2006.05.22

Withdrawal

It’s atrophied away, my language engine, and I’m not sure how to start it turning again. My days are spent in the black box, by night in white. Plans are made around me; the world spins round, but I am still — still, not centered.

There has to be an end to it.

I’m looking for a seed. Care and water, care and water, that’s all she needs. So say the instructions. But — let her fly before the sun starts its evening retreat. Better for all concerned.

I never was much for the green things.


2006.05.24

Hard Boiled

Feeling better now. Baby steps.


From Eureka, another version of the Fat Kreme Burger out in the wild.


Vince recommended Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon to me, knowing my love of classic John Varley stories and film noir, and it was a fun read. Morgan has the tone of far-future noir down pat, with an intelligently speculative setting and lots of hard-boiled action. If you enjoy the typical noir antihero — aggressive, haunted, misogynistic — then Takeshi Kovacs should be right up your alley; subversive, this is not. But the choking masculinity effectively evokes the ghosts of Mickey Spillane, of Hammet, of Chandler, and more recently, the graphic fiction of Frank Miller*. So! If you’re looking for that kind of literary fix, this may be right up your alley.

Directly afterwards, started reading Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, which in many bizarre ways is exactly the same book (well, at least as far as I’ve gotten in it).

* speaking of which, how great is it that they’re finally releasing a real DVD of Double Indemnity?

2006.05.29

Another media weekend

Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven was an ambitious film which had, for me, a hugely compelling premise, atmosphere to spare, and lots of visual flair from this most visual of directors. On the other hand, it was weak in characterization and lopsided, with a heavy, drawn-out exposition and rushed middle and final acts. But after seeing the recently-released director’s cut, I need to completely revise my opinion. With 3-plus hours in which to breathe, the movie assumes the epic scope lamely aspired to by its shorter version, fed by moments and touches of color which fill in the world around the plot. Most notable is an entire arc involving Sibylla and her son — a character completely absent from the theatrical cut — which give her actions in the second half, previously an inexplicable mess, real pathos and motivation. If you have a taste for contemplative medieval epics (and yes, despite the huge action sequences, it is in the end a meditation on the madness of holy war), you probably owe it to yourself to give this movie a try. Please, though, stick to the director’s cut!

Also somehow ended up seeing Aeon Flux. Ahem. Not much else to say, except it’s worth noting that Martin Csokas cleans up really well (cf. Kingdom of Heaven).

The Da Vinci Code? Perhaps unsurprisingly (but only to my friends, who think I can’t shut up about how much I hate Dan Brown), I saw that one too. It’s better than the novel, if only for the fact that the most annoying character of all — the narrator — has been wholly removed. The cast is quite good, transcending the material and raising it to the level of pleasant diversion. I’m still loath to say I thought it was a good movie, though was pleased to note that they fixed up the most unbelievable moment in the story so I won’t have to complain about it anymore.

Beside that, SIFF is now in full swing. I haven’t even looked at the listings yet! I am so off my game*.

Anyone want to see any movies with me?

* seriously, I haven’t even seen X3 yet. I’m so scared that Brett Ratner will ruin everything. Someone reassure me, please!

2006.05.30

Oh my god

Oh my god. Alexander Siddig was Julian Bashir on Deep Space 9??



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