Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This caught my ear this morning, as I was reading an article on Slate.com. It's the oldest recording ever, of "Au Clair de la Lune," made by Frenchy Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville. They don't know the name of the singer, but who cares, right? Oldest. Recording. Ever. 

Monday, December 15, 2008

I promise.

Have you noticed something? I haven't done a review of anything since this summer. And even that was an exhortation to get you yahoos out to the movies. So here's a promise: When I get done with the Rebus series by Ian Rankin, I will review not one, not two, not even three, but the entire Rebus series, from "Knots and Crosses" all the way to "Exit Music". Along the way, if something catches my fancy, piques my interest, or grabs me by the cockles of my heart and shakes like a mad dog, then I'll write about it. 

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's not safe for work (language, people!), but... it's just awesome.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

No gaps in my learnin'.

There Are 0 Gaps in Your Knowledge

Where you have gaps in your knowledge:

No Gaps!

Where you don't have gaps in your knowledge:








Monday, November 10, 2008

Maybe one day, they'll write a song about Obama like this. Beware, it's not necessarily safe for work. 

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Ever since Obama won last night, I've been feeling like this song (not the picture... though this is New York City, so you never know):

But this song is what's been going through my head:

Go fig.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I think every child should speak French...

Okay, I admit it. I'm a softy. Leave me alone.

Too much candy from Capucha on Vimeo.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Here is some avant garde Japanese music. It's just for shits and giggles until I get around to writing about my experiences as a "fair" and "impartial" juror for the great and glorious state of New York.

I wanted to add this, because I came across it on YouTube. It's very important that those of you with children watch this video. An epidemic from when I was a child has come back, full force in our schools and on our playgrounds. If you have a kid, get him/her vaccinated immediately. It's very easy. Here's the video:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sir Ben Kingsley "sings" a Minor Threat song.

What, you need more than that?

Sir Ben Kingsley STOMPS into the shoes of Minor Threat's Ian MacKaye from Mean Magazine on Vimeo.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm not particularly religious, though I do think - to quote Larry Mullen, Jr. - Jesus was a cool guy. Anyway, I came across this video on Fazed.net while looking a video of the Ninja Cat (don't ask). There's just something really catchy about this tune, and you gotta admit, that guitarist is really rocking out.

Also, as of yesterday, my blog is two whole years old!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Yet another post! I'll have something new next week, fer sure. I'm serving on a jury right now, and I'll talk about the case. I can't at the moment, but when it's all over, I'll spill the beans.

Until then, here are...

The Circle Jerks!!!!

Friday, September 05, 2008

In order to keep the terrorists from winning, I shall post a new... post. And here it is:

I may have to move soon. My building is going condo, and they want to kick me out. I may just do it, because they'll probably pay me a big whack of cash to do it.

I have to buy a new computer - an iMac - because my Gateway is turning into a paperweight. The thing is, I want to use the iMac to edit films, so I'll need Final Cut Pro. That would effectively double the price of the computer.

Um... other stuff is happening, but to be honest, I could sleep through all of it.

Oh, and then there was this:

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

On Saturday, July 5th, I saw this, and you didn't:

That's because you probably live in Bat Country, and the people at First Look Internation don't trust your taste. So write them here, and let them know you want to see this movie. I'll even provide you with a template for you to send them:

Dear First Look International,

Even though I live in Bat Country, I have good - no, great - taste in movies. Therefore, I want to see Sukiyaki Western Django. And I swear to God, I won't go during the matinee. No! I'll go during the evening when tickets are full price! Honest! So please send it to my neck of the woods.

Thank you for your time in this matter.


Your Name Here

So what's it about? Come on, man! It's a Spaghetti Western, set in Japan, directed by Takashi Miike! What more do you want!?!

Fine. Here's the description from the New York Asian Film Fest site:

A nameless gunman (Hideaki Ito) rides into Yuta, Nebada, a dusty flyspeck of a town that’s caught in the middle of a gang war between the Heiki (in red, and led by hot-headed madman, Koichi Sato) and the Genji (in cool white, led by baby-faced bad boy, Yusuke Iseya). Setting the two gangs against each other and hoping he can pick up the cash left on the table after they wipe each other out, our hero soon finds things are a bit more complicated than he assumed. There’s the mother of a half-Genji, half-Heiki kid, played by Yoshino Kimura (FINE, TOTALLY FINE)who is out for revenge against the Heiki; her mother, who runs the local general store and who is secretly a legendary gunslinger herself (played by Kaori Momoi, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA), an indestructible sheriff and more mind-bending, cartoonish ultra-violence than you thought could ever possibly exist, all scored to a thundering, electrifying spaghetti western soundtrack.

Speaking a “Hooked on Phonics” version of English, the cast wades into this cross-cultural mash-up with guns blazing, slaughtering anything that moves and taking no prisoners in this off the hook Western that manages to load a missile with everything cool about samurai movies, westerns, spaghetti westerns and Takashi Miike movies and launch it into your eyes.
How could you NOT want to see this? There's no way! It's opening here in the big city in a month, and First Look is a bit antsy on a wider release. So you need to tell them you want to see it.

Now, it's not Ichi the Killer violent/bloody. But it's bloodier than your typical Spaghetti Western. And all the tropes are there: The warring gangs, the Romeo & Juliet love story, the nameless gun slinger, the morally ambiguous sheriff, and so on. Miike steals from Leone's trilogy (The Good the Bad and the Ugly, A Fistfull of Dollars, A Few Dollars More) freely, and it works, because they're sly thefts, nothing too obvious.

Quentin Tarantino does act in this. He's in the opening scene, and while he does well here, he's better in later scenes stuck in a steampunk wheelchair and covered on oldman latex. Miike manages to get some real acting out of Tarantino in these later scenes, when he seems to focus more on emotional reactions than the earlier cool grandstanding.

But my favorite character is Kaori Momoi's Ruriko, the secret gunslinger. There's nothing like an older woman slinging iron with the best of them. She steals the show for several reasons, one of which is the surprise of an older woman spotlighted in a Japanese movie.

So go and First Look you want to see this. Do it now. Because good movies are worth your time and effort, and this, my friends, is a great movie.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Don't be afraid to make mistakes.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Wish I'd Found this years ago.

Friday, February 29, 2008

This is how I usually feel when I'm at work... or anywhere else for that matter.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I'm not sure how I found Jucifer. It's been a while, and I've downloaded some of their stuff, which I really like. They're pretty much a noise-core band from Georgia. But let's be honest here: It's a girl with a guitar, and you know my weakness for that combination.

Friday, January 04, 2008

I went on a movie binge last night... well, it was two movies, so it wasn't much of a binge, but it's been months since I've sat in an actual movie theater, and once I was in, I had to go back at least one more time. See, I was thinking I would do a marathon tonight, but I'm busy. I'm making another movie with Film School Girl (FSG from here on out), and since she's the director, when she says "Jump," I ask "How high" while my feet are already leaving the ground. Some of you know FSG from my time over at Straight Dope. So you know what an idiot I am for doing this.

Maybe "idiot" is too strong a word. Probably not, though.

That's not the point, though. The point is, I finally saw Persepolis, the film adaptation of the graphic novel. I reviewed the first book of Persepolis way back when Here's the link. I've actually found that the further away I get from that review, the more I love the book. Not that I gave it a bad review. Hell, that quote from USA Today you see on the copy of the book (not that new single edition, but the old split edition), that's me. I just wasn't as enchanted by the art as I am now.

So after having seen the film, I have to say that 2007 was a great year for animation. I haven't seen all of the "live action" movies that are being hailed as the greatest things in the world (I'm working on it), but if you asked me to name five films that stood out in 2007, it would be reasonable to cite four animated films, Persepolis among them.

Persepolis tells the tale of Marjane Satrapi (the author), as she grows up in Iran during the time of the revolution, her time in Vienna as a teen, and then her return to Iran as a young woman during the repressive time of the Ayatolla. The animation in the film reflects what Satrapi put in her graphic novel. However, with the advent of doing this movie digitally (it's still technically 2-D), there is some visual depth that was missing from the graphic novel.

This may sound like I'm downing on the graphic novel, but I'm not. Not only should you go out and see this movie, you shoudl buy the book, preferably the version with my quote on the cover. Once you buy that book, you should write the publisher and let them know it was my quote that caused you to buy the book, and that it should be displayed prominantly on ever edition from here on out. With my name included in the citation.

I'm just sayin'.

In my review, I wrote that the book was "a mighty achievement," and the film is no less. In fact, let me write it for the film: "A mighty achievement." I mean, it's beautiful. Most of it is in black and white and shades of gray. The characters are simply drawn, but incredibly expressive, so much so that I have to admit that I got teary-eyed a few times during the movie.

One thing, though, that struck me when I read the book, and again when I saw the movie, was the diversity of the characters. It seems that whenever we here in the States see depictions of Muslims in the news - or even just in the media in general - we get one image: The zealot. The fundamentalist. Some yahoo in a turban, chanting something about the great Satan; a woman in a burqa or chador, scurrying through the streets, a couple steps behind a man.

In Persepolis, Satrapi shows a world where there are shades of gray (hence the color scheme), where the women talk about sex (apparently to some Iranian women, it is the size of the paddle, not the motion of the ocean), the men talk about Marxist revolution, everyone wants to have fun, and Marjane wears a "Punk is not Ded!" back patch.

It's the kind of reminder that we need these days that our supposed enemy has a face, has nuances, is just as gray as the rest of us.