September 17, 2013
Meanwhile, in Buffy News
Joss's (Is Joss Whedon like Jesus and Moses and Bill Gates that he gets a singular possessive of Joss'?) Much Ado About Nothing gets a scholarly review from Shakespearian Hoss Stephen Greenblatt in the New York Review of Books.
The squabbling between them takes place in public, under everyone's watchful eyes. This is a world in which everyone is constantly observing everyone else--"nothing" in Elizabethan English was pronounced "noting," and this is indeed a play of much ado about noting. To understand the culture out of which Shakespeare is writing, it helps to read Renaissance courtesy manuals like Baldassare Castiglione's famous Book of the Courtier (1528) or, still better, Giovanni della Casa's Galateo or, The Rules of Polite Behavior (1558, available in a delightful new translation by M.F. Rusnak).3 It is fine for gentlemen and ladies to make jokes, della Casa writes, for we all like people who are funny, and a genuine witticism produces "joy, laughter, and a kind of astonishment." But mockery has its risks. It is perilously easy to cross a social and moral line of no return. Whatever quality or error is being mocked "must be such that no noticeable shame or serious harm could arise from it; otherwise it would be hard to distinguish quips from slander."
Out on DVD/Blu-ray/Amazon Instant October 8.
August 22, 2013
Meanwhile, in Buffy News...
Joss Whedon on "The Empire Strikes Back:"
To which your EW interviewer blurted: "You think Empire had a bad ending?"
And a whack at Twilight.
July 22, 2013
Meanwhile, in Buffy News
First, an aside: I could not have done better choosing the episodes for SyFy's Buffy Marathon last night. I would not have picked Buffy vs. Dracula. But I would have been wrong. Even though all are on Amazon Prime anytime, I watched "Hush" and "Buffy vs. Dracula," and DVR-ed "Once More with Feeling" and "Fool for Love." Still awesome.
Yet I post to link to a review of Much Ado About Nothing, written by NRO intern Will Allen.
Joss Whedon's depiction of this most playful Shakespearean comedy is a sheer delight. It is also a rebuke, a surprise, and a challenge, in that order.
Hat-tip: Jin Geraghty, who liked it too.
July 12, 2013
Meanwhile, in Buffy News
Very cool article on the clothes and costume treatments in "Much Ado About Nothing:"
This is not The Cabin in the Woods. There are no big sartorial clues in Much Ado About Nothing for a switcheroo mid-point that makes you go "ahhh...now I get it". Nonetheless, director Joss Whedon's always inventive costume designer Shawna Trpcic could not resist the urge to pepper his film with subtle meaning. Plus everything on screen is contemporary set but shot in black and white. In costume terms it is a far tougher job to be seen and yet not seen, and even more so without the use of colour. Delicate application of fabric and pattern is vital.
I. artless and male, missed most of the subtle clues enumerated in the article; but I was struck by the costumes, even forgetting that there was no budget and little time. Joss was rooting around in actors' closets. Yet -- and I am a big fan of B&W photography and film -- I remember being struck the classic beauty of Amy Acker's clothes and the comedic, slapstick cop suits of Nathan Fillion and Tom Lenk. Sean Maher's Don John is painfully dark; his formality of dress underscores his distance from his brother and his brother's friends perfectly, while adding a cold, villainous professionalism.
July 2, 2013
Meanwhile, in Buffy News...
By my troth, a book in Octob'r due...
Joss Whedon's new adaptation of Shakespeare's classic comedy has already been acclaimed as "a masterpiece".
June 22, 2013
Five Stars and Two Snaps!
Be troth, ne'er have I gone to th' cinema with more rais-ed hopes! Yet verily twas I, and indeed the lovely bride, bewitched by the Bard's tale as by Mister Whedon spoken.
It was awesome! Shakespeare and Whedon really are a great match. This film is predominantly funny, but has dark characters and intensely dramatic sections: like Buffy in blank verse.
Five stars. Don't wait for the video -- get thee to thy local art cinema!
June 10, 2013
Meanwhile, in Buffy News...
May 16, 2013
Meanwhile, In Buffy News...
Can't wait. Can't wait:
Hat-tip: Whedonesque blog
April 23, 2013
Meanwhile in Buffy News
I am in physical pain waiting to see this. The UK Trailer is out and this doesn't help:
UPDATE: Warning! This embed will not shut up after showing the trailer, you have to hit pause/stop. See how long we can stand it...
March 28, 2013
Meanwhile, in Buffy News...
Add to the list of things I do not understand: film distribution.
I cannot wait; the lovely bride and I watch the trailer every day:
Awesome, or what?
February 25, 2013
At last! Some Oscar news that is not terminally vapid! Ari Armstrong celebrates Anne Hathaway's big win -- and her understanding of "sacrifice;"
Reporter: When you look at how much work you had to do to prepare for this role [for The Dark Knight Rises], and then also a rigorous role in Les Mis as well--when you decided you wanted to be an actress years ago--this is the kind of stuff you signed up for?
January 30, 2013
Meanwhile, in Buffy News...
I'm looking forward to this film. Herald Scotland:
It was confirmed last night that Whedon, creator of the long running TV hit Buffy The Vampire Slayer, as well as 2012's Marvel blockbuster Avengers Assemble, will walk the red carpet outside the Glasgow Film Theatre.
I also like that they led with Buffy -- then added "as well as ... Avengers." Wha hae, Scots!
December 27, 2012
Meanwhile, in Buffy News
Cabin in the Woods star Kristen Connolly one of Rotten Tomatoes' 25 Breakout Stars of the Year.
December 10, 2012
Quote of the Day
If Ms. Winfrey can mobilize one of our most powerful publishing houses into action as though it were a pack of panicked cadets at reveille, what chance does a mere author have to escape with her dignity intact? With the possible exceptions of Toni Morrison and Cormac McCarthy, every writer endorsed by Ms. Winfrey has seemed fawning and peripheral when sitting next to her on a couch during her show. Jonathan Franzen will be remembered by wiki-posterity for his ingratitude, his made-for-TV 2001 spat with Ms. Winfrey and their subsequent uplifting reconciliation. So spare a thought for Ms. Mathis, whose career is assured but who will know as she passes through the battery of photo-ops and gassy interviews that her novel has been transformed into just another of Oprah's Favorite Things, along with panini presses and shea-butter bath soaps. -- Sam Sacks, reviewing "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie" by Ayana Mathis
November 5, 2012
Even the Children Learn
I respect the sobreity of brother Ellis' prior post but I do believe caution is in order. There's another equally possible outcome. After all, none of the republics which failed throughout history had the internet... or YouTube.
This episode has been on my mind since the summer of 2008. Now, on the eve of the referendum vote, it finally seems fully appropriate.
October 8, 2012
Howard Roark, Call your Office!
Blog friend Sugarchuck sends a link to a great Camille Paglia piece in the Wall Street Journal: How Capitalism Can Save Art. Paglia fans will know her columns resist brief, bloggy summarizations, but she decries the lack of vitality in visual art and holds the hallowed halls of academia culpable.
Unfortunately, too many artists have lost touch with the general audience and have retreated to an airless echo chamber. The art world, like humanities faculties, suffers from a monolithic political orthodoxy--an upper-middle-class liberalism far from the fiery antiestablishment leftism of the 1960s.
Avant-garde died with -- rather was killed by -- Andy Warhol, says Paglia. And nothing has taken its place. ThreeSourcers will also appreciate her commentary on craftsmanship (in the term's finest, gender ambiguous usage). Artists like Warhol were conversant in industrial arts: they made things, fixed things, and adapted things from the factory floor.
She has some kind, McCloskeyesque words for capitalism qua capitalism, then notes that the bright spot of art is the most commercial
Over the past 20 years, I have noticed that the most flexible, dynamic, inquisitive minds among my students have been industrial design majors. Industrial designers are bracingly free of ideology and cant. The industrial designer is trained to be a clear-eyed observer of the commercial world--which, like it or not, is modern reality.
June 29, 2012
As the FNG at this superb site, I'm still learning the ropes and wanted to see if I could post images.
We learn from the Toronto Sun that Shera Bechard, citizen of the Dominion of Canada and former "girlfriend" of Hugh Hefner, has been admitted to the United States on an O-1 visa. The O-1 visa allows individuals of "extraordinary ability" to come to the United States for up to three years. It is often referred to as the "genius visa."
Among her other extraordinary accomplishments, Miss Bechard was "Miss November" in 2010 and started an online photo sharing craze called "Frisky Friday" through which women were encouraged to post photos of themselves in their underthings. On Fridays. Aside from the alliteration, we fail to understand the extraordinary nature of her abilities in this area, but back to our quest to successfully post a (tasteful) image on this site. We found ourselves unable to accomplish this, and resort to a link for your perusal to evaluate Miss Bechard's extraordinary qualifications for her visa:
We suppose that is genius, of a sort, but given the doctrine of stare decisis we are now wondering if most of the O-1 grants for the year are going to go to attractive women who are willing to disrobe for all the world to see.
UPDATE: (jk -- let me help with that embed, code, EW...)
March 29, 2012
Is editorialist Michael Taube "dreaming in Technicolor?" That's how he describes people who believe Jane Fonda will give a favorable treatment of Nancy Reagan, whom she portrays in her upcoming film. But Taube may be guilty of the same thing in believing that a conservative movie studio could be a commercial success.
Third, actors and actresses would need to get on board. Many Hollywood conservatives and libertarians would initially be frightened to make a leap of faith and join this new studio. But all you need is a small handful of recognizable silver screen veterans, and a decent amount of emerging talent, and a good cast can be created.
The partisan vitriol of the left already borders on a lynchmob in the non-fiction media world. To expect anything less than hatred and blacklisting in the fictional media seems quite naive. Too pessimistic?
October 3, 2011
Paris of the Midwest
Today's Bing wallpaper image of Cleveland, shown below, made me think of another midwestern city with an ornate history and a rust-belt reputation - Detroit.
That ornate history is tangentially referenced in the "Imported from Detroit" ad campaign for new Chryslers, and more directly so in this one they didn't use. Adorned with original architecture and art works funded by the private wealth of twentieth century industrial prosperity, Detroit was dubbed "the Paris of the Midwest." Today, however, articles are written about the city's death. Investor's Business Daily wrote last March ?Who, or What, Killed Detroit? Union Greed."
Two years ago, the Center for Automotive Research estimated that for every job created by a foreign transplant, 6.1 jobs were lost by the Big Three - many of them in Detroit. No city can take that much economic abuse.
And in November 2008, Patrick J. Buchanan had his own explanation for the Motor City's demise: "What killed Detroit was Washington, the government of the United States, politicians, journalists and muckrakers who have long harbored a deep animus against the manufacturing class that ran the smokestack industries that won World War II."
Obviously both authors are correct. An overburdening regulatory government and big-time labor unions were both responsible for the demise of Detroit's industrial base, and that of the nation. Indeed, they were co-conspirators, for without each other they could scarcely exist.
Remember this the next time you hear President Obama make a speech about how government "needs to create American jobs."
May 1, 2011
'Atlas Shrugged Part 1' - Only the Beginning
I enjoyed the very fair Pollywood review of 'Atlas Shrugged Part 1' by two relatively pro-Rand film writers, Lionel Chetwynd and Roger Simon that JK linked for us. They had some very good points and I fully expect the producers to follow as much of their advice as possible in future efforts. This first production clearly had some handicaps that led to its shortcomings, many of which will not apply to the sequels, e.g. the looming expiration of contratual rights, inexperience of the independent production company, and perhaps most importantly... working with the most tedious and least compelling portion of the novel, i.e. the first third. As a first-time reader I wasn't hooked by the story until the tunnel scene, which won't transpire until Part 2.
If the Aglialoro-Kaslow Atlas Shrugged franchise produces better products with its promised sequels than was the original it will not be the first such situation in motion picture history. I'm thinking of the progression in production value, if not necessarily the story line, of the Australian 'Road Warrior' series. The film by that name was far more entertaining and compelling than the predecessor 'Mad Max.' And it's a well-known fact of life that improving on an existing product is a shorter bridge than must be crossed when blazing an original trail.
'Atlas Shrugged Part 1' also suffered from an almost maniacal focus on keeping a quick pace. This led to many stilted scenes where a bit more dialogue would have fleshed out the scene considerably. For example, the "old wounds" in the relationship between Francisco and Dagny are only hinted at in their solitary scene together alone. Rand wrote a richer storyline than was presented to viewers of this film and allowing it to "balloon" to a full two-hours wouldn't have hurt its flow one bit.
But I must disagree with Mr. Chetwynd over his characterization of Rand's novels as mere "ciphers" for her philosophy, having no "depth of character" and lacking the undescribed qualities that would have resulted from "a reflective, creative work." I did find the character portrayals in the film to be rather two-dimensional but I attribute this to the aforementioned limitations and not to the source material to which the producers "slavishly" adhered. I would have liked to see more of the warmth and vulnerability of the literary Dagny in the movie character - an extended scene with Francisco could have provided this. In contrast with Messrs. Chetwynd and Simon, Robert Tracinski observed:
But Ayn Rand started out her career--in the 1920s through the 1940s--as a Hollywood screenwriter, working for such legends as Cecil B. DeMille and Hal Wallis. She wrote her novels in a very cinematic style, with stark visuals, sharp exchanges of dialogue, and peaks of high drama. She gave a director everything he could ask for to keep the audience in their seats: visually beautiful settings from the skyline of New York City to the mountains of Colorado, large-scale action scenes set on railroad lines and in steel mills, big ideas expressed in sharp-witted exchanges of dialogue--and, of course, passionate love scenes with handsome leading men and beautiful leading ladies.
I applaud the passion and dedication which drove Aglialoro, Kaslow, and the entire The Strike production company to complete this much anticipated movie that so many have tried and failed at previously. I am encouraged by their reaction to the predictable reception these Hollywood outsiders were given for their faithful adaptation of Rand's paramount though controversial work. I look forward to bigger and better products to follow, on both the big screen in Parts 2 and 3 and in special DVD releases such as director's cuts and a possible miniseries. These film adaptations can only add to the inspiration and defense of liberty offered by the most influential book ever written save the Bible.
April 29, 2011
'Atlas Shrugged Part 1' news
Southern California reader(s) may want to take his lovely bride to meet Francisco d'Anconia this evening at 6:30.
This is one of several promotional events for the film that are advertised on Facebook.
They came to my attention as part of an email alert that the previously rumored John Aglioloro "strike" from Parts 2 and 3 is fiction.
April 14, 2011
One more day...
April 13, 2011
Two more days...
April 5, 2011
Quote of the Day
Take a hundred people off the street. Show them a kid's finger-painting next to a reproduction of, say, the Sistine Chapel or Bierstadt's "Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains." Ask them which one the toddler did. Five bucks says they'll get it right 100 times out of 100. Heck, even art majors could probably score a solid B-plus. -- A Barton HinkleHinkle is less than impressed with a "vindication" of modern art that "study participants preferred the works by the famous artists 60 percent to 70 percent of the time" to works by toddlers, monkeys and elephants.
January 6, 2011
Here Comes John Galt
To the big screen.
Many of my trepidations about making this story into a movie have been salved by this interview with executive producer and financier (read: owner) of the film, John Aglialoro.
Ranked by Forbes Small Business as the 10th richest executive of any small publicly-traded company (revenues under $200 million) in 2007, Aglialoro is one of those rare corporate executives who fully "gets" the philosophical message in Atlas Shrugged.
So the storyline should be safe. The scope of this movie is Part I of the book, which readers can review key points from by reading those entitled entries in Three Sources' "Atlas Shrugged QOTD" archive.
And the casting appears excellent as well. In my mind's eye I can envision Ms. Schilling walking through an abandoned factory, or consoling her poor, misguided young sister-in-law. And the movie's Hank Reardon, played by Grant Bowler, seems a perfect fit. I can easily see him telling Tinky Holloway that his game is up.
But we'll have to wait for the second sequel for that scene. I've heard that the intentions for Parts II and III of the book are to be separate sequels, each following about a year after it's predecessor.
Judging by some of the scene photos the setting of the movie will be decidedly modern. Apparently it will be set in our time, not in that of the book's writing. This is as it should be. The uninitiated youth will be more captivated than with a more faithful portrayal of the book. And, more importantly, we are closer to the events of the story becoming reality today than at any time in history.
December 7, 2010
The Obama Buck
Some creative Englishpersons have suggested a fresh look for US currency, and it includes replacing the image on the one dollar bill of America's first president, stodgy old white guy George Washington, with America's hip and worldly celebrated "First African American President."
As for the "reason" to redesign America's money:
Fast Company's Suzanne LaBarre praised the Dowling Duncan design, writing, "The Obama bill anchors their sweeping concept for redesigning U.S. banknotes ... The impetus: The greenback has an image problem. It has come to represent everything that's wrong with the American economy, and worse, with its cartoonish graphics and vaguely sinister styling, it actually looks the part."
That's right. The image above certainly isn't "cartoonish" is it? The president's ears can't possibly be as big as those in this caricature.
April 12, 2010
Artist for Freedom
Art is great. Art is powerful. The ideas and emotions it can express in a single image are difficult to ignore. Unfortunately a majority of "artsy" types seem to be of the collectivist bent. Obama used art to perfection in his 2008 election campaign to propogate, as Jon Voight said, "the greatest lie." Since the election heard 'round the world I've been on the lookout for an artist on OUR side. Today, I found him: Bosch Fawstin - artist and author, creator of 'Pigman' the anti-Islamist super-hero and much, much more. For example: AMERICANS: GET UP & FIGHT
Here's another good one: "NOvember"
Bonus points for (at least) two Ayn Rand quotes on the main page.
July 2, 2009
Forget about climate change. Forget about preventing a second term for Obama. The world is coming to an end the month after the election. "It could really happen." And that is a quote.
[What a waste of the category "art." I promise to do better in future.]
April 23, 2007
Here is more great dancing from SYTYCD, Season 2.
I'd have to say I liked some other dancers and performances on the show, too. Benji Schwimmer and his cousin Heidi did a fantastic routine to "Black Mambo" (they have been dancing together since they were at least 5!!!); Travis Wall and Heidi did a paso doble to "Plaza of Execution;" and Benji and Travis did an entertaining hip-hip routine to "Gyrate." But Allison is still first and foremost in my book.
Posted by Cyrano at 9:33 PM
April 17, 2007
Season 3 of "So You Think You Can Dance" starts on Thursday, May 24th!!! It'll be on at 7 Central, with a one-hour audition show. There will be a two-hour audition show on Wednesday, May 30th. This show is amazing; "Dancing With the Stars" got nothing on SYTYCD, which has real dancers on it, not "stars" who are learning to dance. And the music is much better, too. SYTYCD has recordings of original artists, not a cheesy band which sounds like it has been in an elevator too long. On SYTYCD they dance jazz, broadway, contemporary, hip hop, ballroom, Latin, swing. Dancers are paired with dancers, instead of a pro paired with a beginner, as on "Dancing With the Stars."
My favorite in Season 2 was Allison Holker. She had everything: technique, feeling, expressiveness, athleticism. She was not voted to continue at one point -- which almost caused me to quit watching the show, in extreme anger at the stupidity of the Americans who voted. But Travis Wall was good, as was Benji Schwimmer (who won)...so I kept watching...
Allison was paired with Ivan in the first half of the show, after the top 20 was picked. (Thousands of dancers audition around the country in four or five cities; a hundred or so are sent to tryouts in CA for the Top 20. Then one dancer of the 20 is eliminated each week.)
Allison did a hip hop routine to "Sexy Love" with Ivan, a contemporary routine to "Why" (by Annie Lennox) with Ivan, a tango routine with Ivan, a broadway routine to "Bye Bye Blackbird" (by Liza Minnelli) with Ryan...and many more great dances.
The judges comment on her overall genius and perfection in the routine to "Why" and to "Blackbird." Damn I loved watching that girl dance...