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hd update: lucinda williams

Well, that was fun!

For one thing, I don't know why I hadn't figured this out in advance, but there's more to HDTV than a great picture ... the sound is pretty amazing, too. So Lucinda and her band sounded excellent.

Beyond that, I can tell you what color her eyes are (green), how much makeup she wears (enough to hide at least some of her 50 years), where you can see all of the 50 years (her hands), how good her teeth are (not as good as mine). In other words, the picture was pretty astonishing. This was the best HD show I've seen since we got it last week.

spirited away


Seemed to take me forever to finally watch this movie, and it was well worth the wait. I'm forever searching for films that reflect what I think of as the world of Philip K. Dick novels. Movies based on Dick books rarely meet my approval, but once in awhile, some other picture will find the psychedelic spirit of Dick's best work. You don't expect to find it in a "children's movie," for sure, but I take what I can get.

There are a bunch of astonishing creatures in Spirited Away, and most of them would make sense as intergalactic beings from a PKD novel. My favorites were the little soot thingies ... that's what they are, soot with arms and legs ... but there's plenty more where that came from.

It's a wonderful movie, accurately described by Andrew O'Hehir in a Salon review:

To those who want to ask practical questions, such as whether "Spirited Away" is an appropriate movie for children, I have no answers. Arguably it isn't an appropriate movie for anybody.
I give it a 9 on a scale of 10.

more dead people

The New York Times, like every other newspaper in what used to be called the Western World, ran an obituary for Bob Hope. What made the Times Obit different is that theirs was written by Vincent Canby.

Canby's been dead for almost three years.

I want Pauline Kael to write my obituary. Or maybe F. Scott Fitzgerald.

(Thanks to Mark Evanier for pointing this one out.)