Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween, Tempest, Night to Remember

Happy Halloween!
I have missed a week or so and need to do a quick catch up.
I really loved the Buck 65 show in SLC 2 weeks ago.  He did a lot of the classics and even did Pants on Fire as an encore.  There was something really melancholy about the show in general, a lot of sad songs.  Luckily those are generally my favorites.  Also into the stranger stuff to, and he mixed that in there. Here is a bunch of demos from the making of Situation that just got released from 5 years ago:
I think I like the sampled versions muuuuuchhhh better.
School is going really well.  Passing tests and stuff, spent hours last week making a cast and mounting it to an articulator.  Everything is really interesting and time usually passes quickly.
I played Risk on Sunday, match two with friends, and was again the first out.  This time it was all a fluke.  I don't even want to talk about it, I want a rematch.
Natalie and I went to the school Halloween party on Friday and could not come up with costumes.  We eventually put on knit sweaters and went as College English Professors.
Last week I watched "A Night to Remember" which is a 1958 film about the Titanic directed by Roy Ward Baker.  Funny, I had just finished listening to Bob Dylan's new album, "Tempest".  The title track is about a 10 minute ballad about the sinking of the Titanic, and Dylan even references Leonardo DiCaprio in the song as if he was someone actually on the Titanic.  It's really long and totally worth listening to maybe before or after watching this movie.
Back to the film.  It wasn't the most enjoyable to watch, mostly because the director seems fixated on the facts and doesn't extract a lot of story other than the monolithic historic event at it's center, but maybe that is the point.  It just makes it a bit harder to hang in there the entire time.  That being said, focusing only on the event and the facts surrounding it maybe makes it seem all the more horrible.  You are not following any specific character really, just checking in on all sorts of different people in terror and how they dealt with the awful prospect of death.  A few things I really liked:
-Even in black and white and a low budget, the actual sinking of the ship really stirs up some stuff inside of you.  It kind of made me realize that the idea is always more terrifying than the image itself.  I never once thought that it looked fake, all I could think about was something that big disappearing.
-I guess the movie did what it intended, because I immediately opened up Wikipedia and looked up all sorts of statistics and facts about Titanic.  I really wanted to know how many children had gone down with the ship because the movie has a really sad scene with one of the kids being left on the ship accidentally.
-The playing with the ice on deck, although re-created in James Cameron's movie, seemed to have more screen time here.  It made me think about people playing with the object of their demise just an hour or two earlier.  
-A lot of these old movies end with some grand statement from one of the characters.  In this one, the "main" character says, "I'll never be sure of anything again."  And scene.  I think film makers felt like they not only had to sum up the movie, but sum up the entire effect the subject had or will have on it's watchers.
You can watch the whole thing on the right there.
Next week I will write about "The Killer" and "Hardboiled" at the same time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Clean up Woman

This seems very sample-able.  That probably means that it has been.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book reviews, Weekend, Beauty and the Beast

This week I finished the Anatomy muscles and bones section and passed the test.  It was nice, ended up having a 3 day weekend because of it.  It almost makes it harder to come back to school today, but totally worth it anyway.  Today we are moving onto Occlusion, Dental Anomalies, and Peridontia.

I finished reading Dance of Dragons this week, took me about 2 months with school going on.  I liked it, kind of made me sad it will be a couple years before I can get the cliffhangers resolved.  It's nice to see Martin beginning to pull all the threads in for a conclusion.  I just hope he doesn't decide that he needs to throw another 200 characters in for some reason and therefore have to write another few.  Having said that, I can't think of anything else I've ever read that has been so expansive in scope.  He just keeps expanding and building out.  It seems like the author lives more in that world than this one.
I also read the new Junot Diaz book, "This is how you lose Her".  While definitely not as good as Oscar Wao, it's worth reading if for nothing but the writing voice.  It's got some killer prose.  Also, it's fun knowing Spanish, I can't imagine a non-speaker getting as much out of it as there is so much slang and conversation snippets that don't carry the same weight without knowing the meaning.  Oh yeah, and the whole thing is pretty depressing, so there is that.  A really glum look at several different kinds of relationships that all take place in somewhere the main character's have a hard time truly calling home.
On Friday night we went and had a barbecue with some old friends from Alaska, one I hadn't seen in several years.   I tried my hand at pool and realized that I've not improved over time at all.  Something I wish I could instantly get better at.
On Saturday we woke up and went to the Salt Lake Market, bought some really good pluots and popsicles, chicken sandwhiches, and tried to go see "Chicken with Plums."  Unfortunately, the theater had a malfunction and they had to cancel the show, so we went shopping for groceries and headed home.  
Saturday some friends had us over for scones and introduced us to a game called "Words on the Street." and thoroughly destroyed us twice.  I felt so much rage about it that I immediately ordered the game and vow to NEVER lose again.  I'll let you know how that goes.
Sunday we went to church and took care of some housework.  We went to some ward members' house for dinner and just had a nice quiet evening.
Monday I went to lunch with a friend, did some studying, laundry, worked on a song for a while, and started a new book.  It was a relaxing day.  That night we went to Natalie's friend's house for dinner and I played some accordion for FHE.  Five Green and Speckled Frogs.
This week for the Criterion flick I watched Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast from 1946.  It was a bizarre experience.  Definitely the director values form over story.  It almost felt like watching an old horror movie at certain parts instead of a fairy tale.  It seemed like a Lon Chaney monster movie.  While this was definitely not one of my favorites, there were some redeeming qualities:
-Dude knows how to do atmosphere.  Everything felt different when you were transported from the little villa to the Beast's castle.  Call it an outdated effect, but I loved the moving statues and busts and the hands sticking out of all the walls.  The two settings contrast each other so well without the tricks available today.  It actually does a better job than most movies where you are plunged into some other world, because directors today can't resist trying to even make the mundane world look great.  Go watch the newest Alice and Wonderland or something like that, and try and tell me that the contrast in Beauty in the Beast isn't better.
-The Beast is sufficiently creepy.  The scene that really sticks in my mind is where Belle sees him after a nighttime kill and he is smoking and yelling at her.  It's not even all that realistic looking of a mask, but it is strange enough to feel uncomfortable, like you are seeing something you are not meant to see.  Also, when he is drinking out of the stream and Belle's hands, you get that same sense of discomfort.  I like that the movie ends with Belle wishing that he was still the Beast, it kind of cracked me up by how little sense it made.  If I remember correctly, she states that she loves Avenant and is glad the beast looks like him, but kind of wishes he was still the Beast.  He seems kind of annoyed by this.  What a weird twist.  
-My brother and law likes to talk about all the loop holes in Disney's Beauty and the Beast.  Something about how the appliances sing about how they have been rusting for 10 long years, and the beast is supposed to be turning 21 at the end of the movie as the rose blooms, and therefore, the kid was only like 11 when the witch turned him into a beast.  What was he doing in the castle alone at 11?  Where were his parents?  And maybe his parents just told him not to let strange old women into the house!  Anyway, if he has a problem with that version's plot issues, he should never watch this one.  All sorts of stuff happens that is never really explained, including golden keys, Belle somehow falling in love with the Beast, buildings filled with treasure, people turning into beasts, the beast looking like Avenant, what happened to the father, and the flying off among other things.  Because of all this, like I said above, I think it's best not to worry at all about the story and just enjoy the bizarre imagery.
-The slow motion scene with Belle running into the castle was extremely cool looking.

So Next week I am watching one of the many movies about the Titanic without Leo and Kate, it's called "A Night to Remember".  
Thursday I will go see Buck 65 in concert.  I am way excited.  Maybe too excited.

Satan is Real

this is always really strange to me

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Teeth, 400 Blows

Pretty good week, now relaxing on a Saturday in between General Conference, reading a bit, doing a bit of homework.  This last week at school we had to sort out a huge pile of teeth, when I first saw the plate they were on I thought it was pasta or something.  There is nothing worse than thinking something looks tasty and then realizing that is is actually the last thing in the world you would ever want to eat.  Bleeeccchhhh.
Other than that, we have been doing Anatomy and a bit of Physiology.  I just took an Anatomy class over the summer and am feeling pretty good about that material.
Last night for the week's Criterion movie I watched Francios Traffaut's 1959 "The 400 Blows".  It was probably my favorite out of the films from the collection so far, would give it a full recommendation to anyone.  There aren't many movies that do adolescence in an honest way, in fact, the only other movie I can think of that really gets it right in my opinion was "Where the Wild Things Are".  Even the brief moment's of happiness Antoine experiences feel queasy and uncomfortable.  This is not a blurry look back at childhood like "A Christmas Story", or even like last week's movie "Amarcord."  The experience is pretty much painful, confusing, and frustrating.
I'm not saying that I identify with all the actions of the protagonist, I think my childhood was a pretty comfortable place to be.  There was none of the destructive nature of Antoine in me, but there definitely existed the confusion trying to figure out the world, and I definitely felt that adults were usually incomprehensible.  Everything seems unfair, and emotions are a roller coaster.  Natalie says that when she was younger she remembers thinking that her feelings were "too big for her body".  I think that is a great description of the way most kids feel but can't describe.  Here were some of my favorite scenes:
-I liked the part where Antoine and his friend skip school and go on that spinning ride.  We had something like that at the Alaska State Fair called the Gravitron.  I used to love it as a kid, the idea of being weightless in any way was so exciting.  Sticking onto the wall was like heaven.  Now that I'm an adult, it's the last thing on earth I would ever want to subject myself to.  I think that is somehow a great metaphor for the film and how the adults and Antoine are each ciphers to each other.  Also, the dizziness and disorientation of the ride just feels like childhood.
-The most heartbreaking stuff were all directly shown from Antoine's point of view, such as him overhearing his parents fight about him and getting in trouble at school for the plagiarism or Balzac.  It's one of those things, because you know the whole story, and the intentions, you can identify with the child more than the adults.  In real life you may not sympathize as much with the delinquent, but because you travel through the entire movie with Antoine, you ONLY really feel for him.
-Not much to say about the last shots of the movie, except that they were amazing.
Next week I'll be watching Beauty and the Beast.  Not the Disney version.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Gary the Whip

This is a great performance of one of my favorite Geti songs.  Also one of the best redemption songs ever:

The best line in my opinion is "You don't know anything what the octagon is about", a weird little bit of bizarre misspeak that gives you a funny insight on the character, it's really genius and weird all at the same time.