Amoeblog

Noir City Xmas, December 18

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 6, 2019 06:00pm | Post a Comment

La Otra

Join the Film Noir Foundation on Wednesday, December 18, 7:30pm at San Francisco's Castro La OtraTheatre for the annual Noir City Xmas. It will be a special evening of yule cruelty with a presentation of the dark Mexican holiday classic, La Otra (1946). The entire schedule for NOIR CITY INTERNATIONAL II, a program of noir from around the globe coming January 24-February 2, 2020, will also be revealed that night. Both events will be hosted by Eddie Muller, the Film Noir Foundation’s founder and president, as well as the host of TCM’s Noir Alley.

Dolores del Rio, one of the most beautiful actresses of all time, stars in the noir-laden thriller La Otra as identical twins: Maria, a manicurist who lives in near-poverty, and her sister Magdalena, who married the wealthy man Maria once loved. When the estranged sisters reunite at the funeral of Magdalena's husband, Maria can't help but imagine how different life would be if she could only trade places with her sister. Uh-oh. Take a guess where this is headed. Co-starring Jose Baviera, Agustin Irusta, and Victor Junco, with extraordinary cinematography by the great Alex Phillips. Del Rio enjoyed a successful career in Hollywood during the 1920s and 1930s before she returned to her native Mexico in the 1940s to claim her place as one of the nation's most renowned stars. La Otra is the first feature made under her own production banner, Mercurio. The film was also the initial collaboration between director Roberto Gavaldon and writer-activist Jose Revueltas, who would make eleven more films together becoming arguably the preeminent filmmaking team in Mexico.

Continue reading...

Happy Discovery Day -- Real Geographic Discoveries of the Modern Age

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 13, 2014 04:42pm | Post a Comment

I will not make the argument that Columbus's arrival in the New World was insignificant merely because he was an absolutely awful person or because he didn't actually discover anything (which he himself maintained, claiming until his death that he'd merely found a different route to Asia). But think about this before you dismiss -- before Columbus, avocado, bell peppers, blueberries, cashews, cassava root, chili peppers, chocolate, cocaine, gourds, maize, peanuts, pecans pineapples, pumpkins, squash, tobacco, tomatoes, and vanilla were all unknown in the Old World and alcohol, apples, bananas, barley, cheese, coffee, mango, onions, rice, tea, and turnips, and wheat were unknown in the Americas. Imagine an existence without any of those and you can hopefully begin to get a taste of the importance of the Columbian Exchange. Imagine Italian cuisine without tomato sauce or gnocchi and you can't help but wonder if this is why Columbus is so dear to many Italians. Imagine, on the other hand, genocide, slavery, and old world diseases and you'll understand why he's even more hated by many others. 





 
We all know now that Columbus wasn't the first European to visit the Americas either -- but neither was Leif Erikson. Europeans had been living in the North American territory of Greenland since sometime between 876 and 932 CE when Gunnbjorn Ulfsson was blown off course and sited the world's largest island. Around 978, Snæbjorn Galti was the probably first European to set food on Greenland but we rightly don't make a big deal out of that since there were already Inuits living there and before them, an earlier people who'd arrived and abandoned the country -- and that cultural exchange was by most measures, less impactful on the planet.


The Divine Comedy - "A Seafood Song"

Greenland, of course, is just as much a part of North America as are the Bahamas (where Columbus landed) as are the US and Canada -- or Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Clipperton Island, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Navassa Island, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saba, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and United States Virgin Islands, for that matter.



Crime & the City Solution - "The Bride Ship"
 

The fact is that people have been exploring for roughly 1.8 million since Homo erectus first caught that ramblin' fever years ago and identifying the first European to do something is a silly pursuit. Exploration and adventuring, on the other hand, is vital and something done by all good people (and plenty of bad). Most of the inhabitable world was discovered in antiquity but in the post-Classical age, new lands were still being discovered by humans around the planet -- especially Arab, Austronesian, and European seafarers. In the 15th Century, the more isolated islands of the Atlantic were still being added to maps with some regularity and discovery of islands in the Arctic and Southern Oceans continued into the 20th Century. Here then is a look at some of the real discoveries of the modern age -- previously uninhabited lands just waiting for humans to despoil them.





*****

MADEIRA

Madeira (image source: World for Travel)


Madeira was first claimed by Portuguese sailors in the service of Infante D. Henrique in 1419, who were driven by storm to an island harbor which they called Porto Santo. Settlement of the island began in 1420 and by 1433 it was known as Ilha da Madeira.



THE AZORES

Azorean chamaritta 

The Azores were known of in the 14th Century but humans didn't begin to colonize them until 1433. Before arriving, sheep were deposited to establish a food source for the colonists, who included Sephardic Jews, Moorish prisoners and African slaves, as well as Flemish, French, and Spanish colonists. Nowadays there are about a quarter of a million residents of the country.



CAPE VERDE

Morna performed in the documentary Dix petits grains de terre

The volcanic islands of the Cape Verde archipelago were discovered by Italian and Portuguese navigators around 1456. The first settlement, founded in 1462, was the first European settlement in the tropics. Located off the coast of West Africa, Cape Verde's economy was predictably built on the back of the slave trade but the African population was joined by Jewish refugees from the Inquisition, as well as Dutch, French, British, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Indonesians, and other settlers.

Jorge Leal On Discos Inmigrantes 9/16/13

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, September 15, 2013 11:25pm | Post a Comment
On the next Discos Inmigrantes, I will be interviewing Jorge Leal, long time advocate of the music and culture of Latin America. I first got to know Jorge as Implacable, a writer and promoter of the Roc En Español scene in the early nineties. Jorge was the one first to acknowledge how the Roc En Español movement influenced the youth on both sides of the border. A few years back, Jorge was the architect behind the "Embrace Your Inner Paisa", which was an project based on Jorge’s acceptance of not just being an immigrant (Jorge was born and raised in Guadalajara, MX) but embracing all the stigmas that are attached to most working class immigrants that latter generations, well...frankly, abhor.

Currently, Jorge is a second year doctoral student in the History Department at the University of California, San Diego and hold a Masters Degree in History from Cal State Northridge.

In a conference Jorge spoke at back in 2008, Jorge lecture was entitled, "Yo Vivo Así, It's My Reality: How Rock En Español Started a Conversation Between U.S. Latino Youth and Their Latin American Counterparts” Jorge had this to say;

In the 1990s American rock music thrived in the suburbs under the alternative label, offering songs that dealt with teenage angst. At the same time, rock en español arrived in the Barrios of California and was appropriated by the Latino youth to create a sheltering space that shielded them from a hostile social climate created by anti-immigrant political initiatives such as Propositions 187, 209 and 227. With lyrics that directly denounced social injustices, Rock en español gained popularity and for the first time, generated close contacts among the "close others"; second and third generation young Latinos began a continuing conversation with immigrant Latino youths that came of age listening to this music in their home countries. This conversation created a new Latino youth subculture that considered Spanglish cool and fostered fads and trends derived from music, films, fashion, art and language that emanated from both American cities as well as Latin American metropolises.

The end result was a generation of film makers, artists, musicians and actors that broke stereotypes that existed with Non-latinos and Latinos alike, dealing with subject matters that were relevant to the day to day lives of the average Latin American immigrant as well with the generations that followed. People such as Alejandro González Iñárritu, Diego LunaGael García Bernal, Manu Chao, Toy Selectah and many others became household names for creating art that appealed to both immigrants and non-immigrants alike.


I have wanted to have Jorge as my guest since the incarnation of my radio show, but due to his busy academic schedule, its only now that it’s come to fruition. Jorge has not only becoming a powerful voice of our culture, but I consider him a vital influence on my work.

Disco Inmigrantes with Jorge Leal will air live on radiosombra.org on Monday, September 16th from 8-10 PST. The achieve edition of the show will be on the Discos Inmigrantes page on radiosombra.org at a later date,

The Great Chavela Vargas, Dead At 93

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 6, 2012 08:01am | Post a Comment
A few weeks back, while browsing the Queens collection, a private LP collection recently purchased and currently being sold at Amoeba Hollywood, I noticed several Chavela Vargas LPs were a part of it. At this point, I am pairing down my music to the bare necessities. When I see vinyl that I want to buy, I ask myself first, will I listen to it or will it sit in the shelf? Can I play it at a club or on my radio show, Discos Inmigrantes? If not, I don’t buy it.

After a few days of the collection being on sale, with some of the better international vinyl long gone in the selves of various record collectors, the Chavela Vargas records were still in the bins. I saw it as a sign. I had to get them. The day I bought them I had my radio show. I didn’t get to play the records on air, but I played one of the records as I was preparing for the show. Instantly as soon I dropped the needle on the recent purchase, I was glad I went back and bought the Chavela Vargas LPs.

As you read the various obituaries about Chavela Vargas, you will read the same facts. That she was a great interpreter of Mexico’s ranchera music. That she was contemporaries of many Mexican legends, including Jose Alfredo Jimenez, Augustin Lara, Diego Rivera and of course, Frida Kahlo, who she was rumored to have an affair with. That she was overtly gay but not out. She often dressed in men’s clothing and her sexuality was a secret that everyone seem to know. When she finally came out in 2000, it was an afterthought. She lived rough for a while, which only added to the pain in her voice. She recorded over 80 albums, dropped out during the mid-seventies only to have resurgence in the 1990’s, thanks to being included in a few Pedro Almodovar films as well as the movie, Frida. Recently, Spanish singer Concha Buika teamed up with Chucho Valdez to make a tribute album to Chavela called, El Ultimo Trago, in which Buika credits Vargas for teaching her how to "make a monument out of loneliness."

As I sat alone listening to Chavela version of “Volver, Volver” backed only with the solo guitar of  Antonio Bribiesca, I thought of Buika quote. I had read in an interview back when El Ultimo Trago was released in 2010. I remember thinking that the quote captured the essence of Chavela Vargas’ music. Some people say when they hear great Mexican music that they want to have a drink. But it’s usually in a group setting. It's either sharing a bottle of Tequila or a round of Margaritas. Even if there are tears flowing from your cheeks as you remember past lost loves, in that setting, you have your friends to commiserate with. That is not Chavela’s music. You listen to Chavela’s music alone. It’s music you listen to when you sit alone at the end of a bar, far from the others. It’s music you play alone in your apartment at 3 am. It’s music you listen to after heartbreak and personally, the only company I think you should you commiserate with is a bottle, period.  It’s blues music, albeit Mexican blues music, but still, blues music. Chavela just didn’t make monuments out of loneliness, she created universes out of it.



Where Fools Fear to Tread -- A Cabo San Lucas Snapshot

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 17, 2011 05:43pm | Post a Comment
CABOHOLICS, CABO WABO, AND CABO RULES!!!


So I recently went on a much-needed vacation to Cabo San Lucas with a motley assortment of friends. Cabo San Lucas was chosen because it was a friend's birthday, a friend whose father owns a bar, Happy Ending Cantina


To be completely forthcoming, Cabo San Lucas has never been high on my list of desired vacation destinations, placing somewhere between Gilbert, Arizona and Hutchinson, Kansas. Admittedly, my ignorance on the subject of Cabo San Lucas was vast... I only knew that Sammy "The Red Rocker" Hagar (Montrose, Van Hagar and now, Chickenfoot) owns a bar there... and that it's frequently referred to simply as "Cabo" by people who I'm guessing neither know what "cabo" means or that there are many other "Cabos."

However, despite my well of cynicism, reservations and the somewhat awkward circumstances, I can honestly say that I had a great vacation. My opinions of Cabo San Lucas might come off as sarcastic and snide but I honestly don't mean in any way to insult or discourage the tourist for whom Cabo San Lucas might be Heaven on Earth. I am merely not the typical "Caboholic." I've also little interest in visiting Acapulco, Cancún or taking a Disney cruise. On the other hand, if you, dear reader, are in the position -- or know anyone who can -- get me a free vacation to Mexico I'm very, very interested in visiting and blogging about Oaxaca, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Guadalajara, Mexico City or Monterrey. I'm pretty sure I'll love any of them. 

Continue reading...
<<  1  2  3  4  5  >>  NEXT