Archive for the ‘Actors’ Category

The Fountain of Angels in America

August 30, 2017

(A return to Angels in America, after experiencing the NTE performance of Part Two: Perestroika last Sunday (the 27th); I posted about the NTE revival overall and about Part One: Millennium Approaches on this blog on the 21st. There will also be a return to the show Guys and Dolls, which I posted about here on the 24th. And a return to the theme of urban jungles, “wild” spaces in the city, especially the Ramble in NYC’s Central Park (one of many such spaces that serve as locales for gay cruising and tricking), which I posted about here on the 19th. I remind you that the subtitle of Angels is A Gay Fantasia on National Themes; yes, it’s about religion, politics, race, transcendance, America as the New World / new life, moral universes, New York City, love, death, and transfiguration, and all that, but it’s centrally about homosexuality, gay sex and gay love, and AIDS. It’s a breath-taking spectacle and, remarkably, much of it is truly funny — a damn good thing, because if it weren’t both spectacular and funny, how could you bear those themes, especially for over 6 hours?)

The fountain in Angels in America is the Bethesda Fountain in NYC’s Central Park (with its crowning sculpture, the Angel of the Waters), named after the Bethesda fountain in the New Testament, a place of healing.

(more…)

Kangaroo Paste, the Australian hair gel

August 10, 2017

Viewed the morning of the 8th, S2 E9 (“Bounty Hunters!”, 2007) of the tv series Psych, with several references to a (fictional) Australian hair gel for men, Kangaroo Paste, which the central character of the series, Shawn Spencer, really likes. This bit of mischievous product placement led quite a few people to ask where they could get the stuff.

For the record: there is an Aussie brand of hair-care products for women, which offers (among other things) Aussie Instant Freeze Gel, Aussie Instant Freeze Sculpting Gel, Aussie Instant Freeze Sculpting Mousse, Aussie Mega Gel, and Aussie Headstrong Volume Spray Gel (I have no idea how these products are distinguished from one another); and there is a product called Kangaroo Paste, but it’s a Korean shoe polish (a Korean knockoff of Kiwi Shoe Polish).

To come: the tv show (with a digression on the actor Kevin Sorbo); hair gel; the Aussie brand; Kangaroo Paste shoe polish (with a digression on compounds like Kangaroo Paste shoe polish); Kiwi Shoe Polish; and product placement.

(more…)

Electric charges

July 26, 2017

Earlier today, the posting “I sing the body elastic”, about Mikey Bustos’s parodic hymn to Speedos, the skimpy elastic men’s swim suits — with a title playing on “I Sing the Body Electric”, a poem from Walt Whitman’s 1855 Leaves of Grass, celebrating the human body. Beginning:

I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.

(more…)

Taking a dark ride

July 21, 2017

Today’s Zippy brings on scary clowns in Laff in the Dark tunnels:

(#1)

— and, worse, threatens to unleash Tom Cruise (and his Outsider Art).

(more…)

Toxic moments

May 13, 2017

First, a story came by on NPR in which a tale of five dead hunters in Oregon played a central role, as did the terrible poison tetrodotoxin. And then an episode of the tv series Death in Paradise in which this poison plays a central role. Rough-skinned newts, pufferfish, and garter snakes all have parts to play in the story, as do arms races in evolution. And of course tetrodotoxin and the entertainments of Death in Paradise.

(more…)

The Phantom of the jungle library

March 31, 2017

… and his servant Guran, in a scene from early in the 1996 movie The Phantom:

(#1)

Secure in the Chronicle Chamber within his jungle stronghold, The Phantom (Billy Zane) and his servant Guran (Radmar Agana Jao) discover the secret of the Skulls of Touganda.

The Phantom of course works shirtless in his jungle library (amidst his collection of manuscripts and books) — I mean it’s in the steamy goddam jungle (and anyway we all need to appreciate his pecs). Outside of the jungle (where he’s the 21st Phantom), he’s Kit Walker, raised in the U.S., college-educated, and NYC-savvy. Then there’s his servant Guran, who’s obviously not a member of the African tribe the Phantom works with; instead, he looks Filipino and is dressed in Indian garb. The movie is packed with cultural mixtures, and this is just one of them.

I’ll write some about these, but first a bit about the fascinating life story of Radmar Agana Jao.

(more…)

Billy Zane

March 30, 2017

I first noticed him in some episodes of the tv series Charmed, playing a personable (and hunky) ex-demon named Drake. And now he’s coming past me again, in the second season of Twin Peaks, once again charming, boyish, playful, and sexy (his perennial actorial persona). In between Twin Peaks (1991) and Charmed (2005) came, among other things, the movie version of The Phantom (1996), with Zane in the title role.

So this will be about actors, the comics, tv and movies, and some of Zane’s masculine attributes: that persona, a strong physical presence, a sensuous masculine face, and (of course) an attractive body. Not a lot about language here.

(more…)

Michael Ontkean

March 28, 2017

(About actors, movies, and tv, with very little language stuff in it.)

Watching Twin Peaks (the original tv series) on Netflix, and delighted to see Michael Ontkean (cute, amiable, and hunky) in it again. I’m a great fan of smiles, so here’s the young Ontkean smiling:

(#1)

(more…)

In the West Wing

March 8, 2017

Having fallen into the world of American politics in viewing the documentary I Am the Ambassador (about Rufus Gifford, until recently the US ambassador to Denmark), I went on to doing the whole 7-year run of the tv series The West Wing, which I am urging everyone to watch at least some of — as a canny depiction of American political life (Wikipedia tells us that it “received acclaim from critics, as well as praise from political science professors and former White House staffers”), as a gripping drama with an earnest moral core, and as a show worthy of praise for its snappy dialogue, inspired casting, and first-rate acting.

This posting is about just two of the actors, Mark Feuerstein and Jimmy Smits (both prominent in season 6 of the series, which I’ve just finished watching), solid members of what I’ve called the “acting corps“, the bank of accomplished and reliable actors (short of first-magnitude star rank) that make the stage, the movies, and television hum for our pleasure and enlightenment. I find them both attractive, as men and as actors — in particular, as embodiments of an “acting persona” (a more or less enduring persona that cuts across an actor’s roles).

Through Smits, that exploration will take us to another member of the acting corps, the admirable Marg Helgenberger. (I know, I know, you also want me to write about Allison Janney and Stockard Channing, among others, but there’s only so much I can do in one posting.)

(more…)

Edward Sorel

February 28, 2017

Another item from my blog backlog file, this time based on a hilarious book review in the NYT Book Review on 1/1/17, by Woody Allen — yes, that Woody Allen — of Mary Astor’s Purple Diary: The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936 (from Liveright)  by Edward Sorel (who also supplied the illustrations):

(#1)

Astor and Kaufman, together again, but not in bed

(more…)