Friday, October 30, 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

It's Over


"The metal age of money is over now. Central banks all round the world are already selling their stocks of gold, as discreetly as possible, and as slowly as necessary to avoid a gold-price collapse." --Creating New Money, Joseph Huber and James Robertson





"They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be treated as a thing unclean. Their silver and gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath. It will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs, for it has caused them to stumble into sin." --Ezekiel 7:19

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Watch Iceland. End the debt!

Since 2008 the monetary reform issue has been brewing well in Iceland.






"In theory, banks are only supposed to lend out 9 times the amount of cash they actually have in reserve. Yes, they get to counterfeit 900% of the money they actually have and charge us interest on it. That's outrageous. This is the very definition of the word 'usury'. Fractional reserve banking is practiced worldwide now. Over 90% of all new money in every nation on earth now is created by banks in the loan-making process."


"This debt-money system is nothing but legalized counterfeiting of national money. It is worldwide in scale. It is slowly breaking the backs of the economies of every nation and will eventually lead to an even larger worldwide banking system collapse."


"Many Americans, in the wake of Ron Paul's influence, believe that ending the Federal Reserve system is the answer. It's not. Yes, the Fed tries to control the quantity of money in the American system. But who are they really trying to control? The banks. Especially the biggest banks. The banks are in total and complete control of how much money there is, because they create all of it, except coins and paper money which is less than 10% of the money supply in America."


"Gold-backing would make zero difference."




What are the foundations of our money supply?




1. How is the supply of money put into circulation, for all the members of society to use?

2. How does the government raise its revenue? What does it tax and what does it not tax?

3. How does the government spend the revenue on public purposes?


"Have got all of them badly wrong."


Time stamped:




"The public money supply should not be a source of private profit."

Cause after Effect




If I cared to make a top ten list of my all-time favourite films, no matter what films would drop off and others take their place down the years, Au Hasard Balthasar would always remain in the top five, no matter what. Absolutely.

It kills me that so many people go through life watching so much celluloid dross and never see this film, or any of Bresson's films.

"...Thanks to that extraordinary device, the miraculous machine called a camera. As a matter of fact, what surprises me is that such an incredible device, capable of recording what our eye cannot, or more precisely, what our mind does not, is only used to show us tricks and falsehoods. That's what surprises me." 

Did he just hit the bulls-eye or what.

And listen to what else he has to say. I think Robert Bresson was prophetic.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Last of the Chilean Guava




They ripened earlier this year. The last handful pictured above I'm using for seed. Which works well, since they are overripe. That doesn't mean they taste bad, but that they've gone from "sherbet bomb" with that faint spice-like juniper I-want-to-keep-eating-more flavour to just full-on "all sweet" - which isn't really my cup of tea.

Besides, it's sweeter to see this:



From seed sown at the beginning of '15. Photo taken today.


Chilean guava seed, by the way, takes a loooooooooong time to germinate. If you're growing it from seed, never throw out the soil thinking they were duds. Just keep watering it. Patience. It takes over three months. Some of the seeds even longer. And then you have to study the soil closely to see the teeny tiny little sprouts. They're so small one would easily overlook them and decide to throw away the dirt, just when they've started.

Chilean guava makes for really easy cuttings too. Don't bother with "rooting hormone". Just stick the twig ends in soil. Keep it watered in shade to partial shade.

Monday, October 19, 2015

We're screwed



It's a sign.

It's a sign that the US will get Trump.

Misc.


Held my nose to vote against the Liberal party. I say vote against because there is no one to vote for. There is no CHP candidate in my riding. Is there a lesser evil in this election? When someone like Trudeau could be the potentate? Absolutely. Have you listened to the guy? Holy Toledo.

*

Looks more and more like the gluten-is-the-devil hype is dying down. Looks like it is turning out to be - oh, I don't know - just another one of those extremist diet health crazes that come and go like the plague. Looks more and more like - oh, as common sense dictates - highly refined processed grains combined with short leavening time-periods using commercial yeast consumed on a regular basis to the detriment of consuming actually good food is the problem (combined with little to no exercise), and consistent consumption of highly refined sugars to boot. Golly. What would we do without the experts? Saw a headline the other day about how antioxidants could help to cause cancer. No one knows anything really.

I still remember this one blog post by a Catholic blogger lady who has a book or three published getting alarmist about gluten to her thousands of readers, linking to another lady who basically said all grains - even rice - are little better than poison. She had it all figured out (the other lady, not the Catholic blogger lady), charted, squared, articulated - the science and everything, like she was a scientist - with that unmistakable, unerring estrogen energy that says I am full-proof, hear me lecture. To which I wondered out loud in my own blog post (which I'm too lazy to link to) that I find it reprehensible that Jesus would use for the institution of His Eucharist something that was little better than poison.

Here is one assumption that I bet we'll find out later was totally wrong: that all food we consume must be chock-full of vitamins and minerals and other nutrients, and if there aren't any, or few, either in its raw or cooked state, then it's not good for us. This will be disproved. Just watch.

People without responsibility on social media going on about this, that and the other thing. Maybe some readers of the anti-gluten lady decided to cut out all gluten from their diet, not having any allergy to it before - and then developed an allergy to it because they had cut it so drastically out of their diet? Who knows, right? Human biology is amazingly complex.

People all over the social media lecturing and influencing their readers about this, that and the other thing - from gluten to Vatican II to the Synod on the Family. They just know it all. Pope Francis has been making some serious mistakes. He's a Machiavellian villain. He's a fuzzy simpleton. He causes confusion. He's an anti-John the Baptist paving the way for the anti-Christ. He's a product of the polyester 70's. He's not even the Pope. He's Judas. He's a Peron populist crowd whipper-upper. He's well-intentioned but mistaken. He errs in doing this, that and the other thing. He should have unleashed the wrath of God on Congress. He should not have spoken to the U.N. (he opened the fragrance of the Gospel to them! How dare he! He was handing over to them authority for their evil agendas!) He should have come out wearing the mozetta. He should be reading LifeSiteNews. He should be studying with prayerful diligence the words of Rorate Caeli, Pewsitters, 1Peter5 and the Holy Catholic Remnant. He should be doing this, that and the other thing. You know how it is. How it is when people have every simulation of received knowledge - but do not have the ability to go out of themselves.

*

I watched Seven Samurai last night. I have seen it several times before. What a great movie. There are a couple moments that flop in my opinion - like the villagers making way for the old granny to kill the captive in order to avenge the death of her son. Meh. But hey, they were pagans, so whatever.

I even let the intermission play out. I love intermissions. I've said many times before (not on this blog I don't think) that filmmakers should bring back the intermission. People of course would regard it as a mortal sin, because a movie is way too long if it exceeds two hours - and, really, just sitting there with the music playing? That's asking way too much.

Everything is such a joke now. Films ought to be absorbing. The intermission is great for a number of reasons. Just practically because people have to urinate. But it allows a kind of recollection, a coming away from the film that is actually an immersion in the film. The next person to make the Lord of the Rings films - and thereby leave the Peter Jackson series to moulder in the dust - should utilize the intermission. Break each book into two parts (and the books already are broken into two parts). Each part will be one theatrical release, one movie, that runs about four hours long, two hours before and after the intermission, or thereabouts. Thus will be released six movies, each one around four hours long.

But the false law of efficiency that herds people into predetermined units of time says that's a horrible mortal sin. Gone is the capacity for attention, attentiveness. Thou shalt not linger. Move along. On to the next piece of candy. Click, click, click.

*

Few things are as obnoxious as cheaply bought cynicism. It is the usual stock-and-trade of hoi polloi, the inflated currency by which the mass populace avoids the acceptance of suffering, or simply, the acceptance of reality. The cheap cynic seeks to preemptively overextend the action of disillusionment onto everything, and by this he seeks to control, and by this he seeks to avoid the contact of reality. He would darken the light of every doorway with his rot-gut and have people accept it, with him in the picture as the capstone wounded anti-hero, while he himself won't carry a jot or tittle upon his own back - though he will, of course, make a big show of seemingly carrying the world on it. He seeks to be a master of reality in order to dispose of it.

Precisely in this is he indecipherable from the manipulative sentimentalist.

*

Progressive Christianity, or Universalism, succeeds only in nullifying Heaven.

The height of heaven and the descent of Christ from it always keep their radical standard, toward which we move, by sanctifying grace, which displaces us from making a home of the hell in our hearts. Or, if you will: from making a home of the but-I'm-not-a-bad-person indifferentist illusion already-giving-the-lie-that-one-has-a-skin-flint-hard-necked-stubborness in our hearts. The emphatic "progressive" removal of the consideration of eternal hell ends only in emphatically removing the glory of heaven.

Above all though, I suspect that it incubates a wounded pride at the thought of heaven's truth and goodness; its height and breadth; that it goes under the auspices of being wounded - wounded pride. Pride is wounded precisely because it is pride. Spiritual pride would rather that the grace given wound it and that it take pleasure in this being wounded, and by this "prove" that the grace is ineffective, than that it submit to the grace.

Submitting to the grace, by the way, leads to a very different kind of being wounded. Here one notices something interesting. That the worst does not manifest as an opposite to the good, but as anti to it, like Antichrist. Most essentially, we resemble Christ in sharing His wounds. That's putting it briefly, but it's true, essentially. As Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen talked about in a late homily: when we die and go before Christ the "measure" will be His asking show me your wounds, show me the scars, on your hands, in your side; the wounds that you bore, for My sake and for others'; not that you bore out of resignation, but out of love for Me. The life of Me that you took on, that you let Me give to you. My abundant life of which there is no end. When I was a babe before you, did you become as a little infant? When I was scourged with the punishment reserved for the worst offenders, did you become as the worst of sinners receiving my mercy? Did you let my wounds shed light on your wounds - the wounds you knew not were there, trusting in Me?

We do not have faith in order to "get into heaven"; rather, we have faith in order to love the One who is more real than we can imagine.

Anyways, spiritual pride, that ever subtle thing, concocts a fantasy that it has put itself beyond the reach of God, but using the instance of the grace of God to perpetuate the lie. It may retain some semblance of "struggle" (this may actually make it look all the more woe-is-me heroic) but essentially it denies that act of humiliation by which God identifies himself with one's own soul, one's own self, in that place within that we ourselves have not the capacity to reach (Christ is more present to us than we are to ourselves), and abiding there, inspiring and watering our own self-abasement, the growth of new life, together with Christ, in Christ.

Self-pitying, pride is a kind of sick, perpetual enjoyment of oneself at the expense of trampling over others and the precious grace of God, which is to say, over the self-emptying life of Christ crucified. And that is a horror to behold: that pride in doing this, actually consumes grace like a black hole, all the while pretending that it is, in some way, beyond the working reach of grace. It is a deeply pervasive lie born of the father of lies, and it is amendable to people in all walks of life, from the hedonist materialist to the traditionally formed religious. And, of course, the progressive.

The progressive Christian, or Universalist, does not care all that much about there being or not being a Hell, if it's transitory or if it's been emptied; what he emphatically does not want there to be is an eternal High Heaven.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

As if they were trash


It is no longer man who commands, but money, money, cash commands. And God our Father gave us the task of protecting the earth — not for money, but for ourselves: for men and women. We have this task! Nevertheless men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: it is the “culture of waste”. If a computer breaks it is a tragedy, but poverty, the needs and dramas of so many people end up being considered normal. If on a winter's night, here on the Via Ottaviano — for example — someone dies, that is not news. If there are children in so many parts of the world who have nothing to eat, that is not news, it seems normal. It cannot be so! And yet these things enter into normality: that some homeless people should freeze to death on the street — this doesn’t make news. On the contrary, when the stock market drops 10 points in some cities, it constitutes a tragedy. Someone who dies is not news, but lowering income by 10 points is a tragedy! In this way people are thrown aside as if they were trash. --Pope Francis, General Audience, St. Peter's Square, Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The high priests of capitalism have made of the economy a god - an idol. They have their sacred gibberish and trickle-down dogmas. Only they have knowledge of the inner sanctum. Of course, the reality is that trickle-down economics does not trickle anything down without it being remotely connected to the expansion of a pyramid scheme. Everything later trickles up. And our governments sign the promissory note for that future trickling up by "borrowing" the bulk of its country's money into existence as interest-bearing debt (the money doesn't exist before it is "borrowed"). Thus the high priests of the trickle-down inner sanctum have the governments as their sycophant lackeys. The politicians won't do anything contrary to the will of their money-lenders (who don't actually have money to lend). Borrower is servant to the lender. Goodbye sovereignty. What trickles down in reality are chains - gradual chains, trickled chains.

And there's no law even to insure gleaning of the fields. That's communism you see. And the reality is that there is no inner sanctum, really. They would have us believe it is this entirely disconnected thing, apart from us - a god - that demands all sorts of back-breaking burdens and loud lamentations and austerity. The truth is that the solution to the economic problems is not convoluted but simple, precisely because the problem is connected to a human problem. Money is made to serve man, not man to serve money.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Yodel and Holler

This is something special:


 



History knows the singer of this song as "unknown prisoner".

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Time-stamped





... the "Early In The Morning " (you may have to scroll up a bit) song that Ken [Schatz] & I both do is a double cross cutting song, the fastest of the prison worksong. You might want to give that one a listen just to compare the differences between the 2 songs.*

Where logging the axe comes down between the legs making the arc that the blade trave[l]s longer [.] the cross cut is a sideways swing into a standing tree in order to fell the tree. The "double" comes in when instead of 4 men standing at the 4 compass points around the tree you have 8 man at the same compass points so the doubled up men are working back to back swing in opposite directions & as one swings into the tree the opposite is bring the axe back out [.] If they struck together, no problem but whenb [sic] they both brought the axes back out their axes would cross & clash. Newbies wen't [sic] allowed to just get in on the action, they had to be brought along so that they would learn the ropes in order to survive mishaps. So the beat between a cross cut doubles in tempo when you double cross cut" --From pancocojams

Lyrics (from pancocojams):


EARLY IN THE MORNING (1947-1948 Parchman Farm version)
(sung by “22”, Little Red, Tangle Eye, and Hard Hair, accompanied by double cutting axes)

(1st Verse)
Well, it’s early in the morn –in the morning, baby
When I rise, Lordy mama
Well, it’s early every morning a-baby
When I rise well-a well-a
It’s early in the morning, baby
When I rise, Lordy baby
You have-, it’s I have misery, Berta,
Wa, in my right side
Well-a, in a my right side, Lordy baby-
R-in-a my right side,Lordy, sugar.
Well, it´s I have a misery, Berta,
R-in-a my right side, well-a.

(Chorus)
Well-a, it's-a, Lordy,
Ro-Lordy-Berta,
Well, it's Lord (you keep a-talkin'), babe,
Well, it's Lord, Ro-Lordy-Rosie,
Well, it's, o Lord, Gal, well-a.

(2nd verse)
Well-a, whosonever told it, That he told a- he told a dirty lie, babe.
Well-a, whosonever told it, that he told a -he told a dirty lie, well-a.
Well-a, whosonever told it, that he told a -he told a dirty lie, babe.
Well the eagle on the dollar-quarter,
He gonna rise and fly, well-a.
He gonna rise and fly, sugar.
He gonna rise and fly, well-a.
Well the eagle on the dollar-quarter, He gonna rise and fly, well-a.

(Chorus)

(3rd verse)
Well-rocks ’n gravel make -a
Make a solid road
Well-a takes a-rock –a gravel make a
To make a solid road, well-a
It takes a good lookin woman to make a
To make a good lookin whore
Well-a It takes a good lookin woman, Lord, Baby
To make a good lookin whore, Lord sugar
It takes a good lookin woman to make-a
To make a good lookin whore, well-a

(Chorus)

(4th verse)
Boys, the peckerwood a-peckin' on the-
On the schoolhouse door, sugar.
Well, the peckerwood a-peckin' on the-
R-on the schoolhouse door, Well-a.
Well, the peckerwood a-peckin' on the-
On the schoolhouse door, sugar.
Well he pecks so hard, Lordy, baby,
Until his pecker got sore, well-a,
Until his pecker got sore, Lordy, baby,
Until his pecker got sore, Lord, sugar.
Well he pecks so hard, Lord, mama,
Until his pecker got sure, well-a.

(Chorus)

(5th verse)
Well, hain't been to Georgia, boys,
but, Well, it's I been told, sugar.
Well, hain't been to Georgia, Georgia.
But, it's I been told, well-a.
Well, haint been to Georgia, Georgia.
But, it's I been told, Lord, mama.

[End]

Monday, October 5, 2015

Being out of touch with some sites I used to frequent, I was shocked to read just today that Jef Murray died on August 3.

I only found out because I went to his studio website and read a note there by Lorraine Murray.

It is a testimony to the communal gift of art - of Jef's art in particular - that I feel his loss with such sadness who I never met, and only corresponded with briefly through email. I am really going to miss being fed by new paintings, drawings, stories and written ponderings. Thus I am really going to miss him.

My late condolences his family and close friends.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Time-stamped




From pancocojams:

LYRICS WITH TEXT COMMENTS: ROSIE

(Recording of prisoners at Mississippi State Penitentiary's Parchman work camp, in 1947. Recorded by song collector/archivist Alan Lomax)

A stomp starts the song. The lead singer starts with a call, and the group/other workers respond with the second half of the phrase.

Lead Singer's Call: "Be my woman, gal, I'll-"

Group Response: " -be your man." (Ends like a melodic question.)

Repeat of the call and response. Ends with a resolution to the melodic question.

Second two-phrase unit begins, with the pattern continuing: Stomp-call, stomp-response.

Call: "Every Sunday's dollar-"

Response: "-in your hand."

Call: "In your hand, Lordy-"

Response: "-in your hand."

Call: "Every Sundays dollar-"

Response: "-in your hand."

Call: "Stick to the promise, gal, that-"

Response: "-you made me." This is sung three times, like the song's first line.

Call: "Wasn't gonna marry 'til-uh-"

Response: "-I go free."

Call: "I go free, lordy-"

Response: "I go free."

Call: "Wasn't gonna marry 'til-uh-"

Response: "-I go free."

Call: "Well, Rosie-" Notice how the melody is similar but adjusted to the new words; ornaments inflect the text.

Call: "-oh, lord, gal." A similarity in the polyvocal responses with slight variations. The vocal intensity changes with each statement, especially with the lead singer

Call: "Ah, Rosie-"

Response: "-oh, lord, gal."

Each of the next two call-and-response lines repeat twice; the two-phrase melodic units continue.

Call: "When she walks she reels and-"

Response: "-rocks behind."

Call: "Ain't that enough to worry-"

Response: "-[a] convict's mind."

A repeat of the "Well, Rosie/Ah, Rosie" lines from 1:17. There are few syllables here, so the lead singer can really modify the melody.

A repeat of the first four lines of the song: "Be my woman, gal, I'll be your man (three times)/Every Sunday's dollar in your hand."

"Well, Rosie/Ah, Rosie" lines return for the third time.

[Hold on gal]*

Fade out.

End.

Source of lyrics: pancocojams

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road


Here in Canada there's a catchphrase the lotto corporations use at the end of their advertisements in response to gambling addiction. It goes, "Know your limit. Stay within it."

Something similar could be said for filmmaking - as a wisdom for all art, in a sense, yes - but especially film. A cursory reflection would tend to say that "Know your limit. Stay within it" as an artistic principle is tame and cowardly, a kind of paint-by-number tourism. But the converse is the truth. Knowing your limit is to specify your original vision in a manner that brings about a sort of instantaneous galloping, and which frequently contradicts it, so to bring it out in a better way, or to bring it out at all; while "staying within it" requires a lot of faith. Staying within your limit is to cut off all safeguards - all the available phrasing that takes up the unpurified dialect of the tribe as an easy escape hatch - not knowing ultimately if your persistence will be for naught, or not.

It's about time we face a truth about film - one that is full of potential and hope - namely, that since its inception over a hundred years ago, film has been largely adulterated, whored out, woefully neglected and untapped in spite of, and maybe even because of, all the talk about technological innovation; film still remains trundled up with the baggage of theatre, photography, the novel. This is not at all to suggest those art forms are in and of themselves "baggage"; it is only to say that while film is indeed a kind of synthesis of many art forms, it has for long remained falsely a synthesis in terms of "a production". And worse, a moneyed production. Or worse yet, an anti-moneyed production in which pretensions of the art house gin up so-called "poetic cinema". The number of films that are actually true to the nature of film - that is to say, in which the essence of film commands all the other aspects involved and not vice versa - are few and far between. But to that short and wonderful list we can at least add George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road.

That short and wonderful list is not short in and of itself. It is short in comparison to the number of films in existence, which would include the number of films that are commonly taken for examples of high achievement. Nor is this to say that films in the short and wonderful list exist as perfections. There is no such thing. The point is not that we haven't perfected film, but that we haven't really even begun to realize its potential - its essence. Take the words of Akira Kurosawa near the end of his life, after having made 28 films:





Film is not a living photograph. It is not a novel or a photograph or even a script that's been "brought to life". It is not filmed theatre. Most certainly film is not - and I know people will disagree with me here - most definitely not "telling stories with pictures". Film has an essence of its own; it is one that is startlingly different, heightened, sophisticated in the best sense, and it has to do with the representation of time - or to be more specific: the representation of time within time.

Take the time to understand that. We are not talking about making a visual representation of time, like telling the story of time; it is not making visual a story with the added caveat of the four seasons of Vivaldi - though the story of the film may indeed be about time. We are not talking about the running time or the running length of the film. We are talking about the immediate medium itself. In making a film, one is working with the representation of time as the medium.

The films of Stanley Kubrick, for instance, are to me largely examples of a persistently botched understanding of film. He was always trying to permafreeze his conceptions with the running time of the film, into the same clinching as the photograph. He started out as photographer and I regard it as being a serious detriment to his films. It is also one of the reasons why his films make such great coffee table books.

With his conceptions merely applied and never contradicted, and therefore never really penetrated, his films are self-conscious and ostentatious. Curiously vacuous, they leave one with the sense of a kind of cerebral cereal.

A film reveals itself after it is finished. It's a funny thing. Film's power has a kind of retrospective influx. A re-entrance into time by which we consider the representation of time in the film we have watched.

After watching Mad Max: Fury Road I was left with a feeling similar to that feeling I had after watching Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, only without the elation of release. This film really ramps you up. I wanted to watch it again right away.

George Miller has a genius for indicating depth by truncation. Like J.R.R. Tolkien, he doesn't do "world-building". He doesn't need to. All of that is dileneated along a very specific line, so limited as to be a sideline, which is the story. We understand within the progression of the film the underlying depths and stories and characters in a very habitable way, far more than some sloggy-assed "introduction" would have done.

A great film is always, to the last frame, introduction. I loved how we barely even see the face of "Max" in this film until about 30 minutes in, for the first half hour he is bound up like a hood ornament on the front of one of the vehicles chasing after Furiosa. Or any of the women from the harem. Some will call this the "slow release of information". But it is simply being true to the nature of film.

Some complain about the story - that there is none; or we don't get to know anything about the protagonists - their stories and so forth. This criticism is ridiculous. I don't see that. I see the same concreteness that informed the films, for instance, of Robert Bresson. With her shaved head, few words, determination and truck-driving, Furiosa is a hundred times more real than Will Smith's character in I Am Legend, for example. I want to say: more real because more memorable.

I loved the use of telescopes and binoculars to bridge distances, working as catalysts to move the groupings in the story forward. I loved the visual refrains, like one of the "half-life" men who keeps appearing at the driver side window on Furiosa's truck to ask what the plans are. I loved the smooth setting up of multiple scenarios within scenarios that escalates the tension and lifts you up into that heightened state of pure viewing. Peter Jackson, post-Fellowship of the Ring, attempts this, but the result is only a kind of tone-deaf, hackneyed hypnotism. George Miller is clear and austere, but with an exponential and wonderful craziness. Mad Max: Fury Road is just all kinds of delisioso (thanks Jim Gaffigan!).

I was not surprised to read that the film was written comic book style - that is, through thousands of storyboards. Akira Kurosawa did the same, by his own hand, and often on set, like a child with a paint box. It was a way of making his idea specific, not at all to do with making an image for the set people to copy. This method of his is one of the reasons why Kurosawa's films have that presence, that habitable feeling. Nor did he write a script in the "traditional" way.

There's a beautiful thing to "google" by the way: the paintings/storyboards of Akira Kurosawa. Interestingly, I find his paintings have something of the same searing, seeing quality that Max Beckmann's paintings have.

Something that Kurosawa said about painting his images:

“I cannot help but be fascinated by the fact that when I tried to paint well, I could only produce mediocre pictures. But when I concentrated on delineating the ideas for my films, I unconsciously produced works that people find interesting."

That "delineating the idea" is what so many films are scared of. Many want to retain the idea at the cost of sacrificing all delineation. I'm grateful that George Miller wants to play all day.