…and Where it Stops Nobody Knows…

by Mark Forman on November 5, 2018

I just saw a Tweet reminding me that Daylight savings time is upon us. It also mentioned how many feel some sadness at the change of the season. Maybe that was the reason or part of why I had a couple of days of heavy blue funk going on. A couple of days of rain and missed exercise least week didn't help either. It's amazing how much regular exercise increases serotonin levels and lifts your mood. This photo was taken on the first day after the 2 rainy days I mentioned. I made myself go out and take my camera with me. I decided that the walking and the street photography were just the medicine that Dr. Forman ordered. He was right!

I shoot much less these days. It seems when I do I am much more focused and predisposed to get a grouping of good shots. I still prefer to shoot with the DSLR and leave the phone in my pocket. I'm sure in my eclectic fashion that at some point I'll have the itch to shoot nothing but phone shots for a period but it hasn't happened recently so... This area flea market was quite bustling. The other day I told some local friends one of the things I like most about Asia are it's markets. So alive and chaotic very much like life itself. It is the wildly beating heart of the town or the city it is in.


Celluloid Hero

by Mark Forman on October 1, 2018

The last few days have been culturally rich with music-listening to more Spotify during my morning exercise. Recent listens: Miles Davis' Agharta, Jimi Hendrix, some classic old school NYC Hiphop. So yesterday I was sitting around deciding what to watch-had watched Kill Bill Vol. 1 the night before. It dawned on me it had been quite some time since I had watched Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition. I mistakenly though that Roger Deakins had done the cinematography for that. Upon checking it was Conrad Hall. i did some research on Conrad Hall and was totally blown away with his credentials. After watching the Road to Perdition and the flawless cinematography I was motivated to watch more of his work and did so with Marathon Man which reminded me of the intense and gritty NYC of my childhood.

Tom Hanks was the star of Road to Perdition but the screen time that Paul Newman had the spotlight shone the brightest for me. I think this was one of Paul's last roles as it was Conrad Hall's last film which is recognized in the closing credits. Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier were both great in Marathon Man and Hall's presentation of the gritty nerve-wracking tenor of NY in the 70's was spot on. Clearly I didn't have enough Paul Newman to satisfy my craving so I opted for The Hustler over the Conrad Hall shot: Cool Hand Luke.

Newman was fantastic as was Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott and Piper Laurie. The overall all tone of The Hustler was a bit depressing but the story, dialogue and performances were of excellent quality and life of course has it's depressing moments-no point in trying to evade them. It's interesting where technology has brought us-to achieve this day full of movie viewing I just sat at my internet connected desktop computer and streamed them. Not a bad way to pass a Sunday.


Stranger in a Strange Land

by Mark Forman on September 25, 2018

Was semi-binging Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown episodes over the Moon Festival Holiday weekend here. The one with Marcus Samuelsson and his wife returning to Ethiopia with Bourdain and crew along was particularly poignant. Marcus admitted how he has several homes and maybe no home. I can identify with that kind of at home where you are/at home no where dichotomy. My original home: Brooklyn was only home until I was 18-so even though that seemed like a lifetime when it was happening, only just a few minutes on my timeline. Now when I see movies or tv shows that were shot there it is both familiar and foreign at the same time.

The second long stop on the journey was the anti-NY, the Sonora Desert in Arizona in fact. When the plane I was on was triangulating for it's landing into Tucson the view I had was uncanny. It reminded me of one of those grade "B" horror movies like Godzilla or worse where you could see the strings attached to the beast creature victimizing the locality it was purported to be in. Tucson from the air in the late 70's seemed bot visually attractive and odd: it was so void of pedestrian life down below. So unlike the NY I had just flown from. During those pre-internet/pre-smart phone days jet planes seemed really fast, but obviously not so. It brought me from one world to another in about 5-1/2 hours.

Taiwan has been my home for so long it almost seems like I was born here. My coming and arriving in Taiwan are vague almost to the point of being dreamlike. I can pinpoint my first experience with local culture on the ground though. That was in the airport where I needed to change US$ to NT$. I was 2nd in line and totally bewildered after that 12/13 hour flight and dealing with a time of day that didn't reconcile at all with when I left and when I thought I should arrive. Some older man decided to walk to the front of the line ahead of me. I ws totally unprepared to use my seriously limited and rusty Mandarin Chinese on him so I gave him some universal language: and angry excited face and my thumb making jerky moves towards my rear. Low and behold his ability to read my excited sign language was excellent and he feigned innocence as he got behind me.

Several months later I must have briefly dozed off on a city busy and recall my rude awakening when I noticed everyone on the bus was Chinese and I wondered what they were all doing there?


Village Voice Where Art Thou?

09.01.2018 by Mark Forman

Wow-how the mighty have fallen! The Voice was a big tree to the internet's small axe... When i was a kid in Brooklyn one of the high points of each week was Wed. morning when the new Village Voice came out, NYC's best entertainment/culture/lifestyle publication-all for the great price of $FREE. It was my window […]


Hey Daddyo

07.29.2018 by Mark Forman

While watching Castle Rock I scanneed on the Ramones poster during a flashback scene with Andre Holland in the neighbor girl's room. This of course led to me thinking about my initial connection to the band. I was reluctant to listen to what was labeled "pun" since I felt it wasn't worth my time. A […]