Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I read a book! Look at me! Seriously, this is a pathetic accomplishment, especially for someone who considers themselves a writer. To be fair to myself I do read a lot - but it's comic trades, or books on the craft of writing and story telling, or it's scripts. Reading a "book" book is something I haven't done in… I don't now know long. The last book I remember reading is Chuck Palahniuk's "Snuff", which I didn't enjoy as much as I would have hoped. I've actually picked up Palahniuk's newest book, which, if I don't dig it, may be the last I buy from him. But that's a whole other blog entry, (If by chance you ever see this Chuck, don't take it personally, we just may be growing in different directions).
I should point out that because I don't read a lot, that my thoughts on books should be taken with a grain of salt - I try to review all mediums - except for music - even I'm self aware enough to know that I'm not hip enough to be able to compare and contrast. Although… who knows - maybe I'll change my tune on that eventually too...
So, to the point, Julie Klausner's book. I should start off by admitting that, two chapters in, I found myself cyber-stalking her, found her e-mail address to inquire about the film rights to the book. She replied quickly, and she's quite lovely - still waiting to hear from her reps.
So then I kept reading. The first thing you should know is that Julie is extremely funny, and that she has an amazing memory for detail, and she really really knows how to tell her stories - which makes sense since her back-ground is a stand-up - I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of these aren't already part of her act, honed over the years. The first two chapters absolutely floored me and I felt like I was reading from a soul mate. Julie has this amazing theory on The Muppet Movie and how Kermit & Piggy's relationship has set back expectations and standards for a generation of men and women. The subsequent chapters were more or less enjoyable. I have to admit that I found the cycle getting a bit repetitive, she'd meet a guy, realize there was something wrong with them, sleep with them anyway, disaster would ensue along with hilarity, and she'd wrap the chapter up with a pop culture reference that she'd cleverly seeded earlier in the chapter. This sounds like a put down, it's just that I found her sections to have a pretty predictable formula, ESPECIALLY the end of the chapters. That's not so say what's within the chapters isn't enjoyable. I picked this book up on a whim based on the title and cover art. Seriously. So I have no reason to kiss this book's ass.
The book ends really quickly, and the resolution feels a bit too-little-too-late. It's good, as her stories continued I had kind of played therapist and figured out the answer to her obvious problem, and luckily, in the post-mortem at the end, she did as well - so that made me happy to know that she saw the same things I did in her situation.
So my over-all thoughts on this? It's fun. It's an easy read. There are lots of good stories, funny, some interesting observations about everything. But what comes across the most is her confidence and passion. Reading her book makes me want to hang out with her, which I think is a plus. If her reps ever get back to me I think that this could make a very interesting film once you get the spine figured out.
So for what this is, a dating memoir, I can't imagine someone else writing something as much fun. Well done, Ms. Klausner.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
We just got notified that The Untitled Work of Paul Shepard has been nominated for "Best First Feature" in the Heart of England Film Festival. And we just found out our screening date, and oh the irony of ironies...
Monday, June 14, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
How the hell do I know why there were Nazi's? I can't even make the can opener work.The blend of comedy with heart, simplistic, yet stylistic shooting - Woody is in a league of his own. He's always, and continues to be, one of primary influences. I can't believe how long it's been since I've watched this film, but he's got so many great ones...
If Jesus came back and saw what was going on in his name, he would never stop throwing up.
"What if there is no God? What if you only go around once? Don't you want to be part of the experience?
I absolutely adore this film and I'm so glad I revisited it at this juncture. If you haven't seen this and you're a fan of smart, funny, and warm films - get your ass to the video store. Better yet - buy it.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
And as much as he's a master of his instrument the guy knows how to plum the depths and he comes out with some pretty ass-kicking stuff.
This song is nearing a decade old, but I just discovered it - this is the link to the video. As a new Dad, I have to say that this pretty much sums up what it feels like. Thank you Ben for once again, emotionally kicking my ass.
This was an interesting volume. It was four stand-alone stories all revolving around different periods of Sandman's life. William Shakespeare made a short appearance in a previous volume and we get the pay-off to that here in a wonderfully bizarre explanation that 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' was commissioned by Sandman to pay tribute to creatures he knows from another dimension. I don't want to ruin the fun of it, but there's some lovely meta-things going on. One of the other stories is, essentially, a long winded explanation of what happens while cat's dream. It's brilliant, and harsh, and sad, and wonderful. The first and last stories in this volume were just kind of 'meh'. The first, "Calliope", felt a little predictable.
Now, to be fair, they're well written - they look fantastic. But now the bar for Sandman has raised, and they just don't meet it as well as some of the other books do.
Gaiman is a fantastic writer because he's a great thinker. He's excited by ideas. They influence him. I imagine he'd be a great guy to have a few pints with. A good friend of mine has given me a novel of his (geez... how pathetically long has it been since I've read one of those?!), so I look forward to that, as well as the rest of this series. I imagine I'll probably pick up my own copy of it at some point.
In the back of this there is a Gaiman script, which I look forward to studying. The script format of comics baffles me. There doesn't seem to be a standard format. If anyone knows of one, please advise. I'm anal like that.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
I know, I know. I've been lazy about watching stuff. The evenings are filled with mostly T.V. (which I only review season by season) and so them reviews are slower to come in. I need to go through another film watching burst - lord knows that my stack of stuff to watch isn't getting any shorter. I blame productivity. I've been writing a lot. I'm about to go to draft on a new feature, and when that's done and out for feedback I think I'll reward myself with a few days of movie watchin'!
Which brings me to this. I LOVE this series. In fact, part of what I'm working on these days is bumping up my writing portfolio, and so this would probably be a good series for me to do a spec of. Got some ideas floating around in my head already.
I know that it's not hip to like Diablo Cody. I don't care. And I'm not sure how much say she has in this series - I'm sure she's got a strong voice - but looking at the opening credits there are a LOT of cooks in this kitchen. But the meals they make... delicious!
This season saw us doubling the number of alters that Tara has - but in a really subtle way. I love that they don't feel locked into the ones we few met last season. It feels... real. They come and go as they're needed. New ones surface as they're needed. There were a few plot threads this year that either disappeared or got finished up a little too easily for my liking, but I'll let it slide for the most part.
The entire cast here is phenomenal. We expect Toni Collette to be amazing - the role is written for her to be so - she shines. No doubt. But the rest of the cast gets the same treatment. I love that the writers don't short change the rest of the cast, and there is some really wonderful stuff going on in their storylines. I could go on and on, but I'd just be naming pretty much everyone in the opening and closing credits. I will, however, single out Brie Larson. I know she's playing the most typical of the Diablo Cody type characters, but I don't care. I adore her. I want to work with her. She seems like she's got a brilliant energy about her. She chomps on good dialogue like it's bubble-gum.
So it's no surprise, based on the above, that I'm strongly STRONGLY recommending this series. If you've never seen it, remedy that, if you've never heard of it I feel bad for you. Now get on board. It's a wonderful little ride.
Sunday, June 06, 2010
I knew I'd be hooked after two. Well played, Mr. Gaiman, well played. What I really love about this series, now that I'm starting to realize how it works, is that it's just one big universe. And the central character of that universe is Sandman. This volume seemed to have a stronger story-arc than the last and it'll be interesting to see if the other volumes do the same. I love how this one is vaguely tied to the last one through Unity, the woman who was raped and had a child while in her dream-state. Stuff like that makes me feel like I'm in good hands.
Got one more in my stack and then I've got some others to get through before I return to this series.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
So two more festivals have been added to, what is becoming, our international tour. International Film Festival South Africa, and Heart of England International Film Festival. I'm actually going to be in England while this festival is on for a friend's wedding, so there's a pretty good chance I'll be able to hop over to it - which is exciting! We'll see what the fall brings in terms of traveling to South Africa!
We've submitted to A LOT of festivals - and for the most part we won't be hearing back from the majority of them until August. So we'll keep you up to date as best we can. A website for the film is under construction. More details to come...
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
And I had the music backed up on a harddrive. Which was also stolen.
So since then I've pretty much just been listening to what was on my iPod already in fear of it getting all erased when I plugged it into my computer. With that fear subsiding I'm getting pretty damn tired of having had listened to the same music for the last... six months... geez... has it really been that long?!
I've got a bunch of iTunes gift cards burning a whole in my wallet - so any suggestions would be great - full albums, individual songs. I've been out of the music loop for awhile. So please, friends. Help me to be hip again.