Derik Badman's Journal

2020-05-17 11:16

Before heading out on my morning walk, I opened the window above the hope chest with its homemade cushion, in front of the bird feeder, so that Buddy could smell some fresh air and watch the birds. We both immediately notice one of the foxes (the male I think) trotting down the sidewalk away from the house. I think he likes to come up from the den through the brush next to our house, and then head off down the street. A few minutes later on the other side of the block I caught back up with him, crouched in the grass at the end of a driveway, apparently stalking something.

I'm out on the porch again, less warm than yesterday with an occasional cool breeze, but still quite pleasant. Numerous birds are flitting about, occasionally stopping to sing on some nearby surface where I can get a good view of them. One little brown guy, a carolina wren I think, is singing loudly from the branch of a nearby tree, and when he sings his tail feathers twitch. In the corner of my vision I can see the new neighbor's dog running the perimeter of their yard, a flash of white behind the arbor vitae that separate our yards.

Was thinking about the rather long list I could make of animals I've seen just on my block. Even just in the past couple weeks its been rather surprisingly extensive.

Since I enjoyed The Clouds of Sils Maria so much, I watched Assayas' Summer Hours this morning. Shortly into it there is scene where the three adult children of an older woman give her a new telephone. Her phone works fine. She takes one look and says its too complicated. It reminded me of whenever my brothers and I would try to give mom presents like that (we stopped trying, at least I did), but it also reminded me that I had seen the movie before. Must have been many many years ago, but throughout I had vague bits of memory of it. It's a quiet movie mostly dealing with the children in the aftermath of the mother's death as they handle the estate, which includes the collection of their great uncle, a painter who is famous enough to be having a multi-city retrospective 30 years after his death. In some ways its a meditation on legacy and art as objects imbued with personal memory and emotion but also of societal importance, as well as monetary value. There is a little bit of each. One valuable vase is given away to the mother's longtime housekeeper. The woman has no idea of its values and tells her nephew she wanted to take something that wasn't valuable. Two Corot paintings are sold, under some contention between the children, because they are the most valuable things in the collection. Other objects are donated to the museum both for legacy reasons and for tax exemptions. Some objects are kept as personal favorites or reminders. The practical meets the artistic.

Tried to watch The Sniper one of the Columbia Noir movies on the Criterion Channel yesterday, but ended up giving up on it. It had some nice high contrast, dark shadow film work, especially in the hilly streets of San Francisco, but the story was just so uninteresting to me. I have perhaps already reached the point of saturation with film noir that I love and want to watch.