Saturday, January 04, 2003
NSFC awards: The Pianist, Walken, Diane Lane
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More lighthearted family fare from M. Cronenberg
Early review of Spider
Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson in dual roles, shades of Eraserhead & The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.
Love that twisted Canadian chill.
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R.I.P. Ian McNaughton
Monty Python director passes from injuries in auto accident.
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Friday, January 03, 2003
If you were/are a fan of Throbbing Gristle, there's a new 24 CD(!) compilation of their live shows available from Mute
There'a a new studio comp (The World According to Throbbing Gristle) coming out in June too.
Boy did I get strange looks just mentioning the name Throbbing Gristle in the 70s. . .
2:05 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Appropriately astounded review of Read and Burn 02
What band could have released not one, not two, but three historic albums (in as many years), each so different from the one that came before, simultaneously spelling out the brittle aesthetics of England's burgeoning punk movement and, in nearly the same breath, eclipsing them while the rest of the pack was still busy learning to tune their guitars? What band would be willing to then walk away from the zenith of their popularity, claiming they simply didn't have another album in them, only to resurface six years later in 1987 for a string of highly dubious (but not hopeless) new-wave castaways? What band would name one of those albums Manscape? And then, what band could spend ten more years in stasis, recuperating, biding their time for their inevitable recovery, to eventually drop a set of EP's so unique, so urgent, that it's as though the band never went away in the first place? Most importantly, even one year ago, who ever would have believed that such a stunning return was possible? No one but Wire.Actually I like A Bell Is a Cup Until It Is Struck and The Ideal Copy, but I'm an old guy.
Old enough to have seen them in '78.
1:43 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thursday, January 02, 2003
I watched this tribute to pioneer political cartoonist Thomas Nast on C-SPAN yesterday
Perhaps David Rees is one of the heirs to the tradition (though what he does is a strip, not the traditional one frame or whatever)?
Nast also designed the image of Santa Claus as we know him today.
Other sites on the influence of Nast on van Gogh and Degas (with a selection of Nast's work) and more toons.
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An argument for sexually segregated colleges
The author is the president of an all-girls school, so her prejudice is to be expected. But if women do get less attention and acheive less in coed schools -- well more power to them.
I guess it's my age showing, but it always seemed weird to me that Douglass College (I went to coed Rutgers College, both of them part of Rutgers University) was still for women only. A relic of Victorian repression etc.
But in the context of women still not being accorded equality in American society, and this having a negative effect on their college experience, I can see why they might choose an all-woman school.
Though I still can't help but feel the old Victorian thing creeping back in, especially with the New Imperialism of the White House setting the tone.
2:48 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Huh. The Oblongs have been on the Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" since July
If I'da known, I'd have 'em all on tape by now.
1:26 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, January 01, 2003
Will net access thourgh ISPs (at least in cities) soon be a thing of the past?
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Never did get around to reading Angry Young Spaceman, Jim Munroe's last novel, though I think it was available as a download and I have it somewhere on a disc. His new one Everyone in Silico may be good, but I have a feeling I'd probably agree with Donna McMahon that Pohl & Kornbluth's 1984 The Space Merchants does the job less self-consciously.
Munroe used to run Adbusters, and I kind of want to read him, but there's just too much to read now to tackle anything that isn't right on for me.
4:06 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Somehow I didn't get around to listing DJ Martian's superb new music site in my linx section
That's been remedied. It's really an essential stop for music lovers.
I got a referral from his site today, even though music is only a part of what I do here.
6:30 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, December 29, 2002
According to this Donna Tartt fansite, Gwyneth Paltrow is producing and starring in a film version of The Secret History
If she's young enough to be an undergrad, I'd like to have seen Molly Parker in the role. But Jena Malone would be just right.
Not that Ms Paltrow won't do just fine. Just like to see some other faces.
6:38 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
BOOKS READ AND COMPLETED 2002 (r = reread)
Them: Adventures With Extremists Jon Ronson
Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood (4 stories)
High Rise (r) J G Ballard
Coldheart Canyon Clive Barker
Episodes Before Thirty Algernon Blackwood
Thunderbird Susan Slater
Forty Words for Sorrow Giles Blunt
Basket Case Carl Hiaasen
Wild Wives Charles Willeford
The Long Legged Fly James Sallis
Homo Zapiens Victor Pelevin
Neil Young: Reflections in a Broken Glass Sylvie Simmons
The Skin Palace Jack O'Connell
Motherless Brooklyn Jonathan Lethem
Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press ed. Kristina Borjesson
Dog Soldiers Robert Stone
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (r) Mark Twain
The Rotter's Club Jonathan Coe
Rule by Secrecy Jim Marrs
Man Walks Into A Room Nicole Krauss
Crow Lake Mary Lawson
The Butterfly Effect Pernille Rygg
The Handmaid's Tale Maragaret Atwood
Moth James Sallis
A Flag for Sunrise Robert Stone
Wild Seed Octavia Butler
Big If Mark Costello
The Biggest Secret David Icke
Sideswipe Charles Willeford
The Corrections Jonathan Franzen
A Cold Day in Paradise Steve Hamilton
The Very Best Men - Four Who Dared: Early Years of the CIA Evan Thomas
Moral Hazard Kate Jennings
The White Bone Barbara Gowdy
Du Pont Dynasty: Behind the Nylon Curtain (1984 edit.) Gerard Colby
Forbidden Truth: US - Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy, Saudi Arabia and the Failed Search for bin Laden Jean-Charles Brisard & Guillaume Dasquie
The Secret History (r) Donna Tartt
Unholy Alliance: A History of Nazi Involvement with the Occult Peter Levenda
Pick-Up Charles Willeford
Distraction (r) Bruce Sterling
The Athenian Murders José Carlos Somoza
Children of the Matrix David Icke
The Way We Die Now Charles Willeford
Up Above the World (r) Paul Bowles
3:02 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
From Jonathan Lethem's haughty and perceptive introduction to his Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick:
Dick was a writer doomed to be himself, and the themes of his most searching and personal writing of the 1970s and early 1980s surface helplessly in even the earliest stories: the fragility of connection, the allure and risk of illusion, the poignancy of artifacts, and the necessity of carrying on in the face of the demoralizing brokenness of the world.Boy does that sum up a good deal of my world view. . .
And explains some of the reasons why Dick is a writer I'm so fond of.
4:02 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
A pretty clear-eyed review of the new edition of David Thomson's The New Biographical Dictionary of Film
He's ambiguous about Hitchcock, very smart about Godard and positively worshipful when it comes to Howard Hawks and Kenji Mizoguchi (Kurosawa gets a mild drubbing mainly because, as the longtime Japanese director of choice on the art house-revival circuit, he has overshadowed the superior, in Thomson's opinion, Mizoguchi and Ozu). I agree with a lot of his opinions, and that will ultimately determine how much you like the book. The "Biography" of the title is as much of Thomson as of the movies.
This is all very cranky and flavorful (and occasionally witty), and not entirely without utilitarian purpose. If Bresson or Godard, for example, puzzle you, then Thomson can shed some light. When it comes to actors from the '30s, '40s and '50s, he tends to be inspired. He loves movies but will brook no conventional wisdom, being too busy constructing a personal hierarchy.
More assertive than authoritative, this so-called dictionary is more like a writer's diary, a lifetime's accumulation of critical notes and perceptive appreciations, made by a movie fan obsessed with his subject, but not blinded by love.
On the other hand, he's just very, very good, and you'll most likely learn much by reading him, no matter how much you know about film.
2:28 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Review of Rebecca Miller's Personal Velocity
...we enter the three central female characters from the inside out -- examining the world from their temporarily less-than-clear gaze, as they grope toward some inconclusive (but improving) insight, a process that seems both messily organic and razor-sharp. Personal Velocity is a series of small surprises that taken together are exhilarating.Starring Kyra Sedgwick, Parker Posey and Fairuza Balk.
Rebecca Miller's first film was the well-received but too weird for release Angela in '95, which certainly sounds worth seeking out. It was just released on video/DVD apparently.
2:10 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Ambivalent, neurotic plush toys for adults
It's er about time. . .
1:47 AM - [Link] - Comments ()