Saturday, March 12, 2005
Sonic boom near Tampa registers on seismographs
What was this I wonder?
Never heard of a sonic boom listed on the USGS quake site before...
12:52 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Friday, March 11, 2005
John Schaefer would have felt right at home at Abu Ghraib
Back nearly 3 years ago I posted on my old political site about Colonia Dignidad, after reading Peter Levenda's account of it in his book on Nazism and the occult; now it seems the leader of the cult there has been apprehended in Argentina after an 8 year search
Now that similar methods have been employed by the US in Iraq, the old Chile-US bond from the Pinochet days -- and the weird connections between ex-Nazi scientists and the post-WWII US government -- seem newly relevant. As Levenda's upcoming book Sinister Forces-The Nine : A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft no doubt explores.
9:04 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thursday, March 10, 2005
So -- Richard Linklater is doing his version of Phil Dick's A Scanner Darkly [cinecultist]
Great book, interesting director, Bigname Cast.
You never know...
9:30 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, March 06, 2005
Best film I've seen so far this year
I quite liked Lucrecia Martel's first feature, La Ciénaga, which I just caught up with, along with her award-winning short, Rey Muerto
Not sure about the references I've seen to Buñuel in relation to Martel. Nor the remarks about "black comedy" -- seems very realistic to me -- or decadence -- the movie is far too subtle and empathetic for broad comments like this to do justice to Martel's artistry. Though I've never seen the life of the soon-to-be-ex-middle class of any country portrayed so unflinchingly, the characters don't become so repellent (like in Gummo for instance) you can't feel sympathy for them. I guess the very dry humor is reminiscent of Buñuel, come to think of it, but the sensuality of the light and sound in Martel's work sets her apart.
Ms. Martel credits her family for her becoming a filmmaker. Long siesta hours spent listening to her mother and other women talk about children, husbands and family life impressed her deeply. "In Buenos Aires, where people are more analytical, they speak directly," she said. "But in the provinces, saying something can be a very long journey. Nothing is direct."
Equally compelling were her grandmother's ghost stories about the dead coming back to visit the living. "When I was writing and directing `La Ciénaga,' I tried to keep the rhythm of those conversations and stories in my mind," she said. "They were the kinds of narrative I wanted to capture on film."
It was her father, though, who got her started by bringing home a brand-new video camera when Ms. Martel was a teenager. "I still remember his words," she recalled, making it clear that she considers memory vital to her artistic process. "He told us: `This machine cost as much as a car. So anyone who wants to use it must thoroughly learn the manual.' I recently came across my typed translation of the English-language manual." She added, laughing, "I was obsessed with that video camera."
The camera became her film school. Her six brothers and sisters tolerated her nonstop videotaping. She never tired of capturing seemingly uninteresting moments and then watching them on tape with fascination. It's fair to say that her aesthetic — loopy humor, real-time pacing and an unblinking composition — started here. When her father eventually updated the heavy equipment to a camcorder, Ms. Martel was freed to roam. "For five years," she said, "there's no image of me in family pictures or videos. I was always operating the camera." The other half of her visual style — the restless movement, curiosity and shifting geography — may be traced to those days.
"La Ciénaga" bypasses conventional narrative. Imagine family photographs by someone like Sally Mann mixed with the real-life disintegration of the mother and daughter in David and Albert Maysles's 1985 documentary classic "Grey Gardens," then insert the jumpy visual energy of Harmony Korine's "Gummo," add a meticulous script with the sensibility of David Lynch and you'll have a rough idea of Ms. Martel's accomplishment — as well as some insight into the screenplay's unconventional shape, which seems to have made initial financing in Argentina difficult. [link]
I'm looking forward to the DVD release of her new film La Niña Santa (The Holy Girl), about which more here.
8:58 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Podcasting Persians in exile preserve identity
"In fact, blogging has become the main medium for information, new, analysis and exchange of information for Iranians, both inside and outside the country."
11:42 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Nothing is true everything is permitted file:
Newsweek photoshops younger body onto Martha Stewart's head for its cover, while she's still in prison
...and tries to cover its ass by listing it as a "photo illustration" (!) in a credit buried on page 3.
I just don't get the fascination with this woman, nor why she has the power to get stuff like this done.
Or is it just that she's the demigoddess for millions of disempowered homemakers?
Not that nearly all fashion or mainstream women's magazine covers aren't essentially paintings anyway (I remember Warhol), but this seems to take it further.
11:31 AM - [Link] - Comments ()