Saturday, November 08, 2003
Salman Rushdie interviews Terry Gilliam [Epitonic]
At the heart of Brazil is a man who has a privileged background, who is educated, who isn't taking responsibility for the world he is a part of. He is a cog in it, thinks he can do nothing better. To me, the heart of Brazil is responsibility, is involvement -- you can't just let the world go on doing what it's doing without getting involved. And of course what he does is he falls in love so he falls vulnerable, and his whole world starts falling apart. Never fall in love.The (physical) magazine this comes from, The Believer, is a part of the McSweeney's juggernaut, which I have had little contact with. Though thousands sing its praise.
It looks like a worthy effort, but even at the "discount" rate of $55 a year they're offering now, I can afford about 2 issues right now.
Anyway, the home page is here.
They have some articles online though, like the above interview and this long piece on The Saragossa Manuscript and its descendants (Pynchon, The Illuminatus Trilogy, and so on) and this intriguing disposition on Our Rediscovery of Melodrama (Far From Heaven) and the reflective superiority of Babette's Feast (starring the usually aristocratic Stéphane Audran in what some say is her best role; she's been in 104 movies!, including the one I know her best from, Buñuel's The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, and her ex-husband Claude Chabrol's film La Femme Infidèle, which I just saw -- Unfaithful is a remake).
Babette's Feast (based on a novel by Isak Dinesen) is a great film by my lights as well (it's in both video formats). It actually cultivates gratitude in the viewer -- a rather extraordinary thing.
11:55 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Media Gangsters offer prizes to students who oppose file sharing
MPAA & charity join forces to convince schoolkids file sharing is "just plain wrong" [Undernews]
The MPAA has teamed up with charity organization Junior Achievement to begin teaching students about the evils of file-sharing and copyright laws. The program, called What's the Diff? A Guide to Digital Citizenship, started last week and will be held for students in grades 5-9 over the next two years. Among things, students will engage in discussions why file-sharing is wrong and role-playing as various people involved in entertainment such as producers, directors, actors, and carpenters (the one we've all grown to weep for ever since the MPAA started showing ads before movies against file-sharing).
10:58 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Mark Twain in His Times [Refdesk]
This interpretive archive, drawn largely from the resources of the Barrett Collection, focuses on how "Mark Twain" and his works were created and defined, marketed and performed, reviewed and appreciated.
12:33 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
City ruins found near Machu Picchu
The site was first mentioned by explorer Hiram Bingham, the discoverer of Machu Picchu, in 1912. But he was very vague about its location, and the ruins have lain undisturbed ever since.
After locating the city from the air, the expedition used machetes to hack through the jungle to reach it, 9,000 feet up the side of a mountain.
They found stone buildings including a solar temple and houses covering several square miles in the same alignment with the Pleiades star cluster and the June solstice sunrise as Machu Picchu, which was a sacred center.
12:31 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thursday, November 06, 2003
Happily, Criterion is re-releasing Tati's Mon Oncle & M. Hulot's Holiday in January
Thought I was going to have to pay extortianate eBay prices for Mon Oncle, one of my favorite films and formerly difficult to find on VHS -- not to mention the prints sucked major.
Playtime & Jour de Fête will follow later in the year.
Apparently they had to re-negotiate the rights.
More on this unique filmmaker here and here.
11:02 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Underground restaurants thriving [Undernews]
Mamasan's is not, however, an anomaly. Restaurants of dubious legality, where food is cooked in apartments and backyards, abound across the United States. These underground restaurants range from upscale to gritty, and are born from youthful idealism, ethnic tradition or economic necessity. They lack certification from any government agency and are, strictly speaking, against the law. You dine in them at your own risk. If you can find them.
Over the last four years, Lynette said, more than a thousand customers have come through her doors to eat pungent Chamorran dishes from Guam, where she was raised in the local Chamorro culture. She cooks them with her 61-year-old mother, the Mamasan of the restaurant's name.
"I've worked at restaurants for years, and dealing with the public is a beast," Lynette said. "You don't get to edit who comes into your space, and it becomes a very sterile exchange of goods. I like knowing who is coming, and whether they understand what I'm doing."
Lynette describes her restaurant as a kind of "party" -- albeit one that comes with a bill -- and many underground restaurateurs harbor similar visions. Most chefs, after all, cook because they want to feed people great meals, but in the end, the compliments of satisfied diners are not always compensation for the headaches of running a business.
Expect more alternatives like this to pop up, as people get fed up with mediated or branded services.
12:24 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, November 03, 2003
Fidel Castro reviews Marquez's memoirs
Not that I'm a big fan of Castro particularly, but he sounds fairly intelligent.
And of course imagining the current uh leader of America reviewing any book is too mind-boggling and depressing to contemplate.
1:33 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, November 02, 2003
The greatest composer of the last quarter of the 20th century?
Kyle Gann on Morton Feldman
His cross-cultural appeal comes from the fact that he created a postmodern sense of form - long, slow musical continua played in uniformly quiet dynamics - while holding onto the basic modernist pitch vocabulary of dissonant intervals. In other words, he deftly sidestepped the crisis of ever-increasing modernist complexity without giving in to what was seen as the vapid anti-intellectualism of minimalist consonance and tonality. Even more than that, by writing in his late years works of a continuous 90 minutes, three hours, four hours, even six hours in length, he reclaimed for the disspirited modern composer a sustainable measure of magnificent ambition, a pride in occupying an audience?s time. Quietly but vehemently he asserted for all of us that new music is worth sitting still for, practicalities be damned. In addition to which, as his friend John Cage said, his music is "almost too beautiful."
12:57 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
The Ten Most Wanted Works of Art [Arts Journal]
Bird in Space Constantin Brancusi
The Cardplayers Paul Cézanne
The Time of the Fire Willem de Kooning
L.H.O.O.Q. Marcel Duchamp
Bathers Paul Gauguin
Diver Jasper Johns
The Muses Brice Marden
Lucifer Jackson Pollock
Jan Six Rembrandt van Rijn
Portrait of Dr. Gachet Vincent van Gogh
12:44 AM - [Link] - Comments ()