Cats

Feral kitten photographed by Sebastian Nebel Back when one of my cat photographs made it into The New York Times I promised to show off more pictures of my subject and her offspring. It’s been a few years, but I’ve went through my archives and collected some them here for you. Let’s start with my favorite, the matriarch: Feral cat photographed by Sebastian Nebel Feral cat photographed by Sebastian Nebel Feral cat photographed by Sebastian Nebel A first-generation feral cat, she was never given a proper name, although some of us came to affectionately call her Flohschleuder (“flea sling”). She never strayed too far off, but always kept her distance. In all the time I’d known her she didn’t have any direct interactions with humans, and clearly by her choice, too. She was very aware of us, though, and looking at these pictures I can’t help but think she was aware of my camera, too. Feral kitten photographed by Sebastian Nebel Her strict rules of non-contact didn’t apply to her kittens, whom she allowed to come up to us – always under her watching gaze. For play, mostly, but of course they knew that they wouldn’t have to leave hungry, either. It was a win-win scenario for everyone involved. Feral kitten photographed by Sebastian Nebel Feral kitten photographed by Sebastian Nebel Feral kitten photographed by Sebastian Nebel All of these pictures were taken in 2008. Seven years ago! What are these cats up to now, I wonder? Feral kitten photographed by Sebastian Nebel

Best Shot: Taxi Driver

Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver

Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver

Finding the “best” shot from Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver is downright impossible. Filmed by Michael Chapman, the movie is basically made up of perfect frames, over 150,000 of them. You can just scroll to any random scene and get something like the shot above, one of the many great night shots with DeNiro driving through New York City. Or you might land on something as simple as an insert shot, but of course one that’s just as carefully framed, like the assorted snacks Travis buys in the adult movie theater. Popcorn and snacks in Taxi Driver For my best shot, I went with a scene that perhaps isn’t the first that comes to mind when you think about Taxi Driver: the one where Travis first asks Betsy out on a date. TaxiDriver_best-shot_1 TaxiDriver_best-shot_2 On its surface the scene’s setup is pretty conventional – back and forth, over the shoulder, well-light, bright colors. It’s exceptional only by its presence in this movie, which is why I love it so much. (Well, that and my absolute, total crush on Cybill Shepherd.) TaxiDriver_best-shot_3 TaxiDriver_best-shot_4 The scenes in the Palantine campaign offices offer such a stark contrast in tone to most of the rest of the film. It’s almost like they’re cut out of some workplace sitcom. (One I’d definitely watch, too, if it meant I’d get to spend more time with Shepherd and Albert Brooks, the latter hilariously poking out his head behind the pillar here.) TaxiDriver_best-shot_6TaxiDriver_best-shot_7 The power dynamics in this scene are just fascinating. Travis is basically in disguise, he’s dressed up pretending to be “normal” for her. We know this, but Betsy has yet to figure it out, of course. The way it’s presented here, she is clearly the one calling the shots. Which is why I love the scene’s final shot, and indeed my pick for best shot, which shows us (but not Travis) her confidant, triumphant smile: TaxiDriver_best-shot_8

This and That

James Franco in Every Thing Will Be Fine

I wrote about Wim Wenders’ new movie, “Every Thing Will Be Fine,” at The Film Experience. Plus some musings about possible Best Foreign Film considerations from Germany.


I may have linked to this before, but the What’s My Line? YouTube-channel remains one of my favorite things on the web. They’ve got hundreds of full episodes of the show from the 50s and 60’s.


Fun: Werner Herzog on The Henry Rollins Show in 2006.


Song of the week: Ciara ft. Ludacris – “Oh”

My Week on Letterboxd (13/2015)

Brick

The films I saw last week:

Smoking Saturday: Naomi Watts

So it’s come to this: I’m not gonna pretend there’s any more to this than, Hey, I’ve got this folder with photos of pretty people smoking cigarettes, and I figure I can’t be the only one who likes looking at these, so… here you are. A new one every week. Trying to link to official sources and give credit as thoroughly as I can. No need to tell me that smoking is awful, either. I know.

watts_w

Naomi Watts, photographed by Michael Thompson for W Magazine, March 2004. (Via.)

My Week on Letterboxd (12/2015)

song-of-the-sea

No reviews on Letterboxd last week, but for the record, here’s what I watched:

• On Tuesday, March 17, I watched “The Quiet Man” (1952), giving it 4 out of 5 stars. I’ve collected my favorite images from the John Ford film here.

• On Wednesday, March 18, I watched “Song of the Sea” (2014). 4½ stars.

• Also on March 18, I re-watched “Dredd” (2012) in 3D. 4½ stars.

• On Friday, March 20, I saw “Sans toit ni loi” (“Vagabond,” 1985). 2½ stars.

• On Saturday, March 21, I re-watched “Planet of the Apes” (1968). 4½ stars.

• And on Sunday, March 22, I watched “Boudu sauvé des eaux” (“Boudu Saved from Drowning,” 1932). 3½ stars.

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