With occasional reflection on the perpetual absurdity/intrigue of life and society in general.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"It Gets Better" — Love, Pixar


And Pixar just continues to impress... and it is no wonder, with employees like these. It is rare that i get to say that about a studio or corporation of their economic stature. I hope they continue to impress well into the future.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Neil Young - Le Noise - The Film





Neil Young recently released his latest album, Le Noise, along with an accompanying 38 minute black & white film. Directed by Adam Vollick, the film features live performance of the full album recorded at the studios of Daniel Lanois in L.A. The film officially debuted in late September, but you can watch it online - just follow the link above (embed html was blocked, but it will link you to the film). I've also embedded the video short, doc style intro that covers Neil on the day of the premier.

Note: the album itself can be streamed online at NPR's First Listen.

All of this information can also be found by visiting Neil's Garage at neilyoung.com.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Photo Journal of Austin Series, Part 3: Nature, Wildlife, and Critters


above image by Meghann Sumner

Photo Journal of Austin Series, Part 3: Nature, Wildlife, and Critters
The following photographs were taken between Zilker Park Botanical Gardens and McKinney Falls State Park, both are beautiful natural preserves of Austin that i highly recommend. There are no limits to the green spaces and natural outlets provided by (and surrounding) this city. Zilker is right in the city and is an amazing park complex that seems to stretch forever, and McKinney Falls is close by to the south. As with the previous photo journals of Austin, they were photographed by Meghann Sumner and Luke Bruehlman. Enjoy.


Images by Meghann Sumner:







Images by Luke Bruehlman:









Vincent Gallo - Relevant Quotes/ Recent News/ Featured Artist


"I don't trust or love anyone. Because people are so creepy. Creepy creepy creeps. Creeping around. Creeping here and creeping there. Creeping everywhere. Crippity crappity creepies." - Vincent Gallo

"I`m not an artist, I`m a hustler. As a hustler I`ve done many things. You should really believe it when I tell you that, `cause I`m not being sarcastic. I`m a total hustler. What that means is I`ve hustled to make a buck and I`ve hustled to change the world and I`ve hustled to take revenge - but it`s always hustling. I`ve never had a career or a single goal. I`ve never been formally educated. To get things together, to make a living, I constantly have to hustle."

"The good thing about bicycling is that, since I`m a public figure, I don`t have to interact with people. If I walk from here to West Broadway, 50 people will stop me. On my bike, I can just wave. More public figures should ride bikes. It`s a good way to deal with people."

"I`m the happiest the saddest guy in the world can be."

"I never wanted to be an actor. I never want to be an actor. I want to be a movie star. The whole idea of having to act is too gruesome. It`s too ambitious for me."

"I stopped painting in 1990 at the peak of my success just to deny people my beautiful paintings. And I did it out of spite."
- Vincent Gallo

Outside of being one of the more interesting characters to emerge from the bohemian sublayers of 70's/80's NY scene, and that is saying quite a bit in itself, he has managed to become one of the true renaissance men of underground/indy pop culture - an intriguing existence indeed, good and bad. He had a shared musical project with Jean Michel Basquiat and was part of Warhols inner circle - what else need be said. On the other side, arguably aware or not, he has become renowned for comments that express less than scrupulous social perspectives, often provoking criticism for the seemingly tactless ignorance and anarchist flare. He has also left a bold signature on the world of cinema as a filmmaker and an actor, undeniably, regardless of a somewhat contentious and often incredulous reception (aka. Brown Bunny). However, let us not forget Buffalo '66, one of my favorite cinematic love stories of all time. He has been accused of being a provocateur (well, he has been accused of a lot less flattering things, and always manages to ignite it into fuel). I would argue that, IF this is a valid accusation, it is rooted in a basic artistic premise that is honest and intrinsic to Gallo's life experience - hence justified - as if he needs any F'n justification!

Gallo was recently awarded the Coppa Volpi for Best Actor at the 67th Venice Film Festival, for his performance in Jerzy Skolimowski's film, Essential Killing.

He also has a new film, written and directed by, as well as acted in, Promises Written in Water, that debuted at Venice and Toronto. Admittedly, I have not read much on it, but am intrigued by the concept and, of course, Gallo as an auteur.

Below is a link to Gallo's Official Website and i highly encourage that you explore his work, and perhaps his character, further. Other links of related interest follow as well. Regardless of critical dispute and public discrepancies (who cares anyway), his work captures the originality of HIS reality - and what else can we ask? This is intended as neither a statement of consent or condemnation (i know him by his work alone, and barely credible press), but merely a recognition of intrigue and originality in his work and life.

Links:
Official Website for Vincent Gallo by Vincent Gallo: vincentgallo.com
The Warhol: www.warhol.org
Basquiat: basquiat.com

Bressonian Quote #14 - Notes from a Master Filmmaker

- The next few Bressonian quotes posted will all address his rigorous and innovative concept of 'human models' as an alternative to the classic actor - which accounts for much of the unique, raw, minimalist performance style that has become a signature of Bresson's films.

"Human Models:
Movement from the exterior to the interior. (Actors: movement from the interior to the exterior.)"

"The thing that matters is not what they show me but what they hide from me and, above all, what they do not suspect is in them."

"Between them and me: telepathic exchanges, divination."
- Robert Bresson

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Albino Squirrel Eating Some Nuts - Motion Image of Intrigue


Just follow the link to maniac world and enjoy. Now, i must explain - i typically have quite abhorrent sentiments toward the you-tube culture of culture-lessness and the mind-numbing amount of time that is spent zapping our brains away as a collective group. So, I first and foremost must apologize with a guilty conscience for posting this and playing an active role in the mumble-media cycle - but just this once. Hence, I usually turn a blind eye and refuse to participate when friends are clustered around the computer giggling endlessly at some car salesman from Fife, Alabama, and then repeating it 10 more times (i truly don't understand). Though i thoroughly respect the innovation and potential of you-tube as a concept, i am bewildered by the infinite supply of aimless, unapologetic, amateur media that absorbs the attention of the masses as of recent years (an unfortunate byproduct) - so, i usually simply refuse to watch. Final note: free and uncensored outlet for independent media exhibition - good! / mind-numbing, pointless, refuse of home videos and untalented exhibitionism reminiscent of Idiocracy (dir. by Mike Judge, based out of Austin, by the way), and those that perpetuate it - Bad! With all of that being said, haha, the link will take you to one of the most inexplicably entertaining videos that i have viewed in recent years, and I watch a lot of film and media. Of course, the entertainment value may have something to do with the fact that i am somewhat obsessed with Squirrels and anything albino. So, maybe just watch if you share this unique duel interest - Enjoy.

Photo Journal of Austin Series, Part 2: Natural Landscapes


above image by Meghann Sumner

Photo Journal of Austin Series, Part 2: Natural Landscapes
The following photographs were taken at McKinney Falls State Park, just 10-15 miles South of Austin, which served as a brilliant welcome and a wake-up to the Texas terrain. Our new natural frontier is both familiar and foreign to me in many regards, but is indeed, without a doubt... Texas (an easy to forget notion when living within the city lines of Austin, but hard to deny when stepping 5 miles out.) I highly recommend the park to all visitors and locals, but must warn against the mundane and poorly marked hiking trails. Otherwise, the public access areas that you see below were extraordinary and excellent for natural photography (also, imagery that begs to be shot as location for motion film) - and we visited during dry season. Austin has no lack of public water access, many of which are natural sources, and all of which are well maintained - an excellent city perk. Enjoy the images and thanks to Meghann and Luke for the contribution.

Images by Meghann Summner:











Images by Luke Bruehlman:


Photo Journal of Austin Series, Part 1: The City - Urban Landscapes

above image by Meghann Sumner

Photo Journal of Austin Series, Part 1: The City - Urban Landscapes
The next few postings will be a Photo Journal Series of Austin - as recorded by friends (and film collaborators), Meghann Sumner (camera dept) and Luke Bruehlman (prod/writer/dir). Luckily for me, they are also both aspiring still photographers with quite nice cameras, so I have had my pic of intriguing photos to document the exploration of our new town. Sadly, i am always jealous that I am not holding a slick camera of my own, so I scrap around (just like a director) trying to convince them to shoot my framings - they usually opt to continue with their own inspirations, slightly annoyed, and reminding me that we are not on set - and somehow it always comes out for the better - hmm. Both, now shooting regularly, have a natural eye and keen ascetic sensibilities, but are quite unique from one another - both are just a few prime lenses away from taking the big leap, so i think you will enjoy their images. I also should note that most of these images are in their original form (i nabbed them pretty quickly after the shoots), so have yet to pass through the tedious eye of post production.



Meghann Sumner:
Cinematographer, Camera Operator, Still photographer - and good friend to
boy in a box. You can follow the links below to her blogs, which should be updated shortly with a photography portfolio and a link to her website.

Luke Bruehlman: Producer (um, of my last and next film), Writer (with impeccable wit), Director (so he tells me - haha), and, now, Still Photographer... This man also speaks damn near fluent Japanese and does a bit of acting and music on the side - where will it end... Follow the link below to his blog, though i am not sure how regularly he posts.

Images by Meghann Sumner:











Images by Luke Bruehlman:





Saturday, November 20, 2010

Boy in a Box: A return from hiatus... now from Austin, TX

above photo by Meghann Sumner - McKinney Falls State Park

Well, alright then. It has been quite a while indeed, and to my loyal readers (i think i know most of you by name, haha) i send my apologies for denying you the exquisite exposure and insight into the media arts that i typically offer... and i know that you have become accustomed to... ha - but, in all seriousness, i have been quite remiss in my blogging as of recent and am very happy to return. I have truly missed the blog world (finally becoming a faithful believer in the potential of independent communicative outlets of this sort) not just from the perspective of my own postings, but i have greatly missed the insight and unique information/inspiration that i draw from other blogs of interest (reference my "blogs of interest" list). I am anxious to catch up with some of my favorites and, of course, borrow a few ideas (as always in our fields of interest).
I have so many good bits and pieces to post that have collected over the past month (mostly sent by friends and colleagues), as well as a fresh, new, proactive film community to explore - and a unique city that i am completely charmed by. I have no doubt that i will focus quite a bit of energy to the Austin Film community (AFS), production, and events (as well as Austin music events) in upcoming postings. I will also dedicate more time to the exposure of independent artists, studios, musicians, exhibitions, etc. As we all know, one must write and explore what is true and real to there subjective experience in film, art, literature, etc. (this is where we find truth, so says Thoreau), so why not in blogging.
However, this is not to say that i will neglect the broader interests within the world of cinema, media, and music. I am quite anxious to catch up on film festival news world wide, and i will share posts of interest from the major festivals as well as smaller, innovative, or noteworthy festivals such as Cucalorus in wilmington, nc, which wrapped this past week (yes, i do have friends and respected colleagues that serve integral roles in operating this fest, but, with all honesty, it is a truly unique and quality mid-size film fest that is worthy of its buzz).
Some of the upcoming posts will expose you to some intriguing independent artists of note - beginning with arkhive. photography and framing by bts, currently out of Brooklyn, and followed up by portfolio photos of installation thesis work completed in NY by Matt Braun (as promised over a month ago) - sorry, once again.
I have also had the pleasant chance to screen a few of the films from my "films of interest" list in recent weeks, such as Antichrist, Dogtooth, Waiting for Superman, Toy Story 3, etc. - and it has been a good run - i know I'm a bit behind the curve on most of these, but all of them deserve high regards within their respective intent and inspire further contemplation and study. Dogtooth was particularly effective and intense as a screening experience, so I will certainly be posting further info and commentary on these films. One of the most thrilling aspects, from a purely cinephile perspective, of the transition to Austin is the infinite access to exhibition of original, independent, and cutting edge cinema - thanks Drafthouse, Austin Film Society, Art House, UT, etc.
The first few postings will be a Photo Journal Series of Austin as recorded by friends and film collaborators, Meghann Sumner (camera dept) and Luke Bruehlman (prod/writer/dir). Luckily for me, they are both aspiring still photographers as well, with quite nice cameras, so I have had my pic of intriguing photos to document the exploration of our new town. Sadly, i am always jealous that I am not holding a quality camera of my own, so I scrap around (just like a director) trying to convince them to shoot my framings - they usually opt to continue with their own inspirations, slightly annoyed and reminding me that we are not on set, and it somehow always comes out for the better, hmm. Both are shooting regularly, have a natural eye, and keen ascetic sensibilities, but are quite unique from one another - both are just a few prime lenses away from taking the big leap, so i think you will enjoy their images.

That's all for now - just wanted to intro back in and offer some information about upcoming posts. Enjoy - i am glad to be back.