Friday, October 30, 2009
If you don't know of it, check out this (great) free track on stereogum: http://stereogum.com/archives/mp3/amy_millan_covers_death_cab_for_cutie_stereogum_pr_084261.html
then buy it on itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/masters-burial/id327854954
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
This week I'm going to a lot of readings at the International Festival Of Authors in Toronto. For all Toronto readers of this blog, I recommend checking it out. http://www.readings.org/
My new favorite blog is Every Nine Days: I mean, one women Beatles! Awesome! Great singing, guitar playing, clapping etc.
I read French Milk by Lucy Knisly and have started to follow her blog where she often posts great diary comics. (including a sadly true one about Twilight)
Speaking of diary comics, Gabrielle Bell has started to post her amazing comics online!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Check it out: http://readingcomix.blogspot.com/
(no, despite how the post makes it sound, this blog is not shutting down. the comics coverage has just been moved to the other blog)
Sunday, September 13, 2009
An Education tells the story of a 16 year old girl named Jenny (played by Casey Mulligan) and her relationship with an older man (played by Peter Sarsgaard) who seems to offer her a life of fun instead of the university educated life at Oxford she has been working for until the older man's secret is revealed. Not very entertaining stuff you might think but the dialogue by Nick Hornby is sharp and witty and An Education is manages to be funny (Alfred Molina's is hilarious in his performance as Jenny's father.) in addition to sad and moving. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
The anthology Put This Book Back On The Shelf has comics by various cartoonists inspired by songs by Belle And Sebastian. I read the book after recently listening to The BBC Sessions on a constant loop so I still had most of the songs featured in the book (though sadly not all of them) stuck in my head. I hadn't heard of any of the creators in the book except for Bannister (who draws a moving short story here) from his wonderful contributions to the Flight books. The amazing thing with the book is that despite being a comic book, it still feels as musically and rhythmically vibrant as the songs. In some of the stories (like I Could Be Dreaming by Andi Watson and Me And The Major by Tom Hart) they directly quote the song lyrics and the effect feels like an animated music video. In some of the other stories they take different approaches. One of the stories, Dog On Wheels by Kato, has no dialogue. Others use collage to tell their stories. Others take a more narrative standpoint. One of my favorite stories in the book, The Model by Jennifer de Guzman and Brian Bellow, starts as a straight narrative story of the story of a guy who wants to meet his girlfriend's friend who he has a crush on and ends with him writing her a letter which includes some of the lyrics of the song. The book is fantastic. The only problem I had with it is I wish it had been longer. This book deserves to be taken off the shelf and read.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I'm reading Miranda July's book of short stories now (called No One Belongs Here More Then You) and happened across this video of an art installation she did which is pretty amazing as is her website for the aforementioned book I'm reading.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Pluto by Naoki Urasawa: One of the best comic books I've ever read and I'm not a real reader of Manga or Science fition. With great charecterazation, Pluto is exciting, well written, beautifully drawn and just getting better with each volume.
A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi: I liked this book a lot and would recommend it highly for anyone interested in writing in any form.
Cecil And Jordan In New York by Gabrielle Bell: I enjoyed how this book distilled stories that could have filled full books of there own into short beutiful suggestions.
The Eternal Smile by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim: Three interesting (and well done) stories about fantasy and reality.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Now watch it.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Coraline looks amazing.
In certain scenes, it makes one gasp with its beauty. The landscapes that have been created are quite frankly amazing. From the opening credits to the final minute, the film looks fantastic. But, like the world Coraline enters, is the apparent beauty really true inside. By which I mean, does the movie work on a level other then its looks. I'm not sure. But its looks are amazing.
The story of film is rather simple until it slowly reveals that nothing is as it seems. A girl named Coraline (voiced by Dekota Fanning) lives with her parents who write all about gardening for a magazine but never garden (voiced by Teri Hatcher and John Hodgeman) in a bland hotel which is inhabited by a number of eccentrics. Coraline finds a door to another world much like her own but more beautiful and friendly. She finds that she has an 'other' mother and father (also voiced by Teri Hatcher and John Hodgemen) who treat her better then her own. Nonetheless they have a secret involving button eyes, that will quickly be revealed. I will not give away more of the plot.
The film is worth seeing for its large technical and artistic achievement. All the animators who worked on this deserve kudos for a beautiful film. Worth watching, go to it as a moving work of art. Its worth it.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
- Oprah was nearly the Illinois Senator.
- John Updike died.
Friday, January 23, 2009
It was not precisely lip-synching, but pretty close
The somber, elegiac tones before President Obama’s oath of office at the inauguration on Tuesday came from the instruments of Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and two colleagues. But what the millions on the Mall and watching on television heard was in fact a recording, made two days earlier by the quartet and matched tone for tone by the musicians playing along.
The players and the inauguration organizing committee said the arrangement was necessary because of the extreme cold and wind during Tuesday’s ceremony. The conditions raised the possibility of broken piano strings, cracked instruments and wacky intonation minutes before the president’s swearing in (which had problems of its own).
“Truly, weather just made it impossible,” Carole Florman, a spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, said on Thursday. “No one’s trying to fool anybody. This isn’t a matter of Milli Vanilli,” Ms. Florman added, referring to the pop band that was stripped of a 1989 Grammy because the duo did not sing on their album and lip-synched in concerts.
Ms. Florman said that the use of a recording was not disclosed beforehand but that the NBC producers handling the television pool were told of its likelihood the day before.
The network said it sent a note to pool members saying that the use of recordings in the musical numbers was possible. Inaugural musical performances are routinely recorded ahead of time for just such an eventuality, Ms. Florman said. The Marine Band and choruses, which performed throughout the ceremony, did not use a recording, she said.
“It’s not something we would announce, but it’s not something we would try to hide,” Ms. Florman said. “Frankly, it would never have occurred to me to announce it. The fact they were forced to perform to tape because of the weather did not seem relevant, nor would we want to draw attention away from what we believed the news is, that we were having a peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next.”
Anthony McGill, a principal clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera, and the pianist Gabriela Montero joined Mr. Ma and Mr. Perlman in “Air and Simple Gifts,” a piece written for the occasion by John Williams. While not all music critics agreed about the quality of the piece, some took note of the frigid circumstances for the performers. And the classical music world was heartened by the prominent place given to its field.
Mr. Perlman said the recording, which was made Sunday at the Marine Barracks in Washington, was used as a last resort.
“It would have been a disaster if we had done it any other way,” he said Thursday in a telephone interview. “This occasion’s got to be perfect. You can’t have any slip-ups.”
The musicians wore earpieces to hear the playback.
Performing along to recordings of oneself is a venerable practice, and it is usually accompanied by a whiff of critical disapproval. Famous practitioners since the Milli Vanilli affair include Ashlee Simpson, caught doing it on “Saturday Night Live,” and Luciano Pavarotti, discovered lip-synching during a concert in Modena, Italy. More recently, Chinese organizers superimposed the voice of a sweeter-singing little girl on that of a 9-year-old performer featured at the opening ceremony of last summer’s Olympic Games.
In the case of the inauguration, the musicians argued that the magnitude of the occasion and the harsh weather made the dubbing necessary and that there was no shame in it.
“I really wanted to do something that was absolutely physically and emotionally and, timing-wise, genuine,” Mr. Ma said. “We also knew we couldn’t have any technical or instrumental malfunction on that occasion. A broken string was not an option. It was wicked cold.”
Along with admiration for the musicians’ yeoman work in the cold, questions had swirled in the classical music world about whether Mr. Ma and Mr. Perlman would use their valuable cello and violin in the subfreezing weather. Both used modern instruments. Mr. Ma said he had considered using a hardy carbon-fiber cello, but rejected the idea to avoid distracting viewers with its unorthodox appearance.
“What we were there for,” he said, “was to really serve the moment.”
Thursday, January 22, 2009
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
* Richard Jenkins in “The Visitor” (Overture Films)
* Frank Langella in “Frost/Nixon” (Universal)
* Sean Penn in “Milk” (Focus Features)
* Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
* Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
* Josh Brolin in “Milk” (Focus Features)
* Robert Downey Jr. in “Tropic Thunder” (DreamWorks, Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
* Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Doubt” (Miramax)
* Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.)
* Michael Shannon in “Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage)
* Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married” (Sony Pictures Classics)
* Angelina Jolie in “Changeling” (Universal)
* Melissa Leo in “Frozen River” (Sony Pictures Classics)
* Meryl Streep in “Doubt” (Miramax)
* Kate Winslet in “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
* Amy Adams in “Doubt” (Miramax)
* Penélope Cruz in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (The Weinstein Company)
* Viola Davis in “Doubt” (Miramax)
* Taraji P. Henson in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
* Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
* “Bolt” (Walt Disney), Chris Williams and Byron Howard
* “Kung Fu Panda” (DreamWorks Animation, Distributed by Paramount), John Stevenson and Mark Osborne
* “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Andrew Stanton
BEST ART DIRECTION
* “Changeling” (Universal), Art Direction: James J. Murakami, Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt, Set Decoration: Victor J. Zolfo
* “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Nathan Crowley, Set Decoration: Peter Lando
* “The Duchess” (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Art Direction: Michael Carlin, Set Decoration: Rebecca Alleway
* “Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage), Art Direction: Kristi Zea, Set Decoration: Debra Schutt
* “Changeling” (Universal), Tom Stern
* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Claudio Miranda
* “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Wally Pfister
* “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Chris Menges and Roger Deakins
* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Anthony Dod Mantle
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
* “Australia” (20th Century Fox), Catherine Martin
* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Jacqueline West
* “The Duchess” (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Michael O’Connor
* “Milk” (Focus Features), Danny Glicker
* “Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage), Albert Wolsky
* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), David Fincher
* “Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Ron Howard
* “Milk” (Focus Features), Gus Van Sant
* “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Stephen Daldry
* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Danny Boyle
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
* “The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)” (Cinema Guild), A Pandinlao Films Production, Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath
* “Encounters at the End of the World” (THINKFilm and Image Entertainment), A Creative Differences Production, Werner Herzog and Henry Kaiser
* “The Garden” A Black Valley Films Production, Scott Hamilton Kennedy
* “Man on Wire” (Magnolia Pictures), A Wall to Wall Production, James Marsh and Simon Chinn
* “Trouble the Water” (Zeitgeist Films), An Elsewhere Films Production, Tia Lessin and Carl Deal
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
* “The Conscience of Nhem En” A Farallon Films Production, Steven Okazaki
* “The Final Inch” A Vermilion Films Production, Irene Taylor Brodsky and Tom Grant
* “Smile Pinki” A Principe Production, Megan Mylan
* “The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306” A Rock Paper Scissors Production, Adam Pertofsky and Margaret Hyde
BEST FILM EDITING
* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
* “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Lee Smith
* “Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
* “Milk” (Focus Features), Elliot Graham
* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Chris Dickens
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
* “The Baader Meinhof Complex” A Constantin Film Production, Germany
* “The Class” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Haut et Court Production, France
* “Departures” (Regent Releasing), A Departures Film Partners Production, Japan
* “Revanche” (Janus Films), A Prisma Film/Fernseh Production, Austria
* “Waltz with Bashir” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Bridgit Folman Film Gang Production, Israel
* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Greg Cannom
* “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), John Caglione, Jr. and Conor O’Sullivan
* “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” (Universal), Mike Elizalde and Thom Floutz
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.),Alexandre Desplat
* “Defiance” (Paramount Vantage), James Newton Howard
* “Milk” (Focus Features), Danny Elfman
* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), A.R. Rahman
* “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Thomas Newman
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
* “Down to Earth” from “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, Lyric by Peter Gabriel
* “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Gulzar
* “O Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Music and Lyric by A.R. Rahman andMaya Arulpragasam
BEST ANIMATED SHORT
* “La Maison en Petits Cubes” A Robot Communications Production, Kunio Kato
* “Lavatory - Lovestory” A Melnitsa Animation Studio and CTB Film Company Production, Konstantin Bronzit
* “Oktapodi” (Talantis Films) A Gobelins, L’école de l’image Production, Emud Mokhberi and Thierry Marchand
* “Presto” (Walt Disney) A Pixar Animation Studios Production, Doug Sweetland
* “This Way Up”, A Nexus Production, Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
* “Auf der Strecke (On the Line)” (Hamburg Shortfilmagency), An Academy of Media Arts Cologne Production, Reto Caffi
* “Manon on the Asphalt” (La Luna Productions), A La Luna Production, Elizabeth Marre and Olivier Pont
* “New Boy” (Network Ireland Television), A Zanzibar Films Production, Steph Green and Tamara Anghie
* “The Pig” An M & M Production, Tivi Magnusson and Dorte Høgh
* “Spielzeugland (Toyland)” A Mephisto Film Production, Jochen Alexander Freydank
BEST SOUND EDITING
* “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Richard King
* “Iron Man” (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment), Frank Eulner and Christopher Boyes
* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Tom Sayers
* “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood
* “Wanted” (Universal),Wylie Stateman
BEST SOUND MIXING
* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Mark Weingarten
* “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick
* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty
* “WALL-E” (Walt Disney),Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt
* “Wanted” (Universal), Chris Jenkins, Frank A. Montaño and Petr Forejt
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron
* “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber and Paul Franklin
* “Iron Man” (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment), John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick and Shane Mahan
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Screenplay by Eric Roth, Screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
* “Doubt” (Miramax), Written by John Patrick Shanley
* “Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Screenplay by Peter Morgan
* “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Hare
* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
* “Frozen River” (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Courtney Hunt
* “Happy-Go-Lucky” (Miramax), Written by Mike Leigh
* “In Bruges” (Focus Features), Written by Martin McDonagh
* “Milk” (Focus Features), Written by Dustin Lance Black
* “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
This morning I was not in Washington (in fact I was at my school's screening room in Toronto) but in an odd way I was. Even in a place where only a few of us were literally American, the excitement in the room was fierce. We laughed with more passion then I have ever seen, many even started to have tears in their eyes, we stood up for the pledge of allegiance, we all stood up and cheered when Barrack Obama got named the president of the united states. Even in Canada, it was a truly passionate event.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Toronto institution David Mirvish Books is shutting its doors next month for the final time.Such a shame. It's a really nice store. I was there the other day and enjoyed browsing. It will be missed.
The Markham Street bookstore -- just across the street for Honest Ed's -- will close its doors on February 28.
DM Books opened in 1974, and carved out its niche by focusing on books on art.
With its lofty, white walls, massive Frank Stella painting and temple-like reverence for high art," wrote Toronto Life, "this Mirvish Village favourite is more civilized than Honest Ed’s (its neighbour), but it has the same flair for bargains."
From the store's website:
In 1974 David Mirvish opened an art bookstore as an outgrowth of the David Mirvish Gallery. The gallery exhibited abstract artists and colour field painters and sculptors. Some of the artists exhibited included Milton Avery, Jack Bush, Anthony Caro, Helen Frankenthaler, Hans Hofmann, Morris Louis, Robert, Motherwell, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons and Frank Stella. David Mirvish Books is now in the building designed by Australian architect John Andrews for the gallery in 1970. Installed on the back wall of the bookstore is Frank Stella’s 1970 “Damascus Gate, Stretch Variation”. The fifty foot long painting from Stella's protractor series overlooks the main room above an equally long shelf of books on artist’s monographs.
More info to come.[David Mirvish. Photo by Peter J. Thompson/National Post
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Cecil B. DeMille Award: Steven Spielberg
Deserved I guess. Didn't see his speech so I don't know how boring it was.
Best Motion Picture - Drama: Slumdog Millionaire
I liked it. It was one of the better movies this year.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road
Still haven't seen it.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler
haven't seen it. it looked okay.
Best Motion Picture - Musical Or Comedy: Vicky Cristina Barcelona
looked good but I haven't seen it.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Sally Hawkins – Happy-Go-Lucky
She won this on my blog's best of 2008 list so (obviously) deserved. Speech went on a bit.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical Or Comedy: Colin Farrell – In Bruges
know nothing about this movie.
Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Kate Winslet – The Reader
She made her holocaust movie.
Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
How could they not give it to him. It was a good performance but more then that it was legend with the sad appendix of his death.
Best Animated Feature Film: Wall-E
haven't seen this and (honestly) don't want to.
Best Foreign Language Film: Waltz With Bashir (Israel) haven't seen this
Best Director - Motion Picture: Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire
very deserved. the movie is very well directed...
Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: Slumdog Millionaire, Written by Simon Beaufoy
Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Slumdog Millionaire, Composed by A. R. Rahman
and well scored
Best Original Song - Motion Picture: "The Wrestler" – The Wrestler. Music & Lyrics By: Bruce Springsteen
haven't heard it.
Best Television Series - Drama: Mad Men
haven't seen it.
Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Drama: Anna Paquin – True Blood
haven't seen it. I recall her being good in X-Men though.
Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama: Gabriel Byrne – In Treatment
sounded like an interesting show
Best Television Series - Musical Or Comedy: 30 Rock
30 rock is entertaining.
Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy: Tina Fey – 30 Rock
she's pretty funny.
Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy: Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock
he's quite good in the show
Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television: John Adams
sounded good. I haven't seen it
Best Performance by an Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television - Laura Linney – John Adams
she's usually very good.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Paul Giamatti – John Adams
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Laura Dern – Recount
this was a good performance. very deserved. I clapped when I saw that they gave the award to what deserved it.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Tom Wilkinson – John Adams
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Picture from: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/photo/2009/01/07/0108-WASHINGTON/26376327.JPG