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"ranney"s Seven is Heaven Cosmic Choices

Each month, as determined by the span of days for each sign of the zodiac, this site will display recommended films, written works, and albums:
Gemini choices - 2021
Movies
Brazil - directed by Terry Gilliam

This 35 year old film is still mesmerizing cult cinema fanatics. Gilliam's Kafka-esque masterpiece about a clerk in a systemic world gone berserk is not only surreal but truly so real. Correlation? Causation? Karmic consequences? Third base.

Factory Girl - directed by George Hickenlooper

The rich socialite, Edie Segwick, is the focus of this melodramatic yarn starring Sienna Miller. Edie is transformed into a cultural Icon by (the Pop Factory himself) Andy Warhol. Guy Pearce’s performance is the draw here. His Warhol is the most unbiased and thorough portrayal I’ve seen on screen. Absolute Bananas!

Good Bye Lenin! - directed by Wolfgang Becker

Whoa! Mom is a devout Communist. Mom goes into a coma. Berlin Wall comes down. Mom awakes from a coma. Son, Alex, does everything to convince Mom that Communism still stands strong. Complex, fascinating, and very funny.

Last Tango in Paris - directed by Bernardo Bertolucci

In a career of mesmerizing performances which include upstaging the rest of the Hall of Fame cast in Coppola's The Godfather, I still find this portrayal of widowed hotel owner, Paul, to be Marlon Brando's paramount achievement in character work.

Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979) - directed by Jeff Margolis

Every now and then, I like to return to this classic like a classical pianist sitting down to Rachmaninoff. I try to discover why this crowning stand-up comedy special still reigns at the top for so many comedians for so many years. I never receive a detailed answer because of the answer. The answer is simple. Richard Pryor is the best.

The Royal Tenenbaums - directed by Wes Anderson

Dysfunctional family comedy at its best! Again, Anderson shows why flaws mixed in with forgiveness and unconditional love make us homo genus.

Training Day - directed by Antioine Fuqua

Somebody must've slapped Mighty Joe Young; this is MAD BANANAS! Ethan Hawke at his very best! Earnest, confused, tenacious, vulnerable, etc. - all across from a mercurial powder keg of a rogue detective made up to look just like Denzel Washington. Off the chimney, hot, smokin' BANANAS!

 
Written Works
Alice in Wonderland - by Lewis Carroll

I'm sure Johnny Depp and Tim Burton are somewhere cooking up a ingenious plan to ruin another classic. If there is a positive, it is that it possibly attracts another generation to a classic like this one: Alice falls down a rabbit hole and encounters a fantastic world that has had us trippin' ever since. King Kong levitating on cactus juice = Bananas x infinity!

Failed States... - by Noam Chomsky

Show me the money pit! America's disastrous foreign policy boomerang is dismantled and dissected by the dean of dissidence. Must read, folks. Must read.

Is Bill Cosby Right? Or... - by Michael Eric Dyson

Are you listening now? I mean...in between the lines also. If you are not self-righteous due to frustrating insecurities about where society places you in the class system, you will probably love this thought-provoking analysis.

Native Son - by Richard Wright

Is even MORE relevant in this post-Obama, "post- racism" nation (lol). Bigger Thomas bounces his trials and tribulations off the unforgiving side boards of the great American pinball machine. Black Lives Battered.

The Peyote Dance - by Antonin Artaud

My favorite writer, The Don Quixote of creativity is initiated into a truly indigenous tribe and it is truly surreal. Truly Shamanamana!

Toward 2012: Perspectives... - co-edited by Daniel Pinchbeck and Ken Jordan

Looking for precise details on global doom? Reality Sandwich founder and contemporary shaman, Daniel Pinchbeck, assembles the transcendental community’s all-stars to ponder everything from cosmic exploration to guerilla gardening. I know what you're thinking. Question? Speaking in galactic terms here: How do you know the ending didn't begin in 2012? Get some pet food for Elphaba; this is WICKED BANANAS!

Wild Seed - by Octavia E. Butler

The late, great Octavia Butler spins a hypnotic web here. Societal control? Testosterone-laden tunnel-vision? Mutual sexism? Aimless feminism? All of that and more.

 
Audio
Controversy - Prince

We used to run this album so much that, even with three copies, the grooves were wearing out and turning white. From the title track to the erotic epic "Do Me, Baby" to the closing house party jam, "Jack U Off," this is porno-mustache, pre-Pentecostal, pimpalicous-pop Prince at perfection!

The Headphone Masterpiece - Cody Chestnut

I think this is what Amiri Baraka meant when he said, "....hambone precise findings..." This funky, home-cooked lo-fi serving was whipped up in Chestnut’s boudoir in a matter of several intense weeks alone with his music and his mind. Three words: BA - NA -NAS!

Houses of the Holy - Led Zeppelin

My favorite album by my wife's favorite band. Metal funky "The Crunge" and "The Song Remains the Same" are measuring sticks for hard rock composition. My favorite two Zeppelin tunes are also on this recording: "The Rain Song" and the Coltrane-esque "No Quarter."

I've Got My Own Hell to Raise - Bettye LaVette

A dozen years ago at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors for The Who tribute,  Madame Lavette blew up the spot with her rendition of the legendary rock band's "Love Reign O'er Me." It reminded me why the Dynamic Queen of the Underground is such a beloved and divine performance diva. It is all about back alley, silky soul vocals and heart-wrenching, uncompromisingly honest interpretation of songs. Crucial.

Like Water for Chocolate - Common

No A. I. here. The intelligence is organic and palpable. Hysterical, jammin', deep, intense, chill, and ahead of the curb. HIP HOP! This is still my fovorite of the stellar Common recordings. Curious George must've found Jesus: OMG BANANAS!

Oracular Spectacular - MGMT

Magnificent meshwork of psychadelic soul, sporadic funk, and garage. If you love overlooked 80’s R&B, club jams, and pool-hall rock, and yet you are still hip to what is now, download this hot work! "...no more mirrors, woolen bag - and I am gone..."

The Pretenders: Greatest Hits - The Pretenders

With one of the sexiest voices to ever grace rock music, Chrissie Hynde is the frontwoman of this edgy pop and mellow rock band. The sentimental "I’ll Stand by You," (Not overdone, pretentious, and shallow like the Pia Toscano version)the sensual "Brass in Pocket" and the defiant, "Back on the Chain Gang" are just a few of the invigorating tracks that have kept us in great company through the years.

 


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