Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Sunday, January 06, 2008

A friend dropping by unexpectedly kept me from the Bach cello suites Friday night, and work and family obligations have kept me away the last two days; hope to get back to it tomorrow.

Meanwhile, some big news in my social circle.

An old friend from college has won an award from the National Society of Film Critics: FILM HERITAGE AWARD “to Ross Lipman of the UCLA Film and Television Archive for the restoration of Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep and other independent films.” I saw Killer of Sheep shortly before Ross and his family came to visit last summer, and it’s tremendous. Burnett captured the grit and grinding-ness of poverty in an America slum, without hysteria or self-pity, in a way I’ve never seen in another fictional film. With a strong strain of unsentimental dignity and resilience, and nothing like much hope. An indelible film.

* * *

We took down the Christmas tree today, the last day of Christmas; 2007 really is done. A lot of vivid, memorable stuff happened in the last year that didn’t make it onto the blog because of a shortage of time or energy. Seeing Killer of Sheep was one of them; seeing recent videos of
Ross’s in my living room a week later was another. And now he’s won a big award -- congratulations!

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