Thursday, July 31, 2008
When we talk about branding rhetoric and composition, it's interesting. It is maybe like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. If we are to talk seriously about the future of the discipline it will lie in a near future for which few of us have even the most modest preparation. We comfort ourselves with the thought that colleges and universities are far too incompetent and conservative to change that quickly. It's like the joke where you don't need to outrun the bear, just your friends. Well, we can likely outrun our disciplinary "friends." But maybe that won't be sufficient.
Imagine the interactive, rich media experience I can send to you at 17 DVDs per second. Well not me, but someone. Or more likely a whole production company of someones. These technologies point to a world where course materials will have serious production values as well as extensive real time interactive possibilities. And of course it will be many-to-many where students could upload hours of high-definition raw video footage (as well as other storage-intensive data). Students will be able to collaborate in real time over the web to edit information on a global scale for any number of rhetorical purposes.
And yet, in a few weeks, tens of thousands of FYC instructors will be assigning 500-word, individually-authored, text-only compositions. Those students, btw, will be graduating into this world I'm describing. We have already failed them.
If you really want to brand rhet/comp, it can't be "ink" [only] any more.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
note: it does seem true that festival films often screen better at festivals (the audience desire for the film's success is something you can feel in/through the body), so i don't know if it will play quite as well outside of that context, but i thought i'd give a little nod. i liked it.
so for local Utahns, Adventures of Power will screen free at the Sundance Summer Film Series up at the Resort next Wednesday evening. usually, they start when it gets dark, but you may want to call to check (801.225.4107). and here's a trailer:
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
and there's AMC's delightful motto, "the future of classic," which is simply fabulous.
and Californication (Season 1) DVDs are out (and on my list). i watched a few episodes with a friend who had tivo'd them, and we were hurting it was so funny/good.
simple pleasures. not so simple is that i apparently missed the Josh Whedon fun, Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. and missing out on even a little Nathan Fillion is just sad.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
a tangent: it seems to me that the German title translates more accurately to "The Way Things Walk" or "The Walk of Things," and Free Translation Online has it as "He Run Him Bargains," (so i'm not sure i can trust them any longer). so but below is a clip, featuring at least some of the tire action many are associating with current Honda ads. notice the sound. d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
my upcoming fall sabbatical is about the book, but now that i've begun my new film project, i'm not sure how i'll get it all done. maybe the struggle will test my theory about writing as "subtractive" (ala Massumi) in light of the affective intensities of multimodal work such as filmmaking, and the book will just sort of emerge, given a halfway decent schedule, coffee, new-age mantras, and plenty of (sigh) "seat time." OR, i'll simply follow the voices in my head, respond to their direction, and eventually find myself in a new paradigm.
click. nothing. click again. nothing. the link is dead. search. 0 finds. search again. 0 finds. what?
is he that bad? is he that famous, so famous as to have the power to get the New York Times to yank a bad review? is he bringing so much to NYC that he is getting a pass? where is that review? where has it gone???
the worst thing is that i'm now searching furiously to find a review of Lopez in A Chorus Line . . . anywhere, anything . . . can't find it. all i can find are earlier notices announcing his addition to the cast (one narrative line has Lopez' casting as an attempt to boost summer sales).
if you, or anyone you know, have information on the whereabouts of a review of Mario Lopez in A Chorus Line, please leave your information in the comments form.
for now, even though it feels corny out of context, here's a little show tune. this the original cast (and the sound is pretty bad, so turn it down), the one i saw from the 5th row, center. i was dazzled, transfixed, vibing out with longing to perform and forming my disposition as a young wanabe. later, before heading back to the hotel, we stood in an alley. we didn't know why, but my Dad kept saying, "just wait." and "something very special is about to happen." we had. no. idea ... but soon, a door opened, and out came these fabulous people we'd fallen for so intensely and with what felt like such deep emotional sincerity. so we met some of the cast by the stage door. i was smitten with the whole performance vibe -- the smoking (smoking?! hey, who doesn't need a smoke after 2 hours of singing, dancing, and angsty good times?); the laughter; the danskins; the capezio dance shoes -- which I then bought and wore throughout the '80's; the makeup; the camaraderie ... the fans. so but anyhow ...
Thursday, July 17, 2008
i have been so delighted to see "actual women" on Mad Men (oops, this is not to say that superthin actresses are to be slighted, still ...) that i hadn't realized the extent to which the frame has been designed so that Ms. Hendricks is proporitioned in a way that approximates "smaller" or maybe "more linear." i mean, that's sort of okay, i suppose, for although i enjoy my curves, as many of us do, i want to look lovely in a picture, and, well, in filmic terms, lovely = at least a little bit thinner (regrettably, but there you go. and here, i have to note that this is the message Ms. Hendricks' character, Joan, keeps imparting to sad little Peggy). and we could say that it's simple rule of thirds-type design, but how this frame operates seems worth noting.
so but notice the elements, the downscaling effects of the multi-framed window in the background, the fan, which is very interesting in terms of how that shape operates to sort of parallel (counterbalance?) Ms. Hendricks' curves. and then, the frame is sort of rendered more vertical, more, um, "slender" with the inclusion of the shadowy left side of the frame.
i want to say that none of these design moves are necessary, but despite the celebration of a womanly silhouette, it's still a filmic image, and conventions are conventions. i could lament the equation, smaller = better, all day, but then, i recall that when i was making my short film remove to dispense, i wound up in a directorial dilemma when a shot of my own relatively large (by film standards) hand (which Mike calls "tiny") looked enormous, and i had a very petite-to-worrisomely thin girl put her delicate hand in the frame, instead. and it was, um, better. so. ??
p.s.: why, oh why, does Peggy have to get fat as a consequence of being smart? i get it, but it wish i didn't. i wish ... i don't know, there is something both right and very wrong about that plot move. also, that Don goes to Rachel after Sterling's coronary? weak. too bad. still, i'm hoping for more slobberingly fabulous spectation, later today.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
actually, these actresses are more like the women we are and know, but for film/video/image standards, we call them "curvy" or "big" or whatever (blah). and i realize that the show is going for a realistic vision of women in the late 50's-early 60's, so maybe there's nothing to discuss here. still. nice to see. fabulous show.
here is a major scene, featuring the show's radiant Christina Hendricks as Joan (office manager). Any actress (especially this "curvy" one, i.e., "me") would die to play this:
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Lunsford called for us to commit to planning and attending a National Summit at which we might begin to map the contours of a new, . . . "something." she grappled for the words and at one point sort of whispered that this blueprint for our "new" discipline would generate programs that we would refer to as "Super . . . something" (at Stanford, she says, they long for a "something" that they refer to as "Worldwide Domination," which their Program in Writing and Rhetoric seems, to me, to approach, and i say this out of pure, rabid envy). but so as for what we will call our "new" field and the programs that emerge from it -- she hadn't worked it out.
it was a provocative and engaging talk, but i left puzzled and, naturally, reflecting upon the sad state of affairs at my own institution regarding r/c's situation within the English department.
so but look for a call for that National Summit. it does sound super.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
on the day of the Big Opening Gala for the new Library (c. 2 wks ago), i wandered around, taking it in. funny, i didn't see many books, but i saw lots of cool, modern spaces in which to sit and chat with friends or whatever . . . some skylights that recalled Kubrick's way-station lounge in 2001. but the thing that moved me to fantodish tears was the little plaquard i found pasted to a bit of side molding on the groovy, curvilinear walls on the top (and most invitingly loung-y) floor. it read something like this:
notice the use of White Oak. you will find it throughout the Library, adding a touch of class.
(emphasis mine). and but ha. doesn't everyone know that designating something as "classy" negates its hope of rising to the demands of that descriptor? "classy" recalls for me a kind of rat-pack-wives' mentality, when the ladies sipped vodka gimlets, smoked as though they didn't know, and found themselves bored with the things that they had, bored with their feigned ignorance -- thus the spike in psychotherapy and valium and, happily, finally, "women's groups."
and this is reminding me to encourage you to watch AMC's Mad Men, which after 3 episodes on On Demand is still pretty good. fabulous nostalgia value, as when watching "Don," the lead Madison Avenue Ad Man who drinks beer all day while putting together his daughter's birthday playhouse. he gets at the beer by using an old-school triangular-tipped can opener and punches the can on opposite sides. magic.
i just noticed that my ramble took me from our shiny new Library's "classy" design to a show about Madison Ave. ad men and their slick rhetoric. what's wrong with me? that doesn't make any sense. maybe i need a valium, cause that's just crazy.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
i mean, who doesn't want in?