30 December, 2010

Moebius


For those that don't know who Moebius is, you're missing out.

He's been around for at least thirty years. He's a French artist and his formative work (or at least the work that got him noticed over here, in the Anglophone part of the world) was done in Heavy Metal/Metal Hurlant magazine. If you can't tell, he's a fantastic illustrator, but don't take my word for it. During the production of Alien, Ridley Scott used a lot of his illustrations as inspiration for what the future might look like.

I personally love his work because most of it is presented entirely out of context. I don't know why there's a guy flying around on a teradactyl, but it sure looks cool. And, oh, hey, there's some cowboys and some pace pyramids and a guy fighting a giant flea in a Roman arena.

Moebius mixes, for me, mixes this inspirational aspect with simple, beautiful draftsmanship. He is more or less the illustrator everyone should try to be-- at least in terms of aesthetics.

29 December, 2010

Sad, Beautiful Bastards


In all seriousness, if I ever become rich and crazy (key words being "if" and "and") I'm going to have myself a private, heated manatee aquarium. Having sea cow parties every day.

BONUS: Here's Stephen Fry hunting the deadliest of game-- the Amazonian manatee!

(via the Beeb.)

28 December, 2010

Thinkin' 'Bout Sherpas

Manatee Jacuzzi!

I would party with these manatees.

I would probably get cancer from it, though.

25 December, 2010

A Merry Christmas to All!


'CAUSE FUCK HITLER

(via the Thought Experiment.)

23 December, 2010

A Merry Christmas to All!

22 December, 2010

21 December, 2010

I'm Wondering

Was this earthquake caused by loose women and apostates, as well? Because that seems to be the cause of all of your other earthquakes.

I can't wait until that regime gets what's coming.

It's still shitty that people died because of this earthquake, but I'm just wondering if the clerics and scum in charge of Iran will spin it using religion this time, as well.

I'll Give You Banter

16 December, 2010

Married J. Kislingbury Angling for a Threesome Circa 1932


There's a select few moments in my life where there's a measurable, memorable change. The day I saw The Thin Man was one of those.

The Thin Man, for the record, is what just about every so-called screwball comedy after 1965 is trying to emulate. There's a number of other important, hilarious screwball comedies that are equally important, but for me, The Thin Man is the most important because it was the first that I ever saw.

My sister currently has my copy of this movie (and she has yet to watch it), but don't follow her example. Go and hunt down this movie. You'll be glad that you did. It mixes all of the most important aspects of 1930's cinema-- alcoholism, monastic sexuality, witty banter, and a nonchalant reaction to everything threatening on this planet.

It's wonderful. Myrna Loy and William Powell are a wonder to behold and there's a reason they're names pop up every so often in references to the 30's.

(via Film Noir Photos.)

Repo Man


Why don't I own this movie?

Sub-thought: I'm pretty sure that Alex Cox doesn't know that this movie is as funny as it is. Maybe that's why it's so funny.

Shitty Writing 101


What they're doing here? Don't do this.

Unless it's the first movie, in which case, carry on-- but since I'm talking to a man in the past, you should really help Judy out with her pill problem. It's the right thing to do, hypothetical time travelling writer.

15 December, 2010

Uh-Oh

 

Looks like Korea just found out about Pirates 4.
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LISTEN UP


Hellboy ain't got the time for your Mickey Mouse bullshit.

14 December, 2010

Sup, dog?


How you doing?

Would YOU Die in the Name of Honor?

The Bitch Went Nuts


I'm saving the substantive stuff regarding Black Swan for a podcast that I'm doing with my friend Joe (titled "White Guys, Square Glasses," and I wish I came up with that title, thanks for asking). I'll try to be as brief as I can:

Black Swan is my favorite film of 2010. I almost loath to say it like that or even say it at all, because I kind of feel like I'm elevating it to an Important Picture as opposed to a good, fucking movie. I think part of the reason I don't take to some pictures is because They're Really Very Important and Touch Upon the Human Condition and that's a terribly obnoxious way to sell a movie. Black Swan is good. What's more is it's fun. After walking out of the movie, I realized something, which is that if Hitchcock were alive, instead of making half-assed thriller copycats, he'd probably end up making a movie like this. So, when I say fun, I do mean fun in the I'm-going-to-kill-my-wife-and-use-a-psycho-body-double kind of a way.

Which is a very specific kind of a fun, rarely found in nature.

Despite the risks of all three of you readers being sold a bad bill of goods, I'll keep on typing, because I'm pretty decent at it and Black Swan is worth sounding like a blowhard over.

I saw about six movies in theaters this year, so saying that it was my favorite doesn't count for a whole lot. Off the top of my head they were (in reverse chronological order) The Social Network, The Girl Who Played with Fire, Inception, Micmacs, and Avatar (in 3d!). They were all pretty good movies for wildly different reasons, ranging from wanton taser-centric violence to amazing feats of quantum cross-cutting to me not having to pay to see it (and in some cases, more than one of these reasons apply). So, for what it's worth Black Swan is better than Avatar.

Getting back to my concerns about over-hyping the movie and why I'm only just writing about it now is that I think one of the reasons I didn't like The Wrestler quite as much as everyone else seemed to (which is another discussion for another day) is that I had to hear people blabbering about how The Wrestler is the greatest movie of the decade and will redefine how I look at the wrastlin' circuit. I'm allergic to that kind of hyperbole. I think like most people I'm about as apt to avoid something or not like it because of the hype train driving it as I am to give an underdog a chance when everyone maligns it.

I can't say that was my entire reasoning for not being a huge fan of The Wrestler, but it's something that's been in the back of my mind for quite some time. It's not something that I want to happen to Black Swan, because I really do feel strongly about it. It deserves the chance to be great on its own without being obscured by public opinion one way or the other.

I think my experience with Black Swan definitely benefited from going into it with a completely blank slate. I knew what the basic premise was and I had seen the first trailer, but other than that, this movie was completely off of my radar. I honestly think this is the best way to see a movie, so the best thing I can say about the movie is this: Stop faffing about and go and see it post-fucking-haste. You won't be sorry.

And if you are, fuck you.

WA few last points before I shut the fuck up:

Black Swan isn't a perfect film, by any means. It's got a few hiccups along the road and some very questionable bits of dialogue, along with one of the most poorly judged jump scares of all time (send me a message if you can guess the exact scene I'm talking about). Though the movie, like all movies, I guess, is bigger than the sums of its parts and overcomes all of the small problems to create a surprisingly compelling story about Padme going cookoobananas.

Yes, it is better than The Wrestler. While it can be said that the two are companion pieces (at best) or "the same story, but with tutus" (at worst), it really is more than that. If you liked The Wrestler, you'll like this movie, and if you hated The Wrestler, that's cool, I won't judge you, you should still like Black Swan.

No, you don't need to give a shit about ballet to like it. I went with three other guys to go see it and we all had a pretty good time, despite knowing about as much about ballet as I know about baseball. The mere spectacle of ballet is entertaining enough for a non-dance fan to appreciate it and the drama isn't limited to backstage bitchfests (though there is plenty of that). I'm sure most people who saw The Wrestler don't care about wrestling at all, but still enjoyed it (or, in Pi's case, give a damn about Hasidic math). I imagine the same would hold true for this picture, with the added benefit of ballet being a much sexier subject.

I gotta say, I don't like either of the posters for different reasons. I thought the first one was a teaser poster because of the fact that Natalie Portman wasn't in it. I thought they were just using a stand-in to get the basic tone across (which is done for a lot of movies). Then I realized no, wait, that is her, how fucking weird is that? I mean, if you have one of the most beautiful women on screen in your movie, don't you want people to recognize that's her? I don't like the second poster because it's just kind of bleh. It's the one you see above, but I put it up because, I guess, it does get the basic premise across better than the abstract boner-killer that the last one was.

And, finally, yes, I do realize that my opinion is not significant enough to ruin Black Swan in your mind, but I want to be seen as a Negative Nancy about as much as the "Oh My God, You Gotta Listen to This Band" Guy. Those people are terrible.

12 December, 2010

Flying on the Ground

shinya kimura @ chabott engineering from Henrik Hansen on Vimeo.


I think wanting a motorcycle is something you either are born with or you aren't. It's genetic. It must be something as simple as that. Even though you know better, it still feels like a pretty good idea.

And when it comes to being cool, fuck all that logic jive.

Welcome to Hell


I wonder what this guy is thinking.

(Edo-era anatomy illustrations, via How to Be a Retronaut.)

"Check it out, bro, sluts at 12 O'Clock!"

 

"Yeeeeeeeees!"
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Return of the Thin White Duke

 

I've gushed about Yoshitaka Amano before, so I won't shame myself by gushing here a second time-- BUT-- I will add this: The man's a fucking genius.

(Art by Yoshitaka Amano.)
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I Don't Know What This Is

 

I've started compiling images of art and bits of interesting typography for a science fiction story I want to write. I'm not sure exactly why I'm doing it, other than thinking that what I'm looking at is rather cool and I want my story to look rather cool (or really cool, if all goes well). While I haven't done much more than jot notes down and design a logo (I should really find out about how one copyrights something), I know that it's going to be really important to make this world look futuristic and the best way I can think of designing a fresh, interesting world isn't to mess around with what kind of jumpsuits people wear or the shape of their spaceships, but the basic stuff.

How do their bus stops look? What font will be annoying and over used in the future? How do you make ads new and interesting to a world that's probably more than a little jaded on ads.

I guess I just think it'd be interesting to make a world (admittedly lifted from about a dozen different sources, some more ruthlessly than others) that looks like one big sack of graphic design with a working, interesting plot as a way into it.

Why shouldn't the future look cool?

(Static movement from We Are Not You.)

Gay, Occupied Paris

Click here if you want to see full color photos of Paris during the German occupation (or one of them, anyways).

This looks like the singularly least fun New Wave film that ever was.

The color on those is rather amazing. Not that color photos during WWII surprises me (color footage does, though, I mean, come on, that's amazing), but the variety of color is strange. It reminds me of Kodak Kodachrome. That's probably because of each stock's respective age (and subject matter) and not because of their actual visual qualities. It's just amazing to see one color version of the past look so different from another version of the past, when each subject, each time over laps. I guess it's like seeing Technicolor versus black and white. Each film stock gives off a different feeling that I really can't put my finger on.

Either way, I'm stealing all of this for the WWII comic. This you can be assured.

11 December, 2010

. . .

This needs to be shared.

My Average Saturday

10 December, 2010

HE IS VIGO


Please don't let this be a photoshop, please don't let this be a photoshop, please don't let this be a photoshop. . .

Gettin' All Political Up in Nyah

Yes, I do realize that Ron Paul is one of the crazier people in American politics, but take my word for it, this time he's worth giving five minutes of your time.

Now wasn't that refreshing?

I just think this whole thing is blown out of proportion. It's ridiculous, especially when you consider that if Ron Paul is the most reasonable voice in the room, it's time for you to step back and reconsider all of the things you've done that have lead you there.

Bronson.

"I had a very bad experience on the plane in from California yesterday. There was a man on the plane, sitting across from me, and they were showing an old Greer Garson movie. He said, Hey, why aren't you in that? The picture was made before I even became an actor. I said, Why aren't you?"
--Charles Bronson.

(via Roger Ebert.)

09 December, 2010

Lord Have Mercy


I've posted a video from this series here before, but this time I'm doing it only to point out that I want that dude's shirt.

Or a version of it that will fit me.

Also "Fast food bukkake." I didn't know that I've wanted to hear those words together for that long, but there you go.

Where's My Jetpack?


The future is one of those things that never really seems to have its shit together. There seems to be more of everything and all of it's some fucked up version of things we already have had before. Maybe all those crusty historians and all those Hindus were right, maybe history is just one big cycle, constantly beginning and ending. All this tells me that the future is going to suck since there were no jetpacks in the past to get cycled back around.

(via x-planes.)

Watch out, Itchy!


He's Irish!

This is My Jam


This is what gets me going.

This is what I'd be blasting from the speakers if I were going to be mounting an attack on somewhere.

08 December, 2010

Hey Say You Brade Runnah


"Replicants are like any other machine - they're either a benefit or a hazard. If they're a benefit, it's not my problem."

07 December, 2010

A Day Which Will Live in Infamy


7th of December 1941.

Another World, Another Cornochopia


Japan needs to knock it off. They're giving me too many good ideas.

02 December, 2010

Cinecult and the Code of Conduct

Mark Kermode has to be one of my greatest influences when it comes to film.

Recently he released a Cinema Code of Conduct, which, even if you don't want to read the rest of this blog entry, you should read. Don't hold me against him.

The Code of Conduct is a Geneva Convention of how we should act at movie theaters. It's a line in the sand and, as I think about it, it's long over due, isn't it?

My love of Dr. Mark Kermode isn't a particularly proud declaration, it's just fact. I like the man. I think he's a fairly smart individual and I think when he isn't right, he's making a good argument for why he belives what he believes. In my mind that's what makes a good critic, not a person who always agrees with your all of the time (which is impossible and an insane thing to wish for), but someone that can make a compelling argument as to why they believe what they do. I've run into an innumerate amount of people who disagree with me on this and that and the other, but it's a rare few who can actually make a compelling argument regarding what they believe.

I know a lot of weinies and I know a lot of morons who put up an argument about as strong as Sudetenland's. It's sad and it's frustrating. I want a fight. I want to have a discourse with someone, even if I disagree with them. I mean, speaking, talking about ideas is the entire point of being human, right? So, yeah, I guess in this analogy, I am Hitler, but don't hold that against me. I just get perturbed when people fold like second-hand lawn furniture when encountering a philosophy different than their own. I mean, it isn't as though I'm that abrasive. I'm not so hostile that those who disagree with me melt before me. I am friends with and respect plenty of people who disagree with me on far more important issues than movies, so I don't think it could possibly be all on me.

Mostly on me, probably. I do love a good argument. If I was built any better, I'd feel the same way about a good fight.

Anyways, I love Mark Kermode. Kermode kept my head above water when all of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were coming out. I didn't much care for the first one and I cared even less for the second one, but, at the time, I was alone among my friends and comrades. I was the one nail sticking out.

I guess that sounds like I was a martyr or something, but I just hated those movies. And I've always been critical of the crappier bilge that's been forced on us through the cinema. I don't know how I ever stumbled upon Mark Kermode, but I'm glad that I did. I like him. I like his style. I think he's funny and, unlike a lot of critics, I think he balances between acrimony and celebration in a rare way. He loves movies like Twilight, but he rails against QT's (because that's how he deserves to be referred to as) because of their ugliness. I like that. I like that a person can make an argument for things like that and not sad like a mad man.

And what I really appreciate is that even if you disagree with him (as I often have), you don't feel like a moron for doing so, because it's all fun. It's all art. There are very few things that are worth serious derision in Mark Kermode's world, but it's never the listener. I like that. That's what critics should be. There's a lot of things that Mark Kermode has in his lock box-- words like synethesia and phrases like mis en scene and comparisons like Bunuelian and songs like "Das Capital"-- but before he brings up all of those wonderful and difficult ideas, he's your friend.

He's your rather snooty British friend that has a sense of humor and he wants to watch good movies with you. And he's got Simon Mayo-- the friendliest man in all of England-- with him, which doesn't help.

Hello to Jason Isaacs.

Dive Dive Dive


Learning to fly a plane and diving are a few of those things I just want to master before I die. Now, if only I wasn't scared shitless of the ocean and exploding on the ground while going 200 mph, I could maybe actually get around to one of them.

(Via Saturdays Surf NYC.)

I Feel Like I Already Know About This

Oh well.

Fake Criterions. Still as clever as the first time I might have posted it here.

Obviously some of these are better than others, but, as far as the quality parodies are concerned, they've got the tone down pat.

30 November, 2010

I Want to Start Eating and Never Stop


I don't understand how people can't cook. How can you live with yourself if being able to cook gives you access to chocolate chip, bacon waffles? What kind of monster is that?

25 November, 2010

24 November, 2010

Stupid Facebook Meme, Chain Letter Bullshit

I saw a meme going around Facebook (or, rather, I saw a brief idea in one person's post on the ol' Facebook) and I thought it'd be an interesting exercise on this blog.

The exercise is "15 Authors." Basically, I get to list/have to list fifteen writers who have influenced my current style. I'm going to assume that this is limited to the written word, so that makes it a bit of a prickly pear, but I'll do my best.

Here goes:

1. Cormac McCarthy
2. Ray Bradbury
3. H.P. Lovecraft
4. Alan Moore
5. Neil Gaiman
6. Warren Ellis
7. Garth Ennis
9. George Orwell
8. Philip K. Dick
9. Dashiell Hammett
10. Rudyard Kipling
11. Joseph Conrad
12. William Gibson
13. Stephen King
14. Frank Herbert
15. Jason Aaron

Now, you may go ahead and judge my nerdy ass.

Never Clap, Cunts


During my senior year of high school Ray Bradbury vistited my high school to speak. Even back then, I was amazed that he was still alive. By all accounts of the naked eye, that man should have been dead within days of leaving the city of La Canada-Flintridge (an unusual coupling between incredibly rich white settlers and incredibly rich Spanish settlements which were bought out by incredibly rich white people). Yet, despite my diagonosis, that son of a bitch keeps on keeping on. If life hasn't taken out that man by now, nothing will. He's got whatever it is that Casto has in his blood that keeps him going. Your grandchildren are going to be wondering about Ray Bradbury's demise years and years from now. None of you will live long enough to get a satisfactory answer to the Ray Bradbury Mortality Question.

Anyways-- stop me if I've recited this on paper before (and I know I've recited this in my mind innumerable times)-- but Ray Bradbury mentioned several important things in his speech that I still carry with me to this day (I realize that you can't stop me and that I'm probably going to repeat myself, to my detriment, regardless of your moans at the computer screen [I have very few anecdotes, please allow me the ones that I have]).

He said that you should never do research for a story. In my innexeperience, I have to disagree, but I agree with the spirit of his advice.

As a writer, you shoulder never let the little things get in your way. If you want to write about Mars or the future or gothic families or tattooed men or whatever, just fucking write it. Just do it. Go to your typewriter and fucking do it. There's no logic or system of rules that are keeping you from a great story, only your own will power. I guess this probably carries over to most mediums, and in that fashion, he's right. Worry about being right later, in the mean time, if you want to write, WRITE, GODDAMMIT!

He also said that you shouldn't watch any TV, which, became pretty funny exactly one year later when David Hyde Pierce came to our high school (St. Francis High School) and told us that we should watch more TV (which, of course, he would say). Again, his advice isn't something I agree with by the letter, but it is something I agree with in spirit. He's right. We should avoid TV (and, I imagine, Facebook and AIM and You Porn and everything else) and just create. We shouldn't let our minds be poisoned by the outside, we should just go ahead with whatever it is that we want to do. Paying too much attention on TV (or movies or memes or the internet or comics or grindhouse pictures) is asking for a hard fall. As writers, or creators in whatever medium we end up working in, we should seek to be original more than anything else, which is something that I can entirely agree with.

There's the whole post-modernist school of thought which wants to tell us that there isn't any such thing as a "new" thing. To a point, I agree. One can't write or draw or act without being aware or inspired by those who came before. From a basic, functional point of view, you can't perform your medium without the people who invented stage lighting and graphite mixtures (which we can thank Napoleon's army for-- a different discussion for a different time) and WWII movies and Will Eisner and whatever else. All of this is in our blood, we can't just wipe the slate clean and be tabula rasa about art, if we did that, we'd probably be making pictures with our own feces on the wall (and Lord knows that not all of your readers are Irish political prisoners).

Post-Modernism is, of course, a bunch of latent, liberal, quitter bullshit. The people who spawned post-modernism were the same people that invented cultural relativism, elected Jimmy Carter, protested the retirement age being moved up to 62, saw the legacy of the 1960's crushed under the weight of the Hell's Angels and reality, and people who buy multiple Jean-Luc Godard films on the Criterion Collection. In other words-- pussies.

As I said, there's a great point to be made about nothing being new and I've copied plenty of artists in my own stories (which always seem to be set in the past, with an intense amount of research involved). There is nothing new under the sun, though I don't know that that means anything. Sure, there isn't anything new, but man, as a species, knows less than diddly-shit about anything. As a society, as a culture, as whatever, we don't know anything. That's the human experience: Not knowing more than you know, having an awkward adolosence, and dying. That's about it. But, with that said, you can't say that there isn't anything new to be said about life. If that were true, I think we could all retire our species at this point.

Post-modernism and the school of copying and homaging and co-depending isn't the future of art. There's plenty to be said about the human condition. And, yeah, there's plenty of room for jerks like myself (who probably hasn't written an original thought worth a damn since he was born) and QT (who is lauded for his unoriginality) and Andy Warhol and a million other artists who no one has ever heard of (who I would include myself in, if you were reading my blog at this current juncture), but there's also room for the next generation of artists to make NEW things. I guess that is what Ray Bradbury was always talking about, always writing about. Even as an ancient, decrepit, old man, he's still closer to the truth than a shit-ton of academics and so-called creative geniuses.

The world needs creativity. It needs blind, violent vision that doesn't give a shit about what has come before. That's what is going to move art upwards and onwards in this century, it isn't going to be an improvement on the old, it's going to be a blossoming of the new.

If I knew what that meant, it would probably be a lot more poetic. If I wasn't so drunk currently, I might even convince myself that the previous paragraph meant anything).

So there's that.

As far as Comic Con goes and as far as the title of this entry goes, I fucking hate clappers. It's turgic sychpanty. It's horrid. All it does is inerfere with the flow of information and the flow of thought. It's just this massive, ugly pat on the back and nothing more. "Hey, I like Ferhenheit 451, please clap with me to prove that I'm not alone on this dark, cold sphere shooting through the universe!"

It's pathetic.

And, yeah, I've been to plenty a Comic Con, so I'm looking down on these people as a nerd, not as some snooty, hip outsider. I've been annoyed by this tendency in people since high school and if I could figure something like this out in high school, then I don't know anyone else's excuse is. I was a near retard in high school is what I'm getting at.

Every single one of those mother fuckers needs to sit one their goddamn hands and show a semblance of decorum. It's so obnoxious. The clapping at Comic Con is this weird mix between wanting to be acknowledged in public for your opinions ("The Martian Chronicles are good!" "I enjoy Joss Whedon's run on Buffy!" "Hey, Watchmen was a pretty well written book six years before I was born!" "Movies are good when they're projected onto a flat surface via some sort of light-based medium!") and this need to suck up to the people you love.

I'm as human as anyone else when it comes to celebrity (which is a debatable term when it comes to Comic Con, I realize) and I'm fairly nervous when I encounter people I know and like from TV, radio, or the written word (or what the fuck ever). I'm not so cool as to be bored by the concept of Ray Bradbury being at my high school or encountering Doc Hammer on the Comic Con floor. When I interviewed Adam Carolla, I was mildly flustered. It was a pretty cool, pretty surreal moment for me. Where I differ from the clapping fuckers is that I don't feel the need to suck up to these people. They aren't there to save my life, they aren't there to bring me up to a higher plain-- they're artist for the most part and they'd be doing this shit for free if they could or, like Kafka or Lovecraft or Dickenson, they'd be doing it mostly for themselves, regardless of the money or critical acknowledgment. Applause is a nice thing when you walk (or wheel) onto stage, but when you're talking, it's incredibly rude. It's uncouth. It's completely unaware of human interaction. It's a move that supplants your opinion over the person that is talking (the expert) and is more or less indicative of the entire Comic Con experierence. I love Comic Con, but, more or less, it's an entire miniature city of people who don't know how to interact with their fellow man, much less gods like Ray Bradbury.

Sorry if I ran a bit long, though, I'm not that sorry, all told, because I'm pretty sure that no one reads this blog, not even myself (copy-editing is a fool's game). Prove me wrong, though! Post comments! Recommend this blog to your friends (your rich friends who are hiring!). Let me know that I'm not just wasting bandwidth.

23 November, 2010

Because My Main Thing is Now Posting Trailers

At least when I repurpose these things for my own, almost non-existant benefit, they're supposed to be spread around.


Obviously, because I'm posting this, I would go and see this, but the main reason I'm actually putting it up here is because I'm trying to figure out where the song in the second half of the trailer is from? I want to say it's either Moby or from the movie Sunshine. That's almost purely guessing on my part and I can't make an argument for my feeling that way other than the fact that I have a "feeling," which, if you know me I will tell you, doesn't count for a whole hell of a lot.

Edit: Alright, if I had waited another twelve seconds I would have been rewarded with the credit "Music by Moby." So, as it turns out, I was right. I just need to listen to my heart more often and it will show me the way.

Doube Edit: I really like the font and layout used for the film's title. I'm going to make a mental note to rip that off one of these days.

"Our Day Will Come"

notre jour viendra - feature film trailer from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on Vimeo.


I don't know what the hell this is, but I'm down. It looks like it's the right kind of insane that I need in my life right now. Lot of that wrong kind of crazy been passing through lately, asking for a ride. Had enough of that shit.

22 November, 2010

This Needs to Be Seen


See, it isn't a recent phenomenon at all. This shit is as old as time (time beginning sometime around the early 80's).

18 November, 2010

Dai Nippon Ichi!

While most entires on my blog are about how Japan terrifies the rest of the world, this installment is about how Japan terrifies its own children. Join me, won't you?


(This, of course, is an ancient Japanese masturbation spirit that finds people napping and then, well, does his thing.)

Gojin Ishihar is an illustrator and, quite obviously, a talented one. He also seems to be a bit crazy in the way that all good artists should be.


(And this is the nightmare 400,000 Japanese children have every day and night constantly.)

Now, here's what you all came for, cavemen transported to the modern world, playing baseball. Oh yeah.


(You know you love it.)

(via Pink Tentacle.)

17 November, 2010

This is What I Get


Here's the results of me trying to figure out if someone has ever used a certain phrase before. Apparently they have. And it's in Kim Possible fan fic.

No, no, dear reader, your patronage is more than enough thanks.

16 November, 2010

Bad Time to Be Alive


I've got to say that Moscow in 1941 was not the best place on Earth to live-- which is only slightly different from Moscow at any other point in time.

(via English-Russia.)

Shit That Ain't There No More


Does Schlitz even still exist? I know I've seen the label before, but I can't tell if I saw it on some antique, tin sign at one of my dad's friends' houses or if I've seen a real, live Schlitz sign in nature. Hmmm. I'm going to have to drink on this one.

15 November, 2010

Not Givin' Any Fuck


That's what this guy's thesis statement in life is. It'll be the header on his tombstone.

(Photo by Scott Pommier.)

(via the Selvedge Yard.)

14 November, 2010

I'm Waiting for the Sun to Shine


I really aught to see this move again. It's been too damn long.

(Apparently Taschen has a Taxi Driver book out. Awesome.)

13 November, 2010

I Found The Cover of My Memoir

 

Phew. That was a scary couple of seconds.
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This Week in the 'Ghan

 

(A Soviet APC treks across the Afghan plains.)
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You're Trying Too Hard Again, James

 

I feel like if there's anybody who never had to do a handstand to impress a girl, it'd have been him.
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Words to Die By


I gotta admit, this exchange got a lot of traction in high school.

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK

11 November, 2010

It Almost Looks like a Country!


On a recent trip to Afghanistan, British Defense Secretary Liam Fox drew fire for calling it "a broken 13th-century country." The most common objection was not that he was wrong, but that he was overly blunt. He's hardly the first Westerner to label Afghanistan as medieval. Former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince recently described the country as inhabited by "barbarians" with "a 1200 A.D. mentality." Many assume that's all Afghanistan has ever been -- an ungovernable land where chaos is carved into the hills. Given the images people see on TV and the headlines written about Afghanistan over the past three decades of war, many conclude the country never made it out of the Middle Ages.

But that is not the Afghanistan I remember. I grew up in Kabul in the 1950s and '60s. When I was in middle school, I remember that on one visit to a city market, I bought a photobook about the country published by Afghanistan's planning ministry. Most of the images dated from the 1950s. I had largely forgotten about that book until recently; I left Afghanistan in 1968 on a U.S.-funded scholarship to study at the American University of Beirut, and subsequently worked in the Middle East and now the United States. But recently, I decided to seek out another copy. Stirred by the fact that news portrayals of the country's history didn't mesh with my own memories, I wanted to discover the truth. Through a colleague, I received a copy of the book and recognized it as a time capsule of the Afghanistan I had once known -- perhaps a little airbrushed by government officials, but a far more realistic picture of my homeland than one often sees today.

Words by Mohammad Qayoumi at Foreign Policy.

10 November, 2010

Good News/Bad News

Nazi Germany edition!

On the good news front, several modernist sculptures, which were believed to have been destroyed by the Nazi government was found this week! So, after nearly seventy years, works of art that the Nazis tried to snuff out from the earth can finally be viewed and appreciated the way they were meant to be. Take that!

On the bad news front, apparently a bunch of people were scamming a Holocaust non-profit for money. So not only were they scamming a what amounts to a charity, but they were taking money away from elderly Holocaust victims in need. Classy.

09 November, 2010

Today in the 'Nam


There's a follow up to this one. Not quite as badass.

08 November, 2010

Yeah, Good Call


Now I just need to write a show to go along with the theme here and I'm good to go.

(I predict cancellation before the end of the first season, smothered in its crib, like a Roman heir.)

(via L'anima Pellegrina.)

This is How Michael Caine Speaks

Hey Say You Brade Runnah


I've been spending way too much time lately thinking about props and memorabilia from Blade Runner. Clothing from the movies doesn't seem like all that difficult of a thing to secure. It's all just a matter of picking up the right patterns and material and getting someone I know who can sew to take care of it (which, I guess, is probably not an incredibly easy thing to do).

The other option is just buying props or whatever from a dealer or from an auction, but that seems like a process way out of my reach. Recently, the original "hero" prop gun-- the one Harrison Ford would have used in close ups-- went to auction and sold for $265,000. So, for the time being, I think that line of inquiry is going to have to wait.

(Art by Jim Steranko.)

Remember When Star Wars was Cool?

I know I remember, if just barely.

"Rancor" by Arantzazu Martinez.

(via Wired.)

06 November, 2010

Comics are Rad

 
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Another One Bites the Dust

Another Nazi scum bag died in prison today. Good for us.

Occasionally I find it sad to think that all World War II veterans are going to be dead some day and the entirety of the Greatest Generation will fade into the past, but now I realize that there's something of a silver lining to this. Even though our own soldiers won't be here for much longer, neither will the Nazis. Within my lifetime, every single Nazi bastard on Earth is going to be rotting in the ground and, if we're lucky, burning in Hell/being reincarnated into tape worms/being molested by Xenu. It isn't a very happy though, I admit, but you have to take these little victories when you can get them.

Yeah, Alright, My Day is Made

04 November, 2010

This is What Beat Communism


Evil hamsters (apparently wearing aprons).

The Faithful Hussar


(via If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger. . . )

The Long Good Friday

I just watched this today. It was pretty damn good. And both Helen Mirren and Bob Hoskins haven't aged a fucking day.

Well, maybe a couple of rough days.

03 November, 2010

As Though I Needed a Reason to Drink More Coffee

If I ever get a tattoo, it'll be a yin-yang with beer on one side and coffee on the other. Also, what ever happened to the yin-yang? I feel like I couldn't got five feet in the mid-90's without seeing one of those things. It's probably for the best.

Anyways, I think I'm gonna buy the fuck outta this mug.
One of the things I want out of this life is a cool coffee mug collection. My favorite mug ever is from the City of Pasadena and reads "Partners for Solutions." When dad dies, that's the first thing I'm making a beeline for. While all the siblings are fighting over cars and shit, I'll be gunning for the mugs.

(via Hark! A Vagrant.)

02 November, 2010

Go See Bronson


I meant to write about this movie quite some time ago, but for whatever reason (read: laziness), I never did. It isn't a great movie, but it's an interesting one and if you want to see a movie that isn't like anything else-- or if you're just really into the smart ass from Inception being buck-naked and punching dudes HARD in the head-- go and see it.

I think it's still on Instant Watch.

You're welcome.

Oh Japan!

The name of this PSA is "Please Do it at Home."

I just found out that it isn't real.

Because of course it isn't.

Because it's too damn perfect to be anything but fake.

01 November, 2010

Makes Me Wanna Twat Geezers in the Loaf

For some reason I've been on a British crime movie jag. There's just something about scary working class folk in suits hitting each other with ice picks and lead pipes that seems charming when they've got an accent. I guess part of it is that even when British crime is shown to be sexy, it's still British, which is to say, not very sexy for long. There's always a kind of underlying seediness and a leery quality that you only get in the best that American crime cinema has to offer.

Anyways, I'm not saying that the movies below are going to be great because of the trailers, I'm just saying I want to see Colin Ferrel act like a sociopath and have Jason Statham tear up England like the Lord Jesus Christ built him to do.

WATCH.

London Boulevard.


Blitz.

The Increasingly Poor Financial Decisions of James Kislingbury: Part 9 in a series of 37

For those of you who didn't get a text from me (because the only people who read this damn blog are people I have direct contact with and can bother to read my blog), Barnes and Noble is having a sale on Criterion Collection DVDs. For the next couple of weeks all DVDs released by Criterion will be 50% off. To say the least, I think I went a little bit loopy at the store today. Maybe it was the huge discount (augmented by my friend giving me access to his Barnes and Noble membership) or maybe it was just the high of cashing my second paycheck in a year or two, but I walked out of the store tonight fifty-five dollars poorer-- or one-hundred ten dollars in DVDs richer, as I'll tell anyone that accuses me of being capricious with my new found non-wealth.

With one exception, everything I bought I've seen before (and I only bought four DVDs, so I guess that isn't such a marked statistic) and of the movies I bought, I only own one of them.

Anyways, here's the list.



The Friends of Eddy Coyle is one of these movies that I find to be inexplicably ignored. It's brilliant. It's really fucking brilliant. Not in a showy, changing cinema kind of a way like a Kubrick or a Godard or Noe or whatever other darling you want to pick out of a hat, but in that it is a wonderfully written movie that is acted with the best possible people you could want. Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle look like the kind of criminals that might actually exist, and they talk like criminals that might actually exist. They're tired, they're kind of doughy, and they're capable of really shitty things if it will get them out of a jam. I could go on and on about this movie (and someday, maybe I will), though I'll spare you that punishment and leave you with this: The Friends of Eddie Coyle is a really well done crime film, the kind of which couldn't ever be made after 1978.

It's basically the kind of crime movie I don't want anyone to catch me alone with.

Moving on.



Buying The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp was a no brainer. It's one of the best movies I've ever seen and at eight dollars, I couldn't say "No." I've also stolen at least eight dollars worth of characters, story, dialogue, aesthetics, and plot to give the owners of the movie at least some of that back.

I thought about not buying it because it is on Instant Watch, but the quality on that is so shitty, it really is a noticeable step down. Also, I dont' want to ostensibly be renting a film that I'm such a big fan of. It'd be wrong-- WRONG-- of me not to buy it.



The Thin Red Line is another movie I've written about ad nauseum. I don't think there's much that I can say about it that I haven't already said (or has been said by other, wiser individuals), but I am glad that it has finally received a proper DVD release (complete with Criterion's new marketing gimmick, a sicker proclaiming the DVD to be the "Director Approved Edition). I already own The Thin Red Line, but its previously release left me somewhat wanting. While it did allow me to rediscover the film, it came with no features to speak of and was packaged in a two-DVD set with Platoon, which is a fine film, but being crammed in with another movie like that is not exactly befitting a movie such as this one.



Lastly, I bought W.C. Fields 6 Short Films (which actually ran me a few bucks more than Colonel Blimp), and is made entirely up of shorts I have no seen before. It was a gamble, but it was the kind of gamble that reminded me of less lean years, back when I would buy three disc versions of Orson Welles flops or lesser Kurosawa movies just to see what they were all about. In reality it can't be that much of a gamble, though, since it's W.C. Fields, one of the greatest drunks/film-makers of all time. We should be so lucky as to gamble on Mr. Fields.

Side Note: It needs to be stated that the Criterion Collection not only has some of the best movies of all time in its line-up, but it also has some real top-notch graphic designers putting out their products. The men and women at Criterion obviously give a fuck about presentation and succeed in delivering all of the boutiquey goodness that you expect from a company that sells all of Godard's good movies. The covers and the booklets included are all rather beautiful and distinct. What's interesting with the covers of most of the DVD is that they're original works of art or pieces of design. They're rarely just reprinted posters of movie stills with the title thrown over it.

On the occasions where the interior booklet supplies little more than just the obligatory chapter listing, it at least includes that little bit more that makes these DVDs stand out.

Even the back of the DVD slip has images printed on it. Now that is paying attention to details. That's pretty damn cool.

Or at least that's what I'm going to tell myself that when I look at my bank statement this week.

Sub-Sub Note: Apparently "The Essential Art House" imprint of Criterion DVDs also means "We Took Out all of the Good Criterion Collection Features, Sucker." Damn. And Colonel Blimp had a Martin Scorsese commentary.