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The Coolest Kids In America. For a Few More Days

Jordan | Out & About | Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

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I don’t normally grow attached to the people I give tours to, but this crew of 16 year old Francophone Ottowans (did you know there were Francophones outside of Quebec? I didn’t!) are so much cooler than you or me. Here are many of them on and around the Alice In Wonderland sculpture in Central Park.

May ’05 Photo Dump

Jordan | E-motions,Goober,Tales Of Hoffman | Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

Ann goes nuts.

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Goober sleeping next to the computer. Very difficult to use the mouse pad.

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Max Tabatt — an odd looking dog.

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The crew plays poker.

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Robert Haussmann, the Wizened Caliph of Carroll Gardens.

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Before the poker game, a hearty brew of the most fierce salsa ever tasted. Many habanero peppers died to make this sauce. Please note — the Homestar Runner “StrongBad Zone” T-Shirt. Indeed, one taste of this mighty tomato-based concoction and your head asplodes. (Head if you’re lucky.)

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The crew at the Promenade.

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A Prayer For The Red Signal

Jordan | E-motions | Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

My subway rides will never be the same — or long enough. Thanks to the miracle of Podcasting, I can now listen to the Brian Lehrer Show whenever I want, wherever I want. This is, no question, the coolest thing in the world.

Smiles of a Summer Night (1955), Ingmar Bergman, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, May 28th, 2005

Before Ingmar Bergman decided to make experimental films or unbearably depressing films or tinker with the mechanics of death he made this light sex comedy. Well. . .light by Swedish standards, I suppose. There are laughs, but there are also line deliveries to the stars on the order of “we are all cold and frightened.” Anyway, there are some beautiful scenes, a dude with a monocle and all the women are ridiculously attractive. Quite good.

Tron (1982), Steven Lisberger, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, May 28th, 2005

It was 1 AM — I’d lost a boatload at cards — my apartment was a mess — my stomach ached from hot salsa and anchovy pizza — somehow it seemed the right moment to watch Tron. Last watched it on Sept 6 but it is burned so deep in my soul I’ve practically got it memorized. My grandparents bought it for me as a youngster (back when VHS tapes cost, like $75!) and, somehow, when I was a kid, the movie all made sense. Watching it now, one is swept away with glee at just how little the filmmakers cared if their picture made sense or not. There is no logic, just cool blue shit. Also, director Lisberger, obviously thinking more about the blue shit than the acting, just does not know how to use a talent like Jeff Bridges. He was already a great actor (see him in Fat City as a young tyke) and he’s trying to mix it up here — but the dichotomy (everyone else acting like they are in a George Lucas film) just doesn’t work. Plus, there is one scene where Bridges is supposed to be playing his program character (“Clu”) but starts delivers a few lines like his wisenhimer video game programmer (“Flynn”). I say — all the more reason to love Tron. The real question — why would a major corporation with defense contracts have any time to, um, steal ideas for video games? But, please, if you start asking questions, it will just distract you.

Y Merengue

Jordan | E-motions | Friday, May 27th, 2005

I made my own salsa. It doesn’t entirely suck, but it isn’t exactly what I had in mind. That’s what you get when you don’t look at a recipe and don’t have any real ingredients in the house. Also — there’s about 2 gallons of it.

The Postman (1997), Kevin Costner, C

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, May 27th, 2005

Y’know, it’s interesting — when you have such low expectations, when you are expecting something as bad as “Battlefield Earth,” and the first 2 of 3 hours don’t entirely suck, you find yourself delighted. The concept of this movie is so ridiculously bad, so in-the-spirit of Ed Wood, so earnest, so straightfaced, that you can’t help but have respect for it. And there actually are some good scenes at the beginning. The end though — it’s like they got tired of making this film as we got tired of watching it. It makes absolutely no sense, but you won’t complain, you’ll just be glad it is over. But worth seeing — see it for the chutzpah as well as the swelling James Newton Howard score as Costner picks up the little boy’s piece of mail. (Yes, you read that right — “Postman” isn’t a metaphor — this post-apocalyptic action adventure film is about mail.)

Hey Big Bow-Dee

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Friday, May 27th, 2005

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Who ever rocked harder than the Melvins?

Ottomans on Madison

Jordan | Out & About | Thursday, May 26th, 2005

The other day it was Coocoo Gonuts Turkey Day, or something. These guys were large and in charge.

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If I was a better photographer I’d've waited for the decisive moment, when the dog was lookin’ right at me. But then we wouldn’t see the baffled face of the little girl.

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Here’s the CityCorp Center from an odd angle.

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The Whole Sick Crew

Jordan | Out & About | Thursday, May 26th, 2005

Here we are outside of Katz’ Deli after a gut-busting lunch of Knishes, Corned Beef, Egg Creams and Pickles. Oy.

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A few minutes earlier, George Hoffman took a page out of Anthony Burgess’ book and visited a store called Store.

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A Second Second Arrangement

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Thursday, May 26th, 2005

The story goes that the number Walter Becker and Donald Fagen were most proud of from the Gaucho album was The Second Arrangement. It was mistakenly erased by a putz engineer. An attempt was made to re-record, but they felt the magic was missing and they recorded Third World Man instead. The second version can be heard here, and an earlier demo can be heard here. With a little imagination you can hear what would have been.

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), Richard Marquand, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, May 26th, 2005

The thing that struck me most, having seen the transitional Episode III, is the new way I perceive the Empire. As a child, I thought of the stormtroopers and workers on the Star Destroyers as evil men who chose to join this nasty group — chose to join the Dark Side, if you will. Looking at it now, we recognize that the Empire is the default. They are just the citizens who either don’t realize or don’t care that their daily existence is promoting evil. It’s heavy stuff. Also — the Ewoks are cute. And Jabba the Hutt rules. When it is all said and done, Jabba is by far my favorite character in all six episodes. The real question: who is sexier — Leia in the metal bikini or Amadala in the ripped white jump suit?

Tout Va Bien (1972), Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin (a/k/a The Dziga-Vertov Group), C-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

If this is the most enjoyable of the Dziga-Vertov Group’s films, I’m not sure I’ll be first on line when Film Forum has the retrospective. In fact, now is as good a time as any to announce that, with the exception of the very recent Notre Musique, Jean-Luc Godard’s work after “Le Week-End” is varying degrees of crap. Even the J. Hoberman essay in the DVD’s booklet says something on the order of, “seeing this again decades later, it doesn’t suck as much as I remember.” Other than the cutaway set of the first sequence (think Team Zissou) and the lengthy tracking shot at the giant supermarket (where you can actually see the petit bourgeouis up close — buying PRODUCE! Sacre Bleu!) there is nothing to here that Godard hasn’t done much better in his earlier films. Jane Fonda doesn’t even wear sexy outfits.

An Afternoon With Goober

Jordan | Goober | Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

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Wyatt Earp (1994), Lawrence Kasdan, D+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, May 23rd, 2005

Three hours and twenty minutes of what feels like unedited footage spliced together with no thought given to story arc or pacing. Some scenes are good, others are just. . . talk. Probably a decent idea in utero (show Wyatt Earp for the fascist paranoid he was — but, you know, with a “code”) and hire decent actors to do it. Location photography looks great, but it is pretty hard to fuck up the American southwest.

Jason and the Argonauts (1963), Don Chafee, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, May 23rd, 2005

For those out there saying Hayden Christiansen is a bad actor, he’s like Lawrence Olivier and Meryl Streep’s love child compared to Todd Armstrong. Anyway, I like a good movie with Zeus in it now & again, and this gets the job done. Ray Harryhausen’s specal effects were very ahead of their time and still are exciting.

Amateur (1994), Hal Hartley, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, May 23rd, 2005

I was disappointed by this film when it came out, but last night, on cable, I found it pretty enjoyable. Who knew it was a mid-90s period piece? (music by Pavement, PJ Harvey, etc.) If you are in the right state of mind it is whimsical, yet still, you know, kinda heavy. I always liked Elina Lowensohn. She seems to’ve disappeared.

Ladies in Lavender (2005), Charles Dance, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, May 22nd, 2005

Critics have been unkind to this film — I think people just won’t accept older people having sexual feelings. Anyway, Maggie Smith and Judi Dench play spinster sisters between the wars in a little seaside cottage who go all gaga for a mysterious Polish violin player. It’s a lovely, subtle little film. The music is terrific and the sound system at the Paris is terrific, leading my father to remark, again and again, “It’s like a symphony orchestra in here!”

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