Tuesday, December 29, 2009
As mentioned here, I have a bit of a camera collecting habit even though any serious photographic pursuits I once had fell off long ago. But my recent interest in this little number
made me realize that many of the cameras in my collection have yet to be tested, and while most of them require film that would be difficult to track down, a few of them are 35mm cameras.
Test subject #1
The Kodak Retinette 1A. 24 shots to go until I find out if it actually works...
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
After a week and a half of starring at the Orange Library's Criterion copy of The Red Shoes lying inert beside my TV, I finally watched the film. I now understand Martin Scorsese's fervor for Powell and Pressburger's creation and I can also appreciate what it means to be truly fascinated and bored by something simultaneously (see: ballet).
And also, is it just me or would The Red Shoes viewed without sound resemble a horror film?
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
My love runs deep for David Cross, but lately he's been breaking my heart. Add to these damning facts his Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants girlfriend, the impending doom of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, and relatively dismal book reviews and it all makes me I mourn the David Cross of my youth.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Despite the fact that I'm not even halfway through The State boxset sitting next to my DVD player and I still need to finish watching borrowed copies of Spider Baby, Proof (1991) & a 2-disc Serge Gainsbourg collection, here's a short list of movies I want to watch right now.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't a I'vebeenwantingtowatchthesefilmsforsolong kind of list, it's more of a I'vehadthesefilmsonthebrain list:
Jeanne Dielman 23, Quai Du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles
Man on Wire
The Red Shoes
World's Greatest Dad
World's Greatest Dad
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Perhaps now is a bad time to out myself as a fan of Mad Men since MadMenYourself.com has pervaded the interwebs and this image has been papering bus stops and billboards everywhere for weeks. But I have to confess, more so than the soap opera-esque storylines of secret identities and infidelities galore, I'm taken in by the relentlessly appealing mise-en-scène: the eye candy of early 1960's costumes, furniture, hairstyles and, admittedly, the constant drinking and smoking that never fails to look artful or charming. Because, once --just once, I'd like to stroll into work and pour myself some whiskey from a fancy decantor.
Update: More awesome nerdiness can be found at The Footnotes of Mad Men
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
The Paris Hotel, like nearly everything else is Las Vegas, is a Baudrillardian landscape of half-cocked simulation and middle American escapism. Add to this any music relating to France (Edith Piaf? check. Serge Gainsbourg? check. "Lady Marmelade" as performed in 2001 by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya, and Pink? check.) along with copious amounts of tourists buying crepes! Arc de Triomphe snow globes! boisson alcoolisée! and you've got yourself the ultimate postmodern getaway.
In conclusion, I've decided I need not visit Paris (the city) unless I wish to be disappointed by its lack of painted skies and novelty booze.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
There are a few interesting facts you should know about Victor Erice's The Spirit of the Beehive ---for example, that Luis Cuadrado's cinematography can only be described as nothing short of amazing, despite the fact that Cuadrado was going blind during filming. And that of the 1000 total shots in the film, exactly 500 are shot inside and 500 are shot outside.
The Spirit of the Beehive is also #1 on James Franco's Criterion Top 10 list. And really, if anyone should dictate your viewing selections, it's Daniel Desario.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
The documentary Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father chronicles filmmaker Kurt Kuenne's cross-country quest to capture memories of his childhood friend, Andrew Bagby, brutally slain at age 28 by his ex-girlfriend. What ensues is a frustrating and devastating account not only of Bagby's life, but also of the life of his son Zachary (born after Andrew's death) and the fight Andrew's parents embarked on in order to gain custody of Zachary, who remained in the care of his mother/Andrew's murderer. Although the events in the documentary were widely reported when they happened, Dear Zachary is slow to reveal the complete tragedy surrounding Andrew and Zachary Bagby. The result is a crushing narrative of the father Zachary would never know and the legal system that failed them both.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
If comedy sketch shows were lovers, Mr. Show would be my mythical soulmate: the one I compared all others to, and inevitably, the one who ruined me forever for anyone else.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Richard Kelly adapts and directs the 1970 Richard Matheson short story "Button, Button" ...what could go wrong? Well, a lot actually when you add Cameron Diaz and James Marsden into the mix as the film's leads. Regardless, I'm adding this to my ever increasing films-I-want-to-see-in-October list.
Also, someone got paid to design this horrible poster.
Monday, June 15, 2009
As Jim Henson himself explained, early Muppet bits often ended with an explosion or someone being eaten. Henson worked on commercials at the start of his career and, as you can see by watching the clips above, they tend to follow the timelessly comedic explosion/death formula.
Friday, June 12, 2009
A few months ago, I was at Amoeba trying to track down Jack Cardiff's 1968 film Girl on a Motorcycle starring Marianne Faithfull. I was told that the film was out of print and whenever they got a copy in, it usually sold for around $50. Imagine my surprise when I went back to Amoeba a few weeks later and saw this on the shelves for a mere $17:
The reissue is of the bare bones variety, with absolutely no special features --because really, there is nothing special about a stills gallery-- and the packaging is pretty terrible (unlike the photo above, my copy has "crazy, sexy, cool" printed on the right side of the cover for some inane reason) none the less, I'm glad this psychedelic (road) trip is back in print.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I have a habit of collecting broken cameras. Generally, those who consider it a bad habit either A) live with me or B) understand that if you're short on space, a camera collection consisting primarily of large polaroid cameras isn't exactly ideal. But it's an awesome habit if you are C) interested in the aesthetics of various camera makes/models and D) into decorating all the bookcases in your small apartment with various cameras that no longer work.
My favorite is none other than the Polaroid Swinger (see above), not to be confused with the Polaroid Big Swinger (see below):
Aesthetically, the Swinger is amazing. But really, its name alone is reason enough for favoritism.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was/is one of my top ten all-time favorite kids books. E. L. Konigsburg's 1967 novel skillfully indulges the urge to run away and never come back, while omitting all possible consequences of committing such an act
(see: kidnappers, pedophiles, a subsequent extended stay in military school, etc.)
I reread the novel for a literature class in college and was amazed by how well it stood the test of time; unlike other children's books I had loved as a kid but considered relentlessly boring when I reread them as an adult (see: The Secret Garden, Island of the Blue Dolphins, etc.)
Basically, what I'm getting at is this: I'm nearly 26 and I still want to spend the night inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
I recently came across Jazzin' for Blue Jean which is a 20 minute David Bowie gem shot to promote his single "Blue Jean" in 1984. Picking up where Patty Duke and Hayley Mills left off, Bowie plays both Vic (the socially inept everyman and possible David Brent prototype) and Screaming Lord Byron (basically, David Bowie).
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
A documentary starring Slavoj Zizek, Judith Butler, Peter Singer and Cornel West? Astra Taylor has philosophy nerds pegged.
*side note: Taylor is married to Jeff Mangum, the man responsible for writing my favorite album haunted by the ghost of Anne Frank
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Reading the recent AV Club interview with a less-than-thrilled Bret Easton Ellis promoting (?) the latest adaptation of his work brought to mind all of the terrible ways novels adapted into films tend to go wrong. One of the first butcherings to come to mind: The Golden Compass.
Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy is nothing short of amazing, so how did such a promising project go so terribly wrong? I think we have Chris Weitz to thank for that. Although he wasn't the original director linked to the project, the film ended up in Weitz's hands, and he is the one responsible for turning down a screenplay written by Tom Stoppard...maybe you've heard of him. Deciding he was better suited to adapt the novel than TomfuckingStoppard, Weitz wrote the screenplay himself.
What ensued can only be described as a weak, censored, cliff-notes-written-by-someone-who-maybe-didn't-even-read-the-book kind of film. I could rant about this for days. But I won't. Instead, I'll only say this: when a novel ends on the heartbreaking yet-suspense-filled note of a young protagonist realizing she has just inadvertently led her best friend to his death at the hands of her father and your film adaptation ends with said protagonist and said best friend floating off into the sunset before any of this even happens, you have failed.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
To bastardize something Steven Shaviro once wrote about My Bloody Valentine, if you don't think their music is violent, then you're not listening to it loud enough.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
My absolute favorite song when I was three years old was "Your Wildest Dreams" by The Moody Blues. The song came out in '86 and I remember singing it around a house in Lakewood where we once lived (we later moved when I was four).
Other than this anecdotal lapse in judgement, I would in no way consider myself a Moody Blues fan. In fact, the only other Moody Blues related memory I have is really liking this 45 my dad had. Not because it was a Moody Blues record, but solely because it was blue.
For some reason, the memory of really loving this song stayed with me. I still know some of the lyrics. The weird thing is, I distinctly remember someone slaying dragons in the "Your Wildest Dreams" music video. Recently, I looked up this up and was shocked/dismayed to find that there is not one dragon to be seen anywhere in the music video. I repeat, no dragons.
This is entirely disappointing: