Friday, January 14, 2005

Blink, Blink

Titan Springs

Everyone's inner 5-grade astronomy-geek hit a collective glee note when we heard that the Cassini-Huygens Space probe had landed and had indeed noticed some water on the landscape. It is good to know that the solar system isn't an entirely dry county, but still - the glamour shot from space came back looking a bit like Nebraska at this time of year:

Ok, it's admittedly blurry and in black and white, but we did want some kind of impressive drama from a planet that's supposed to describe the origins of life... I mean, Titan doesn't have to get all "2001" on our ass and make a huge production, but it could try to live up to it's artist renderings:

Now that's what I'm talking about. We want the kind of Saturnset you can only get while watching big-budgeted sci-fi films... We want alien shores with a Thomas Kincaid sumptuousness to them... We want a potential vacation hotspot called "Titan Springs" where the rich can shuttle to when the Hamptons finally become unbearable...


Speaking of the unbearable, at the Detroit Auto Show today, we witness yet another marriage of technology and homicidal paranoia in The Ford SYN Concept SUV, complete with bulletproof casing and a video camera for the back window:

Of course it's concept (which means pie-in-the-sky "because-we-can" designer smugness), but if these babies get in vogue with the avid automobile warrior, we could have a self-fufilling Mad-Max kind of prophesy (everyone on the road as your enemy, trust has become limited and thus public transportation is outlawed, people warring for gas = hmmm, I think we're already here).

Film Club

Spent last night at Rehab (no not that rehab... I mean this rehab)... I snuck in during the last 5 minutes of their drunken puppets show (which was finishing), and caught the "house band" for said puppets - a really entertaining 3 peice jug band. Wish I could remember what their names were... In any case - a few minutes prior, I was in an unnamed bookstore and had spied a copy of this month's McSweeny's offshoot journal "The Believer" - which focused on visual art's, artists, etc... and comes with a free DVD with short films... I was hella impressed with this effort as interactive media really hasn't become all that it was cracked up to be -- yet they made it work by having a few shorts by Guy Maddin and Mike Mills.

In any case - had a sudden burst of inspiration while I was talking to Kelly and Allen about it that it would be really cool to have a film club that focuses on films as quick and easy documents. Something that's like a film, but is not trapped in the confines of "film", but more immediate and fun... Something creative where you pick a topic, everyone would go and shoot a subject and then edit and preview it the following week. Kind of like any film club - but the idea is that it's focused on the "immediate" and not the technology and process.... Am I making sense? I have been in film theory mode lately -- perhaps it's the recent death of Susan Sontag that is bringing out my more visceral side, but I'm also about wanting to have fun and be creative with the equipment i have...

Who knows - maybe this is finally reason to get a dvd-burner for my mac?

Monday, January 10, 2005

Future Regained

Whole Lotta stuff over the past 24 hours...

Future Regained

I spent last night at an undisclosed location with fabulous un-named people watching the (soon-to-be released, shhhh!) 2046, and on their tricked out projection screen to boot! It was, as is all his work, a beautiful meditation on human relationships that predictably fall apart... I think his forte is not telling love stories, but rather the "in-between" times when you're questioning everything. His characters strike me as limited and not having to live in "time" itself, but rather hanging in a suspended animation (or slow, luxurious pan across a reflective surface) of sadness and memory. This particular film was just that. The futuristic plot seemed to take a backseat to the drama in 1960's (and thus continuing his stories w/characters such as Tony)... I would have liked to have seen more, but in a way - the simplicity and artistry of what he does well (2 people falling out of love) plays out better in a more simple setting (HK of the past vs the future). The rest becomes an array of arresting images. Check out the website here.

Pancake Mountain

Another crazy thing I discovered today was this site for a children's show called "Pancake Mountain" which has a roster of indie musicians in support of it. I watched one of the segments with "Fiery Furnaces" (Do the Moose) and it completely makes sense -- these enthusiastic youthful bands with creativity and enough zaniness for the wee-set, yet some how can keep it low-fi and cool for older kids of all ages (like me)...

Also - check out (under clips) the short films, like "M is for Mom". Original, arty and almost something you would see in the Whitney (projected on a wall no less)... I'm impressed - I wished they had something designed this way for adults (which in a way, this is designed for both Punk rock parents and the offspring of), but alas - we're too jaded... Still, the proof will be in how the primary audience (the kids) take to it...

Snowed in

Yesterday, I awoke to snow covering the top of Beacon hill. It was one of those rare moments where I realize that I really do love my place - the apartment quiet, a blanket of stillness keeping out the chaos and gridlock of the freeways and people angry with commerce and the Seahawks game. I curled up and read the sunday times... wishing it would not end, that maybe the world would be coming to a temporary halt (again) and that we would be immobile... Alas, it was all gone by noon.