That Man From Rio Is Still Good

Belmondo, just an ordinary good looking guy, and a babe, chase stolen art. Spielberg used this movie to make Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Belmondo still lives, despite being debilitated by a stroke. He did several of the stunts. The babe is dead. Karen Allen character based on her. There is also a Short Round character.

Lovers of French Cinema, Hitch and Tintin will love this movie.

Movies are an antidote to Trumpitis.

Gene Joyner’s Unbelievable Acres Botanical Gardens

Gene Joyner build a rain forest in West Palm Beach that few have visited. Called Unbelievable Acres Botanic Gardens, it is open to the public by appointment or on select tour dates. Featuring rare tropical fruits, foliage plants, flowers, trees and a host of other botanical creatures, many of which you have not seen. Running around are a host of  reptiles that love the heat and humidity, in addition to a bountiful supply of bugs. Its a treasure.

This leaf has a name. I cannot remember all Gene taught me. Years ago, he was the botanist for the State of Florida. This garden/rain forest was built from scratch, by him. You have never seen anything like it.

Baby Driver

BABY DRIVER – great summer escape movie, especially if you like Heist movies. I mean great, even for a 70 year old grouch. Good guys, Spacey, Hamm and Foxx, playing bad guys. Terrific car chases: streets, parking garages, highways. Lots of corrupt people die. Romance. Tarantino like diner scenes. Music, music, sounds and fury. AND, for the DEFENSE ATTORNEYS, a heartwarming, though somewhat unbelievable, courtroom/justice scene.
Stay focused until the end.

Shelly Isaacs, Cafe Cinématique

Not much good to say about where I live. Lots of ill-mannered New Yorker/New Jerseans who rush everywhere, drive madly and think they know it all. Arts and crafts. Cards. Golf. Restaurants, especially early bird specials. Lots of lines, people who talk about grandkids and coupons.

Not a lot of culture, even though we have several museums, nature walks and a plethora of movie theaters. People who watch MSNBC and CNN talk like they have a seat at the table, never mind the ones who watch Fox who control foreign policy. One day in the gym, three televisions had Fox news on, entertaining people on treadmills and stationary bikes.

But, we do have Shelly and his movies. He introduces movies you might not go to see and leads discussions at their conclusion. Always upbeat and tolerant of dumb comments, he increases awareness of cinematic art.

Now, remember, I am a photographic artist, a cult that people know little about, despite the democratization of cameras and photo making. I constantly strive to see better. Shelly’s incisive comments help me to watch movies more critically, though he’s more reviewer than critic. Going to his movies makes life a little more bearable down here.

Day#4 Athens


So, you are asking, why travel. One reason is to see the antiquities. Go back to where organized governments started, albeit ones that didn’t treat all people, especially women equally. They had slaves, too, some of whom had talent and built this place. Seeing it in art and history books just ain’t the same, despite the crowds, the climb and the weather. I felt the togas.


Like all civilized places, they had arts and a theatre. Plays, music and circus. No slayings. Maria Callas even sang there, as did Sting.



Jordan Douglas, Revisited

Jordan Revisited-1

Every once in a while, I go back and look at shots I had taken earlier in my photographic career. Since I wasn’t charging people, many didn’t even return to look at the images, yet alone order any prints. I’d print one, put in my portfolio and that would be it. Never played with them, added any toning or conversion techniques or photoshopped them. That takes some cooperation from the sitter.

Jordan here, didn’t come back. He said he wasn’t looking for images dark or edgy. We haven’t spoken since then; not unusual for me and my sitters. People want their photos to be like they want them to be. And I want mine to be like mine. In a good portrait shoot, the great images are something of a compromise.

Great looking guy. We did well during the shoot, surprisingly well, in light of the fact he is a fine art photographer and teacher. That we share a love of photographic history made it fun, but I never looked at the session until today when I was doing some housecleaning in my catalogues.

Not bad, I’d say. Still have some work to do on it, if I have time. More importantly, it tells me that in those files and folders sitting on my computer may lie some shots I would appreciate.

Lorin Duckman Reads Faces

ld faces

So, by this time you must know that I am an artist with a camera who shoots portraits. The heavy book in my lap, edited by the wife of a lawyer whom I knew when I lived in another body, traces the history of the photographic portrait. Where I fit into this ever changing medium has not yet been determined, but I am working on it.

Fascinating that the beginnings of photography and impressionism coincided. As painting went outdoors, aided by the lead tube, the paint brush and the collapsible easel, photography stayed indoors, trapped by its chemistry. The painters escaped the studio, finding their own plein aire truths on the banks of the Seine. The photographers focused their eyes on people and things that didn’t move, establishing themselves as the heirs to the pre-raphaelites. To many, they were not artists, but merely operators of cameras and mixers of dangerous liquids spilled over plates.

The principles of portrait photography remain the same. You need a camera, a sitter and a photographer. The more the three relate to one another, the better the portrait. The equipment has gotten easier to use and more democratic, which might be able to be said about painting. One still needs to be an artist and adhere to age old principle to do good work.