8 thoughts on “Video – “The Fight Game” with Jim Lampley: Episode 26

  1. Enjoyed that, thank you.

    Agree with Max it’s too early for AJ. The real question: is he ready for everyone else in the division? I don’t see any good reason not to first match him against the bottom of the top ten.

    Joshua’s style is also a very solvable puzzle for Wlad having none of the herky-jerky rhythms and caravan-fire improvisations that made Fury’s so confusing for Dr. Uranium.

    Just glanced at the Ring’s schedule and of the remaining fights only Kov-Ward (and to a lesser extent the respective Loma and Beterbiev dates) really interest me. Hard to believe the boxing year is nearly done; in some ways it seems hardly to have started.

    What are you watching/reading?

    • You’re welcome.

      Ready or not, Wlad vs. AJ now seems ready to be announced, pending approval from at least one more sanctioning body (aside from the one responsible for Joshua’s belt).

      In other heavyweight news, Haye vs. Bellew is a likely fun freakshow fight for next spring.

      It’s been a poor year for the sport, but Kovalev-Ward and AJ-Wlad will go a long way to softening the blow.

      Recently caught the classic Bresson Pickpocket & rewatched Bergman’s acid Scenes from a Marriage. Also rewatched the tremendous Almodovar film Talk to Her, but was disappointed by Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence.

      • I really like those two Bresson and Almodovar works — first-rate art. My wife rates Bergman’s Scenes and has been telling me to see it (she also caught a late-life filmed interview with him when he was living in isolation on his island…said it seemed to her he had only lived for and through his art). That one’s a favorite of yours, then? I really know just a handful of his, maybe six films, all early.

        Almodovar’s Volver is special too, another one that seems to have a gravitas not found in his early, amusing and over-the-top films. As for Bresson, I keep meaning to get on further in him and in the last year I caught the unforgettable Au Hasard Balthazar. At this rate I will have seen his corpus by 2030, haha.

        Marty’s movies were the bomb back in the day with Schrader and De Niro. The bigger his canvas got, the less I thought him original or distinctive. The Wolf of Wall Street had flashes of his gift for the closely-observed small, insular world, especially in the early sequences when Leo and his boys are building out their penny stock scam. To be fair, I think Wolf is an entertaining debauch, end of, but also a kind of creaky, grandfatherly exercise in moralizing (“You kids think it’s bad now? Why, just listen to my 100th recounting of the cocaine blizzards of 1987! First, let me put on my favorite Stones record, to properly set the mood…”) If he wants to see how to really work a montage, no Mick or Keith needed, here’s Takashi Miike:

      • Scenes… is terrific, though not as brilliant as I’d remembered it being from first viewing…this is happening to me quite a lot lately. Next time I watch it, I really must see the full, mini-series version. I believe that’s available through Criterion. You simply must see Cries & Whispers, and Persona, which is one of my very favourite films.

        Balthazar is, I think, the only major Bresson film I haven’t seen now. I must correct that. I too admire Volver a lot.

        Interesting perspective on Scorsese as usual. Clearly he’s many years past his best, but his films continue to be distinctive and interesting. Unfortunately, YouTube are blocking that Miike scene in my region.

        Caught the unusual freeform music documentary Junun by Paul Thomas Anderson at the Kerry Film Festival last night. An unsuccessful diversion as cinema, but the music was good.

        Also rewatched the facinating Terence Davies documentary on Liverpool, Of Time and the City. For me, he’s the greatest British filmmaker and I was lucky enough to meet and talk to him at a retrospective of his work several years ago. I’d recommend his short film trilogy or Distant Voices, Still Lives as a good place to start.

        Other recent viewing has included the surviving 8 ‘O’Kalem’ short films (ranging in length from one to three reels), shot in and around my home area one hundred years ago, and the first films made by an American studio abroad: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalem_Company

        The films are of variable artistic quality (my favourite is The Lad from Old Ireland), but I get a great kick out of seeing my familiar local areas caught on film from so long ago.

  2. You have spoken highly about Davies in the past, and he slipped my mind. Well, no more. Just watched the very affecting trailer for Of Time and the City and knew instantly it is for me.

    Had never heard of the Kalem studio until today. Besides your fair isle, I see they also shot in Palestine, astonishingly.

    Junun I’ll likely skip but I have plenty of time for Anderson’s dramatic work. Still need to see his Inherent Vice adaptation, Pynchon being a minor taste of mine (minor in that I never seem to last beyond the quarter mark in his books, but I keep coming back, and buying more, haha…in fact there are several volumes piled up here like some misguided cargo cult). A similar film on musical process that I like very much is Sounds and Silence: Travels with Manfred Eicher, but then I am an ECM devotee and love the artists in the film.

    Pity the Miike clip is blocked. If you want a good lark get hold of the film for which that video is the first seven minutes, Dead or Alive II. It’s the usual Yakuza silliness, and I don’t remember a single word or plot point (unlike, say, in Miike’s far better work). But visually…oh god. In that opening sequence, at least, it is a kind of cubist masterpiece of trash. The real genius might be Yasushi Shimamura, the editor.

    Only watching a little TV of late. Westworld is a small treat, certainly miles ahead of its B-movie origins, and not hurt by the inclusion of Anthony Hopkins and bits of Shakespeare. Much better, Mr. Robot is top speculative work. Nicely subversive, a distinctive aesthetic, and a reckoning with large social and political forces that usually prove too daunting for the small screen (hell, for almost any screen these days). Mind, after watching Adam Curtis’ fine new HyperNormalisation, I’m as inclined to think even less of “engaged” art — namely, that it makes nothing happen just as thoroughly as W.H. Auden said poetry makes nothing happen. (Auden should have been a boxing promoter. We have lots of nothing happening!)

    Moving “Cries” onto my Criterion list.

    • I’ve never seen a Miike film. Cosider him added to my list. Davies is one of my can’t miss recommendations. He is one of the world’s great auteurs.

      The minor Junun is certainly skippable, but I’m a generally strong admirer of Anderson’s major works. Unfortunately, I found Inherent Vice basically unwatchable, but then again, I’ve not read even 1/4th of a Pynchon novel haha, so you may have a different impression.

      I enjoyed the original Westworld movie and I’m thus far enjoying the series, while not being blown away. Is that Curtis film available online? His work airs on BBC, correct? If so, I should be catching it as it airs.

      Recently caught Pasolini’s debut Accatone & the late Fassbinder satire Veronika Voss, both very interesting: Pasolini’s as a reworking/rejection of neo-realism and Fassbinder’s as a critique of post-war German society through the prism of a Classic Hollywood pastiche-subversion.

      Finally, I rewatched the great Mulholland Dr. the other day. Please, David, don’t spoil your legacy with the Twin Peaks return.

      • Well wished for Lynch! If only he were pursuing new material instead of this sequel. Mulholland Dr. was his last fully formed work, in my view, affecting and subtle. Inland Empire left me cold, too loosely improvisational despite some good bits. He has always had such a way with structure and subtext that I don’t want to see his doodles.

        You’re way ahead of me with Pasolini and Fassbinder. I think Fassbinder’s drolleries would probably suit me; I believe he remade a key 50s Hollywood melodrama, Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows. (We watch it every Christmas, being children of the following era and thus still fascinated by/wishing to exorcise mid-century American social insanity. And speaking of exorcisms, what’s this but William Friedkin back with the headspinners: http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/10/father-amorth-the-vatican-exorcist)

        Yes, Curtis is only out in samizdat over here. http://thoughtmaybe.com/hypernormalisation/

        Having seen 90% of his body of work now, the new film strikes me as a survey of his themes — hubristic social control, artifice that hides power’s true intentions, folly of grand ideas, corruptibility of traditions and institutions, and the proud in-swimming of black swans. He has a philosophy of power best described as guillotinist, while here he fits new events (eg, Trump, Syria) into a framework that he’s more deeply elaborated in the past. As always, the surface is dazzling, and when the history of early 21st century nonfiction film is written, it will be said that nobody used postpunk and Eno better to drive abstracted archive footage. There’s a montage in the middle — he’s been talking about how the culture works itself up into dread — piecing together pre-9/11 disaster movie footage of countless atrocities being visited, most popcorn-munchingly, from the skies upon poor New York. Bravura stuff.

        If trying Miike, you can go the crap route (90% of his output) or take from his few delectables. That category includes Audishon and The Bird People In China, the former a Poe-like warning on tempting fate in dating and the latter an old school adventure tale with a rare lyricism for him. (Or maybe it’s more fair to say his lyricism is usually urban and sadistic.) The crap is a lot of fun, and would include the aforementioned Dead or Alive 2 and Ichi The Killer. Guilty pleasures, or at least I’m supposed to feel guilty, haha.

        Agree, Westworld isn’t blowing me away either, though I keep coming back. Taking on issues of free will and, erm, compulsory robot eros, it’s punching above its weight class, but who doesn’t like a good freak fight. 😉

      • Absolutely agreed about Lynch. I’ve only seen Inland Empire once many years ago, but it felt half-baked. It’s ironic, then, that Mulholland Dr. only came to fruition as a stand-alone movie after the pilot never got picked up. Twin Peaks is one of my very favourite series, so I’m excited for its return, but I fear, especially in a bloated 18 episode order, that it will be a major disappointment.

        I’ll read that Friedkin piece soon. You’ve spoken of your admiration of All That Heaven Allows before, and I like it too. Fear Eats the Soul is terrific & I’m sure you’ll be impressed. Have you seen Todd Haynes’ Far from Heaven?

        A bravura summation from yourself! Consider my appetite for further Curtis whetted. Miike likewise.

        Finished John from Cincinnati & unfortunately must consider it a muddled disappointment after the heights of Deadwood. It has its moments (Zippy the bird, some gems of dialogue, John’s “1s & 0s in Cass’ camera” monologue, the excellent Joe Strummer song) but was too often wooly and pretentious. However, I’m sure it would have gone interesting places in further seasons and I admire Milch’s ambition. Your thoughts?

        Other recent viewing has included Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie, which doesn’t rival Going Clear as the definitive film on the subject, but is nonetheless very entertaining. Classic silent The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was also interesting, if, Weimar social commentary aside, one-dimensional in its reliance on stagey, endlessly jagged expressionism.

        Also, started reading Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. The opening pages are stunning.

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