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Hi everyone… Had a fun, relaxing holiday weekend. Hope you did too. Short thoughts for today…

— Recently saw The White Diamond at the Film Forum and I loved it as much as, if not more so, than Herzog’s other doc, Wheel Of Time. This film is absolutely lovely, specifically because it truly honors its subjects. One in particular, a local Rastafarian workman named Mark Anthony Yhap, was one of the most eloquent, humane and beautiful people I have seen in a film. The simplicity of his lifestyle, his desire to include his precious pet rooster on his journey, and his longing to reconnect with his family; I was truly moved by him. Forget the scientific justifications at the heart of the ballooning experiment detailed in the film; The White Diamond’s flight brings hope and whimsy into the lives of the people who came into contact with it, and Herzog captures the thrill of being alive with his typical refusal to abide convention. There is all of this talk that Herzog’s films are trying to describe a world view that is “against” nature, but I don’t see it that way at all. I see a filmmaker acquiescing to the power of nature by embracing the glorious folly of man’s attempts to conquer it. I can’t wait for Grizzly Man

Up up and away, in my beautiful balloon…

— Also saw Elevator To The Gallows this weekend at the Sunshine. Strange place to see a retrospective screening (aside from midnight movies), but the theater itself was top notch. It looks like the good work of John Vanco at the The IFC Center is paying off… Art houses, even corporate ones, seem to be embracing older films again, which is only a good thing, I believe. Heck, there was a short before the film. Maybe it’s just keeping up with the joneses or perhaps this is more than a programming trend, but I was happy to see a nice sized house on the usually slow 4th of July weekend, all there to watch Jeanne Moreau’s gorgeous face in the luminous black and white of Louis Malle’s noir. J thought the film was a slim Hitchcockian knock off with lots of appeal, but I felt the tension was less that of a thriller and, like most noir, more of a expos

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