Been a bit since I did one of these, and thought I'd catch up on what I've been watching/reading/whatevering lately:
This just finally came to Atlanta, and in time for me to go back out on the road again where it's readily available! Oh well, it'll be waiting for me when I get back. And in the meantime, I'm going to drink some of it abroad in honor of it coming to A-Town. And because there's a $15 all you can drink special at the bar down the street here in Jacksonville. Win win. But...
On a sad note, one of the local places I had planned on getting said beer burned down recently. I loved Trackside. They even stole a wing sauce concoction me and the missus kept asking for when we got wings there (Hot and Teriyaki. Not like it's mind blowing, but I didn't see you requesting it.) and they didn't even credit us on the menu when they added it. So close to glory! Anyways, here's hoping they rebuild better than ever (but in the same location).
La Dolce Vida.
Awesome film. Never seen it before, just bits and pieces here and there. You can really see the influence on Billy Wilder and the comedic filmmakers of the early 60's (I guess especially Blake Edwards), up to Scorsese and Woody Allen (in some regards), and even Alexander Payne in terms of pacing and absurdist situations presented in a naturalistic way. And I'm all about Marcello Mastroianni now. Fucking perfect. As I bonus, I also now get those really funny skits on SNL even more where Bill Hader does the Italian talk show host.
I totally feel like I'm playing catch up with Fellini, so I've got 8 1/2 and La Strada next. Also, and I'm just going to say this despite the risk of sounding dumb as hell, but I really like the Italians over the French. I'd kinda lumped them all together, and am not a huge fan of French New Wave, so that's the excuse I'm giving to just now discovering Fellini. Xenophobic ignorance. Sue me.
Down and Dirty Pictures & Chopper 1.
Got these both in Leeds on the New Years trip to the UK, so they're linked in that way that reading books at the same time will do. But besides that, they're basically about the same person or types of people and they tell their stories in the same way. They're anecdotal accounts of the rise of Miramax Pictures and Mark "Chopper" Read. And they're both pretty entertaining and both feel stretched like they didn't have enough material to fill a book. Chopper's got several more books, and I got the second one when I bought the first because I've just never seen them in a bookstore over here, but I'm assuming they took all of the best stories from the run to make the film because that's 80 times better than the first book. The movie is so fun and Andrew Dominick did a great job adapting the material into a cohesive story. Which reminds me:
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
Loved this film when it came out, but for some reason it got pushed into the back of my brain with There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men. I think it was that the script on a whole was so good, and the film was so well put together, that it felt too slick and polished. In these cases, I think I usually dismiss these films because I feel like they're not going to hold up on subsequent viewings. Like I got duped into liking them, and won't like it once that first viewing haze is gone. But I watched this film three or four times over a month recently, and loved it more each time. And the only thing that kind of kept bothering me was the weird (what I wrongfully thought was an) effect that they'd put on the edge of the frames in scenes that almost gave a shitty History Channel re-enactment feel to it. I was corrected by my DP friend that they were actually using period lenses that they had refitted to shoot on current cameras. Now that, if not in practice but in theory, is a really cool visual idea to put you in a different mindset and something I can get behind. And thus, the only thing keeping the film from achieving perfect status in my mind, was eased and forgotten away.
Coco B. Ware.
Why is HE shrugging in the picture, like "Yup. It's me, Coco B. Ware. That's all I've got."?
This is a guy that's working on the Florida CMF tour with me. He's making music on an old Gameboy, like the giant original ones. He says he likes the challenge because he only has so many tracks to work with. And that he doesn't want to make game sounding music, but use the gaming system to make something larger sounding. Pretty cool. I just heard it today, so I haven't listened to it more than just the first pass. But it sounds awesome so far, and just thought I'd plug him. You can hear his album here, and see what you think: