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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:
Pisces choices - 2018
Movies
187 - Directed by Kevin Reynolds

Engaging inner-city drama. Samuel L. Jackson often loses points with the black bourgeoise due to his failure to play roles that pander to their idea of dignity. Whatever. Mr. Jackson shows why he is simply second to none in the acting business. Tremendous yarn from beginning to end.

2001: A Space Odyssey - Directed by Stankley Kubrick

One of my favorite memories of my dear home-slice, my brother, Ize Ofrika, is when my wife and I showed him this flick for the first time. He simply gave me that look he gave when absolutely stunned by artistry and said, "Ranney. C’mon now!" Enough said. Classic cinematic shamanism on the possible overall journey for mankind.

 

The Bourne Identity - Directed by Doug Liman

Jason Bourne is rapidly replacing Mr. Bond as the quintessential, thinking man’s action hero. In a series that is exceeding expectations, this first look into the life of amnesiac, special agent Bourne is off to the races immediately. I hope that one day they film The Bourne Oh No He Didn’t

Election - Directed by Alexander Payne

Omaha’s George Washington Carver High School (We’ll skip the irony this time.) is having an election for school president. It is only half as nasty, surreal, shocking, disheartening, and competitive as the ones we have for commander-in-chief every four years. Election is just as funny and much more rewarding.

 

Rocky - Directed by John G. Avildsen

Just like The Matrix, drop the sequels - foreget about ’em. The sequels got so wrapped up in the attempt to probe the sport of boxing that they forgot what was the real story: a downtrodden underdog daring to defy the odds while taking on the world. Why? Why not?

Running With Scissors - Directed by Ryan Murphy

Exceptional ensemble acting and keen direction save this very flawed sreenplay that is based on the infamous memoir of Augusten Burroughs. Watch and marvel as outlandish confrontations, intimate confessions, sensual rehabilitations, and desperate eccentricitites get tossed around by a cast impeccably on top of their craft. Mad Bananas.

Seven Years in Tibet - Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud

Brad Pitt is at his best in this moving film about a Nazi mountain-climber who finds hope, humility, and himself in an intuitive relationship with a young Dalai Lama.

 

 
Written Works
Commincating Vessels - by Andre Breton

Not for the weak or closed-minded. The dean of surrealism decodes dreams, connects symbols, and dissects art in order to lay the groundwork for self determination and self actualization. It so so surreal that it is pure clarity - acidic truth, baby!

Letters to a Young Poet - by Rainer Maria Rilke

I’m always teaching young  poets that poetry done correctly is life concentrate, somewhat like the frozen orange juice that we buy. We remove the water and it is stronger, more bitter, less transparent, colder, etc. This book is concentrated poetics. Crucial!

Out of Phaze - by Piers Anthony

If you were in my shoes? Hmmm. Well - how about switching bodies? Switching worlds? Fantasy fans’ favorites, Mach and Bane trade places and learn to exist through the trials and tribulations the other’s parallel universe. Imaginative bliss. Bananas x n.

The Scene - by Clarence Cooper Jr.

Only the second time a recommendation has made The Choices more than once. This is the third time I’ve chosen what I consider one of the most gripping works I’ve ever encountered. This hidden treasure is a pulp masterpiece. The world of urban drug addicts and dope pushers serves as a hyper-intense looking glass through which we view the mercurial soul of mankind. Baptize Curious George, 'cuz this is OMG Bananas!

 

Six Character in Search of an Author - by Luigi Pirandello

Existentialism at its best, chil’ren! One of my Fav 5 writers puts human concerns in a blender and makes us guess at the recipe. A brain-bending martini. Take your time and learn something about yourself on every page.

Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky - by Noam Chomsky

Second recommendation for this colossal bible on U.S. Foreign Policy, the mindless media, empire building, and a plethora of other topics from which we are constantly distracted. Surgical analysis by the Moses of free-thinkers.

The World Religions - by Huston Smith

"The Messenger" of perenniel philosophy sheds light on religion and the understanding of its impact. Joseph Campbell’s homeboy, Smith extracts eternal lessons from the essence of evangelical eclecticism. Three words: BA-NA-NAS.

 
Audio
The Black Album - Jay-Z

Packing some of the most brilliant lyrics of any genre, Jay-Z brings hammering insight with the booty shaking on this joint. Probably in my top three playlist for when focusing before a top level performance. "But every time I felt that was that, it called me right back..."

Days of Future Passed - The Moody Blues

One of the best titles befitting a collection (along with Gloryhallastoopid by P-Funk, Out of Our Heads by The Rolling Stones, and Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants by Stevie Wonder). Also one of the best true concept albums. Absolutely bananas!

De Nova - The Redwalls

These young’ns have been here before. Vintage, throwback, retro - my ass! This rock quartet from Chi-town is completely right across the home plate in this great new addition to classic rock. Son: This is how the story goes!

 

Happy Together: The Very Best of the Turtles - The Turtles

This short-lived, 60’s pop band brought quite a combination punch to the era. Exuberant, thought-provoking musings you could lose yourself to without dropping the earnest and in-depth musical meshwork.

Masterjam - Rufus and Chaka Khan

I was recently at an event where they played "Do You Love What You Feel?" I knew this song, released in 1979, to be a hit at parties when I was growing up. I even knew it to be a funky flashback in the 90s. But to see today’s teens hoofin it intensely and joyously to this masterjam was a refreshing revelation and re-introduction to one of the most smoking dance tracks of all time. "Ohhhhhhhhh, do ya, do ya, do ya..." Turn the heat down on that monkey meat! Smoking Bananas!

Money Jungle - Duke Ellington

The alpha and omega of jazz, the Duke arranges an incomparable sound safari with Max Roach and Charles Mingus as members of his flawless crew. The unpredictable harmony shifts; the smooth, syncopated soul invasions; the intrisically carnal improvisations; the colliding chords in osmotic explosions are exactly what jazz is supposed to be. Cataclysmically cool. King Kong just got a second call; this som' "WAIT A MINUTE" BANANAS!

Gold - Hank Williams

Get some "Honky Tonkin’," chilren. Get some "Howlin’ at the Moon," - some "Ramblin’ Man;" some "Cold, Cold Heart;" some "Hey, Good Lookin’." Get some GOLD. Simply put: consummate story telling. Grown folk music. You gotta know something to feel this one.

 


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