Category : movies

honchos, love, media, movies, Uncategorized
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the writer-entrepreneur

“The studios have got to be hoping that this idea about being entrepreneurs doesn’t sweep over the TV show runners, because once you start seeing really good production values on the Internet, I mean, what does Larry David really need HBO for? This is all everybody is talking about on the line. They’re not talking about healthcare. They’re going, ‘Wow, is there a different way to get our movies and TV shows made?’ ”

— Tony Gilroy, the writer-director of “Michael Clayton”

Come on, writers, script your futures The LA Times 11/20/07

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media engorgement

being walled up alone in chez col for the past 4 days, i decided to indulge in the trash heap of media accumulating in my apartment. between netflix, my new nintendo wii, the internet and my $160/month time warner cable/internet/dvr package (am i out of my mind to pay this? the answer is yes.) i had endless options. here’s how i frittered the hours away:

1) super paper mario − i dig this joint. it took me a while to grasp how potent the ability to change dimensions really is. it would rule to have that power in real life. irritating boss up in your grill? bam! now he’s a mere a length without breadth or thickness. oh and there’s this awesome superpower you can get when you become a giant and crush everything in your path. love! i’m really getting into my wii, harkening back to the hours and hours spent in our dungeon basement lording over our family NES. ps: i still fantasize about that little recorder from the legend of zelda calling a whirlwind to come take me away ….

2) the bachelor − i’ve been watching the bachelor for years now and i believe they’ve finally found the perfect formula. super hot, super earnest, borderline doofus choosing from all varieties of women. in the end he usually selects a beautiful woman who’s slightly more intelligent than he, yet willing to overlook that in exchange for his generous masculinity. come to think of it, i might accept that rose too. the dude in this season is preternaturally dense. guilty, guilty pleasure.

3) 30 rock− people have been telling me to watch this show from the start. think i watched the pilot and got turned off. well, i’ve finally come back around and wow − it’s superb! full disclosure: i fancy myself a blond tina fey, except i’m about 1/80th as funny and my job is about 1/800th as cool. but like her character on the show, i am a motherly anchor to a wacky team − taking care of people and things behind the scenes, catering to egomaniacal honchos, trying to be cool but always tripping on the curb and spilling coffee on myself. it’s kind of odd to watch knowing that alec baldwin called his 11 year old daughter a “rude, thoughtless pig.” alas, the line between fiction and fact is ever so thin.

4) from my netflix cue: the lives of others … about an agent in east berlin who, while secretly monitoring a bunch of artists for anti-socialist activities, becomes sympathetic to the very people he is supposed to guard against. this film won a gazillion awards and everyone raves and yes it’s good but, well, i kind of got bored halfway through, once i realized exactly how the rest of the story would turn out. late ozu: early spring. this is a japanese film, apparently a classic but man oh man it took me forever to watch. b-o-r-i-n-g! but then that’s what it was all about, the boredom of bourgeoisie life. working in soul-deadening jobs with no excitement. seeking escapes through alcohol and extramarital affairs. it was depressing. still worth watching i guess, though, because the industrial look and feel of it is seared onto my brain.

5) movies on demand − evening … total waste of five bucks. once again, i fell for the goddamned ensemble cast. vanessa redgrave, meryl streep, toni collette, claire danes, natasha richardson. and it was a love story. perfect to watch snuggled under my covers, right? wrong. it was like steel magnolias minus the humor and charm. rubbish!

6) hbo on demand − alive day. it’s a documentary produced by james gandolfini with 10 soldiers who returned from iraq after surviving life-threatening disasters. most were amputees, one was blind, several had severe mental problems. it was very eye opening to see the actual injuries on these young people, and how hard life has become for them now. next time i want to bitch about my allergies, i’ll try to remember the guy with one arm and no legs.

7) the new york times − i get the nytimes each weekend and more and more i can’t bring myself to open it. i hate the physical bulk of the newspaper. it seems like the embodiment of cheap, wasteful information that’s the hum drum of our day. this article: “too much information? ignore it,” and how i came to read it, proves the point in a most ironic fashion. laurie, a dear friend, sent it to me. i’ve never met laurie in the flesh, but we’re in contact mostly every day, several times a day. we know all about eachother’s lives. we advise each other, we amuse eachother, and we inform each other. laurs sent this article to me – it had showed up in her feedreader courtesy of the huffington post. i printed it out and read it from my bed, while the heaping mass of newspaper print sat, undisturbed, on my coffee table.

the brilliant thesis of the book featured in the article is that individuals should be more selective in deciding which information to assimilate. as i read it, i became increasingly disgusted by the stupidity of the author’s disciples. this is some basic common sense shit. but as chris rock so astutely stated in that rolling stone article: “We live in a weird time. No one knows who’s smart – we just know who makes money.”

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a writer wrote this!

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desultory thoughts

1. why run to the train? another will be here soon.
2. quote of the day: “If you don’t have any loyalty to what you are doing, you ought not be doing it.” — Tom Harding
3. i dreamed i was one of the women fawning over bob dylan. but then it turned out to be cate blanchett. i’m not sure whether i really thought i was the woman, or if i thought i was playing a character in a movie. i was standing about 10 feet away, wearing an orange sweater, and cate was getting out of a limo. i haven’t seen the movie yet — but i’ve been intrigued by the clips.
4. i’ve been watching jules and jim and really enjoying it. also i picture jules as adrian brody and jim as owen wilson.


5. awesome excerpt today from delancyplace.com:

In today’s excerpt–Elvis Presley, the radio, and social revolution:

“[Radio] made Elvis an agent provocateur. … Radio helped Elvis develop his interest in and affection for the music of black culture. In that pre-rock’n’roll era, America was an apartheid nation and in much of the country, black and white didn’t mix. … Segregation was relatively easy to enforce. It was the law. …

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honchos, media, movies
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STACKIN' CHEDDAR

i just closed my office door so i could blare “clan in da front” by the wu tang. one of these days i will write a wu-tang inspired earnings speech. dollar dollar bills y’all.

so today i’m sitting in my boss’s office. and these new media dudes come in and start mocking his outfit. his lame suit and traditional ways.

while i agreed with them in concept, upon further reflection, who really gives a fuck what he’s wearing? actions and impacts are what matter, right? totes realize i am contradicting myself here, alas. a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

i also disliked their approach: mockery. it felt like high school. the boys all trying to express their dominance over one another, show off and be cool in front of the chicks. and in the process they act like complete douchebags to each other.

it’s annoying, and old. earlier in my career, i wormed into those boys’ clubs. i did it by being very competitive and very “cool.” when i finally got in there i was like: “this is it? my reward is that i get to hang out with you guys all the time?”

yeah, there was a bit more money, internal status, better assignments and the occasional trip on the jet, which all seemed very desirable at the time. but it wasn’t at all worth having to go to offsite meetings at the greenbrier with 20 boring ass married guys in their 40s and 50s.

last night the downtown v train got stuck for over half an hour. i re-watched hotel chevalier on my ipod, among other things. here are my thoughts:

1) wes is brill. high style, i dig.
2) wes has major class hangups. this is by no means a revelation, but still.
3) the jason schwartzman character is the epitome of today’s emasculated sensitive male, hiding out, being passive, waiting for everyone else to do the work. it’s dudes like that who make us long to have brutishly masculine types like daniel craig and clive owen come spank us. natalie portman, meanwhile, plays today’s action-oriented woman. she’s exhausted by the burden of having to decide everything. the world is beating up on her. but she’s still able to expose herself. this ultimately gives her even more power, which she abuses. it’s gals like that who make guys long for demure, hyper-feminine, “foreign” chicks. be careful what you wish for …
4) i’ve watched hotel chevalier twice and listened to the soundtrack many times. haven’t seen darjeeling yet, but i’m excited to, and feel like i’ve already got half my body in that water. i met a photographer the other nite who took photos of wes at the ny film festival. he said that some train scene in darjeeling that used a kinks song was intended to be a beatles song. i love hearing interesting insider stuff like that.

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bondboy68


thanks to john at caulk is cheap for the fab find.

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art, love, media, movies, zen shit
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auxiliary view

in the past 72 hours i

1. overheard a bum on the street saying to another bum: “and then mel gibson told danny glover he better check himself…”
2. told my pal david i saw apocalypto (and enjoyed it) and he told me he was disappointed in the racist portrayal of the mayans. he also said mel was a douche to the locals and crew who worked on the film, and this article corroborates that.
3. was almost hit by a raging man in a fed ex uniform driving a bicycle on the sidewalk at mach speed. as he passed he shouted out: “i should have hit your ass!”
4. watched part of gilda (via netflix)
5. saw a really cool documentary called toots and met the filmmaker, the subject’s granddaughter. it’s an incredible history lesson on new york city. and an interesting family history as well. (still playing at the quad cinema on 13th st.)
6. got my hair cut and colored (spent a boatload on it, oy!).
7. had clips duty, whereby i get up early on weekend mornings and scan the contents of 7 newspaper web sites for stories about my employer. this call to duty occurs approximately every 4 weeks. i find it highly annoying, and i kvetch about it to everyone.
8. ate a piece of chocolate cake and invoked the bill cosby routine about it.
9. got another email from my cuz in iraq, telling me he likes my halloween costume idea.
10. drank too damn much prosecco and stayed out until 3:30 a.m. though it hurts, it was delightful and i totes like bragging about it right now (32 going on 13).

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love, movies, Uncategorized
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hotel chevalier

now free on iTunes.

and, a v. insightful quote now free on rayette.

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let me entertain me

saw la vie en rose last night, about the tragic life of edith piaf. if you are inclined to think you’ve got problems ─ i’m not saying you don’t ─ but hell, poor edith had it rough! stories like hers make people afraid to identify themselves as artists. but they also help us understand the complications of the creative life, while at the same giving us some inspiration.

speaking of artists … the ny film festival kicks off today. there have been film people all over the place – in the nabe, in midtown, and everywhere i go. i also notice the movie trucks, almost every day. maybe they’re always there, but i notice them more now seeing as i am getting back to my screenplay after setting it aside for a couple of years. it’s fun and exiting. and it also makes me so curious to watch as many other films as possible.

on my to see list right now are: toots, darjeerling limited, and once.

netflix i have out right now are: apocalypto, mean creek and conversations with god.

on my dvr are: several episodes of curb, ellen, the office and a couple of the new tv shows that i’ll probably never watch (bionic woman, big bang, cane).

i didn’t manage to find a single new show on any of the networks that i actually like enough to stick with. feels like they are trying too hard to attract a mass audience, mostly through hyperactive plots and big-time visuals. but the stories and characters are lacking. too many sweeping clichés for my taste.

for hamlet brevity was the soul of wit. for thomas jefferson the most valuable of all talents was “never using two words when one will do.”

so lately i’ve taken to serializing my netflix selections. i tend to watch ½ or 2/3rds of a movie one nite and finish it up the next. it works pretty well, actually. i like it better than watching tv series because you get a quicker sense of depth and completion. i guess you could call it a mini-series, except that it’s really just one intense 2-hour feature film broken into micro-portions.

i really dig the ala carte aspect of netflix. given how quickly films come out on dvd these days, and how good they look on my sweet ass 37-inch hd television, it’s a real joy to watch them at home.

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art, honchos, media, movies, music
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the economics of attention

econ.gif

the economics of attention by richard a lanham

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