What happened to 18?
18 died, that’s what.
From the VB:
I think being an adult means you gotta give up on your dreams.
I see it all the time in these adults, who used to want to do something, but now they’ve been working at some job that sucks for 30 years.
If you can avoid doing that, you can be a kid forever, and that’s probably a more fun way to live.
I suppose I shouldn’t complain about being busy.
…but I’m frickin’ busy all the time!
Seems like I have a lot to do, and am doing a lot, that’s all I’m saying.
It’s not all bad. Yesterday was kind of a kick in the pants, as we’re now about exactly one month away from this year’s 4th of July worldOne festival. By this time last year, I already had a good draft, if not a finished draft, of that year’s festival promo.
That thing was a piece of work. Mostly because of revisions from interested parties. It is what it is, though. I think it turned out pretty good.
But anyway, this year, I’ve been working. I haven’t had time to do my usual thing, and I haven’t even had time to realize that I’m already this late on it! No matter though, I’m not the only one. I should hopefully have something to post soon.
Oh by the way, just ‘cause I’m lagging does not mean that the festival wont be excellent as always. Come check it out. More info at www.worldOneradio.org
Despite the million things I still have to do, I did get to have some fun yesterday. After the worldOne volunteer meeting, I made it to San Francisco to watch Moonrise Kingdom with my parents, and two of their friends. Now there’s another movie I need to review…But in short it was wonderful. Just the movie I wanted to see. If anyone wants to go, I’ll gladly watch it again when it opens wider in the coming weeks.
After the movie, I was surprised to learn that my dad had never been to Japantown in his life. I find it hard to believe that he’s never been to Japantown in the 40 years he’s lived here. Well anyway, he got to experience a small taste of it.
As we crossed the bridge in Japantown from one building to the other, it smelled of cleaning products. My dad’s friend Al, who came with us, pointed out that “you don’t want to eat anywhere you can smell cleaning products.” He said this right as we passed one of my least favorite restaurants in the world. A place called “On The Bridge.” Sure, they look friendly with their little diner on the bridge over Webster street, and it’s inviting to otaku with the wall scrolls and anime, but the food is fucking disgusting.
Even if that tastes amazing, I would never be able to get past the sloppy mess that exists on that plate. I’ve noticed a lot of Asian food is like that. Just throw a mess of shit in a bowl, boil it, and shovel it in your mouth making as much noise as you can. Not what I consider appetizing.
It’s like they just love to take something that’s good and ruin it by piling shit on it.
Anyways, after eating SOMEWHERE ELSE, we went to Great American Music Hall for Ernest Ranglin's 80th birthday. I was not looking forward to this, I'm not too fond of the venue. The chairs are uncomfortable, the food is over priced, and the sight lines are terrible. Somehow, we got a decent spot to watch the stage from, but nothing could be done about the chairs. I was highly entertained by the music, though, particularly the supporting band Vinyl. The jazz/funk/afrobeat/reggae/ska mix with very few lyrics was exactly the type of music I like. It’s just a shame the audience had to go and ruin it. People didn’t know when to stop talking. There was a lot of smoking as well.
But the good far outweighed the bad.
I probably had more to say, but it’s almost 1 and I gotta be up and at them in about 5 hours. So goodnight everybody.
I have to at least keep writing something, anything, once a week. I can’t give up.
"You have to give up."
Perhaps that’s true…to really start over and do something incredible I would have to give everything up, hit bottom, start over. What’s that line? Only after disaster can we be resurrected? It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.
Well maybe I’m not quite ready to be resurrected. But I have to keep trying, at least once a week.
Work has become very exhausting, but maybe I just haven’t quite settled into it yet. I got the sense, last Friday, that I could get used to the job. I also start to feel like Randall from Clerks. “This job would be great if it weren’t for the fucking customers,” he said, and he was right. My mom has a similar job to mine, only she mostly works on stuff without customers. She’s not terribly good at it because she doesn’t type very fast, which is ironic. My mom would be great at working one customer at a time, like I have to do, and I’d probably be a lot better at her job, doing a big bundle of apps at once. We should switch.
I dunno though, this job wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to drive 80 miles a day through rush hour traffic. Word is our governor, Jerry Brown, along with the legislature, are aiming to cut ~900 million from the state’s budget by closing state services one day a week. Hear that folks? You think the line is long now? Wait ‘til they furlough again. Personally, I probably wouldn’t mind the change. I wouldn’t mind working an extra hour each day, getting an extra day off each week, driving 3 hours less in the process, but I’m already not making very much. With the furlough, I’ll be making, like, 15% less, I hear. That’s gonna suck. It already sucks…
I dunno, though. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there…
Since I haven’t been keeping up with my daily posts, what have I been neglecting to chime in on? I still have old reviews to write, maybe I can try to tie those reviews in with their home video release. We’ll see. We’re in the thick of a new anime season, and there are at least 2 shows I’m into. I still haven’t worked out how I’m going to write about them…but I should. If only as a learning experience for my self. I mean, why do I like these shows. Why do I like what I like? Why am I who I am?
That’s a post for another day though. Time to wrap this up…I gotta go to work tomorrow.
See you next week, if not sooner.
What is this, a Sunday blog? It wasn’t supposed to be this way!
I’m not going to dwell on it, though, just gotta keep posting when I can.
I haven’t learned much, mostly because it takes half the class twice as long to keep up, but I’m getting through it. It can get a little aggravating, or more often boring.
Writing these posts should really be a morning thing, I’m just out of it at the end of the day. I can’t believe I used to do all of my writing overnight. I can’t even imagine staying up all night anymore. It’s sad, in a way.
I sometimes get these panic moments where I wonder if I should be doing this job in general. What’s that line from Fight Club? “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.” Not that I should really be listening that hard to Tyler Durden.
I get the sense that this kind of job would be a lot more bearable, more acceptable, if I had a family of my own, that is that I somehow joined or created without the family that came before me. I notice all these other people I work with, they have children, husbands or wives, boyfriends or girlfriends. I see these people and I try to figure out how I fit in, if I do at all. It’s a struggle.
Finding the motivation for living is a tricky thing, and I’m trying. I can’t get over this sense of dread that I’ll never really figure it out, though. I keep going, but why? I don’t know.
I try to picture myself in these scenarios with other people, but it always looks fake and unnatural. I always feel like I shouldn’t be so lonely, but when I think about it I almost have to consider myself lucky that I am. Imagine how fucked up my life would be if I actually had to care about other people. Could I even do it? How long before I get totally bored and have to pretend I’m interested in this other person? I see that all the time too, so I can’t really feel that bad about myself.
Then again, it’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything.
Had a few dreams last night. Freshest one found me lighting fire crackers on the sidewalk by my house. I get a little freaked out when I see thus bright red light, thinking I started a fire, but after frantically trying to find that fire to put it out, I realize it’s just an especially vibrant sunrise.
This begs the question, why was I lighting fire crackers before dawn?
What’s that line in The Lord Of The Rings about a red dawn? Blood has been spilt this night? I don’t think my subconscious was working on that level.
The actual sunrise was not so vibrant.
Interestingly, the sleep report suggests I finally got a good night sleep:
See those valleys? I never get those! It’s cool. I wonder if it has anything to do with me sleeping the opposite direction on my bed. Maybe I’ve been getting up on the wrong side this whole time. I suppose I’ll find out tonight.
But it’s really been more like 8.
I didn’t bring my laptop with me the last two weeks, mostly because of a lack of sleep and a case of sickness.
I just didn’t feel like working, you know? I certainly didn’t feel like leaving 2 hours early to write this blog. I had a hard enough time getting out the door on time for my actual job.
It’s a bad habit though, this not writing thing.
Since I haven’t had my computer, and I haven’t been writing, why have I spent any money at Starbucks? It’s just stupid, now that I think about it. Here’s hoping that next year, I can write off all that coffee on my taxes.
Speaking of, I just finished last year’s taxes, and I should get $34 back! Ugh.
It is pretty expensive though, this coffee habit. It’s good to have some place to work and so on, but is it worth the money I don’t have? Probably not.
But if I don’t go to Starbucks, what will happen to this blog?
I guess I’ll keep going until I run out of cash on my Starbucks card.
So what’s to look forward to?
I feel like I still owe you a review for Casa De Mi Padre and John Carter. I’ll get to it. Also, last week, in spite of my sickness, I went and saw Lockout at an advance screening. I wrote about Ghost Rider, I can write about Lockout.
It’s the beginning of a new season for many TV shows, specifically anime. There’s at least a few shows I want to watch, and I should find the time to talk about them here. Sometime this week I’ll come up with a post of what I’m looking forward to, at least.
Also, in the last two weeks, Major League Baseball has started back up. I’m not sure if there’s much for me to say about it yet, but maybe I can come up with something.
Anyway, it’s already pretty late, and this post has too many short paragraphs. I think it’s time for bed. Goodnight everybody.
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Fading fast from memory, but my dream last night came out of nowhere.
I was in some place like France, at some kind of cavern/Victorian era natural history museum, with offices next to the Louvre or something. And I was there doing some type of da Vinci code bullshit with this random spy woman I’ve never met, on contract by Death itself. Had to run through this cave and trip alarms and pick up some kind of deed. Get split up from the chick, end up on the street where Death is waiting in a car, sitting next to him is whatever the fuck this thing in panel 7 is.
Deliver the deed, death speeds off, and that’s the end.
What could it mean?
Anyway, here’s the sleep chart, maybe somebody can put 2 and 2 together.
Oh right it’s Sunday.
April 1st at that.
It’s a little too late in the day for me to be coming up with April Fools jokes, but what I do have is this year’s edition of worldOne on Radio EdSoft Films. I think it came out pretty good. Have a listen below (pre-announce version, all music in other words, not ready for terrestrial broadcast but perfect for an internet player).
Last week was pretty packed, now that I think about it. I got my first full month’s paycheck, I went to a wonderful symphony, I posted a nearly 2000 word review of two movies, got some stuff done at the radio station, and I made two radio shows.
Still not satisfied, of course, got a ways to go. I still need to review two more movies, and record the terrestrial versions of these radio shows, with a lot of other KECG related stuff to follow. I missed out on a chance to go to a Warriors game with family. I didn’t get to go swimming, now for two weeks in a row. I had a lazy weekend, doing practically nothing.
But there’s always stuff to look forward to. Baseball returns to the bay area TOMORROW, and I’m going. Just had a nightmare realization that I have no idea how I’m going to park near PacBell Park…
While I’m sharing radio shows, I hope you will listen to this other show too, heavily influenced by the Zelda symphony from last week. I’m really proud of both of the radio edsoft films this week. Please give them a listen. When I get around to recording the announcements, I’ll give them their own posts. Consider this a preview.
So I’ve noticed that I appear to only dream when I get less sleep than I probably need.
Looking at the chart though, doesn’t seem like I missed all that much…
I neglect to mention, though, that I didn’t really get out of bed until closer to 6. I was sort of half asleep, checking the tweets. Pushing it as far as I can. Lucky for me, the traffic this morning was kind of a breeze, and I made it to San Mateo at about the same time I usually do, even though I left 30 minutes late. It’s probably gonna suck tonight…
I did have a dream. I’m not sure what to make of it, especially as the details fade, but here goes. I was walking down a street, and I found myself in some kind of health clinic. It kind of had a 1970s public institution vibe. Kind of what I imagine a methadone clinic to look like. Not exactly a great place. I go in there, and there’s some kind of gathering of people. Regular, working-class people. Not really attractive people. They’re all just sitting there, filling this makeshift public forum/waiting room type place. It feels like they’re waiting for some kind of union meeting to start, but nobody who’s supposed to talk has shown up yet. All these people waiting make me forget what I went in there for. For some reason, I take out an iPad, of all things, and start filming the defeated looking faces of this group. After making a 360 degree pan with the iPad, I turn around and leave. As I’m about to exit the building, an asian woman in her 30s comes up and asks me where the DMV is.
And that’s the dream. It’s kinda weird, no?
So anyway, later on I’m going to upload a new radio show to mixcloud, and share it here. Hopefully sometime tonight I’ll actually upload it to the KECG server and it’ll broadcast over the air this weekend.
The Lorax and Metropolis
John Carter and Casa de mi Padre
These are the four films I haven’t reviewed yet. Maybe it was seeing all four in close succession, but I started thinking about how those films are all tied together. For a moment, I had it figured out.
In my head the films paired together in an interesting way, but now that I think about it it’s hard for me to pair all four films like that. The Lorax and Metropolis still share that thread I saw, but I had a thought for how to compare John Carter and Casa de mi Padre, and it has escaped me.
You might say, “Well obviously John Carter is supposed to go with Metropolis. Both are science fiction, and they originate from more comparable eras. They’re both pretty epic.” That’s true, and I would say they probably fit together well enough to pair them up. But that’s not as interesting to me as tying Metropolis with The Lorax. What stuck out to me watching the restored cut of Metropolis is the same thing that stuck out when I saw The Lorax. To me, that’s so interesting that I even came up with a way to compare John Carter with Casa de mi Padre. If only I could remember what that comparison was…
Maybe it’ll come to me, so instead I’ll start with The Lorax and Metropolis.
I’d be a poor student of cinema if I didn’t notice the significant influences Metropolis has had on all of science fiction cinema since its release. From Star Wars, to Blade Runner, to The Terminator, also less specifically the influence the German filmmakers in general had on American movies in the 40s and 50s, which would continue to influence movies to this day.
Put it another way, I’m aware of Metropolis. I had even seen it before, in school. I’ve now seen three different versions of Metropolis, and they’re all interesting in their own way. That is one of the things we lost with the coming of sound to motion pictures. Before pre-recorded sound, a movie sounded different every time it was shown. Every time time in every different place it was shown, it was a completely different movie. Depending on the organist, or orchestra, a movie was interpreted differently with every screening. I’m sure this aggravated a lot of filmmakers at the time, and it might have even been a bad experience for film-goers if they went to a theater with poor musicians on staff. As frustrating as I’m sure it was a lot of the time, it’s still interesting to think that you could see the same movie several times, and get something totally different from it each time.
That has been my experience with Metropolis. I first saw it in my film history class, as our last look at German expressionism. My professor, Mary Scott, was exceptionally passionate about film, especially silent films. (On an unrelated note, her favorite genre of film is women’s prison movies, and that’s just interesting). This professor showed us a bootleg VHS of a live performance of Metropolis, with a rock-and-roll soundtrack. Sometime later, in another class, I saw it again. This time it was the 1980’s Giorgio Moroder version, which was similar but highly inferior. Then, not a few weeks ago, I saw the ‘official’ restored version that was released last year with material from the Buenos Aires 16mm recovery.
Though it was similar every time, it was an entirely different film every time, because of the music as well as the restored footage found through the years. Will we ever experience a modern film this way? Probably not.
Music has become such an important part of the story that it tends to go too far. Especially in films for children. The Lorax had an…excessive amount of musical numbers. I don’t want to be prejudiced against musical numbers. Some of my favorite movies have musical numbers. Kids movies tend to be a little heavy on the songs, especially animated movies, but this isn’t automatically a bad thing. Last summer’s Winnie The Pooh was especially good. The Lorax, not so much. It had one truly good musical sequence, ‘How Bad Could I Be’ in the center of the film, which was really good both musically and visually.
But never mind all that. I’ve paired these two movies together in this review, does that pairing hold up?
One thing that really stood out in the restored version of Metropolis, more than in any previous version I’d seen, was an inter-title at the beginning of the film. If you haven’t seen the film, it starts out in the upper-class, upper levels of this vast metropolis. We see how the people live at the top, with their fancy clubs—both for sport and pleasure. We meet Freder Fredersen, son of Joh Fredersen. Joh Fredersen is the plutocrat industrialist controller, and designer of this epic city, and naturally, his son gets to do whatever he wants. Shortly after we’re introduced to Freder, we see him enjoying this high class pleasure garden, with a gaggle of pretty ladies.
They’re interrupted when a young woman, who we learn later is named Maria, brings a bunch of the poor, working-class children from the industrial depths of the city. At least to Freder, this woman is the most attractive person he’s ever seen, and that’s saying something considering he’s in this playhouse full of pretty ladies. She informs the children that these people are their brothers and sisters, which I take to mean that they are all working together, at least in spirit. This inclines me to believe that Maria is not anti-business.
Suffice to say, Freder would probably believe anything this girl said if it meant he got to gaze at her more. Before he gets to introduce himself, however, the pleasure garden management shuns all these kids and Maria back to the elevator, to return to the depths from which they came. It’s too late, however, and Freder is infatuated with this Maria, and ventures down to the industrial levels in an attempt to find her again. But he doesn’t find her. Instead, as the inter-title I mentioned above makes explicit, he finds laborers, who he now considers his brothers, toiling at massive machines. He witnesses a horrific industrial accident, killing dozens of his ‘brothers.’
In other words, this film begins with a man chasing a girl, only to find something else more important. After witnessing this accident, Freder forgets all about Maria until he sees her again. This story element, which has been used countless times in any medium you can think of, is also used in the movie version of The Lorax. As it is put so succinctly on the Wikipedia page, “…what began as Ted’s desire to impress Audrey becomes a personal mission to remind his town of the importance of nature.”
That’s what really links these two movies together in my mind. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, I think it’s a really cute idea. I’m attracted to the idea of a boy doing great things because he’s attracted to a girl. It’s a cute idea, and fictional. Emotionally, it’s satisfying. I can understand that kid’s impulse. I think the original teaser trailer for The Lorax was really good, emotionally. On the other hand, if I think about it a little harder, it’s kind of weak. Is it so hard to believe that a person can care about trees all on their own? Do they really need some girl to inspire them to learn more? Speaking of the girl, she was already interested in trees, why couldn’t she have gone to talk to the Once-ler and had an adventure? More so than the boy in The Lorax, Freder at least seems to genuinely care about the workers below once he learns what they go through, and that care is something he mostly came up with on his own, but he still is very much influenced by Maria throughout the film.
Joh Fredersen, as well as Rotwang the inventor, are both driven by a shared love for the late Hel, and they use an image of Maria to corrupt minds throughout the metropolis. Also, the actress who plays Maria and the robot woman has another role, that of the angel of death. What is Metropolis trying to say about women?
In The Lorax, interestingly, the boy’s grandmother is very influential, clever and wise. His mother, too, while more in line with the status quo of Thneed-vile, asserts herself adequately during her encounter with the antagonist, O’Hare.
Speaking of O’Hare, I’m not really sure why he’s 2 feet tall. The only other character that’s 2 feet tall is the Lorax. What are they trying to say? I think the ad at the beginning for the canned air is pretty hilarious though. Speaking of short people, this is an animated movie, why do you need to cast Danny DeVito as the Lorax?
Nothing wrong with DeVito, I like him. I’m impressed to learn he is the voice of the Lorax in not just the American version, but in like 5 different languages. Who knew Danny DeVito was so versatile.
So how do I wrap this up?
Metropolis is a classic film worth everyone’s time. It’s got some anachronistic views on, well, everything, but it’s a pinnacle of silent filmmaking. There are very few things movies can do that this movie doesn’t do.
Using my iTunes rating system, I have to give it a 4 out of 5 stars. It’s almost too good to get 5/5. The major reasons it doesn’t get a 5 are because of its length (over 3 hours), and the other issues I mention above. I wouldn’t necessarily watch it every time it’s on, but when I’m mentally prepared to watch it, I will enjoy it. As should you.
And The Lorax?
I’d have to give it a 3 out of 5. It’s not that bad, but it is overly long for a film like this. The musical numbers aren’t the worst I’ve ever heard, but they’re not the best either. This is not a book I even heard of before this movie came out (I was more of a Green Eggs and Ham kid), so there’s not a lot going for it. There are probably a few too many cute animals. It is pretty colorful, and visually interesting, but the character design is a little on the bland side. Still, if you have kids, I don’t see why they wouldn’t like it.
AND THAT’S ENOUGH ABOUT THAT.
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