Seeking advice…

Dear Internet,

I need to learn as much functional Spanish as possible in the next month. How should I do this?

I speak some small amount of French and can count to 10 in Spanish. On a good day I can say, “Hello, nice to meet you.” Please advise.

Your pal,

Henceblog: 100 Spooky Things

Halloween is coming up, and although I no longer observe the holiday (just not my cup of tea), some of you may still be scrambling for last-minute costume ideas. Vvinni to the rescue! The Henceblog has a list of 100 spooky things. Below are a few of my favorites:

10. Black Holes.

14. Spike TV.

25. Spiders on Motorcycles.

30. The Apocalypse.

54. Undead Whales.

81. The Painting That Ate Paris.

90. Bleeding Hens.

Head over to the Henceblog to check out the full list. [Link]

In Too Many Words: D'Est

Here’s the first movie review I’ve posted in a while. The The film was made in 1993, and it was screened from a 16mm print for our editing class by the Walker Art Center. I had too much to say about it to hold myself to the 500-word limit. I was also unable to refrain from using extensive italics.

d'Est (1993), dir. Chantel AkermanPhilip K. Dick once related the story of the only time he dropped acid: he was transported out of his corporeal form and dropped into the depths of hell, from whence he spent ten thousand years slowly and painfully climbing back to Earth. After seeing d’Est, I now have a basic point of comparison by which I can relate to this story.

D’Est may make sense as an installation piece. It would certainly be less punishing to the audience to come, watch the thing for 20 minutes (be fair… 6 minutes) and then go on with their lives. I can’t speak to its value as an installation work because I didn’t see the installation. I had to sit through the full 107 minutes of the “feature film,” which is not so much a feature film as it is an instrument of torture. Continue reading

Congratulations on the Nobel, Mr. President!

Shortly after his trip to Pittsburgh for the G20 summit, President Obama made a brief visit to MCAD. I ran into him over lunch in the cafeteria. By pure chance, I had a Marantz with me and landed a short interview. It’s been the highlight of my year!

The Great Movie Jackpot, Fall 2009

I don’t know if anyone else is aware of this, but we have an embarrassment of riches in theaters this fall. Virtually every one of my favorite working directors has a film coming out before the end of the year, and it’s an exciting time to be alive. This is karmic repayment for all those years in the past where there were no interesting new movies.

This season will therefore mark a brief return to my ugly habit of reviewing movies on The Internet. I’m doing away with star ratings or any kind of metric, because that’s stupid. Instead I’ll just discuss them—this time around in 300 words or less.

Here’s a gloss of all the legendary directors with new movies I’m planning on seeing this fall:

A Serious ManThe Coen Brothers: A Serious Man (limited release opened October 2)

I already watched this one, and a review is forthcoming. Minnesota’s own best-loved sons made the movie right here in Minneapolis last fall, and it is thrilling to finally watch it (and get to see some actors I’ve worked with, out-of-focus in the background!). Continue reading

A mysterious package

Two days ago I came home from class to discover a mysterious brown package on my bed. It was addressed to me, from Vvinni*, and somehow it made its way into my bedroom without my knowledge or approval. A bomb, I hope? Fortunately, I was wrong.

The mysterious package

I let it sit for a few hours and absorb the essence of my “bedroom” (while waiting to see if it would explode), then I zipped off and did a quick television interview. When I returned, however, I knew it would be my duty to open, catalog and dissect the contents of the box. Continue reading

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