Modern cinema owes a major debt to Robert Altman, whose style and sensibilities are replicated over and over again in contemporary films. His major contribution is the ensemble film, particularly his 1976 masterpiece, Nashville. Following a collection of assorted characters in the country music capitol, Nashville is about a country seemingly on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and its cast, featuring standout performances from Lily Tomlin, Henry Gibson, and Keith Carradine, delivers moments of both dramatic and comedic brilliance. For my money, however, I’ve always been taken with Ronee Blakley, who plays country star Barbara Jean, and who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance.
In addition to acting in the film, Blakley, already an established recording artist, contributed seven songs to it. And it’s her performance as the tender and fragile Barbara Jean that offers pathos in light of the film’s biting satirical commentary. Today, Nashville sees a reissue in a deluxe Blu-Ray/DVD edition from Criterion Collection, allowing me the chance to talk to Blakley about her role in the movie and its soundtrack, crafting the character of Barbara Jean, and the film’s enduring legacy.
Flavorwire: I’m really thrilled to talk to you because not only is Nashville one of my favorite, favorite movies, but I’m also a fan of your music. I was listening to it all day today.
Ronee Blakley: Aw, thank you.
So, I’m really excited to get to talk to you.
Oh, that is so nice of you. Well, good, I just watched the documentary over the weekend and it seemed to me like they ignored the fact that I contributed six songs to the movie.Did you notice that?
Yeah, I did notice that! They didn’t really talk much about the composition of songs so much, which I think plays such a major role in the film.
I was surprised because it seemed like for the making of Nashville they were going to try to explain how it was done and who did what and everything and then they left that all out. I thought it was odd.
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Buried inside System Preferences on your iOS device is a list of places you frequently go—with a surprisingly useful or creepy amount of data. Heres…
20K City Challenge: Week 26 Standings
We are so close to only having one house left! Let’s finish strong… less than one month to go!
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When people talk listen completely. Don’t be thinking what you’re going to say. Most people never listen. Nor do they observe. You should be able to go into a room and when you come out know everything that you saw there and not only that. If that room gave you any feeling you should know exactly what it was that gave you that feeling. Try that for practice. When you’re in town stand outside the theatre and see how the people differ in the way they get out of taxis or motor cars. There are a thousand ways to practice. And always think of other people.
Extrajudicial “Justice” and the Decapitation of Mohammad Marroush.
At top, according to rebels and activists in Syria, is an image of Mohammad Fares Marroush, a Sunni fighter in Ahrar al-Sham, one of the prominent armed Islamist groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad. At bottom is a more recent image, said to show Mr. Marroush’s fate at the hands of sanctimonious young men from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, an opposition formation aligned with al Qaeda.
Background: Ahrar al-Sham and ISIS are close allies, which means that the men shown displaying what is said to be Mr. Marroush’s severed head were officially Mr. Marroush’s friends.
So how does this work? If the early accounts of this execution are true, it was all a mix-up. Mr. Marroush was recently wounded in battle against loyalist Shia fighters in Aleppo. Rushed to a hospital, he was placed under anesthesia for surgery, according to accounts from activists and rebels. While still under the influence of that anesthesia, he was overhead muttering the phrases “Ya Ali” and “Ya Hussein.”
And that was apparently the beginning and the end of the case against him.
His words, the incoherent jumble of a man in a surgical fog, were taken by his executioners as evidence that he was an adherent of Shia Islam. He was promptly beheaded, while asleep, perhaps with the knife the young man in the lower image is holding in his left hand.
Mr. Marroush was in his mid- to late twenties, and from Hraytan. There is no word yet as to where he was buried, or of his family, or of any reaction by Ahrar al-Sham.
At the current state of the conversation, the top image now carries an especially bitter irony. That image is a screen grab from this video, in which Mr. Marroush is energetically praising ISIS. The second image comes from this other video, in which ISIS answers back, holding his head high, while onlookers gawk and videotape the latest grim spectacle from the revolution to set Syria free.
There is of course the chance, because this is Syria, and this is war, that the accounts buzzing among rebels and their supporters today are not true. Falsehoods move with flash speed in and around Syria. Sometimes repetition and loudness are mistaken for truth. If that is the case here, then ISIS and Ahrar al-Sham should soon be setting straight the record. Mr. Marroush might appear in a fresh YouTube video and announce that reports of his death were premature.
So let’s watch the clock and see.
Meanwhile, the two young men presenting for public view the severed head — someone’s severed head — should be easy enough to identify. ISIS, in its messaging, insists it believes in, and can be, a discerning arbiter of justice. What might it have to say to them?
your bum’s showing [feedly]
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your bum’s showing
Funny, simple, effective little street ad from Je*s Jeans. The arrow points to teeny, tiny copy that reads: “At this moment, your bum is completely exposed. If it were in a sexy pair of jeans, it would attract attention all the time!”
See! Print ads are still cool!
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In the roughly 24 hours since Blockbuster’s closures were announced, I’ve seen scores of misty-eyed memories of Blockbuster’s heyday, and I don’t aim to dismiss those remembrances — your nostalgia is your own. But let’s not soft-soap the fact that this was a chain that ran roughshod over local businesses, gouged customers on a regular basis, employed scores of movie-ignorant dullards, refused to stock controversial titles, imposed a bullshit “family” morality that was hypocritical at best, and operated on a business model that was less about Film than it was about Product.
How Old Is The NFL Tie Toronto’s Mayor Wore To Admit He Smokes Crack? [feedly]
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How Old Is The NFL Tie Toronto’s Mayor Wore To Admit He Smokes Crack?
Toronto mayor Rob Ford, who admitted earlier today that he smokes crack cocaine, just wrapped up a press conference at which he said some stuff about his political future. But we couldn’t help but notice the garish novelty tie he was wearing, which has NFL team logos all over it. Now look more closely. Those are not current NFL logos, or anything close to current NFL logos.
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The Bureau of Land Management Nevada has selected the winners of the Nevada 150 Photo Contest, a part of BLM’s participation in Nevada’s 150th Year Sesquicentennial. The photos highlight adventures, activities and historic sites on public lands.
The winners were selected from over 300 entries and will be featured in a calendar and displayed on social media and other venues. The photos were judged on originality, artistic composition, technical quality, photographic technique, and whether the photograph showcases the best of BLM Nevada.
View all winners on BLM-Nevada’s Flickr site at http://bit.ly/1dKu2Ap.