Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Special Report From Section 9...

Science Fiction is a major influence in my life; and there is no way that I could ever deny that fact. I may be able to conceal it for short increments of time in mixed company but eventually I will tip my hand and reveal my true self. I love the stories, I love the characters and I love the possibilities for the future that Science Fiction presents. I love watching Science Fiction based movies and television shows and I love to reading sci-fi stories. A science fiction movie with a decent script and good art direction has the same effect on me as good pot has on other people...I watch Blade Runner and I get high off of Ridley Scott's vision of the future. Lets face facts here, Blade Runner is the reason I bought my first trench coat; I suppose that Colombo may have had a small part to play in that fashion genesis. Taking all of this into account are any of you really surprised that I spent last night watching Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence?

At this moment, I cannot give you my opinion on the movie; other than to say that like every other viewer on the planet I found the work "visually stunning." I remember reading a comment that the director made saying that the animation in this movie is four years ahead of anything that we have here in the States. After my first viewing of the film I would be inclined to agree with him but with one caveat. Are we really making the same kind of animated movies in this country? GITS is unquestionably adult fare; while most of the cutting edge computer animation in this country or animation in general for that matter is still oriented towards a child audience. I have to give this film a second viewing because to be honest I am still digesting everything; but the only thing that bothered me last night while I was watching it on DVD was the fact that there was no dubbed option. Personally, I prefer to watch foreign films with subtitles that way I don't get distracted by the fact that none of the actors lips are in synch with the dialogue. What bothered me last night was the fact that the subtitles were taking my attention away from the background in the movie. The background art in both the GITS films are amazingly dense and, to me anyway, compelling. The setting is what helps to give the characters and the story depth and realism. That is all that I am going to say at the moment because I need to watch this film again. I turn my attention now to some articles on Cyberpunk that a Professor has just dropped off at the library to be placed on reserve.

Monday, January 10, 2005

This Was Going To Be A Post About Flamethrowers...

Photo from unknown source Posted by Hello

This was supposed to be a post about flamethrowers; and the many practical applications thereof that can be found both inside and around the house. Sadly, I was unable to write that post because apparently I cannot upload any pictures to my Blog. This technical glitch has taken all the fun out of my flamethrower I will talk to you very briefly about music videos.

I love music videos, I like watching them, recalling the images from them when I hear a song on the radio. Much to my dismay the music video seems to be a dying art form or music is a dying art form I really can't decide but obviously the two share a symbiotic relationship. In order to research this post fully I awoke at 6:30 am and spent the next 4-5 hours watching the VH1 classic/Mega Hits channels and I was lucky enough to see some of my favorite videos. The videos that I consider great just happen to have been created in the late eighties and early nineties. This is when I came of age so most likely I am prejudiced but the most significant difference that I noticed between these old school videos and their contemporaries is the production values. Most new videos are garish light filled, slick highly overproduction affairs with little or no imagination. From what I saw today most of the older videos were rougher in look and editing, they had a very choppy flow, and almost all of them included some portion that was filmed in black and white. What does all of this mean? I have no idea...but I know what I like and I like this...

Peter Bazooka Who dosen't like the Dead Milkmen? One of my Favorites!
Whats the Frequency? Kenneth. I do not like R.E.M. despite indoctrination attempts but I like this video.
Cannonball Directed by Kim Gordon and Spike Jonez but it feels like someones drunk cousin did.
El Scorcho Who dosen't like Weezer...yeah but it feels spontaneious.
So Whatcha Want Cheap effects+good song=Gold Records.
Loser I mean come on this has a creeping coffin and dancing cemetary girls.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Snow Shovels and Shape Shifters

Yesterday was the first real snowstorm of the year; the first one that I could actually enjoy. In order to make the most of a New England snowstorm you need to wake up early in the morning, around six o'clock and from a prone position, reach out from beneath your blankets and place the palm of your hand against a windowpane. Let the cold glass leach all of the heat from your palm and then pull your head out from under the covers and see what kind of damage the snowstorm has done. Yesterday when I peeked out my window, I was delighted to see snow covered tree branches in the early morning light, almost a foot of snow was on the ground and it was still snowing. I jumped out of bed and wrapped myself in my new birthday bathrobe; it is green terry cloth with a hood. Pulling up my hood I went downstairs and popped The Empire Strikes Back into the DVD player, and turned the surround sound up to thirty. I firmly believe that once I decide that it is time to wake up the rest of the world should follow my lead. Certain media complements certain weather conditions; for example on hot muggy days in July, I watch Cape Fear or The Professional. Watching the right movie allows me to make the most of my weather. On snow filled days like yesterday, I like to start my day with Empire and finish it by watching John Carpenters The Thing. In order to maximize the psychological effects of these two films you must time your viewing precisely. I watch Empire early in the morning so that when I go outside to help my family shovel I can pretend I am part of the Rebel Alliance digging in on Hoth preparing to fend off Imperial troops while the last transports make their escape. I make sure to watch The Thing after the sun has gone down, it makes the final shoveling of the driveway more enjoyable. With The Thing fresh in my mind I can let my imagination run wild and my paranoia frequently gets the better of me as I move snow from one side of the asphalt to the other; watching the crepuscular horizon for any signs of approaching monsters. By the time I reenter the house I have worked myself into a frenzy and I begin to scrutinize the mannerisms and actions of my family a little too intently as I try to figure out who is not what they appear to be.

So there it is my first official blog entry, I hope that you enjoyed it. If you didn't then you should read the short story that The Thing was based on and then try to find it in your heart to forgive me.