Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mandy Moore Music Post

I never write here. I never have anything interesting to say. I put all of my "this is what happened today, good times," crap in my GreatestJournal, and I wanted to save this one for interesting things I think about. But my brain has turned to mush and I don't think about interesting things and instead I tend to ponder Lindsay Lohan's rehab and Paris Hilton's jail sentence.

Okay, not entirely, but that has been a large portion of my time as of late. Not to mention that I've joined this role playing game and it's sort of taken over my life. /nerd.

Anyone, the point of this is to direct anyone who happens to read this blog to check out Mandy Moore's new record Wild Hope because it is incredible. It's the best she's done so far and I've been listening to it on repeat for a week now. She collaborated with a fantastic band called The Weepies, and this one sounds much more... folk, and much more... The Weepies. I've always thought she had an incredibly rich voice, and she really just doesn't let me down. I feel like I'm getting to know her, too, because she largely penned this album herself (with help, of course, but she still at least co-wrote all of the songs as far as I understand).

As stupid as it sounds, I just feel like I've grown up with her. I was probably about twelve when "Candy" and the record So Real came out, and from there she's just been growing with each new release, and I've loved each new release more than the last, like my musical tastes are growing with hers or something like that as we both mature. She's only three years older than I am, so I guess it makes sense.

Anyway. Go check it out.

She likes chocolate in the morning. She drinks her coffee late at night. You can sense that she is guarded, but that's alright. She'll fall asleep while you're still talking with unfinished books beside her bed. She'll cancel all of her appointments and go shopping instead.

Can't you just adore her?

She loves to watch the sunset, but she is partial to the rain. With those tears and that umbrella her allure goes unexplained. You make dinner in your apartment-- you both assume that she'll be late. She always has the best intentions because her goodness is innate.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Me and T.S.

I love the Internet because of all the cool people. There are some shitty people, of course, but there are some really great ones, too. I met T.S. when I was like 15, so that was about five years ago. Every time I go to New York I meet up with him (mostly at Chipotle). I'm going to live in his bathtub sometime in the near future. I love meeting people from online...!

Me and T.S.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Tribeca Film Festival

There's nothing cooler than proving to terrorists that they can't bring us down. There's no person cooler than Robert De Niro. There's no place cooler to have Robert De Niro proving that terrorists can't bring us down than New York City. Three parts cool, one part travel. Mix until it's all blended together. Your result will look like the Tribeca Film Festival.

One of these days I'm going to go and spend the entire two weeks in New York City traveling between cinemas and talking to directors and actors and all of the people behind the scenes of the Tribeca Film Festival. For this trip, though, I got just barely got a taste before being ushered back home.

My fandom(s) carries me to places all over the world. So far I've been to Toronto and London and New York in pursuit of films and premieres and meeting people, and so far it's all worked out. But one of the coolest things I've done is go to the Tribeca Film Festival.

Granted, it was only the second time I've ever been to a film festival in my life, and yes, it was less organized that the Toronto International Film Festival, and no, Cillian didn't attend this one-- but this time it was on my turf. I've been to New York before, so I knew my way around better than in Toronto. I was way closer to the cinema from my hotel, and I could take a nice little stroll to the theater. Not to mention that I was meeting three of the coolest people ever once I got there-- not counting the people who worked on the film.

Watching the Detectives had its world premiere on Tuesday, and I was there to witness it. That's saying something. There are very few people in the world who can say they did that, and I was one of them. It wasn't glamorous and no one was dressed horribly fancy (although Lucy Liu looked very gorgeous in her dress), and everyone hung around on the red carpet for a long time, just chatting.

The film was wonderful. I laughed the whole way through, and I loved every minute of it. It was clever and witty and intelligent, which is a shiny gold star on Paul Soter's report card. The film itself was worth the trip, but the people definitely added to the experience.

Several of the actors, as well as Soter, who wrote and directed the film, were present for a Q&A after the film, and they took to it, laughing and having fun with each other and the audience during the time they were up front. And then even afterwards, when the auditorium was clearing out, a few of them stood around to talk to fans-- namely Lucy Liu and Paul Soter.

Before you ask-- no, I didn't talk to Lucy Liu (although I stood beside her and she's probably only about five feet tall-- very tiny). Everyone seems to be so interested in that. More importantly to me was having a chat with Paul Soter.

Now, I don't clam up when I get nervous-- and I am always nervous when I meet new people, whether "famous" or not-- but I get chatty. I thought it was important to tell him how much I appreciated the film, so I went to talk to him. I waited patiently until he was done talking to the people in front of me, and then I shook his hand and told him it was a great film. I told him everyone I could hear laughed through the whole thing and the audience really seemed to take to it nicely. I told him I was glad I made the trip. He was very nice and responded to everything I said very humbly and even asked a couple of questions in response.

I am glad I made the trip. It would have been a wonderful trip and a wonderful first visit to the [slightly disorganized and chaotic, but only sixth annual] Tribeca Film Festival even if I hadn't met my awesome Internet fans or gotten to speak to Paul, but the best part about film festivals is how cool everyone is.

So scratch that first part. It's not three parts cool and one part travel. It's four parts cool and one part self-motivation. Final result is still something greatly akin to the Tribeca Film Festival.

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Invisible


Shit shit shit.

Why do movies almost always suck?

Here's hoping Watching the Detectives is at least decent. Although, from the clips I've seen so far it looks really funny. Plus, I mean, I'm obviously a little bit biased... I'm thinking about watching In the Land of Merry Misfits on Wednesday evening at the Tribeca Film Festival. It sounds funny, anyway.

Blah. It's so difficult to find good movies. =/ I hope The Dead Girl is good, too. I'm going to drive to Charleston and watch it at the West Virginia International Film Festival (yes, really) on May 12th.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Condemned

Why do I waste my time on shit movies? More importantly, why do I waste my time on shit movies that are obviously shit? I mean, there are some films that look like they have a chance at being good, but then there are the ones that when you watch the trailer you think to yourself, "Oh my god, that is going to be absolutely horrible."

Case in point: The Condemned. I saw the trailer at some point in the recent past, and thought, "Wow, that's going to be pointless and a waste of time." And yet I still watched it tonight.

Basically it's about a group of ten people who are on death row, and some Guy takes it upon himself to send them all to a deserted island and pit them against one another. He tells them that the last one alive will be a free man and get a ton of cash. So it's about people killing each other in order to be free. Ironic. Plus, there's a lot of attempted sentimentality that falls flat in a hurry.

It is absolutely pointless. But I already knew it would be. So I just confirmed my own suspicions. Hypothesis proven correct. Good times.

Masa Yamaguchi, however, is awesome.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I guess you're just what I needed.

So I was just minding my own business checking my e-mail, and for those of you who have a Gmail account, you know that you can choose what sorts of news feeds and things are displayed at the top of your e-mail inbox. Well, one of my choices is "Entertainment," and when I see something interesting I always open it in a new window and go on checking my e-mail and then I get around to it and have a good time reading whatever it is that's sparked my interest in the first place.

There was one today that said something about a "We Will Rock You" musical, and I thought to myself, I though, "Holy crap! A Queen musical?!" so I clicked on it and then started to read the article and found out that yes, indeed, there is a QUEEN MUSICAL!! Now, apparently this has been around since 2002 (in England), but I've only just heard of it and I have a really deep, desperate, yearning to just fly to Toronto and watch it and then fly home. My heart aches to see it! That article even says that some reviews were "practically favorable." Sounds like GOLD to me!

I've been getting really into music lately anyway. Like, good music. I'm not sure if Queen qualifies as good music, but it's musical anyway, so there you are. I've been listening to a lot of stuff by The Cars, and Supertramp, and The Pixies and Van Morrison and Bob Dylan and Yoko Ono and I just wish I had been born sooner. I don't know that I really belong in this time period. Boo! Well, there are some really great bands from this time, too, I won't lie. I'm currently madly in love with Broken Social Scene, and I adore Snow Patrol and The Fray and Belle and Sebastian and The Weepies. But anyway, I added my Last.fm "latest tracks" audio scrobbler to the sidebar last night. I'm figuring out how to use this place! Slowly, but surely, my friends.

Does anyone even read this blog? If you do, comment here and tell me some of your most recent favorite artists or songs or albums or something. I'm really curious to see what everyone likes these days. I mean, I still listen to gimmicky corporate crap, and I love it all, but I'm just glad I'm starting to get more into the good artists. I wish my old computer hadn't died. I had hecka Beatles albums on there.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Alex Garland

I wish I'd gotten to meet Alex Garland when I was in London. I received my Sunshine script book from Amazon.co.uk today (yay-- 100%!), and I've just sort of been leafing through it in order to get a feel for what it's going to be like when I can actually sit down and read it. The script book for The Wind That Shakes the Barley was a bit more difficult for me to get through, mostly because I'm awful at history. There are very few things that hold my interest regarding History or non-fiction, and the whole beginning of that one was just people talking about the history of Ireland and Britain, and although the story is interesting and important, it was just hard to read through everyone talking about the same thing for however many pages.

However, even though I haven't read much of anything in this script book for Sunshine, I did read Alex Garland's introduction. He's like so many "famous" people in that I want to sort of sit him down and just pick his brain for a while. I think it's so interesting the way he talks about the film and the "crew member" at the end... It's the same thing I've thought about over and over. Straight from the horse's mouth, eh?

Here's the introduction... it's copyright to him. I didn't write it.

Sunshine was created out of a love of science, and of science fiction. In the same way that 28 Days Later attempted to look back towards older post-apocalyptic stories, such as Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Triffids, Sunshine looked back to films such as 2001, Alien, Dark Star and the original Solaris. This was slow-paced, outer-space science fiction. Hallucinatory sci fi about star travel and feeling claustrophobic while gazing into the void. A sub-genre, linked by a common theme: that what man finds in deep space is his unconscious.

Aside from being a love letter to its antecedents, I wrote Sunshine as a film about atheism. A crew is en route to a God-like entity: the Sun. The Sun is larger and more powerful than we can imagine. The Sun gave us life, and can take it away. It is nurturing, in that it provides the means of our survival, but also terrifying and hostile, in that it will blind us if we look directly upon it, and its surface is as lethal to man as an environment can get.

As the crew travel nearer to the Sun, the majesty of the burning star fries their minds. The crew are hypnotised by it, or baffled by it, or driven mad by it. Ultimately, even the most rational crew member is overwhelmed by his sense of wonder and, as he falls into the star, he believes he is touching the face of God.

But he isn't. The Sun is God-like, but not God. Not a conscious being. Not a divine architect. And the crew member is only doing what man has always done: making an awestruck category error when confronted with our small place within the vast and neutral scheme of things.

The director, Danny Boyle, who is not atheistic in the way that I am, felt differently. He believed that the crew actually were meeting God. I didn't see this as a major problem, because the difference in our approach wasn't in conflict with the way in which the story would be told. The two interpretations that could be made from the narrative were the same two interpretations that could be made from the world around us. In that respect, perhaps the difference was even appropriate.