Friday, July 27, 2007
Transformers tomorrow, the Guardian gave it such a great review I kinda have to:
It's all part of the sensory-overload that the great man[Michael Bay] himself delicately calls "fucking the frame". And he has outdone himself this time. In Transformers, the director and the frame have protracted and meaningful relations, and it is over two hours before Mr Bay as it were pulls on his trousers and promises to call the frame some time next week.
It won't be long before these lovebirds get back together.
In readiness, while having some lunch I watched the first 30 or so minutes of Transformers: The Movie. I had two transformers while young, one that was a plane and one that was a dinobot, but wasn't as obsessed by Transformers as some of some contemporary artists and scholars and computer whizzes.
Of course, for the film geek the fact that planet-eating villian Unicron was Orson Welles' last role makes it worth the watch alone, I love these quotes describing his role, from Wikipedia:
Orson Welles was in declining health during production. Shortly before he died, he told his biographer, Barbara Leaming, that he had spent the day "playing a toy" in a movie about toys who "do horrible things to each other." Film historian Joseph McBride quotes Welles saying of his participation: "I play a planet. I menace somebody called Something-or-other. Then I'm destroyed."Welles' voice was apparently so weak by the time he made his recording that technicians needed to run it through a synthesizer to salvage it. The voicework for Transformers: The Movie was the last movie project he worked on, as 5 days after his final dubbing session, Welles died of a heart attack.
The sheer carnage and death of so many characters in the first 30 minutes or so of Transformer: The Movie is breathtaking also the 'hi-tech' tape/ghetto blaster type robots that shoot endless tapes out of their guts that turn into wee dogs, surely dropping something and watching Transformers must be a nightmare, as one would be afraid that one's lowly old 1980s tape deck might turn into a robotic rotweiller in the dead of night and rip your addled throat out at the drop a matrix gut energy thing....and of course a baddie who is just a big gun, who holds the gun? do all the decepticon get to hold him, bit limiting for a nemeis isn't it? Perhaps it's just my perverse mind but is there not a dodgy S&M master/slave thing going on here? Get in me guts ya wee tape!!
Slate: When Orson Welles Was a Transformer
People often ask me if I'm surprised at the amount of attention The Big Lebowski has received over the past few years. They usually seem to expect me to say "yes," but my answer is always "no". What surprises me is that it didn't do as well as I thought it would when it first came out. It was so damn funny, and the Coen brothers had just won the Academy award for Fargo - I thought people would flock to this thing. To tell you the truth, I was sort of disappointed. But now ... well ... I'm glad people are digging it, that it found its audience.
Jeff Bridges in the Guardian today.
Zen and the art of Dudeliness
From the forward from this book
There's also a BFI Modern Classic, about bloody time.
I was working down the abstract mines when Freddy Got Fingered came out and marvelled at the negative critical concesus that delevopled. Once such as concensus is created then people who've never even seen it chime in say it's one of the worst films ever, when, in fact, it's one of the best. It's also got a great supporting cast in Rip Torn, Julie Hagarty, Eddie Kay Thomas, Antony Michael Hall and Marisa Coughlan.
I always found it funny, and in comparison to some of the shite like Epic Movie that comes out these days it is positively cinematic genius. Much to my pleasure many of my friends, both academic and pub/restaurant brethern, love it and many a happy time is spent singing 'dayy would you like some sausage' and 'I found a treasure' to each other. Apart from the post-modern conceit there's not too much that separates Borat from Tom Green in terms of pushing the envelope of physical comedy, but this obvious gross-out element blinds the casual viewer to the tradition of comics like Andy Kaufman and Neil Hamburger.
For the last few weeks I have been loving Tom Green live his current nightly live chat show, direct from his living room and available on itunes and over the Web. It takes a while to get all the references, the show, with audience participation, has created it's own injokes and lingo like 'barrel roll' and unliekely performance like Tom freestyling with the Jurassic Five
Apart from his rapping and skating background, Green displays such a genuine interest in media and technology that for the media geek such a spontaneous nightly chat show is an amazing pleasure, and you can call in on Skype! but it's only live over here at like 4am, wait a minute, I like staying up until 4am! There's also the inspiration that almost anyone can created a live tv show from their bedroom and if it's good enough people will come it eventually, Clive James' Talking in the Library has a similar intimate feel with smart people just smoking drinking and talking on camera it's mesmerising instead of the stilted prescripted questions of most mainstream chat shows.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
A lot of people ask me if I've read Kaviler and Clay, well I've tried I have this edition which is quite bulky and I can't carry it around and, mmm, the dog ate my homework, and when you're writing a PhD do don't get to read fiction, as much as I have fond memories of keeping up with likes of Coupland and Auster. I mean the only paperback I've literally read cover to cover in recent years is this great piece of literature . I think they're gonna have to release a revised edition to include her, ahem, appendix. Anyway, as good as Kaviler and Clay is (the 100 or so pages of it I've read anyway) what niggles me is the sense that Chabon gets a Pulitzer for a story inspired by Siegel and Shuster yet the real Jerry Siegel was working as a mail clerk where the secretaries almost thought his claims of co-creating Superman were the demented ravings of a senile old man. With literature's comfortable poaching of popular culture ideas for shits, giggles and prizes, (as much as is it is well-meaning and from lit-comics-geeks) it's going to be interesting to see what the reviewers are going to make of:
Warren Ellis's book Crooked Little Vein (Ellis makes up like 47 percent of the Internet as if you didn't know)
The updates about the publication of Ellis's debut novel on his site and through his mail out bad signal have been an interesting look at the differences between the comic and book industries. The way in which some comic buyers with monthly subscriptions for comics would bitch if the book wouldn't be out in time for their monthly waddle down to Bilbo's Bumhole Bonanza Bobbins megastore, like it was the first book they ever bought and they don't know how bookstores work:
I'm not in charge of shipping. I don't know when CLV will reach your country. I don't know when Amazon will send it to you. I'm getting a stupid number of questions on these topics. Listen: I'm Not The Publisher.
This is Not Comics: this book is not released on a Wednesday cycle.There is no "late." If a local supplieris telling you they don't get thebook until August, well, that's when they're getting the book, and it's nothing to do with me.
The cover is from a political cartoon by Benjamin Franklin. It has nothing to do with any band, any poster, or Skrulls.
Amazon have put up the first chapter as a pdf and it had me laughing a lot, it's very good, with elements of urban legends, film noir, X-Files-like consiracies, gonzo journalism and paronoid sleepless mania.
There's also some great hardboiled one liners from the private eye protagonist:
It was one of those unusual moments where I couldn't think of a swearword bad enough
And right there is where I needed a time machine, so I could go back and shoot myself
I had fears that literary critics would have the knives out for a comics writer, but I can see it being a huge hit, but not in the recently annoying 'don't tell me don't tell me' Harry Potter way, but I'd much rather see Borders open for 35 hours to sell Warren Ellis paraphanilia and people acting more like people in Ellis' writng.
Interview with Ellis at Publishers Weekly
Listener, his second novel is already delivered
P.S. People going on about Superhero themes in books and TV, rather than comics, it's like Wild Cards never happened.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Subject: walking across campus,
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2007 15:02:02 -0800
principles will help
Good afternoon. What are you up to?
I am good looking girl. Would you mind
me showing some nice pictures of me?
about creating "super children" contribute to consequently not
protected over and just play. to have looked at your
Posted by Lorcy at 3:24:00 PM
Monday, July 23, 2007
To encourage writing, I currently keep all my shifts at the bar until the weekend which mean three days of bar/kitchen work and not being able to think about anything smart by the time I finish my 10-5.30 Sunday shift of veg and potato prep and making roasts (there is no escape from the kitchen). Anway I try to go and see/rent some movie with nothing to do with superheroes as a break and to keep up with contemporary cinema, this how I ended up watching The Shit Wicker Man and Captshittery.
This weeks wasn't too bad: Rob McKittrick's Waiting... , official site here, which kinda does for working in kitchens/restaurants what Office Space did for working in offices. Some of the aspects of kitchen work, such as the customers that arrive 2 minutes before the end of service and the contrast bewteen mad shouting and swearing in the kitchen and the forced pleasantry of front of house is well captured. In the kitchen, my top 3 swears (in other of severity) on receiving orders are:
1. aw, ballbags
2. aw, bollocks
3. aw, cunty bollocks.
Since seeing Blade: Trinity, I kind of have a soft spot for Ryan Reynolds he's not quite weird enough looking for character roles (and here he has to act along side Luis Guzman and Chi McBride, masters of being 'that guy') but he's not quite dashing enough to be a leading man. I think he'd make a good Flash, but that project seems to have stalled a bit and he might not be in the role. It also has a cameo from Wendie Malick from Dream On fame and a good performance from Anna Faris and generally more drinking, smoking and sex the normal contemporary comedies.
Friday, July 20, 2007
...oh he'd be making a cave alright, it just would be for keeping leather outfits, well it would be for keeping leather outfits, just not for crimefighting:
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The co-founder of semiconductor maker Broadcom Corp., under scrutiny in a federal stock options probe, was accused seven years ago of building an underground hideaway at his estate to indulge in drugs and sex with prostitutes, according to court documents.
Full story ("Billionaire denies building secret sex lair") from the Guardian Here. To add to the life initating art scenario, and evolking another masked millionaire, The Green Hornet, the beanspiller was Nicholas' PA Kenji Kato:
Kenji Kato worked for Mr Nicholas as an assistant for seven years and alleges the tycoon ordered him to provide balloons filled with the laughing gas nitrous oxide for guests at parties held by the businessman. Guests' drinks would be spiked with powdered ecstasy pills, he alleges.
An article from a year ago: Henry Nicholas, Superhero, is strangely prescient...
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Especially for John of Counago and Spaves a mention the Guardian's fine interview with Frank Sidebottom today here. :
What's the greatest threat to art today?
The Germans coming back and stealing it all, and then burning it.
What advice would you give a young artist just starting out?
Get some paper and pens. And forget the beret and the attic. You can do art just as well in a shed.
What work of art would you most like to own?
Peter Blake's cut-outs for the Beatles' Sgt Pepper album cover. I'd line them up in my living room to look like I had loads of mates.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
My mum told me to get a proper job. I ignored her.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
summer is a comin in...
Posted by Lorcy at 1:31:00 AM
I renaged, on two counts, one on not blogging, and two, on seeing The Wicker Man , what can Isay, I was weak, The Wicker Man is not only one of my favorite films but one of the best films of all time, so I was incurably curious about the remake. I knew that there was no way U.S. producers would allow the main character in a movie to be a virgin but making the community a matriarchy means that if you want an action hero running around and clocking people in the gob and everyone in charge is a woman then you are going to have Nicholas 'GhostRider/God I wish I remembered Leaving Las Vegas and Wild at Heart more clearly but you've obscured them with many many many shit movies that make even Vampire's Kiss look good' Cage...(that's his official name too) going around punching women in the face. He even drop kicks lovely Leelee Sobieski in the stomach, punches a women to steal her bear costume and "bike jacks" a lovely school mistress and makes his slow getaway over uneven ground in a comedic moment worthy of Father Ted.
One of the lunkheaded elements is that the bee-allergic Cage, just happens to get trapped on an island whose main industry is.....bee husbandry, in a feat of non acting Cage's character is put in a bee helmet and some CGI bees attack him and one can almost imagine Hollywood's top woman-hater Neil LeBute going , 'right there's bees attacking you, express this with 'acting' and Cage just shouts 'arggh the bees, not the bees', and he goes 'they're attacking your eyes' and Cage, quick as a whip goes, 'my eyes! not my eyes!'
Anyway, seeing the Wicker Man was like seeing your best friend pummelled in the face with a brick.