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...]


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.

    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.

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