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Showing posts from August, 2007

Scarlett Johansson sings

According to this CNN interview (and probably old news, but I haven't been as au courant with the celeb news as I'd like), Scarlett Johansson has an album of Tom Waits covers coming out: Q: What about this album you're releasing? It's all Tom Waits covers? JOHANSSON: I've always been a huge fan of Tom Waits and I had this kind of golden opportunity to make an album however I wanted and it's kind of a dream chance. ... Originally I thought that I would do an album of standards and I wanted to include a Tom Waits song. And I don't know, I thought maybe everybody does standards, and so, I see Tom Waits as being kind of a composer of modern standards and so it seemed appropriate that I could interpret his songs. Obviously, it's not an album where I'm trying to sound like him. It would be impossible. He writes such beautiful songs and incredible melodies and they're so cinematic and kind of open-ended so I felt like it would be something that I coul

The Departed

Watched The Departed over the weekend, and my thought was: now this is how you do an adaptation. Scorsese at his finest - no one mixes the sheer brutality and the lyricism of violence like he does. Top notch acting all around, and some beautiful cinematography - I thought the final scene was a marvel of composition, and then I watched parts again and noticed all the "X"s in the scene whenever someone died. And for anyone's who spent any time in Boston, the clear echoes of Whitey Bulger are compelling.

Stranger Than Fiction

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I watched Will Ferrell in Stranger Than Fiction a couple of nights ago, probably the first time I can remember Ferrell in a role other than "overgrown fratboy" - indeed, here he plays an IRS auditor, so he's very much the epitome of the straight man here. It pleasantly surprised me that he held his own acting against Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, and Maggie Gyllenhaal (who, incidentally, I'm convinced has one of the sexiest voices in Hollywood). Stranger Than Fiction asked thought-provoking questions on mortality, and the value of accepting the inexorable progress toward death - in the grand scheme of things, of course, we will all die (and Hoffman points that out), and what we leave behind as our legacy, I suppose, is our art. (A concept that made me think of Shelley's "Ozymandias" .) But what happens when ars longa becomes the direct cause of vita breva ? Thompson, playing the author Karen Eiffel, finally seems to be ending her struggle with writ

A garden of forking paths

J ust noting down for my own memory some good artwork that I saw (largely in Sydney, at the Museum of Contemporary Art's The Hours exhibition ), before I forget it: Matthew Ngui's work, in general Nell, " Unlimited Radiance " - that pic doesn't do justice to the qualities of this work (I'm not sure any pic can), which shimmies and sparkles Mathew Jones, "The New York Daily News on the day before the Stonewall Riot copied by hand from microfilm records", 1996 ( Link ) Vik Muniz , " I Am What I Read ", " Che (Black Bean Soup) " Betsabee Romero, "Requiem for the Unknown Pedestrian II" - tires engraved with musical notes to create a kind of sheet-music print Los Carpinteros , "Downtown (Centro)" - furniture as landscape Nicola Constantino, the Human Furriery series - items covered in silicone nipples and anuses - the NY Times called it " sensationally tasteless ". Santiago Sierra, " 465 personas rem

US States Renamed For Countries With Similar GDPs

T his map made me go, woah. I mean, I know the US is an economic juggernaut, and I should expect this, but it still surprised me that New Jersey's GDP is the same as Russia's. (Based on their data, Singapore's economy is the size of South Carolina's, at US$121 billion.)

On Krispy Kremes

I came back from Sydney carting 6 boxes of Krispy Kremes (6 in each box). At the airport, the security guy spotted the boxes and the following exchange ensued: Security guy (in mock-stern fashion): "Hmm... you know you're not supposed to take more than 100ml of liquids or creams into the plane". Me (quick on the uptake): "No cream in these ones - they're glazed!" Security guy: "Attempt to get doughnuts foiled again, damn" Upon returning, I promptly put the doughnuts in the fridge. Then it dawned on me. The only two things in my fridge were doughnuts and beer. I had Homer Simpson's fridge. But boy were they good. I stretched them out - had to make them last. One of my Facebook friends mentioned guilt from doughnut eating. Guilt's too good an emotion to waste on food. Mmm, donuts...

Had we but world enough, and time

As astute followers of this blog (um, if any are out there) will notice, posting frequency has declined lately... fortunately, I don't think I've stopped listening to new music - although I'm not sure that listening to Stile Antico's compline album counts as 'new music' - but it is brutal, finding time both to experience the world and to write on the experiences. With all that said, the Simpsons movie is excellent. Still nowhere near the best of the Simpsons - could probably think of 10 episodes of the show that outdo it - but that's not taking anything away from the movie, it was still damn funny. Was laughing from the moment Ralph Wiggum sang along to the 20th Century Fox tune. The movie format seemed to let them do a lot more drawn-out action sequences, I thought - Bart skateboarding reminded me of the Homer/Marge nude Natural Born Kissers sequence, while the scene with Flanders making hot chocolate was pretty good. I was hoping they'd somehow refer