Mala Fide dotcom

mala fide: (Late Latin) With or in bad faith, treacherously.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

17 OCT 02

The punchline (that’s the pithy italicized bit at the end) for Monday’s post was translated into French by the BabelFish translator. Machine translators have shortcomings and BabelFish is no exception. According to Pythonette (archive) it should have been "Est-il qu’il est foncé dans ici ou est-il c’est moi simplement?" Pythonette (archive) has a French minor. Is that legal?

Recently I purchased a copy of one of my favorite films, The Magnificent Seven, on DVD. TM7 is a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Shichinin no samurai/Seven Samurai as a Western. Since Shichinin no samurai/Seven Samurai was inspired by Westerns, it’s not as unlikely as it sounds. I can’t praise this movie enough, it’s the epitome of the Guy Movie. The script, the cast, the director, even the score, come together to make this film untouchable.

DVD has a lot of potential beyond picture quality. One of the more interesting features is the commentary track. It’s usually the director, and perhaps some of the actors or crew, describing why and how the movie was shot the way it was as the movies plays. When it’s done well it really adds to the experience of the film.

It’s hard to tell when the TM7 DVD was released, in 2001 or 2002, but either way the commentary track was recorded 40 years or more after the movie was released. John Sturges died well before the DVD’s release so we don’t have his commentary, instead it’s provided by Walter Mirisch (Executive Producer), Robert Relyea (Assistant Director), Eli Wallach ("Calvera", the bandit leader), and James Coburn ("Britt", one of the Seven). Because of the 40 year gap it’s not the scene by scene deconstruction of a newer movie and the commentary, while usually interesting, often has nothing to do with what’s happening onscreen. And unfortunately it often turns into the repetitive meanderings of old(er) men on the state of film today. Still, the commentary track does add to the film and it’s good to hear that Eli Wallach has still got that wicked bandit laugh. This DVD is worth adding to your library.

One thing that I found very telling was something that Mirisch brought up early in the film. Before Sturges died, he was asked to write an article about another film that he and Mirisch worked on, The Great Escape. Sturges had a need to consult the film’s script and found that he didn’t have a copy. Sturges called Mirisch to see if he had one. When Mirisch told Sturges that he was surprised that Sturges didn’t have a copy, Sturges told him, "Why should I? I thought we were making movies, not history." That probably explains why Sturges’ work is so good.

“We deal in lead, friend.”

posted by latiolais at 0800  

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

16 OCT 02

Still ill. Look at the stereogram again.


posted by latiolais at 0800  

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

15 OCT 02

I’ve got a cold. Go see the stereogram I’ve added to the Mr. Happy page.

Something clever.

posted by latiolais at 0800  

Monday, October 14, 2002

14 OCT 02

"To make ourselves invisible to creditors or the envious, and even our own worries, we can take advantage here on earth of a great democratic institution – in fact, democracy’s only success – the night."

Jean Giraudoux

"Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of the day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree."

Antione De Saint Exupréy

Est-il foncé dedans ici ou est-il seulement moi?

posted by latiolais at 0800  

Saturday, October 12, 2002

12-13 OCT 02

One of my neighbors owns a Big Ass Truck and usually parks it in two spaces in front of my building. It shouldn’t be in two spaces and the owner doesn’t even live in this building. Last week the situation became obnoxious enough for me to take action. I’ve been taking several pictures of the BAT each day; these are modified versions of the head on shot.


04 OCT 02 – This is the incident that set me off. It’s parked directly in front of my door. This set was brought to the office. I asked the management to talk to the driver because I never see them. Not to mention the fact that a bunch of little blonde cowgirls would be less inclined to open a can of whoopass.


05 OCT 02 – Another flagrant offense. This time it’s in front of the now empty townhouse next to my apartment. The BAT was often parked here even when the townhouse wasn’t empty.


06 OCT 02 – It can fit in one space. I think that this disproves the “lone driver” theory.


08 OCT 02 – I missed a day. Sue me.


09 OCT 02 – A very nasty day. Even with the flash this set is murky. I think that the office had a talk with the owner. The BAT was reasonably well parked this day and has been since. The passenger side wheels are just on the unseen line and the space next to the BAT is usable.


10 OCT 02 – A bit of a backslide, but not too awful. A small car, say for instance mine,could fit in the next slot but it would be offensively close to the BAT. Only a cad would attempt such a base deed. Good thing I was parked already, huh?


11 OCT 02 – This isn’t too bad either, but again some small car driving dastard could slip into the space on the driver’s side and effectively block that door. Too bad I was on my way to work.

There’s a new pariah in Truckville.

posted by latiolais at 0800  

Friday, October 11, 2002

11 OCT 02

I began writing about the empty shopping centers of Texas City on my lunch break. My flatmate and I refer to them as the "Haunted Mall" and the "Haunted Factory Outlet Center" because they’re always empty, very empty, whenever we’ve been there. The mall has taken to painting fake storefronts to make the place look occupied. We make jokes about how tired we feel after a visit and blame the ghosts for draining our life force. We kid about going to the mall and never returning because of being taken by the spirits. I had a nice piece of writing shaping up and was looking forward to finishing it. When I got home I recalled the Texas City explosion.

On April 16, 1947 a Liberty ship, the Grandcamp, loaded with ammonium nitrate fertilizer exploded with a blast heard 150 miles away. Fireman fought to contain the resulting fires, but they spread and caused the explosion of another Liberty ship, the High Flyer, loaded with fertilizer and sulphur. The High Flyer’s demise was even more horrendous than the Grandcamp’s. In the end 600 people were killed, 3500 were injured, and millions of dollars (billions in today’s money) of property damage occurred.

The "Haunted Mall" piece has been dropped. Instead I’m going to salvage what I can and pick on my tres gothique flatmate, and by extension all women, about shopping.

Mme. Gothique has to make special trips into downtown Houston to find just the right “top”, will agonize over the decision for days, and take several trips to make one purchase. I’m well served by the local Target (prononcé de la façon française, SVP) and Marshall’s. My clothes are variations on a few basic colors; my goal is to be able to reach into my closet, pick clothing randomly, and be sartorially congruous. In all fairness, the last time Mme. Gothique and I went to the Haunted Factory Outlet Center, I’m the one who dropped the most cash, but it was for a computer game and four pairs of nearly identical khakis. Still, I doubt you’ll ever hear a man say something like, "I need a powder blue peasant top to go with the skirt I got to match the shoes I bought to go with my new handbag." We save our pathological specificity for our sexual tastes.

"Honey, would you wear the pearls and opera gloves, and pretend to be a Tilly tonight?"

posted by latiolais at 0800  
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