Love Locks in Maine

love-locks-1-of-1No one knows exactly where the “love lock” thing began but it has spread around to areas as diverse as Brooklyn, Tokyo and Paris as well as other cities and towns around the world. Lovers throughout declaring their love for one another by writing their names on a padlock and securing it on a waterfront fence then tossing the key into the water.

The photograph you see here I took last year in Portland, Maine where the “love lock” tradition began sometime in early 2013. It was on Commercial Street which runs along Portland’s waterfront. The area  is a big tourist spot and the locks have become a sight for visitors to look out for.

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Close up

Surprisingly, there have been few, if any, complaints from residents, shop owners and the local government. What is unknown is what will happen if and when the locks become rusted overtime or become so abundant they become an eyesore for many.

Thoughts on Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

debbieThe twin deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds within twenty four hours of each other brings 2016 to a devastating finish  for multiple generations of film lovers. Reynolds bursted on to the screen in what many consider the greatest musical film ever made, Singin’ in the Rain. Her career survived one of the most famous scandals in Hollywood. She did it all with grace and style.

Reynolds most memorable roles, for me, along with Singin’ in the Rain were in the underrated drama, The Rat Race and comedies like The Gazebo, Goodbye Charlie, Divorce – American Style and Albert Brooks wonderful film, Mother. On TV, she was a perfect fit as Grace’s mother, Bobbie Alder in Will and Grace.

Three decades later her daughter, Carrie Fisher, became the first liberated sci-fi screen heroine. As princess Leia, Fisher inspired many young girls to break barriers here on earth just like her legendary character did in a galaxy far, far away. While I saw the first four Star War films, I was never a big fan of the series. For me, Fisher’s most memorable roles were in Shampoo, The Blues Brothers and When Harry Met Sally.

I always admired Fisher for her soul baring acerbic wit. As someone said, a few days ago, I don’t remember who, Carrie was the  Dorothy Parker of our day. She was a great interview, never holding back, coming across as both cutting and vulnerable in discussing her addictions, relationships and mental illness. Her books were just as open. Postcards From the Edge, her first novel was to some extent based on her own life, as were her other written works.

HBO has been working on a documentary that takes a look at the mother/daughter relationship. Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds airs in March 2017.

Photographer Jerry Uelsmann at FMOPA

jerry-uelsmann-001

I became an admirer of Jerry Uelsmann’s work sometime in the 1970’s. I am  vague on how he first came to my attention. Like many photographers I discovered back then, It was either through an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York or an Aperture monograph of his work that I discovered in the Museum’s bookshop. Either way, I became an admirer of the artist’s work and have been ever since.  Uelsmann is a master of surrealistic images created in the darkroom. Using multiple negative images, many photographed specifically to be used as just one element of the final print,  he experiments, studying the possibilities until he arrive at the moment his imagination has been searching for.

Today with digital photography, photoshop and lightroom many photographers can create similar images in much less time rarely, if ever, as good. Despite the digital revolution, Uelsmann, now in his 80’s, continues to use the darkroom as his paintbrush.

I bring all this up because, currently on view at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa, Florida, an exhibit called Jerry Uelsmann: Undiscovered Self is on view. My wife and I went to see it yesterday afternoon and it reminded of how much and why I admire Uelsmann’s original and interpretive work.

The exhibit runs through December.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Oh, Florida!

FLorida

A must read for anyone thinking of moving to Florida. You just might have second thoughts! Author Craig Pittman (Tampa Bay Times) writes in a breezy informative style that is as engaging as it is funny. The sad, or scary part, is everything he writes about is true. It all happened. No exaggeration needed. From teachers who have had sex with their students, remember Debra Lefave, a sexy blonde bombshell,  being the most prominent to crazies like a woman who thought riding a Manatee, an endangered species,   as if it were a surf board would be a sane thing to do. Of course the state is loaded with crazy politicians. Now most states have a weird politician or two, but Florida seems to be growing them like oranges including the only Mayor to ever be over thrown in a military coup.  We also meet Old Sparky,  Florida’s famed electric chair and a long, long, long history of land swindles (swamp land for sale!). And let’s not forget the ‘stand your ground’ law. That all said, Pittman does not just focus on the crazies and the weird. While the state has more than its share of both some good and smart people have emerged and the author gives them their due.

The book is entertaining, informative and a warning to anyone contemplating moving to the Sunshine State.

Harvey Keitel

Blue Collar is just one of actor Harvey Keitel’s best films. In a career filled with stunning performances, Taxi Driver, Mean Streets and Fingers to name a few, Paul Schrader’s Blue Collar stands out. The 1978 film is a lost gem. Happy 77th birthday, Mr. Keitel!

blueFrom my book Lessons in the Dark

 “Blue Collar is the story of the have and the have-nots, the powerful and the powerless. Corrupt unions doing whatever possible to keep the working man in their place. A system beating you down, destroying your hopes, dreams and even your decency.”

Lessons in the Dark Cover-Small-003

You can read more about Blue Collar and other films by clicking on the link below.

https://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Dark-John-Greco-ebook/dp/B01CC0TWLS?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc