Make your own free website on
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
« May 2008 »
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Art and Culture
Edward Albee's New Play
Life in General
Donald Gavron
Friday, 30 May 2008
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Art and Culture
Last week I attended a fascinating show at the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan. The artist Cai Guo Qiang exhibited some striking, unusual and brilliant works.

Most of his work is created using gunpowder as an element in forming his art. His politically and socially charged art follows the dictum "No destruction, no construction," a phrase lifted from the sayings of Chairman Mao.

The museum rotunda was consumed by a large structure of 8 ascending cars (white Chevy Cavaliers?) sprouting neon tubes that pulsed, representing a car being launched upward by a land mine or bomb. It was an imposing image, stretching from the bottom floor to the top — a destructive image that also was paradoxically quite stylish and beautiful.

The exhibit is over, but check out the link below for some artistically challenging, uplifting work by a major contemporary artist.

Posted by dgavron at 2:24 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
The Wounded Muse
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: Art and Culture
The recent article in Vanity Fair magazine about James Frey has my blood boiling. Here's a kid from a wealthy family who got his foot in the door of the publishing industry and thought he could get away with writing a fictionalized memoir. He lied about his so-called exploits. Let me say this again: He lied. And they weren't little lies. They were big ones. He lied about being in jail while his girlfriend committed suicide. He ws not in jail when this happened. He turned his back on someone who needed help.

He tried to model himself after macho writer Norman Mailer, Jack Kerouac and others, and he failed. Mailer and other writers have written fictionalized memoirs in the past, but they acknowledged that they were fiction. 

Frey claims he was led astray by agents and publishers who wanted to release the book as a "memoir" when he claimed all along it was a "novel." The people he dealt with disagree. Frey is just another bored rich kid who had nothing else to do but get high and write a "meaningful" account of recovery.

There is nothing he says that we can believe. And, oh yes, he doesn't practice the rules of grammar because he doesn't know the rules. He's not James Joyce. Joyce knew the rules and broke them.

Frey can't write, but he gets published, and now he's wallowing in all the controversy because he has a new book coming out about low-lifes in L.A. Don't patronize this hack. Whatever muse is speaking to this fraud is a corrupt one.

Buy "Tree of Smoke" by Denis Johnson instead. This guy can write. Life is short, read well.

Posted by dgavron at 9:55 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 6 May 2008 3:09 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 29 January 2008
Me, Myself & I
On Jan. 13th I attended the new Edward Albee play, "Me, Myself & I," a brilliant absurdist comedy by the world's preeminent playwright. The story concerns twin brothers and their attempt to establish their own identities and trying to over come a control-freak mother (played well by Tyne Daly). The highlight of the show is Brian Murray, as a doctor who is more of a comic observer on the bizarre proceedings. Murray is in fine form and perfectly in tune with Albee's sense of the absurd. Echoes of Pirandello and Beckett abound in this existential farce, well acted and directed. And the ending is a hoot. Recommended.

Posted by dgavron at 4:01 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 6 May 2008 3:05 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Underwater Photography
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Art and Culture
Here's a link to view some of the work of photography Howard Schatz. He photographs his models underwater in these photos. Some of the pieces have a dream-like quality to them. Cool stuff.

Posted by dgavron at 3:45 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008 4:06 PM EST
Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 28 January 2008
In The Humdrum
Mood:  not sure
Monotony is the enemy. As Beckett says: "I can't go on. I'll go on."
Follow Beckett.

Woody Allen's "Casandra's Dream" is bleak and very sad. The acting is great, the direction superb, but the end result is quite depressing. A sad downer from the great Woodman.

One of my music reviews made it to Medleyville.
See it here:

Check out, it's a great forum for independent music and contains some cool pictures and, of course, some of my reviews.

Posted by dgavron at 3:38 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 28 January 2008 3:39 PM EST
Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
Art and Culture 2008
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Art and Culture
I'll try not to make this diatribe long. The thing that usually ticks me off at this time of year is the AA nominations. Sure, sometimes they get it right, nominating Javier Bardem and Viggo Mortensen, as well as the Coen Brothers for "No Country For Old Men." NCOM was the BEST film of the year. Well acted and written, it was a dark view of contemporary life (although the film was set in 1980) about a battle of good vs. evil that ws slowly being won by the black hats. Tommy Lee Jones (always brilliant) is the wise old sage sheriff who is more appalled at what has happend to this country than he appears to be intyerested in finding the killer (Bardem).
The movie is twisty (you never know what's waiting around the corner) and dark dark dark. The ending is especially a jolt. It's unexpected, but dead on target given the theme of the film.

Now back to the other nominations. Tim Burton being overlooked for "Sweeney Todd" was a travesty. "Charlie Wilson's War" should have nailed a Best Director nod for Mike Nichols.

But any "Arts" institution that has honored Cher, Tatum, Eminem, 36 Mafia, Anna Paquin, Prince, Bon Jovi, Whoopi, Sofiya Coppola -- is beyond comprehension. Especially when you consider that Stanley Kubrick, Cary Grant, Richard Burton, John Garfield, Robert Mitchum, Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch and Robert Altman have never won awards.
What can you say?

The biggest joke about the AA nominations this year is in the Film Editing category. Let's see how many top-notch film critics and industry people get this one. Roderick Jaynes was nominated in the Best FIlm Editing category. There is no Roderick Jaynes. This is a pseudonym for Joel and Ethan Coen. They edit their own films (and like to joke around a bit). You can look this up on

By the way, can anyone tell me the difference between the Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing categories?

For anyone who cares, here's my list of the Best of 2007:

Many more to see including:
3:10 TO YUMA

The Academy Awards have nothing to do with ART. Once in a great while they get it right, but it's a popularity contest, folks.

Posted by dgavron at 3:09 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 23 January 2008 3:53 PM EST
Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 8 January 2008
Mood:  don't ask
We all have the same amount of time. 24 hours. And yet it is more difficult now to focus on a single project than ever. There are so many things to do, books to read, concerts and plays and operas to attend. Trying to juggle them all is difficult. If I had all day and no job I think I would be able to handle it. Another novel to get working on. Stories and manuscripts to edit. Books to read (specifically Against The Day by Thomas Pynchon and Tree Of Smoke by Denis Johnson). Focus.

Posted by dgavron at 5:35 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 14 January 2008 10:22 AM EST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 30 December 2007
Mood:  irritated
After everything is over there is a definite letdown. The new days seem like the old days. As Beckett says: "I can't go on ... I'll go on." And that sums it up. Vain attempts to conjur happiness only brings unhappiness. Don't look for happiness, it will find you -- or not.

Yesterday I watched "Sweeney Todd," Tim Burton's adaptation of the Sondheim musical about the barber (hair stylist?)/murderer. As usual, Johnny Depp is great in the title role (and he can sing also!) and this is the perfect vehicle for Burton. The film is as exhilirating as any musical about a murdering barber can get.

Posted by dgavron at 10:52 AM EST
Post Comment | Permalink
Thursday, 20 December 2007
Mood:  a-ok
Everyone has some form of the blues around the holidays -- it's inevitable. I try to combat it by making plans for the new year. In addition to the usual diet and exercie thing (I want to start jogging again), I write down projects I want to work on, places I want to submit my writing to (publishers and agents) and send out a boatload of resumes to agencies looking for graphic designers. I try to see some films (The Golden Compass and Beowulf are on my list this year) and watch the usual holiday films at home. I have an extensive library of films and I always have something new on hand. The holidays come very fast (it seems) every year and just as soon they are gone. It helps to have some goals to aim for after the holiday lag sets in.

Posted by dgavron at 3:35 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007 4:52 PM EST
Post Comment | Permalink

Newer | Latest | Older