issued a public proclamation about the case. The club’s members were staunch supporters of Radical Reconstruction who had campaigned to remove the words “white” and “colored” from the state’s laws and who funded lawsuits against inns, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses that denied club members equal service. They felt torn as black policemen aggressively interrogated many of their neighbors. In their proclamation they asked whether the police had convincing evidence “that the child of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Digby was kidnapped by a colored woman” and wondered whether the Digby case was being used “to create prejudice and distrust against the colored people as a class.” At the same time, they asserted that the Metropolitans were “as efficient a police corps as can be found in any city” and were “making use of all means in human power to bring the guilty to justice.” The reactionary white press quickly picked up on this apparent contradiction and lampooned the “Sable John Brown Club” for “its praise of the police who, it complains, have been guilty of unjustly arresting thirty colored women.”

Michael A. Ross is author of The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case
Race, Law, and Justice in the Reconstruction Era.

Billie Holiday

—Strange Fruit

75 years ago, on this date, Billie Holiday recorded a song that Time Magazine would call song of the century: Strange Fruit, a song written about a lynching in the South. 

Holiday first performed the song at Cafe Society in 1939. She said that singing it made her fearful of retaliation but, because its imagery reminded her of her father, she continued to sing the piece making it a regular part of her live performances. Because of the poignancy of the song, Josephson drew up some rules: Holiday would close with it; the waiters would stop all service in advance; the room would be in darkness except for a spotlight on Holiday’s face; and there would be no encore. During the musical introduction, Holiday would stand with her eyes closed, as if she were evoking a prayer.

(Source: salsmineo, via innaudiblemelodiess)

The Genius of Robin Williams in “Aladdin”



Ian Crouch reflects on what he considers to be the actor’s most iconic performance:

“Thanks to Williams’s generosity and full-throttle sincerity as a performer, the jokes that went over the kids’ heads never felt exclusionary or as if they had been included at our expense. Instead, they were a warm and thrilling invitation to aspire toward joining the adult table, where Williams would put you at ease by poking you under the table and making fart noises.”

(Source: newyorker.com)

What desire can be contrary to nature since it was given to man by nature itself?

—Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason (via vintageanchorbooks)

Suicides go up when a famous person dies after losing their battle with mental illness. If you’re thinking of suicide, call 800-283-8255. (x)

Suicides go up when a famous person dies after losing their battle with mental illness. If you’re thinking of suicide, call 800-283-8255. (x)

(Source: autumnblitz, via driveshaftgroupie)




1. Eric Garner executed on July 17th, 2014. Put in illegal choke hold and strangled by the NYPD

2. Pregnant lady gets put in an illegal chokehold by an NYPD officer for “illegally grilling” while her seven year old daughter watches July 27th, 2014

3. NYPD enters wrong house and drags a naked woman across the floor, then pepper sprays her four year old grandson August 2nd, 2014.

4. Man shot and killed by police for holding a toy gun in a Walmart, Dayton, Ohio - August 6th, 2014

5. Unarmed Black teen shot ten times by the Ferguson Police while walking home with his friend from the convenience store - August 9th, 2014

Since July 17th there has been five reported occurrences exemplifying the police and American justice system’s lack of reverence for Black life. These are the five stories that were able to attract at least minimal attention. Who knows what is going on out there covered up (like the Ferguson police is trying to do with Mike Brown’s murder), unrecorded, and unknown. In the past 23 days the police have perpetrated the humiliation, degradation, and murdering of Black dignity,souls, and people. Knowledge is power. Do not rely on mainstream media to give you the full/accurate story. They will always be complicit in the devaluing of Black life because Blackness has been criminalized in America. Please spread these stories and add any more that you know of under the hashtag #badges are the new hoods. We need to start documenting, and spreading information. They will try to silence us as they did to Ramsey Orta, and Alba Lekaj, the people who filmed the NYPD harasing and murdering Eric Garner. But united we can make a difference.  Knowledge is power. Stay woke Black America, Stay woke.

this happened in the past 23 days

(via thoughshesfeminine)

I’m like the Mother Theresa of #kittens

I’m like the Mother Theresa of #kittens