March 23, 2006

From The Funniest Sentence Of The Day Dept.

"It's a nice masculine aesthetic," said Robert Tagliapietra, who with his similarly bearded partner, Jeffrey Costello, designs a collection of pretty silk jersey dresses under the Costello Tagliapietra label.Also, Ulysses S. Grant does not actually appear in Cold Mountain. So which one did the guy from Vice Magazine not want to admit was his real inspiration: the $50 bill or the bearded Jude Law? Paul Bunyan, Modern-Day Sex Symbol...
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Posted by greg at 10:33 AM

January 04, 2006

From The Mixed Up Files Of Mr JT LeRoy

Although he IS credited with the screenplay for Gus Van Sant's Elephant, I confess to not being a fan of JT LeRoy. Not that I've ever read the work, mind you. [Hold that thought.] Recently the authenticity of his identity, his personal story, and the authorship of his works has been called into question, and reporters have started asking if LeRoy is a hoax, a construct, a collaborative, an impostor whose gritty, wrenching, tawdry, and celebrated persona was somehow overshadowing...
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Posted by greg at 02:06 PM

September 28, 2005

Paul Ford, Rock Star

Paul smashes his guitar of truth into the speaker tower of fiction, finally revealing to the world that he is Gary Benchley, Rock Star with a book deal--and a reading next Thursday in [where else?] Williamsburg:As the serial progressed I stopped laughing at the people who wrote in to Gary to share a few details from their lives and began to feel a kinship with them. Like them, I had come to believe in Gary Benchley, in his struggle to...
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Posted by greg at 09:50 AM

September 24, 2005

I Haven't Even Finished This Yet

I recall being seized by a pressing need not to let anyone at The Los Angeles Times learn what had happened by reading it in The New York Times. I called our closest friend at The Los Angeles Times. I have no memory of what Lynn and I did then. I remember her saying that she would stay the night, but I said no, I would be fine alone. And I was. Until the morning. When, only half awake, I...
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Posted by greg at 10:09 PM

September 16, 2005

So You Want To Read "Brokeback Mountain"

I shouldn't be surprised that I'm getting this question a lot these days. Here's what Ang Lee told the NYT's Karen Durbin:"When I first read the story, it gripped me. It's a great American love story, told in a way that felt as if it had never been done before. I had tears in my eyes at the end. You remember? You see the shirts put away in the closet side by side." Who could forget? When Annie Proulx's short...
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Posted by greg at 07:34 AM

July 12, 2005

If Only The Week DID Have Eight Days

So someone wrote to the Observer suggesting--in the nicest, possible way, really. really--that maybe it's your "yucky" outfit. Maybe the expensively groomed people you're covering aren't recoiling at your little tape recorders, dear Observers, but at your obvious lack of style. Why not dress like the people you report on? It can only help loosen their finely lined lips. "Or, you know, you could bring back Candace B. :)" Whoever wrote that, I hope you meet George Gurley after too...
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Posted by greg at 11:21 AM

I wrote about graffiti-style advertisements for the NYT

And Now, a Word From the Streets. Thanks to Noah at Critical Massive and Edmar at Lumpen for their help, and a special thanks to Marc at Wooster Collective, for both his help and his insights; it always amazes me how quickly and thoroughly he and Sara have grown that site into one of the most important crossroads of street art on the planet. Day-um....
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Posted by greg at 12:34 AM

May 22, 2005

Unrealized Unrealized Projects

I had a small piece in the Times today about artists' unrealized projects, which is really based on the interviewing work of the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist. Unlike architects' unbuilt projects, Obrist notes, which are published, debated, and considered critically important [look at the examples of Zaha Hadid or Thom Mayne, whose reputations were built largely on projects that weren't], artists' unrealized projects are invisible, almost a shame or a failure. Obrist is seeking to reconsider these projects. These projects...
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Posted by greg at 10:36 PM

April 24, 2005

Wreading Writers' Weblogs

Used to be when Roger Avary was the only screenwriter with a weblog. No more. Here are three other screenwriters' blogs that are well worth reading: In addition to film credits such as Go, Big Fish, and the upcoming remake of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, August answered script-related questions for years on imdb's message forums. His weblog consolidates all these resources into one, happy spot. The Artful Writer, by co-authors Craig Mazin and Ted Elliott, strikes a very...
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Posted by greg at 11:16 PM

April 18, 2005

Memo To Chavez: Don't Let Terry Gilliam Direct

Venezuelan president (who's working on the "for-life" part)Hugo Chavez is distributing 1 million free copies of Don Quixote to his countrymen as part of a nationwide literacy campaign based on a Cuban model. According to the BBC, Chavez called for his pueblos to, "feed ourselves once again with that spirit of a fighter who went out to undo injustices and fix the world." And who was bat-guano crazy. Good luck with that. Venezuela celebrates Quixote book [BBC via robotwisdom]...
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Posted by greg at 08:39 PM

April 14, 2005

Wherein I Take Pitch Meetings At The Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse

"Please don't publish narratives in our Home Section; we don't embroider the wallpaper in your maharani boudoir." Or how about, "A decorator with a narrative is like a mule with a spinning wheel. no one knows how he got it, and danged if he knows how to use it." Or wait, how about this one:And over the desk, where a picture of Ashton Kutcher might presumably rest, hangs a work of art - an homage to Donald Baechler - by...
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Posted by greg at 05:40 PM

April 05, 2005

Jim Taylor Jim Taylor Jim Taylor

First Jim Taylor and his writing partner Alexander Payne spoke at MoMA as part of the museum's Great Collaborations series, then Jim Taylor and his wifing partner Tamara Jenkins spoke at MoMA about their collaborative, parallel screenwriting/moviemaking as part of Leonard Lopate's 20th Anniversary show for WNYC. From now until the end of the year, Jim Taylor will be appearing weekdays from 2-5pm at MoMA in the Titus Theatre. Which will now be renamed the Taylor Theater. He will become...
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Posted by greg at 04:47 PM

April 04, 2005

No Kidding

[John Patrick] Shanley, whose screenplay for Moonstruck won an Oscar in 1988, received the drama Pulitzer for "Doubt," his Broadway debut. "I have been trawling around for a long time before they let me come up out of the muck."Other credits include: the adaptation of Michael Crichton's Congo; another Frank Marshall film, Alive!; and 1990 writer/director gig he cashed in his Oscar for, Joe Versus the Volcano*. Shanley, Robinson Win Pulitzers in Writing [yahoo news, via waxy] * Which is...
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Posted by greg at 10:34 PM

January 25, 2005

Miuccia Pravda

What with all the access preserving, the source stroking and the advertiser cultivating going on, I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the utter lack of real context or actual reporting when it comes to fashion. Stories about Helmut Lang's split with Prada dutifully transcribe Patrizio Bertelli's party line about how unprofitable Lang's line had become, thanks to his "reputation for being stubborn, refusing to work with fabrics or techniques he deemed inferior even if lower costs would help the...
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January 20, 2005

Like Inviting A Hillbilly To Do Your Taxes

When Richard Hatch of Survivor fame [sic] got busted for failing to report his $1 million prize to the IRS, my mind raced back to some of the first tax advice I ever heard:You.. can be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes! You can be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes! You say.. "Steve.. how can I be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes?" First.. get a million dollars. Now.. you say, "Steve.. what do I say to the tax...
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Posted by greg at 10:56 AM | TrackBack

January 15, 2005

Conclusion: Greg Allen Is A Dramatic Genius

The shows are almost entirely presented as direct addresses, and the actors will often talk to one another between plays, using one another's real names. Every performance of "Too Much Light" begins like a political stump speech: someone stands up, looks at the audience and says, "We're not going to lie to you." Rob Neill, the managing director of the New York branch, said: "There's not a lot of pretense in what we do. We're not playing characters. We're relating...
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January 03, 2005

Good Morning, Brother Worf

"As we discussed Beth's bizarre ability to speak the Klingon language, it suddenly hit us: Why not translate the Book of Mormon into Klingon? It was just quirky enough to be interesting. So Beth whipped out her two volumes of the Klingon Dictionary and James pulled out his scriptures and we set to work." The Book of Mormon, translated into Klingon....
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December 28, 2004

With Thanks And Apologies To My Editor

There are some habits that are hard to break. For example, when I get lost driving, it's usually because I've exited or turned too early, not too late. In writing, meanwhile, my tendency is to overwrite. Reading back through scripts I've shot--those'd be Souvenir installments at this point--I find they lay absolutely everything out, with no insinuations or hints. But then when I look at the footage, I see I've corrected for that, but then I still overshoot. I cover...
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Posted by greg at 09:24 AM | TrackBack

December 09, 2004

Get Me Bret Easton Ellis On The Phone Moto

Over at TMN, "Rick Paulas has tips for turning your art-house script into big money." The future? In one word: product placement. Of course, unlike, say, American Pyscho, which placed so many products it could've been a Bond film, [wait, didn't American Psycho come first, so the era of Total Bond Sellout could've been a Bret Easton Ellis novel? But I digress.] Anyway, Paulas's "art house script" sample sounds suspiciously--and promisingly--like a spec script for CSI. I think this boy's...
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Posted by greg at 09:45 AM | TrackBack

December 08, 2004

Canadian Flags AreThe Next Trucker Hat

That whole "Canadian Flags On Backpacks" craze is so 2003. If you're gonna be all embarassed by American folly and all weary of explaining the Bush administration to every foreigner you meet, at least try to look like you've been doing it for a couple of years already. Uh-oh, Canada: unpacking the CFOB phenomenon [feb. 2003] Tom Ford and Matthew Barney on CFOB...
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Posted by greg at 08:20 AM | TrackBack

December 05, 2004

Why Greggy Can't Read

So I've been writing a few pieces for The New York Times lately, which is great, but I can't read them. Or almost any stories at the site, for that matter. Whenever I click on a NYT link, the login screen pops up, then refuses to log me in because my browser (Mozilla) doesn't accept cookies. The problem first popped up [sic] a few months ago when the Times hired a Utah research/survey firm to monitor user activity via...
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Posted by greg at 09:40 AM | TrackBack

November 23, 2004

little things from reading the paper:

a couple of the things I would've missed had I not actually read the printed version of the Sunday Times: In her interview at Cannes, a thoroughly justified Manohla Dargis somehow manages to not point out to Jean-Luc Godard that, if it weren't for America, he'd be busting on Abbas Kiarostami in German right now. [Plus, how do you interpret the karmic justice that, someday Michael Moore will look like Godard looks now?] A.O. Scott cannily unpacks the audience for...
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Posted by greg at 07:27 AM | TrackBack

November 22, 2004

The Cola Blog Wars

So now some guy's drinking only Pepsi for 45 days and blogging about it? 45 days? Call me when you get to three years, pal. This entry, like the 1425 before it, was brought to you by Diet Coke. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to pee. Again....
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Posted by greg at 08:03 AM | TrackBack

November 19, 2004

Guys and Twenty Dollars

In the nineteen-thirties and forties, Damon Runyon was the most widely read journalist in the country, and his movies like Double Indemnity and Broadway plays like Guys and Dolls were hits. Runyon held court nightly in Lindy's Restaurant on Broadway and 51st Street, which, even in May 1949, three years after his death, was the fabled realworld haunt of many of his thinly fictionalized characters: Dave the Dude, Harry the Horse, Izzy Cheesecake. In his Times' May 22, 1949 profile,...
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Posted by greg at 05:11 PM | TrackBack

November 17, 2004

Chest-Haired Americans (Still) Need Not Apply

As part of a settlement in a discrimination suit, Abercrombie & Fitch will create an "Office of Diversity." $50 million buys a lot of waxing [SJ Mercury News]...
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Posted by greg at 07:57 AM | TrackBack

November 12, 2004

Advertiser Shoutout

A round of applause to the advertisers who keep swimming (ok, maybe wading...ok, maybe slightly damp) in MoMA tickets. Please show them we're not ALL poverty-stricken Marxist anti-consumerists: (it's getting to be some time of year, anyway) (this mysterious campaign isn't just for high-end flatscreen television anymore.) The Life Aquatic, directed by Wes Anderson, who I believe you all know....
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Posted by greg at 09:25 PM | TrackBack

November 11, 2004

Note to self: Feuillade, Richie, Gonzalez, Falluja

Just what's been on my mind: Louis Feuillade was the French anti-Griffith, whose crime serials and mystery, Les Vampires embraced elusiveness over narrative primacy; they were met with disdain from French critics. The director in Olivier Assayas' Irma Vep was trying to remake Les Vampires with Maggie Cheung. BFI's Sight & Sound has an article on him. [via mefi] Donald Richie is the self-appointed chief gaijin. If he's Paul Bowles, Tokyo is his Tangiers. His The Japan Journals: 1947-2004 are...
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Posted by greg at 11:19 PM | TrackBack

November 03, 2004

So, 'The Gays' Are The New Nader?

That's the gist of just about every pundit I've heard today: those pesky gays and their persistent existence cost Dems the election. Sounds like it's going to be a long, hard, punishing four years for gay folk in this country. At least the submissive bottoms will make out alright......
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Posted by greg at 02:52 PM | TrackBack

October 30, 2004

Nick Nolte Diary's Diary

Hats off to writers Christian Newton and Casey McAdams for their hilarious, and for their help in putting together the timeline in the Times Sunday. I happily traded a mention in the piece for the byline, duh. Alas, during rewrites, we cut the gratuitous digs at LA residents and my secret blogging shoutouts; for entertainment purposes only, here's the intro I originally tried to sneak by the editors:Even the best website ideas can languish unrealized for months, pushed...
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Posted by greg at 10:22 PM | TrackBack

October 19, 2004

Nice Shooting At A Moving Target

"...a knife—strongly made, well balanced, and with an absolute minimum of moving parts. -Michael Swanwick "...looking through a keyhole. A novel is a 360-degree panoramic window. -Matthew Klam "...something you could do in a fit of passion...Writing a novel is more like a marriage. -Mary Morris "...a weekend guest, [and] a novel is like a divorced relative staying with you. -Lev Raphael" What is a short story like? Right after she quotes a vivid assortment of writers' metaphors, Cup of...
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Posted by greg at 07:22 PM | TrackBack

October 15, 2004

Nick Nolte's Diary: A Million Irishmen Can't Be Wrong

Father forgive me for ever doubting the authenticity of After all, Ireland Online has reported about Nolte's traffic accident with Rosanna Arquette. Nolte crashes into Arquette [Worldwide Entertainment Network News, via IOL]...
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Posted by greg at 02:34 PM | TrackBack

October 13, 2004

Nick Nolte Reviews Movable Type

From the awesome Nick Nolte Diary: [on templates] August 14, 2004, First Entry Well, Diary, here I am on the internet. And at the top of my bookmarks menu is my new site. I have enough trouble with my computer at home, so I tapped the skills of a computer wizard I met on the set of “Hulk” to help me with this website business. Leon is taking care of the technical details, so I can concentrate on choosing some...
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Posted by greg at 12:37 PM | TrackBack

October 12, 2004

Happy (Belated) 2nd Birthday to Gawker

Which was registered two years ago last week, it turns out. Registrant: Pending Renewal or Deletion P.O. Box 430 Herndon, VA 20172-0447 US Phone: 570-708-8786 Domain Name: GAWKER.COM Record expires on 05-Oct-2004 Record created on 05-Oct-2002 Update: Trying to think of a gift for Gawker? They already got a sharp stick in the eye from Network Solutions... (Nick says the whole thing's an NSI screwup, although I'd suspect BMW.)...
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Posted by greg at 10:26 AM | TrackBack

October 06, 2004

This Week In: BYU In The News

I love this place: BYU newspaper yanks T-shirt ad [Deseret News] And I love these t-shirts: I Cant...I'm Mormon...
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Posted by greg at 11:33 PM | TrackBack

September 26, 2004

The Making Of

That's what I'm thinking of changing the subtitle of this weblog to, although I'm still unconvinced. It works in Europe, where I am not, at least most of the time. Top ten lists on the radio are called "le best of," as are McDo value meals ("menus best of"). Also, "the making of" has become a programming genre all its own. But it still looks a little funny. And this ain't Europe. And so I remain undecided....
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Posted by greg at 12:03 AM | TrackBack

September 05, 2004

Almost like TiVO for Public Radio

I just assume that everyone knows about, Kevin A. Kelly's up-to-the-minute online programming guide for public radio stations. The more I listen to radio online, the more frequently I find myself crafting my own programming schedule; I'll listen to All Things Considered on Pacific Time, and This American Life and other weekend programs whenever I want by finding a fresh stream from some station, somewhere. The only problem is when you get in the car, and the local station...
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Posted by greg at 08:42 PM | TrackBack

September 04, 2004

The Woman in the Hefty Bag Speaks

"We are starting to go buggy, just getting on one another's nerves," Mrs Mildred Mauney, 81, told The New York Times, after spending the night with some strangers in a classroom-turned-shelter in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Whatever, Millie. Join the club. Mrs. Mauney's must-have accessory for evacuating their mobile home, an inflated trash bag, reminded me of a Bill Cunningham snap of hard-core fashion muse Isabella Blow that was used to illustrate a NYT street photography story in 2002. I...
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Posted by greg at 02:27 PM | TrackBack

August 16, 2004

Jessica :: Choire , LaToya :: Michael

Until I see them standing side by side, I'm going to assume that "Jessica Coen" is really Choire Sicha indulging his "breast-wielding, 24-year old D-girl" side. I mean, it's not like he needed an excuse to read WWD... Or waitaminnit, maybe Nick is the Remington Steele to Choire's Laura Holt... or maybe Nick is Remington and Ana Marie is Laura Holt, and Choire is just that other guy, who got booted after the first season...Or maybe Skyler and Raven had...
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Posted by greg at 05:36 PM | TrackBack

July 28, 2004

From the Metropolitan Diary "Yow, did I just hear that?" dept.

To be filed under P for Playah Hatah: Setting: the downtown 6 train, 59th - 50th street. Dramatis Personae: a shapely 20-something woman of a certain race with a JPMorganChase totebag, two 30-ish gentlemen of a certain race with knee-length T-shirts, sitting three occupied seats down from the woman. A 30-something white guy standing in front of them all. The young banker studiously ignores numerous gestures and pleas from the playah: [waving across 2 people] "Miss, Yo, miss!" Playah hatah,...
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Posted by greg at 11:14 PM | TrackBack

July 22, 2004

Hawking on Hacking, or How Utah is the Center of the Mediaverse

So I get out of the city for a couple of days, take the kid to Grammy's house (not to be confused with Latin Grammy's, whose calls we don't return), take a break from the hubbub. Little did I know that Stephen Hawking would pick the day I arrive to alter the laws of physics and dump me into the middle of just about every slow-summer, lame-ass media story in existence. It turns out the new elemental particle in physics...
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Posted by greg at 12:35 PM | TrackBack

July 09, 2004

Two Good Things I Would Not Have Clicked On

" Like a soufflé or brain surgery, the supernatural requires a delicate touch." - Alessandra Stanley's NYT review of "The 4400," a remarkably good-sounding USA Network movie about alien abductees. "One is always on the lookout for an excuse to write about mimes, so impassioned are the people who hate them." - on the odd power of mimes. Note that on this day, the phrase "traffic mimes" had only 15 Google results. Now I will go see Cheim & Reid's...
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Posted by greg at 09:49 AM | TrackBack

June 27, 2004

Jocelyn Bell, the woman who discovered pulsars

After discovering an inexplicable pulsing signal (a "sniggling quarter inch" blip that showed up for 5 min/day) in her PhD radio astronomy data (thousands of feet of paper charts) at Cambridge, Jocelyn Bell and her adviser Tony Hewish, wondered if it was a stellar phenomenon or some man-made interference. If the signal was indeed real, its source was unknown to science at that time. They took to calling it "little green men."There was a meeting just beofre Christmas 1967 which...
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June 22, 2004

On Facing Among Other Things Facts

Now I fear that my entire life may be punctuated incorrectly (it is)....
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Posted by greg at 10:06 AM | TrackBack

June 16, 2004

Someone give that woman a development deal--and a date

Not necessarily in that order. 1989: Woman gives birth to baby girl. Man helps change diapers at first, then abandons woman and 10-month old child. Woman laments the lack of real men like her father, moves in with father. cut to - 2003: Ffifteen hardworking, single-parent years later, woman seeks fame and fortune in the entertainment industry. Ends up writing a weekly column for little conservative journal. Lives in Silver Lake, a raw-but-rapidly-gentrifying city in East L.A. full of "hippies,"...
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Posted by greg at 09:15 PM | TrackBack

June 02, 2004

Graphic Designers & Screenwriters' Pity Party

On Design Observer, Michael Bierut initiated an interesting conversation comparing the collaborative arts of graphic design and filmmaking (initially, it was just screenwriting). Most discussion is about credit and credit-taking, and presupposes some ideal of creative--that is to say, individual creative--control. Not until Pauline Kael is evoked in the way down in the comments does that myth get debunked."The director should be in control not because he is the sole creative intelligence but because only if he is in control...
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Posted by greg at 12:42 AM | TrackBack

May 31, 2004

Geezers, Screenwriters & Directors

It's my guess that we cling to the harsher bits of the past not just as a warning system to remind us that the next Indian raid or suddenly veering, tower-bound 757 is always waiting but as a passport to connect us to the rest of the world, whose horrors are available each morning and evening on television or in the Times. And the cold moment that returns to mind and sticks there, unbidden, may be preferable to the alternative...
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Posted by greg at 11:08 PM | TrackBack

May 21, 2004

Live Journal is the new Triggerstreet

If you combine reading this hi-larious script with a flip through an oily Brad Pitt photo shoot from [throw rock, hit any current title] Magazine, it'll be like watching Troy--only 2.5 hours shorter*, $10.25 cheaper, and ten times funnier:Beach of Troy, The Next Day PRIAM: Woot! The Greeks have left! And look! They left such a nice big horsie, too! PROPHET: It’s an offering to Poseidon for a safe journey home. PARIS: I say we burn it. PROPHET: Son, you’ve...
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Posted by greg at 11:53 PM | TrackBack

May 04, 2004

Try Explaining "Famous Bloggers"

That was my dilemma last night in attending Gothamisty NY Bloggers forum at the Apple store. Like everyone else, I went to drum up traffic for my own weblog. Sure, some will act like they care about the Freddie Nick vs. Jason feud; a couple of MovableType geeks lobbied Anil to include their pet features in the next release; and of course, Lock & Loaded were funny. But when the entire audience raised their hands in response to Anil's cry...
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Posted by greg at 02:41 PM | TrackBack

May 03, 2004

Google seeking to raise $e*10^9 via IPO

[via kottke] Peter Kaminski points out that Google set their IPO target at $2,718,281,828, which is the natural log value, "e." Hi-freakin-larious. Who needs i-bankers to pull valuations out of the air when you've got a Googleplex of phd's who can do it for you?...
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Posted by greg at 12:33 AM | TrackBack

May 02, 2004

The Birthday Boy from La Mancha

Marlise Simons reports in the Times on celebrations under way all over Spain to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Don Quixote, the country's "secular bible." Festivities included a marathon 44-hour mundo hispanico reading, which mirrors nicely my own weeklong marathon reading of the excellent new English translation on an otherwise painful cruise to Mexico. If your schedule's somewhat limited, try the hilarious fiasco doc of Terry Gilliam's failed DQ movie, Lost in La Mancha. And if that's too long for...
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Posted by greg at 11:43 PM | TrackBack

May 01, 2004

Movie Mag Maven Mad for Mitchell's Manic Metaphors

MMMMWAHAHAHA. Wendy Mitchell demonstrates why she gets the big pro blogger bucks. Like free sample day at the Whole Foods cheese department, she's laid out bites of Elvis Mitchell's ripest metaphors for you to sample with your little review-reading toothpick. [For those about to knock, we dispute you. Try writing like that yourself. It's like making a sculpture from undercooked pasta; it's not hard, exactly, but you're probably gonna end up with a sticky mess.]...
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Posted by greg at 07:53 AM

April 29, 2004

Writing about making bottles

Whether it's momentum, or a mindshare takeover, or a drive to push the site out of the nest and let it learn to fly, or the fact that I've changed 200 diapers in the last three weeks, I've been posting on a lot more than here lately. And for that, I apologize. Of course, if you're interested in anything like the following, stop on by: SUV-like strollers infant t-shirts with swear words printed on them loft-compatible baby furniture what...
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Posted by greg at 11:52 PM

April 20, 2004

While I Was (heh) Out

The following were not reasons for my not posting for five days: Was walking the dog in the park at 4AM and "fell for a con" [Is that what they call it on Oz now, Kevin?] Was hiring a hitman to ice my daddy-aged roommate. Was skewering Plum Sykes' book, Bergdorf Blondes so skilfully she may not even feel it. [Get it straight, people: THOSE SYKES'S ARE NOT TWINS.] Was shopping for napkin rings with my bestest friend (we agreed...
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Posted by greg at 12:13 AM

April 14, 2004

You know that guy?

At that graduate writing lecture? The one on the front row of the auditorium, with the grimy totebags stuffed with sheafs of paper? The old dude, who kept asking about, didn't you ever notice in Shakespeare's Titus how...? and how Nabokov subconciously cribbed then referenced some German short story in both Lolita AND Pale Fire? The one who then pulls out some sweat-curled manuscript he's been writing in his paperback-stuffed rent stabilized apartment on 108th st, where he's figured out...
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Posted by greg at 07:22 AM

January 16, 2004

On Adapting for Film

[via IFP] New York Women in Film and Television is sponsoring a panel titled The Art of Adaptation on Jan. 28 in New York, thank you. In fact, it's at the Alliance Francaise/French Institute, East 60th St, so even I can stumble out of bed and wander on over by, um, the 6:30 start time. IFP members and others get $5 off the $20 registration fee. NYWIFTies get in for a mere $10. Related: Jason Kottke made a sweet weblog...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:37 PM | Comments (0)

November 09, 2003

On Scripts

Salon is not only still publishing, they're publishing the shooting script of the Ronald Reagan TV movie that the conservative closet cases wanted to see on Showtime (the Queer as Folk Network). It's an 8Mb pdf. Of a TV Movie. Starring James Brolin. About Ronald Reagan. You've been warned. [For an invigorating Reagan text, try Joan Didion's prescient 1997 review of DiNesh D'Souza's Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader. It costs money, but it's worth it....
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Posted by greg allen at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2003

Choire on The NY'er Festival and Wolfowitz

Absolutely hi-larious then rousing reportage from this weekend's New Yorker Festival by Choire G. Sicha on The Morning News (the G is for Gawker). He too-generously covers the frenetic irrelevancy of Dave Eggers, ("Eggers sold out in 30 minutes (his reading, not his career).") and the frenzied apologia of Paul Wolfowitz at the New School (who lorded on a stage occupied very recently, it should be noted, by ex-Razorfish founder and ersatz New School instructor Jeff "Big Idea" Dachis):1:26 p.m....
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Posted by greg allen at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2003

Things I want to write about, given world enough (or time)

Matthew Barney's Cremaster cycling through the red states. C1's playing in Boise, where it was shot (and Barney's hometown), and C3 has apparently won the Strangest Movie Shown In Nashville Award. (Heads up, bootleggers: The Tennessean's Kevin Nance has a screener tape!) Gerry reviewed in the Guardian ("If you can imagine Dude, Where's my Car? by Samuel Beckett"). Casey Affleck writes about working--as an actor, editor, and writer--with Gus Van Sant. Net net, this means the DVD is still...
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Posted by greg allen at 03:01 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2003

On Writing A Screenplay About A Writer

In the Guardian, British docu maker John Brownlow tells about the tricky business of writing a screenplay about Sylvia Plath, one of the most fought-over writers of the modern era. With duelling critics, conflicting biographies, testy literary estates controlling the rights to Plath's and Ted Hughes' poetry, and an ending even Hollywood can't spin, it sounds like an impossible task. Oh, and "there had to be humor." Humor and a head in the oven. Brownlow ended up completely re-researching Plath's...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:55 PM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2003

Ugh. It should be called "American Publishers Yawn at Foreign Fiction"

In the NYT, Stephen Kinzer easily pulls some horrible quotes from major publishers about how Americans don't want to read books translated into English. From a marketing hack at Harcourt: "We [Americans] are into accessible information. We often look for the story, rather than the story within the story. We'd rather read lines than read between the lines." And from a hack at Hyperion: "The hard fact is that given the reality of the world, we [Americans] simply don't have...
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Posted by greg allen at 06:15 PM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2003

On Taste Tribes

via Boingboing: On Mindjack, Joshua Ellis writes at length about what he calls Taste Tribes, friendship by cultural affinity--liking people who like the same stuff. Blogs are the engines for the smarter artist/chiefs of their own taste tribes. I cooked something up along those lines in 1999 at Shagpad, which was based on the Austin Powerish, Abercrombie & Fitchy theory that people bought stuff in direct relation to its ability to get them laid. Or as the VC-Powerpoint presentation-ready slogan...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:32 PM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2003

Adam Gopnik's Metropolitan Diary

Dear Diary: To be filed under "T for That's New Yorkers for ya": Setting: The M4 Limited. Dramatis Personae: the commuting population of Manhattan, and a male writer of a certain age, wearing an insouciantly knotted ascot, who appears to have recently traveled to France. The population throws off dozens of make-your-day anecdotes, which the straphanging scribe strains to sample. Writer [thinking out loud]: "Oh-la-la, this is great material! Certainement, I could get 3,000 words out of this, pas de...
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Posted by greg allen at 03:18 PM | Comments (1)

April 27, 2003

I Like Sites We Like

Daily Script is an excellent-looking archive of html/pdf screenplays. I'm reading the Three Kings shooting script. I got Daily Script from the Guardian film section's Sites We Like, an excellent mix of the entertaining and useful, the mainstream and obscure. Marc Forster's first film, Everything Put Together, is on Sundance right now, but I can't watch it right now. With a tremendous DV transfer, it looks great while it bleeds all hope for suburban humanity from your system. Monster's...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:39 PM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2003

Useless Screenwriting Tip #1: Write When Ronin's On

According to the little-known Osmosis Theory of Writing, while trying to write a tight, sharp, crime thriller, you should watch a tight, sharp crime thriller, like, say, Ronin (directed by John Frankenheimer, screenplay by David Mamet on JD Zeik's story). It helps if it's got insane chase scenes over roads you used to travel regularly (Paris, Nice, La Turbie). If you do this, the doors will fly open, and your screenwriting muse will spray you with inspiration, like so...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:44 PM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2003

Baltimore Is Burning

Iraqi troops aren't puttin' up a good enough fight for you? Your teams didn't make it into the Final Four? Your need to engage, even vicariously, in tales of the life-consuming urge to win is going unmet? Read Anna Ditkoff's under-the-skirts, behind-the-scenes look at the Miss Gay Maryland pageant. [via Romenesko's Obscure Store][Doing sultry, smoky ballads instead of the more common, flashy, diva dance numbers] is a risky gamble, and in the four times that Jenkins has gone to Miss...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2003

When Do You Cry Reading The Home Section?

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...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:55 PM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2003

Bill & Nada's Cafe

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...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:00 PM | Comments (4)

January 01, 2003

Rollin' With My Homi

Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, A crowd flowed over Triboro Bridge, so many, I had not thought the MLA had undone so many. - apologies to T. S. EliotThe MLA Convention was in town, "but now they're gone." (apologies to Blue Oyster Cult.) Thankfully, the Observer did the painful hanging out for you, capturing the employment angst that haunts the event. So why do 1,000 or so fresh lit crit PhD's ("talking loudly about post-docs and Homi...
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Posted by greg allen at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)

December 18, 2002


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November 08, 2002

Reading::Writing Drinking::Driving?

In the Casino resaurant, not the slightest impedance at all to getting in, no drop in temperature perceptible to his skin, Slothrop sits down at a table where somebody has left last Tuesday's London Times. Hmmm. Hasn't seen one of them in a while....Leafing through, dum, dum de-doo, yeah, the War's still on, Allies closing in east and west on Berlin, powdered eggs still going one and three a dozen, "Fallen Officers," MacGregory, Mucker-Maffick, Whitestreet, Personal Tributes...Meet Me in St...
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Posted by greg allen at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2002

I See Harrison Ford As The Daring Writer...

Film critic Anthony Lane is writing the diary at Slate. So far, it's been torrid accounts of the perils of writing. It's pretty suspenseful stuff, journaling as a pitch/plea for giving Lane the Charlie Kaufman Treatment. (Kaufman wrote the screenplay adaptation of Susan Orlean's book, The Orchid Thief, which became Adaptation, starring Ms Meryl Streep as Ms Orlean.) Vivid imagery, action movie material, even. Tuesday, rewrite day, for instance: "If this [my Tuesday as a New Yorker writer] were...
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Posted by greg allen at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2002

Readin', Ritin'

Took a couple of short breaks from writing the as-yet unannounced animated musical (henceforth, AYUAM), just to read the paper: David Kehr's profile of Paul Thomas Anderson. "[In Punch-Drunk Love, Emily] Watson plays one of the many guardian angel figures who populate Mr. Anderson's films: those caregivers who seem to appear out of nowhere and offer protection and redemption." Should all of one's movies be about similar things? Or have readily identifiable common themes or threads? Or is that just...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2002

Joseph Epstein: send me your manuscripts

The way I read this NY Times article, Joseph Epstein is secretly hoping his advice is wrong. "As the author of 14 books, with a 15th to be published next spring..." he writes, "...don't write that book, my advice is, don't even think about it. Keep it inside you, where it belongs." [via camworld] Send as-yet unpublished manuscripts; self-published books; slim volumes of verse; literary or creative labors-of-love of all kinds, whether yours or not, to: Prof. Joseph Epstein (author,...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:06 AM | Comments (0)