Hail, Hail, Euphoria

December 12, 2010

I liked this book, it is obvious that Blount Jr. really loves the Marx Brothers, as do I.  This, if you hadn’t guessed, is an in depth look at the film Duck Soup and stories about the people involved in its production, namely the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chicko, Harpo and Zeppo).   I found this book entertaining for the most part.  I wasn’t as big of a fan of some of the long tangents Blount Jr. made about the non-Brothers people involved.  But it kept me interested the whole time.  I do think that as a reader you ether have to be a fan of the Marx Brothers or you need to watch Duck Soup before you  read it.

“You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.”

-Gummo Marx (the only of the brothers not in Duck Soup)

OnlyinOklahoma2

February 21, 2010

So I have started a new blog over on Tumblr that I am calling OnlyinOklahoma2.  It is dedicated to a project that I am doing with my friend May Yang in which we take a photograph-a-day a post it.  Both of us are feeling a little creatively stale, so we are giving ourselves the project of taking the short time out of the day to take one photo with thought behind it.  I would be excited to hear if anyone wants to join us in this project.  Please let me know if you are going to do a similar project or have already done so.  And please check out my posts.

The Coloring of Pigeons

January 14, 2010

The Sweedish band The Kife just recently released an 11 min song that is part of an opera that they created along with Mt. Sims, Planningtorock and the Danish performance art group Hotel Pro Forma.  The opera is called Tomorrow, In a Year and the song that they have released as a preview is called The Coloring of Pigeons.  Please please please give this a listen.  It is epic in its feel and will keep you interested through the whole song.  I can’t wait until the album comes out and I will be seeing this on stage (god willing).

A friend of mine, Saul Gray-Hildenbrand, is producing a daily comic blog for our local Santa Barbara citizen news website City 2.0, called The Bellicose and the Bucolic.  They are all single frame comics that are inspired by conversations that Saul has overheard and then written underneath each image.

I can’t help but smile at each one, or at least sit and wonder, ‘In what circumstance would anyone say such a thing?’

I hope you enjoy these examples.  Keep up the good work Saul.

Solarplate Prints

April 3, 2009

So I just finished my first quarter of a Solarplate Printmaking class taught by Elaine LeVasseur.  It was a wonderful class and Elaine is such a fantastic teacher.  I highly recomend this class to anyone who lives in Santa Barbara and has free saturdays.  Anyway, here are the prints that I made that I am fairly proud of.  Let me know what you think.

This is an intaglio print (drawing of a piece of art I have)

This is a toprolled print

Also Toprolled

If you want to see these in bigger sizes and or my other work you can check out my flicker account here.

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{above image by Nigel Perry}

I saw the matinee showing of ‘August: Osage County’ on Wednesday, November 19 at the Music Box Theater in New York.  We decided to see it, not because of the wonderful cast or the fact that it won the Pulitzer Prize and a Tony, but because it was set in Oklahoma.  Finally, a Broadway show set in Oklahoma that isn’t a musical … and its good.

—skip the next paragraph if you don’t want to read a plot spoiler—

Its not exactly uplifting though, not even in the slightest.  It is about a family that is brought together by the death of the father.  They soon find out that they need get their mothers pill-popping under control, and that is just the beginning.  There is a married couple falling apart that is parenting a drug addicted teenager, another couple made up of an insecure woman and a child molesting man, and to top it all off an incestuous couple.

But with all that it is kind of a comedy.  Its comedic because you can’t help but laugh at how awkward and personal all the situations are.  You may not have ever experienced any of the above listed abuses (god willing) but seeing it played out, you can’t help but associate.  I loved it, probably because I never have had any of those problems.  If you get the chance, I highly recommend seeing ‘August: Osage County’.

Below is a picture I took on my iPhone of the set.  It was so cool; three stories.

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onra

I recently stumbled upon a fantastic musician named Onra.  He is a Chinese hip-hop artist who samples folk music.  All of the songs on his album Chinoseries are very short, with the longest one being 3:12.  My favorite song is titled ‘Bounce (interlude)’ which features this woman who sounds like a Chinese Missy Elliot.  The song ‘Anthem’ was featured in a Coka Cola commercial during the 2008 Olympics that had an animated Yao Ming trying to show up James Lebron, you can see it here.

John Kricfalusi’s Blog

November 14, 2008

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One of the blogs that I check almost daily is written by John Kricfalusi, the man who created Ren and Stimpy.  Not only is his blog visually oriented but it is insightful and often very opinionated.  He seems to have two main focuses in his writings: one is to start up new projects and the other is to educate, not only the people he intends to hire for the projects, but also the general public.  His educational portions consist mostly of John breaking down the slow degradation of cartoons since their creation in the 20’s.  His descriptions about how bad 80’s cartoons are is really interesting.  He also injects his blog with cartoon clips that he thinks are fun and well made like the mother goose clip above (this is currently my desktop picture).  So if you like cartoons, and really there isn’t any reason you shouldn’t, check out his blog by clicking here.

This was originally posted as “John Kilpatrick’s Blog” but I have been corrected by John Kilpatrick that he didn’t in fact create Ren and Stimpy.  I salute both John’s though I have yet to find the true blog of John Kilpatrick.

Woody Allen Weekend

March 2, 2008

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I’ve had a good weekend watching three Woody Allen movies I hadn’t previously watched.  The first one was Manhattan.  I liked it but I it isn’t on my top list.  I felt like it was too much of an outlet for Woody’s inelegance and lacked enough plot to keep me really interested.

The second one I watched was Manhattan Murder Mystery and as you can assume it was much more plot driven.  This was a wonderful film.  Woody was sharp as a tack as usual and the combination of that with suspense really made this film shine.  He also brought back Diane Keaton, the only female costar Woody has ever had real on-screen chemistry with.

The third film of Woody’s was his early and often unappreciated What’s Up, Tiger Lilly?.  Here Woody took a Japanese action film and redubbed it with with crack humor.  Now I can understand why this might not be the most popular of his films but I was a lot of fun.  The ridiculous dialogue fits the actions so well that you almost can’t make out the original intent of certain scenes.

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The Night of the Hunter is a black and white film staring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish (man she is good). It is an outstanding, not hard-boiled, example of film noir. Director, Charles Laughton, is amazing at using sets to make seemingly two dimensional sets with an unworldly quality, not unlike films of the German Expressionist movement and the feel of the Twilight Zone.

The film is about a psychotic ‘priest’ who marries the widow of a man he killed in prison in order to get a hold of previously stolen money. This leads to him stalking two children. Talk about crazy religious people, this movie has ’em. The combination of fundamentalist christian ideals and a blood thirsty mad man brings this chilling movie way up on my list. I mean, come on, who doesn’t like to cast a cynical eye on fundamentalists.

This film went on to inspire John Kricfalcusi, the animator best known for the Ren and Stimpy Show. For anyone who has seen Ren and Stimpy I think it will be obvious. Many of his human caricatures look strikingly like Robert Mitchum.

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I love this shot, Shelley Winters looking hopeful right after she has been slapped by her psycho husband

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The use of cut out sets and splashes of light to create a scene

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Again, cut out set. So good

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I like this framing

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2D buildings look great and that fake sky is so wonderful

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Fake horizon is perfect with a horse riding on it

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Whistler’s Mother with a shot gun

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Marven K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!