Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
I have some ideas about what I'm going to do, but nothing certain. There's a good chance that my friend Pete Erickson and I might start a pure fruit brandy distillery. Three weeks ago it seemed like a hobby or a pipe dream, but now I really think we might make a go of it.
Note to self: Keep in touch with Michael. Also, when NWFF co-founder Jamie Hook was asked about Michael's time with the organization:
I mean, eight years is a long time. It's two presidential terms. Any longer and it's going to get into Third World dictatorship territory.
Oddly enough, I could definitely see Michael taking over Liberia or something.
Friday, April 25, 2008
One-hit-wonders are saddest in the film world. At least I think so.
EDIT: Nah, I take that back. You only have to make the film once, and then it can take care of itself. Musicians have to play their one stupid hit thousands of times on tour or starve to death. Even successful musicians are bound to their repertoires. The Stones have to play "Satisfaction," or risk the wrath of 60-year-olds who paid $100 per ticket.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I had no idea. I wonder who does that and how I can be his/her friend.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Earlier tonight, I found myself thinking about this angry, angry song, and wondering whom it was about. So I Googled around until I came across the Mountain Goats message board. You might want to listen to the song before you read on so you get the full effect, but here's what John Darnielle had to say, when asked about writing "Anti-Music Song":
I don't even remember who the Morrissey wannabe was. It should be noted that I saw the light in '95 and would no longer call Moz "2nd-rate."
The "bad imitation of Van Morrison" dude was the singer from Counting Crows, who I'm sure is a nice guy and all but gaaah. So now you know.
When asked if he had "also see[n] the light and take[n] back that comment about not liking Brian Wilson," Darnielle replied,
no, I still dislike BW's entire body of work pretty intensely
That still leaves open the mystery about who the person "doing an imitation of an imitation of Jimi Hendrix" was. Lenny Kravitz seems a good choice, as someone else on the message board pointed out, considering "Are You Gonna Go My Way" was a big hit in 1993.
Man, JD goes for the jugular.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Despite it being Mars, they have a few basic supplies: Water, fire-making tools, air, their own clothing. All of the Presidents are as they were at the time they were in office, so there won't be a 90-year-old Alzheimer's-afflicted Ronald Reagan competing with relatively young contenders like John Kennedy (though 70-year-old Reagan might not do much better).
So with all that laid out, who would be the first to go? Who would be last?
Lily's family and I came to these conclusions:
First to be killed, whether eaten or not: Carter or Madison. From Wikipedia: "Madison is noted for being the shortest president ever, at 5' 4" tall. He is also the lightest president ever, weighing only about 100 Lbs."
Last man standing: Washington or Grant. Military men, both relatively young when they were in office. You know Grant would fight dirty.
Then again, the remaining 42 of them could probably split Taft over the course of a few weeks.
Also of note, I had probably the best breakfast of my life this morning at Monsoon. Porkbelly (they accidentally gave me two pieces), fried eggs, brioche french toast with maple syrup.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
See, if I deleted that, I would NEVER be able to find that again. Because what IS that? If anyone can tell me, I will be quite impressed.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
If you couldn't tell from that jumble of letters and numbers, The Colbert Report is broadcasting for the first time out of its Manhattan studio, and it chose the University of Pennsylvania's Zellerbach Theater for the taping. That's literally about four blocks from where I lived for four years. To be fair, I was lucky enough to see Colbert when he came down to host the Intercollegiate Comedy Festival at the Zellerbach back in 2004. He was easily the best of the run of performers who came by while I was there (Other hosts included Tim Meadows (2005), Gilbert Gottfried/Paul Provenza (2006), and Dan Bakkedahl (2007). This year it was Kenan Thompson.).
I'm still trying to decide whether it's a blessing or a curse that I don't have cable here. Probably a curse. I wish I could see Colbert square off against our local Democratic leaders. Namely Michael Nutter (Mayor), Ed Rendell (Governor), and The Roots (City Council, I believe). John Legend will be there too, but who cares? Nutter, Rendell, Roots. That's a good week.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I must say, he didn't sound like I expected him to. A much louder, firmer voice than you'd expect from a man of his stature and age. The event was slightly marred by a circling plane carrying a banner that read "Dalai Lama Pls Stop Supporting Riots," but it didn't interrupt the ceremony at all. I wonder what the banner was referring to. I honestly don't know enough about the Dalai Lama's political positions to form an educated opinion of him, but he struck me as an intelligent man who knows how to pack the house.
Friday, April 11, 2008
If we shot black-and-white now, maybe we could catch up to what Toland was doing then. Have you seen The Long Voyage Home? It looks like it was shot tomorrow.
Well, I was looking over his great, all-too-short filmography when I came across December 7th, the only film he ever directed (co-directed with John Ford). It was apparently just another piece of wartime propaganda fluff, but my favorite thing about the film is that Dana Andrews plays a character called "Ghost of US sailor killed at Pearl Harbor." Wow, that movie sounds like it could be entertaining. I'd love to make a movie with a character called that, floating around begging young men to avenge him.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
Squeaky Fromme, on the other hand, is still on the inside. So no need to panic just yet.
Though something I was unaware of was the story of the guy who saved Ford's life, Oliver Sipple. One minute a partially disabled Vietnam vet, the next minute a President-saving hero, the next minute ostracized for being unwillingly outed as a homosexual by the media. A tough break to say the absolute least.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
(Dave, too lazy to log off Lily's account.)
Saturday, April 5, 2008
There was a New Yorker article this week about the friendship that went sour between French filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard and the deceased Francois Truffaut, and the author quoted frequently from Truffaut's angry letters to and from Godard. It occurred to me that this was really personal stuff between these two titans of the New Wave, and what right had we to publish their letters and analyze them for signs of either animosity or lingering tenderness?
Inevitably, emails and blogs will be compiled into books about the so-called important people of our time. Emails being as fast and free as they are, I'm expecting a lot of boring books in the future. Here's an excerpt from Edward Norton's collection, published posthumously by Random Home-Unit in 2061 as Edward Norton History X: I Am Jack's Hastily Written Emails:
Haha. Yeah, I'll be there. Noon sounds good.
Noon does sound good, Ed. Thanks for the fucking insight.
Friday, April 4, 2008
At first I laughed at the poorly conceived prologue, directed by Monte Hellman, and how it would completely compromise the whole film. But then I realized: To make the film more "moral," the censors made Joe a man on death row who was sent by the government to kill everyone in the entire town deliberately. Subversive? Just inept? I'll never know. But I do have to give props to Harry Dean Stanton for carrying the scene pretty much by himself and getting no help from the Eastwood stand-in.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
My aunt said:
I will be there come hell or high water. Tom will also and I am guessing Isabel, but I'll let her speak for herself. I'm excited, not nervously of course, but optimistically and joyously! And I am flattered to be among the chosen.
And my Mom:
I WILL BE THERE, FOR CHEF OF THE DAY!!
You don't have to turn in your COD notebooks do you? because i drew Voldi-pope in it.
Voldi-Pope. As in Voldemort as a Pope. Exactly. Thank you.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf is a film that speaks directly to its audience in more ways than one. Firstly, the title serves as a wake up call informing you, yes you, that your sister is a werewolf. With this understood, Stefan Crosscoe (Christopher Lee), Occult Investigator, appears out of the stars (with a foreboding skeleton over his shoulder) to read the audience a passage from an ancient text:
For it is written: The inhabitants of the Earth have been made drunk with her blood. And I saw her sit upon the hairy beast and she held forth a golden chalice full of the filthiness of fornications. And upon her forehead was written: "Behold! I am the great mother of harlots and all abominations of the Earth."
Some of this prologue is metaphoric, some of it is quite literal.Attempting to scrutinize the labyrinthine sexual politics of Howling II in a short essay is either a very ambitious undertaking, or a very naive one, I will be the first to admit. But as mountaineer George H. L. Mallory once said of his great love and eventual killer, “[I must climb Everest] because it is there.”
Director Philippe Mora is not afraid to wax misogynistic in the name of Christian morality. In the world of Howling 2, women are weak at best, evil at worst. Only men, armed with silver bullets, stakes, and holy hand grenades, can save the world from female-dominated damnation. Stirba (Sybil Danning), the 10,000-year-old queen of the werewolves, intends to reverse the process of evolution by transforming everyone on the planet into sex-crazed, bloodthirsty beasts. She has two main lieutenants in her werewolf commune. The first is Mariana (played by “Brown Sugar” inspiration Marsha A. Hunt), a British woman who haunts the deviant-infested night clubs of
Together, Stirba, Mariana, and Vlad form an Unholy Trinity that has more hairy, uncoordinated werewolf sex than anyone would care to view. Their perverse ménage-à-trois is juxtaposed (via a tasteful diamond-wipe) with the more “natural” coupling of our two protagonists: Ben White (white=pure) and Jenny Templeton (a ton of temples), played by Reb Brown and Annie McEnroe, respectively. Their intercourse is brief, up against a wall, and Ben seems to be able to please Jenny with his jeans still on. In other words, it's done properly. One could even argue that they only give in to temptation because they are staying in hotel room 666 in, “The Dark Country.” Furthermore, the sex is clearly Jenny’s (i.e. the woman’s) idea. When Ben suggests they stay in separate rooms, Jenny tells the hotel manager “One room will be fine.” Minutes later, she breaks down and cries, “I need you to hold me, Ben.” He replies with a resigned but compassionate, “Yeah.” Does the book of Genesis ring any bells?
Much later, Jenny is lured away from Ben by a young Romanian werewolf who seeks to rape her. But the attack is interrupted by Stirba, who wishes to turn Jenny into a lusty werewolf like the rest of her army. Vlad smears Jenny’s face with the blood of the lamb and threatens, “You will know pleasures such as you have never imagined.” The bound and gagged Jenny silently prays that Ben and his chastity-jeans can save her from such a fate.
That night, Stirba hosts an orgy of leather-clad female werewolves. The women writhe around on the floor, pleasing each other while old men wearing 18th century-style wigs watch and giggle maniacally. The company is simultaneously entertained by a punk band called
Thankfully, Ben, Stefan, a priest, a dwarf, and two other holy men are dedicated to destroying Stirba and eradicating her kind. Vasile, the dwarf, is the first to fall. Stirba electrifies his head with her mysterious ultra-lycanthrope powers, making the little warrior’s eyeballs burst out of his head. The remaining five men draw up their courage and storm Stirba’s fortress. The reverend and the two redshirts are mutilated in short order, leaving Ben to easily dispatch Mariana and Vlad, while Stefan faces off against Stirba.
The final confrontation between Stefan and Stirba is a revealing one. Stirba calls to Stefan seductively, referring to him as her “brother.” She offers him power and incestuous love, a tempting offer to be sure. Though Stefan will not turn to the dark side, his morality directly conflicts with his emotion. As he stabs her, a wave of melancholy sweeps over his face. He has killed his sister, whom he both loves and hates. We come to realize: His sister is a werewolf too. In seconds, the siblings are consumed in flame and the werewolf menace is halted... for now!
Without a doubt, the lupine liberation movement was a direct threat to a heterosexual, patriarchal, Christian society. And though Stirba was defeated, the montage during the end credits reminds us that brave dwarves still die every day, that people like Stirba are ready to throw away morality as quickly as they can bare their breasts (a shot of Stirba swiftly disrobing is replayed a staggering seventeen times to fully hit the point home), and that for all of the good that Ben, Jenny, and Stefan accomplished, Babel is still on the loose.
The film is surprisingly relevant twenty-three years later, as we prepare to potentially elect our first female president. I doubt that I would be the first person to call Philippe Mora a prophet, but surely he deserves credit for anticipating that such a time would come to pass. Mora’s message for you to take to the election booth is this: An ambitious woman will be the death of us all. Men must unite, with God by their side and subservient women quietly behind them, to reclaim the planet. As such, the next seven months could very well determine the fate of the soul of the entire human race.
And that is why I support Barack Obama.