If September was notable for anything, it would be for movies. The bad news is that Netflix’s DVD service came to an end after 25 years. I had been a steady user of that service for the last 22 of those years. I’m very disappointed by this since not everything is available through streaming services. I certainly won’t be lacking movies to watch, but I often relied on Netflix for those titles only available on DVD or on streaming services I don’t subscribe to. I could go on and on about this but will just leave it at my being disappointed.
One upside is that I get to keep the last DVDs I got from them: Zhangke Jia’s 24 City (which is only available streaming on Vudu), Billy Wilder’s One Two Three (which isn’t available streaming anywhere), and Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang (which is available through a variety of sources). I managed my queue so that I ended up with movies I would want to keep. I haven’t seen 24 City but I love many of his other movies like Still Life, A Touch of Sin, Mountains May Depart, and Ash Is Purest White. I’ve seen One Two Three a couple of times and love it. I find it to be one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. It’s shocking that a Billy Wilder movie starring James Cagney is a movie that will no longer be readily available. I saw Mustang at the 2015 Philadelphia Film Festival and it’s one of my favorite films I’ve seen there.
In better movie news, The Criterion Channel added all of Hal Hartley’s films, both his features and his shorts. I’ve been a big fan of his for years and have seen all his feature films. Despite having seen them all before, I’ve been working my way through everything in chronological order with the exception of No Such Thing which is the one film that rotated off at the end of the month. I hadn’t seen No Such Thing in probably 20 years. I recalled not liking it and on a second viewing, I reaffirmed my opinion. It’s by far Hartley’s weakest film. It’s the one film he doesn’t hold the rights to which may explain why it’s the one film to not survive September. In addition to No Such Thing, I re-watched The Unbelievable Truth, Trust, Surviving Desire, Simple Men, Amateur, and Flirt.
The final good movie news is that Holly and I saw Daisies on the big screen as part of the Philadelphia Film Society’s screening of all 100 of the British Film Institute’s best films of all time. Daisies came in at number 28. I only became aware of this film within the last decade, but it quickly became one of my all time favorites. Daises is a film I never thought I’d see in a theater and was thrilled that the opportunity came about.
In non-movie news, Holly and I took a train ride to the suburbs to meet my brother for dinner. We went to Radice, an Italian restaurant we’ve been to a number of times. Usually, we take the train to my brother’s and then he drives all of us to dinner. That ends up being a little bit of a long trip since it’s about a 40 minute drive in addition to the train ride.
We decided to take the train to a stop closer to the restaurant for my brother to pick us up there for the short drive to the restaurant. At first, we thought about taking an earlier train to explore the area. But a little research revealed there wasn’t much to see, so we stuck to our original plan to just head there for dinner. It worked out fine. I’m not sure we’d do it again since it didn’t really save all that much time, but it was fun to try.
Dinner at Radice was delicious as always.
As I mentioned in my August Update, I had worked through Samantha Dion Baker’s Draw Your Day. I enjoyed that enough to start her book Draw Your World. I worked through some early exercises as well as quickly sketching my glasses.
I also mentioned in last month’s update that I had taken some film photos at the Painted Bride Arts Center. I have since finished that roll and hope to post about it soon.
Last month, I read and absolutely loved Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend which made me want to re-read her What Are You Going Through which I first read about 3 years ago. Loved it then and loved it on a 2nd read. As with The Friend, What Are You Going Through is very much about death, but Nunez’s humor, empathy, and insights makes it a lighter read than it could have been. I very excited that she has a new book, The Vulnerables, coming out later this year.
I also finished Lauren Groff’s fabulous new book, The Vaster Wilds. I’m a fan of many of her short stories as well as her novels, Fates and Furies and Matrix. The Vaster Wilds is set in the early colonial years in the United States. The main character escapes from a failing settlement and tries to survive in the wilderness. She’s basically the only character and slowly reveals enough of her past to understand how she got to where she is. It’s a fascinating story and a subtle criticism of the instinct to colonize other lands.
Books Read in 2023
So far, I’ve read 28 books in 2023:
- Modigliani Up Close, various authors
- Daddy, Emma Cline (library book)
- Blood and Guts in High School, Kathy Acker
- White on White, Ayşegül Savaş
- The Direction of the Wind, Mansi Shah (Kindle book)
- Men without Women, Haruki Murakami (Kindle book)
- Outline, Rachel Cusk
- An Immense World, Ed Yong
- Blindness, José Saramago
- Chemistry, Weike Wang (Kindle book)
- The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith
- All’s Well That Ends Well, William Shakespeare
- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Anita Loos (library book)
- Birnam Wood, Eleanor Catton (Kindle book)
- Every Man a King, Walter Mosley (Kindle book)
- Matisse in the 1930’s, various authors
- Our Missing Hearts, Celeste Ng (Kindle book)
- The Making of a Story, Alice LaPlante
- Istanbul: Memories and the City, Orhan Pamuk
- Taste: My Life Through Food, Stanley Tucci
- The Guest, Emma Cline (Kindle book)
- What Never Happened, Rachel Howzell Hall (Kindle book)
- Othello, William Shakespeare
- Romantic Comedy, Curtis Sittenfeld (Kindle book)
- The Friend, Sigrid Nunez (Kindle and library book)
- Draw Your Day, Samantha Dion Baker
- What Are You Going Through, Sigrid Nunez (library book)
- The Vaster Wilds, Lauren Groff
This Creative Midlife Posts in 2023
- New Canon 28mm Lens
- December 2022 Update
- Favorite Photos from the 2nd Half of 2022
- Canon AE-1 with Lomochrome Metropolis
- January 2023 Update
- Minolta XE with Lomography Berlin
- Mandalas in Procreate
- Minolta X-700 with Ilford HP5 Plus
- A Visit to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge
- February 2023 Update
- Long Birthday Weekend 2023
- Pittsburgh Trip 2023 Part 1
- Pittsburgh Trip 2023 Part 2
- March 2023 Update
- Yashica Mat-124G with Kodak Ektar
- Olympus XA with Kodak Pro Image
- Morris Arboretum Visit
- April 2023 Update
- Planning Our 2023 Vacation
- Planning Our Vacation Camera Edition
- May 2023 Update
- Minolta Hi-Matic 11 with Ilford HP5 Plus
- June 2023 Update
- And the Adventure Continues…
- Downtown LA with My Rollei Giro 105
- Downtown LA with My Minolta X-700
- 2023 California Vacation Part 1
- July 2023 Update
- 2023 California Vacation Part 2
- Point Lobos in Color and B&W
- 2023 California Vacation Part 3
- Garland Ranch Regional Park with My Minolta X-700
- Monterey and Cannery Row Photos
- 2023 California Vacation Part 4
- Carmel River State Beach with my Minolta X-700
- 2023 California Vacation Part 5
- August 2023 Update
- Testing a Roll of LomoChrome Color ’92