29.8.07

porno bush

british artist jonathan yeo was commissioned to do a portrait of george w. bush, but was later told his services would not be needed. well, he went and did a portrait anyway, which is a collage made from fragments of 100 porn magazines. the picture above is the censored version. click on the image for the original image.

16.8.07

john from cincinnati

john from cincinnati is one of the wierdest shows i've ever seen. the writing is good, but at times, it is confusing and the acting is wooden usually on purpose. the premise is about a legendary surfing family that is on the verge of falling apart, in a community that seems disjointed and almost cut off from the rest of the world. in comes john... from cincinnati. he's an enigma. everyone thinks he's slow, and he may be that, but eventually strange things start happening, such as the grandfather levitating for no apparent reason, people healing from seemingly mortal injuries... and it all seems to come back to john. from cincinnati.

the writing is so purposely bizarre, that it's tough to get a hang on the tone and pace of the show, which is probably why john from cincinnati never really found an audience. it took me around episode four to finally get used to the pace, and really start liking it. then they canceled the show. typical. anyway, there are ten episodes to the series, and i've always felt that it was better to come up short, than to stay too long.

30 days of night

um, i have to see this.

14.8.07

duchovny's back

you know that actor that had a hit tv show and decided he was too big for the show and wanted to leave to do movies but did a couple and didn't go anywhere only to disappear for a few years to resurface every once in a while to blab about how wonderful it would be if there could be another movie based on his former hit tv show? well, that's david duchovny. i don't think david duchovny ever knew his limitations as an actor, because let's face it, he wasn't so great on the x-files. he was fox mulder, and only fox mulder. he basically comes from the keanu reeves school of acting, except devoid of all star power. anyway, i've always like him regardless, and now he's back in californication, a showtime original series. it's a surprisingly funny, raunchy show about a one hit wonder writer who is struggling with trying to rekindle his burnt out career, his ex-wife, and his precocious daughter.

the show starts out fun enough, (a blowjob from a nun), but it quickly throws in the the cliches (guy comes home and catches duchovny with his wife). there are some genuinely funny moments though, like when a girl he picks up at a book store punches him in the face during sex. twice. even though the cliches dampen the genius, the writing and dialogue is smart enough to be charming. witness the following exchange, where duchovny finds out that his ex-wife will be getting married again:

- Hank, I'm getting married.
- What?
- He asked, and I said yes.
- Why the fuck would you do something like that?
- Because I love him.
- No you don't.
- Yes I do.
- You don't!
- I do!
- You do not
- Yes I do!
- You don't!
- I do
- You don't!
- I do!
- You don't!
- How do you know?
- Because he's a fucking dial tone! He's everything you said you never wanted. I'm sure he means well and everything... I may be fucked up right now, but he's not the guy for you. I can see that.
- How do you know that?
- Because I know you. Now don't I get a say in this?
- No.
- Are you sure? Because it seems like I should. Maybe.

there are some other juicy lines, like duchovny talking about finger-banging a cat, and his ex-wife telling him that he smells like pussy and he says, "thank you" with a smile.

i really liked the pilot, and it looks like duchovny finally found his way back to television again. isn't that always how it happens? it's kinda nice. i haven't laughed this much at any pilot for any show. not even entourage, and that's saying something. hopefully californication will stick around for a couple of seasons, if only to amuse me. duchovny's back, baby!


13.8.07

muse

muse [myooz] –noun
1.classical mythology.
a.any of a number of sister goddesses, originally given as aoede (song), melete (meditation), and mneme (memory), but latterly and more commonly as the nine daughters of zeus and mnemosyne who presided over various arts: calliope (epic poetry), clio (history), erato (lyric poetry), euterpe (music), melpomene (tragedy), polyhymnia (religious music), terpsichore (dance), thalia (comedy), and urania (astronomy); identified by the romans with the camenae.
b.any goddess presiding over a particular art.
2.(sometimes lowercase) the goddess or the power regarded as inspiring a poet, artist, thinker, or the like.
3.(lowercase) the genius or powers characteristic of a poet.


everyone has a muse. and if they don't, they should. it's interesting who you come across that can inspire you. that inspiration can drive you to create beautiful art, or it can drive you to destroy it, and everything in between. i think a good muse should do both. a muse, whether a he, she, or it, should be polarizing. it should grab hold of you and pull you apart in opposing directions. a muse should make you want to tear your hair out, yet at the same time bring you comfort. i think that sort of force creates good art. no, not good art, but great art. great art explores as many facets of human emotion as possible, both exploiting it and emboldening it.

my muse has been the same for as long as i can remember. she's always sort of been there, mostly in the back of my mind, sort of eating away at my subconscious. never really letting go. when a muse knows they are your muse, it can get complicated to say the least. trust me. ultimately though, a muse should outlast the physical self. in the end, the memory of a muse is just as good, just not as biting as the truth of it, for memory is not truth. any real police officer can tell you that.

at any rate, i've written some more so here's another snippet:

Elton gets out of his bed and makes his way to the stereo. He scratches himself through the boxers. The city noise filters in through the window into the small room. Sean watches him from beneath the covers, the pillow bunched up beneath her chin. Her eyes examine him thoughtfully. He turns on the stereo, sets it to blast. She makes a noise and covers her head with the pillow. There's a letter for him by the door, no doubt slipped under it the night before from the hotel manager demanding another couple hundred dollars for the week. He goes into the washroom and jerks off to the image of the girl on the shampoo bottle. Her head is tossed back, her eyes a flutter and her mouth is slightly parted. Her "O" face. When he's done, he goes to the mini fridge. Sean is sitting cross-legged in a chair in a matching pink t-shirt and panties, with an open jar of peanut butter in her lap. She's digging at it with her fingers. He's always hated that. She looks at him and doesn't say anything as she licks her fingers. Then she mentions that he looks like he's lost weight.
- What?
- I said you look skinny. Are you bulimic?
- Do you mean like you? Or was that anorexic? I can never tell the two apart.
- Don't say that, Elton. Why'd you have to say that?
- You opened that door.
- God, you're so mean.
- Hey, I'm sorry if you don't have an eating disorder. They're like Chanel handbags. Everybody's got to have one. Surprised you're not in on it yet.
- Fuck you.
- I'm just kidding.
- That's not funny. People die from it.
- People die from car accidents too.
- That's also not funny.
- No, what's not funny is if your pants no longer fit you. That's a tragedy. He looks at her. That was another joke, babe.
- You weren't joking. She sticks her finger into the peanut butter and sucks on it. Defiant. He's got his head in the fridge, refusing to look at her. She says, I'm not a savage. He then looks at her and his eyes wander down to her belly. He grabs a beer and walks away. She looks down at her stomach. It's a little rounder than she remembered. She frowns and tugs on her shirt, pulling it down to hide her roundness. She looks at the peanut butter and shoves it across the table.
- I need some more rent money.
- I don't have any.
- Why don't you call your dad?
- Why don't you get a job?
- Your dad's loaded and he loves you. That's like a rarity or something these days.
- Don't you find it emasculating that I pay for everything? I thought guys cared about that.
- Jesus. Forget it. He drops himself on the bed and stretches out on it, staring up at the dimpled ceiling. He rubs his thumb over the lip of the beer bottle.
- You can't live here forever.
- My god, he sighs. Are you still here? Sean gives him a dirty look and starts looking for her clothes. She says under her breath:
- You're a pagan. You don't deserve God's name on your lips.
- It's a figure of speech.
- Still a pagan. You're gonna rot in hell.
- If wishes were ponies, babe. If wishes were ponies...

road trip: western united states

i have posted photos from my road trip. you can find them here.

7.8.07

sunshine


just remember it takes eight minutes for light to travel from sun to earth, which means you'll know we succeeded about eight minutes after we deliver the payload. all you have to is look out for a little extra brightness in the sky. so if you wake up one morning and it's a particularly beautiful day, you'll know we made it.

- sunshine

sunshine is about 8 astronauts, whose mission is to deliver a nuclear payload the size of manhattan into the sun. why? well, the sun is dying and they are attempting to reignite the sun, because if the sun dies, so do we. the spaceship delivering the payload is called icarus 2. this is the second and last attempt, as the first attempt, icarus 1, was mysteriously never heard from, disappearing seven years ago. needless to say, the crew of icarus 1 failed in their attempt, for unknown reasons.

as they get near the sun and enter into the "dead zone" which is basically the point of no return, where their communications to earth will no longer be heard, the crew stumbles upon the icarus 1 vessel. here, they take an ill thought out, yet somewhat logical step to salvage the payload from the first ship. the thinking is, since this is their last shot, two last shots are better than one. this turns out to be a fatal mistake.

the script is written by alex garland, who also wrote 28 days later, which is a far better movie. comparing a zombie movie to a space movie isn't really doable, except for the fact that both were written by alex garland, who is predictable in his writing. basically, what you know is that there will be humans faced with extraordinary situations, which usually end in a bloodbath. what's interesting about garland's writing, is that he always asks interesting questions, even though the ending is usually predictable. sunshine is no exception. here, garland weighs interesting questions, such as how expendable is a person's life when weighed against the success of the mission, which means the salvation of humanity? and how much of our humanity can be lost, or how much of it are we willing to part with, in order to succeed? is compassion or dignity important when faced with life and death? to some of the astronauts, it is important to keep what makes us human, to others, nothing matters except the success of the mission. in this particular circumstance, i'd have to agree with the latter. you can cry about it later.

there is an interesting scene where some of the crew debate what they must do to survive. in this situation, it is about oxygen. there is an accident, and they don't have enough oxygen to survive long enough to deliver the payload. actually, they do, so long as they lose a few people. and as the situation goes from bad to worse to hopeless, these questions get asked more often. the cast gets shaved down, and they begin to wonder just how minimal the numbers can get in order to fulfill the mission? each of the 8 astronauts fulfills a specific role. so who is expendable? the gardener? the psychologist? the communications officer? the captain? the physicist? and so on.

the movie isn't anything special, in that we've seen all these things in every other space movie ever made. nobody said garland was original. but it was entertaining for what it was. it was released in the uk months ago, so there are dvd rips online that you can scam if you want, but i chose to see it in the theatre and i'm glad i did, because it's a very visceral visual experience. they do an excellent job of recreating the sun on screen.

4.8.07

road films

so i just got back from my two week vacation. i took a road trip down to the united states. the trip comprised of over 7000 km, driving through 8 states, and as with all road trips, lots of interesting stories. more on that later.

it's no secret that i have a thing for road trips. i love road trip films, and i love writing about them, mostly because i think they're such great vehicles for stories. that being said, i thought i might compile a short list of some of the better road films that i've come across in recent memory. they are listed in no particular order. i'm too lazy to give much of a description, save for a short blip:

kalifornia


tell me, big shot, how you gonna write a book about something you know nothing about?

- early, in kalifornia.

kalifornia is very worthy and interesting meditation on violence and living it vs writing about it. white violent itself, it never uses violence for anything other than to further the plot. this is classic just to see david duchovny in his pre x-files days.

true romance

i always said, if i had to fuck a guy... i mean had to, if my life depended on it... i'd fuck elvis.

- clarence woreley, in true romance.

true romance indulges in violence with glee, very hard to watch at times, but entertaining for its controlled chaos. while kalifornia spends all its time thinking about the meaning of violence, true romance does the exact opposite: in fact, one can't help think if tarantino has ever seriously thought about the consequences of violence. i don't think he has, because he shows now attempt at any sort of responsibility in any of his writing. personally, i don't think he's smart enough. but he writes fun dialogue, that's for sure.

the motorcycle diaries

you gotta fight for every breath and tell death to go to hell.

- ernesto, in the motorcycle diaries.

the motorcycle diaries is about two men, ernesto guevara and alberto granado who go on a trip on the back of an old motorcycle. ernesto would later be known more famously as the revolutionary, che guevara. political without the preaching.

y tu mama tambien

luisa: you have to make the clitoris your best friend.
tenoch: what kind of friend is always hiding?

- y tu mama tambien.

y tu mama tambien is basically about two horny teenage boys who go on a trip with a much older woman. that's about it. it's pretty simple, and of course there are revelations about the woman and the boys grow to know more about themselves and each other. there's no new ground covered here, but it's just well made and acted and has quite a lot of heart.

world traveler

women are just different than men. they want different things. i mean, jesus christ, i don't want to see anyone for that many days in a row.

- cal, in world traveler.

world traveler is about a man who one day, without warning, just gets up and abandons his wife and child. he goes on the road in search of something that he's been thinking about for a very long time. this is a very slow moving film, relying more on mood than anything else, but it is very good. cal, the main character, meets all sorts of people, especially women. if there's anything true about this film, is the women. you certainly do meet interesting women while on the road. again, more on that later in a different post.