February 2003 Archives

February 28, 2003

On A Big Art Thursday

Last night at a friend's house, Jeremy Blake showed us some recent work and talked about it.

  • and by "house," I mean a sprawling, gorgeous Fifth Avenue apartment filled with pictures of supermodels (not kissing ones, but just hanging out ones)
  • and by "some," I mean two of his DVD-based pieces, including Blossoms and Blood, a beautiful, expressive short film he made with Paul Thomas Anderson and Jon Brion for the Punch-Drunk Love cast and friends. It's a closely interwoven mix of scenes from the movie, Jeremy's paintings, and Brion's music.
  • and by "recent," I mean the DVD was still warm. 1906 is the just-finished second part of a trilogy about the Winchester Mansion, which combines 8mm film, paintings, and an organ/symphony/film projector-interlaced soundtrack. It's eerie, moody, historically rich and beautiful.
  • and by "talked," I mean blew people away with passion, articulate discussion of his work and his process, and intelligence regarding the context it inhabits. One thing that surprised me: Even after "air-dropping from the farthest margins into the center of the film world," and working with one of the most famously creatively empowered directors, Jeremy finds that artists actually have it pretty good, in terms of freedom to "pursue subjectivity" with their work.

    The New Museum previewed a strong group show, "Living Inside the Grid," where Dan Cameron exercises his international muscles in advance of the Istanbul Biennial. There are some obvious (and thus, intentional) omissions, but many nice pieces, including a creepy-sleek prison door by Elmgreen & Dragset.

    And finally, while I didn't make the opening, the after-party came to us at dinner: The Whitney opens a show about Diller + Scofidio, architects who have PR-muscled their way to the front of the technology/media stage. Eager to make amends for the dustup caused by his baldly partisan, king-making articles about the WTC redesign, the NYTimes' Herbert Muschamp returns to clear-eyed, of-the-people objectivity in his review. Here's the first paragraph:

    The search for intelligent life in architecture is artfully rewarded at the Whitney Museum's retrospective of the work of Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, New York's brainiest architectural team. But intelligent visitors will have to pick their way through a few unwelcome booby traps: curatorial winks and nods designed to dumb things down for the chimerical unsophisticates to whom far too many museum shows today are needlessly pitched.

  • mister_rogers_couch.jpgI was too young to get worked up about moving from New York to Indianapolis, but I remember being very nervous about moving from Indianapolis to Raleigh. One day, my 1st-grade teacher took me to Dairy Queen after school to talk about it.
    "Well, I don't know anyone," I complained, "and there aren't any famous people from North Carolina." (New York already had its hooks into me, it turns out.)
    "Like who?" Mrs Hershenson asked.
    "Like Cowboy Bob."
    Although, at the time I didn't realize the golden era of locally produced kids' shows was ending, I had a point.
    Deftly skirting a potentially ugly Cowboy Bob-Andy Griffith shootout, Mrs Hershenson asked, "Is that important to you?"
    Proto-New Yorker answer: "um, yeah."
    "Well, what about Mister Rogers?"
    "But he's not from Indianapolis."
    "No, you're right. He's from Pittsburgh. But his show is on a network, which means it'll be on in North Carolina, just like it is here. So when you get to Raleigh, you'll already know someone. And then you'll make a lot of other friends, too, in no time."

    Thus, in addition to explaining the differences between affiliate and network programming, Mister Rogers (and Mrs Hershenson) helped me to see that my neighborhood extended far beyond my street, and they guided me into to a lifetime of seeking out the friendship of famous people.

    Mister Rogers passed away today, after a recent diagnosis of cancer. View a timeline of Fred Rogers' achievements, including a behind the scenes clip from the first show, and his 1969 Senate testimony where he passionately argued for the creation of PBS, at pbskids.org.

    It's architectural reality TV, with so many last-minute campaigns, twists and turns, you'd think Fox was running it, not the Port Authority. The final two bachelors, er architect groups in the design "competition" for the WTC site have been workin' it hard, according to design reporter Julie Iovine's NYTimes article, even turning up on Oprah. Herbert Muschamp weighs in, too, slightly chastened. Meanwhile, Edward Wyatt's report of a LMDC committee's surprise recommendation of THINK over (the Pataki/Bloomberg-favored) Libeskind sounds like a promo for the finale of Joe Millionaire. And just as "surprising," or "real," for that matter. Whether angling to arrive at a lecture with a victim family member or throwing shade on each other's designs, these architects ingenuously perform for the camera.

    February 26, 2003

    Night Of A Thousand Film Geeks

    alexander_payne_moma_comp.jpg
    clockwise from top R: UA's Bingham Ray and honoree Alexander Payne
    David O. Russell, last year's honoree, still in a euphoric daze
    "special friend"/screenwriter Jim Taylor, freezing on way to afterparty
    John Waters and sycophantic fan, photo: David Russell
    crowd shot, which captured the supposedly elusive cracked-me-up international man of mystery

    Last night at MoMA, Alexander Payne and Bingham Ray talked about Payne's career and films (including Citizen Ruth, Election, About Schmidt). The Museum's Film & Media Department gave Payne its Work In Progress Award, to honor filmmakers as they transition from "promising" to "proven." Ray, who's an independent film legend himself, and who heads United Artists (which picked up Pieces of April at Sundance), studio headed the conversation.

    In my secret socialite life, I co-chaired the benefit. I'm working up my notes from Alexander's discussion (and will try to score some audio clips, too) and will post a page of pictures soon. In the mean time, here is a composite pic, and the highlights of my speech:

  • "Thanks to the creative family at Vanity Fair and W Hotels (the sponsors). They don't give traditional gift bags; they make them. Graydon Carter was up late writing poems for each of us."
  • "Smile! It's for my weblog."
  • I decided to cut the bit about the after-party being potluck ("Manhattan brings the entree; Brooklyn, a salad; Westchester, the mixers; LA, the herb..." Like last year, LA was the only one who brought what they were assigned.)

  • February 25, 2003

    Movie Idea, v. 1million


    It takes the village paper, the Guardian, to report this story from Urbana, IL:
    "The mother who convinced everyone her child had leukemia"

    Terri [Mom] fed Hannah [seven-year old daughter] sleeping pills, then took her on long, aimless drives among the strip-malls and cornfields of Ohio until she fell asleep. Afterwards, she would tell her they had been to the hospital, and that she had slept through her treatment again...
    Within weeks, [the head of the Mother's Club at Hannah's school] had the pupils holding cookie sales and donating the aluminium ring-pulls from fizzy drink cans, which they sold for recycling. "They even had a Hannah Hat Day," the Urbana Daily Citizen newspaper noted in a report last June, under the headline Community Reaches Out To Little Girl. "Everyone wore a hat, because Milbrandt must wear a hat since she had the chemotherapy and lost her hair."

    cremaster2_patch.jpg Cremaster 2 Patch, click to order at the Gugg store

    Now there's a Canadian flag patch for all your globehopping needs. Use the Maple Leaf to show your Can-x street cred, or to avoid taking the heat for shameful US administrations.

    Or kick it old-school with the until-1965 version, the Red Ensign. With this Cremaster patch (1 of 5, each sold separately) on your, um, backpack, the velvet ropes at biennial VIP lounges will part for you; you'll waltz right in to Matisse Picasso, no waiting; and suddenly-fawning art dealers will give you an extra 10% off. [thanks to the eagle-eyed Fimoculous]

    [Face facts: the backpack's a dealbreaker, dude, especially in Venice. Put it on a sash, maybe with a pink kilt.]
    [Sadly, the "I Survived Cremaster 3" T-shirts, which were a hit in Basel, aren't available. Get a cap instead.]
    update: the patches are no longer at the Guggenheim online store, but Well Wisher has images of them on flickr

    Tad Friend attends the hilariously useless Jean Doumanian seminar on "How to Get Your Play or Movie Produced." Here, Doumanian ("You may know me from such films as "Woody Allen sued me and my bankrolling boyfriend.") advises an attendee on getting distribution for her film:
    "Try to get a European sales agent," Doumanian suggested. "There's a fellow named John Slossó"
    "How do you spell it?"
    "I don't know," Doumanian said. "I've never worked with him."

    Roger Angell writes with reticence of many people he knows who died in war,

    But then there's a shift, and I feel that, as long as I can hold onto these names and glimpsed faces, their bearers will not be relegated to the abstract status of heroes or the honored dead. Maybe some of them were heroes, but what I feel toward them, I find, is an extreme civility, due them because they have stayed young. With seven thousand four hundred and fifty American veterans of the Second World War dying each week now, this particular form of commemorationóan ancient one, if you think about itóis going out of style.
    and a few others who survived.
    He is suave and unflappable, but when there's a thunderstorm passing over his hilltop house in the Berkshires he turns pale and wears a different look.

    February 24, 2003

    On Loving Their Work

    Josh Newman and Colin Spoelman, the budding moguls at Cyan Pictures should be celebrating, if they weren't working so much. Their short film, Coming Down the Mountain, has just played at a couple of film festivals.

    And, shooting recently wrapped on their first feature, actor Adam Goldberg's directorial debut, I Love Your Work. Naturally, there is a behind-the-scenes weblog.

    With just six days worth of posts from the twenty-plus day shoot, the weblog's kind of slight, but it makes for good readin.' Figuring (rightly) that posting in real-time and producing would suck, Josh brought in Helen Jane, a blogger pro, so to speak. HJ knows refreshingly/annoyingly little about filmmaking, giving the weblog an amusingly wide-eyed, "I can't believe I'm getting paid for hanging out with Franke Potente!" tone. No news here, but I'd rather see a weblog from the POV of a principal player (producer, director, actor) rather than a friendly groupie. Of course, that's why I'm here.

    [Update from the "Going out in a blaze of glory" department: writing about the ILYW weblog may be the new way to cease publication, if Shift and Salon are any indication. If I'm not around next week, you'll know why...]


    blake-pdlove.jpg

    Been making arrangements for a private preview of a new work by Jeremy Blake, who I've been friendly with for many years, since his first NY show. While putting together an email of links and background for people, I went back to the official site for Paul Anderson's film, Punch-Drunk Love [DVD, someday]. Under "movies", there is a collection of 14 haiku-like clips, which use liberal doses of Jeremy's abstracted work and Jon Brion's film music, often without any dialogue, or even ambient sound. They're really great, like a bowl of film candy.

    A search of the web for any discussion of them turned up nothing, but ptanderson.com, the blow-away best "unofficial" filmmaker fansite around, comes to the rescue, sort of. In addition to a section on Jeremy and his work (including a what/where inventory of his work in PDL), there's a list of deleted scenes which maps pretty closely onto the website movies. PDL is the most overlooked movie of the award season. And not just acting/directing/writing, but the whole gamut of editing, production design, sound, lighting, music, I mean, come on.


    The compelling/amusing Super Mario Brothers: A Literary Criticism (thanks, Jason!), which puts paid to my (non-)critique of the connections between Gerry, its filmic antecedents, and SimCity-style video games.

    Q: When your cable modem drops its DNS settings, and your wireless network connection goes out while you're away for a few days, how many voicemails requesting you call your damn ISP can your neighbor leave before committing a breach of wi-fi netiquette? Does this number vary by coast?

    Or is this the karmic price for your own use of the wi-fi connection you find blazing through your window when you're away?

    February 22, 2003

    And Also From The Guardian,

    Steven Soderbergh, image: guardian.co.uk "When I snap my fingers, the box office will magically increase... image:guardian.co.uk

    This interview with a philosophical Steven Soderbergh. Seems Full Frontal didn't even open in the UK, even though Miramax covered their own butts, cost-wise, by pre-selling the foreign rights.

    daniel libeskind pointing to the elements of his model that won't be built, image: greg.org And (according to the Guardian), we'd really like to move forward with it. We made just a couple of notes, 'Kay?

  • The bathtub kept open as a memorial? We love it. What do you think about filling it in with a bus station? No, not all the way, just 2/3 or so.
  • The 1,776-foot tower? With the sky gardens? One word: Inspiring. Not gonna build it, but it's inspiring.
  • The memorial plaza that's sunny for one morning a year? Love it. If the developers throwing up a dense forest of towers all around the east, north and south of the site are onboard, I'm sure we can see about getting a day's worth of sunlight down there. A morning's worth, anyway.
  • Oh, and we had some of our guys whip up a giant glass atrium train station. Think you can you work that in, Daniel? Just thinking out loud here. Maybe on top of the bus station?

  • February 21, 2003

    On Museums On eBay


    This AP story [via the cool Scrubbles.net] from Indianapolis sounds like the tip of the iceberg: museum curators using ebay to add to their collections.

    My conversations about eBay with various curator friends all follow a predictable a trajectory: surprise that we're both eBay whores; polite envy over what the other scored; caginess over what we're looking for now; relief when we find out we're looking for different stuff; quick detente and an exchange of usernames when we find out we're buying the same stuff.

    Of course, now eBay's gonna turn my butt in to the Feds, as the EFF reports they're all too eager to do.

    February 21, 2003

    On Wooster Collective

    As I arrived at Gawker's launch party last week, I ran into some friends from my old consulting days. (I guess it's Nick's job to know everybody, and he does.) Anyway, their shoutout just before the elevator door closed, "we have a weblog, Wooster Collective" should be nominated for Undersell Of The Year.

    Gucci sidewalk photo, artist unknown, image: woostercollective.com

    Wooster Collective is a hoppin' arena of grafitti, stickers, stencil art and other street art, with updates coming more frequently than the 4-5-6 train at rush hour. In a remarkably short time, they've tapped into a sprawling network of artists and fans who contribute great stuff from far beyond Wooster.

    Some highlights: Posters of sidewalks by Gucci, et al; Peter Coffin's barcode stickers [Peter, you gotta tell me about this stuff...]; and Dan Witz interview, whose trompe l'oeil graf works are stunning.

    Matthew Barney as Gary Gilmore, but it's about that belt buckle, image:guggenheim.org
    Yeah, I want a Cremaster belt buckle, but not if it means
    getting executed in a salt arena... image: guggenheim.org

    'cuz it's gonna be all we talk and hear about for months (at least until Matrix Reloaded comes out). We're just suckers for an entirely fabricated, all-encompassing, and disturbing worldview. (What, the imagined world of Wolfowitz ain't scary enough?)

    Anyway, in the Times, Michael Kimmelman gets all sticky for the Cremaster show, which opens today at the Guggenheim. Note to all: Fridays through June 6, are hereby set aside for watching the entire 5-film Cycle, in order. You will be graded on this.

    Note to MB: If Prada teaches the world anything, it's to actually have a site up when you go wide with a marquee URL.

    Matthew Baldwin reports from the White House. President Bush: If you're against going to war against Iraq, it's because you're still trapped in a purely Newtonian worldview. As the work of quantum physicist Erwin Schr–dinger clearly shows, further UN inspections only run the risk of giving Hussein his sought-after WMDs.

    Talk about Old Europe. They should've explained this from the start.

    Buy In Search of Schrodinger's Cat by John Gribbin, which I haven't read, or Tor Norretranders' The User Illusion, which I have. Or, go the musical route, with "Dead or Alive," Baldwin's Schoolhouse Rock-style song about Schrodinger's Cat.

    Update: Please be aware that, while the above interview transcript is humor --a parody-- this alarmingly similar quote from Ken Pollack is not:

    I think that if we don't go to war this time around I don't think we will ever go to war with Saddam Hussein until he's acquired nuclear weapons. And then he picks the time and place of going to war ... if given my preference I would prefer not to be in the position we're in. But I can't turn back time. And we're in the position we're in. And at this point in time, as messy as it may be, I think that it is now or never. And now is a much better option than never.

    February 21, 2003

    Uh-Oh, Canada

    image: canadianmoose.comFirst, sorry I couldn't get this story out in time for Canadian Flag Day (Feb. 15, if you didn't know, and chances are, you didn't.) As every Canadian unlucky enough to cross my path the last couple of weeks can attest, I've been trying to get to the bottom of the well-known but underexamined "Canadian Flag On Backpack" (CFOB) technique of terror preparedness. It's Canadian Common Sense: when you travel abroad, sew a Canadian Flag on your backpack, and everywhere you go, everyone will treat you with friendly kindness. And let you sleep in their barn.

    To this embattled American, the explanations I've gotten range from the naively implausible ("It's gratitude for all our peacekeepers.") to the blindingly obvious ("It's so we're not mistaken for Americans.") to what I thought was the same thing ("It's just Canadian Pride.").

    Yeah but how'd it start? Look at the built-in assumptions: 1. You travel with a backpack 2. You travel with a backpack. My guess: It's a generational thing. The Maple Leaf flag was only adopted in 1965; Gen-X are the first to grow up with it. When they go abroad junior year, they take the flag with them. Douglas Coupland should be able to clear this up in no time.

    Interesting in peace-ier times, but only as much as it sheds light on the sudden surge of references I've found-- from far-flung media sources-- to Americans abroad using the CFOB technique to protect themselves from terrorists (or argumentative Old Europeans). As this MetaFilter thread shows, these "Canadians" are not a new phenom, either. Hell, when Americans could care less, like, say during the Kosovo crisis, big-time experts casually recommended Canadian drag, or at least avoiding American symbols (both clothing and TGIFriday's, I guess.)

    But the US administration seems to have set its sights on Canada now, which may bring an end to the benefits of posing as OR being Canadian. BoingBoing points to a story about a Canadian who had her passport shredded by the INS and who got shipped to India. Danny O'Brien writes about a Canadian they shipped to Syria, where he sits, uncharged, in jail. There's nothing on Ready.gov about CFOB, either. And since the insidious PATRIOT II act being proposed sets a far lower threshhold for stripping an American of his citizenship, who knows if sporting a Maple Leaf is enough to classify you as an "enemy of the US." My advice, if you're gonna be "Canadian" while you're abroad, fine. Behave yourself, make our northern neighbors proud. Just ditch the patch before you come back.
    [A heady read: Sean Maloney's Dec 2001 paper, "Canadian Values and National Security Policy: Who Decides?"]

    Editors of the (other) Times may want to consider an intervention: "The same perfectly reasonable hysteria has people all over town wondering if they should turn their bathrooms into panic rooms. I go into mine and scream from time to time, but I donít find it reassuring." [Neither do we, Tina, neither do we.]

    Or at least a bit of incredulity: "A banker friend of mine on the East Side pays for two parking spaces in the garage under his apartment, so that when the next attack comes there will be no vehicle in front of him to impede his squealing getaway to his helicopter pad." [His building has self-service parking? Would that be the 60th St helicopter pad? the one you have to drive down a jammed Second Avenue to reach?]

    But if she can keep lines like this coming: "to be at a fashion show at all is brunch at the apocalypse."
    And she does sense a bit of 1914 in the air: "It was all vaguely Siegfried Sassoon era. Oh, Oh, Oh! Itís a Lovely War."

    Maybe she can ask Gawker to take her on when/if Salon folds. It'd beat sitting between Monica Lewinsky and Donald Trump.

    February 20, 2003

    Style Guides


    Matt Webb posted a nice collection of style guides.

    An addition, while not a style guide, per se: having Netscape crash and take your in-progress post with it can help you pare down later drafts to the bare essentials.

    My bad. If only I'd watched Access Hollywood before posting about Gerry. Michel Marriott has an article in the NYTimes about the convergence between video games and films. Actually, it's about Enter The Matrix, the video game.

    image: enterthematrixgame.com

    If anybody gets it, it's the Wachowski brothers, who wrote the game script to intertwine with their upcoming films. (Matrix sequels a-comin', get on board, li'l chill'n.) The actors and sets carry over, too, into the hour-plus of filmed scenes and cinematics. The Wachowskis are hardcore gamers themselves, and their vision of The Matrix is comprehensive, almost unnervingly so.

    image: theanimatrix.com

    It's expansive enough for assimilated video games, a world large enough for other directors to work freely within it. Animatrix is a collection of animated shorts from six directors (including the creators of Akira, Cowboy Bebop and Aeon Flux). The first of four to be released online is Mahiro Maeda's touching, cautionary Second Renaissance, Part 1 a/the machine creation myth, complete with circuity goddesses and mecha-Adam and Eve.

    By the end of the year, The Matrix will be so pervasive, it'll give new meaning to the throwaway Hollywood line, "We'll all be working for you someday." [images: thematrix.com]

    February 20, 2003

    Shipping Containers, v. 3

    A sporadically recurring topic here at greg.org, the non-shipping use of shipping containers. [Instigating post here, extensive post here.]

    an illegal outpost named Gilad Farm, West Bank. photo: Heidi Levine, nytimes.com Shipping container used in an illegal Israeli outpost, image:nytimes.com

    Samantha Shapiro's NYTimes Mag story, "The Unsettlers," profiles young, militant Israelis who pioneer illegal settlements in the West Bank.

    illegal settlement in Jordan Valley, image: metropolismag.com Shipping container used in an illegal Israeli outpost in the Jordan Valley, image:metropolismag.com

    Stephen Zacks' review in the Feb. 2003 Metropolis of a (cancelled) exhibit on architecture and urban planning in the West Bank, where Israeli hilltop settlements use suburban sprawl to control the surrounding territory. Architect Eyal Weizman: "It's almost like you have a model of the terrain and you cut a section at say six hundred meters, and everything that's above is Israeli. What was created was an incredible fragmentation of the terrain into two systems that work across the vertical axis." The Israeli human rights group B'Tselem has published Weizman's exhaustively documented settlement map of the West Bank.

    For all your settling needs, illegal or otherwise, the Shipping Container Store: passing the mountainous container landscape along the NJ Turnpike, I saw Interport Maintenance Corp., which sells shipping containers. Delivery is extra.

    February 19, 2003

    E+D: Phone Home

    elmgreen & dragset, powerless structures, image: greg.org
    Elmgreen & Dragset, a pair of artist friends, have a show up at
    Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, called Phone Home. Five answering machines on a pentagon-shaped table in one gallery record the conversations from five working phonebooths in another. Another friend's very cogent writing puts the piece in context.

    They were nominated for the Guggenheim's Hugo Boss Prize, and just won the Hamburger Banhof Prize (from the museum in Hamburg, you see). I included a piece of theirs in a show I curated in 2000-1, but a friend jammed and bought it before I could close the deal.

    Update: The artists will talk about their work Thursday evening, 2/20 at 6:30. Email me if you'd like to go.

    Today's Guardian asks twelve actual historians to lend their authoritative-sounding accents on politicians' arguments that Iraq is the next [check all that apply]
    1939 Germany
    1956 Egypt
    1967 Israel
    1991 Iraq
    1963 Vietnam
    1899 South Africa
    1936 Ethiopia
    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away Naboo

    As someone who made a movie (S(N01)) about looking at the past (WWI) to make sense of the present (Sept. 11), I'm interested. One big lesson is best expressed by Simon Schama: "I'm allergic to lazy historical analogies. History never repeats itself, ever. That's its murderous charm."

    Another: historians are almost as likely as politicians to slip from historical analogy to histrionic advocacy. For example Andrew Roberts' unsubtle derision: "The League of Nations, on the morning after Poland was invaded, had on its urgent agenda the standardisation of European railway gauges. Today's United Nations is fast shaping up to be equally ineffectual." (See if you can read between ' lines.)

    And even though it would catapult S(N01) up the relevance scale, I hope Norman Davies is wrong comparing Iraq to 1914 Russia:

    So what about 1914? The strongest military power in sight (Germany) is made to feel insecure by a terrorist outrage. Instead of confining its response to the known source of the terrorism (Serbia), it lashed out at one country, which it suspected of abetting the terrorists (Russia), and then at another country (France), which was linked to the first. Then it lost the plot. Worst of all, it calculated that the war would be won by Christmas.

    February 18, 2003

    Dirt Mattress, Shirt Basket


    Gerry film still, image: viewlondon.co.uk

    Watch Matt Damon and Casey Affleck stagger, scramble and trudge through the desert in Gerry to forget the snow that you staggered, scrambled and trudged through to see it. If that reasoning's too circuitous for you, though, skip the movie; it's deeply self-referential and hermetic. It's the kind of film where half of the audience got there half an hour early, all eager, and half got there three minutes early, sure they'll be the only ones there. Even with an audience pre-sorted by reviewer warnings that Gerry could be a walkout movie, the Gerrys in front of us walked out.

    To hear Gus Van Sant talk about it, making Gerry's the same directorial reboot that Steven Soderbergh got from Full Frontal, questioning his way to some essence, a filmmaking stripped of its accreted editing, language and genre conventions which result in product "as uniform as a McDonaldís hamburger."

    Van Sant's"real-time filmmaking" (translation: wordless seven-minute takes) references Andrei Tarkovsky and Bela Tarr, whose films, you pretend you've seen (or whose films you've actually seen and fallen asleep in). But Gerry also reveals a far more popular inspiration, one that's as meaningless to film critics as Bela Tarr comments on American Idol: computer games.

    Zeus screenshot, image: sierra.com
    Gerry's first extended dialogue is a fragment of Damon's story about a woman who blew it on Wheel of Fortune. And at least half the film's dialogue is Affleck's tale of conquering Thebes, only to run into trouble 'cuz there wasn't enough marble to build a sanctuary, and then Demeter blighted the crops and they couldn't train the horses and... Sounds "fraught with bogus allegorical weight," as the Times' Stephen Holden says, until you realize he's talking about Zeus: Master of Olympus!, an ancient Greek variant of SimCity. In the hermetic world of Zeus, placating Demeter isn't bogus or allegorical; it's a question of survival. In it's own world, it's as life-or-death as, say, buying a vowel. Did you gerry the mountain scoutabout and find yourself stuck on a 20' rock? Just shirt basket a dirt mattress and you're homefree.

    Gerry's another example, then, of the language of videogames influencing film. Questions of character and motivation become as relevant for Gerry as they are for Mario ("But why is he trying to get past the monkey?"). It's a movie that suceeds on its own terms, and that creates an engrossing bridge between two wildly popular mediums.

    February 17, 2003

    Location, Location, Location

    A fine parking spot in front of my house, which I gladly ceded to another car shot
    Our street gets relatively little through traffic. The result: it's usually an oasis of easy parking, and it's tertiary (at best) on the snowplowing list. After opting for the garage, last night, though, this Mercedes pulled into our favorite spot (the one right in front of our house, duh) as we walked back. (That's an S-Class buried there, btw; I can't tell the make of the car being snowblown under across the street.) This morning, I'm free of the twinge of regret that comes with losing a sweet Manhattan parking spot.

    Forget Rupert's minions walking in Foxstep, Code Orange, duct tape, Sadaam-huggers and cheese-eating surrender monkeys. Thanks to this one-day storm, you're gonna have to pry our SUV's from our cold, dead hands.

    old-europe-nyc.jpg

    Like the $20 tickets for Rent, you had to get there early if you actually wanted to reach the site of today's protest rally in NYC. By the time I printed out my sign at Kinko's (above, made in Powerpoint, thank you), the rally became a march and the march came to us. We never got closer than 3rd Avenue and 55th street, and spent a crowded hour+ getting back to Bloomingdale's, five blocks away. It was like the Saturday before Christmas shopping-meets-WTO; stores were open everywhere, and full of consuming marchers. The beverage of choice for NYC peacelovers: Diet Coke. I'd have had an easier time finding a roll of duct tape in Arlington.

    Our calculation of the crowd size, using Prof. Clark McPhail's technique: 250-300,000, which turns out to be low.

    While exhilarating, no one really got my sign, which is fine. It means I < heart > Old Europe. But when an art world friend saw it, he first thought it meant, "I < heart > Olafur Eliasson." [Which I do, don't get me wrong, Olafur...]


  • Everyone's busy making giant puppets for this morning's protests.
  • Everyone's in Palm Beach [good explanation of why it's easy to park on the upper east side, but not why my email volume dropped to zero]
  • Everyone's at daVinci or Matisse Picasso [but we took a chance last night and had MoMA QNS practically to ourselves at the opening. Traffic sucked, though.]
  • I changed my DNS settings, and now my mail forwards in the reverse direction from before.

  • February 14, 2003

    Get Your War Plan On


    Highlights from a Clear Channel memo showing how the war will play out on their homogenized network of radio stations (via robotwisdom):

  • " If War breaks out after 10AM M-F please make sure that we call Joe and Jack to come in and take KSTE into long-form as well.
    Our Coverage will be called America's War with Iraq In writing copy please call our coverage, 'LIVE In-Depth Team Coverage of America's War with Iraq.' "
  • "Remember, don't do local just to do local. This is an international/national story and the nets do a great job...If you are going to make a mistake, do too much network. Especially early. THIS IS WAR."
  • "The initial hours of coverage are critical. People who have never listened to our stations will be tuning in out of curiosity, desperation, panic and a hunger for information. RIGHT NOW, convert them to P-1's, or at least make them a future cumer. [sic]"
  • " Monitor TV networks and local stations for contacts and leads. If they have good ideas, turn them around and quickly make them our own. Don't forget, when appropriate use language like 'a Newstalk 1530 KFBK exclusive' 'a story you are only hearing on KFBK' or 'a story you heard first on KFBK'. Make sure we own being FIRST."
  • "...if we have specialty shows that can't or won't talk about the war, we will probably blow them off. Even Dr. Laura. Remember, no fishing shows, gardening shows. We are AT WAR. In the opening minutes of coverage blow off commercials. Contact me immediately."

  • February 13, 2003

    It's A Small World After All

    Disneyland's It's a Small World, by Mary Blair, image: bobstaake.com It's time we're aware designed by Mary Blair image: bobstaake.com

    Which, according to some people, should make it easier for the US to tell it what to do.
    Sarah Lyall's Times article: "A Sense of Fine Qualities Trampled and of Something 'Terribly Wrong'"

    For future reference, Ben Hammersley's interesting Guardian article about emerging bands like The Grateful Dead, Phish and others who are starting to let concertgoers to make and trade high-quality recordings. etree.org brings them all together, and the Internet Archive has even more. Brewster Kahle mentions it, too, while preaching about the coming paradise of shared human knowledge in this LOC speech. {via boingboing]

    Daniel Bozhkov's Larry King crop circle, image: centralmaine.com

    Hmm. Wethinks the lady doth protest too much. Hannity gets a mention, as does Colmes, but Charlie Rose is conspicuously absent from Tina Brown's column on her "round table discussions rather than solo interviews" talk show. So who'ser daddy? "Solo interviewer" Larry King, of course. Tina's gleanings from the master:
  • "mastery of the lowbrow"
  • "iron-butt stamina"
  • "a toddler-like short attention span"
  • "Everyman questions that defy the danger of Deep Thoughts"
  • "[I am] on a crusade to make every bore interesting."

    Bonus 1: The artist Daniel Bozhkov created a giant crop circle of Larry King. His exhibit about the project (including on-air discussion of the project by Larry and his guest, the art critic formerly known as Matthew Perry) closes at Andrew Kreps Gallery this weekend [Where's the website, Andrew?]
    Bonus 2: Talking Points Memo has hilarious-but-painful-but-true commentary on Larry's interviewing style. Required reading for new talk show hosts. You will be graded on this.

  • February 12, 2003

    On Thomas Struth On Art

    struth_alte_pinatotek.jpg
    Alte Pinakothek, Selftportrait, Munich, 2000, Thomas Struth

    The other night, I heard the photographer Thomas Struth talk about his work. A friend (who has a far more serious art habit than even I do) hosted a reception for the artist in his office. Extra Struths, brought out of storage for the evening, rested on stacks of printer paper, an installation technique you don't see at the artist's current one-man show at the Met.

    Struth spoke very quietly, but determinedly, about his work and the ideas and process behind it. He's clearly contemplative, and some of his most well-known works are unabashedly about contemplation (his Paradise junglescapes and his photos of museumgoers). He described his decades-long relationship with the 1500 self-portrait of Albrecht Durer (above) and his fascination with its unusual gaze. By putting himself in the photo (that's Struth's shoulder), he wanted to capture a moment of a conversation, while readily allowing that the two figures may not be saying anything to each other.

    He caught me off guard, though, by referring to the photo's cinematic character; but sure enough, the framing, blocking and "sightlines" are from one half of a shot/reverse-shot, the continuity editing staple for depicting a two-person conversation. Struth wanted to portray a conversation that crosses 500 years (he shot it in 2000), a long-term perspective Struth finds shamefully absent today.

    "No one [in the current political situation] looks forward even 50 years; they only look to their next election." Struth then ruminated on art worlders and what they could do to pull the real world back from the brink of war. "We're here, in the office of [one of the wealthiest men in the world], there are so many influential people in the art world. Why don't people use this powerful social network" to avert this global disaster?

    Nervous silence, nervous chatter, and then a spurt of panged/defensive hands, as a few people tried to explain how our "standing here sipping champagne" was actually alright. An older guy with a Palm Beach tan leaned over and murmured to me, "I think we're going in the wrong direction." "That's exactly what he's talking about," I deadpanned, "Oh, you mean the conversation." Soon, we returned, quickly, safely, and completely, to discussions of how, exactly, he was able to get that amazing shot of the Parthenon. ("Because I've tried to shoot it every time I go, and it's just so dark!")

    One implication in Struth's photo, which cannot be avoided, of course, is our own responsibility. Shot/reverse-shot technique uses two components to establish the shared space; a reverse shot is needed. It would be a shot of Struth (and all of us, in the present day, standing in museums and galleries and private collections) from the perspective of Durer's painted space, maybe over the 16th-century artist's shoulder, a shot looking far into the future.

    Alone Together, by David Graham, image: pondpress.com

    Hardly ever, frankly. But William Hamilton's wonderful story of the Kellams, a couple who lived alone, together, on an island off Mount Desert Island, really got me for some reason. Hamilton mentions David Graham's book about the couple, Alone Together, published by Ponds Press

    "What did he read to you," Mrs. Kellam was asked...

    "It was always the right thing," she answered...

    Kippy Stroud, a summer resident who runs an arts camp on Mount Desert Island, said, "We just admired them so much." Ms. Stroud introduced Mr. Graham, William Wegman and other artists to Placentia to see the Kellams' world as it faded, like a patch of light in a forest.

    The story has the best ending I've ever read.

    Forget duct tape. We have people for that kind of thing.

    A quick turn around the neighborhood reveals what's really standing between me and preparedness:

  • Elaborate jacket for my toy dog
  • Toy dog
  • Silver-tipped walking stick
  • Mink "driving coat." Sorry, dude, it's a swing coat. You know how, even though you call'em clamdiggers, they're still capri pants? Same thing.
  • Minions

  • February 11, 2003

    The Oscars: A Musical Comedy


    About the Oscar nominations: Chicago is to movies what painted cows are to art.

    February 11, 2003

    What're THINK Thinking?

    Team_Think_WTC_vinoly_WCC_SB.jpg
    Team THINK's winning WTC design: lattice towers with a, um,
    museum? embedded in it image: vinoly.com

    Goin' to hear THINK architect/model Rafael Vinoly at Urban Center tonight (as suggested by Gawker)? Ask him if the reason he was a no-show yesterday on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show was that listener's early comment, which surprised Lehrer, about how THINK's towers appear to have an airplane embedded in it? Listen to the exchange is in the "3rd audio clip. [2016 updated link to WNYC archive page currently has no audio.]

    [Note: If you watch THINK's video on The NYT's slideshow, the shape of the "airplane" is quite different; it looks more like a giant aluminum cheese straw. For THINK's sake, I hope that's closer to their intentions. One team of architects trying to sneak a shudder-inducing memorial past us is more than enough, thanks.]
    [2016 update: lmao of course most of these links are dead, I cannot BELIEVE that the realaudio of WNYC's show from 13 yrs earlier is not there anymore! But I un-hotlinked and updated the image and the Vinoly link. Swimming against the tide of time, also Gawker RIP]

    A close reading of VH1's hilariously detailed countersuit [at The Smoking Gun, naturally] against David Gest and Liza Minnelli for sabotaging production of their "reality" show with (mostly his) obstructionist diva behavior yields an obvious, all-too-NYC explanation: Gest simply doesn't know how to deal with a co-op board.

    Liza and David, image: thesmokinggun.com Sure, Gest's demands that VH1 put up his LA stylist in a nearby apartment for the scheduled duration of the shoot (6 months: $60K), that a VH1 staffer "stick her head inside the oven" to see if it's clean enough to shoot, and his refusals to appear when "he wasn't looking his personal best" get the media attention. But all VH1's real dealbreakers--the hours- and days-long delays getting into the couple's apartment; abruptly imposed shooting limits (from 30 shooting days per 10 episode cycle to 10 days per year [italics in original]); and constraints on their crew (restricted numbers, limited drilling/installation of equipment, etc.) can be traced back to the co-op board. Or more specifically, to Gest's failure to get the co-op board on board before signing the deal with VH1. How is this possible?

    Co-op boards wield a lot of power over many New Yorkers' lives, most notably when they bare their lives (and financial statements) to be approved to buy an apartment. But boards also regulate a lot of how and what we do "in our own homes." Under the grandfathering clause, the dowager on the third floor is the only one allowed a dog. Construction work--even drilling a hole--can only be done in the summer, when the neighbors are in the Hamptons. Remodelling taking longer than five months? No problem, the $2,000/day fine meter is running. The oven thing sounds like pure Gest, but David's demand that a VH1 gaffer installing lighting vacuum the dust up immediately sounds like ducking a "no construction" clause.

    Joan Crawford, image: reelclassics.com Kay Thompson, image: eloisewebsite.com Lizzie Grubman mug shot
    Is this another example of "show business people" running afoul of co-ops? Maybe, if Liza's building was a serious co-op, on Fifth, Park, or CPW. But apparently, the only pre-req the Imperial House--on 69th between Lex and Third (Third!)--has for celebrity residents is bizarrely crafted eyebrows. Joan Crawford lived (and died). Kay Thompson lived there, with Liza. And before she took that, um, sublet in Riverhead, Lizzie Grubman lived there during her starter marriage.

    A Google search of the building's address doesn't turn up any co-op board horror stories. But what it does turn up makes one wonder if David Gest had a reason to think video shoots in the building would be okay. According to the last search result on this Google page, an outfit called Regular J o e V i d e o also operated out of 150 E 69th (Sorry about the spaces; you'll have to Google it for yourself. Not the the kind of site traffic I'm after, thanks). A quick visit to RJV's (not work-friendly) site offers a distinctive genre of "reality" programming (I believe the industry term is "amateur"), one which involves digital video, the delivery guy, and the guest room. (No pun intended, I swear. These people'll sue anything that moves.)

    Did Gest, who moved into Liza's apartment with his collection of Judy Garland memorabilia, get some neighborly advice that, "Hey, shooting video's no problem; I do it all the time. Wanna see?" Who knows? One thing is clear: A co-op board's power doesn't extend to pre-nuptial veto. for better or worse (and it's certainly debatable at this point), when Liza decided to marry again, her fiance didn't face a grueling co-op interview. But once he moved in and fell under their purview, the co-op board made it very clear who was wearing the pants in the Gest/Minnelli house.

    NYPost cover, 2/10/03, slamming France for forgetting US image: nypost.com
    In the cover story of today's Post, columnist and decorated war veteran Steve Dunleavy visits a military cemetery in France and proceeds to excoriate the French for "forgetting the sacrifice we (the US)" made in WWII. Never mind that he doesn't talk to a single French person in his journey, he does quote some Americans there, who say, unfortunately for Dunleavy, "surely they remember."

    Although Souvenir (November 2001) is about a search for a WWI memorial, and although the French people in the film can't give directions to the British monument, they absolutely have not forgotten WWI, much less WWII. What does seem to be forgotten, though, is the goodwill and sympathy the world extended to Americans during the period in which Souvenir is set, the goodwill that has been squandered.

    Dunleavy quotes an American student giving the simplistic advice that has served backpackers well for years: "We have been told that if we face any kind of a threat, we should say we're Canadians, not Americans." That's the fifth time in a week I've seen this tactic mentioned in the media. That's something worth writing home about.

    February 7, 2003

    Bill & Nada's Cafe

    Bill &amp;amp;amp; Nadas Cafe Meal Ticket, from SLC

    Bill & Nada's Cafe was where I had my first script idea. It's not that the Salt Lake dance clubs were cooler than the ones in Provo, there were no dance clubs in Provo. (Don't talk to me about The Palace; that was like a church dance in Orange County). So we'd drive to Salt Lake to go out. Finding a designated driver was never a problem (think about it). Then after the clubs closed, we'd go to Bill & Nada's. Much cooler than Denny's. And full of characters, whether at 3AM or 8AM or lunchtime. Clubbies trying to be bad, punks, mothers with home-dyed hair, Willy Lomans, and always a few grizzled friends of Bill at the counter, truckers, probably. Or prospectors.

    It was the time warp kind of diner that hadn't changed since the early sixties. Ancient country music on the jukeboxes (one on each table. There'd always be some jerk who'd order up Patsy Cline's Crazy ten times, just as he was getting his check. Damn college kids.) The most famous dish was eggs & brains, but I'd always get pancakes ("Breakfast served all day"), which were orange (fertilized eggs, they'd say) and tapioca pudding. Or a patty melt. Every hour, the head waitress'd saunter over and spin the wheel. If your seat number hit, your order was free (there are little stick-on numbers at each spot, it turns out). There's a vintage Field & Stream-like mural of a mountain lake on one wall, and a portrait of Bill, in full metal jacket and chaps, on his show horse. Just like in the Pioneer Day parade, every July.

    There were stories, told on the way home, about why the pictures of Bill & Nada are so old, too. "Go ask where she is," some smart ass'd say, but no one ever did. Uncovering the urban legend we were sure lurked behind Bill & Nada's was to be my first documentary, I decided; So many characters! And so quirky! (I was running the International Cinema program at BYU my senior year.) Half-assed research and writing efforts in the following years yielded one problematic result: there was no mystery, nothing lurking behind anything at Bill & Nada's. What do you do when the reality turns out to be far less sensational than what you'd built it up to be in your mind? In my case, you go to business school, I guess.

    I found this meal ticket from Bill & Nada's today while sorting through some tax receipts. I bought it for the clean design. Despite the slogan, Bill & Nada's closed at the end of 1999. On their last night in business, I took my DV camera down there and roamed around for a couple of hours, capturing the atmosphere, shooting detail shots, so I could recreate it on a set, when the time came. Looks like longtime patron Bert Singleton did the same thing before they tore the place down last January.


  • It is still feasible to have hope that the US won't start a war.
  • A major threat, one that goes unacknowledged by the US administration, arises from the global precedent set by a US "pre-emptive" war. [cue: North Korean claim of "right to pre-emptive strike"]
  • Met with one of the key players in the real-life international crime story which forms the basis of the Animated Musical script. We talked about it a bit; gonna talk about it a bit more.
  • Bill Clinton only drinks Diet Coke from a can, BYODC.
  • Admittedly, I do that on Amtrak and United, but because they're Pepsi-zone, not because the Secret Service tells me to.

  • Richard Kobayashi, farmer with cabbages, Manzanar internment camp, photo by Ansel Adams image: loc.gov

    Richard Kobayashi, farmer and cabbages, Manzanar Internment Camp
    photo by Ansel Adams image: loc.gov


    In 1990, just out of school, I was transfixed by a copy of Ansel Adam's self-published book, Born Free And Equal, at a big antiques show. At $200, it was the most expensive book I'd ever wanted, and I choked. Almost five years of searching later, it was the first thing I bought online, from a collector on a photography newsgroup. [Of course, now you can almost always find a copy on Abebooks.] Adams' combined his photographs--signature landscapes, portraits and documentary shots--of the Japanese American internment camp in Manzanar, CA with his scathing text to condemn the US government's (all three branches) stripping of US citizens' and residents' civil rights.

    Published in 1944, Adams' book was poorly received, no surprise. Many copies were reportedly burned, and today, it is an exceedingly rare, little known work by a very famous photographer. Since the 1960's, the Manzanar collection has been at the Library of Congress. Tell Jack Valenti when you want to see his neck twitch: Adams put these pictures into the public domain, to assure their survival. View all 244 images here.

    Manzanar landscape with barbed wire fence, by Ansel Adams image: loc.gov

    Manzanar landscape with barbed wire fence
    photo by Ansel Adams, image: loc.gov


    Why do I post this now? Well, I have contemplated ideas for a film based in the camps. And a John Ashcroft deputy has suggested such camps for Arab Americans would not be illegal. But now, a Congressman from North Carolina (home state, thanks), the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Domestic Security, has defended the camps, proclaiming them "appropriate" and "for their [the Japanese'] own safety." Two branches down, one to go.

    February 5, 2003

    Powell: Pointed Presentation


    Pablo Picasso's Guernica; a tapestry version greets the UN Security Council.  Except when the subject is Iraq. image: pbs.org
    Guernica, Pablo Picasso's painting of the horrors of war

    At the UN today, Colin Powell's PowerPoint deck is expected to pull back the curtain, not on the alleged threat Iraq poses, but on Iraq's defiance of various Security Council resolutions. One thing you won't see, however: the tapestry version of Picasso's Guernica, which hangs at the entrance to the Security Council's chamber. A gift of Nelson Rockefeller (who also donated the land for the UN headquarters), the paintings iconic protest imagery says "Abandon war all ye who enter here" to UN participants. According to the Washington Times, when Iraq is being discussed, Guernica is covered by a UN-blue curtain and clusters of flags. [Thanks to BoingBoing, who reads the WT for me. The NYTimes has a brief report, too. For pinkos.]

    Not Afraid of Love, Maurizio Cattelan, image: artnet.com Not Afraid of Love, 2000, Maurizio Cattelan, image: artnet.com

    Of course, simply throwing a sheet over it doesn't make it go away; the message can still come through loud and clear. Picasso captured public outrage at the beta-test of the Nazi's then-new concept, aerial bombing, which destroyed a Basque village in a three-hour rain of terror. From that v0.9, we've moved to "shock and awe," the Windows XP of aerial bombing tactics, which, according to Pentagon leaks, would shower 3,000+ missiles on Iraq in the first 48 hours of war. The elephant is still in the room, no matter what it's covered with.

    As it turns out, UN spokesmen in both Times reports say they're covering Guernica, for logistical, not political reasons, no. According to the WT, when Colin Powell faces the throng of cameras outside the chamber, it appears there's a horse's ass behind him when he talks.

    [update: If you wonder why your day went badly, check and see if you wrote the same thing as Maureen Dowd. If she didn't include references to Maurizio Cattelan, there's still hope for your night. (via Travelers Diagram)]

    February 5, 2003

    On WTC Site Designs

    What I hope doesn't carry through from the plans the LMDC selected from Daniel Libeskind and THINK Team:

  • Needlessly symbolic height (1,776 feet) Why not two 911' high towers? Duh, because.
  • Single high-profile elements that completely draw attention away from the plan and architecture of the rest of the site.

    What I hope does carry through:

  • "The Bathtub" as part of the memorial (Read Edith Iglauer's 1972 New Yorker article about its construction, as discussed here.)
  • Paul Goldberger's called-for "Eiffel Tower for the 21st Century" (as discussed here.)
  • Memorials related/sited to the points of impact, an element of THINK's World Cultural Center which (New Republic architecture critic) Martin Filler attributes to Shigeru Ban.

    What Filler calls such a concept, which I personally favor: "unquestionably the most provocative." [I think he's talking about the latticework as Ban's, not the memorial. I like both.]

    Despite a lot of overwrought reaction, Filler wins the greg.org "smartest critic" award for agreeing with me on so many points: this memorial idea, the 1,776' tower, and (finally!) the Eisenman-as-ruin-as-memorial-instigator analysis.


  • when someone sneezes during the movie, six people-- from around the theater, as if in THX Surround Sound--say, not "SHHH!" but "bless you."
  • when you ask to see the manager about the sound that, annoyingly, kept shorting out, he thanks you, chuckles, and walks off, thinking you were trying to make a helpful suggestion, not complaining and expecting apologies and/or restitution.

  • Carson Daly's voice will be selling you things FOREVER Carson Headroom, image:ap/nytimes.com

    The Axis of Radio Evil, Clear Channel, has assembled a Carson Daly database of sound clips, phrases, jokes and gossip, from which they construct city-customized versions of "Carson's" top-10 radio show. Put down the vacuum cleaner, Mr. Astaire, and come out with your hands up.
    Read David Gallagher's fascinating/creepy article in the NYTimes.

    February 3, 2003

    CNN Reports The Hard Stories


    Heard on CNN this afternoon at 2:45:

    "[Newly charged murderer Phil] Spector's house is a PyrČnČes castle. But it's in L.A., so it's a faux-PyrČnČes castle."
    -- Anderson Cooper, CNN anchor/Vanderbilt, callin' it like it is

    "[Space Shuttle contractor] Alliant's stock sank like a rocket in early trading."
    -- Fred Katayama, CNN finance reporter talking about the impact

    From yesterday's NYTimes:

    Editors' Note, Sunday Styles
    The Age of Dissonance column last Sunday, about cozying up to celebrities, mentioned a report in The Daily News that guests at the Sundance film festival "had their shoes spattered" when the actor Tobey Maguire was taken ill. But the day the Times column appeared, The News quoted the actor's publicist as saying that although Mr. Maguire doubled over at one point, it was not he who vomited."

    February 2, 2003

    MIMO: Movies In, Movies Out

    Here are the movies I've been gorging myself on this week as I go back to finish the script for the As Yet Unannounced Animated Musical (AYUAM). Discussion to follow, but one correction in the mean time: you know how I said the AYUAM is like Sound of Music meets Aeon Flux? What I meant was, it's like West Side Story meets The Matrix. Short answer: (WSS, SOM, and Star Trek I (!!) director/Citizen Kane editor (!!!)) Robert Wise ROCKS.

    Here are the inputs:

  • West Side Story
  • Akira
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • The Matrix

    Note: Seeing Lost in La Mancha made me want to revisit a script, the script I'd imagined for years would be my first film. At some point, it grew several Don Quixote-like elements to it. It also made me want to bitchslap the producers on Terry Gilliam's film. I can't believe how much was not done/in place before they started, and while they were going along. Unconscionable. Also, seeing Confessions of a Dangerous Mind made me hate Chuck Barris and like George Clooney, so, mission accomplished.

  • Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

    Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

    comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
    greg [at] greg [dot ] org

    find me on twitter: @gregorg

    about this archive

    Posts from February 2003, in reverse chronological order

    Older: January 2003

    Newer March 2003

    recent projects, &c.


    pm_social_medium_recent_proj_160x124.jpg
    Social Medium:
    artists writing, 2000-2015
    Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
    ed. by Jennifer Liese
    buy, $28

    madf_twitter_avatar.jpg
    Madoff Provenance Project in
    'Tell Me What I Mean' at
    To__Bridges__, The Bronx
    11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
    show | beginnings

    chop_shop_at_springbreak
    Chop Shop
    at SPRING/BREAK Art Show
    curated by Magda Sawon
    1-7 March 2016

    do_not_bid_or_buy_iris_sidebar.jpg
    eBay Test Listings
    Armory – ABMB 2015
    about | proposte monocrome, rose

    shanzhai_gursky_mb_thumb.jpg
    It Narratives, incl.
    Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
    Franklin Street Works, Stamford
    Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
    about | link

    therealhennessy_tweet_sidebar.jpg
    TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -
    about

    sop_red_gregorg.jpg
    Standard Operating Procedure
    about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

    CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
    Canal Zone Richard Prince
    YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
    Decision, plus the Court's
    Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
    about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

    weeksville_echo_sidebar.jpg
    "Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
    Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
    about, brochure | installation shots


    HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
    Printed Matter, NYC
    Summer 2012
    panel &c.


    drp_04_gregorg_sidebar.jpg
    Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
    background | making of
    "Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

    czrpyr_blogads.jpg
    Canal Zone Richard
    Prince YES RASTA:
    Selected Court Documents
    from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
    about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99

    archives