Monday, December 31, 2007
April: "i probably shouldn’t do this."
May: "this is me w/ my niece, fiona."
June: "i'm taking this out of "comments" and formalzing it."
July: "i've been wanting to make films that project some vibe, some desire, and i've wanted to do it with images and music and very few words."
August: "ingmar bergman, 89. michelangelo antonioni, 94"
September: "kafkaz responded to an earlier post about my Pavlovian-anticipated desire to own a particular lighter i'd seen in a film."
October: "i've been spending so much time making films that my reading has lapsed."
November: "i will write (maybe more seriously) again when i emerge from underneath this pile of papers and when i am not preoccupied with boots (current top contender, left)."
December: "okay, so only one person voted on my poll, and that's. okay."
Friday, December 28, 2007
this horrible program, photo booth, allows you to distort images freakishly. i hate it. but. it's true. playing w/ fiona in photo booth is a riot. i hurt myself laughing.
addendum: emily (my sister, fiona's mom) saw this post and gave me sh*t for not including a truly freakish but simply a modified image, so she did me the delightful favor of sending along her favorite. voilà.
p.s. when next we meet in person, reader(s), we will not speak of this.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
after being put on "permanent suspension" from the University of Florida in the early 1980's, i developed a pretty serious case of anorexia/bulemia. i was pretty happy being superthin, even given the costs. and it worked for me as i dove into fashion.
i went to "Beauty School" and, like any eating-disordered perfectionist, won both school competitions. first place in both cutting and styling. a friend who did a pristine updo should have won, but it was the '80's, and my "inspired" piece won. (note: Bradenton Beauty Academy did not have a website when i was there, so don't think you'll find pictures . . . because there is. no. evidence. i even threw out my trophies when i was feeling as though my cosmetology life was worthless after a few years of disenchantment -- that's another story).
but so my updo: i had found some broken pieces of black, plastic netting while walking by a construction site. i used it to create a "trash can" as the base of the style on my mannequin's head (i had pulled her hair into a high pony tail and used the netting to cover the hair beneath the rubber band).
[feel the excitement! . . . ] so the night before the competition, i set her hair in perm rods of various sizes. then, during the competition, all i did was take out the rods and let the hair spring all over, sort of like trash spilling from a trash can (my "concept"). oh, i fussed with the pieces, trying to make it look as though i was "styling," but it was done. and i dare say that my mannequin resembled the image, above -- a much more "ordinary" updo in today's hair scene, but back then, it was radical. and it's all performance.
and of course, yes, i had dreams of being a "platform artist," which is a hairdresser who performs at trade shows and competitions. because i had to be the best, and to be "just" a stylist would. not. do.
later, i won 2nd place in The Annual State of Florida Hair Cutting Competition. i cut a classic bob (sort of a no-brainer) on my sister, Emily, and when i went up to accept my trophy, i thanked "The Lord Jesus Christ" as well as my Beauty School mentors. oh yeah.
. . . l'image
. . . l'image. . . happy, happy . . .
Sunday, December 2, 2007
okay, so only one person voted on my poll, and that's. okay.
i've decided to keep my Sundance updates here, on "kind of . . ." because, well, it's a catch all. i'm not an especially theme-driven writer person, and, well, my thoughts about Sundance, while wandering from film reviews, celebrity news, and behind-the-scene stuff about working the festival *do*, in a sense, represent.
as you can see in the above photo, this year's theme is "film takes place," and if you're a fan of Marc Auge, and his theory of "non-places," you may appreciate the irony. because film sets -- which is where films actually take place -- represent "non-places," i think, because of how they represent "places of transience that do not hold enough significance to be regarded as 'places'" (from same wikipedia entry, which seems okay by me). i mean, of course, "film happens," and thus, "takes place" (the traditional meaning of "taking place"). but to consider film taking place through the lens of Auge's thinking about "places of transicence" -- film sets are obviously transient and merely representational spaces (and yet, they are "set" ?? . . . so maybe this theme is actually nuanced and cool, like the Sundance i know and love) -- one might also call up images of film crews blocking, cordoning off, and controlling certain places -- Vaquez Rocks, anyone?? think Star Trek and that fight between Kirk and that white horned monster "da da DADADADA da da da da da." i'm not a trekkie by any standard, but there is your memory of Vasquez Rocks.
someone is always shooting at Vasquez Rocks because it's "otherworldly," "extraterrestrial," "historical", or "barren landscape with craggy nooks within which to place your Terrified Heroine."
but so the point is that film takes places, takes over, and that's sort of fine, but kind of funny and horrible, also. and, not so tragically, it's not a place in any "real" sense of place as knowable, grounding/grounded, and/or permanent. and yet, it's "set." maybe it would have been more forthcoming to theme the festival "film takes space," but that sounds far more hideous and colonial and nasty (i.e., um, somewhat honest . . . sure, the film industry is fabulous, and i love it, but it's also kind of nasty, and i don't think anyone who works in it would actually deny this perspective). when i was in L.A. for my interview at CalArts (i probably should have taken that job #%$##!!! . . . despite the poor pay), i climbed up that highest jagged rock, and it was p-r-i-t-t-y cool, placing myself in those scenes from my memories of beloved films and cheesy t.v. programs. there's a picture somewhere. i'll try to find it because i can feel your fascination, your deSirE!.
so but it's easy to critique this year's theme, and there is certainly MUCH more to say. BUuuuuut, i actually love it. it's sort of simple. not going for too much highbrow metaphorical self-importance, as in years' past (see my PRE/TEXT piece for my thoughts on last year's theme -- ugh, flames . . . there aren't enough words . . . ). this image (right) is of the giant posters that marketed the festival and identified certain spaces as Sundance venues. the Film Guide (left), which is the index to all things Sundance, looks much better, but it's still clunky, that "fiery passion" theme. an insider told me it was all about Prometheus. ha.
the far better rendering of Prometheus came in the '06 retro-literary theme (Sundance is ALLL about "story," which is fine. maybe even good. but sometimes, the talk about story feels kinda creepy in its self-importance;it's like when people talk about their love of "WOoooords!!" please). so but '06: even the screen "fillers" -- images that fill the screen between events, creating a mood -- were pretty clever (various literary and "storied" figures sat in a film theater, doing the things -- in nanoscopically determinable moves -- that people do in theaters: eating popcorn, flirting, pushing past seated patrons to find a seat, etc. there was even, if i recall correctly, a trojan horse in the theater. that was kind of funny).
when i first started to volunteer for Sundance in 2001, the theme was sort of freakishly vibratory . . . sort of about motion and electric vibes and circuits (lordy, i hated that theme; see right). the colors. the mess.
better was '03, even if it was a little hippy-groovy. an image of a cupped hand holding what seemed to be a sun coming up over the horizon in the distance but was actually a large, orange egg. grooooooovy. but actually, groovy (see left, which is actually an image of the framed poster i took in my basement office, so it's not exactly clear, but maybe this ambiguity will aid in your appreciation . . . because. it is. pretty corny). maybe it's simply that 2003 was a great festival year, and my memories are so happy from '03. maybe this is why i can more easily tolerate the hoke. not sure.
2004 went full-on "cowboy," and i recall feeling angry that one promo book (right) contained images of male cowboys, exclusively (come on, Sundance!). there was a nice page that detailed "festival basics," (left) and it sort of resembled those cut-0ut articles of clothing you'd use to dress your paper dolls. still, it had a retro feeling that worked (and, well, maybe thus the male-only theme . . . retro . . . ???). actually, there may have been one cowgirl, but she feels like an afterthought, a smurfette (although in this image, she leads the charge; still, front and center is the blonde, Great American cowboy. heath? sorry).
as i write, i think, why haven't i done some writing about the visual rhetoric of the Sundance Film Festival? probably because the 12-hour work day exhausts and delights me in ways that occlude Serious Academic Thought . . .
and this brings me to the TRAGIC 2005 theme, "independent." yep, that's all. just "independent." and, i mean, well, of course. but here's the awful thing: Sundance usually screens these self-promotional shorts just before a festival selection screening (because, what? you might forget that you are at the Sundance Film Festival? . . . more like, let's work that theme we paid so much to develop, i guess, in my more cynical mode). anyhow, so the giant theme appears -- texty, as in the film guide image (left). and then a few letters drop out, so that INDEPENDENT morphs into INEPT. um. so. going for self-deprecation, i think? so it's kindofinaverytinyway funny, but to me, as a filmmaker and a theater manager who interacts directly w/ the filmmakers and actors and producers, etc. -- who show up full of nightmarish hopes and frightfully desperate, faith-wearying dreams -- well, it's a little insulting. more than a little, maybe. were i a comedian proper, i'd have to say, "d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s." but i'm not. so.
a bit of naughty fun. more later . . .
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
via Bill DeGenaro (thanks, Bill).
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
i've had a lot of good luck lately with regard to conference acceptances and publications. so it came as a bit of a shock (hello, ego) when i got my RSA rejection. i had presented at RSA only once, have been a member for just over a year. but i guess i thought that what i was doing was pretty cool (a film called "i'm like . . . professional" about digital filmmaking and privileging the naïve object, a film featuring M Dot Strange of We Are the Strange fame).
well but so no. and this is fairly liberating because it means that i can repurpose -- are we sick of this word yet? -- the film; it can be by and for me, (by and) for much broader (cooler?) audiences.
maybe academe isn't actually ready for cool (even still), although i used to think there was some of it vibing in tiny pockets if you were lucky enough to find them (like when i first read Berube reference Elvis Costello; that was a good vibe, even if it eventually faded). i guess it's still possible to find it. but so the narcissicm. right? one tiny rejection and academe is not cool enough for her. ha.
and then, to be honest, RSA intimidated the crap out of me. maybe "intimidated" isn't right. more like, "wow, this is really so much about ancient rhetoric. i had no idea." which is all fine, but i'm not as well versed and not as much invested/interested there (of course, of course, but you know??). i'm more comp-y w/ a cultural studies/film/personal/visual/affective thing going on. but comp-y, to be sure. for the reasons we recall: for Mike Rose helping returning veterans and other "underdeveloped" students; for Sondra Perl's "felt sense" and how it movitates and remotivates our personal/political projects, our investments and our sense of agency; for Sherrie Gradin's reanimation of "expressivism" via the Romantic poets and their rhetorico-politico-cultural (jeez, bonnie!) aims. not for this: in one session i attended at RSA, there was during the Q & A (after a session in which one particular paper invited us to be in the moment with the ideas, silently agreeing to much of what was said even as we felt convicted about our less-than-lovely inclinations as agents within institutional life), everyone in the room seemed compelled to argue about the precise meanings of Levinas; it felt like a competition when the paper of note simply wanted to enable us to dig it (if even for a tiny moment). and the argument was there. and the delivery was there. it was all there. and then it was not.
sure, one distasteful conference experience and a rejection do not say much. but they say something. and, well, combined w/ my felt sense about RSA, i'm thinking that rejection is fine. appropriate even. i'll likely go (hey, it's Seattle), hear others' brilliance. sit silently. wonder about what i'm doing here (as usual). i'm not whining, mind you. just trying to capture the affective in this moment (and to recall others). because it's part of what i'm about in my film work and my desires for it (which means that, again, rejection from this particular academic venue may be what i need, what i've needed).so but i hate it when others do this, whine about rejection, but i figure i'm up at 4:22 ("the morning breeze has secrets to tell you; do not go back to sleep" -- Rumi), so why not see where it goes? i've even chatted w/ M via email about his disenchantment over a less-than-ideal Sundance reception. i encouraged him to move on, to see that just getting your film in is/was massive (and, um, from my perspective, having been rejected . . . ) and that there are some good people at Sundance who know what's what. so. take my own advice. and, maybe this time, don't think about my filmwork as something that sort of "luckily" is "hot" in academe right not (which, um, apparently it is not, for reasons i've described here -- rejection -- as well as this). but as something that has worked for me in this context for a while and maybe now needs to work in other contexts. liiiiike . . . the free form film festival (i want to do stuff w/ them) or the various cell phone film festivals (i LOOOve the way cell phone movies can achieve serious arthouse effects w/ their grainy ambiguity) . . .
it's like when i got fired from my first major job as a hairdresser/make-up artist in the Very Best Salon -- tres chic -- on St. Armand's Circle (Longboat Key, Sarasota, FL), Les Ciseaux. here was Colette, grooming me to be a serious part of her team (and just out of beauty school!). but my bulemia had gotten me a few local modeling gigs, and i had confided in a co-worker that i wished i had more time to go out on auditions and put my energies there. so but of course, she told Colette, who fired me. said she was trying to build something and if i wasn't committed and needed to go model, then go. needless to say (we all know how this narrative goes), the modeling didn't work out. i ended up in some truly horrific strip-mall salons (one was even called . . . uh . . . gross . . . Mantrap!). finally, quit the business i'd loved and was working in McDonalds. at 26. clearly, went back to college. just last year, i was in Sarasota for a job interview as a WPA at a locally famous art college (should i have taken that job?), and i went by to see Colette, to sort of apologize for being such a foolish girl, and there she was, gracious and lovely as always. it was refreshing. cleansing, . . . dare i say?, healing.
so but this is going on, right? eh. who cares? it's n-o-t-h-i-n-g. RSA is for grown up academics. for scholars. and i'm toying around with film and image and finding myself and still hanging around the edges of academe. and this is fine. good, actually.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
"I say that all lines, even the straightest, which do not stand directe contra pupillam [directly in front of the eye] . . . necessarily appear somewhat bent. Nevertheless, no painter believes this; this is why they paint the straight sides of a building with straight lines, even though according to the true art of perspective this is incorrect . . ." (34).
and then, the delightful "conclusion" at which Schickhardt arrives, . . . "Crack that nut, you artists!"
come on. that's hysterical.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
as i read Panofsky, i keep finding space for vibratory pleasure and intellectual confirmation regarding perspective as "symbolic form," which works for me as a concept capable of articulating (again, for me) a sense of what i try to do w/ images. because even as i want to avoid (over)conceptualizing the images i use and bring into contact with other images and sounds and texts, my situation as a rhetorician compels me (right? doesn't it?) to at the very least have something handy to say about them, about what i do and why, about why it may be useful to work with students via images. and i so often do not want to make this move, this articulation.
i'm surprised at myself for having avoided serious engagement with discourses on aesthetics for so long. and well, there is a lot to read. but also: this distancing choice, which in itself feels somewhat arbitrary, leads me back to Panofsky's comment (above), which feels as though it's moving in the direction of ambivalence, and that move feels right to me (maybe via homi b.), even if it seems rhetorically purposeless (but is not, i continue to insist or, um, imagine).
Thursday, November 22, 2007
so we all know that if you work with film or video or even want to show a dumb PowerPoint presentation (okay, ppt can be cool, if used w/ some design principle that goes beyond -- or beneath -- their *flashy* templates) we have to haul our own equipment everywhere. and yes, it's lovely that we can now order equipment in advance. but. um . . . at CCCC's in March, poor XXX (name withheld to protect the, um, innocent) had ordered the projector for his first big film event . . . got to the room . . . discovered the absent setup . . . hustled to find one. eventually had to pay $75.00 to get one from the a.v. group C's had hired to respond to his original request. in 2007. "21st Century"-style.
so, okay. NCTE 2007. for our featured session on the rhetorico-aesthetic uses of film/video to document the nature of writing, we had a projector, and we had a screen. as for sound, we were told -- via flurry of flustery last minute emails -- that nothing could be done. so, XXX2 had to haul his own PA system in so that we'd have sound (and it may be true that Kathy Yancey helped fund the shipment, which is cool of her, as she is always cool), and that was all fine (maybe not so joyous for XXX2, but we had worked it out in advance, as good teachers who are used to fending for themselves have learned to do "in the 21st century"). so we are checking our stuff and realize that there is no light panel/switch to be found. we call our a.v. guy assigned to our room, ask, thinking he'll be able to accommodate our **very simple** request to simply turn out the lights during our screening and bring them back up for our talks.
"right. can't turn out the lights. all on one switch." XXX2 suggests we find a bb gun to shoot out the bulbs (very steampunk!). but alas. no bb guns. and the ceiling is like 150 ft. high.
2007. national convention. look at the convention book, covered with images of desks with superimposed screens on chalkboards (imaged here, on the header) wanting to suggest the hipness of teaching in "the 21st century!" but. um . . . "we can't control the lights."
i don't know. am i complaining about nothing? i don't think so. when i run the Screening Room at Sundance during the festival, my main job as Theater Manager is to orchestrate the "big picture," and i am especially concerned about ambiance. a film event is an event . . . an immersive experience. and in support of the filmmakers who have their work/lives on the line, i do whatever i can to help create an honorific and anticipatory vibe that reflects the serious nature of the event/experience. anyone who works in film will tell you that LIGHTING is key, and the simple act of being able to screen a film IN THE DARK is essential to creating the scene, the potential for "the primacy of the affective in image reception" (via Massumi). the vibe matters.
so again, i'm not trying to diss NCTE, in particular. i'm more about observing/commenting upon our rhetorical flourishes regarding "21st Century" biz because it sounds kinda sexy, but it's the thing that gives rhetoric a bad name (as in used car salespeople bad rhetoric). it's fantasy, facade, and the sad thing is that the performers are prepared to deliver, but the missing elements keep holding them up.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
i think this will make it the 7th conference presentation at which i've screened a film. i like it, but the stakes feel somewhat dangerously high, so i get awfully nervous/sick. i'm hoping to avoid that this time. i like the film, and i like the postcard* i made to distribute, and i know what i did, so i can talk about it with relative ease.
Mike is joining me. we'd planned to spend some more time in NYC seeing shows (we are goofy musical theater lovers). wouldn't you know that the stagehand's strike would go into full effect the week of our planned trip. anyhow, we're planning to see at least one non-union show, Xanadu (you heard me).
* here is some grainy (really grainy) video i just shot of my promo material (aka, a postcard).
and the back . . .
Sunday, November 11, 2007
i get to see her (and Fiona, Cassie, and John) in December, when i
visit Chicago for the holidays (yay!). so far, Matilda seems to have
impressively cute dimples ;)
i love being an auntie.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
i will write (maybe more seriously) again when i emerge from underneath this pile of papers and when i am not preoccupied with boots (current top contender, left).
why does it seem so important to have the right winter boots in in the West? is it simply a local competition? is it something about knowing that we actually do not belong here (if only for water issues, but, um, . . . )?? am i unwittingly compelled to work extra hard at performing my cowgirl self who does? belong, that is. i don't know, but it's become a bit of an obsession. i suppose i could be engaging less benign obsessions.
when i do find them, i'll post a picture here, for those of you following bootsearch '07 (do i hear "new reality series"?)
i am actually hoping to find a particular boot (see right), but they are currently unavailable in my size (i hear you weeping).
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
recently, i read a review of a colleague's talk in which he "said" (calling it into question because i can't know what the summary denies or leaves out or edits and because i imagine my colleague saying something more expansive . . . ) that not only will film not replace writing but that good filmmaking calls for more and better writing. um. okay. the review suggests that without conventional moves appropriate to film, students' work may not be "valid and effective," (not "to be considered valid and effective," but "to be . . . ").
this surprises me. because sure, writing and rhetorical validity (obviously, our mutual concerns in institutional higher ed). but good filmmaking and writing? . . . (first, filmmaking is/as writing, filmwriting, or film-composition). well, we have a much larger scene to consider when making claims about rhetorical validity. i mean, right . . . filmmaking and writing can be mutually beneficial (good writing aids good filmmaking and vice versa; thus, filmmaking as writing). and, agreed: i have argued elsewhere that filmmaking (even very raw or maybe especially novice film-composition) can encourage better writing both in the moment/process and upon reflection.
BUT, i want to say that new media technologies enable us to make films. at all. to have a go. and to capture images that give us pleasure and to use them as we see fit. responsibility? sure. but responsibility to what has been, exclusively? surely not. so what then determines the state of being "rhetorically valid"? this is the crucial problem. because, when/if we imagine that we can so determine "rhetorically valid" as a state of a film's being, then we perhaps (?) reject a variety of film discourses and practices that honor films privileging radical ambiguity and ambivalence regarding conventional structure and "meaning." and then, when we imagine that we can know and name and evaluate "rhetorically valid" films, we once again deny rhetoric its (fuller/est) potential and create scenarios for overdetermined meaning(s) . . . in, . . . what?, our efforts to "manage" the genre? to generate FTE? to make polished films that will help our students' in their careerist efforts? to control our students' sense of ethical obligation to certain kinds of cinematic meaning? none of these potential moves seem completely wrongheaded, but it seems a shame to argue exlusively in terms of how film and writing are bound up in static conventions (that they are caught up in existing and evolving webs of discourse, sure). and i'm not saying that this is what my colleague or even his reviewer has argued . . .
. . . it's just that i keep hearing people frame up film in Composition in this way, via a sort of "safe" route, when really, this safe mode that we are able to control via our experience in rhetorical traditions (re: print culture)? it sort of rejects a lot of good film discourse and practice (especially indie practice, which finds potential and possibility in new media technologies and wants -- from my perspective anyhow -- shooting footage and editing as writing . . .).
and in praise of less than "ideally" determined film "invention" work that (has to?) happen(s) before one picks up a camera? oboy. speaking from my experience and based upon what i have heard hundreds of filmmakers say about independent filmmaking, some of my (our?) best justications for things that eventually appear on the screen in a final cut have come well after the fact, when viewing a final cut, possibly along with an audience. that is, i will have kept a shot in because, um, i liked it, it moved me, it seemed somehow pithy or provocative or interesting . . . but i had -- early on -- no clear, rhetorically structured and overdetermined claims that i could make about the shot.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
This documentary came to our theater at last year's Sundance Film Festival. Eddie Schmidt (a very likeable producer) was there, as he had been before with other films, such as the Academy Award nominated Twist of Faith (we like Eddie. and Kirby). I'm adding this info just to plug the film and because i've been ranging around the idea of censorship (ever since both CJ and i have received requests that we, um, shut up). but so the film is very entertaining and lighty informative (if you don't know anything about the MPAA, and I knew very little). it's a great film for class because it's just that informative and not over-the-top didactic.
Friday, October 26, 2007
you get a back channel message that looks something like this:
"Could you kindly stop using the WPA listserv as your private whining and paranoia message service? Your flurry of messages today and similar ones in the past have brought me to the point where it's just about time to create a filter just for your address. While I try to avoid that, and have created such a filter only once previously for participants on this list, I'm really, really tired of your whines and overreactions to various situations. So how about, at the least, cutting down on the posts, or, if you need to keep up this sort of messaging, use a blog or private listserv."
Thursday, October 25, 2007
first is i'm like . . . professional and will feature str8nime filmmaker extraordinnaire, M dot Strange. this film will explore ways in which new media technologies enable us to produce things of aesthetic, artistic, rhetorical and cultural value (but mainly, it's fun). the film wants to liberate (or highlight said liberation, which is by now passé, in a sense, but not so for a lot of academics) our creative and rhetorical potential (which seems to me to be both an ancient and contemporary concern; i mean, if rhetoric is about a *capacity* to discover . . . you see where i'm going). i want to toy around, generally, but i also have an interview coming up (hopefully soon) w/ M, who is doing some p-r-i-t-t-y cool stuff.
second is a film that emerges from my local situation. i can't decide if i'll call it footloose or spontaneous public dancing. this film will document the emergence of what locals call "the footloose law," which makes public dancing pretty much illegal (or at least highly regulated). this means that Provo-Orem has virtually no dance clubs. really. the film? Footloose? it was filmed here, in Utah -- Lehi, about 15 minutes from my campus, to be exact -- for a reason. so there is a local comedian i know who has footage of the actual City Countil meetings in which the law was discussed and debated and generally, in the end, embraced. i have a lot of research to do, but i want to know more. in fact, when our local Catholic Church moved out of its beautiful, historic, California-mission-style structure into a new, um, gym (which they are building the formal chapel), i wanted to buy it and turn it into a nightclub, supercoolstyle. but, um, i know where i am. but so i want to learn more about the footloose law and to document what i find. plus, i mean, w/ the Marie Osmond fainting episode, Utah dancing/dancers are a Big Deal right now.
so i'll be busy. i wonder if i'll ever finish those 2 books i've been plodding away on. quite frankly, it's not nearly as engaging as is filmmaking. what to do? for now, shoot, edit, enjoy . . .
Sunday, October 21, 2007
the image? above. and yes, i've posted this image here before; this is my fabulous invention. toilet paper that has a "tear edge" so that you can easily make that fancyresorthotel'ish edge.
relevant to how this image of t.p. "marks time": for me, it's about my diabetes insipidus -- not diabetes mellitus; i have told doctors and nurses before, "i have d.i.," whereupon they start asking how often i check my blood sugar and how much insulin i take (this inspires little confidence). d.i. is not that kind of diabetes. anyhow, d.i. is a hormone deficiency that essentially means that i pee a lot (whenever i say that, i hear Faith No More singing "we care a lot" with my lyrics). so, for me, well, i spend a lot of time in the ladies'. thus, l'image. a tiny victory.
so but 1/2-way to our destination, these giant, like-the-frogs-in-Magnolia-type-splats-of-rain/sleet/snow started dumping onto our Element in a doomsday freakshow. but so slowly, magically, they became big soft flakes, and they started sticking.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
but so i think this is the iPod i want (8 gb). i don't know if that's foolish or not. maybe i should start w/a littlenano (redundancy noted).
so, generally then, i'm reaching out to my dear readers for advice, tips, what-to-and-what-not-to-do w/r/t iPod.
no laughing . . .
Sunday, October 14, 2007
1.) Heroes (although so far, season 2 is a none-too-engaging repackaging of season 1; i'm losing patience).
2.) 30 Rock (come on!).
3.) Dirty Sexy Money (Peter Krause is unspeakably good, although why is it that in every show, film or appearance, it must be made known that he is a jogger? the guy makes sure that writers write in a scene in which he jogs. what's that??).
4.) Lost (when it's on. the reveal of last season made it good all over again).
5.) Pushing Daisies (okay. this is kind of too precious. but Lee Pace, who was f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s in Soldier's Girl -- the true story of an army guy who falls for a transsexual and the horrific "consequences" of said falling -- is delightful to watch. there are some cutesy moments. too cute. wanabe-Wes-Anderson-cute-but-it's-TV-cute, but it's kind of fun).
6.) Entourage (goofy L.A. fun; Jeremy Piven in the role he was born to play. i'm a little worried about Johnny Drama; he's veering into latter-day-Seinfeld-Costanza stupidity).
7.) The Daily Show (still trumps Colbert).
8.) The Colbert Report (i laugh at that eagle every single time).
9.) The Girls Next Door (horrible guilty pleasure; i'm sort of amazed at how much Bridget lllllluuuuvs all things Playboy. it's actually kind of sweet. at least she knows what she wants and owns it. and yes, i "borrowed" from Clancy, here, but it's true; i watch it. something happened in my 43rd year -last year- i decided that it was time to own my desire to be blonde and wear pink, however silly, overdetermined, etc. there are limits, but not as many as there have been in seriousblackwearingtimes).
10.) The Soup. liked it w/ Kinnear. love it w/ McHale. G.K. side note: when The Matador played at our theater at Sundance, both Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear showed up for the intro and the Q & A. Brosnan was gregarious and fun and silly, signing *every* autograph requested of him, snapping photos w/ fans . . . his entourage had to pull him away so that they could make their dinner reservation at The Tree Room -- the fancypants and fabulous Sundance restaurant. Kinnear, on the other hand -- a guy i'd expected to be h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s and approachable and delightful as the persona he played for years on Talk Soup??? not so much. no, in fact, when the entourage left the stage, i was escorting them out -- part of my job is to intro the entourage and help them navigate the venue -- and approached Kinnear to sort of give a mini-hug/air kiss -type thing, which is what we do to flatter and generally show appreciation for the good work (and he was very good in the role). he recoiled like a frightened celebrity facing his Number 1 Fan. it was soooooo unpleasant. that's the part of the job i don't like; When Celebrities Act As Though You Are A Crazy Person, or some foul substance from which they feel they must keep some serious distance. i had a similar experience at Sundance one year with K.L. so now we refer to it as The K.L. Syndrome (actually, we say her full name, but this is a public writing space, and she is very important, and i'm sure it was just a moment, and i get it. the fame thing and the fear. but still. oh, and her husband is VERY powerful. so. K.L. that's all). so back to The Matador screening incident (the birth of the G.K. Syndrome): the next day, i was down at the deli getting some lunch during a screening, and in walked Brosnan in his ski gear (he'd clearly been out on an early run), and as we passed in the hall, he gave a winning smile and said "thanks again for last night!" . . . James Bond . . . "thanks again for last night" :)
11.) Monk. love it. usually watch w/ mudslides. it's a ritual thing.
12.) Psych. love that too. goofy fun. great chemistry between the 2 leads.
13.) Project Runway. "you're either in. or you're out." it's really that simple. v-e-r-y simple (CHLOE??)
14.) My Life on the D-List. i love Kathy Griffin more and more each time i watch her. she's simply fabulous.
there's more. too much more . . .
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
then, there's this, much more clearly aligned with my filmmaking aspirations: "[Y]ou don’t have to be French to make a French movie." voilà.
Schnabel won the Cannes 2007 Best Director award for the film. i. can't. wait.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
. . . for building anticipatory joy/excitement/angst . . .
. . . cinema is an art of resonance . . .
i like this film. i don't need to say more, but i was thinking
that if i wanted to talk w/ my students about negative space,
this film could provide us with an interesting exercise.
1.) screen the film.
2.) ask students to pay attention to how they feel as they watch.
3.) ask students to jot "affect" or "emotion" words as they watch.
i do realize that we might not consider the blank blue screen as negative space, and there's an entire Rothkoesque/Reinhardtian discussion to be had there. still, in maybe what we might call "traditional" film terms, the "narrative action" doesn't start until 33 seconds into the film. how do we tolerate, appreciate, interpret, feel about . . . experience this absence? i like to think we can get at it via affect and emotion (experience and reflection/articulation). maybe rethink negative space and its value (because we continue to privilege *action*, the *purpose* or *meaning* as though its context were irelevant or tangential). and so but i think it could be fun and instructive. and not dull. and not conventional. and what i especially enjoy is the very "mundane" nature of what we are seeing. but of course, it's not at all mundane; i would love to read the emotion words students associate with this film's traditional "action," especially given the anticipatory confusion/frustration. for me, it's joyful, vibrant, and it comes as a kind of relief, even though i am a fan of Rothko and color field imagery as a kind of action. but so is my relief due to the ways in which i have been prepared to view narrative action? are there ways of reshaping my inclinations to respond conventionally? would this be a valuable project?
lovelylittlefilm from Steven Ball at directlanguage.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
for some reason, i have this idea that marking my desires will be somehow useful, productive, and meaningful. but there's one key rule: posts must fall under the header "i have a secret dream . . . " and the post itself must be a fairly simply statement, no analyses. "simple" can also include an associative image, but again, no analyses. no explication, not even one single attempt (well, if you're moved to analyze in repsonse, that's fine, but i will be bound to simply making the statement). i can live with these rules.
personally, i think it's a subconscious homage to Godard (especially G's final cut reverie re: nature vs. the contrivances of human social networks), particularly the film he references intertexually throughout Mulholland Drive, Jean-Luc Godard's Le Mépris (Contempt).
first, Mario Falsetto, in his Synoptique piece, "There is No Band at Club Silencio," articulating a sentiment i dare imagine Lynch confirming: "Cinema is an art of resonance" . . . . voilà . . .
so but then . . .
"I think it would be wrong to reduce Mulholland Drive to some kind of parlour game where the viewer tries to knit together the various clues, only to decipher the film’s narrative structure and offer up a grand interpretive scheme for what things might mean. The film’s narrative structure is but one element in a complex aesthetic strategy. Its power and mystery depend on many factors. Ultimately, mulholland drive is much more than the sum of its parts. Whatever meaning we might propose for such things as the blue key and the mysterious box that it opens, or the homeless man behind the restaurant, can only serve as partial explanation for the feelings the film generates. These narrative details don’t necessarily get at what is powerful about the film or why it resonates deep within us long after we’ve experienced it. mulholland drive privileges a particular approach to the unconscious and the process of making art. Lynch’s film argues that interpreting a work of art is of necessity a limited operation. Some things are best left ambiguous and mysterious like the world we live in. Take away that mystery and all we’re left with is some crazy notion that the world makes sense and that we actually know who we are and what we’re doing here. What makes David Lynch such an important artist is the way his work forces us to confront the certainties of our lives and contemplate the mysteriousness of being in the world. Added to this is his remarkable control of the medium. He seems to bring out the best in all his collaborators, and because of his attention to the precise details of making movies, a David Lynch film is as elegant in its construction as it is mysterious and profound in meaning."
i get it, the desire for "clear" meanings, especially in New Media publications that want to be scene and heard and discovered and taken seriously. obviously; we continue to work in a print-based economy . . . blah, blah . . . and so i get it. really. and, in fact, despite my deepest inclinations, some of the revision suggestions -- those that seem so clearly to want clarity from the perspective of print-rhetoric -- may help me to shape my film in ways that i'd originally desired -- simple. minimalist. this is really both interesting and troubling to me, that suggestions i'm associating with print-rhetoric want to and are able to inform my filmwriting revisions in ways that align with my "original" vision. yipes.
so. clarity. yes, i tend to overcrowd in early drafts, thinking that the screen simply must be filled despite my love of expansive negative space* and what it can do to create a contemplative relationship to the "subject," a sense of additional presence, as in a dream or in the case of a subject (the image or the problem under consideration via the narrative) suffering from some sort of lack or paranoia or amnesia.
* via R. Berdan: "Positive space is where shapes and forms exist; negative space is the empty space around shapes and forms. In the photo below the black area is negative space and it serves to balance the area in which the marmot and rock occupy. Areas of a picture that contain "nothing" are important visual elements that provide balance in an image."
It's awards show Sunday, so i'm giving Margot. I'm through with the wishfulness and angst and regret, and Margot, more than an...
from Matter and Memory , by Henri Bergson , with and against whom Gilles Deleuze works his Cinema theories. I'm making my way through ...
It's awards show Sunday, so i'm giving Margot. I'm through with the wishfulness and angst and regret, and Margot, more than an...