Saturday, 20 December 2008

I'm Sorry Blog....

Dear my Blog...
I'm sorry. I've neglected you this past six months, and I want to apologise. You deserve more attention. There are so many things I want to share with you. So much has happened since I was last here... There is a global financial crisis. I was clumsy and broke my heart. I finally finished reading 'Red Harvest'. America is going to have a black President for goodness sake!
I promise I will make a better effort to keep you up to date from now on!

love Me. :)

Sunday, 12 October 2008

When the World is Crazy, Jokes are Easy

Given how stupid the world is these days, is it any wonder SNL is so funny. Gotta love Amy...


Friday, 10 October 2008

Transmission

Ikea lights, the presets, vodka specials... What more could I want? Well, actually... In the dim lights, strange girls who think I'm "cute" gyrating near me, I'm lost in the sultry voice on the speaker, and there is only one thing on my mind. It is futile. No number of vodka specials will make it go away... I just have to be here, now, and let everything else fall away. One more drink, one more song.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

VGL Gay Boys are so Funny

I've been meaning to post a few of these vids from Jeffery Self on YoutTube ever since I came across them. They are hilarious and adorable. It's the sort of humour that is only funny because they deliver it so well. They have a small show in New York now, wish I would love to see, you can find a brief clip of in on YouTube, where you should check out the rest of Jeffery's clips.











That's right 5 videos in one post... deal with it! :P

Monday, 6 October 2008

More Tina Palin

How could I miss this?

Sarah Silverman on Voting Obama

Sarah does it again...


The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

Sarah Palin may ruin America, but at least it will be funny!

I feel lax not having shared these sooner, or at least I did on Facebook, but that's pretty slack. Following are the two classic Sarah Palin sketches by Tina Fey, plus a great 'trailer' by College Humour based on Matt Damon's comment that Sarah Palin's selection is like a really bad Disney film. The title of the fictional film still flaws me everytime I watch, because, well you just know that there's probably some Disney exec somewhere who was about to make it and now has to come up with something new. Hopefully one day we can look back at these clips, and the absurdity of her possible election will makes us laugh even harder. Hopefully.





Blabbering

Sunny day despite the rain this morning...

But more importantly I blogged this from my phone! HA!

Global Economic Situation Explained - Oh how we laughed!

Well I have been a bit slack/pre-occupied of late, but no more. To start my blog juices flowing again, lets talk about the US economic situation! Yay! This clip is from a year ago and features John Bird, who I only know from the series 'Absolute Power' about Public Relations starring Stephen Fry, but was brilliant in that. This too is amusing (I hope the slightly racist comment in it is meant ironically) and is quiet prescient about the current US financial situation.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

I don't like the Olympics, but some of my best friends do...

I'm not much of a sports watching fan, although the hype and vast spectacle around the Olympics can be entertaining. This is just adorable, even I was touched. The look on the face of the Chinese guy who came second, not able to complete the 8 Gold record China wanted, and loosing out to a record breaking dive by, of all people, a gay man... priceless. Of course, it might just be my own cultural interpretation of his expression, but that still doesn't detract from the beautiful humility and joy that Mitcham radiates. It was remarkable for the first out gay man at an Olympic games to win a gold medal, but then to quote another blog, Mitcham said ' "Just being a happier person really radiates into other areas of your life,” flashing a golden smile that went well with the medal hanging around his neck. '

Thursday, 10 July 2008

I'm a Man Eating Machine

This 'Corporate Cannibal', the first clip on Grace Jones upcoming album, which is only coming 19 years after her last one! I love how creepy this clip is, it reminds me of the freaky, ring-ish Omodaka clip I posted not that long ago, although it has a cool 80's simplicity. It is basically a few straight forward shots with a simple filter applied over it, albeit very cleverly. Oh yeah, slave to the rhythm of the corporate prison...

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Look at moi, look at moi, look at moi...

Oh my god, it has started. AAaaaaaggghhh!! I don't know where to look, my eyes, my eyes they are burning. How could you do this to me Molly Shannon, I trusted you, you were a a superstar. *sobs* Why?? WHY LORD HAVE YOU DONE THIS!!?!?


Sunday, 29 June 2008

What fun these Brits be...

Apparently Brian Sewell has been described as 'posher then the queen' and in his televisual art criticism is want to engage in more hand-wavery then Sister Wendy. A highly conservative art critic for the UK's Evening Standard, he detests the modern and conceptual in art, preferring to pomp around Europe and expound on the classics. His decadent accent, clearly reflective of his taste, is the real joy, as he pours his voice over gluttonous foods and 'dirty, naughty boys'. Enjoy the clip!

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Schapelle and Aussie Criminals

I don't know why I keep watching true Aussie crime stories when I'm at home by myself late at night. It might be ok if I was snuggled up with someone, who could take my mind of it after, but as it is I keep freaking myself out. I'm a fool. Last week it was the bodies in the barrels, which I never paid much attention to when it happened as I'm not particularly interested in the morbid details. For example, when I'd heard it was people on pensions that had been killed, I always assumed it had been old people. Of course, they were young victims on disability pensions, and others, and getting to see the tortures re-enacted, well wasn't that just fun and dandy. Particularly when its interspersed with footage of the rental homes around Salisbury & Elizabeth, an area I'm quite familiar with. Deeply unsettling.
Then tonight I stupidly got sucked into watching "Schapelle Corby: The Hidden Truth", and like the foolish pawn I am, I now have to watch the second part. Why am I so susceptible to the blatant dramatisation when I sit at home alone, switching my opinion on guilt and innocence, flicking from fascination to outrage, with a slight swell of the sound track? I feel more informed of the whole situation, but have less idea of the truth then before. Ironic given the title. Now, while I type this, I'm watching re-enactments of the 'Kimberly Killer'. At least that was in the bush, but still. :|
I remember once while in Japan, talking with a Japanese guy I was dating about the relative merits of different horror movies. I was enthused by J-horror, still am, because of its general focus on tension and unsettling atmosphere and the familiarity yet strangeness of the Japanese locales. He told me that while he enjoyed American horror, he simply couldn't bring himself to watch J-horror. It was too familiar and too real. I could appreciate what he was saying, my new intimacy with the environment of Japan certainly gave those films extra resonance. It's the same with these true crime stories. There is nothing particularly skilled or artful in their retelling, its the sort of thing you see all the time from the US. Rather, its the incredible averageness of the settings, from an Aussie point of view, that makes them so effective. It reminds you how much the culture we live in consumes us completely. Even if on one objective level we can try to consider it from the outside, those primal parts of our brain are always tuned into the subtle indicators of familiarity and strangeness. Always aware of precisely where we are. Its fascinating how fear can be magnified by familiarity.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

My Saturday Night with Facebook...

It won't fit here, so I have to link to it.
Star Wars Fun.

Cyndi Lauper Rocks

In contrast to my somewhat long-winded Hard Candy rant, let me keep this short. Cyndi Lauper kicks Madonna's hard candy ass. 'High and Mighty' is an awesome track, produced by Amsterdam's Scumfrog, who has remixed Kelis, Bowie and Kylie among others. Below (audio only) are two of my favourite tracks, 'Echo' and the Basement Jaxx produced 'Rocking Chair'. Cyndi has apparently done vocals on one of the track's on their new album too, which excites me no end. (Still wish they would work with Annie Lennox, but Cyndi is almost as good!) 'Same Ol' Story' is brilliant too, unlike the big M, who droppd the f-word into 'I Love New York', Cyndi sings it with every chorus of 'It's the same old fucking story'. Also below is the first video from the album, 'Into the night life', by the same producer as 'Echo'. Have to go get my groove on now.



Tuesday, 27 May 2008

I'm a little very freaked out by this...

A woman came back from the dead. Actually dead, heart stopped, rigor mortis setting in, no brain-waves dead. Then she woke up. Jesus Fucking Christ! She just woke up and started talking. Probably about wanting to eat brains or something. Man I hope this is a hoax. *shudders*
From some US news site:
"CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A West Virginia woman is at the Cleveland Clinic after walking the line between life and death.
Doctors are calling Val Thomas a medical miracle. They said they can't explain how she is alive.
They said Thomas suffered two heart attacks and had no brain waves for more than 17 hours. At about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, her heart stopped and she had no pulse. A respiratory machine kept her breathing and rigor mortis had set in, doctors said.
"Her skin had already started to harden and her fingers curled. Death had set in," said son Jim Thomas.
They rushed her to a West Virginia hospital. Doctors put Thomas on a special machine which induces hypothermia. The treatment involves lowering the body temperature for up to 24 hours before warming a patient up. After that procedure, her heart stopped again. "She had no neurological function," said Dr. Kevin Eggleston. Her family said goodbye and doctors removed all the tubes. However, Thomas was kept on a ventilator a little while longer as an organ donor issue was discussed.
Ten minutes later the woman woke up and started talking.
"She (nurse) said, 'I'm so sorry Mrs. Thomas.' And mom said, 'That's OK honey. That's OK," Jim Thomas said. Val Thomas and her family strongly believe that the Lord granted them their miracle and they want everyone to know. "I know God has something in store for me, another purpose. I don't know what it is but I'm sure he'll tell me," she said. She was taken to the Cleveland Clinic for specialist to check her out. Doctors said amazingly she has no blockage and will be fine. "

Monday, 19 May 2008

Arty Videos

I like these two arty videos, the first is a little funky/creepy, as if someone turned The Ring into a dance clip. the second gloriously strange, and so obviously also Japanese. The last is just plain cool. Bring on the public intervention, bring on the street art! Awesome.






MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

MiniBlog

This morning the yellow leaves were falling like rain through the sunshine from the trees in my street. A father and his three year old son stopped to watch.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Too much Hard Candy is bad for you

You've probably heard at least some of Madonna's newest album Hard Candy. Lucky you. That means you've turned on a TV or Radio at some point in the last couple of weeks. There are a few tracks on Hard Candy that aren't all that bad, but as a whole the album is determinedly average. '4 Minutes' has got to be one of the most irritating tracks on the album. The whole track sounds like it's just about to get started, but never actually does, even with the enjoyably ominous backing. If Madonna was a Sith Lord this would be her Imperial March. Wait, maybe she is a Sith Lord. She never seems to die, and you only see her wrinkles when she reveals her evil side. In one song he even claims to be able to recognise people better then the devil. Unfortunately no Sith Lord would ever be satisfied with lyrics as stupid as those in '4 minutes'.
"If you want it, You already got it; If you thought it, It better be what you want; If you feel it, It must be real; Just say the word and imma give you what you want"
What the hell does that even mean? Is that what she says to the starving African's she doesn't adopt, "Don't worry, if you want it, you already got it"? That must be comforting. Still, at least that makes semi-sense in comparison to "If you thought it, it better be what you want". Is that a threat? Can she read our minds now? (Sith can do that.) Oh god no! I was thinking about pickles, just for a second, and now Madonna is going to make me have them on my cheeseburgers, even though I hate them! Aagh! That's the sort of power she has. The only solution is to just not think about anything in case you don't actually want it. Trying to get everyone to switch their brains off is clearly her evil plan to sell more albums. Don't even get me started on the ludicrously American-self-help-individualistic-me-me-me-consumerist-buy-more-crap theme implied by those lyrics. How very spiritual and Kabbalah of her. Still, I can't imagine I will ever grow tired of hearing Justin whine 'Ma-donna'. Sounds like he can't decide if he wants her to spank him or give him a cookie.
What happened to the days of Madonna actually being a bit challenging, rather then just the cliché of controversy she has become. Girl on girl pashing with the Brit was fun and bit conservative provoking. Pity she couldn't do the same for Justin. After his Madonna interlude, he's still a preppy boy with a slightly naughty side. Wow, shocking. The most revealing aspect of Hard Candy is just how crap her relationship with Guy Ritchie is. The implications of the lyrics in 'Miles Away' would be enough, but there is no need to read between the lines with 'She's Not Me'. You have to wonder how cynically she views her own 'work' now. She marries a man who has little time for the music she produces, and doesn't let her children consume pop culture, particularly TV, even though that same pop culture is what made her who she is. She seems to think she and her family are above the popular drivel that she flogs to the masses for millions of dollars. No wonder she doesn't bother trying to write decent lyrics, we're all probably to stupid to get them anyway.
What irks about Hard Candy is that it sounds so middle of the road, even familiar. In listening to the album you frequently feel like you are having flash backs to her past albums, in tone, in tune, even in little scraps of lyric. Despite that, or maybe because of that, there are tracks I like, that I will actually choose to listen to. In particular 'Dance 2night' makes you feel warm inside because it sounds like she could have written it 15 years ago, and in a similar way so does 'Give it 2 Me'. Even 'Candy Shop' and 'Beat Goes On' have their appeal with sparse and catchy beats. They don't feel clever or inspiring, but they will undoubtedly slosh around in my head for a while.
Timbaland has turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. Picking her producers has always been where Madge's talent lay, but Timbaland is simply adequate. It makes you miss the days of Stuart Price, Mirwais and William Orbit, who all tried to make her sound very different from the way she'd sounded before. Timbaland has just recylced old Madonna aesthetic and thrown in a few gimmicks (chimes anyone, or perhaps a mid song slow-down fade-out). If Madonna really wants to still be cutting edge, for her next album she should remix and mash-up herself. Rather then write songs that sound like the sort of things she has written in past, she should just actually use her old stuff and re-interpret it. She could get in a few hip indy/mash-up djs and producers, and have them completely rework her stuff. Something like Shirley Bassey redoing 'History Repeating' with the Propellerheads. Some of the best Madonna I've heard in recent years is via other artist. Hearing Pink cover Madonna in a megamix of her own stuff in concert, or catching a snippet of her in the Avalanches. An album where she got other artists to do this for her could be really wonderful. Maybe I'll like Hard Candy better in ten years time when I hear it remixed by the Chemical Brothers.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Vengeance In New Guinea

If your pig eats the vegetables in my garden I'm going to spear you in the eye. In fact, I don't think I could live with the dishonour of not doing so. At least, I might feel that way if I were born in the New Guinea Highlands. The complicated relationships between the clans that have lived there for numerous generations create an aggressive culture of compulsory and violent retribution. The graphic history of the wars between the clans is engaging enough, but what makes this typically in depth New Yorker article by Jared Diamond exceptionally fascinating is the contrasts and comparisons he draws to contemporary global society and and our system of states. He convincingly challenges Rousseau's concept of the evolution of the social contract, which inspires reflection on our expectations of actors in both international and interpersonal relations. Though I disagree with some of the conclusions he infers at the end, (he bases them on an isolated example that could be otherwise explained) it is really worth taking the time to read this lengthy article for a valuable and not commonly considered insight into human nature. Here are some excerpts;

' Daniel described what happened next: [...] "Only one arrow hit Isum, but it was a bamboo arrow, flat and sharp as a knife, and it cut his spinal cord. That’s even better than killing him, because he’s now still alive today, eleven years later, paralyzed in a wheelchair, and maybe he’ll live for another ten years. People will see his constant suffering. Isum may be around for a long time, for people to see his suffering, and to be reminded that this happened to him as proper vengeance for his having killed my uncle Soll.” When I asked Daniel how he felt about the battle in which Isum became paralyzed, his reaction was unapologetically positive: a mixture of exhilaration and pleasure in expressing aggression. He used phrases such as “It was very nice,” and his gestures projected euphoria and a huge sense of relief. “I felt that it was a matter of ‘kill or else die by suicide.’ [...] If I had personally seen the arrow go into Isum, I would have felt emotional relief then. Unfortunately, I wasn’t actually there to see it, but, when I heard that Isum had been paralyzed, I thought, I have everything, I feel as if I am developing wings, I feel as if I am about to fly off, and I am very happy. After that battle, just as after each battle in which we succeeded in killing an Ombal, we danced and celebrated and slaughtered pigs. '
[...]

' Daniel [...] concluded that, despite his former passionate waging of war against Ombals, the Western state system of adjudicating disputes is preferable. Why, then, didn’t New Guineans give up a way of life that obviously made their lives miserable? A striking feature of New Guinea’s history is that New Guineans traditionally practiced unchecked violence against each other, yet they offered only limited resistance to the imposition of state government and the ending of that violence by European colonial powers. That wasn’t just because Europeans had guns and New Guineans didn’t; the number of armed Europeans involved in “pacification” was often absurdly few. Daniel’s view points to another reason: as more New Guineans were exposed to the benefits of state-administered justice, they saw that they were better off living without the constant fear of being killed, though, of course, no tribe could ever have followed that course of peaceful dispute adjudication unilaterally. This question of state government’s recent origins, and, conversely, of its long failure to originate throughout most of human history, is a fundamental concern for social scientists. '

Monday, 21 April 2008

Reviews - Chalkies, Keating & Game On

I've been quite busy recently, what with my trip to Melbourne the weekend before last and the Mobile Enterprise course I was doing through work last weekend. On top of that I've been going to see a few different things, and so hence this round-up of reviews. It's not because my opinion matters, or for posterity, but rather to make me feel like the last few weeks have been productive in some way. I shall start from most recent and work backwards until I reach a point of boredom. Don't worry it wont take long.

Chalkies - Holden Street Theatres
This locally produced comedy/musical/play by Matt Byrne is about teachers, students and school amalgamations.It runs for nearly two and half hours, though on the plastic, ex-classroom seats in HST, my ass thought it was closer to five hours. Four actors play over 30 characters between them, some of the well, some of them not so well. While there was plenty of amusement in Chalkies, that shouldn't have been too difficult given that every opportunity for a joke was used, whether appropriate or not. It should have been much more tightly edited - what was an ok way to spend two hours could have been a good way to spend an hour.


Keating the Musical - Her Majesties Theatre
Wow, what fun this was. I was only ten when Keating came to power, and I don't remember much of his Prime Ministership. I was told I ought to wiki him before I went to recap, something I didn't get around to, but it mattered not. The humour was both broad and specific, strongly executed in both cases. The music was the high-light, genuinely catchy songs, performed outstanding by the leads, yet simulateously wry and clever. Portraying Downer in Rocky-Horror-esque fishnets, heels and bodice, while he sings about the reason why he couldn't stay leader, "I'm too freaky", was a riot, played with just the right amount of verve. The love duet between Gareth Evans and Cheryl Kernot (played by a guy in drag), with a chorus featuring Evans singing "My heart's in peril... Cheryl", to which she replys "Oh heavens, Mr Evans" was delicious. There are few original Australian musicals that are successful, and though this could never translate overseas (although I would love to see Clinton or Bush the musical), its irreverence and intelligence was unmistakably Aussie. I can't wait to see what they do next.


Game On - Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne
This exhibition of the history of video games rocked my world slightly. It wasn't just the over 100 playable games on display, it was the informative design of the exhibition, guiding the audience through the evolution of game culture, that made it such a memorable experience. My own nostalgia was not piqued by the first room of classic arcade machines such as asteroids, pacman and pong, fascinating as they were, but rather the next phase of videogame history, the early home consoles. They were all there, right from the orginal Magnavox Odyssey, through to the Commodore 64, the FamiComs and MasterSystems right up to the PS3. It was slightly surreal to see and play the Atari Jaguar, a cutting edge machine I remember reading about in games mags in primary school, which failed in the US before it even got a chance to be released broadly here. So many classic games I hadn't thought of or played for so many years, like the original Mario Kart, Monkey Island, Populous, the first SimCity, Street Fighter II, Tomb Raider... the list goes on. In addition there were some astounding games I'd heard of but never had the opportunity to play. The trippy 'Rez' for the PS2, essentially a 3d forward scrolling shooter, with closely integrated music and abstract visuals, which produce a unique synesthesia. Enemies appear in time with the rhythm and the shots of your gun add an extra layer of beats on the sound track, so that you find yourself firing as much in time with the music as at the enemies, yet when those to phases of your attention line up, its simply breath-taking. I finally got the chance to try my hand at 'Katamari Damacy', the quirky Japanese PS2 game I've read so many raves about, and it lived up to the hype. You simply take your odd little elf character and start rolling a ball of stuff around the landscape. Anything reasonably smaller then the ball will stick to it, and the idea is to make the ball as big as possible. As it gets bigger you can roll it over stuff you couldn't pick up before, so you start with pins and coins, and can eventually get up to levels where you are rolling the ball around cities picking up houses! It was so wonderfully simple and utterly addictive. Aside from these treasured interactions I learnt fascinating things about video games, such as about the first arcade game, which was not Pong but rather a commercially unsuccessful game called 'Space War' released in 1971, the year before Pong. Or seeing an arcade machine built in the late seventies behind the iron-curtain. Or that Lara Croft was original going to be Laura Cruz, a selfish, money-grubbing thief.
*sigh* Yes, I really did love Game On. It's on at ACMI until July 13, if you're in Melbourne, you won't regret giving it a visit.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Could I want you more...

As if it wasn't bad enough how much I wanted the iPhone before, then they have to go and release the developers kit, and now cool apps like this version of Quake appear. Using the accelerometer as the control... Oh. My. I want one sooo bad. AAAArgh! I know I am never going to be able to afford one when they are finally, eventually released here. With the 3G version just a couple months from release, that can't be long either!

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

I Love The Puppini Sisters or How I Found The Best Song Ever

Try as I might, I can't help but fall into sync with the gay stereotypes of musical taste. Yes, I like Madonna and Kylie. I posted a mash-up of Dolly Parton. Now I must admit that I quite like Bette Midler too. It's her swing stuff that I just adore, like Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. That's how I came across The Puppini Sisters, and by gosh, they are just faaaaaaabulous! fucking awesome! They do classic swing songs, their own songs and covers of pop songs in the swing style. Their version of Beyonce's Crazy In Love has to be just about the best song I've ever heard. My body twitters uncontrollably whenever I hear it. Though the quality of this YouTube version isn't the best and doesn't capture their amazing voices, you'll still get the idea. They also do delicious covers of Wuthering Heights, I Will Survive and Walk Like An Egyptian among others.

Monday, 24 March 2008

You Suck at Photoshop

In case you've been wondering how to get more out of Photoshop, or want to learn a few new PS skills, you should probably check out this series of videos by 'Donnie' called You Suck at Photoshop. He hates you, but then he hates himself as well so its ok. Here are a couple of the vids, and the link.



Friday, 21 March 2008

Robots Rule The Earth

Don't look at me like that. As I'm going to write another post when I can just put another video here. Its about robots ok. Its funny. Just be quiet and watch it, you'll like it!

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

More Freaky Robots

I saw a clip of an earlier version of this robot a year or two ago, and it was freaky then. They've clearly been working on it, and now it is scary enough to take on the snake robot I posted about recently. All of the sensing and reacting technology that has gone into making this dog robot boggles the mind, but why did they have to give it no face and two heads?

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Ken Ishii's Sympathy for Space Invaders

I have a couple of albums by Ken Ishii which I love, because they were a random purchase I made when I went on my high school trip to Japan. I selected them based solely on the cover art, and they turned out to be great. (They were prominently placed in the electro/dance section of the cd store, so I guess that was probably a good indicator too). That was yonkers ago, and I really should find out what he has been doing more recently, as I stumbled across this clip which is just delightful. Simple, clever and very effective, you won't look at space invaders the same again. Oh, and it's very Japanese.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Gnomes, Stomach Lights and Silly Games

~ First up is this lovely image of a designer light made from a sheep stomach. A preserved sheep stomach of course, it would just be gross otherwise! Check out variations on the theme over at the designer's website.

~ Apparently this game is used by the US Airforce to train their pilots. It's damn irritating, and you'll probably play it over and over again.

~ It seems a sideways walking midget with a pointy hat is terrorising the town of General Guemes in Argentina. The Freaky Gnome has panicked children, and no one wants to go out at night. There is even a creepy video in the article. This would be the sweetest kind of hysterical if its true, but I'm worried it might be viral marketing for J.J. Abrams next film.

~ Here is a cool image of what the all the water and all the air on earth would look like in comparative volume to the earth. For some reason I find this image more unsettling then stomach lights or freaky gnomes!

Ye Olde Adverts for Contemporary Products

This tickled my fancy, a competition over on Worth1000.com to design adverts for current technologies and products in the style of old fashioned print ads. Oh what fun. They seem to have lots of fun photoshop gimmickery over on Worth1000. I do like this ad for the Wii, and also the PS3 one you can find on the site.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Curse this Heat

Record-breaking heat waves are the least exciting natural 'event' you can be part of. Unlike, say a thunderstorm with hail the size of babies skulls, a heat wave it just hot and boring. It saps the energy out of you. I don't want to do anything, and yet I have a million things to do. I'm totally blaming it for why my team and I sucked so terribly doing theatresports last Sunday. You try to think on your feet, under stage lights in a un-airconditioned little church theatre. God, its hard enough to be coherent let alone make up an interesting and entertaining scene. Blah. Haven't had the mental fortitude to find time to write either. I just lay like a mollusc on my couch, hoping if I stay very still the warmness will leave me alone. It never does. I shall retire now to my hot, restless bed so that I may rise weary and bleary-eyed for work. What joy!
Who wants to drink themselves unconscious in the Garden of unearthly delights tomorrow?

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Robot Snakes Alive!!

You may have thought the cockroach controlled robot was creepy, but witness this eerie little snake robot created at Carnegie Mellon University's biorobotics unit. These things will one day rule the earth, and there will be nowhere we can hide. Nowhere.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Crazy like an absent Garfield

I feel a little nuts this week, cramming my head with all manner of arts stuff, and being slightly disappointed that what has leaked out so far isn't more meaningful. I guess it just needs some time to stew, but if there is one thing I don't have patience with, its myself. So I feel compelled to wander off my conceptual course, and into the daily funnies. Garfield strips, which never really appealed to me, are so much more interesting with-out Garfield. Jon becomes a strange lonely man talking to himself, and that is fascinating enough. Yet, in my art-overloaded delerium, I look at these absent garfields, and start to imagine him in conversation with the abstract concept of art. It seems so perfectly and bizarrely appropriate. My goodness, I really have fallen off the deep end.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Sexy Economists

Continuing in my ugly economist's hat mode, I feel compelled to share this little discussion about John Maynard Keynes. What? You mean you're not up on your economic theory, and can't remember who Keynes is? Well he just happened to be a British economist, responsible for 'Keynesian' economics (funny that), which was the basis for Macroeconomics, got made a baron, and etc etc... Don't worry, I forgot too. He was an important, influential economist. He liked numbers. Alot. He also liked men. Yes, Keynes was an unabashed comrade pillow-biter (Gosh, I don't mean to insult his memory, economists probably wouldn't like to be called 'comrade'). He found a way to combine two of the things he liked very much, numbers and sex with men. He kept diaries, with detailed statistics of his conquests. Now all this has been common knowledge for some time - he never really hid is sexuality, and one of his diaries is pretty straight forward. It just lists his relationships and the dates they lasted, referring to his partners by initials or nicknames, making the people easy to determine.

It's the second diary that gets economist's in the know all giggly. The second one is presumed to be a record of his anonymous sexual encounters, and its in code. It quantifies certain of his sexual activities over periods of time, using three codes, 'C' 'A' and 'W'. No-one, it seems, can agree on exactly what they are. Most people agree that 'A' is probably for anal. When you start trying to work out the others though, and people have analysed the numbers and dates to great length, you start to even question if you made the right assumption for 'A'. You see if we assume 'C' is cock-sucking and 'W' is wanking, then it might seem logical, but he participated in a lot more 'C' then he did 'W'. Or maybe it's mutual wanking. This is where the arguments about what sort of sex he was having plus how often he was likely to be having it get into full gear. Then of course you have all your nomenclature arguments about what those acts were called nearly a century ago now, and whether the letters still fit. Whoever said economics was boring?

So be a dear and check out the article over here, which has a more detailed analysis of the Keynesian figures, and then tell me what your opinion is. I'm going with A=anal, C=cock-sucking and W=wanking, mutually. So lets here your take on the numbers, its about time you people put a few more comments on here!

Jimmy Kimmel's Response

I always intend not to post so many video's on this blog, but sometimes I cant help it. (Anyway, quit complaining, you're not at work any more so you can watch them... yes, you know who you are!) Like with this clip of Sarah Silverman's boyfriend responding to her clip 'I'm fucking Matt Damon' which I posted before. Enjoy. :D

US Mortgage Crisis Explained

I look quite silly when I have my economist's hat on, so I don't wear it very often. Consequently I couldn't really tell you what is happening with mortgages in the USA, other then its something bad. And if it is effecting the US economy, the rest of the world is screwed too. Fortunately these dandy stick figures do an excellent job of explaining it all. Not only is it entertaining, its informative too!
Go here to see the whole series.

RoboPhone

They were just regular, down to earth, hard working mobile phones. Then one day they were shot in the line of duty, and their bodies secreted away for nefarious experiments. When they were switched back on they found they were no longer regular phones, they were Robo-Phones!



These are actually working mobiles from Japan. The robot arms and legs, optional extras that you stick to the phone, were produced as a promotion for a new Japanese TV drama called Ketai Sousakan 7. All I know is that ketai means mobile phone, beyond that I've no idea what its about. I don't know if this beats that other Japanese TV show promo product, green tea flavoured bread-in-a-can from a vending machine, but I do know that I won't be having nightmares about bread-in-a-can. At least I hope not! :|

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Youtube in the News?

Aside from the irony of this clip being shared on YouTube, it's also pretty funny.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Upcoming Exhibition Openings

Don't say I never do anything for you. Here is a list of exhibition openings and other arty events in Adelaide for the next few weeks.

Wednesday 27 February – 5.30 to 7pm
Ivan Navarro Exhibition
Greenaway Art Gallery, Kent Town


Thursday 28 February – 5 to 7pm
Penumbra Exhibition
Samstag Museum, UniSA City West
(This one requires an RSVP)


Thursday 28 February – 6 to 8pm
ReMix/Broca II (Letters/Numbers) Exhibition
EAF Lion Arts Centre.


Thursday 28 February – 6 to 8pm
Last Riot + Autogenic Exhibitions
JamFactory, Lion Arts Centre, Morphett St


Thursday 28 February – 6pm
to walk on a sea of salt
CACSA, Parkside


Friday 29 February – 4 to 6pm
Elisa Sighicelli Exhibition
Flinders Uni City Gallery, State Library, North Tce


Friday 29 February - 6pm
Adelaide Biennale Exhbition -
Art Gallery of South Australia, North Tce
(No entry without an invitation)


Sunday 2 March – 1 to 3pm
Artists Week Keynote Address: Doug Aitken
Elder Hall, Adelaide Uni


Sunday 2 March – 5.30pm
GRL Opening / ANAT Filter Launch
Artspace, Adelaide Festival Centre


Tuesday 4 March – 7pm
Graffiti Research Lab Throwie Workshop
Artspace, Adelaide Festival Centre


Wednesday 5 March – 6pm
This Everything Water Exhibition
Kaurna Building, SASA, UniSA City West


Thursday 6 March – 2.30 to 5pm

Light Is A Messenger Forums
Elder Hall, Adelaide Uni


Thursday 6 March – 6 to 8pm
Adelaide Ink Exhibition
– Nexus , Lion Arts Centre, Morphett St


Tuesday 26 March – 6pm
Small Token Exhibition
Liverpool Street Gallery, SASA, UniSA City West

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Brain Games

My brain is a little frazzled, its been a long day and I'm tired. So I might not be in the best state to use this new tech, but it only exists as a prototype, so there's no danger. However, the company hopes to have a consumer version released in time for xmas. Its a headset from Emotiv, that works as a game control device by reading your brain waves. It uses a clever combination of software and hardware to figure out what you want the object on screen to do. Hopefully they will develop some interesting games for it. For now though I'm relieved I don't have one, I think I would have already crashed the computer several times.


Monday, 18 February 2008

Sony Ericsson X1

I want this phone. If you cared for me at all, you would get me this phone. It's so shiny. Shiny! Why don't you love me enough to get me this phone? Why?! I could send emails with the cool slide out keyboard, and take pictures on the 3.2 megapixel, carl-zeiss lensed camera and force strangers to watch videos of Spanish drag midgets with it! Don't deprive the world, (ie me)!!



Giant Lasers are Cool


How can this quote not make you wet your pants? I mean really... "If you could hold a giant magnifying glass in space and focus all the sunlight shining toward Earth onto one grain of sand, that concentrated ray would approach the intensity of a new laser beam made in a University of Michigan laboratory." As if that weren't enough, the article then goes on to say "In addition to medical uses, intense laser beams like these could help researchers explore new frontiers in science. At even more extreme intensities, laser beams could potentially "boil the vacuum," which scientists theorize would generate matter by merely focusing light into empty space."
Let's hope Microsoft don't invest in this technology, because it would bring Bill one step closer to his Death star...

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Getting Ink Done or Getting Done by Ink

Tattoos may eventually be good for you. According to German scientists, vaccines delivered by a vibrating needle just under the skin, like a tattooist's needle, rather then an injection, are significantly more effective at delivering the vaccine into the body. I've considered getting a little tattoo from time to time, and it's nice to think that they could have a medicinal purpose. If you happen to be one of the people feature on the blog Horrible Tattoos, you might be thankful for the excuse 'It was life or death, I had to get a tattoo!' The pics on that blog range from simply amusing, to the downright bizarre like this


The tattoo on the blog I found most amusing, is NSFW so here's the link. To paraphrase the blog, "I found Jesus! Guess where!"

Friday, 15 February 2008

Garden of Unearthly Silent Disco

The Garden of Unearthly Delights pre-empted the Fringe this evening, opening with fireworks, fairy-lights and volumes of people in various states of attractiveness. Amongst all this was a fascinating display, a highly engaging activity, damn it, a piece of art - it was the Silent Disco. When you first stumble upon it, there is a brief moment of confusion. Fenced off from the rest of the crowd is a dance floor full of people gyrating in sync, in silence. Then you notice they are all wearing headphones, all tuned in to the same syncopating frequency. Amusing, surreal, endearing and enticing, its mesmerising to watch. It's not a sensation of deafness, for there are plenty of sounds - the milling crowd, the shuffling, the odd lyric from the mouths of the dancers. Rather there is a strange sense of incapacitation, like some sense you forget you had is no longer working. The primal 'group-think' part of your brain feels drunk and bewildered.

Then you fork over your $5 (plus $10 deposit on those radio headphones) and immerse yourself in it. Suddenly you're part of the group, and you get it. It being primarily an eclectic mix of Euro-disco-rock-pop-dance. As a bystander it was amusing to watch all those silly dancers, but on the dance floor you feel sorry for the bystanders, you chuckle at their exclusion. You are part of the group, and they will never understand. They may think it's funny to see you do the twist silently, but only you know it is actually the twist.

Many people take photos or record videos on their cameras, and in this exercise it becomes apparent just how unique the experience is. The footage would be much akin to film of a regular disco with the volume turned down, but the experience itself is vastly different. I'm of the generation that tends to place audio-visual recordings of events on equal footing as the events themselves, given that is how so much of our world is experienced. We snap and click away, eager to save what we fear our memories may cast aside. While it may seem that film can always capture the essence of an event (at least subjectively), in the case of the Silent Disco it is woefully inadequate. You simply have to actually experience it. This revelation was startling, the concept so eloquently tangible, far more so then many contemporary pieces of installation/interactive/performance art.

If you get the chance, don't hesitate to dive in to the Silent Disco.

Girls ready to hand out headphones when you enter.
(Thanks to Will and his not-as-crap-as-mine camera phone for the pic)

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Aussie Steakhouse of Death

When I was living in Japan on occasion I would have a meal at the 'Outback Aussie Steakhouse'. The establishment was recommended to me by Japanese students because it was 'Australian', though I can't say I was overwhelmed with nostalgia when I ate there. It's actually a chain of cheesy American dinners with lots of kitsch Australiana on the walls and nothing remotely Australian on the menu, other then steak, and we don't really own that, do we? Now Men's Health magazine has declared one of their dishes the worst food in America. The cheesy fries with ranch dressing starter (sooo Aussie) apparently has triple the recommended calories for a single meal. And its just a starter. Mmm, cheesy fries. Oh well, they didn't mention anything about the deep fried blossoming onion. Damn that was good.

Spongebob Classics

Spongebob Squarepants is apparently gay, and therefore an evil influence on children. So if you dub the voices of Spongebob characters over classic films, but keep the dialogue exactly the same, does that make them gay too? I'm not sure, but it certainly is funny.

Monday, 11 February 2008

The Great Scientology War

Oooh, this is so exciting. The trumpets have been sounded in the War of Scientology. Let's start with the background info. There was a 'report' on Fox 11 'News' about a hacking group called 'Anonymous'. I'm inclined to not even believe the Fox clip is real, it's so hyperbolic. Who can tell the difference between a subtle parody of attempts to induce hysteria, and actual attempts these days? This clip would fit perfectly on The Colbert Report. Here it is:



Then here is where it gets kind of cool-fun. The group Anonymous, which has apparently been around for quite a while, released a declaration of war on Scientology. See their call to arms clip below.



The theatrics of the clip are delicious, but it could easily have been lost in the quagmire of net vids. Or maybe not. They also seem to actually be organised, having set up various wikis to co-ordinate people in their attack. I wonder how many of their brethren died in order for them to obtain the secret plans to the Scientology Star? In the last day, coordinated on the net by Anonymous, hundreds of people have protested outside Scientology centres, including in Sydney, London and LA. The day was chosen because the 10 of February marks the death of Lisa McPherson who died in the care of the Church of Scientology in 1995. All this has obviously garnered some media attention, one of the better articles being this one at Newsweek. Check out the coverage here and here too. There is also an interesting take on the situation at Spiked which I will respond to later. The Spiked article almost seems to sum up a particular attitude in the media that sparked the following response vid from Anonymous.



So there you have it. I won't get into the Anonymous vs Scientology debate just yet, although I'm sure you can guess I have an opinion. Rather I'll just wallow in how terribly interesting the whole situation is, waiting to see what unfolds next with bated breath. The melodrama on both sides is so distinctively Hollywood, only far more entertaining then anything they've actually intended to produce in ages. I've been blabbing-on recently about Hollywood marketing and telling a story across multiple media, and well, what if we are witnessing just that? What if the whole existence of Scientology is just the mother-of-all marketing campaigns, building up a multi-layer story across print and screen for years, so that everyone on earth turns up for the opening of a shaky, hand-held 'documentary' of Xenu invading earth to destroy all the Anonymous followers. I really would worship Scientology if that were true!

Sunday, 10 February 2008

La Pequeña Prohibida

So there's this mid- Ok, well, it's in Spanish, and... Um, what is sequins in Spanish. She's wearing a wi- No, he. Is that padded? What is that song?! What the hell?
There are no words to describe this.

Japanese Paper Space Planes

From infinity to beyond on a paper plane? Research into space flight technology is taking an interesting detour as Japanese scientists test the resistance of specially treated paper to 250 degree heat and wind, so that they can make paper planes able to withstand re-entry into the atmosphere. The theory is that being lighter the paper planes would escape the worst of the friction and heat regular space shuttles endure. Of course they are only considering the technology for short unmanned flights, but you never know... In a few years we might be seeing the launch of Richard Branson's Virgin Origami.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Bond, Bond, Bond, Bond, Bond, James Bond!!

Behind the scenes footage of the new James Bond film Quantum of Solace. Did someone say Daniel Craig...




Why did two AI pioneers take their lives?

Artificial Intelligence is a complex discipline which takes a unique mind to grasp. I've always thought AI was fascinating, drawing on vast a disparate fields of knowledge, and if I'd stayed studying programming when I first started uni, AI is the field I would have liked to go into. There is a wonderfully in-depth article on Wired about two AI trail-blazers, Chris McKinstry and Push Singh, that left me with chills. It touches on the little reported fact that MIT has quite a high suicide rate, which makes me wonder about the connections between innovate thinking, particularly in abstract field like science, technology and mathematics, and mental imbalance. Thinking about thinking all day cannot be helpful to someone who is bi-polar, but that might also be what makes them good at it. In a strange, sad way its almost as if researchers on the cutting edge of AI are putting their mental well-being on the line in the noble pursuit of science.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Important MIT Research into Foil Hats

Worried about your brain. I know I am. Worried about your brains that is. You'll be pleased to know that researchers over at MIT have conducted a study into the effectiveness of aluminium hats, favoured by paranoid conspiracy theorists, for protecting the brain from radio waves. This excerpt is from the conclusion of the report. "It requires no stretch of the imagination to conclude that the current helmet craze is likely to have been propagated by the Government, possibly with the involvement of the FCC. We hope this report will encourage the paranoid community to develop improved helmet designs to avoid falling prey to these shortcomings." There's a current helmet craze? I totally missed that, but then I guess I'm not in the loop with what's cutting edge like those MIT researchers.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Improv in New York Grand Central Station

This is in no way related to the Improv show I happen to be doing at the Fringe in a few weeks (every Sunday night from the 24th of Feb btw :P ) but i just love this little event staged by a couple hundred improvisers in NYC. Public intervention is fun, particularly if it confuses the crap out of everyone. I love that all the passers-by clap at the end too.

New M. Night Shyamalan Trailer

I loved Signs. For a lot a lot of people Sixth Sense Shyamalan's first, is favourite, and though I love that film, Signs has to be one of my favourite ever horror films. It's the defining standard of what a slow monster-reveal should be in a film. For that I forgave Shyamalan The Village, which was awfully tepid, but had its moments. However, Lady in the Water just got such resoundingly bad reviews, after my Village experience I couldn't bring myself to watch it. And there's his next film, The Happening. It's looks good, really good. But then so did the trailer for The Village. This is only a teaser, and I don't really anything about the plot, but I do know, if nothing else, Shyamalan is good at getting me intrigued. Damn good.

Maya Angelou reads Gay Personals Poetry

Maya Angelou may not be as well known over here, but this clip transcends cultural boundaries...


Monday, 4 February 2008

Arrested Development Movie

After the writer's strike is resolved, an Arrested Development movie may go into production. Jason Bateman has confirmed the waters have been tested with the cast about interest in shooting a film, though nothing is confirmed yet. I guess I should get around to watching the actual show then...

Computer Booting Chocolate

Who says New Media art doesn't make sense? Look, its chocolate! Chocolate always makes sense. Actually, if you could explain the meaning of this work I'd be quite greatful. (click the pic for the site)

Sufjan Stevens


Ok, so I finally listened to Illinoise. *sigh* It's very easy to get me to like a piece of music, just stick some harmonies or choral backing in there, and BAM you've got me. Hah! I see right through it now. What does Sufjan qualify as anyway, "folksy/epic"? He's just so 'indie-movie starring Zac Braff sound track look at me aren't I cute and quirky'. Look at that picture, all it's missing is the shirt-matching wallpaper in the background. But that's not to say I don't like indie movies. Did he just say all the glory the Lord has made? He didn't really just say he cried himself to sleep last night? Oh, how poetic. No really, I like it. Despite the somewhat cloying lyrics, I have no doubt I'll find myself humming along with them. The instrumental bits are quite pretty too. I guess. I'm not really in love with the place in Sufjan's mind, but I wouldn't mind popping in for a cup of tea every now and then.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Celebrity Gossip

What better to do on a warm weekend afternoon then to get your celeb on. Here's a round up of some bits and sordid pieces of celebrity gossip.

~ Britney is undergoing forced psychiatric evaluation and a judge has put her father in charge of her welfare. Does that mean she won't be posing for paps anymore?

~ Alfie Allen, 21 year old brother of Lily Allen (you remember the song) has taken over Daniel Radcliffe's role in Equus, and is baring all to London audiences like his predecessor.

~ Justin Timberlake and Timbaland are going to appear in the up coming film clip for Madonna's new single that they co-wrote, called 4 Minutes to Save the World. So which one gets the nick-name 'Timbo" then?

~ Rumour is that the following blind item is referring to Michael C Hall from Six Feet Under and the new HBO show Dexter. "This cable B list actor who is now getting a shot at the big time wanted everyone to believe that his separation from his wife was all about not getting along and not making their schedules work. The actual problem was that he couldn't get away from his boyfriend enough to make his wife happy."
As much as I love a good gay rumour, I just can't believe it's so, and I want to believe so very much....

Sarah Silverman is brilliant...

I love Sarah Silverman. She takes squirm humour to a whole new level and throws in a bunch of absurdity just for kicks. I can see why Jimmy Kimmel has been dating her for 5 years, I'll bet he loved this.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Stairway to Bootleg Heaven

Mash-Ups (the smushing up of one or more songs) are great fun. The infamous one from a few years ago by DJ Soulwax, Smells Like Teen Booty, mixed Nirvana and Destiny's Child, and like most mash-ups was deliriously confusing and catchy, as if you can't quite get the two halves of your brain to sync. I'd always thought of mash-ups as a ingenious, but gimmicky. That was until I heard Stairway to Bootleg Heaven by DJ Earworm, which is now one of my all time favourite songs. It's given me new found admiration for Dolly Parton (apparently, being gay, it was only a matter of time before this happened), mixing her with Annie Lennox, Pat Benetar even the Beatles. It's so beautifully familiar yet strange, haunting but not maudlin. It builds exquisitely, interweaving the various vocals deftly, and, well, I just get chills at the 6 minute mark. I won't go on any more, just listen to it...
<BGSOUND src="Stairway to Bootleg Heaven">

Mobile Phone Books R GR8

Do U like 2 txt? Maybe you're only a few thumb twitches away from being a famous author then. There is a fascinating article over on the NYT (via Clive on Collision Detection) relating how of the top 10 selling books in Japan last year, 5 were 'cellphone' books. (I hate that American term, what does it even mean, they're mobile phones damn it!) That means they were written on mobile phones. More then a few cellphone books have been punched out by Japanese teenagers on the train and in between classes. Cellphone books have grown into a whole sub-genre of Japanese literature, which stylistically reflect their creation. They tend to have much less flowery descriptions and long-winded prose, apparently a staple of classical Japanese literature, and are more dialogue heavy. The style is distinctive and popular enough, that people are writing cell phone books on their computers now, and some even in long hand.

I'm not sure I could stomach a whole book written that way, but I imagine the differences between proper and texting language are more subtle in Japanese. I know that I'm not as fussed NEmore when I see txting language away from the mobile screen, which is becoming more common. What is really cool about these books is that the technology has influenced the way we write. Technology has always affected the way we produce our culture, but because it changed at such a drastically slower rate, no one really noticed that much. Think about the stylistic influence of the hand-held camera. Once the technology allowed for film-making to go mobile, we eventually got used to the 'shaky' style in documentaries, such that now the shaky aesthetic is associated with greater realism. I wonder what aspect of our cultural expression will evolve next thanks to technological change?

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Long Form Storytelling and Hollywood Marketing

I want to revisit some of the ideas I was fumbling to elucidate in my earlier post about the Cloverfield marketing. Cloverfield was an excellent ignition for some thoughts I've had on this topic for a while, and they were equally stirred up again today whilst reading about the concerns in Hollywood now with how to market The Dark Knight, particularly some of the comments on the issue over at Defamer. For TDK the issue is around the centrality of Ledger's apparently powerful performance to the marketing campaign, and whether that is appropriate, post mortem. My feeling is that it is completely appropriate to continue as planned. It is openly acknowledged that Ledger put a lot of himself into the role, and he would want that role valued and given the attention it deserves. All the more so now that he has died and it is his last role. Appropriateness is a thin veil for what is really at issue for the studio though. After all, it is appropriate to cry when someone dies, but in doing so you are unlikely to be interested in paying for overpriced popcorn.

What the studio is scrambling to figure out is how to balance out the milking the news of Ledger's death between making people morbidly curious about his last performance, and making them too sad to want to watch it. The primary concern is bums on seats, and other points really are moot, despite lip-service. That is what the Hollywood marketing behemoth is all about, and the relationship between getting people in the cinema and what they are actually watching is tenuous at best. Actors, characters, special effects, dialogue, music - all are simply fodder to marketing departments. A dilemma like Ledger highlights the question marketers live by, 'What can we get away with?'

The whole sorry situation is based on a fundamental precept, once useful but now outdated, that sees production and marketing as two wholly separate, largely unrelated spheres. The manufacturing industry proved sometime ago that marketing was primary, production secondary. Unfortunately for Hollywood, the split into such a hierarchy hasn't been so simple, hard as they might try forcing it to fit. What Hollywood, and film makers in general need to do, is view the marketing and the film itself as part of an integrated whole. The processes of marketing a film and making one are quite similar. A marketing campaign, such as the one for TDK, is planned in advance, determining what elements, when and how much of them are revealed to the audience, hopefully building to a climax that culminates in the purchase of a ticket. A filmaker undertakes the same process, determining what to reveal to the audience, how much and when, which hopefully builds to a climax. Film-makers should be viewing marketing as the 'big picture' process of telling a story. Working in Hollywood with the amount of money put into marketing, they would in a sense double their budget for telling their story if they told it on more then just the cinema screen. Such an approach would require a new level of skill, of story-telling savvy for film-makers. They would need to know not just how the interplay of sound and images affects a viewer, but additionally all the skills involved with telling a story across a variety of mediums and without a 'captured' audience. It was the ability of The Blair Witch and Cloverfield to tell their stories off screen as part of the 'marketing', even if in a very simple sense, that made them successful, not magic 'Internet buzz'. I think the results of this approach to film-making story-telling could be phenomenal. I dream of the opportunity to create stories like this with Hollwood resources one day, but in I would happily settle for someone else doing so in the meantime.

Glum connections in Hollywood

Earlier this evening my mother gushed about the recently released Juno, and how it was imperative that I see it, particularly for the performance by Ellen Page. I've been browsing the net too, as I'm want to do, and of course there has been a deluge of Heath Ledger related news. Messages from Ledger's family in a Perth newspaper were halting, a brief glimpse into their tragedy and the real Heath. His father lamented never again playing chess with his son, whom he could never beat. As if this weren't maudlin enough, I was also reading about the Hollywood industry response to Ledger's death as well. As I mentioned before, Terry Gilliam was shooting a film with Heath, and the quote he gave at the end of the Variety article, just served to compound the melancholy. Gilliam tells us that Ledger was about to direct soon, and that had was keenly observant of all of his techniques on set. Gilliam was sure he was going a be a better director then himself. The movie that Ledger was developing for his directorial debut was an adaptation of the Walter Tevis novel "The Queen's Gambit," about a young female chess prodigy, to be played by Ellen Page.

Heath Round-Up and Movie News

~ There's a great little piece at TV Guide by Michael Ausiello about watching Brokeback Mountain again after hearing of Heath Ledger's death.

~ Poor Terry Gilliam was in the middle of shooting "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus" with Heath Ledger. Rather then recast and reshoot, there is some talk of Johnny Depp replacing the Ledger in the film. Read how here.

~ Latest Britney goss is that her crazy antics that fuel the paparazzi might be due some sort of deal where she gets a cut from the sale of the pics. Could explain why she shacked up with a pap...

~ The Warner Bros backed big-screen CGI adaptation of Astro Boy has changed has switched directors. It's now being helmed by Flushed Away director David Bowers.

~ As if you really need a good reason to post a pic of Daniel Craig, but the new James Bond movie, coming out in November, now has a title - Quantum of Solace. Plenty of new details about the plot and characters have been released too.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Pearl the comic genius

Oh, what the heck, I'm in a funny video mood. Here is Pearl's debut performance, followed by her retirement piece. Enjoy.