Archive for May, 2007

On the Road Again

Dear reader,

I’m headed back to Chicago and hope to be up and blogging again in the not too distant future. Please forgive the hiatus, and thank you, as always, for reading.


May 28, 2007 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

CGI:Can’t Get Interested

The Fly

I recently watched David Cronenberg‘s The Fly (1986). Raccoon‘s useful list of films, and a discussion in particular of The Fly as a species of romantic comedy got me interested. Raccoon says:

I’ll tip my hat to the 1950’s one final time (albeit indirectly) by including David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake of 1958’s The Fly—the original is a silly bit of hokum, but it turns to something elegiac and moving in Cronenberg’s hands, one of the best meditations on illness that the cinema has ever produced.

And the film is great, at once a send-up of the romantic-comedy genre and an earnest articulation of bio-technological anxiety. In short it takes the gag of an out of control body that appears farting or secreting in comedies like Meet the Parents, Something about Mary, or anything with Ben Stiller, apparently, to its conclusion in the more or less absolute dissidentification of the body–a material collapse of the human shell. The Fly takes literally the notion that a significant other is a creep. Albeit, as is usually the case, a creep with a certain pathos.

In Cronenberg’s film, Brundlefly’s pathos would be completely compromised by CGI. It’s hard to imagine the film being made with puppets today. And that’s a real loss, because in the same way that the telepods in The Fly have a hard time reproducing flesh, so too the technology of computer generated images fails to capture the visceral immediacy that a puppet or human actor conveys.

Geroge Romero does a pretty good job of marrying the technologies (puppets and CGI) in Land of the Dead, but he could get away with just puppets, if he wanted to. I don’t think the romance with CGI will end for directors. But for this viewer anyway, the immateriality of CGI fails to capture the coarse granularity of a past generation of films. And that is a loss of life.

Guantanamo Banner

May 21, 2007 at 2:56 pm 1 comment

I Renounce American Football

Instead, I officially out myself for OM. This makes good on a chat with a friend who sadly passed away last Christmas about left-wing soccer teams and the importance of embracing one. He’d said that Marseille was a perfectly respectable option, himself being a Celtic fan.

I suppose I should mention that I don’t view supporting the Fire as a conflict of interest. Everybody supports the Fire.

May 19, 2007 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

The Wonderful Andy Irvine

The Ballad of Tom Joad

Mother Jones

Guantanamo Banner

May 18, 2007 at 6:26 am Leave a comment

one more parade

They Might Be Giants have a new album. Here they are covering a Phil Ochs song.

May 17, 2007 at 3:07 pm Leave a comment

A List Poem

“Somebody Blew Up America” made New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey itch. So he decided he’d make Amiri Baraka step down as Poet Laureate. Except, he couldn’t find a legal way to do it. And so he canceled the Poet Laureateship, thus making Baraka the last Poet Laureate of New Jersey.

I like this poem, despite finding the anti-semitic lines toward the end problematic and at best, a poor decision for inclusion in an otherwise fine poem.

Guantanamo Banner

May 16, 2007 at 4:17 pm 2 comments

Bedtime with Bukowski

May 15, 2007 at 5:10 pm 10 comments

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