Criterion will release Elaine May’s Mikey and Nicky on Blu-ray and DVD on January 22, 2019. My late friend Ton Miller would be delighted. He worked as publicist on that movie in Philadelphia and wrote a long piece about his experiences which was published under his pseudonym Tom Canford in his memoir A Fever of the Mad: A Movie Publicist Works with Francis Coppola, Elaine May, John Cassavetes, Peter Falk, and Richard Gere and Survives to Tell the Tale! This will bring to 3 the number of Criterion Collection titles Tom worked on, the others being Amarcord and Blow Out.
I am printing the article “On the Whole I’d Rather Be in Philadelphia” below for those interested in the movie or Ms. May (no kin). Or both.
The 2011 release of The Tree of Life ran two hours and eighteen minutes. The extended cut released on DVD by Criterion on September 11, 2018, runs three ours and eight minutes, some fifty minutes longer. Herewith, some initial thoughts.
2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of what I consider to be the greatest movie ever made. Most assuredly it is the most important for me.
Thursday March 28, 1968. I’m working away at my job in the documents acquisitions section of the Columbia University Libraries. My phone rings. Tom. “I’ve just got 2 tickets to an invitational screening of “2001, A Space Odyssey” at 1 o’clock this afternoon. Can you get off?” I hollered out to my boss, and when he heard the news he immediately said yes. I hopped on the subway and headed to Times Square, grabbing a hot dog somewhere along the way.
The other evening as I was eating supper at my dining room table I realized how much the view before me revealed about my life.
It is hard to believe that even in this later (and I hope better) version this short work is as old as it is! How fast time passes when you are having fun!
Publisher: Hollow Square Press/CreateSpace, 2013
Paperback: 127 pages
ISBN 10: 1492242454 ISBN 13: 978-1492242451
(Available free on Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program)
(Paperback available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores and through your local bookstore.)
Jake loves his friends and his community. Eric kills. Eric secretly watches Jake and those he loves. No one near to Jake is safe, and the tension and the body count rise. Set in rural Alabama, A Howling in the Night is a psychological thriller with nods to classics of horror, the bastard child of Eudora Welty and Stephen King.
[A few years back I had posted something like this on my blog. I later took it down after I had revised it and published it as a chapter in my "Rants, Raves, Ruminations, and Ramblifications" collection. Now I am posting that chapter here again on my blog.]
I’ll start by calling your attention to Michael Kreyling’s 2005 work The Novels of Ross Macdonald.
It was reading Professor Kreyling in the fall of 2013 that prompted me to start reassembling a collection of Macdonald. Once upon a time I had a complete collection, and in a great flurry of dispossessing myself of works that I thought I would not be returning to again I had gotten rid of all of them (after all, I had read each two or three times). Now I see that was a mistake. And now I am embarking on a major project of reading him again. He repays additional readings.
A couple of years back I made a small attempt at autobiography in an humble volume called “Telling Stories.” I had this to say in my introduction:
“In my own writing of essays and commentary I find that it limits me too much if my topic is too big: “Jonathan’s Entire Life, Times, Thoughts Both Serious and Otherwise, Opinions, Philosophy, Gossip, and Miscellaneous Musings,” say. “The Theory of Everything Jonathan.” I cannot lasso a horse that big. While I was preparing material for my earlier attempt at essays that involved me to some degree, “Rants, Raves, Ruminations, and Ramblifications: Musings from a Hamlet,” I found that I worked better if I tackled only a small part of the beast. Write about two dogs, Huckleberry and Roscoe, and with them in focus let Tom and Jonathan be sort of glimpsed in the background. And why not write something about what Sawyerville was like when I was a child, or temporary deafness, or Sadie Roberson, or the deaths of two uncles. Write about specific movies and books and writers and directors, and Jonathan can’t help but peek through at times.”
“Telling Tales” was divided into 4 sections: “Country Life” dealt with growing up in a small Black Belt community in the 1940s and 1950s. “City Life” had chapters about my work life and my personal life in New York 1962 – 1989. “Family Lives” described my fascination with 2 families in art, Faulkner’s Sutpens and the Sokurov families (depicted in “Mother and Son” and “Father and Son,” in part as a way to indicate how much literature and movies had meant in my life, and in part as a sort of segue into and preface to the last section, “Family Life,” in which I wrote about my father, my mother, and me.
“Absalom, Absalom!” has been much on my mind lately, and I have elected to pull that chapter from the work and post it on the blog on my Hollow Square Press website. So without further ado: