2005.10.31

Sixteen

Spending sixteen hour days at work isn’t boding well for the start of NaNoWriMo, but I’ll try to have some amusing story tidbits to post at least some of the time. Thank you all for your story suggestions so far (and please continue to add more, as I’ll be checking back on that thread for the rest of the month). On the bright side, things should ease down on that front after this weekend, so I should have at least three weeks of moderately open time.

In the meantime I’m looking forward to taking a peek at what y’all are writing (yes, I’m looking at you!). You are going to share, right? Save me from work!


TCM has been showing a really thorough Hitchcock retrospective over the last few weeks, and I’ve been recorded a fair chunk of it. So far, I’ve rewatched Shadow of a Doubt (with a nice making-of documentary — so good!) and seen Suspicion for the first time (ugh — Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine in this stinker? Hard to believe, but there you go) On tap: The Trouble with Harry, To Catch a Thief, The Lady Vanishes

In other news, Universal’s finally re-released Vertigo and Psycho in remastered widescreen, but the only way to get them is in an expensive (but otherwise tasty-looking) 14-disc box set. Wah.


Happy Halloween, everyone! What’d you dress up as?


2005.09.07

On demand media

Experimenting with Movable Type’s dynamic publishing mode. Monthly archives are now generated on-the-fly, and I can also join all the cool kids and keep tag-based archives without bogging down rebuilding. Now all I have to do is go back and tag all my old entries! I’d meant to do individual entry pages too, but so far I’m in love with too many plugins that won’t work under PHP.

Incidentally, commenting should now be somewhat faster.


In media news:

Criterion has just announced they’ll release two all-time greats on DVD: Ran and Ugetsu. The Mizoguchi is a real gem — supernatural, mysterious, and intensely sad, I haven’t seen it in years and yet it’s haunted me in some way or another ever since.

Have actually been enjoying (non-Katrina-related) television recently: Slings and Arrows on Sundance, very Canadian, really good (and lord knows I have a thing for Paul Gross); Rome on HBO is right up my historical alley, and I’m also enjoying the slew of tie-in documentaries on History Channel; Transgeneration will be airing on Sundance starting September 20.

Books keep rolling in from the library, god bless: Kare Kano in English (it is my blog namesake, after all), Spring Snow, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Never Let Me Go. Clearly something has gone terribly wrong and I’ve had to put a freeze on my holds, as I despair of finishing these all in time…


2003.02.25

To the new tower of Babel!

Watched the new restoration of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis on DVD last night, which was wonderfully clear; a revelation, truly, and despite controversy about playback speed, a very affecting experience. Did find myself longing at times for a little Pat Benatar or Freddy Mercury — surely I cannot be the only fan of Giorgio Moroder’s 1984 pop-score “reinvention” of the film? — to the point where earlier tonight I dug out my ancient VHS copy of the long out-of-print Vestron video release. Cheesy at times, yes (this is the man who unleashed Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” on the world, after all), but is it really any less so than Gottfried Huppertz’s cloying original score*, included on the current Kino disc? One could argue that the driving electronic beats of Moroder are actually more appropriate to the mechanical heartbeat of Metropolis. On the other hand, Adam Ant. Hee, point taken.

The real tragedy here is that I completely missed the Alloy Orchestra’s run of Metropolis when they came through Seattle a few years ago.

Speaking of reinvented scores, for a real treat (both cinematically and musically), check out the Criterion Collection’s DVD release of The Passion of Joan of Arc, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 silent masterpiece**, with Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light included as an alternate audio track. The movie by itself is a transcendental experience (possibly my favorite film ever), and the music (featuring Anonymous 4) is nothing to sniff at either. I became familiar with each separately, not realizing at first that Einhorn had designed Voices to accompany the film. Together, well, wow.

* the advantage both scores have in this case is that they are both infinitely better than the nadir of Metropolis-related music, which surely has to go to the atrocious 1989 musical, first staged in London (and which nevertheless has an inexplicable following).
**Passion is a film whose history is as spotted and star-crossed as Metropolis itself. A victim of mishap and censors, its story has a happy ending: a print of Dreyer’s original cut was miraculously recovered from a mental hospital in 1981, nearly fifty years after its original form was thought irretrievably lost. Faint hope for Metropolis?

Shocked to discover while grabbing links for this entry that Anonymous 4 is disbanding…!




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