"Alain Resnais, the French filmmaker who helped introduce literary modernism to the movies and became an international art-house star with nonlinear narrative films like “Hiroshima Mon Amour” and “Last Year at Marienbad,” died on Saturday in Paris. He was 91."
"Mavis Gallant, the internationally celebrated Canadian short story writer who lived and worked for most of her life in Paris, has died, according to her publisher. She was 91."
I am not even going to pretend to know much about Stuart Hall but his obituary alone shows him to have been a remarkable thinker who shaped the world in which we all live in ways many of us do not think about. The Guardian's "More on this story" suggestions are also helpful. He was 82.
An old man writes: "I don't want to belabor the point or look back with any kind of revisionist history on how wonderful it all was, because a lot of it was frankly terrible and, even with all the annoyances and vexations we're forced to confront each day as everyone figures out how to negotiate this strange new world with its ever-shifting boundaries and notions of what is acceptable, we are still considerably better off in these times than we were back then, but there was something special about living in an age where you had three main sources of televised entertainment and if you missed an episode of [...]
My boa constrictor who I've had since '88 passed away this yr. She was over 25 yrs old. & very sweet. For a snake. RIP Pandora. I miss u.
— Slash (@Slash) January 21, 2014
I did not wake up this morning and expect to be moved by a tweet from Slash over his dead snake, and yet here we are. Live every day like it's your last, we only have so much time with each other.
"Ronnie Biggs, who was part of a gang who beat an elderly train driver with a metal bar, has died."
"Jim Hall, a jazz guitarist who for more than 50 years was admired by critics, aficionados and especially his fellow musicians for his impeccable technique and the warmth and subtlety of his playing, died on Tuesday at his home in Greenwich Village…. The list of important musicians with whom Mr. Hall worked was enough to earn him a place in jazz history. It includes the pianist Bill Evans, with whom he recorded two acclaimed duet albums, and the singer Ella Fitzgerald, as well as the saxophonists Sonny Rollins and Paul Desmond, the drummer Chico Hamilton and the bassist Ron Carter, his frequent partner in a duo." Hall was [...]
"Maggie Estep, a novelist and spoken-word poet who helped popularize slam poetry on MTV, HBO and PBS in the 1990s, died on Wednesday in Albany. She was 50."
"Shirley Temple Black, who as the most popular child movie star of all time lifted a filmgoing nation’s spirits during the Depression and then grew up to be a diplomat, has died. [...]
"Philip Seymour Hoffman, perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired American actor of his generation, who gave three-dimensional nuance to a wide range of sidekicks, villains and leading men on screen and embraced some of the theater’s most burdensome roles on Broadway, died on Sunday at an apartment in Greenwich Village he was renting as an office. He was 46."
I mean, this is just a confusing layout, but if your friends are like, "Hey, did 'Entourage' dude die?" you will at least understand where they're coming from. Anyway, RIP Professor and Reuben, two men who were the fathers to so many of us plunked down in front of the television so that our own actual dads could go do whatever the hell it was that was so much more enjoyable than spending time with their own kids (which, to be fair, was probably anything).
"Country Music Hall of Famer Noble Ray Price, who pioneered a shuffling, rhythmic, honky-tonk sound that has had an impact on country music since the mid-1950s, died Monday, Dec. 16, confirmed Bill Mack, a spokesman for the family…. Through hits including 'Crazy Arms,' 'City Lights,' 'My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You' and many others, Mr. Price’s full, round voice became one of country’s most beloved and instantly identifiable instruments. His expansive musicality allowed him a 65-year career that changed country music and inspired artists including Willie Nelson, George Jones, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings." If you're looking for a good place to start this is about the [...]
We are a couple of days late to this but we should pause here to note the passing of Dick Dodd, lead singer of The Standells, whose scuz-rock classic "Dirty Water" was a shining example of American ingenuity in the field of sleaze music right up until 1997, when it was appropriated by Red Sox fans, who less than a decade later turned into the worst people in the world, thus dramatically poisoning a remarkable work of art with their immutable taint. Dodd was 68.
"Garrick Utley, a former anchor for NBC News who for many years was one of a rare breed in television news reporting, a full-time foreign correspondent, died on Thursday night at his home in Manhattan. He was 74."
"If television is a cool medium, it's only since Sid Caesar left it. An immense, bear-like monster who generated more energy than any three TVA projects, Caesar did the best comedy on television, ever…. His endless energy was a war on the static, the complacent and the passively stupid. When Sid Caesar was stupid, he was actively stupid. Usually when someone makes a movie about The Creation, they cast an august presence like John Gielgud or someone to play the voice of God. But there is no doubt that there was one person born to play Him, and it was Sid Caesar. He hurled and slapped his little universe [...]
It is almost impossible to conceive of just how much history Pete Seeger both observed and was a part of during his lengthy and extraordinary life, but even a brief summation gives you an idea of its scope. Also this: "Before Seeger's confrontation with HUAC, people sometimes regarded his optimism as childish, and unrealistic, as a habit of mind inconsistent with the moral rigor of a serious person. Afterward, he became a figure of undeniable stature. He had stared down jail time. He had stood amid peril for his beliefs. He had typified the principles of all the brave people he had sung about." Seeger was 94.
"Others in its history may have left more of a lasting mark on events, shifting the minds of statesmen, or promoting great national and international causes. But few in nearly two centuries of the Manchester Guardian and Guardian can have afforded more consistent pleasure to readers than Simon Hoggart, the paper's parliamentary sketchwriter, who has died aged 67, after suffering from cancer."
Legendary performer and alcohol aficionado Peter O'Toole, "an Irish bookmaker’s son with a hell-raising streak whose performance in the 1962 epic film 'Lawrence of Arabia' earned him overnight fame and established him as one of his generation’s most charismatic actors," died this weekend. Knowing all that I do about the subjectivity of taste and the vast differences of opinion and appreciation for forms and styles of art I am disinclined to make grand, sweeping statements about the cinema, but I do want to mention that Lawrence of Arabia is one of the ten greatest films of all time and if you have never seen it you cannot consider yourself [...]