A week of tweets: 2009-09-27

Sunday, September 27, 2009 
  • Just had an excellent dinner at roosevelt tamale #
  • LA flight leaves from mysterious and remote “G92” at SFO. DOH! Next time I will use international RCC. #
  • near 34.10586, -118.341658 http://tinyurl.com/y8h4znp dinner at yamashiro. Yum! #
  • Pleasant, productive stay in LA, back home for a day or two. #
  • near 37.7714, -122.423816 http://tinyurl.com/ydkoek4 Waiting for It’s Tops to open with @phragments http://twitpic.com/jb7bt #
  • Very sad, no It’s Tops: Bruce didn’t make it to work. Hope he is OK. #

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Posted at 02:11:00 GMT-0700

Category: Twitter

Cadillac Escalade

Thursday, September 24, 2009 

It is nice Hz upgrades my rental, but this is just stupid.

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These giant rental cars are comfortable enough, but actually pretty inconvenient.
Posted at 12:32:36 GMT-0700

Category: NegativephotoRental carsReviews

A week of tweets: 2009-09-20

Sunday, September 20, 2009 
  • near 43.641324, -79.374603 http://tinyurl.com/ojpefm brunch at Toula’ with @phragments http://twitpic.com/hm52v #
  • #TIFF The Loved Ones: holy shit amazing “then you’ve got Lola, who’s hot pink and super fucked up” -Victoria Thane http://twitpic.com/horr8 #
  • #TIFF Bitch Slap: beautiful, well endowed, strong women killing men and fighting each other by Zoe Bell. Excellent. http://twitpic.com/hswcq #
  • #TIFF Google Baby: not so much about Google… A documentary about baby outsourcing: Israeli sperm, US embryos, and Indian Uteri. #
  • #TIFF La Pivellina: sweet circus folk find an adorable child and while circmstances are difficult, everyone falls in love. #
  • Whip It best of #TIFF. Laugh, cry. Take a little girl, your own or one off the street. It rocks. Drew wins. Go Zoe Bell! Yay Julliet Lewis! #
  • #TIFF Hipsters: Really fun, dynamic film about hipster rebels in 1950’s Moscow. Great music. Evgeniya Khirivskaya is gorgeous. #
  • near 43.66602, -79.383919 http://tinyurl.com/lf9e3y Bar Volo: best draft selection in T.O. http://www.barvolo.com/ #
  • As @phragments said, jeebus freaks made lunch hell. http://twitpic.com/ickmj #
  • YYZ to SFO, thinking about finishing up two weeks of festival movies by going to the 10:20 District 9 show at the metrion, then It’s Tops. #

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Posted at 02:11:00 GMT-0700

Category: Twitter

L’enfer d’Henri-Georges Clouzot

Saturday, September 19, 2009 

L’enfer is the story of Clouzot’s ill-fated inferno. It was a great disaster and never released but it resulted in some great footage, a lot of it experimental footage of spinning lights and water flows to recreate the sensation of a psychotic state, one brought on by jealousy in the movie.

Serge Bromberg does a good job of telling both the movie and the story of the movie in one continuous flow, filling in with actors some of the key unshot scenes and mixing that with the beautiful footage shot on location in France.

The actresses in the original movie were gorgeous and the two leading ladies, both stunning beauties of their time, were performing a lesbian scene in bathing suits and gave Clouzot a heart attack, not surprisingly, which was the last blow to the troubled production.

Posted at 20:21:39 GMT-0700

Category: Related Links

Slovenka (Slovenian Girl)

Saturday, September 19, 2009 

Slovenka (2009) is the story of a young girl trying to make her way through college who finds easy profits in sex work given the endless flux of E.U. representatives visiting during Slovenia’s entry period.

Here income was so good that she managed to make a down payment on a new apartment, much to the amazement of her friends. But all was not well in the world: her studies suffered and she has to cajole professors into passing her; she tries to manage her relationship with her father and hide her life from him and his friends from a small town outside of the capital; and she comes into conflict with local pimps who want a piece of her profits.

While the movie was very well acted, compelling, nicely paced, funny, and well written, the conclusion left unanswered many of the drivers of the plot. While realistic and not a fatal flaw, the subplots seemed interrupted and left unfinished and the arc of the story didn’t quite achieve a satisfying conclusion.

Posted at 20:08:21 GMT-0700

Category: Related Links

Kynodontas (Dogtooth)

Saturday, September 19, 2009 

Dogtooth (2009) is a Greek movie about a strange family where the parents create an alternate universe full of danger and mystery to confine their teenage (at least) children and control their exposure to modern life.

The movie is fully of amazingly clever premises: teaching children through the Naughty Hungarian Phrase Book technique to hide the meaning of any difficult (and many random) words; terrifying them of the world outside the estate walls with tales of terror and a lost brother (to whom they throw food and other things); the horrible terror that cats pose, ripping the unwary apart; that airplanes are actually very small and plastic and now and then when they fly over head just drop into the yard to be found by the winning child; and contests to decide the best of the children at every turn.

And then there’s the woman who is paid to have sex with the son and manage his urges who seduces the sisters and pays them with knicknacks from the outside world they treasure. And the porn she brings for the father to watch with his wife after the children are asleep, that ultimately goes astray. And lastly, the title, which refers to the K9 tooth, the adult one, which is the indicator of adulthood when it comes out.

There is so much promise in this movie that could have been a real pleasure to watch, could have been hilarious or disturbing. But it just wasn’t. It was slow and stilted and clumsy. The pacing was brutal and ultimately tedious and drained the humor out of the most absurd situations – like where the father released live fish in the pool as some sort of miracle and then went to catch them for dinner with a spear gun that should have had the audience laughing but were drained of life by the pacing and structure.

This movie was particularly difficult, not so much for what it was but for how great it almost was.

Posted at 19:55:56 GMT-0700

Category: Related Links

Io, Don Giovanni

Saturday, September 19, 2009 

We saw Io, Don Giovanni (2009) at a gala opening at the Roy Thompson Hall at TIFF. It is the story of Mozart’s lyricist, Lorenzo da Ponte, and in particular their collaboration on Don Giovanni.

Lorenzo was born in the republic of Venice and was friends with Casanova there. Though a priest, Lorenzo was a libertine and his love of liberty brought him into odds with the Venetian Inquisition and Lorenzo was exiled. Casanova gave him a letter of introduction to Salieri in Vienna but he ended up paired with the upstart Mozart by the Austrian Emperor Joseph II and so the two collaborated on the opera that would chronicle Casanova’s life.

The movie works very well. The music is woven into the story and livens it, the acting is excellent. The cinematography is excellent, the movie is shot as if on the set of an opera using painted sets and scrims and brings engravings to life in a way that effectively blurs the boundaries between the opera being performed and the story of its creation.

Posted at 19:41:27 GMT-0700

Category: Related Links

A week of tweets: 2009-09-13

Sunday, September 13, 2009 
  • Flying SFO-JFK this evening; ual ps flights are as good as domestic gets. But tomorrow’s flight promises to be more pleasant still. #
  • On board raspberry mojito? Not bad… #
  • near 38.49813, -107.89756 http://tinyurl.com/mw5jnm made it http://twitpic.com/gcthv #
  • At TIFF. http://twitpic.com/ggd13 #
  • Yesterday I saw Red Riding: 1974, 1980, 1983 all in a row. Intense and convoluted. It would have been hard to follow too far apartm #
  • Yesterday I saw Haneke’s The White Ribbon. Children of the corn without an ending in german and b+w. Funny sex scene though. #
  • Just saw Solondz’ sequel to Happiness, Life During Wartime. Very funny and clever back references. Some lines lost to loud laughter. #
  • #TFF wear a parka if you’re going to the Galaxy theater. #
  • The Miscreants of Taliwood: rather intense, unique view of Pakistan, bit of a rough edit and revolves around Gittoes, but fascinating. #
  • RT @seanpercival so @shitmydadsays got a book deal, first book deal based on a Twitter account I believe. #
  • #TFF just saw A Profit, excellent prison movie. Lots of languages, French locations. Gripping. Oz in French. #
  • Saw Farewell, reminiscent of The Lives of Others, about the Soviet and French spies that won the cold war. Excellent. #
  • #TFF saw Room and a Half, a fanciful meditation on Brodsky and dying parents and going home. #
  • #TFF saw Fish Tank, slow meditation on bad judgment and profane children. The little girls non-stop obscenity stole the show. #
  • #TFF saw a collection of Russian shorts by Khrzhanovsky. Very taken by Kozyavin and The King’s Sandwich. #
  • #TFF saw Vincere, the story of Mussolini’s other wife and their son. Good, solid story and well acted. Best subtitles of the show. Excellent #
  • #TFF saw Herzog’s My Son, My Son. Written in 5 days, made in 5 weeks. Overshadowed by the PSA short The Plastic Bag; Herzog voiced the bag. #
  • #TFF just saw Gigante: very sweet movie about a huge metal head security guard and the cleaning woman of his dreams. Funny. From Uruguay. #
  • #TFF just saw Paranormal Activity. Scary, fun. Excellent first feature and amazing work for $11,000. Oren Pell is one to watch. #
  • #TFF just saw Disco and Atomic War: the cold war was REALLY won by a Finn broadcast of Emmanuelle into Estonia. Yay pr0n! Excellent docu. #
  • #TFF saw El Verdugo (1963) hilarious spanish black comedy about an executioner and a mortician in fascist spain. See it if you can. #
  • near 43.640843, -79.375792 http://tinyurl.com/qacntj oh canada. At TIFF09, staying on the harbor. http://twitpic.com/h85rs #
  • near 43.649278, -79.391446 http://tinyurl.com/nf4rf3 visit active surplus in toronto #
  • #TIFF just saw Jennifer’s Body. Fun, funny, entertainingly scary. Hottest lesbian kiss in mainstram cinema. Thanks for tix, Dubiecki. #
  • #TIFF just saw Jennifer’s Body. Fun, funny, entertainingly scary. Hottest lesbian kiss in mainstram cinema. Thanks for tix, Dubiecki. #
  • Getting coffee at the world trade centre (T.O.) #
  • #TIFF Kelin, Khazak for Daughter in Law, a gorgeous, dialogless film about competition for the hand of a lovely woman in the Altay mountains #
  • #TIFF Vision: the life of Hildegard of Bingen starts slowly but grows more powerful, especially warming to her love of Richardis. Excellent. #
  • Eating dinner at Hooters Toronto with Carolyn. Her idea. Delightfully tacky? #
  • #TIFF L’Enfer de Henri-Georges Clouzot. Fascinating story of the making of, Lost in La Mancha but too many talking heads, too little footage #
  • #TIFF Slovenian Girl she tries to float a mortgage on prostitutuion but gets more then she anticipated. Funny and well done if a bit slow #
  • #TIFF Dogtooth, hungarian phrasebook childrearing. Funny premise, sex, & clever ideas made tedious by poor execution, lack of flow, stilted #
  • #TIFF Io, Don Giovanni: expelled from Venice, libertine da Ponte, becomes librettist to Mozart and finds salvation in Vienna. Excellent. #
  • near 43.649201, -79.373509 http://tinyurl.com/qdoh34b C’est What: great selection of beer, kitchen oen until 2:00 http://twitpic.com/hk4t4 #

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Posted at 02:11:00 GMT-0700

Category: Twitter

Jennifer’s Body

Friday, September 11, 2009 

We saw Jennifer’s Body at TIFF09.  It is a fun fright fest, I mean how can you go wrong with a super hot high school girl turned human-flesh eating demon who seduces boys and then rips them to shreds.  Plus, as a bonus, there is the hottest lesbian kiss in mainstream media between Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried.

Alas, while Jennifer’s body (the physical corpus) is very much worth of the general public’s lust, there’s no gratuitous nudity, not even a single breast, despite many opportunities.  There’s a single distant shot of Fox swimming naked across a lake, but otherwise more about the blood than the boobies.

In the end, the omission of fleeting nudity is forgivable as the two stars more than make up for it with a light-hearted and funny screen presence and some very sexy moments.  It was an entirely enjoyable experience.  And it was nice to see Ash.

Posted at 09:47:53 GMT-0700

Category: FilmsPositiveReviews

Das weiße Band

Friday, September 11, 2009 

I saw The White Ribbon at the Telluride Film Festival.  It’s a well crafted film about some very problematic children in Germany just before the first world war.

The movie is intended to in some way illuminate a fertile ground that permits fascism to later grow.  While I found the characters interesting and the cinematography particularly beautiful in some scenes, I did not find anything in the story that seemed to suggest that these people were atypically prepared to turn fascist.

The premise seems to be that the children have committed some particularly brutal and random crimes (stringing a wire in the path of a horse and breaking the shoulder of the rider, tying another child up and caning him, tying yet another up and possibly blinding him) and that these “punishments” were “visited” on the children of sinners (except the first, visited on the sinner himself or perhaps on his horse), as justified in a letter left with the last.

That children would commit atrocious acts of brutality is hardly unique and certainly insufficient as an explanation for the rise of the Nazi party.   Further, the parent’s “sins” are not particularly shocking, though the doctor isn’t overwhelmingly sympathetic despite having a particularly funny sex scene.

It is a well-constructed character study, if a bit slow; a story of some complex and dramatic events, if lacking a strong conclusion; but not for me a revelatory view of the foundations of fascism.

Posted at 01:18:15 GMT-0700

Category: FilmsNeutralReviews