November 7, 2012

a rare bit of pimping

Filed under:, , , , , — cwage @ 4:56 pm

I am not sure if I have much of a blog audience left, at this point, but those of you faithful: prepare for me to take advantage of you in pitching something to you!

Local (now, east!) Nashvillian Eric Powell is the mastermind behind the wildly successful and creative comic The Goon. He's teamed up with Blur Studio and David Fincher (yes, THE David Fincher (tm)) to get a movie based on The Goon. They've produced some test footage (seen in the below video), and they are now attempting to raise $400k to produce a feature length story reel for the movie.



Guys, I have seen so many fuckin stupid kickstarter projects funded. If I see another ipod nano hand-carved wood bluetooth watch dongle funded for $5 million and this thing doesn't get funded, I'll be sorely disappointed. The world doesn't need more shit for iphones, but it does need more good movies. Michael Bay's reign of terror cannot stand unopposed. There are 3 days left. Stick your thumb in the eye of both stupid kickstarter projects and Hollywood, and give this project some money. Tell your rich friends.

Kickstarter page for this project is here.

February 15, 2010

morricone and lolita

Filed under:, , , , , , — cwage @ 1:03 pm

I thought I'd share some idle thoughts I had this weekend -- about one of my favorite books and favorite scores and how they are incongruent in a weird way. Nabakov's Lolita is one of my favorite novels for so many reasons -- key among them being the subtlety of Nabakov's accomplishment in the ultimate unreliable narrator. (Uh, don't read this, I guess, if you haven't read Lolita). You want to sympathize with Humbert in various ways here and there, but by the end of the book, you just have this really bad taste in your mouth. It's not a love story, and it's not supposed to be romantic. You suspect you've been misled. This is why the more recent movie with Jeremy Irons and Dominique Swain bugged me (I've actually never seen the Kubrick version). This version of the story does a very poor job of communicating that distaste and distrust of the narrator (if it can be argued they made any attempt at all). Dominique Swain, being 17 when this movie was filmed, was hot in a very womanly way (in the book, Lolita was 12 at the start) and we're presented with a much less subtle taboo/forbidden love story. Anyways, I'm sure film and novel critics better than me have dissected this at length. That said, it's not a bad movie. And it's all the more pleasant to watch because of Ennio Morricone's absolutely gorgeous score, which is easily one of my favorites of his. And it's his score that really drives home the wistful sadness and romantic beauty of the movie -- elements which I didn't think really belonged. You can listen to some excerpts here:

... or elsewhere on youtube.

I just find it amusing that one of my favorite musical scores is, paradoxically, partially to blame for why I disliked a movie.

June 18, 2008

teehee

Filed under:, , , — cwage @ 10:15 am

From Cracked, via Rev:

In the film [V for Vendetta], the anarchist revolutionary V incites the population of Britain to don his mask and rise up against the government, because nothing captures the spirit of anarchy better than a mob of people in identical uniforms unquestioningly obeying one man.

June 15, 2008

the worst movie I've ever seen

Filed under:, , — cwage @ 2:45 pm

I have no idea how it wound up in my netflix queue -- either I was drunk, or it was something leftover from my ex-girlfriend, but somehow I would up with this movie What the #$*! Do We (K)now!?. I am not going to bother to review it, except to say that it is by far the stupidest movie I have ever, ever seen. I spent the first 10 minutes confused, the second 10 minutes laughing, and then I turned it off. I don't use a word like "stupidest" lightly. I've seen a lot of stupid movies. This is the worst. I'm tempted to say that it's so bad that it transcends bad and becomes that sort of cultishly good movie that's worth watching for how bad it is. But it's not. It's worse than that. This movie should be destroyed for the good of mankind.

April 1, 2008

updates

Filed under:, , , , , , , — cwage @ 9:35 pm

Angels

My dallying with film continues unabated. The above shot was the only worthwhile result from 2 rolls of Kodak Portra 400UC that I ran through a Holga 120S that I borrowed from a friend. The Holga didn't have the framing bracket on the first roll, but I shot on the 16 exposure setting, resulting in the overlap from frame to frame. When I had it developed, I had them scan it, and they made a pass at scanning frames from that roll, resulting in this, which was nice. But, I cut the film original and re-scanned it and got a nicer scan with more artsy overlap goodness. I like the result a lot, although I have mixed feelings about its conception. I don't consider it to be indicative of any particular skills that I have. Holgas really are the original point-n-shoot, after all, having no manual controls ... whatsoever. But hey, I'll take it. I'm still getting the hang of using my scanner -- I am gonna try my hand at scanning some more once I finish plowing through a roll of cheap Kodak color film in my Yashica, and some B&W Ilford 120 125 film in my Seagull. All in all, it's been fun playing with film, but I'm still not convinced it's worth it, much less making the leap to developing at home.

Speaking of my scanner, I went a little nuts this weekend and scanned some stuff.

November 14, 2007

nashville

Filed under:, , , — cwage @ 8:22 pm

I just finished watching Robert Altman's Nashville. Finally. Holy fuck, what a boring movie. That's two hours of my life I'm never going to get back. What was the point of it? What did I even just watch? It was like a movie about Nashville, filmed in Nashville, written and directed by people that knew nothing about Nashville. And nothing happens. So yeah, I didn't like it.

It was cool to see some old shots of Nashville, though. Got to see my neighborhood in 1975. There was a giant billboard on 1st & Broadway where the flags are now.

September 29, 2007

midnight cowboy

Filed under:, , — cwage @ 12:23 pm

ratso

Watched Midnight Cowboy for the first time last night. What an awesome, fucking depressing movie. Great review, huh?

September 11, 2007

nazis suck, dudes

Through a chance confluence of events, it happened that I had a few Nazi-related history lessons this weekend..

I read This Way for Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen over the weekend, by the pool and on the plane. It's a collection of Tadeusz Borowski's stories from his experiences in Auschwitz. I first became interested in Borowski via the portrait of him in Milosz's Captive Mind. Borowski was a holocaust survivor and poet, who later joined ranks with the communists in Poland, only to commit suicide at the age of 28. Although the motivation for someone's suicide can never be known for sure, there's little doubt in my mind that his disillusionment with the Communist regime played a large part. Shortly before his suicide, a close friend was locked up and tortured by the Communists.. After surviving the horrors of the Nazis, his one hope for a "new and better order" (as Milosz put it) ended up a mirage.

Anyways, his melancholy spirit is evident in his stories from Auschwitz.. A sortof detached, sad commentary on the brutal reality of an environment where humanity has basically lost all meaning. Milosz called Borowski "The Disappointed Lover", and in reading these tales, you start to understand the depth of that statement. He also had a keen eye for the surreal.. Here's a bit from a story describing a soccer match they had orchestrated on a newly constructed soccer field:

The procession moved along slowly, growing in size as more and more people poured from the freight cars. And then it stopped. The people sat down on the grass and gazed in our direction. I returned with the ball and kicked it back inside the field. It traveled from one foot to another and, in a wide arc, returned to the goal. I kicked it towards a corner. Again it rolled out into the grass. Once more I ran to retrieve it. But as I reached down, I stopped in amazement - the ramp was empty. Out of the whole colorful summer procession, not one person remained. The train too was gone ...

Between two throw-ins in a soccer game, right behind my back, three thousand people had been put to death.

This sort of thing makes for good airplane reading, because it's really hard to complain about being cramped on a plane while you're reading about millions being herded naked onto cattlecars to their deaths. Not the most uplifting book, though, no. I'd offer to let you borrow it (I think I even promised it to Aaron), but alas, I left it on the plane home from Wisconsin, so some flight attendant or passenger gets a crack at it.

Last night, then, I checked my mail and saw I had gotten Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage in from Netflix. I had read a bit about White Rose and the Scholls a bit in the past, and so I thought I'd check out this movie. It was pretty good -- a straightforward account of what happened. The performances were all excellent. What I enjoyed even more than the movie, though, were interviews with the original witnesses and friends in the special features. There's also a clip of Roland Freisler that is nothing short of amazing. Freisler was the eccentric (to say the least) judge who ordered the execution of Christopher Probst, Sophie and Hans Scholl. I thought in the movie that the actor playing Freisler laid on the "crazy nazi" a little bit too thick. Wow, was I ever wrong -- if anything he underplayed it. The same clip -- from some trial where Freisler preside -- is on youtube, check it out.

One thing I find interesting is the extent to which Sophie Scholl is heralded as the prime actor and hero -- both historically and in fictional portrayals, whereas Hans is relegated to the background, comparatively. Given the story of how things played out, and their respective involvement with White Rose, I can't quite figure it out.. I suppose it could be as simple as the fact that she was a girl, and a relatively pretty one, making it even more exceptional or surprising that she'd be this ballsy underground revolutionary. And so we have sortof this projection of romanticism in it because of that -- some sort of Joan of Arc syndrome. I don't know. She was clearly a remarkable woman, arguably more interesting in several aspects, perhaps, than her cohorts. But I find myself wondering if the focus on her alone diminishes the contributions of Probst, her brother Hans, and others who were involved in White Rose. Anyway, if you're not familiar with the story, check out the movie, it's interesting.

I need something a little more uplifting, now, though, sheesh.

September 2, 2007

Movies

Last weekend I watched the The Quiet Man, and I enjoyed it tremendously.. It's a pretty charming movie, and holy crap, Maureen O'Hara was incredibly, astoundingly hot. So hot. Uhm. What was I saying again? Oh yeah, good movie. One thing that was difficult for me, though: a lot of the humor in this movie revolves around a sortof tongue-in-cheek take on man/woman relationships in marriage. The problem is that, well, it was filmed in 1952. So, I had a hard time figuring out what was a joke and what was real. You know, they'd say something about the "woman's place" and I'd laugh, and then realize that wasn't a joke. Demonstrates pretty well how the thin margin of social commentary is a moving target. The Irish players were pretty awesome, too, though it took me a while to get the hang of their thick brogue.

Last night, I watched Inherit the Wind -- what a fantastic movie.. The story itself is interesting enough, but in this film it serves mostly as a pretext for some interesting relationship dynamics. What I really loved about this movie was the acting.. The chemistry between Spencer Tracy and Gene Kelly is pretty great, and between Frederic March as well -- in particular the rocking-chair scene. Gene Kelly does a great job in general, playing Mencken Hornbeck, the Cynical, Witty Reporter with a Heart of Gold (tm).

July 23, 2007

documentaries

Filed under:, , , , , — cwage @ 8:53 pm

Had a few documentaries queued up in netflix, which arrived this weekend:

  • The Weather Underground -- good and fairly even-handed coverage of the radical left in the Vietnam war era. A good testament to the extent to which people can be completely retarded.
  • Revolution OS -- a documentary covering the emergence of the open-source movement. More entertaining than I expected, really, mostly due to the charming eccentricity of the interviewees. Some of the editing was a little cheezy -- lots of beep-boop "digital" sound effects cut in with fast-motion shots of highway driving (for some reason). Some of the narration was a little frenetic -- for example, a woman reading a letter from Bill Gates was obviously trying a little too hard to make him sound like a nutjob. It was also not very even-handed, basically presenting these guys and the companies they founded around OSS as visionary geniuses and then tacking on a tiny footnote at the very end (oh, by the way VA Linux's stock plummeted and it imploded.) Otherwise entertaining and worth watching.
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