Saturday, August 07, 2010

Despicable Me (2010): excellent summer film full of visual invention; superb comic timing; complicated art historical in-jokes (one of the bad guys is modelled on a Daumier sculpture) and occasional jaw-dropping set pieces (two rocket launches; a wild ride on a fish-themed roller coaster by the sea). Plus a pulsing disco-funk soundtrack by Pharrell Williams. Rose T. Cat sat entranced with us in the front row at the local megaplex; that she attracted no undue attention says a lot about the expanded demographic the film draws.

(Plus: minions!)

Meager Creek Landslide

(Note the size of the downed trees for scale)
Friday, August 06, 2010

The Tiger Oil Memos, by Edward Mike Davis

“Do not speak to me when you see me. If I want to speak to you, I will do so. I want to save my throat. I don’t want to ruin it by saying hello to all of you sons-of-bitches.”
Thursday, August 05, 2010

DF Remembers Vintage SF

"In September of '66, my formerly tweedy, graying poetry professor, Anthony Hecht, showed up for the new term in black and white-striped Uncle Sam bellbottoms, a bright paisley shirt, a suede vest and Beatle boots. We all assumed that these, along with a new laid-back, goofy expression, were the souvenirs of a summer spent among the flower children of Haight-Ashbury, a section of San Francisco that was just starting its climb to glory. Of course, my pals and I had to check it out as well. So, a few months later, I drove out there with a couple of friends.

The scene, made eerily vivid by the combination of psychedelic drugs and its own outrageous novelty, was pure sci fi: all these dazzling young girls dressed up in home-made outfits inspired by Pocahontas, Maid Marion, Annie Oakley and whoever. Tall, bony drug dealers with ponytails would walk past you muttering the names of their wares without the vowels, just in case you were a narc: Hsh! - Grss! - Zd! - Spd! Blue Cheer, a group that touted itself as the loudest band in the world, was playing down the street at the Straight Theater.

It was fascinating, for about a week, anyway. Then you started to notice that a lot of the kids looked all waxy and wild-eyed, and that they were talking much too slow or much too fast and then you got that Oh Shit feeling like Lou Costello thinking he's talking to Abbott and then realizing he's talking to the Wolfman. On the corner, you'd spot the hustling predator[s] (whose consciousness hadn't been raised as yet) looking to score off the middle-class kids who'd walked right onto their turf. It was over, bro, before it even hit Life magazine. . . ."


Metropolitan (7), 2010
Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Tonight's soundtrack: Emily Haines, Swimmers.

Bright pink sun sinking behind the ballet academy.

Bruised August light, great warm wind.
Today's soundtrack: Linda Ronstadt, Heart Like a Wheel
Metropolitan, 2010

Digital pictures of places in Los Angeles previously unknown to me, found and framed in Google Street View. A sequence of autonomous photographs, not a "series." Best viewed at full-screen resolution. (Click the upper-right tab in each image). Suggested by conversations with Stephen Shore and Owen Kydd.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Metropolitan (5), 2010
Sunday, August 01, 2010

Metropolitan (4), 2010

Soundtrack for a dérive

"[T]he primarily urban character of the dérive, in its element in the great industrially transformed cities — those centers of possibilities and meanings — could be expressed in Marx’s phrase: 'Men can see nothing around them that is not their own image; everything speaks to them of themselves. Their very landscape is alive.'"

Metropolitan (3), 2010

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