Thursday, March 31, 2005

Noni on Preston.

This was already linked over at Movie City News, but it's too good not mention. Here's Noni Da on Preston Sturges: The Early Years. Included in the piece is Sturges' list of "11 Rules for Box Office."
Take note:

1. A pretty girl is better than an ugly one.

2. A leg is better than an arm.

3. A bedroom is better than a living room.

4. An arrival is better than a departure.

5. A birth is better than a death.

6. A chase is better than a chat.

7. A dog is better than a landscape.

8. A kitten is better than a dog.

9. A baby is better than a kitten.

10. A kiss is better than a baby.

11. A pratfall is better than anything.

This, that, the other.

  • More Lubitsch on Criterion. Huzzah!

  • Did you see this Slate article questioning the LA Times fact-checking skills? It's great-- check out the Times correction that started it all:
    An article in Tuesday's California section about hazing at Cal State Chico mistakenly said that a pledge to a fraternity at nearby Butte Community College died of alcohol poisoning. He did not die but was hospitalized. The article also said Chico has a population of 35,000; according to the city, the population is 71,317. In addition, University President Paul Zingg was quoted saying the school would shut down its Greek system if problems with hazing did not abate. Zingg made his comments to a group of 850 students and others, and his remarks were quoted in the local media. He did not speak with The Times. Also, although the article characterized the school as being well-known for its basketball program, its winning baseball program may be best known outside campus.

    Yeah, uh, oops.

  • She just don't give a fuck. Ann Coulter, this week's column, never ceasing to amaze: " Today's brain twister: Would you rather be O.J.'s girlfriend or Michael Schiavo's fiancee?" Eye roll.

  • Speaking of eye-rolling/yentas, Michelle Malkin calls Terri Schiavo "Terri Schindler-Schiavo." I don't think that's Terri's proper name. Michelle must be one of them Femi-Nazis.

  • Remember this musical entity: Feist. She's part of that whole ApostlesofBrokenSocialStars scene. She's gonna blow up in about three seconds and it's going to be great.

  • What's Lawrence Bender going to do now? Anna and the King 2?

  • Kelefa Sanneh pretty much nails the new Moby shite. It's, perhaps, a wee bit on the pretentios side and a bit too harsh (Sanneh's review, that is). I mean, the new album is pretty weak and forgettable, but I think a couple of tracks are like nice OMD/Heaven 17/Yaz b-sides. (The hour-long bonus disc of ambient tracks is solid, especially "Blue Paper.")

  • You know what album actually lives up to all the vitirol? The new Daft Punk album. Believe the haterade.

  • Nayiri's tales of woe crack me up.

  • Why is Matt Drudge linking to this story about how Boy George won't vote for Tony Blair again? WHO THE MOTHER-F CARES? IT'S BOY F-ING GEORGE.

    End of transmission.

Why I heart the Paglia.

I just stared Camille Paglia's collection of poetry crit, Break, Blow, Burn. I can't resist the lure of La Paglia, especially when she gives you moments like this (from the introduction):
Burned into my memory, for example, is a late-1950s TV commercial for M&M's chocolate candies. A sultry peanut, sunbathing on a chaise lounge, said in a twanging Southern drawl: "I'm an M&M peanut / Toasted golden brown / Dipped in creamy milk chocolate / And covered in a thin shell!" Illustrating each line, she prettily dove into a swimming pool of melted chocolate and popped out on the other side to strike a pose and be instantly toweled in her monogrammed candy wrap. I felt then, and still do, that the M&M peanut's jingle was a vivacious poem and that the creative team who produced that ad were folk artists, anonymous as the artisans of medieval cathedrals.

(For some context, that passage came right after she ripped post-structuralists a new a-hole and right before she writes of her love for Donne and Dickinson and Billy Shakes.)
It reminds me of last year's interview with Salon, where she compared Sean Hannity's radio ads for Ruth's Chris Steakhouse to an Irish tenor singing an aria from a pop-opera. So best.
Does anyway else think the M&M poem kind of... lacking? Vivacious? Really? Maybe you had to be there. I think it's especially weak when compared to the perfect minimalism of Heinz's classic "Shake and shake the ketchup bottle / None will come / Then a lot'll."

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Words of wisdom from Dan Savage.

"Just as George W. Bush feels we should 'err on the side of life'--at least where Terri Schiavo is concerned--I've always felt it's best to err on the side of avoiding incestuous hand-jobs. "

--Dan Savage in The Onion A.V. Club's Savage Love. Wasn't that a line in Rushmore?

Monday, March 28, 2005


Some news:
Paul never ceases to surprise us & it seems his next film will most likely be......."Oil"! "Oil!" is 1927 novel by Upton Sinclair that PTA has adapted. This would be his first film not based on on of his own original screenplays. It's a tale of of scandal, intrigue and politics. [snip] It looks like Daniel Day-Lewis will be the star.

Now, if the release date is sometime before 2009, I will be veddy, veddy happy.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Little brother is all growed up.

It looks like Eric Chase Anderson has a career (aside from illustrating his brother's DVD packaging). He's written a novel-- with maps:

This is a little odd (From Amazon's "About the Author" section): "Eric Chase Anderson began making maps as Christmas presents for his family. Initial subjects included a house, a minivan, and his brother."
You mean like "This is a map of my brother Wes. Here's his brain. It's packed full of Peanuts love and songs from Between the Buttons and ways to capture lightning bugs. This is his heart. It never quite got over our Dad divorcing Mom. Here's his twee little medulla oblongata..."? That's so... precocious. And Andersonian. Guess it's in the DNA.

Belle epoch.

"On the contrary, it was a moronic moment in the history of exploitation movies made by people so untalented that they can't be convincing even when they masturbate."

--Clive James taking umbrage with Camille Paglia's assertion that Deep Throat was "an epochal moment in the history of modern sexuality.'' (From James' positive review of Paglia's collection of poetry crit, Break, Blow, Burn.)

Friday, March 25, 2005

Words without meaning.

This is part of ArcLight Cinema's "Hollywood's Master Storytellers" series. The "Hollywood" is right, but the "Master" and "Storyteller" parts are suspect.

Jesus Wept.

I wonder if Kanye joined Jon for a crazy Robyn Hitchcock medley:

Kanye West broing down with John Mayer is one thing, but Kanye West enlisting Jon Brion to work on his new album? Crazified. But that’s the word we’re hearing on the streets. And the streets don’t lie.

Kanyizzard has been spotted at Brion’s popular Friday night residency at Los Angeles club Largo before, but last Friday the Louis Vuitton Don joined Brion onstage to perform a couple songs - though most of the crowd apparently didn’t know who the Grammy winner was. (Maybe it’s experiences like this that keep West so grounded.)

(From The FADER Magazine via Catchdubs.)

Thank you, David Thomson.

Hey, it's Good Friday, why not continue with great verbal bitch slaps?

I need to stop lingering on IFC's A Decade Under the Influence. Every time I flip past it, I have to go back and watch a couple of minutes and inevitably some asshole director will say something so arrogant and out-of-line that they give me a migraine. Last night was no different.

First offense: William Friedkin announces that he feels a creative kinship with Antonioni. Pause. Pause. Um, yeah, OK Billy. I guess the elliptical ennui of Jade is pretty Antonioniesque.

Second offense: Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper on Easy Rider. Full confession: I've never seen it. To be fair, I guess I should... but it looks like such posturing, trust-fund-hippie claptrap. Anyway, Hopper and Fonda are quite content with themselves because they're convinced that they've made the great film of the '60s and a bold cinematic statement becuase, in the words of Fonda, "[they] were really smoking that weed and really riding those bikes." Yeah, great.
At this point these fuckers are making me see red, so I pull out my trusty New Biograpgical Dictionary of Film by Mr. David Thomson. I can usually count on Mr. Thomson to rain-on-almost-anyone's-parade.
His entry on Hopper/Easy Rider didn't let me down:
Then came Easy Rider, a disaster in the history of film to set beside the loss of Technicolor, the invention of gross participation, the early death of Murnau, and the longevity of Richard Attenborough.

And exhale.

Thank you, Colin Meloy.

Despite his status as the former Mrs. Josh Gibson, I've never really warmed to Colin Meloy or his music. After this exchange in the Seattle Weekly, I think I need to reconsider:

SW: When [Bright Eyes] played in Portland last month, he came out in a 10-year-old's raincoat, and when he got excited, he clapped like a hand puppet.

Meloy: They call it indie autism, and he's the poster child for it. Seriously, can we stop this?

(via TMFTML.)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Quick question.

Maybe I'm reading too much into Ann "Everyone's Favorite Harpie" Coulter's zinger of a conclusion in her Schiavo piece (titled "Starved for Justice"), but am I to understand that she's equating gay marriage with torture and murder?
Here's the quote:
"Gov. Mitt Romney will never recover from his acquiescence to the Massachusetts Supreme Court's miraculous discovery of a right to gay marriage. Neither will Gov. Bush if he doesn't stop the torture and murder of Terri Schiavo. "

Yeah, Ann. I-- yeah. I'll just leave it at that.
Oh, Josh, if Talking Ann Coulter Doll has anything to add on the subject, she can do so in the comment section.

Fire, brimstone, etc.

Animated Hell:
"Hilary and Haylie Duff seem to be inseparable these days — the celeb sisters are teaming up once again, this time to lend their voices to an upcoming animated film called Foodfight! The movie takes place in a grocery store, which comes to life after hours and features such characters as Mr. Clean, Charlie the Tuna and Twinkie the Kid dominating the action. There's no word yet on which characters the Duff sisters will play. Foodfight! — which will be in 3-D — is due out in the fall of 2006."

Now, it's bad enough that the twin demon spawn are making another movie together. Worse yet, it's going to co-star a bunch of 3-D animated product placements. But what really pushes me over the edge is that fucking exclamation point in the title.
Can't wait for the soundtrack.
(You know what I really can't wait for? When Haylie Duff finds L. Ron Hubbard and gets Hilary involved in Scientology and they start making movies about ridding the world of body thetans. I will pay $10 for that.)

Noni slums it.

Rather than sending DanaStevensLizPenn to review another el crapo sequel, the NY Times sent my beloved Noni Da to sit through Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. She's not lovin' it:
"Sandra Bullock looks as if she would rather be shoveling pig waste - though of course in some respects that is exactly what she's doing. "

Hey now! She drops a pig shit analogy! It's nice but it can't compete with the dizzying heights of the "Triumph of the Will/airborne scrotum" bit in her Polar Express review. But then, what can?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Quote of the Day.

"Let me explain just how strung out and godawful Michael looks:

One evening, several years ago, I swallowed two Vicodin in the midst of getting deeply drunk. Then I woke up in my bathtub. I'd passed out while trying to pee, and my fall had snapped the soapdish clean off the shower wall. After staggering to my feet, I caught a wobbly glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror.

I looked better than Michael looks this morning."

--Seth Stevenson in a Dispatch From the Michael Jackson Trial at Slate.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Additional dialogue: W. Shakespeare.

Pop-cultural Polaroids from my weekend:

  • When I started Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, he tricked me into thinking he wasn't one of those McSweeney assholes. I think it's because he managed to create a sympathetic narrator with a unique voice (not exactly a trait of Eggers and co.) and then he dropped the typographical stunts and the TV stills and the chapter that has red proof-reading marks all over it. It's turning into a chore to finish the thing.

  • My Own Private Idaho: perhaps the greatest adaptation of Henry IV ever set in the modern Pacific Northwest with a narcoleptic man-whore as its hero. Glibness aside, it's brilliant. Gus Van Sant is at his absolute best/fearless as he recklessly interweaves docudrama confessionals, Shakespearian bombast, grainy 8mm movies, and abstract images into an aching puzzle of longing and identity and home.

  • Sad realization: hoverboards or no, Back to the Future Part II sucks. I was actually kind of excited to watch it, as it's been years and years since I'd last seen the thing. I remember loving all the little futuristic details, zany hijinks, etc. Yeah, well, not so much anymore. It's a leaden, arrhythmic, dead-behind-the-eyes piece of cinematic product placement. It still kind of stings.

  • Maybe it's Shane MacGowan's tragic issues d'orthodonture, but I can't keep a straight face when I listen to The Pogues. Even when they're singing about whoredom.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Watch and learn.

Dear Warner Bros. DVD People,

The cover art for The Aviator dvd is wretched.

In the future, could you please follow Criterion's lead and hire talented designers? See also the covers to Criterion's The Phantom of Liberty and Hoop Dreams:

See? Bold, interesting, aesthetically pleasing. Is that so much to ask?

Yours in all honesty,


Quote of the day.

"I’m going to get a job. I’m broke. Right now, I couldn’t buy spats for a hummingbird. What did Johnny Carson say? You’re innocent until proven broke. Well, by the time Gerry and these troops got here, it was the bottom of the barrel. I was a rich man. I’m broke now. I got to go to work.
But before that, I’m going to go out and do a little cowboying. Do you know what that is? No, you don’t know what that is.
Cowboying is when you get in a motor home or a van or something like that, and you just let the air blow in your hair, and you wind up in some little bar in Arizona someplace, and you shoot one-handed nine ball with some 90-year-old Portuguese woman that beats the hell out of you.
And the next day, you wind up in a park someplace playing chess with somebody. You go see a high school play where they’re doing West Side Story. And you just roam around and get some revitalization, that there are human beings in the world, that there are people living their lives that have no agenda, that have no agenda.
I’ve been involved in a world where, you know, the mafia is saying the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Well, in this world that I’ve been in, it’s very much that way. People drift from one side to the other in five minutes, and you never know where you are, who’s on your side or who’s not on your side."

--Robert Blake, yesterday, outside the courthouse.

I would like to take this opportunity to reprint perhaps the best monologue from a film that Mr. Blake ever delivered. From 1997's OJ Simpson-inspired Lost Highway:
In the East, the Far East, when a person is sentenced to death, they're sent to a place where they can't escape, never knowing when an executioner will step up behind them and fire a bullet into the back of their head. It could be days, weeks, or even years after the death sentence has been prononunced. This uncertainty adds an exquisite element of torture to the sitution, don't you think? It's been a pleasure talking to you.

David Lynch gives me the heebie-jeebies. Well, Lynch material being delivered by Robert Blake in kabuki-makeup with shaved eyebrows.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

They need to get their stories straight.

I thought the kid was making it all up. Duh. Big corporations are behind all things dastardly.

The ewok dance party doesn't count.

The results of David Edelstein's most-idiotic-twist endings contest are up. Honestly, they're kind of ho-hum, but there are some amusing nominations. My favorite? It comes from Charles Monagan: "The Passion of the Christ - He's not really dead!"

It always comes back to Ozu.

Another film-nerd chat with Morgan:

Morgan (11:05:37 AM): I watched SHADOW OF A DOUBT last night, AKA Hitch's favorite Hitch film, purportedly.
M (11:05:43 AM): It's not so good.
Ben (11:06:45 AM): you are on crack cocaine. I love that movie.
B (11:06:52 AM): a lot.
M (11:06:53 AM): Weak, dude.
M (11:06:58 AM): The script is preposterous.
M (11:07:00 AM): And boring.
B (11:07:02 AM): it's no phantom of the opera [2004]?
M (11:07:06 AM): Fucking die.
M (11:07:14 AM): The cam direction, editing and perfs are all good.
M (11:07:19 AM): But that script is so weak.
B (11:07:26 AM): I hate you.
M (11:07:34 AM): And I loved the first ten minutes, but it all went down hill fast.
M (11:08:09 AM): What's the fun of two hours of, "[Editor's note: this featured a curt summary of the film's plot. If you haven't seen the film, I don't want to ruin it. Let's just say Morgan found the whole thing a bit obvious.]"?
B (11:09:00 AM): well, when it's being directed by one of the finest directors the world has ever known, he makes it interesting. and fun. he can, you know, make it have mad flava.
M (11:09:26 AM): I'm not complaining about Hitch. I'm complaining about the script. Which sucked. Balls. Joseph Cotten was totally sweet, as was the camera direction. It's not like an abortion or anything.
M (11:11:12 AM): Dude, it was better than TOKYO STORY.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Wonder if he's seen the recut.

Quentin Tarantino is really committed to his Jew-hatery*:

"My second favourite movie of the year was The Passion Of The Christ. [His number one pick is Shaun of the Dead.] I'm actually in the writers' branch of the Academy, but I wanted to switch over to the directors' branch so I could vote for Mel Gibson to win an Oscar. I think The Passion Of The Christ is one of the most magnificent directing jobs I've seen in my life. I hadn't seen a movie bring back the imagery of silent cinema until that film."

And while on the topic, don't miss Noni Da's review of The Passion Recut. As noted by the 'Trix, that lede is... er, cutting.

* Yes, I know hatery is not a word. But I like its old timey quality. So shut it.

Monday, March 14, 2005


We interrupt this silence to say: we're screwed.
(Number of Lindsay's rules broken in the above post: 2.)

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Resistable Rise of the TPS Report.

This is why I love David Byrne. (He does backflips on that thin line between irony and sincerity.):

"Byrne believes that speakers giving Powerpoint lectures are giving a performance akin to Japanese theater (mentioning the visible puppeteers in Bunraku and showing a picture of musicians in Nogaku) or Brecht in that the performance both displays the show (the powerpoint slides) together with the speaker -- thus exposing the 'behind the scenes' workings of the show."

--Doug Tygar's take on a David Byrne lecture enetitled "I Heart Powerpoint."

The Upside.

David Edelstein has a new contest: come up with the worst twist ending in a film. This after he endured The Upside of Anger.
Do you know what the twist is in said opus? Probably not as it's just being released now. I certainly haven't seen it, the only reason I know about this gem of screenwriting is I have a friend who saw a rough cut months ago. The twist is such nonsense that I'm itching to spoil it. If you have little-to-no desire to see the latest in Joan Allen/Kevin Costner weepies, I'll spoil that shit like nobody's bidness in the comment section.

Rant of the week.

A nice way to start one's Friday is by snorting water through one's nose, followed by intense bouts of laughter. Thanks, Josh:

"No we can't be friends because your fucking books promote a shitty, banal, bland, boring and hideously useless direction for the novel to go in and I, for one, love The Novel more than I love you and daddy and mommy fought so much because they hated you as much as I do, obviously, so get over it and start acting like a grown-up who knows he's blessed to live the life of a writer and knows that if he can't defend his masturbatory, ten-thousand page tour-de-force then he should go back to running a fucking pirate store."

--La Guida di Fagistan taking on a certain McDouche.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I can breathe for the first time.

Psych. Just 'cause I have the Zhang hottness up there, you thought this was another one of those 2046 fanboy posts, huh? Nope. I'm taking a break from my WKW lovefest. But then, what is there to talk about?
Howz about:

  • Ted Leo covering "Since U Been Gone."

  • The Harvard Crimson lashing out at the Sisters Duff.

  • Kanye West: literally an auto-fellater? (via Catchdubs.)

  • The trainwreck spectacle that is Rosie O'Donnell's blog.
    (Sample entry:
    toni childs union
    screens on monitors
    some large some small
    all hold the same image
    photos or art work or newspaper headlines

  • Lindsay Lohan is going to be directed by Altman and act opposite Meryl Streep. And Tom Waits. And Lyle Lovett. In the same film.

Is that enough to make your head explode? I'll leave you to mull those over and check back later.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Three stories about 2046.

Obsess much?
I know, I can't help it. It's firmly lodged in my brain (that's a good thing).
I felt like sharing these.

  1. Wong Kar-Wai is insanely secretive about about what he's working on and tries his hardest to keep details away from the media (especially while he's filming). While filming on the Oriental Hotel set (the primary 2046 location), a tabloid photog bribed his way onto set and managed to smuggle out pictures. When the images hit the tabloids, WKW demanded that the set be torn down, redesigned and rebuilt.

  2. As PL pointed out, WKW shot so much footage that there's enough unused material to make another film.

  3. Perusing the IMDb message boards, I learned that 2046 might just be reminiscent of Lost in Translation. "El Buferos" fills us in:
    Perhaps because 2046 is set in a hotel too and the Asian languages are very important, or maybe because of the calm atmosphere and extremely beautiful music.

    But, as I said already, I didn't like 2046 at all. It's a wonderful movie, I can understand lots of people love it, but it was just not appealing to me. Lost In Translation had not one superfluous scene, while 2046 was at least 30min too long (in my opinion).

    Did someone here also had troubles with the distinction between the different female leads? I always confused them, which made it really difficult to keep track of what was going on...

    Got it? Asians: they all look alike. Asian languages: they're very important. 2046 and LIT: might just be comparable.

I think she's going to eat Matthews.

Did you hear that Michelle Malkin got a foxy new makeover? Whilst trying to find more pics of the newly glammed-out harpie, I came across this picture:

It fills me with such joy...

Quote of the day.

"My life the last two days has felt like a Michelangelo Antonioni movie, minus the sex and the style."

--D. Greene.

I can relate.

Monday, March 07, 2005

10 observations about 2046.

  1. It's easy to get your hands on.
    I tried to be patient and wait for Wong Kar-Wai's quasi-sequel to In the Mood for Love to make it to American screens. I'm sure it'll get here some day, but not any day soon (still no firm U.S. release date from any of the film's 9,000 production/distribution companies).
    I got a DVD copy of the pristine, region-free, NTSC Hong Kong special edition from Cinefile. It's also available in a myriad of other formats from Hong Kong Flix.
    Yes, it must be a richer experience seeing 2046 on the screen. But I figured, I could die in a car accident tomorrow or have a stroke or something. The movie is within my grasp. Carpe diem. And stuff.
    I suggest you do the same.

  2. This is Hong Kong Flix's official plot summary:
    "You actually want a plot for a trippy Wong Kar-Wai film? Ha ha ha... "

    It's not that difficult. I could sum it up rather easily, but what fun is that? I knew very little going in and think that's for the best. Instead, enjoy WKW's typically WKWesque overview:
    He was a writer. He thought he wrote about the future but it really was the past. In his novel, a mysterious train left for 2046 every once in a while. Everyone who went there had the same recapture their lost memories. It was said that in 2046, nothing ever changed. Nobody knew for sure if it was true, because nobody who went there had ever come back--except for one. He was there. He chose to leave. He wanted to change.

  3. WKW makes me swoon.
    Well, his visuals do anyway. I quit counting after the fourth time the composition made me lose my breath. And mind you, this isn't some epic Grand Canyon stuff or special effect shit that's making me gasp. No, it's the way Wong frames Tony Leung talking on the phone, his face obscured by a cabinet, a bare light bulb hanging to his left. Don't ask me why, in Wong’s hands, it's magic.

  4. The ache isn't as acute.
    Remember how In the Mood For Love quietly inserted an arrow into your heart and then ever so slowly twisted it for the next hour and a half? The ache isn't that pronounced in 2046. Oh, it's there, but it's more a pulse. Under all the cinematic energy and color and overlapping storylines, it’s there. And on ocassion, and with restraint, Wong goes in for the kill and that pulse becomes a throb and you remember how silly all those charges of WKW being emotionally detached really are.

  5. Zhang Ziyi Zhang might just be the most gorgeous actress currently working in cinema.
    (At least when photographed by Christopher Doyle.)

  6. In a tuxedo, Tony Leung might just be the modern Cary Grant.

  7. Like Wes Anderson, WKW gets Christmas.
    In the movies, Christmas works best when it’s melancholy and scored with sad-sounding pop artifacts. (i.e., Charlie Brown for Wes, Nat King Cole for WKW.)

  8. Roger Ebert must be punished.
    I can’t find a hyperlink at the moment, but in his Cannes ’04 wrap-up, Ebert announced that De-Lovely is a superior filmic achievement to 2046. As fond as I am of Ebs, he needs to be beaten for that remark.

  9. Quentin Tarantino must be punished.
    QT gave WKW a huge boost when he hyped Chungking Express and got Miramax to release it in America. I’ll give him that. But it is unacceptable to preside over a film jury (as QT did at Cannes ’04) and allow Fahrenheit 9/11 to take the top award. Un-accept-able.

  10. It’s hardly a perfect movie.
    It’s not. In places it drags, certain segments could be tightened, and I wish some of the storylines were chronologically shuffled. But not to get all auterist, it’s a new Wong Kar-Wai film. It’s a cause for celebration.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Before I go to bed, I just need to let everyone know that I saw 2046 and, while it's not In the Mood For Love, it's brilliant. Wong Kar Wai's skill makes my heart skip beats.

More later.

I just wish I liked the movie.

As to be expected, Eric Chase Anderson's Criterion cover is great.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

An ending (descent).

I won't waste your time or mine with a write-up of the painfully mediocre and derivative The Jacket, but I have to relay this anecdote.
As there's no opening credit sequence and I really didn't bother to pay much attention to the film before its release, I didn't know much about the cast or crew. About five minutes in, I started guessing who could be responsible for the wretched electro-blah score. Did they actually hire some electronic musician with little skill? Maybe Paul Oakenfold? Or was it a Hans Zimmer-type attempting to try something new? Either way, the bogus synth-washes and static-pulses were just killing me.
The culprit?
Brian Eno.
Brian Fucking Eno.
Brian "I invented ambient music" Eno.
Brian "Not only did I invent ambient music, I've made some of the greatest electronic albums ever" Eno.

It still hurts.

(And if you're thinking of going to The Jacket, save your money and watch Jacob's Ladder or Donnie Darko. Oh, but not that bullshit Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut nonsense, the original cut. Thank you. That's all.)


"The record business would be better off if more albums began like MU’s Out of Breach (Manchester’s Revenge) (Output): 'Welcome to MU world, bitch! I’m talking to the person who took thirteen hundred dollars from me on eBay, plus bitches who are releasing my vocals without my permission, and another shout out to those bitches who hid my tampons backstage. And especially to all haters, I’m about to kung fu you!'"

--S/FJ in a perfectly succinct capsule review from The New Yorker.

Friday, March 04, 2005

The way beyond the rubicon.

I'm sure that by now everyone knows the long and tortured saga of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Fiona Apple's "indefinitely shelved" album Extraordinary Machine. The latest twist is a Seatlle DJ somehow snagged a copy of the album, has been playing it on the air and now the songs are all over the Interweb.

In tracking down said songs, I have come across many fan-girls who, um, sort of embody certain stereotypes. For instance, there's AppleJuice. I don't know if AJ is serious or not (I can only hope she's kidding), but she wins the quote/comment of the day award for this one:

"i have a theory of how 'A better version of me' has to do with fiona's menstrual cycle. i'm too tired to explain now, but i will later.
any scholar would agree with my interpretation."

I'm trying to contact Camille Paglia to see if she, in fact, agrees with this interpretation.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

At least he's honest.

"The charge made in many of the letters of killing a donkey 'for entertainment' is one that I refute on the grounds that such charges can only originate from ignorance of my films ... particularly 'entertaining' is something surely nobody would call them!"

--Lars Von Trier, from a press release announcing the removal of all scenes involving donkey butchery from his upcoming slave-epic Manderlay.

An open letter to David Fincher.

Mr. Fincher,

It has come to my attention that you're developing a new serial killer movie. I understand that you're basing it on the Zodiac Killer, but I don't know how closely you're sticking to history. If there's room for "creativity" with "the facts," I'd humbly like to assist you and your production designers with some ideas for how the killer's bedroom should look.
If you'd be so kind as to use your Internets to look up the AP news article entitled "Jury Gets Video Tour of Jackson's Bedroom," you'd find images galore that you could utilize for your mise en scene.
For instance:
The video, shot by Sheriff's Department photographer Albert Lafferty, showed a sparkling bedspread, pictures of Marilyn Monroe and Shirley Temple, several TVs and stacks of videos.
Two rooms that investigators called the 'doll room' and the 'toy room' were filled with dolls, mannequins and figurines of such characters as Bat Man, Superman and C-3PO, Boba Fett and R2-D2 from 'Star Wars.'

Just add some defective neon and Stabbing Westward on the hi-fi and you got some vintage Fincher magic. Please let me know what you think, David.



Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Perhaps the greatest blog headline evs.


Find me a better one. I dare you.

All he wins is a doll?

C'mon, some dude wins the contest to name Ann Coulter's next book (the winning submission: Roosevelt: Wheelchair-Riding, America-Hating Terrorist) and all he gets is a Talking Ann Coulter doll? Weak. At the very least, he should win a date with Ann (Cocaine and Tic-Tac dinner included).

An admission: I laughed at some of the titles that Ann wrote and rejected. Among them: Their Eyes Were Watching God and Banning Him From Public Schools and He's Just Not That Into Jews: The George Soros Story. Oh Ann, ever the temperate and rational polemicist.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

'Max it.

Nothing says "I'm a serious war doc" quite like a Miramaxed, zany poster that recreates the whimsy and charm of Finding Neverland/Buffalo Soldiers/etc.

Pop life.

I really wish I could attend the Experience Music Project's annual Project Pop Conference. It's held every year at the EMP museum in Seattle and looking over this year's itinerary, I see that it's as delightfully obtuse and esoteric as ever.

Dig: critic Julianne Sheppard presents The Bad Sister Does Self-Defense: How Courtney Love Turned Her Yellow Wallpaper into a Room of Her Own. ("By owning the public's failure wish for her and morphing it into a grotesque pictorial of the LA Woman – and desecrating 'Smells Like Teen Spirit,' the song that symbolically held her hostage—Courtney Love has turned the tables on her detractors, using their weapon as her own.")

Better yet, Duke University's Jessica Wood presents Poop As Hard As Rock: Putting the ‘Anal’ in Analysis. ("Taking 'Hairspray Queen' and 'Mexican Seafood' as case studies, I suggest ways that urination can sound lyrical, dry heaves rhythmic and nausea like a stagnant diminished seventh chord within [Kurt] Cobain’s aesthetic.")

And check out these other lecture titles:

  • “Accidentally, Like A Mensch: The 'Good' Death of Warren Zevon”
  • “Air Guitar: There’s No 'There' There. Or Is There?”
  • “Beautiful World: The Cultural Politics of Devo in Television Advertising”
  • “Faux-'mo Crooners and the Straight Girls Who Love Them”
  • “Girl on Girl: Bio-Queens, Fat Femmes, and Re-radicalizing the Gender-Fuck”
  • “Pimp My Bach: The Strange Case of Classical Samples in Hip-Hop”
  • “Un(w)rapping the Faggotry in Hip-Hop”

And that's just the first day! (In case you were wondering, my favorite day two lecture is entitled “I Walked With a Juggalo: The music, the Message, the Makeup.” Yes indeed, Insane Clown Posse is gettin' some mad intellectual love.)
If only, if only...