Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sandor Deki Lakatos

For $2 at the local public library book sale I picked up a brand-new copy of a CD by Sandor Deki Lakatos and His Gypsy Band, "Rakoczi Csardas." Well, the guy kicks ass on the fiddle, and the band just cooks for an hour's worth of frenetic Hungarian gypsy tunes. Easy to understand what Brahms and Bartok liked in this stuff, but one also suspects that Mr. Lakatos is not entirely unfamiliar with the classical violin repertoire. When I checked, this album was not available on Amazon, but others by him were. I wonder if he's related to the philosopher... or maybe Lakatos is Hungarian for "Smith"...

Sunday, February 1, 2009


In the cinematic genre of "animated tales of environmental apocalypse that the whole family can enjoy," this is a great one, just a notch below Princess Mononoke. I thought it was at its best in the early scenes back here on earth, but there were plenty of wonderful moments on the Buy-N-Large cruise ship, which presents a quite plausible vision of our human future. The scene in which the infantile, obese, grub-like humans roll and bounce across the pitching deck is a grotesquely funny send-up of Titanic in a movie full of movie quotes, obligatory in clever animated features these days. The robotic love story is touching, and surely you are meant to question whether it is at all a good idea that the humans return to earth, whatever their good intentions. Better to leave it to the humble little machines. Already they seem capable of making better movies than mere humans.