Friday, October 28, 2011

Adventures in Depression

This made me smile.

Visit Hyperbole and a Half, for more. Hyperbole is the blog of one Allie Brosh, who you can watch tell her blog's story on YouTube. Spoiler: It involves, among other things: Calvin and Hobbes, physics, procrastination, and a fish.

Myself, I am inclined to wind my way back through Hyperbole and a Half's archive. 

Happy Friday, readers.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Neil Gaiman Presents

Hello, readers.

Neil Gaiman writes scary, lovely things. Very often he reads these things out loud to an audience. You can listen to him read the Newberry winning, The Graveyard Book* at The Mouse Circus.

He loves the act of storytelling so much, in fact--and audio books in particular, that he and Audible have joined in launching something called Neil Gaiman Presents. Gaiman will pick books, work with the authors where not entirely dead, and recruit the perfect voice for the story.

In his blog post on the opening, he mentioned a future release being that of "John Hodgman reading Robert Sheckley's hilarious pre-Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy galactic travel fantasia DIMENSION OF MIRACLES."

So, excitement +2.

Happy Thursday, readers.


*I read The Graveyard Book while road-tripping around the southern U.S.. I finished it in southwest Louisiana, at a house shaded by banana trees. It inspired me to wander one of the above-ground cemeteries nearby. I brought a dog along with me. We looked at many old things together. On the way home, a man carrying a brick and walking with a slight tilt, followed us for a time. Eventually, he stopped, which was nice.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Don't Look Now

Maybe because I grew up in Britain, the opening almost seemed like one of those absolutely nightmarish PSAs that you would see. There were some extremely dour ones in the UK that implored you “Don’t play near ponds. Don’t throw your ball into the pond. Do not go near the dark water.” Once you’ve seen it a couple of times, you can start to see the allusions, too, the bad omens and the flashes forward to significant images and colors, and all that amazing cross-cutting that Nicolas Roeg does. It’s such an incredible sequence. 
Edgar Wright writing in the A.V. Club on the merits of Don't Look Now, as part of a 24-hour Halloween horror movie marathon.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Small Horrors

Dana Jennings in NYT.
The best work in dark fantasy and horror fiction these days is being published by small presses, haunted literary boutiques established (mostly) in out-of-the-way places.
There’s Small Beer in Easthampton, Mass., and Subterranean in Burton, Mich.; Centipede in Lakewood, Colo., and Cemetery Dance in Forest Hill, Md.; Tachyon in San Francisco and ChiZine in Toronto — and many more. They’re all devoted to the weird, to the strange and — most important — to good writing.
Interesting that with the stated love of the little wonders out there, only three authors, and their respective presses, get much mention (Geoff Ryman with Small Beer, Caitlan R. Kiernan with Subterranean, and Tim Powers with Tachyon). I would've liked a little more on what the others were up to.

Still, it's nice to see the small presses ballyhooed in the big press.


Seoul Mayoral Election, Now with More Flash Mobs!

Hello, readers.

Elections in Korea, and perhaps Seoul in particular, often involve a lot of coordinated dancing, rolling truck sing-alongs, and men wearing both cowboy hats and sparkly pants.

This video, though--so far as I know--is the first evidence of flash mobs being used in Seoul to turn out the vote.


via (Global Voices) and also this Korean description which I cannot read.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Much Ado About Nothing

Throughout Buffy, Whedon hosted the cast at his home for regular Shakespeare readings. Perhaps this grew out of that. Perhaps it is not Shakespearean, at all. Maybe it's about pool cleaning.

The real question is, how will it be distributed? 

ttfn, readers.

The Lion and the Unicorn

The underlying fact was that the whole position of the moneyed class had long ceased to be justifiable. There they sat, at the centre of a vast empire and a world-wide financial network, drawing interest and profits and spending them--on what?
Although there are gifted and honest individuals among them, we have got to break the grip of the moneyed class as a whole.
Patriotism has nothing to do with Conservatism. It is actually the opposite of Conservatism, since it is a devotion to something that is always changing and yet is felt to be mystically the same. It is the bridge between the future and the past. No real revolutionary has ever been an internationalist.
Quite soon it will be possible to say definitely that our feet are set upon one path or the other. But at any rate it is certain that with our present social structure we cannot win. 

George Orwell writing in 1940, as "highly civilized human beings [flew] overhead, trying to kill [him]." It was difficult not to read certain passages without hearing some resonance with the present now-type happenings.

I wonder what he would have said if he were alive. Hopefully, he would've refrained from calling India "backward", which he does at some points. Silly, English man.

ttfn, readers.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Haruki Murakami

“I live in Tokyo,” he told me, “a kind of civilized world — like New York or Los Angeles or London or Paris. If you want to find a magical situation, magical things, you have to go deep inside yourself. So that is what I do. People say it’s magic realism — but in the depths of my soul, it’s just realism. Not magical. While I’m writing, it’s very natural, very logical, very realistic and reasonable.”
From Sam Anderson's "The Fierce Imagination of Haruki Murakami" in The New York Times Magazine.

It's a introduction, and trip, through Murakami's particular brand of reality. As well, Anderson--in visiting Murakami in Tokyo--visited several places in Tokyo made famous, or somehow actual, by the power of Murakami's imagination. You can see a slideshow of those places, and accompanying passages from Murakami's books, here.

Some bookstores in the non-Asian parts of the world are planning on opening at midnight for the non-Asian release of 1Q84. 

Sometimes the world pleases me.

ttfn, readers.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Zone One

Visit Strange Horizons for my review of Zone One, the zombie-tastic novel by Colson Whitehead.
The zombies have won. After wizards, vampires, and a brief fling with the possibility of werewolves, the results are in. Shaun of the Dead. Generation Dead. The Walking Dead. Zombies vs. Unicorns. Etc. Popular culture has arrived at a point where it craves a monster both overwhelming in number and completely devoid of spirit. Our world, for better or worse, belongs now to the dead and to those that love them. #yay.
Also, TIME has this video of Whitehead discussing Zone One's influences, including Death Wish, Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things, and other horribly wonderful bits of pop culture.

ttfn, readers.

Dropbox: The Inside Story

Victoria Barrett writing in Forbes on the matter of the cloud-syncing wonder-storage-thing called Dropbox. Much is made of the meeting between Drew Houston (Dropbox founder) and Steve Jobs, as well as the increasingly present cumulus-oriented competition of  Apple, Google, and Amazon.
What Houston does is Dropbox, the digital storage service that has surged to 50 million users, with another joining every second. Jobs presciently saw this sapling as a strategic asset for Apple. Houston cut Jobs’ pitch short: He was determined to build a big company, he said, and wasn’t selling, no matter the status of the bidder (Houston considered Jobs his hero) or the prospects of a nine-digit price (he and Ferdowsi drove to the meeting in a Zipcar Prius).
I use Dropbox to transfer presentations from my office computer, to my laptop, to the computer in the classroom where I teach. It's also where I backup my writing and share pictures and things with my far-away sister.

It's a kind of magic*.

ttfn, readers.

*Queen reference (cue whooshy wind sound effect).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Woman in Black

Some out-of-context quotes from the Guardian on the trailer for The Woman in Black (starring Daniel Radcliffe of, well, you know).
Oh crap, it's the Hogwarts Express. Right, forget everything I just said about Daniel Radcliffe moving on. Someone book him a superior room in the Wolverhampton Travelodge for the duration of Potterquest Midlands 2024...
OH MY GOD! IT'S A BIRD ON A DESK! That's … actually, hang on, it's a bird on a desk. That's literally it. It's just a bird standing on a normal desk. That isn't very scary at all. Pull your socks up, The Woman in Black trailer. ..
ON NO! IT'S A muddy boy.
If you want to see the trailer from whence these sarcasms came, click the link above.


Google's Digital Bookcase

Here's a perfect use for something like the OmniTouch. Slap a holo-bookcase in the corner of your bedroom and use the OmniTouch to track your hand as it spins, selects, and browses through books.

 I'm afraid it won't replace the smell of paper and ink, though. Not yet, anyway. via (endgadget).

ttfn, readers.

p.s. Note, at endgadget, there's a link to the actual WebGL site for you to play with. They warn that it might kill your computer, though--due to resource devourment. Mine survived.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Crucible (도가니)

From The New York Times:
Since its release on Sept. 22, 4.4 million people, including President Lee Myung-bak — nearly a 10th of the country’s population — have seen it [The Crucible]. The film has tapped into widespread anger over official reluctance to take sexual crimes seriously, and over how justice is served, or not, in South Korea.
The cabinet has vowed to inspect all facilities for the disabled and minors to ferret out teachers with records of sexual abuse. The head of the Supreme Court admitted that “society is simmering with resentment” toward a legal system long criticized as “yujeonmujoe mujeonnyujoe,” or “not guilty for the rich, guilty for the poor.” 

The film deals with the sexual abuse that occurred at the Inhwa School for the hearing impaired. Those incidents, along with the courtroom drama (no sign-language translation was provided) and the resulting sentences (some found guilty were released with suspended sentences), inspired a book of the same name by Gong Ji-young.

What's of special interest here is the foregrounding of disabled individuals as human beings who deserve some protection--or, at the very least, some recognition--from a society that often seems to prefer to forget they exist.
Here, disregard for the disabled is so entrenched that the subway authorities began installing elevators for wheelchair access only in recent years following protests by the handicapped in which they chained themselves to the tracks with signs that read, “We want to use the subway too.”
“What people see in the movie is a capsule version of their society,” said Chun Sang-chin, a sociologist at Sogang University. “There is anger over how the strong bully the weak, despair over how the system protects the well-connected, and fear that the same can happen to the rest of us.”
In my own classes, there are some students with various learning disabilities, and, for the most part, no special attention is paid to them by the school.

One of my students told me she was reading 도가니. She said it made her angry. I was unaware, at the time, though, just what an impact it, and the film, were having on Korean culture. For comparison sakes, if 10% of the U.S. saw a film, that would equal about a $300 million box office--which, you know, is pretty good for a socially conscious and fairly ugly  indictment of "the foul underside of society."

Koreans excel at being outraged about things (see the above mentioned chaining oneself to the tracks or the protests over imported American beef ). Let's hope this outrage does some good.



This is the kind of thing that reminds me of graduate school. Big ideas, unmarketable implementations, but, if the right person (or company) sees the right way to use it, then something actual and cool could happen.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Fascinating things about suicide nets

From the Apple Supplier Responsibility 2011 Progress Report:
In August 2010, the independent team (Tim Cook, among others) presented its findings and recommendations to Terry Gou and senior executives from Foxconn and Apple. The team commended Foxconn for taking quick action on several fronts simultaneously, including hiring a large number of psychological counselors, establishing a 24-hour care center, and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings to prevent impulsive suicides. The independent team also found that Foxconn had worked openly with many outside experts and government officials in reacting to the crisis. Most important, the investigation found that Foxconn’s response had definitely saved lives. 
The emphasis is mine. The concern, of course, is that no one at Foxconn was commended for altering the actual work environment that led to the company dressing its building in a skirt made from, what I'm going to assume, was a giant circus-type safety net.

But, there's one more thing.
The independent team suggested several areas for improvement, such as better training of hotline staff and care center counselors and better monitoring to ensure effectiveness. Foxconn incorporated the team’s specific recommendations into their long-term plans for addressing employee wellbeing. The company is implementing an employee assistance program (EAP) that focuses on maintaining employee mental health and expanding social support networks. In addition, they have begun the process of expanding operations to other parts of China, enabling workers to be closer to their home provinces.
 So, Apple's team suggested counseling the angry, sad, tired people into not being angry or sad or tired, and "better monitoring" to ensure their counseling was "effective". In more good news, Foxconn is "expanding their operations."

If you feel like occupying something, there's probably a city nearby for that.

ttfn, readers.

Korea Invented Pizza

It's true.

Go here for more.



Photo by Zoriah.

NYC blinked this morning.
Officials in New York City on Friday postponed a planned clean-up of the downtown Manhattan park where anti-Wall Street protesters set up camp a month ago, averting what many feared could have been a showdown with authorities.
Occupy Seoul gets under way this Saturday.
Members of civic organizations advocating for consumer financial rights have a news conference to declare they will hold “Occupy Yeouido” protest at 2 p.m. Oct. 15...
Other social organizations also plan to have a rally at Seoul Plaza at the same time. All the groups will then gather at Seoul Plaza to hold an “Occupy Seoul” protest at 6 p.m. 


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Against Nostalgia

Mike Daisey is a storyteller and monologist, among other things. He's performed at some events put on by The Moth. He's good. This is what he had to say recently in the New York Times.
Apple’s rise to power in our time directly paralleled the transformation of global manufacturing. As recently as 10 years ago Apple’s computers were assembled in the United States, but today they are built in southern China under appalling labor conditions. Apple, like the vast majority of the electronics industry, skirts labor laws by subcontracting all its manufacturing to companies like Foxconn, a firm made infamous for suicides at its plants, a worker dying after working a 34-hour shift, widespread beatings, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to meet high quotas set by tech companies like Apple...
Mr. Jobs’s magic has its costs. We can admire the design perfection and business acumen while acknowledging the truth: with Apple’s immense resources at his command he could have revolutionized the industry to make devices more humanely and more openly, and chose not to. If we view him unsparingly, without nostalgia, we would see a great man whose genius in design, showmanship and stewardship of the tech world will not be seen again in our lifetime. We would also see a man who in the end failed to “think different,” in the deepest way, about the human needs of both his users and his workers. 
This grew out of Daisey's work, and performances of, something called The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, his monologue/one-man show about his life and love of Apple, and the journey he took to China to meet with the workers there, and how it changed him. He is not unaware of the fact that other companies (Dell, HP, etc) also get there supplies in a similar, or worse, manner. He is aware, though, that like Nike was to the shoe industry, Apple is the brand that's most associated with the world's current manufactured bliss. If you're going to close the "sweatshops" of technology, they're the company you look at.

For myself, I've been reading Apple's supplier responsibility reports. In the coming days, when the mood strikes, I will post some of what it says. Fascinating things about suicide nets, for example. Apple, if nothing else, is active in auditing its suppliers and seemingly quite transparent about their (so-far) failures to enact lasting change. I don't know of any other tech company publishing the number of underage workers in their factories.


Out of Print


T-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, and iCases (among other things) imprinted with the message that literature still matters enough to put on a t-shirt, or a sweatshirt, or a--well, you get the idea.


We Bought a Zoo

Speaking of movies, last week, Entertainment Weekly put up a list of 25 fall movies to which they're looking forward.

Among the many possibly wonderful wonders included--such as Tin Tin with it's creepy animatronic-like motion-capture puddy people, or Hugo, the real-people Scorsese take on the spectacular illustrated novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret--the thing that caught my eye was that Cameron Crowe has a new film called, We Bought a Zoo.

This is the trailer.

I love Cameron Crowe. He embraces a kind of courageous sentimentality that circles around self-indulgent soppiness without, generally, falling into it. Say Anything, for example, hurt. Almost Famous, too. And, in between, there was that thing with Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Also, he's good with music.

Also, also, there are segments of Elizabethtown that I love with an intenseness that belies the fact that I'd be wary of actually recommending anyone else to watch it.

We Bought a Zoo is his first bit of fictional directing since that film. I am wary, but hopeful. There is Thomas Hayden Church, after all.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Busan Film Festival

Heading south to Busan for the film festival today. Blog updates will be sparse. I will, of course, have my iPod with me, so I will not be completely out of touch. Thanks, Steve.

Here's what I'll be seeing.

The Bad Intentions (Peru/Germany/Argentina)
...a great new voice in the world of cinema, Rosario Garcia-Montero‘s “The Bad Intentions” is a brilliant coming-of-age story that’s funny, subtle, touching, and one of the best films of the year. 

The Idiot (Estonia), an adaptation of Dostoevsky's novel.

The Reason Why I Step (Korea), a documentary about indie art and music.

The Enemy (Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina), a film about clearing the minefields of the Balkan wars.

Stella Days (Ireland)
“Stella Days” tells the story of a newly-arrived parish priest (Martin Sheen) who wants to open a cinema in the small town in the 1950s. His plans attract opposition from his bishop and some locals who fear the effect this outside influence might have on their way of life.
MESH (Walking) (Turkey)
Xelilo, a disturbed man, walks endlessly through the streets of the Kurdish village in the south east of Turkey. He is curiously being noticed by Cengo, a 12 year old boy, selling chewing gum. Their poor but carefree lives take a sudden turn, when the Turkish military takes power in 1980. The curfew and the resistance of the people become the centre of their lives with dramatic consequences.

11 Flowers (China/France)
Wang Han, 11 year old boy in the province of Ghizhou is confronted with a runaway murderer. Hiding in the woods, the wounded man takes Wang Han drying shirt and persuades him to help him out. Frightened and fascinated at once, Wang Han and his friends accept to keep it secret from the police. Strange things are happening at school and the police is everywhere

Poongsan (Korea) -- Produced by Kim Ki-duk
Poongsan has the unenviable – and death-defying – job of delivering messages across the North and South Korean border to separated families. When South Korean government agents ask him to smuggle in In-ok, the lover of a high-ranking North Korean defector, into the South, the damsel and rescuer fall in love instead

Happy weekend, readers.


One more thing...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On Apple, Siri, and the Cloud Cage

Hello, readers.

You may have noticed Apple held one of its events this past afternoon. Steve Jobs was not there. Neither was an iPhone 5. There was Siri, though, and something called the iPhone 4S which is the iPhone 4 plus the letter S, among other things.

Here's what some people are saying.

Nick Bilton believes everything's as much about Google as Apple.
To [compete with Android] the company had to offer a high-end phone that is very Applesque, complete with the slickest new features and software: the iPhone 4S, which starts at $200 and goes as high as $400. In addition, the company needed to offer iPhones for the masses: the iPhone 3GS, which is now free. All of these prices are valid with a two-year contract with the carrier for wireless service.
CNET on how Apple mostly uses the internet as a way to communicate with itself.

I find Apple's clear unwillingness to release Web front-ends to users' photo libraries or documents or stored music tracks galling. Apple could become one of the most powerful and useful consumer Web companies in the world were it to make all its users' content available to them from any device that had Web access. Of course, that would reduce the need for each user to have one of their own, or better yet several of their own, Apple devices to access their personal clouds of data and media. If every device was an equal citizen on the Apple Web, it might depress the volume of sales, and prices, of Apple gear.
Which is, depending on who you are, either wonderfully simple or terribly limiting. It's certainly convenient to have Apple put all your music in the cloud, but if you're forever locked into playing it with Apple devices, well, um, there you go. The cloud cage.

This is my next on Siri.
Recognizing context is a simple kind of logic, and very important for listening. When it comes to finding a good answer, however, a whole new level of logic is needed, and obviously this is the crux of Siri’s AI — all the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of it. One aspect I’m particularly excited about is the Wolfram Alpha integration. Wolfram Alpha makes more sense integrated into a personal assistant (like Siri) than subbing in as a search engine (like Google or Bing), and asking Siri to convert units or time zones, or to compare the land speed of Usain Bolt to a cheetah (my primary use for Wolfram Alpha revolves around such comparisons) is going to be endlessly useful / entertaining.
I'm having flashes of Angel and the evil lawyers of Wolfram & Heart. Also, as I tweeted, at some point in the future I'm prepared for smartphones to be equipped with customizable genuine people personalities so that your phone will not necessarily have to sound like a robot woman speaking from the inside of War Games.

And, here's Activate on the lives of workers at Foxconn, one of Apple's leading suppliers. It's a short doc, and doesn't go into terribly much documented detail. For more, consider reading these reports of strangely numerous suicides and Apple's response.
In its latest report, Apple said it conducted audits of 127 facilities throughout the world. Ninety-seven of those were first-time audits and 30 were repeat audits.
Although many consumer electronic companies around the world use these same suppliers for their products, more than 40 percent of the suppliers audited said Apple was the first company to ever have audited their facilities....
Apple says it's been "aggressive in helping underage workers return to their families and get back to school."
If underage workers are discovered, Apple said it requires the supplier to pay for education expenses, a living stipend, and lost wages for six months or until the worker is 16, whichever is longer.

That last bit, about Apple's "aggressiveness in helping underage workers return to their familes." Um. Scary.

Here's Apple's page on supplier responsibility.

It's worth a little thought. Even the woman, Debbie Chan--who's doing the doc--appears to be using something like a MacBook at one point, and certainly a smartphone. I for one, generally only tend to think about where the products I use come from in a considerate, but kind of useless way. Which is to say I think, oh, worker's rights are important, let me check the news about that on my Vaio/iPod/Etc.


ttfn, readers.

More on the Nobel winners

For more on the Nobel physics winners (and frequent mention of some mysterious physicist nicknamed the 'Time Lord') go here. You'll get a nice profile and summary of the science involved by Jennifer Ouellette writing in the Scientific American.
After saying farewell, I commented to the Time Lord as we walked back home how much I liked Brian: “You have really nice friends.” (It’s true; pretty much all of the Time Lord’s pals are delightful, but then, I’m partial to physicists.) He agreed, and added, “And you know what else? He will absolutely win the Nobel Prize some day.”
 Also, Discover takes a whack at explaining dark energy in a friendly FAQ.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Speaking of nobel prizes...

Three U.S. - born scientists win the Nobel prize for physics. 

"For almost a century the universe has been known to be expanding as a consequence of the Big Bang about 14 billion years ago," the citation said. "However the discovery that this expansion is accelerating is astounding. If the expansion will continue to speed up the universe will end in ice.

Nostalgia Overload

The floppy disk drive to the future:

"If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can imagine"


American Novelists

Hello, readers.

At Salon today, "Why American novelists don't deserve the Nobel prize."
Four years after Morrison won the Nobel, David Foster Wallace predicted the current rut in which our literature finds itself in a New York Observer evisceration of John Updike’s “Toward the End of Time.” Though he took particular issue with Updike’s autumnal output, Wallace parceled blame to all of the Great Male Narcissists, with their hermetic concerns and insular little fictions. The following is Wallace’s estimation of Updike, but it could just as easily be said about anyone else in the postwar American pantheon: “The very world around them, as beautifully as they see and describe it, seems to exist for them only insofar as it evokes impressions and associations and emotions inside the self.”
The article points out two such insularities in modern writers by evoking Roth's "bygone Jewish precincts of Newark" and Cormac McCarthy's "gun-slinging west." Both go a long way towards making the point that Alexander Nazaryan, the writer of this article, perhaps hasn't been reading much Roth or McCarthy lately.

Perhaps the article's right, though, that a great deal of our pantheon-ed American writers have turned insular, and write their fictions--as Wallace lamented about Updike--more as a way to reflect what they feel about what they see, instead of exploring what they see and how others might feel (though, at what point did evoking an individual's experience become so anathema; at what point did it stop being universal when done well--even if it was your own?)

I don't really know. I haven't read much of the pantheon-ed writers of late.

In the comments of the article, a few brief mentions are made of those American writers working outside the pantheon--such as Gene Wolfe or Neal Stephenson--who are anything but insular in their writing. And by insular I mean, of course having main characters of a strictly white and American orientation. Both writers use a more expansive palette, exploring a world-sized amount of philosophy and suffering.

I'm fairly certain there are other examples, as well.

It would have been nice if Mr. Nazaryan had expanded his view of American writers beyond Roth, Delillo, Pynchon, et al. If those writers are guilty of insularity, then writers like Nazaryan--and those lamenting the state of American fiction--might do well to step outside their own insular views of American literature and read what else is out there.

ttfn, readers.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Radiolab is a fantastic radio show about the science and mystery of things such as mechanical turks, broken hearts, and symmetrical molecules. It also boasts a soundscape of loopy, intwerwoven gibblets of dialogue and sound that make the experience of listening actually worth, well, listening to. It's radio done in a way that lives up to the strength of its sensory limitations.

Jab Abumrad, a co-host along with Robert Krulwitch and a musician by training, was recently named a MacArthur "genius."

If you're not listening, Ira Glass explains why you should at Transom.

If you want to read more about the sound of Radiolab, Nieman Journalism Lab has a nice bit on that.

Also, The New York Times had an interactive widget that let you play with the Radiolab sound a few months back. It's cool.


It's Arrested Development

Jason Bateman on Twitter:
It’s true. We will do 10 episodes and the movie. Probably shoot them all together next summer for a release in early ’13. VERY excited
Apparently, talks have been had with Netflix and Showtime about distributing.  Certainly would win Netflix back a lot of love. Maybe a few customers, too.

These episodes would proceed any movement on the oft-rumored, never-actual, but maybe now immintenly possible, Arrested Development movie.

All of this came out at the New Yorker Festival. All of the Bluths and Mitchell Hurwitz (creator/writer/genius) were there.

When asked about the movie possibility, Mitchell Hurwitz said, "We're 80% of the way to an answer."

Read more at the New York Times.

Happy Monday, readers.


Saturday, October 1, 2011


The things our friends find and put on Facebook. Magnificent.


Charlie Kaufman

In an interview with Time Out London, Charlie Kaufman talked a bit about his next movie, Frank or Francis.

If I look at some of the things in the script that I’m about to embark on, I’d have to say I don’t really have any idea how we’re going to do it. I’ve been pretty good at keeping logistics away from the writing process. It’s important when you’re writing to not bridle yourself with pragmatic concerns. The movie I’m about to do has got a lot of scenes and a lot of characters. And the scope of it and the world it inhabits is very, very large. In the broadest possible sense, it’s about online film criticism, but as usual, the world that I’m writing about is not necessarily the world that I’m writing about. It’s just a place to set it. There’s a lot in there about the internet and anger: cultural, societal and individual anger. And isolation in this particular age we live in. And competition: it’s about the idea of people in this world wanting to be seen. I hate to use the word “about”, as it implies that what I’m doing is an analogy and that I’m trying to say something. I’m not. That’s for the audience to do.
There's more in the interview about the screenwriting (it's not therapeutic), dreams, and being called a mathematical storyteller.

All of his movies tend to comfortably unravel my brain. Even Synecdoche, New York, which made an amount of sense approaching zero a great deal of the time, added up to something true and painful by the end. It didn't have to make sense. It just worked.

I don't remember that being how math usually functioned, but maybe math has moved on since I left school.