Category Archives: Random

Black Lanterns Wail: RIP Charles Durning

Ernest Borgnine. January 24, 1917 – July 8, 2012
Charles Durning. February 28, 1923 – December 24, 2012

I was devestated to hear about the passing of Charles Durning, right after the death of Jack Klugman and after seeing The Muppet Movie again on Christmas Eve.

The first film I can remember seeing Durning in was The Best Little Whore House in Texas, and then The Sting. He was a treasure, and was a joy to watch in countless performances.

We are lessened, as a race, with the passing of anyone, especially the like of Charles Durning.

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I would rather do a play because it`s instantaneous. You go on the stage, and you know whether it`s happening or not. Somebody asked me “what is acting?” And I said, “acting is listening.” And if you ain`t listening, nobody`s listening.

 

charlesduring-3

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Black Lanterns Wail: RIP Jack Klugman

Jack Klugman. April 27, 1922 – December 24, 2012
Jack Klugman. April 27, 1922 – December 24, 2012

Almost anyone that remembers Jack Klugman does so from Quincy or the Odd Couple.

For me, it will always be The Twilight Zone, and especially In Praise of Pip. There was no finer episode of television than that, and it was specifically the pathos and emotion of Klugman that made that work so well.

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I was at the pinnacle of my career one day and the next day I was put out to pasture. I felt like a race horse with a broken leg.

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Black Lanterns Wail: RIP Ernest Borgnine

Ernest Borgnine. January 24, 1917 – July 8, 2012

I know that most people my age really only know Ernest Borgnine from Laser Mission, or Airwolf, or at the very most The Poseidon Adventure.

But I’ll always think of Marty, the story of a heavy-set Italian-American butcher who lives in The Bronx, New York City, with his mother.

The first time I saw Marty was just as I entered High School, it wasn’t the first black and white movie I had seen and certainly not the oldest, but it was instantly a favorite.

I don’t know. What do you want to do tonight, Marty?

Is still one of my most used quotes.

My affection for Marty doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the silliness of Laser Mission, or the over the top stupidity of The Poseidon Adventure, I just know that Borgnine had more in him than Mermaid Man. A short List of examples are:

I think we all have the urge to be a clown, whether we know it or not. The clown we see is a fascinating person, expressing pathos, poignancy, joie de vivre. It’s an opportunity to express one’s innermost feelings while hiding behind a mask.

 

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Black Lanterns Wail: RIP Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith. June 1, 1926 – July 3, 2012

It may be hard to tell, but I grew up in the South. Texas to be precise, I know, strange isn’t it, but that is beyond the point. I was raised to understand believe only a few things:

  1. Gravy goes under the Chicken Fried Steak
  2. You deep fry chicken. Pressure Cooking is for the weak and lazy.
  3. Home Fries are not French Fries, but both are good.
  4. When you order a Coke, you then have to say what kind, i.e. Dr Pepper, Sprite etc…
  5. When in doubt Andy knows best.

Yesterday was a sad day, we lost our true Sheriff.

Andy Griffith was an institution, a member of the old guard that never seemed to preach to you. You knew what was right because it was something Andy did. He was a good Pa, and good Nephew and a good Friend.

But before he was Andy Taylor, he was a master story teller…

On Football:

On Shakespeare:

On Agriculture:

On Religion:

On American History:

When I was heading in to middle school, my dad sat my sisters and I down and made us watch two movies. He informed us that one was a comedy and the other a drama, and that both starred Andy Griffith. Prior to making the Andy Griffith show, he did not have an extensive career. He wasn’t a slouch, mind you, just a a really fast rise to fame.

The two movies in question were No Time For Sergeants, and A Face in the Crowd. Both are now considered classic movies with A Face in the Crowd being entered in the National Film Record n 2008.

I can tell ya, that I did not think much of A Face in the Crowd when I first saw it, but now I do enjoy it for what it is. No Time For Sergeants, I loved from the start.

As we get older, we start to see the pillars of our youth crumble to the ground. One such pillar fell yesterday, but I will always remember the whistling…

It’s time for me to pass this on to you folks

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Black Lanterns Wail: RIP Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron. May 19, 1941 – June 26, 2012

This might come as a shock, but I am a big fan of stupid RomComs.

This isn’t an idle thing either, I tend to watch a lot of movies: in theaters, on DVD or on cable, and while they tend to mostly be SciFi and Fantasy, I also spend a few hours each Wednesday to watch RomComs. I understand that that is a little weird, concidering that there are a lot of “better” genres out there and that I don’t get paid to watch movie, so I have no obligation to watch, what are essentially, movies out side my interest zones.

But, think back on the last thirty years and name the best comedies you’ve seen? Just a sort list, five to ten…

I’ll put good money down that When Harry Met Sally… is on that list. If that were all she had written, she would still get a show case at next years Oscars, and possibly still get a Black Lantern article, but that was not all she wrote.

My Blue Heaven is quite probably the last great Steve Martin Character Comedy, it may be the last thing he was actually funny in and is hands down the best non-franchise Rick Moranis movie ever (come back Rick we all really miss you…).

Sleepless in Seattle, while not my cup of tea, is certainly one of the defining Chick Flicks of the 90’s.

Recently, I was able to introduce my favorite RomCom to RedSarah. You’ve Got Mail, is a remake of Shop Around the Corner, and could only be remade in the age of emails and the ubiquitous AOL call sign, but is wonderful in its secondary characters.

F-O-X

I know that I am rambling on a bit, and Nora’s efforts of late have been less than stellar, but I still feel the loss of the person who wrote the movie I was watching when I learned about my first nephew, that sorta thing sticks with a cinephile.

You will be missed, Nora. There should have been more.

 

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Black Lanterns Wail: RIP Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury. August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012

When I write as well as Ray Bradbury, I’ll have something to say…

I’m being ironic. Don’t interrupt a man in the midst of being ironic, it’s not polite.

While our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all.

We must move into the universe. Mankind must save itself. We must escape the danger of war and politics. We must become astronauts and go out into the universe and discover the God in ourselves.

Recreate the world in your own image and make it better for your having been here.

People ask me to predict the future, when all I want to do is prevent it. Better yet, build it. Predicting the future is much too easy, anyway. You look at the people around you, the street you stand on, the visible air you breathe, and predict more of the same. To hell with more. I want better.

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Black Lanterns Wail: RIP Jonathan Frid

Jonathan Frid. December 2, 1924 – April 13, 2012

I got into the Dark Shadows late in the 90’s, after the revival was already canceled. I was aware of it from an early age, but did not have the resources to see it until after high school, it did not play often on TV where I could view it.

I have since seen, most, of the Barnabas story. It was good, if a bit dated since the 70’s.

I have this cozy house here and I get three pensions from the States. I’ve done nicely.

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