Thursday, January 29, 2004
A miniseries based on this this tale of greed, murder and a rich family in Bangkok would give Dallas a run for its money
2:15 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
R.I.P. Janet Frame
I never even got through the Jane Campion movie of An Angel At My Table, never mind her books; but I feel a kinship nevertheless with this New Zealand native who was institutionalized and given shock treatment because "she was just someone who preferred to be alone, and who was different from most other people", as a Brit shrink later claimed.
More Frame links here (scroll to "Step 6").
2:09 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, January 26, 2004
Some thoughts on movies I've seen lately
John Huston: The Man, The Movies, The Maverick is on disc 2 of the new DVD release of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and it's quite a good film bio (2 hours long), though it doesn't probe his dark side as much as I'd like. Particularly in light of his relationship with the guy who might have been the Black Dahlia killer (see Steve Hodel's Black Dahlia Avenger: The True Story); also check out Peter Viertel's White Hunter, Black Heart (the basis for the Eastwood movie, which isn't that great).
Of the 3 new Palm DVD comps of short film (music video and ads) honchos Michael Gondry, Spike Jonze & Chris Cunningham, only the latter is of lasting interest -- particularly the Aphex Twin "Come to Daddy" video. Not before bedtime though.
Northfork is worth seeing, but didn't quite gel for me, the conceit not backed up by enough strength of vision or something. I might feel different about it in time though.
If you haven't seen Black Narcissus, you really must, esp. if you want to see what can be done with studio sets to recreate exteriors. Cinematographer Jack Cardiff won an Oscar, and the production design by Alfred Junge is astounding. It's also a penetrating little study of reconciling human emotions with spiritual aspirations.
John Boorman's The General is one of his best, as the reviews claim, and a tour de force for Brendan Gleeson. The disc also has 2 versions, the black and white Boorman no doubt preferred, and a "desaturated color" version which I didn't bother with.
Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Kyua (Cure) from '97 is just out on disc and it was very good I thought. Quite creepy yet subtle and thoughtful. I couldn't find any of this other Kurosawa's other films out here, maybe this one will spur interest.
Caught Andre de Toth's '59 psychological western Day of the Outlaw on TCM this weekend, and it's well worth seeing. Burl Ives and Robert Ryan are very good in this stark study of barbarity and the alternative against the backdrop of 19th century Wyoming. It's not on tape or disc yet though.
1:27 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, January 25, 2004
You've probably heard by now that Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno have started their own music distribution company to help artists caught between MusicMobsters and you-know-who
They're among my favorite artists, and I applaud the attempt to move things forward. But this is still only a transitional step, and it won't stop "illegal" downloading, natch -- nor will the RIAA's guerrilla tactics. I sure as hell am not going to even download wmas (despite good sound quality), as the Micro$uck player is a beast that should be put to sleep, and no one's going to settle for less than total control/ownership of files downloaded.
And CDs wouldn't be a dying format if THEY WEREN'T SO DAMN EXPENSIVE...
As an aside, the sound quality on CDs also varies drastically. The Eno stuff on Editions EG generally sounds like it was recorded under a mattress, while Gabriel's sounds fine, as I remember (last album of his I listened to much was Passion, I have to admit).
Music downloading has if anything gotten people BACK into music, at a time when there seems less and less music out there anyone's really dying to hear. And being able to sample mp3s is the best thing to happen to new artists since the 78.
OK, there's words galore about all this on the net, so I'll stop there.
11:47 AM - [Link] - Comments ()