Aug 14, 2008

In Other News



I have made 2 fruit tarts so far this summer. A blueberry one and a peach one. Based on this summer's tarts, I have come to the following conclusions: a) mixed fruit tarts are more interesting than single-fruit ones (I need to try and make 1 mixed one before the end of the summer) and b) margarine actually works better than butter for making the crust, whereas I had previously thought that it wouldn't work at all. Go figure. Though, apparently, margarine is not a priori better for you than butter, which I always thought it was. I just can't keep track anymore; basically, though, if it feels or tastes good it is bad for you and you have to give it up when you get old (such as I am, or am getting). Generally speaking, however, fruit tarts contain less things that are bad for you than, say, a chocolate cake, but more things that are bad for you than, say, 2 rice cakes slathered with...um...air?

I have finished 2 of the 3 Cy Gist endeavors of the summer; number 3 has been held up by an inefficient thread retailer. Boo to inefficient thread retailers. I will be releasing all 3 at the same time, so you will have to wait until I get my thread.

Films I watched while assembling the two chapbooks (I usually watch crap because it's hard to pay that much attention while you are stapling/sewing/trimming, etc., but this time I ran out of crap at the end): Threads, The Woman in The Moon, White Noise 2 (including all extra features), Supernova and Hotel Rwanda.

Threads is a British movie made in 1984 about nuclear war. Nuclear war is very bad. Though I have to take issue with the logic of the film in certain parts, particularly this part where a woman gives birth all alone by herself in some burned out shack and has to sever the umbilical cord with her teeth--apparently the bomb obliterated all useful sharp objects, even though every frame of the film is filled with smouldering, fairly sharp-looking debris. Anyway, it was quaint to hear about East Germany and West Germany. We don't have to worry about that anymore. But the missiles still exist, folks, they didn't go anywhere.

The Woman in the Moon isn't crap at all, but rather a silent film, which are good to watch when putting together books because they move pretty slowly and are generally pretty simple. This is a Fritz Lang film and therefore German Expressionist cinema, which features lots of extreme close-ups of kohl-eyed people looking pensive, anxious, or ambiguous combinations of the two. A motley group of folks travel to the moon in a fabulous Art Deco spaceship to find...gold... It was pretty realistic for the 20's insofar as there wasn't really much on the moon except for a cool, vaguely surrealist lunar landscape, bubbling pools of I guess gold, and, well, an atmosphere, taxing the willing suspension of disbelief just a little bit. What was most interesting about this film was how much it influenced Danny Boyle's excellent Sunshine, which has a similar only-half-the-oxygen-left-so-somebody-amongst-all-these-people-who-don't-really-like -each-other-must-die premise, as well as the same sense of lonliness and desperation. Boyle is one of my favorite contemporary film-makers, a revisionist and ripper-offer of the highest order, but, for the most part, a masterful one.

Remember the first White Noise? I didn't think so. It was one of these PG-13 supernatural thrillers about EVP- Electronic Voice Phenomenon, where ghosts talk to you through radio or television static. It would stand to reason, therefore, that the dead must me very concerned about the switch to digital television, which will all but do away with the creepy television static through which they communicate with us. But I digress. The first one was OK. This one really sucked. It had the guy from Serenity and the woman who plays Starbuck in the new Battlestar Galactica. Both of which are far better than this crappy film. This one wasn't really about AVP at all, but rather, NDE, Near Death Experiences. EVP + NDE = RSS: Really Shitty Sequel.

Supernova is about a spaceship that answers a distress signal to some abandoned mining colony where they find this psychopath who looks like Justin Timberlake who has found some kind of alien artifact that is basically this floating translucent piece of CGI that looks vaguely reminiscent of a vagina (what is it with science fiction films and vaginas, anyway? Though this one did not have any teeth). I'm serious, they even point out the obvious resemblance in the film. Though they can't bring themselves to say "vagina." "It looks like, an, um, well...you know..." When anybody touches it, it makes sort of groan-y, coo-y noises, as you would expect I guess. It also gives you superhuman powers and makes you homicidal. (Whoever wrote this movie has some serious issues.) Anyway, the alien vagina wants to destroy the universe for some reason and the New Psychopath on the Block wants to help it, but he gets foiled by the tough-as-nails copilot and the Female Character Who Also Inexplicably Survives. This was pretty bad, but the spaceship was cool.

I taught We Wish to Inform You Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families for a semester at Kingsborough, and kind of had been putting off watching Hotel Rwanda because most American films on serious subjects suck. I ran out of stuff to watch while I was trimming, so I had to dig deep into the DVD collection. Hotel Rwanda was a pretty good movie, though, perhaps one of the better non-inane American films I have seen for awhile.

I write this just so you know what I go through to bring you quality literature. Stay tuned for the official release of the books, which will happen as soon as I get my bloody thread.

3 comments:

carrie hunter said...

amazing looking tarts! So impressed!

brooklyn said...

When we say "the first White Noise" are we talking about Michael Keaton? The ending that came completely out of left field?

If so, yes. I remember it, and I was amazed that someone wanted to make a sequel. It was Really. That. Bad.

Also, I enjoyed your recent Muxtape!

May said...

Men do not cook sweets, usually.