“Let’s Do Some Wood”* (Stillwater Diary)

Birch, Stone Ridge, 9/20/15

Birch, Stone Ridge, 9/20/15

A big birch fell near the Groverkill (a gray birch, I think–Lexanne would know) during the torrential rain. Firewood from heaven, as Tom used to say.

The bark, beautiful, waterproof (which is why native Americans used it for canoes), peels off readily, like old, dried out wallpaper or sunburned skin. The resin leaves an intriguing pattern on the logs.

Mark sliced through the tree with a chain saw and then, with the log splitter, made pieces appropriately sized for our efficient, elegant wood stove.

Birch, Stone Ridge, 9/20/15

Birch, Stone Ridge, 9/20/15

*Whenever we take the Kubota and the tools into the woods to turn fallen trees into winter warmth, I think “let’s do some wood.” The wordplay, from a line long lodged in my head, is what Kevin Costner, geeky but handsome as Eliot Ness, (almost) says in “The Untouchables” before an unsuccessful raid on a liquor warehouse.

The film was directed by Brian De Palma, who in Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltow’s new documentary, fascinatlingly details his career (in chronological order), discusses films by his contemporaries (called Steven and Marty), films that influenced and awed him, and reveals his complicated relationship with “the business.” “De Palma,” playing tomorrow at 6:00 pm, a Special Event of NYFF53, is a great film seminar.

I was surprised to be riveted by De Palma, his stories, analysis, wit. I had lost a true interest in his work after a woman in “Body Double” is brutally murdered by a man with a large, ferocious electric drill, held at crotch height, impaling her into the floor. In Baumbach and Paltrow’s film, De Palma states (seemingly genuinely) that he was surprised by the (negative) response from women to that scene.

Noah Baumbach

Noah Baumbach

I had an assignment to photograph Kevin Costner and Sean Young for The Village Voice when they were promoting “No Way Out,” doing photo shoots and print and video interviews, moving through several suites at the Ritz Carlton.

It was one of the first junkets I’d attended and I was unaware of the rhythm (set-up and wait and wait). Sean Young, beautiful, arrived with her mother, Lee Guthrie, and all of us continued to wait for Costner. I’ve always liked photographing families and asked if I could shoot the two of them together. It’s my favorite image from that day, Sean sitting on her mother’s lap, their two faces on the same plane, legs entwined.

Lee Guthrie and Sean Young

Lee Guthrie and Sean Young

This entry was posted in Family, Film, Friends, Nature, Photography, Photos and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “Let’s Do Some Wood”* (Stillwater Diary)

  1. peteruno says:

    “like” or I should say “love”

    as always, xox,

    -pw Peter Wetzler/Sound Forms “Intuitive Music” http://www.peterwetzler.com 212-475-8223 • 416-848-8268

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