This film noir from John Huston features Humphrey Bogart, in a truly iconic, star-making performance, and the great Sydney Greenstreet, in his debut on the big screen. Peter Lorre, Mary Astor, and Elisha Cook, Jr. are also all brilliant, with the latter portraying the “Gunsel” (a term author Dashiell Hammett snuck by the Powers That Be).
Iconic scenes from Pusher, Elegy, and Jose Chung’s From Outer Space. Featuring Robert Wisden, Nancy Fish, and Charles Nelson Reilly.
The truly great Canadian singer/songwriter, the “Godfather of Grunge”, and master of delicate, deeply personal folk, Mr. Neil Young stands unquestionably as a titan of countless genres of music. Since his early days with Buffalo Springfield, and throughout his later peregrinations both with and without Crazy Horse, Young has embodied the restless spirit of a true creator. The above represents but a smattering of indelible performances by this singular artist.
This chilling remake of the 1971 film features Crispin Glover at the very height of his mighty powers. R. Lee Ermey also provides a top-notch performance as Willard’s less than sympathetic boss. Certain people get what’s coming to them. In the first vid, Willard (Glover), in total impotent outrage, shakes his metaphorical fist at the gods of futility and unfairness, with William S. Taylor as the messenger of said dreadful gods. A meltdown of über proportions.
One of the very greatest songwriters of our era, Leonard Cohen is not only an exemplary denizen of Canada, but is clearly one of the toppest-notch humanoid bipeds of all time. And the man knew how to deliver the goods, when performing his brilliant, poetic, powerful compositions.
Lyric excerpt, from The Future:
Give me back my broken night
My mirrored room, my secret life
It’s lonely here
There’s no one left to torture
Give me absolute control
Over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby
That’s an order!
Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that’s left
And stuff it up the hole
In your culture
Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St Paul
I’ve seen the future, brother:
It is murder
This extremely undervalued film features a fascinating, rather offbeat and unsettling screenplay by author William Peter Blatty, and excellent performances by George C. Scott, Nancy Fish, and Scott Wilson. Brad Dourif’s mesmerizing tour de force as the Gemini Killer is iconic and unforgettable.
Three nonpareil artists, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker, create a remarkable synergy that has yet to be equalled to this day.
The maestro of Ethiopian saxophone: Gétatchèw Mèkurya. His music boasts a truly distinctive “nightmare carnival” quality that felled me upon first listen. The purveyors of a Colorado restaurant were kind enough to make a cassette copy for me, and it was off to the races.
Your author has spent many an hour in rapt engagement with the sport of tennis. Since the early 1970s, it has been my favorite sport to watch and to play. The above constitutes my highly opinionated (yet utterly impartial…) list of the greatest practitioners I’ve ever witnessed. The order might well be in flux, but as for now, I feel comfortable with Roger Federer at #1, Pete Sampras #2, Björn Borg #3, Raphael Nadal #4, and Novak Djokovic #5.
Those who follow these five legends could all be considered “Honorable Mention”, as I feel the top 5 are simply a cut above. This is certainly not meant as a slight, as all included here are geniuses of the game. In no order, I’ve selected John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi, Arthur Ashe, and Boris Becker.
What criteria were used? Mostly, the eye and gut test. Certainly, career accomplishments were very much factored in. But, I went primarily by feel. Federer is quite simply the greatest tennis player I’ve seen. No one quite compares. What he’s done on the court is both sublime *and* ridiculous. After the Swiss maestro, we thought Sampras barely nosed out the Swede on the strength of, surprise, his immense first and second serves. Borg, the mightiest titan I had beheld in my youth, is next; the man’s groundstrokes revolutionized the game, with their blistering topspin. He was also *insanely* fast. Rafa takes #4, on the merits of his own wicked topspin forehand, foot speed, and indomitable will. And speaking of indomitable, the same applies to Mr. Djokovic. His return of serve is also probably the most effective/intimidating we’ve seen.
A final word on Federer, from the man who knows him best: Rafa Nadal. “If he is playing very good, I have to play unbelievable. If not, it’s impossible, especially if he’s playing with good confidence. When he’s 100 per cent, he’s playing in another league. It’s impossible to stop him.” – 2007
Yuja Wang and Jun Asai are two surreal talents. Already phenomenally accomplished at their youthful ages, these two have the world at their feet. We have much to marvel at now, and much more to look forward to.