Film Micrœview #360: Fitzcarraldo (1982)

05.19.2017 § Leave a comment

Rating: Dr. Pepper.

Pure cinema magic.

The 80’s music is weird, though. I’d forgotten about that part.

Dream 500: Shoddy

05.19.2017 § Leave a comment

I’m in a shop, naked. I cover my genitals with a jacket, should be fine, no one cares that much about butts anyway, though I do feel a bit out of place. The clerk hands me something I didn’t buy and pressures me to steal it.

Karin and I have moved into a new apartment inside a complex whose courtyard is indoors and modeled after a suburban house, just gigantic. The spiral staircase has no railings and is made of irregularly shaped stained glass flower bouquets. Karin is knitting something with a thread she’s pulling from the edge of the upstairs floor and wall; I can see over the banister that the thread continues through the floor we’re on and its origin is in the downstairs carpet (which is more like a straw weave, really).

Karin’s dad is brushing his teeth at the sink in the shower, but there’s a scary spider on the mirror.

I’m sorting Tristram’s library.

Film Micrœview #359: A League of Their Own (1992)

05.17.2017 § Leave a comment

Rating: Good.

I’ve seen this movie a million times. Just needed to expose my girlfriend to it so she could pick up on my family’s constant referencing of it.

I never realized before that Hans Zimmer did the score, though now I can totally hear it.

This movie is so damn fun, one can almost forgive the weird amount of slut-shaming of Mae, body-shaming of Marla Hooch, and the unpunished sexual harassment of Jimmy Duggan. And I don’t know quite what to think of the moment where a black woman impresses Dottie with a powerful lob; she is literally the only person of color in the entire picture. I guess the film is being honest about the state of gender and race relations at the time. But there’s something concerning about how some of the moments, like this one with the black woman, or another where a woman receives a serious injury while performing a standard baseball activity (sliding) because of the sexually exploitative and impractical costumes they are required to wear, are relegated to bits in montage sequences.

Something has always bothered me, in a good way, about the frame story centering the story on Dottie. I appreciate the historical contexualization of the women’s league, and don’t mind a little sappy excess in a feel-good dramedy like this, but it plays into the balance between Dottie and her sister Kit in a way I can’t fully get my head around. The conflict between the overshadowed and the overshadower is a fascinating one to explore, especially with so many other characters caught in the mix, and especially with their true sisterly love for each other shining strongly even through the darkest, most competitive moments. These are just two strong, flawed, proud, sensitive, unforgettable characters. They don’t write ’em like this anymore.

Film Micrœview #358: Orlando (1992)

05.16.2017 § Leave a comment

Rating: Bad.

I had seen this movie before and remembered it fondly enough to recommend it to my girlfriend who is a Tildaphile. But she isn’t even that good in this. And nice costumes I guess, but this is just way too self-satisfied of itself, gushing with naïve pretention. I admit I never read the book.

Billy Zane is an auto-ventrilloquist. He somehow throws his own voice into himself. It’s like only his speaking part’s audio is out of sync with the picture. I don’t understand how he makes so many mouth sounds and yet so little of it is comprehensible language, without overtly garbling his words. Fascinating and infuriating fellow, only in the film for five minutes.

Dream 499: Double Helix

05.13.2017 § Leave a comment

Vince is such a baller. With a band, a food catering business, and now this fancy tea business exploding, he’s gonna be rich. I nod off alone on the lower table in the center of the room while Vince and friends at the upper table get served their pork belly and strawberries. I wake up in time to get some scraps. The two women outside notice they’re missing out as well – I accidentally hand one of them an empty elliptical serving plate instead of a circular person plate.

Karin and I are playing mini golf in Fremont at night. A Muni train passes on the elevated tracks above. Our companion, also named Doug, asks us whether we’re taking Muni or bringing our car along camping.

Doug leads us down the helical staircase around the inside of the massive cylindrical chamber below the course. Doug, half-Korean and somewhat gangsta, handles returning our bowling shoes to the full-Asian gangsta guard while Karin and I slip out unnoticed.

Karin shows me the scar she’s received on her inner thigh from Doug’s ice skates. I begin to question the nature of her attraction to this Doug character…

Unfortunately Karin and I get separated. I’m able to hack my way outside, noticing a doorway which, just to the side of the bottom of the left frame, has a doghair-covered notecard reading state.setProps, which I recognize as some React code I can exploit. Further unfortunately, on the other side of the door is not quite out yet, but a half-cylindrical cell of sorts, and I can hear guard dogs approaching – they’ll be able to bite my face through the slits at head-level, and I don’t have enough room to back far enough away from them. Fortunately, I find a little plastic toy candle inside a poster on the wall which is able to transform them into cuddly Shiba Inus.


Film Micrœview #357: Irreversible (2002)

05.07.2017 § Leave a comment

Rating: Good.

I joked as I watched this during the French elections that Gaspar Noe was the moral compass of the French people. But this is indeed a moralistic film, and a successful one at that. For those uninterested in exposing themselves to horrific experiences, stay away. But you’d have to be immensely off to watch this as exploitation.

If Enter the Void is about rebirth, Irreversible is about anti-rebirth. This time I got to thinking about how the credits start off rolling backwards, but then start tilting sideways and are thrown out of orbit. That used to seem like just another ornamental disorienting effect. But now I’m sure that it’s critical. Connect it with two other moments where the “eye” of the film catches the attention of something spinning – once at the beginning, a police siren, and once at the end, a sprinkler. The camera gets “attached” to it to some extent, spinning with it, but then in short order cuts loose and resumes its tumbling that characterizes most of the cinematography of the film. I think what Noe is saying is that we want to live cycles, but life is a line. Time destroys all. The future seems full of possibilities, but it is not. One must assume a single outcome, and it can be traced all the way back to some galactic origin. It is the opposite of the Starchild rebirth of Space Odyssey 2001 referenced at the end. And Cassel’s character is constantly referred to as a primate, further referencing the film, and the earlier evolutionary state.

If nothing else, it is an unflinching and original vision.

Dream 498: Sine Young

05.05.2017 § Leave a comment

I’m redoing Kris’s synthesizer TDD this time, in Node, with React, and SVG – the same tech stack as my current project at work.

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