Tuesday, November 24, 2009

FILM REVIEW: "Waiting for Hockney"

Pappas' story reminded me a little of the movie "Rudy" - only Billy seems to be more of a defeatist (i.e., puts all his eggs in one basket, betting his life on a single project and then when that doesn't thrill his so-called "idol" who couldn't be more unlike Billy, he resumes his life as a bartender and just gives up).

On the other hand, having had firsthand experience with the snobbish art world of today, I thought it was AWFUL the way Hockney's assistant spoke of Billy and his wonderful family (his parents, especially his mother, truly love him and were so supportive throughout). Hockney's people talked about Pappas, after their meeting, like he was a joke - a permanent outsider with no chance of ever breaking through to their big shot world. Why would Hockney grant him an audience, have him for lunch, spend 5 hours with him? So he could have a laugh at Pappas' expense? I would encourage Billy to work at his art, if that's what he wants to do with his life. But I don't think he's got what it takes to be a professional artist; he's too child-like, naïve and doesn't have the staying power. But it sure didn't help matters to have his "idol" turn his back on him. [
artnet article] Waiting for Hockney Web

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Does Anyone Watch Network TV Anymore?

Remember the days when TV meant ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS? I remember living in the Chicago area as a child and we had a nice TV set, but not much of a selection. The major channels (we didn't have a remote) were 2, 5, 7, 9 and 11 on VHF and Channel 32 and a couple others on UHF. "The Munsters" on Channel 32 was a real treat! And we'd stay up late at night to watch "Creature Feature" (Bela Lugosi and the like). We'd be dozing off as "The Star Spangled Banner" came on and the networks went off the air.

Oftentimes households used rabbit ears antennas on their TV sets with pieces of aluminum foil on each end to help reception. I'm not sure if that ever actually worked! And in order to stop interference, the most effective way to "fix" your TV was to bang on it! We were one of the first families, thanks to my Dad, to get cable, which required a strange box with a lever that flipped through the few channels that were available... I only remember having HBO.

Earlier this year analog TV sets became, for the most part, obsolete with the conversion to digital TV. Since I'd always had cable all my life, I couldn't believe anyone would actually be affected by the conversion. Those who wanted to continue using their old outdated sets were forced to buy a converter box and, at long last, subscribe to cable TV.

Since CNN went on the air, most everyone I know has been getting their news from cable news networks... though I still see Chuck & Sue in NYC are still going strong!

Eight decades after pioneering the concept of broadcasting, NBC is on the verge of a startling move that illustrates broadcast television's decline. Cable TV operator Comcast Corp. is expected to buy a controlling stake in NBC Universal, perhaps as early as this week, bringing the network of Johnny Carson, Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Hope, Milton Berle and Tom Brokaw under the corporate control of the company that owns the Golf Channel and E! Entertainment Television. Read More: Broadcast pioneer NBC prepares for cable takeover