Monday, December 30, 2013

Chapter One

We were lost in the desert. The ship was drinking sand. The parachutes were slowly twisting, out of shape, out of hope. I had a broken foot. I realised my problems had only just begun. The sun was carefully touching the ground. One of the bottles had survived the jump. I drank it with a spoon, then tried to stand up. In the distance I could see the smoke turning around in circles, not knowing where to go. Maria looked at me with no expression on her pale face. She smoked a French cigarette without pleasure.
-Who is the one responsible for the deck chairs?
-I don't know.
-No. And don't ask me again.
She hummed sadly a song I remembered from somewhere. Someone had found enough dry wood to start a small fire. I warmed my blue fingers, tv images of lizards in my head. I sighed. I was tired. It had been a long day.

Friday, December 20, 2013

You The Living

Have you ever wondered what it's like living in Scandinavia? Watch this film. Eugène Ionesco meets Ingmar Bergman meets Edward Hopper. What dreams do we have, what worries do we have? It's maybe not quite the masterpiece as Roy Andersson's previous film, Songs From The Second Floor, but it's still a great film. Mostly static camera, with carefully composed images in grey colour tones, often with a door or a window in the background. Arty movies often have arty dialogue, things normal people would never say. This film is different. It's still arty, but only visually. The dialogues are very simple, anti intellectual, kind of every day exchanges. The ending, as it should be, is haunting.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Science fiction

Top 5 science fiction novels:

1. The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
2. Dune by Frank Herbert
3. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Henlein
4. Neuromancer by William Gibson
5. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick

The Demolished Man by Bester is also very good.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Films of 2013

I saw four films in the cinema this year, in order of preference:

1. Thor: The Dark World
2. Inside Llewyn Davis
3. Iron Man 3
4. Passion (by De Palma)

So yes, I enjoyed Thor more than Inside! The scene of Loki being informed about his mother's death I found more moving than anything that happened to Llewyn Davis. I'm sure the Coen film will grow on me, and I'll probably get the dvd at some point, but I had high expectations and ended up a bit disappointed. Before Midnight, Frances Ha and the Jarmusch vampire film (is it out yet?) I'll also just wait for the dvd, no rush. I don't think there was anything else this year that I'm dying to see...

Monday, December 16, 2013

Singin' in the Rain

Some days you want to see Seven, other days you want to see Singin' in the Rain.

It has, at least, three amazing numbers: Make'em Laugh, Good Morning and, of course, Singin' in the Rain. Or five, if you count Fit as a Fiddle and Moses Supposes. Sure, why the hell not! Only the movie within the movie, the whole Broadway Melody part, drags a bit. It doesn't really have anything to do with the main story. Jean Hagen almost steals the whole film, as Lisa Lamont. "And I cayn't stand'im." It's a great comedic performance. I thought she was mostly a dramatic actor. Besides this film, I think I've only seen her in The Asphalt Jungle. What should be put in a time capsule representing the 20th century, to be found by Martians when life on Earth is over? I'd say this film.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Jim Woodring

I was looking through some drawers, and found this, a note from Jim Woodring I received after sending him a copy of my comic book, Mjau Mjau. I believe it was nr 1, possibly nr 2, so it was either 97 or 98. It was a pretty big deal for me receiving it, encouraging me to continue making comics. Thanks, Jim!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Simple Men

Robert Burke and Bill Sage are looking for their dad. So is Elina Löwensohn. Martin Donovan has a crush on Karen Sillas. Written and directed by Hal Hartley.

Is this Hartley's funniest film? Hot fucking tuna. Why do women exist? Why is that one scene with the hand against the window so memorable? It took a couple of viewings before I realized that the dad in this film and the one in Trust is played by the same actor. There's not enough slapping in films these days. There's nothing but trouble and desire. I can't stand the quiet! You're drunk. And emotional! You can have what you want or what you need, but you can't have both. Don't move.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Peter Weir

Top 5 Peter Weir films:

1. Witness
2. Gallipolli
3. Dead Poets Society
4. Picnic at Hanging Rock
5. Green Card

Still haven't seen Mosquito Coast or The Year of Living Dangerously.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Apparently, someone shoots Liberty Valance. Starring John Wayne, James Stewart and Lee Marvin, directed by John Ford.

So okay, it's got the famous line, "Print the legend.", but I find it hard to like this film. All the broad comedy bits get a bit tiresome in the end. It dates the film. Stewart is miscast - too old to be convincing in the flashbacks where he's supposed to be a young lawyer. John Wayne does the John Wayne thing. And then there is Lee Marvin who seems to be acting in a much darker film. There are constant clashes in tone. In the end, it's an old man's film, Ford's more resigned look back on the genre he was most known for.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

So yeah, Jesse James is assassinated by Robert Ford. Starring Brad Pitt as Jesse James and Casey Affleck as Robert Ford, directed by Andrew Dominik.

It's like some lost 70s revisionist Western, the little brother of McCabe & Mrs Miller perhaps. It's almost amazing how Dominik got away with making such a slow and moody film. Probably he wouldn't have without Brad Pitt in the lead role. Who's good, but the film still belongs to Casey Affleck. And is it the most beautiful, most Terrence Malicky Western ever made? Roger Deakins' cinematography is some kind of wonder. Possibly the film drags a tiny bit in the middle, but then it gets even more interesting after the death of Jesse James, when we follow Robert Ford who has to live with the conscience and regret of his act. It's one of the few films where a narrative voice actually works. And I like how muted the gunshots are, sounding almost as sad as the sound effects in a Chris Ware comic.