Monday, September 17, 2007

Finally! I finished reading something! And not just any something, but TekkonKinKreet. Originally released by Viz Publishing, it was called Black & White, and I have to say, I have the first of the trilogy. And I loved it. But I never bought the other books, because as much as I loved it, I found it a touch disturbing, a little too violent for my tastes at the time. And this a guy who loved Ichi the Killer. But this was before Ichi. This was before Imprint.

This summer, Sony Pictures released the film version of Taiyo Matsumoto's TekkonKinKreet, and of course I went to see it. Of course, I didn't do a write up of the film. I forget why. But thank God Viz Media released the series in one big honkin' book! Which I immediately bought this week, and read over the course of a train ride to my friend's house.

It is one of the most crazy, innovative manga I've read in years. The main characters, Black and White, aren't your typical Bambi-eyed characters. The lines aren't those Zen smooth lines you see in books like Love Hina, or Gundam. It's energetic, frenetic, violent, and a little feral. Just like the main characters.

So, the story: Two orphans, Black and White, fight rival gangs, Yakuza, the cops, and even a construction company in their city, Treasure Town. Times are changing, and so is the city. And as the city changes, so do the boys, who try to keep things the way they always were for their 10 short years on this planet. Black, the most obviously cognizant of the situation, does most of the fighting. White, on the other hand, seems developmentally challanged. He can't tie his own shoes, and he's just learned to count to 10. Their fight to keep their city whole is exciting and scary, but as the book moves along, I had to wonder, was it worth it?

The great part of Matsumoto's work is that's exactly the question. Can we stop change? If you listen to Frank Zappa, who said (and I paraphrase), not only is change necessary, it's inevitable, then no, you can't stop it. And why would you want to? I look around at Manhattan, and even Brooklyn and parts of the Bronx, and change is coming. Even in Queens, change is happening. Sometimes it seems like the city is turning into a great big strip mall. Other times, it's like a playground for the rich. Out on Rockaway Beach, some yahoo is building condos that'll start at 500K for a studio. You ever been to Rockaway? There's not much out there. Nothing to warrant a studio for that much money, anway.

That's just me being a little maudlin.

Anyway, back to the book.

How does it end?Does Black save his city? Can the city even be saved? Does the city even need to be saved? And what about White? Does Black save White? Or is the fight really the other way around? These are questions worth exploring for yourself.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I looove the Dead Kennedys, and I love the Foo Fighters (I met Dave Grohl in Alexandria, Virginia one night not too long ago), and I love System of a Down. This cover version of Holiday in Cambodia makes me wish two things:

1. I wish I'd actually been at the VMAs this year.

2. I wish there was a comparable band to the Dead Kennedys in the day and age.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Jesus Christ! It's been more than a month since I've done this. And it's not like I haven't seen or read anything in that time. I've been reading, but I havent' finished anything, so that's part of it. And when it comes to the movies I've seen...

Go see The Bourne Identity. In fact, watch the first two films before you go, then head out and watch TBI. It's neat the way Paul Greengrass bookends the series with the closing image. It's the entire movie in two shots. And Superbad fucking rocked. It did the same thing with its opening and closing images. It's good writing, and good filmmaking. At least, I think it is.

As for the books I've been reading, I started Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, but I can't finish it. It's a mess. A lovely mess, sure, but a mess nevertheless. The man should have done poetry. There's no story to the book. But it's a pretty read.

I'm going back to school in two weeks. The New York Film Academy accepted me for their 12-week digital movie making course. And why shouldn't they? I'm beautiful. So if you think I've been slacking off lately, it's gonna get worse.