February 2004 Archives

February 29, 2004

Three for Three

If you want to win, just impart your filmmaking wisdom on greg.org

Congratulations to Oscar winners, Independent Spirit Award winners-- and greg.org interviewees--Sofia Coppola and Errol Morris.

And don't forget Dany Wolf and Gus Van Sant with their Palme d'Or from a little 'burg called Cannes.

February 29, 2004

The Shoes of Errol Morris

Errol Morris, you just won an Oscar and an Indpendent Spirit Award. Where are you going next?

"I'm going to Nordstrom! Daddy needs a new pair of shoes."

Errol Morris's shoe, in a corner office of Sony Classics, February 2004, image: greg.org

Buy Sperry Top-Sider 'Stripers' like the ones Morris wore to both award ceremonies-- and our interview-- at Nordstrom.

Rebecca Traitser, oft of the NYO and some online zine called Salon, notes in the NYT that the studios haven't quite ironed out all the details of that post-Chicago musical revival we've all been waiting for. Ignoring that Miramax-spun history of contemporary musicals for a moment (Moulin Rouge? South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut? 8 Mile?), it seems musicals need a certain studios ne savent quoi to escape development hell.

Some examples: Broadway films [Do we know that Joel Schumacher's Phantom won't bring on the Apocalypse?], classic musical remakes, hip-hop musicals, pop stars performing, and --shockingly--something original. [I would add animated anime-style thriller to that list if I'd moved forward with it at all in the last three months...]

The only musical in the article that doesn't already bore me to tears is John Turturro's Romance and Cigarettes, starring James Gandolfini and Susan "Rocky Horror" Sarandon. The producers call it "Pennies from Heaven meets The Honeymooners," and say it'll include covers of Engelbert Humperdinck's "Man Without Love" and Tom Jones's "Delilah" along with original music and choreography. [Christopher Walken's in it, and as Spike Jonze's Weapon of Choice video proves, the man can dance.]

R&C is currently in post-production. Back in 2002, it was a Coen Brothers joint, they dropped out and left Turturro to direct. Greene Street Films is producing, and my boy Bingham Ray's UA is distributing.

It's like ur-machinima. The Citizen Kane of 8-bit filmmaking. Little movies set in Marioland, but made in Flash, that combine classic cinematic devices like flashbacks, dramatic pullbacks and closeups with authentic 8-bit graphics. Oh, and a melodramatic score that incorporates game sounds. And atmospheric perspective. And DVD-esque chapter menus.

The 3-part story (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) is by AlexanderLeon.

You'll laugh, you'll cry. And if you play it in the same room with a sleeping baby, she'll cry. [via boingboing]

Related from May 2003: Buddy Icon Cinema, and comparing Donkey Kong to Matthew Barney's Cremaster 3.

Related links: NY artist Cory Arcangel's 80's video-game-inspired works at Filmmaker Magazine's blog and at the upcoming Whitney Biennial [shabby website, Whit]

Fred Conrad's photo of SHoP's Rector St footbridge, image:nytimes.com

Read David Dunlap's evocative account of the "temporary" architecture--the PATH station, footbridges and viewing wall--that surrounds and inhabits the World Trade Center site. These structures, "erected in a hurry," are utilitarian first, Dunlap notes, but they still sometimes "approach the sublime."

While I stayed consciously uncommitted on the exact form they would take, Dunlap's experience sounds like a reasonable approximation of what I imagined the paths of my own memorial proposal would be like. Fred Conrad's picture of SHoP's Rector Street pedestrian passage is similar to some concept photos I used on my submission, which makes sense; SHoP's passage was among my inspirations.

[Thank Hugh] "Memory and the Monument after 9/11: Deliberations at Ground Zero" is the title of the presentation by WTC Memorial Juror, Prof. James Young, at Dartmouth College. Young is as close as we've got to a professional memorialist; he's a veteran juror and adviser to memorial design processes around the world, and he is the author of several incisive books on remembering the Holocaust, including The Texture of Memory: Holocaust Memorials and Meaning.

You'll be hard-pressed to find an opportunity for a more articulate account of the WTC Jury's experience.

Young will speak Tuesday, March 2, 5:30 PM, at Dartmouth's Loew Auditorium.

While the NYT's Sharon Waxman finds plenty of righteous indignance among (anonymous) studio executives over ever working with Mel Gibson again, the scales have fallen from Endeavor agent John Lesher's eyes. As a result, he wins the award for best Passion-related quote of the week:

"People here will work with the anti-Christ if he'll put butts in seats."

February 27, 2004

What's on this weekend

Lynda Obst gives Slate's David Edelstein a juicy piece of Lost in Translation gossip, that Sofia's father gave her three pages of notes on the film, which she stuffed. Edelstein calls the movie "Chekhovian," which is high praise in his book. Sofia, you've come a long way, baby. Good luck.

Meanwhile, at Edelstein's other gig, Fresh Air, Terry Gross ran a 1999 interview with LIT star Bill Murray, while the site promises an upcoming interview with Ms Coppola herself.

March 30 or so, MoMA's Film Department is giving Sofia Coppola its Work In Progress Award. They called it early last year, by the way, no dogpiling there. Stay tuned for more greg.org coverage.

My favorite Bill Murray story goes like this: when somebody recognized him on the street in NYC, Murray walked up to him and popped him on the forehead. Then he bent over to the stunned man and whispered, "no one'll ever believe you," and walked away. Maybe that's what happened to Scarlett Johansson's character at the end of LIT.

At this house Saturday, we'll be watching the IFP Independent Spirit Awards, which are a lot more fun. Assuming we're not sacked out from exhaustion, that is. Oh, and no sooner did I post about Cassavetes' Shadows, that it turned up in my mailbox, a forgotten gift to myself from my DVD rental queue.

related: my interview with Sofia. My hanging with Alexander Payne and David O. Russell, previous MoMA honorees. My own Edelstein-inspired Chekhov reference. Me me me me me.

Cuteness, thy name is Ada. Weblog-depriving timesink, thy name is Ada, too.

So there were two reasons we decided to wait until she was born before deciding on a name for our first child: First, to make sure she was a she. [That took about 2 seconds.] Then, to see what name seemed to fit best. This took a little longer.

Monday morning, and for the better part of the day, the kid looked like someone your zeidy chatted with every week at the shvitz up on 10th Street. Unless we were willing to raise a daughter named Henry, patience was in order.

After about 36 hours of life, it turns out this little red squished creature was possessed of rather unusual beauty and intelligence. So we pulled out our favorites: Ada and Catherine. Catherine's a no-brainer, but Ada required further analysis. [Before the three accepted pronunciations of Ada (AY-da, ADD-a, AHH-da) turn into the Bay-singer/Bass-inger of the 21st century, please note that she prefers AY-da.]

Jean's great-grandmother, Ada Philena Canfield, was our original source for the name. But we evaluated other Ada's in our search for dealbreakers. What's a dealbreaker, you ask? Well, India was on our list, until I happened to Google "India Allen" one evening. [Warning: NOT SAFE FOR WORK.]

Non-dealbreaker Ada's, in the order we encountered them:

  • Ada, the title character in one of Nabokov's best novels. [note: this does preclude naming a future son Van. Why, you ask? Read the book.]

  • Ada Lovelace, considered to be the first computer programmer, and Lord Byron's daughter.
  • Ada, the Pascal-based programming language named in her honor.
  • ?da 'web, the digital art foundry created by friends and former colleagues in early 1995, which is now in the Walker Center's collection.
  • Ada, Nicole Kidman's characterless character in Cold Mountain. We'd heard that Kidman's appearance in Portrait of a Lady preceded a baby boomlet of Isabels. Of course, she was actually good in that movie...
  • The American Dental Association
  • Ada the Time Warner Cable customer service rep who answered my wife's call to reschedule an appointment.
  • Ada Lovelace, as portayed by Tilda Swinton in the 1997 literary sci-fi indie, Conceiving Ada [not that the film's title didn't freak us out a bit, mind you. The film also featured performances by Timothy Leary and John Perry Barlow. If anyone'd actually seen this thing, the kid'd be named Philena.]
  • Ada Blackjack, an Inuit woman who was the sole survivor of some Arctic expedition. A book about her turned up on NPR just a couple of weeks ago. [This stroke of good book touring luck did not, unfortunately, strengthen my case for naming our daughter Blackjack.]

    Final result we used them both. From here on out, please direct all complaints about the paucity of posts to Ms. Ada Catherine Cottam Allen.

  • In the magazine header, image: newyorker.com

    Issue of 2004-03-01
    Posted 2004-02-23

    The Talk of TheTown
    COMMENT/ TEN YEARS AFTER/ George Packer on fostering democracy in Haiti.
    ON DECK/ NOTHING BUT THE BEST/ Ben McGrath considers A-Rodís welcome to the Yankees.
    JUST LOOKING/ A NEW MALL/ Adam Gopnik browses in the new Time Warner Center.
    OLD FLAMES/ THE GUARD YEARS/ Jane Mayer talks to an ex-girlfriend of George Bushís from the Vietnam era.
    VERSE/ DUET ON MARS/ A poem by John Updike.
    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL/ LABOR PAINS/ Philip Gourevitch on what Kerry and Edwards offer the working class.

    AROUND CITY HALL/ Elizabeth Kolbert/ The Un-Communicator/ How does a good mayor get a bad image?
    SHOUTS & MURMURS/ Andrew Barlow/ Something for Everyone
    FICTION/ T. Coraghessan Boyle/ "Chicxulub"

    THE CURRENT CINEMA/ David Denby/ Suffering/ Mel Gibsonís "The Passion of the Christ."
    BOOKS/ Louis Menand/ Game Theory/ Spassky vs. Fischer revisited.
    BOOKS/ Christopher Caldwell/ Select All/ Can you have too many choices?
    THE ART WORLD/ Peter Schjeldahl/ England Swings/ Tate Modern, the Saatchi Gallery, and competing views of the contemporary.
    THE THEATRE/ John Lahr/ Swan Songs/ A death-wish trifecta.
    MUSICAL EVENTS/ Alex Ross/ Rich and Strange/ A "Tempest" opera by Thomas Ades.

    FROM THE ARCHIVE/ AROUND CITY HALL/ Elizabeth Kolbert/ Lighten Up/ 1999 report on Rudy Giuliani's tenure as mayor.

    February 21, 2004

    Chasing Shadows

    Title still from Cassavetes' Shadows, image: Ray Carney, cassavetes.comBU professor Ray Carney tells about his maniacal decades-long search for a copy of the "original version" of John Cassavetes' first feature, Shadows, in a riveting, suspenseful, and enlightening Guardian article. It feels like he doesn't leave out a single twist or turn (i.e., it's both entertaining and long).

    Here's the trailer: Cassavetes was so displeased with audience reaction to late 1958 screenings of Shadows, he re-shot much of the footage in early 1959 and re-edited it with some "original" footage to make the version we know today, aka the "second version."

    With little more than a passing mention of a single, existing print of the "original version" to go on, Carney embarked on an increasingly ridiculous search for "the holy grail of Independent Cinema." When that wore thin, he took to reconstructing the original "from the inside" by interviewing all the cast, crew, and audience members he could find, and by scouring the second version for minute forensic evidence--including, literally, comparing the length of shadows in each shot to determine the time of day--of Cassavetes' shooting and editing choices. The result: Carney's now the go-to guy for Cassavettes' process, and at least he published a book in 2001 with BFI.

    Whatever of the outcome; the article makes for great reading.

    Buy Shadows--the second version--on DVD. Check out Carney's acadamn fine fan site, cassavetes.com.

    Just let me program your whole Monday viewing schedule for you.

    6:30 - MoMA curator Barbara London screening classic video art and talking about how to collect it. (email for details)
    9:00 See Derek Jarman's 1993 film, Wittgenstein, at Passerby, the used-to-be-a-gallery/bar on WWW 15th St.

    Then head to SoHo house for some kidney pie with Fammke Jensen or whoever. You're welcome.

    February 20, 2004

    Ford Exploring

    Tom Ford has signed with CAA agent (and longtime friend) Brian Lourd to find films to direct. The NYPost's Suzanne Kapner pitches him a really edgy story:

    Tom Ford after his last Gucci menswear collection, image: gq-magazine.co.uk Robert Evans called. He wants his schtick back...

    "For his last Gucci menswear show, there were scantily clad dancers with big hair and heavy eye makeup gyrating around stripper poles and worldly gentlemen with tumblers of whiskey.

    Keep an eye out for such images in a future film - perhaps a cross between Ocean's Eleven and Showgirls?"

    Suzanne, Brian's not taking calls right now. Can I get your number, and I'll pass it along?

    errol_morris_foot.jpgLast week, in the Sony Classics offices on Madison Avenue, I sat down to talk with Errol Morris, whose current documentary, The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara, was nominated for an Academy Award.

    Morris's films are best known for the intensity of the interviews he conducts. He invented the Interrotron, a teleprompter setup that gets the interviewee to look and speak straight into the camera. I, in the mean time, didn't have a digital recorder, so I decided to use a DV camera, the Sony VX-1000, to record our discussion. (Plus, that'd give me a chance to drop it off at the Sony Service Center downstairs to get the viewfinder fixed when I was done.)

    I set the camera on the coffee table. Not only did I not get Morris looking directly into the camera, I ended up with an entire tapeful of Morris's bouncing sneaker. Just as he did in The Fog of War, I structured our discussion around eleven lessons. [OK, fine. I went through the transcript and stuck eleven smartass lessons in as an editorial conceit. Close enough.]

    Lesson One: Start an interview with an Academy Award-nominated director you've admired for fifteen years by sucking up. Big time.

    Greg Allen: First congratulations on the film and the nomination. I should tell you, seeing Thin Blue Line in college was one of the reasons I wanted to become a filmmaker. It was so powerful and so not what you'd expect a documentary to be, especially at that time. So, thank you.

    Errol Morris:

    Thank you.

    GA: With The Fog of War, a great deal of attention has been focused on the interview footage itself and what McNamara did or didn't say, and was he going to take responsibility for the war or were you going to grill him about this or that. But your films have such a strong aesthetic and dramatic sense, which you achieve with other elements. I'd really like to hear more about how you go about making a film and what your process is for the putting those other elements together.

    Lesson Two: I am a babbling sycophant.

    Barbara London, Associate Curator of Film and Media at the Museum of Modern Art, will screen some seminal works of video art and talk about the ins and outs of showing and collecting. Among the artists she'll be showing: Nam June Paik, Bill Wegman, Joan Jonas, Woody and Steina Vasulka, Peter Campus, Gary Hill, Laurie Anderson, Wang Jianwei and others.

    The discussion will be Monday evening at 6:30 in midtown. It's not open to the public, but email me if you're interested in attending, and I'll get you hooked up. Should be very interesting.

    February 20, 2004

    Shooting the Courier

    Poster for The Fog of War, image: slate.comI find Tom Vanderbilt's Slate story about the State Department's dropping Courier New 12 in favor of Times New Roman 14 as its official typeface timely for two reasons.

    1) Courier's appearance in The Fog of War is evidence of the font's status as both "the herald of all stripes of dignified officialdom," and FOIA-driven government conspiracy. [He credits Rob Poynor, of Design Observer. All of a sudden, these guys are everywhere.]

    2) I just spent several hours last weekend researching the history and modern use of typewriter typefaces for a new website I'm working on. After growing tired of the clogged upX-files-style fonts that are an empty cliche of "edginess," I turned to the mechano-corporate precision of the IBM Selectric-era fonts: serifs like Courier, Prestige Elite, and my favorites, the sleek sans-serif Letter Gothic and Script, the "handwriting" of the can-do-no-wrong IBM of the 60's and 70's.

    February 19, 2004

    Che Sera

    Che Guevara onesies and kiddie shirts, from Appaman, image: Appaman.com Doin' it for the children of the revolution: Malick's directing another movie before these kids graduate from college.
    Production is set for four months, starting in July--this July, 2004-- for Terrence Malick's next film, Che, starring Benecio Del Toro as the world's most logo-friendly marxist. Malick's writing and directing. Del Toro and Steven Soderbergh (I thought he was taking a year off?) will produce the $40 million picture, which comes--if you calculate by Malick-Time-- almost 14 years ahead of schedule (i.e., six, not twenty years after his last movie, The Thin Red Line).

    [a Guardian/ Variety story.]

    February 19, 2004

    Stop-Action Knitting

    Anthony McCall's Line Describing A Circle, image: artnet.com[via Fimoculous] Michel Gondry's new video for Steriogram is all stop-action knitting. There's a little too much Peter Gabriel going on, but the shots where the band's watching a knitted movie are brilliant.

    It reminded me of a piece at the Whitney's "Into the Light" exhibit of American video art, Anthony McCall's 1973 Line Describing A Cone, where a projected image of a circle created a cone of light in the smoke-filled gallery.

    I just watched all Gondry's videos, and I must say, they made me a little tired. The White Stripes Lego video is probably my favorite. The transposition of filmspace onto flat lego boards is pretty ingenious. There's some of that, with knitting in perspective, etc., in the Steriogram video, too.

    [update: it didn't occur to me to add a link to buy the Steriogram CD until an hour later.]

    Get this man a graphic designer. The LMDC has released scanned images of all 5,201 Memorial Competition submissions, browsable by country and state, or searchable by last name.

    Mark Wahlberg's proposal is here, and here is Ross Bleckner's. John Bennett's and Paul Myoda's separate proposals (they did the Tribute in Light). Mark Dion, Brian Tolle (he did the Irish Hunger Memorial in BPC).

    Here's Antoine Predock, Arquitectonica. Peter Walker (who got it anyway, just not with this proposal). Marc Quinn (whose show just closed at Mary Boone, and the last Englishman to hear of Olafur Eliasson).

    Here are proposals by Valerie Atkisson, Kara Hammond, and Jeff Jarvis, original members of our competition charette last June. I'll be surfing for a while, it seems.

    [update: In Friday's NYT, David Dunlap talks to jurors about revealing all the submissions.]

    still from Antonioni's Blow-up
    It was just released today. Buy it or rent it now. There's a commentary track by Antonioni scholar Peter Brunette, (author of The Films of Michelangelo Antonioni), but read J. Hoberman's excellent contextual discussion of Blow-up in his latest book, The Dream Life instead.

    New Yorker staff writer Hilton Als is doing the diary at Slate this week. So far it's mostly a New-York-is-Hollywood fabulous account of his screenwriting projects, with a little a lot of stroking. On Monday, while despairing reading Peter Biskind's Down and Dirty Pictures, Als laments, "I feel as if I've lived through the Miramax years without ever taking a meeting with Harvey." But by today, he's gushing about dinner with Tilda Swinton at Odeon. (Hilton! You're still livin'em, honey!)

    Related: Passerby has started showing films by Derek Jarman (an early Swinton collaborator) on Monday nights at 9PM. Screenings in March and April may include appearances by other Jarmanites, so stay tuned for details.
    Weird triangulation: the bartender/partner once wrote a Slate journal about a "Mormon art collector's wedding party" at Passerby.

    February 17, 2004

    On a Soundtrack for the Street

    Warren St. John wrote with some air of complaint about oblivious iPodders who clog our streets and queues while lost in their own musical worlds. This may be annoying, true, but it's much better than the opposite situation: music that is piped into the street by retailers and/or Real Estate Experience developers. It's particularly bad on faux-urban streetscapes, like the Market Commons at Clarendon, a "retail mecca" just outside DC. Nestled among the landscaped bushes are little mushroom-shaped speakers that pump out a chain-store-friendly soundtrack all day and night. It's freakin' annoying.

    Don't know how I missed this. The Guardian/Observer's Damon Wise goes on a revealing to Filmbyen, or Film Town, a Danish hive of suburban movie production, founded by Lars Von Trier and his producing partner, Peter "The Eel" Jensen. (That nickname'll be TMI in a minute, by the way.) Dogme95 co-conspirator Thomas Vinterberg has also set up shop in "town."

    At the agressively but unsurprisingly unconventional Filmbyen, VT and The Eel insist on various musical and flag-raising rituals and on keeping alive whatever of their communist ideals they can. We're talking actual, card-carrying communists here, not Fox News slash-and-burn invective-style communists.

    And on public nudity. Wise has a hard time maintaining eye contact: "Like ourselves and the rest of the pool's other patrons Vinterberg is wearing a swimming costume, but Jensen and Von Trier just whip off their clothes and dive in. Jensen's genitalia are on full display and we escape with just a glimpse of Von Trier's pallid bottom." What follows is a discussion Von Trier's long, hard, sweaty...process of writing, working with actors, and making his latest film, Dogville.

    [Dogville opened this weekend in London (and which comes to the US in early April). See Philip French's dazed Observer review, or the official Dogville UK site.]

    While I have nothing to add about communist genitalia, I have seen Dogville and will write about it soon.

    Vintage poster for parapluies de cherbourg, image:zeitgeistfilms.com
    Ever since 1992, when I stumbled, completely ignorant and unprepared, into a screening of the restored version introduced by Agnes Varda ("she does documentaries or something, right?" was all I had in my head), I've been transfixed and fascinated by The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

    It's an unabashed-yet-triste story of young love, set in a color-saturated fantasy French town, about a girl left pregnant and alone when her mechanic boyfriend gets shipped off to the war in Algeria. And the whole thing is sung, to music by Michel Legrand. Cherbourg made Catherine Deneuve a star, even though her voice was dubbed. What the hell is this thing? I still don't know, but I love it.

    Go to Film Forum by Thursday to find out. Zeitgeist Films has struck a new 35mm print for the movie's 40th anniversary. You could buy the old DVD, or wait until April for a new release, but seriously, go see it in the theater. Read Jessica Winter's tribute to the film.

    In the NYTimes Book Review, historian/storyteller Joseph Ellis delivers a gushing review of "Washington's Crossing," David Hackett Fischer's "truly riveting" book-length repositioning of the American rebel army crossing the Delaware and defeating Hessians at Trenton as a turning point in the War of Independence.

    Hey, I give it points for being the first book in ten years not to have a paragraph-long subtitle that tries to sound like a movie pitch. And what is Ellis's highest praise?

    For reasons beyond my comprehension, there has never been a great film about the War of Independence. The Civil War, World War I, World War II and Vietnam have all been captured memorably, but the American Revolution seems to resist cinematic treatment. More than any other book, ''Washington's Crossing'' provides the opportunity to correct this strange oversight, for in a confined chronological space we have the makings of both Patton and Saving Private Ryan' starring none other than George Washington. Fischer has provided the script. And it's all true.
    Of course, Fischer--and Ellis, whose credit line says is working on a biography of Washington--are two years too late, and they both must know it. In 2002, the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, responding to the absence of a great film starring Washington, aka "the action hero of his time," hired Steven Spielberg to produce a 15-minute film for an $85 million interactive museum program being built next to GW's house. " As Jim Rees, director of Mount Vernon told the Washington Post, "If it was as exciting and action-packed as Indiana Jones we would be thrilled."

    Shoppertainment links:
    Buy Washington's Crossing before they put out the movie tie-in edition, with Mel Gibson as Washington.
    Oh, wait. They already made that movie.
    Then buy Band of Brothers(a Spielberg joint), and imagine Bastogne as Trenton, which it probably is. The Trenton of Belgium, anyway.
    [update: for those who lack the patriotism to invest $89.99 for the BoB DVD, you can also rent it. Except that GreenCine doesn't ship to Canada. Pinko.]

    February 16, 2004


    What battery would Jesus use? Interstate, of course. It looks like even George Bush's favorite philosopher is trying to reach the elusive NASCAR Dad this year.

    James Caviezel, who plays the Gibsonian version of Jesus Christ, broke The Master's injunction about keeping the Sabbath Day holy by flacking unto the NASCAR masses for The Passion It was more Event in The Press Tent than Sermon on The Mount; there was a The Passion baseball cap where a crown of thorns should be.

    The real miracle of Daytona Sunday, though, comes from the Good Book of indie film marketing: Gibson rendered some serious Caesars unto Bobby Labonte's Interstate Battery team and got The Passion logo on the hood of his Chevy.

    The Passion for racing, even on Sunday, image: AP, via Yahoo

    Hong Kong? or Daytona? AF1 taking off on the occasion of some sporting event or another. image: AP via yahoo.com

    It's not political theater, even political amphitheater. It's beyond political grandstanding, even though there are grandstands in the picture. It's the political imagemaking equivalent of the chariot race in Ben Hur: Air Force One taking off next to Daytona International Speedway during the Daytona 500.

    Sforza knows how to set up the camera positions for the best shot, image: Reuters via yahoo.com

    And it was purely for show; GWB had already run a partial lap around the track in his motorcade before turning the gaggle of NASCAR drivers into colorful extras for his own photo op. [The composition is similar to the Thanksgiving turkey shoot in Iraq, where a 3-D environment wraps around Bush, as opposed to the less sophisticated made-from-people backdrop.] I can't wait for a similar shot from the Republican Convention, with corporate sponsors swarming around Bush in a visual cacophany of be-logoed gear.

    Whatever your leanings, you have to be daft, numb and blind to not appreciate the near-sublime stagecraft of White House Productions' Scott Sforza. [via NYT's David Sanger]

    Update [via Slate's Bryan Curtis]: in 1969 Nixon tried to pull the same sports photo op to appeal to the same demographic by choppering into the Texas-Arkansas football game. The resulting photos are positively primitive compared to Sforza's handiwork. No DW Griffith, but it got the criticism-deflecting job done.

    After British director James Miller was killed--shot in the neck by an Israeli army sniper in Gaza in May 2003--while filming an HBO documentary, his wife Sophy, field producer Dan Edge and other crew members felt compelled to complete the movie. Her story is in the Telegraph, and Edge writes in the Guardian about making the film--and watching Miller get shot in front of him.

    a sketch of the location where director James Miller was shot by Israeli soldiers on 2 May 2003, image: justice4jamesmiller.com
    The finished documentary, Death in Gaza, is a fly-on-the-wall account of a young Palestinian boy and his interactions with paramilitaries barely older than himself. The film also includes extended footage of Miller and his translator being shot as they approached an Israeli APC, while shouting "British journalist!" and waving a white flag. Sketches made during an independent investigation bear an eerie resemblance to camera setup diagrams used on the set. To date, no one has been held accountable for Miller's death.

    The film screened last week as part of the the Berlinale's Panorama Dokumente.

    Related: An account of Miller's death and an open letter to the Israeli Defense Forces from the Committee to Protect Journalists.
    justice4jamesmiller.com, a site set up by his family and friends, which contains the results of an investigation by Chiron Resources, a company which specializes in media support in hostile environments.

    Related but lighter: background on the Panorama Dokumente, from Filmmaker Magazine's blog
    David Hudson's and Cory Vielma's exhaustive-but-insightful daily coverage from the Berlin Festival, at GreenCine. It's the next best thing to being there.

    Jessie Pettway's 1950's quilt, image: corcoran.org

    One of the most rewarding shows last year in New York was The Quilts of Gee's Bend at the Whitney. For generations, the descendants of former slaves in an isolated Alabama town developed quilt designs that stand alongside--and frequently prefigure by decades--some of the best modern art of the 20th century. The reminded me of Stuart Davis, 80's Sol Lewitt, and most of all, Ellsworth Kelly.

    Anyway, as of yesterday, that show is at the Corcoran in DC. I understand if you're still boycotting because of that embarassing Seward Johnson exhibit, but you'll only be hurting yourself if you miss this. But if you insist, you can approximate the Gee's Bend experience by buying the catalog and the more expansive Gee's Bend: The Women and their Quilts, or with a handtufted, quilt-patterned carpet, made under exclusive license by the Classic Rug Collection.

    Over 600 quilts are now owned by the non-profit Tinwood Alliance, which was established by Peter Arnett, an Atlanta collector who began amassing them in the 1980's.

    February 15, 2004

    writing about dibujar

    El Greco, some painting of a cardinal I see all the time at The Met, image:guardian.co.uk El Greco, from The Met, via the Guardian's online gallery

    "Dibujar e mas dibujar (draw and draw some more)." That's El Greco citing Michelangelo about the importance of drawing. The Guardian's James Fenton mentions it in his backstage report at the National Gallery's El Greco exhibition, which opened this week. Fenton muses on drawing's ephemerality while watching curators uncrate works for the show. In the process, the curators have to hold him back from drooling half the world's El Greco drawings right out of existence.

    Also open in London: a sturdier Donald Judd retrospective at the Tate Modern [review], which is up alongside Olafur Eliasson's The Weather Project until mid-March. Road trip!

    Adrian Searle's El Greco review: "the power of a hand grenade"
    Eliasson's Weather Project in (my) photos from the opening, before the first million people saw it.

    February 15, 2004

    New York Film Festival(s)

    [via Gawker] Manhattan User's Guide has compiled a list of film festivals in New York. At last count, there are 28, including six at Lincoln Center and four at Anthology. Start dubbing those screener tapes.

    February 12, 2004

    On "Trolling for Trash"

    Scott McClellan may have been more right than he knew yesterday. From the Washington Post:

    The White House has been unable to produce peers from Bush's service in Alabama. But Bill Burkett, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Texas National Guard, said in an interview with The Washington Post this week that he overheard a speakerphone call about Bush's National Guard file in 1997, when Bush was Texas governor. Burkett said he was in a National Guard office when he overheard Joseph M. Allbaugh, then Bush's chief of staff, tell an officer in reference to Bush's military file that he "needed to make sure there was nothing to embarrass the governor."

    Burkett said he later witnessed some items from Bush's file in the trash. [Emphasis mine, for now]

    Calpundit has a lengthy transcript of an interview with Burkett, and corroborating comments from Burkett contemporaries in the Guard.

    The domain name, trollingfortrash.com, was registered yesterday. I always thought "trawling for trash" was more correct, but I'm happy to wait a few months for Bill Safire's column.

    February 12, 2004

    On Needing to Come Clean

    Colin Farrell as Roland Bozz in Tigerland, image:tigerlandmovie.com

    Apparently George Bush's isn't the only record being cleansed. Tell me if this story sounds familiar: after transferring to a southern backwater army base at the senseless height of the war, a charismatic Texan bad boy does everything he can to not get shipped off to Vietnam. I know what you're thinking, but no. It's from Colin Farrell's first starring role, a little film called Tigerland.

    The Tigerland script came from a couple of first-time writers, and premiered at the 2000 Toronto Film Festival. Shot in a mere 28 days with a handheld 16mm camera, for less than $10 million, Tigerland apparently has a gritty yet unassuming documentary-style feeling of authenticity. On the official website, the director cited both "Danish director Lars von Trier's Dogma 95 [sic] movement" and Frederic Wiseman's Titicut Follies as inspiration. Pretty good indie cred so far.

    Reviews praised the solid, even powerful, performances, as well as the visceral camerawork of Matthew Labatique (Pi, Requiem for a Dream), and Rotten Tomatoes' rating is a respectable 71%. Yet distribution for the film was so feeble (5 screens in NY/LA, 2 weeks, $140K US B.O.), reviewers as late as last spring were describing the film as "still unreleased." [Details are on IMDb, it's available on DVD, and you can rent it. Maybe they're lazy reporters.]

    Just another worthy indie that unfortunately failed to find an audience, you say? Maybe, except that the distributor who buried it in October 2000--during the height of the presidential election, mind you--was Rupert Murdoch's 20th Century Fox. And the director? Joel Schumacher.

    Now here's a real scandal that demands immediate investigation: 1) Are these really the same people who made Phone Booth, and 2) did Joel Schumacher really make a decent movie?

    [via Gothamist] The Style Section article a few weeks ago where Neil Strauss plays wingman to some David Blaine wannabe named Mystery (Seriously. You think the Times didn't factcheck something so goofy?) has been optioned by Columbia Pictures (along with a book based on the piece). The price? "In the low six figures." Strauss will advise, but not adapt.

    February 10, 2004

    K Street: Who's Acting Now?

    Cheneyac Mary Matalin under oath in the Plame investigation, image: washingtonpost.com

    For the ever-popular Law & Order, the producers mine today's headlines for new story ideas. HBO's K Street is just the opposite. Not in the "what, it blew and nobody watched it?" way you're thinking, in the "life imitates art" way.

    In one K Street plotline, the actress and former Cheneyac Mary Matalin worried about being investigated by the Feds for leaking a CIA operative's identity. At the time, the subject was innocuous or implausible enough to pass the "no substance" filter that actual DC operatives ran their cameo appearances through. But last month, the Washington Post reports, Matalin and several other White House appointees were hauled before a grand jury to testify about who in the administration leaked a CIA operative's identity. She even wore the same "passes for fashion in Washington" jacket for both gigs. (Hey Mary, I know the IRS now works for you now, but I hope you got a receipt for that thing. Not that HBO wants it back...)

    How to tell the truth from the fiction, then? Easy. On K Street, Matalin's lament rambled on (and on and on) over several episodes. In The Real World, her only line was, "I can't comment."

    February 10, 2004

    Anne Truitt Week

    Since moving Modern Art Notes to Arts Journal, Tyler Green's been demonstrating his critic-as-advocate chops, sometimes with a degree of acid that'd make even professional bee-atch Charlie Finch blush. He makes nice nice this week, though, by publishing brief excerpts daily from Anne Truitt's Daybook. On top of simultaneously being a pioneer and stalwart contrarian of Minimalism, Truitt's published journals are an unsurpassed window into the artistic process. Only Daybook is in print, but you can get the other volumes from ABEbooks.

    Related: Truitt and Agnes Martin showing across the street from each other in Jan. 2003.

    12/04 update: Mourning the loss of Anne Truitt.

    Since relaunching their website, Harper's has been posting selections from their 140+year archive. For example, "Battle Gossip," an 1861 column by Charles Nordhoff. In addition to vivid accounts of women in combat, Nordhoff writes about Napoleon III's use of balloons for battlefield surveillance; correspondence with the enemy; and animals in war:

    There are many instances of worn-out cavalry horses, sold out of the army and used in menial employments, remembering and obeying, years after, the sound of a regimental trumpet. At the battle of Waterloo some of the horses, as they lay on the ground, having recovered from the first agony of their wounds, commenced eating the grass about them, thus surrounding themselves with a circle of bare ground, the limited extent of which showed their weakness; others were noticed quietly grazing in the middle of the field, between the two hostile lines, their riders having been shot off their backs.

    February 9, 2004

    I Heart The Time Warner Mall

    If you need me, I'll be at the Time Warner Mall, getting in line for the escalator to Whole Foods, where I'll be bellying up to New York's only Jamba Juice.

    "Whata Juice?" you say? Soon enough, you will be surrounded by seemingly rational people discussing the merits of Power-sized Bounce Back Blasts with Vita Boost. You can join in, or you can take your mall-snobbery and chain store disdain, grind it into a powder, dump it into your (Stick-in-the) Mud Truck coffee, plant your crabby ass on the IND, and slink home to watch Channel J.

    "This is like a piece of Stamford in Midtown...It's really nice that they brought the suburbs into the city." [NYT]
    Lockhart Steele, too, drinks the Kool-aid Jamba Juice
    Felix Salmon worries rightly that this mall foretells the coming of a WTC Mall

    Related to that:
    "when they came for my greek-lookin' coffee cups, I said nothing" [greg.org 7/02]

    February 9, 2004

    Damaging my Electability

    Although I successfully dodged questions about my activities during the Vietnam war, I fear I have severely limited my electability by submitting to Andrew Krucoff's Gothamist Interview.

    In the magazine header, image: newyorker.com
    Issue of 2004-02-16
    Posted 2004-02-09

    The Talk of The Town
    COMMENT/ WARRIORS/ Hendrik Hertzberg on the battle readiness of Bush and Kerry.
    THE BENCH/ STAR WITNESS/ Jeffrey Toobin at the Martha Stewart trial.
    DESIGN DEPT./ CITY LIGHTS/ Ben McGrath gets turned on to street lamps.
    NEW KID ON THE BLOCK DEPT./ NAME THIS JOINT/ Dana Goodyear on an anonymous East Village falafel restaurant.
    THE FINANCIAL PAGE/ THE PIPELINE PROBLEM/ James Surowiecki on whatís ailing big pharmaceutical companies.

    LETTER FROM WASHINGTON/ Jane Mayer/ Contract Sport/ What did Dick Cheney do for Halliburton?
    PERSONAL HISTORY/ Roger Angell/ La Vie en Rose/ A young couple in Europe after the war.
    ANNALS OF POLITICS/ George Packer/ A Democratic World/ Can liberals take on Islamic fundamentalism?
    OUR LOCAL CORRESPONDENTS/ Ian Frazier/ Route 3/ The road from New York to America.
    PROFILES/ Larissa Macfarquhar/ THE POPULIST/ Michael Moore can make you cry./
    FICTION/ Andrea Lee/ "La Ragazza"

    BOOKS/ John Updike/ All About Abish/ The cerebral experimentalist gets personal.
    BOOKS/ Judith Thurman/ Sentimental Re-education/ Two new books address the old subjects of love and lust.
    ON TELEVISION/ Nancy Franklin/ American Idol/ For the young hopefuls on "The Apprentice," Trump towers.
    THE ART WORLD/ Peter Schjeldahl/ Untouchable/ The Barnes Foundation and its fate. [Not much on the fate, but PS finally goes to the Barnes, and goes appropriately gaga for it. SAVE THE BARNES BY LEAVING IT WHERE IT IS. -ed.]
    THE CURRENT CINEMA/ Anthony Lane/ The Creepiest/ John Malkovich as Tom Ripley.

    From The Archive
    ANNALS OF LAW/ Jeffrey Toobin/ LUNCH AT MARTHA'S/ Problems with the perfect life. [Issue of 2003-02-03
    Posted 2004-02-09]
    PROFILES/ Mark Singer/ Trump Solo [Issue of 1997-05-19 Posted 2004-02-09]

    Jesus the Movie, in Africa, image:jesusfilm.orgIf the story in Mel Gibson's The Passion sounds vaguely familiar, you won't be surprised by the revelations in Franklin Foer's article in the Times today. It apparently comes from a 1979 Warner Bros. movie called Jesus. [o Hollywood, remakes are like manna from heaven.] "JESUS" (the movie) has developed something of a cult following [sic].

    Thanks to 300 earnest evangelicals at the Jesus Film Project who have translated it into 848 languages, and thousands of projector-and-generator-toting missionary/exhibitors who circle the globe, "JESUS" has become the centerpiece of a Rocky Horror Picture Show-style filmic conversion experience, albeit one where bread and wine replaces flying toast.

    The distributor and original producer, Campus Crusade for Christ, claims that over 3 billion people have seen the movie. For those living in remote Andean and African villages, it was often the first film they'd ever seen. Foer points to Bro. Brian Helstrom's unsubtly symbolic story of a screening in South Africa:

    "'You could see them physically jump back at the sight of the serpent tempting Jesus,' he recalled. 'When soldiers whip Jesus, you could hear grown adults crying.' After Jesus's death, but before his resurrection, a black South African missionary told the crowd that they had a chance to pray and to accept Christ. 'He asked everybody who prayed to walk forward and come into light,' Mr. Helstrom says. 'One hundred forty-five people walked out of the darkness into light.'"
    And within months, missionaries from the Church of Loew's set up the bush country's first multiplex, making it possible for Charlie's Angels II: Full Throttle to be screened 35 times a day. Hallelujah.

    I'm somewhere between troubled and pissed that film experience is so uncritically substituted for (or equated with) religious experience. There's some serious bill of goods-selling going on here. When I was a missionary (for another demonination) in Japan, I ran across people whose names were on the Church baptism rolls but who had no interest in being Christian at all, any more than eating at a Mongolian BBQ would make them want to be Mongolian. Turns out that ten years earlier, some missionaries with more zeal than sense decided to overcome Japanese teenagers' general religious apathy by starting a baseball league. After a season or two, they'd help out their cool American friends and climb into that pool there, and...well, what are friends for? Conversion may be embracing and emotionally powerful, but friendship ain't religion, and neither is a tear-jerking movie.

    I wonder, what does the Bible teach us on this subject? There's the "render unto Caesar those things which are Caesar's" thing, which should put the kibbosh on selling cheap, emotionally manipulative cinematic hat tricks based on techonological superiority as salvation. [Unrelated: I can totally picture Mel having a "render unto Caesar his points against the gross" clause in his distribution contract, btw.] But I have another verse in mind: "By their fruits ye shall know them," or as they say in the picture business, "what else has he done?"

    Jesus, it turns out, was an adaptation, or as its opening credits describe it, a "documentary taken entirely from the Gospel of Luke." But Luke lost his story credit [Luke, baby, you need new representation. C-A-L-L M-E. -ed.] to Barnet Bain, who has gone on to produce such dubious religious schlock as The Apocalypse (starring Sandra Bernhard??) and the eternally punishing Robin Williams CG-hellfest, What Dreams May Come. Decidedly not funny.

    Co-director Peter Sykes has even more to answer for at judgment day (not to be confused with T2: Judgment Day, which rocks. Somebody say amen!). Before turning to Jesus (The Movie) Sykes made, um, let me get this straight: Tell Me Lies, Demons of the Mind, and, um, Child of Satan. I mean, I know the well need no physician, but what in hell [sic] was the Campus Crusader behind the project thinking to hire this guy? And where exactly did they meet?

    So Campus Crusade is the world's biggest film distributor, the unsung McDonald's of global evangelism--with over 3 billion saved--and Mel's set to open his Passion on 2,500 screens. Whatever. As The Man Himself (verily) says (un)to us, "they have their reward."

    william hung can sing, just not on TV, image:dailycal.org Berkeley singer/student fights the power of an unfair judiciary--on American Idol
    William Hung, a civil engineering major, has become "UC Berkeley?s newest celebrity" with his half-finished rendition of some Ricky Martin song on American Idol. There's a fansite, williamhung.net. McNamara's student shock troops may be too busy trying to get on Fox to protest it. [via Anil]

    February 6, 2004

    The Fog of War Re-enactors

    Robert McNamara, Prof. Mark Danner, and Errol Morris at Berkeley, image: berkeley.edu

    [via NYT] They're putting the band back together, Elroy.

    For the first time since The Fog of War was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature Academy Award, Robert McNamara and Errol Morris took their show on the road. They spoke at Berkeley Wednesday, the first time McNamara appeared at the school that led the anti-war movement in the Sixties. It's also his and Morris's alma mater.

    The webcast is available on Berkeley's site. [The discussion starts about 11 minutes into the stream.] Whatever else he does, McNamara demonstrates a frustrating but entertaining mastery of the art of answering the question he wants to, not the one he was asked.

    Of course, it's more frustrating when reports of the event miss the big story, perhaps because it involves another paper. The Times claimed that McNamara strenuously refused to comment on the current administration and its policies. That's not news; he has refused 172 (by his count) journalists' requests to comment on Bush and Iraq. But the climax of the evening's discussion was about #173, an interview McNamara gave the Toronto Globe and Mail in Jan. where he revealed his mind in unambiguous terms.

    McNamara told a Canadian audience that the lessons he learned in Vietnam (and wrote about in his 1995 memoir, In Retrospect) being ignored and directly contradicted in the present situation. But he told the Berkeley crowd, "What you want me to do is apply them to Bush. I'm not going to do it. You apply them to Bush" [much applause ensues]. Somewhere there's a headline, "Architect of Vietnam War Condemns Bush's War in Iraq" searching for a story.

    Anyhoo, Errol Morris does very little talking, true to form. What would you ask him? Thta's not a rhetorical question; I really want to know.

    Scott Sforza parking a Coast Guard cutter for Bush's speech, image: whitehouse.gov
    No run-of-the-mill PowerPoint banners in South Carolina. No, the money shot of White House Productions' primary mitigation show was clearly the Coast Guard cutter, positioned behind Bush's podium.
    GWB in Charleston in front of shipping containers, image: whitehouse.gov
    Forget the boat, though, and go wide. Bush is addressing his crowd of extras in a mini-amphitheater made from shipping containers. This set is my pick for Sforzian Backdrop of The Week.

    Related: posts about how I [inexplicably heart] shipping containers

    February 5, 2004

    So Wrong It May Be Right

    David Foster Wallace parody contest finalists. [via Kottke]

    Not enough for you? Just buy Infinite Jest. Hint: the used copies haven't been opened beyond page 25. They were on the coffee table, not the nightstand.

    February 5, 2004


    Xu Bing, a Chinese artist whose frequently subtle engagement with opacity I admire, has installed a piece at Artes Mundi, an exhibition at the National Museum in Wales, made of dust the artist collected on September 11th in lower Manhattan.

    Xu scattered the dust across the gallery floor and wrote a Zen poem in it with his finger,
    "As there is nothing from the first,
    Where does the dust collect itself?"

    Several years ago at P.S. 1, Xu placed a giant vase of mulberry branches in the lobby, which were eaten by silkworms, whose cocoons gradually replaced the leaves.

    Artes Mundi opens Saturday, (as) if you're in Cardiff. They're giving a big prize in order to get press coverage. Read Maev Kennedy's profile of Xu in the Guardian .

    Dramatis Personae: Blacktable, a website of a certain age; Gawker, who witnessed the event.

    Setting: Writers hilariously mourn the recent decline of the New York Times' Monday write-in feature, Metropolitan Diary by imagining cute crosstown bus encounters that didn't make it past the Diary's new editors. [note: any similarities of to these anecdotes last year's "Adam Gopnik's Metropolitan Diary" are purely due to the utter predictability of the MD format.]

    The anecdotes I submitted to MD (both of which were published--Choire take note--for a fee of zero dollars per word) were written to highlight my own sophistication and cultural superiority in a suitably oblique way (e.g., "...As the exasperated waiter came out of the Carlyle dining room..." and "...where I overheard two Italians conversing about..."). The one time I recognized myself in someone else's submission, I was making smartass comments on Canal about buying street turtles.

    mecha-streisand, from southparkstudios.comMichael Musto points out an unexpected upside to Sofia Coppola's winning the First American Woman To Be Nominated For Best Director: it rescues that historical recognition forever from Barbra Streisand's French-manicured clutches.

    You can celebrate this karmic retribution by buying Lost in Translation, out today on DVD (complete with a half-baked making-of documentary and no director's commentary track. Where's Carrot Top when you need him?). Or you could rent it. Mecha-Streisand was defeated by The Cure's Robert Smith in the first season of South Park, which is also on DVD.

    [While I'm on the subject of Oscar-nominated DVD's, the Capturing the Friedmans DVD sounds like a real standard-setter: two discs of supplementary footage and commentary that are showing up in court as Jesse Friedman tries to get his conviction reversed.]

    February 3, 2004

    Calling Scott Sforza

    Some schlub Dem senator falls in the forest against the Bush budget, next to an embarassing picture of a red elephant, image:AP/Yahoo.com
    To protest Bush's 2005 budget, the party of Liberal Hollywood ignores the dark art of image manipulation (cf. White House Productions' favorites, PowerPoint wallpaper and carefully positioned crowds of (skin)color-coordinated soldiers) in favor of some intern's clip art.

    Let's get one thing straight: this is not Democratic indie authenticity going up against Republican soulless studio spectacle. Just 'cuz Karl Rove is playing Jerry Bruckheimer doesn't mean the Dems are suddenly Steven Soderbergh; they're the dweebs sending their darndest "accidents" to America's Funniest Home Videos.

    Related: Scott Sforza, White House Productions. And they do indie, too.

    February 3, 2004

    The All Too Real World

    Mary-Ellis Bunim, the co-creator of The Real World, which revolutionized television while destroying civilization, died of breast cancer at age 57.

    Bunim also produced The Real Cancun, which, while better than Justin and Kelly, was not as entertaining as the reviews of it. Take some solace, at least, knowing she probably had fun making it.

    Very related: Support the fight against breast cancer

    In the magazine header, image: newyorker.com
    Issue of 2004-02-09
    Posted 2004-02-02

    The Talk of The Town

    COMMENT/ BLAME GAME/ John Cassidy on the weapons inspector David Kayís testimony to Congress.
    YOU DONíT SAY DEPT./ CHEW ON/ Ben McGrath considers the newest mental boosterógum chewing.
    WORKS IN PROGRESS/ TONY STEW/ Rebecca Mead attends a reading of Tony Kushnerís unfinished play.
    TRACKS/ THE MOUSE THAT REMIXED/ Ben Greenman on the making of "The Grey Album."
    THE FINANCIAL PAGE/ OTHER PEOPLEíS MONEY/ James Surowiecki on Conrad Blackís fatal miscalculation.

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL/ Philip Gourevitch/ The Shakeout/ The Democrats and John Kerryís rise.
    SHOUTS & MURMURS/ Nancy Franklin/ My Comeuppance
    PROFILES/ Hilton Als/ The Islander/ Derek Walcottís Caribbean epic
    FICTION/ Nicole Krauss/ "The Last Words on Earth"


    THE CURRENT CINEMA/ David Denby/ They Like to Watch/ Bertolucciís "The Dreamers."
    BOOKS/ Anthony Lane/ Back to Basics/ Joe Eszterhasís "Hollywood Animal."
    THE ART WORLD/ Peter Schjeldahl/ Express Yourself/ The artist as curator at MOMA.
    THE SKY LINE/ Paul Goldberger/ Slings and Arrows/ The architectural machinations at Ground Zero can be treacherous.

    ANNALS OF NATIONAL SECURITY/ Seymour R. Hersh/ THE STOVEPIPE/ How conflicts between the Bush Administration and the intelligence community marred the reporting on Iraqís weapons. [Originally published 2003-10-27]
    PROFILES/ Joe Klein/ THE LONG WAR OF JOHN KERRY/ Can a Massachusetts Brahmin become President? [Originally published 2002-12-02]
    FOLDER/ The Campaign Trail/ Collected coverage of the 2004 Campaign and selected profiles from the archive. [See? There's all kinds of stuff on newyorker.com, when they're kind enough to link to it. via TMN]

    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 2004, in reverse chronological order

    Older: January 2004

    Newer March 2004

    recent projects, &c.

    Our Guernica Cycle, 2017 –
    about/kickstarter | exhibit, 2017

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

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

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

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

    It Narratives, incl.
    Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
    Franklin Street Works, Stamford
    Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
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    TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -

    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

    "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.

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

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