Thursday, July 31, 2008
Pack & drive to Chicago. All of Rt 70 in Ohio is under construction, it seems. Lots of cops. Rt 65 closed at the top, so there's no point hitting the skyway, and somehow I manage to dodge the long line to get onto 80-94. Even so, I end up stuck in traffic for an hour at the end of the trip.
Dinner with Kirk at RJ Grunts. Fish tacos and chocolate milkshake. He's been sending me all the bullshit Obama emails he can find to get a rise out of me, and really wishes Hillary were the nominee, or at least the VP.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
The degree of preparation for each film is unbelievable. No wonder it took 12 years to make Eyes Wide Shut.
The description from the Chronicle Books website:"A booming subculture is on the rise: dubbed Urban Exploration, it involves sneaking into abandoned or off-limits factories, aviation "boneyards," decommissioned bases, and other derelict features of the military/industrial landscape. Troy Paiva is a foremost photographer of the UrbEx (as it's known to its devotees) phenomenon, and his distinctive blend of atmospheric night photos and lighting effects are the visual hallmarks of a scene that has drawn the increasing attention of the media and the public—as seen in recent programs on both the Discovery Channel ("Urban Explorers") and MTV ("Fear"). Illuminated by histories of the sites documented, Night Vision reveals the remarkable discoveries of a new generation of explorers."Now I'd like to see Michael Cook's photos made into a companion book. Different style of photos, also UE focused.
Sadly, the more these people seem to have done, the less likely their prosecution. Disbarrment for some of the lawyers is marginally more plausible.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
when - as seems largely to have happened in much of Mitte, Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg - an entire chunk of a formerly working city becomes a playground for an international of 'creatives', something odd happens. One often got the sense in Berlin that whatever was happening, it didn't really matter, nothing was at stake: pure pleasure becomes boring after a while, as does the constant low-level tick-tock of a techno designed seemingly for little else than just rolling along.
As Mick Jagger observed, this week, there's really no establishment left to speak of. And without that, there's no tension driving the Bohemian circuits. What was a way to fight "the Man" has become an aesthetic choice, like choosing shag carpet. What do you do when nothing's shocking, even to you?
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I've got more comments and analysis to put together in response to some of his points, which I will do in the coming days.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
[O]ne gets the sense that the leap from Robert Mapplethorpe to “Robert Mapplethorpe” took hold in the summer of 1963, when the 16-year-old satyr was caught stealing gay pornography from a newsstand in Times Square. The aesthetics of gay male sexuality—and later, unflinching images of raw sex—would go on to color every period in his artistic career.
Mapplethorpe met Patti Smith in 1967. He was drinking the electric Kool-Aid. She was trudging through a terrible date. Their initial pairing was a symbiotic, if hasty solution that would define their relationship until Mapplethorpe’s death in 1989. They needed one another, always, but especially at the beginning of their bohemian squalor, when income was elusive, celebrity a dream.
His relationship with Smith is ambiguous, and the intimate details of their time together seem almost irrelevant. Smith, who was traveling while the interviews on the following pages were conducted, has said, “We were like two children playing together, like the brother and sister in Cocteau’s Enfant Terribles.”
It is particularly gratifying that Jesse Helms is dead, while Mapplethorpe's art lives on, and looks ready to do so for a great while to come.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Unfortunately, the article at the other end of the links seems to be a confirmation of what we already knew: cortisol and other stress-related hormones result in telomeric shortening, bringing closer the day when a particular cell can no longer divide.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Meanwhile, after a week of radio silence, people are calling one on top of the other. Friends from Ohio are moving out here just as I'm moving back, and potential job opportunities are beginning to open up. How inconvenient. Meanwhile, I'm finding that you can never have enough boxes to contain even a moderately sized apartment full of crap.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
"For those of you who don't know, I was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease a couple of weeks ago. Which sucks. Because I hate baseball. I'd really much rather have been diagnosed with a basketball disease. Maybe Wilt Chamberlain disease. That's the one where you have sex 20,000 times and then you die."
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Monday, July 07, 2008
Another interview with Skullboy. A number of boingboing's commenters had a problem with the guy, who actually comes off as well grounded, if slightly inarticulate. It's the interviewers who are really creepy, seemingly egging him on to do more extreme body mods (removal of nose & ears, for example).
Daniel Ellsberg on the FISA fight.
Bob Ostertag discusses the current Obama vs. the netroots flap, and pretty much nails it right on the head.
I will vote for Obama of course. I will continue to urge everyone I know to vote for him. But my money and time, paltry though they may be, will likely get redirected to candidates who are willing to stand up for issues I care about. And because of the Internet, I know that there are a lot of other Obama supporters in the same boat; a lot of people considering cutting off their string of small donations to the campaign.
All of this is coming at a time in which Obama's schedule is filled with big-money fundraisers where people can buy face time with the man for $30k. Put all these things together, and one cannot help but wonder if there is a turning point, that from here on out the campaign is will be less of a grassroots affair. This is not the death knell of the campaign. Far from it. I think Obama can do very well against McCain with a traditional, top down, big money campaign. I think he will be sworn in as our next president in January. But it will be a different campaign than what it has`been until now. As one commenter to my blog so aptly said, "Senator Obama, you can tap my phone or my wallet, but not both."
I'm less optimistic than Bob is about his prospects going forward. Look how well that's done for his opponents so far if you want to see how well it'll work for him.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
1. Never hold your best stuff.
2. Put something shocking at the top of the page.
3. Women are the best reporters.
4. Point of view is everything.
5. Personal is better.
6. Never hold your best stuff.
How to Write a Movie:
1. Write a play instead
2. Do the title first
Are you sure you need to write a screenplay? Almost any movie takes years. I've just done a TV film for the BBC that has taken 20 years to go from idea to execution. If you've got a great story, it might be worth writing it as a play first, or a book. To get a movie into the world, someone needs to love it enough to spend millions of pounds on it - and years of their life. A play costs a few thousand and takes a couple of months. Plus it makes you a playwright, which is way upmarket from a screenwriter. And if it's successful, people will want to make the movie.
Seems obvious, but you'd be amazed. A great title can make a big difference. The musical Oklahoma, as it was initially called, famously flopped in the provinces, but became a massive hit after they added the exclamation mark. Orson Welles said Paper Moon was such a great title they wouldn't need to make the movie, just release the title. If you want a good title, you need it before you start, when you're pumped up with hope. If you look for it afterwards, you end up thinking like a headline-writer. If Victor Hugo had waited until he'd finished Notre-Dame de Paris, he would have ended up calling it I've Got a Hunch.
3. Read it to people
4. Forget the three-act structure
6. Don't write excuse notes
7. Avoid the German funk trap
8. Do a favourite bit
9. Cast it in your head
10. Learn to love rewrites
11. Don't wait for inspiration
12. Celebrate your invisibility
13. Read, read, read, read, read
Am Dienstag vergangener Woche reiste Paula Félix-Didier in geheimer Mission nach Berlin, um sich dort mit drei Filmgutachtern und mit Redakteuren des ZEIT-Magazins zu treffen. In Gepäck der Museumschefin aus Buenos Aires: eine Kopie einer Langfassung von Fritz Langs Metropolis, darin Szenen, die seit fast 80 Jahren als verschollen galten. Nachdem die drei Experten den Film begutachtet haben, sind sie sicher: Der Fund aus Buenos Aires ist ein echter Schatz, eine Weltsensation. Metropolis, der bedeutendste Stummfilm der deutschen Geschichte, darf seit diesem Tag als wiederentdeckt gelten.
Die Urfassung von Metropolis hatte Fritz Lang im Januar 1927 in Berlin präsentiert. Der Film spielt in der Zukunftsstadt Metropolis, sie wird von Joh Fredersen beherrscht, dessen Arbeiter unter der Erde leben. Sein Sohn verliebt sich in eine junge Frau aus der Arbeiterstadt – der Konflikt nimmt seinen Lauf. Es war der teuerste deutsche Film, den es bis dahin gegeben hatte.