Books in 2011

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
Pictures at a Revolution
The Sins of the Fathers
The Green Ripper
Free Fall in Crimson

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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Red Band Trailer

I think was a deliberate bootleg by the studio or by Fincher:

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My Scott Pilgrim Action Figure

Scott Pilgrim sits on my desk at work. Along with Thor, Hellboy, and Godzilla.

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"Welcome son, to the Layer Cake."

From Matthew Vaughn's Layer Cake:


Space News For the Week


Matthew Vaughn on James Bond

Matthew Vaughn in an interview with Bleeding Cool:

I always wanted to do a Cold War movie and I’m desperate to do a Bond film, always have been, and here I got to have my cake and eat it. I got to do an X-Men film and a Bond thing Frankenheimer sort of political thriller at the same time.

I sort of want the Brocollis to regret never hiring me. I was very keen to direct Bond. I don’t know if I am any more, to be blunt, now that I’ve done this. I really love Daniel [Craig], though you know, it might be interesting if they one day decide to cast Fassbender as Bond, then maybe I’ll go “Hey!”

HitFix interview with Vaughn. He discusses a bit more of the Bond influence.

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Norman Jewison on The Thomas Crown Affair

From an AintItCoolNews interview with Norman Jewison:

Capone: You made a couple of films with Steve McQueen. Could talk about your relationship with him, and what you remember most about working with him?

NJ: Well Steve McQueen was kind of textbook bad boy, you know? He could test you pretty good. [laughs] I said, “I can’t be your father,” because he liked working with older directors.

Capone: So he had a father complex?

NJ: Yeah and so I said “But I will be your older brother who went to college. I’ll look out for you.” So we had a pretty close relationship from the very beginning, and it was simply because I did a little homework and found he had spent time in Boys Town, and he had had a rough upbringing and I think he was looking for a father, for kind of a fatherly influence, and that’s why he liked working with older directors.

Henry Hathaway used to do films with Steve McQueen, and I realized that he could get a better performance from Steve simply because he wanted to be directed. He wanted to be told. He wanted desperately, so I kind of found out a lot about him just by talking to him. So, we became pretty close, and then I did THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR with him with Faye Dunaway, and that was her debut really. She did a film, BONNIE AND CLYDE, but I felt that THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, when it came to style, it was really kind of style over content that film, and I tried to make it something totally different than we had seen Steve do before. So I put him in a $2,500 suit and gave him a different look, and he loved it.

Capone: It was a stylized version of him. It was heightened and classier than we'd seen him before.

NJ: There was something kind of elegant about the picture, and I had [cinematrographer] Haskell Wexler and some talented people working with me.

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City of Kenner Wants to Change Demographics

Today's Times-Picayune has a story about how the City of Kenner does not like the current demographics of its population. If the city wants to change these demographics, it is going to take some serious effort and sacrifice both from the government and the people. And the people have already voted down tax proposals which would have helped the city. And it is going to take a lot of public and private money to change the city of Kenner's demographics.

First place we can start is the Esplanade Mall. This mall used to be the mall in the area to go to, but it has in the last decade gone down hill drastically. The city and the mall owners need to stop leasing space to cheap, tacky stores, and start actively recruiting high end and unique stores (ie stores Lakeside and Clearview malls don't have). They need to also make the food court worth going to, and make citizens feel safe to go to the mall. Frankly now at night, it does not feel like a safe place.

Next, the city needs to look at Hollywood Cinemas 9. This is the only movie theater in Kenner, and outside of the Bollywood fair offered, it is a pretty poor theater. Supposedly there was going to be a new theater built in the area; but so far nothing has come from that. The city and the property owners need to create a modern, high end theater here (plus keep the Bollywood films showing there which gives the mall a very well educated base of customers). The city should also actively help whoever owns the old AMC theater building to bring in a theater there as well, perhaps an Alamo Drafthouse theater or something similar showing both mainstream and art house fair (similar to The Theatres at Canal Place, but maybe on a smaller budget).

Third, the city of Kenner needs to start recruiting high end realtors there. The current crop of places to live is not attractive to young professionals. There is no real sense of neighborhood anywhere. You want to have at least high end apartments for young professionals or single professionals. Go look at towns you want to emulate or should be emulating. The NOLA area is most often compared to Austin, Tx, go look there and see what kind of apartments and condos they have there.

Finally, join the 21st Century. The City of Kenner's website is a joke, and online services barely function. I tried to pay a ticket online for months, only to be told the site was down. When I went to pay it in person, the IT structure looked like it was held together by duct tape. Update the city government's IT to a fully functioning modern structure. Erect free Wi Fi towers throughout the city. Actively work to bring broadband to all communities in Kenner. Aggresively promote computer literacy through the Libraries and Schools in Kenner. Become a truly wired city.

Of course Kenner has to fight the hardest part of the city: who wants to live in Kenner? As I said above, there is no real sense of neighborhood in most of Kenner. The city sis actively shutting down River Town, an area which needs more attention and development not less. The police force is looked at as overpaid mall and traffic cops and frankly they don't do much to discourage that.

There seems to be no real sense of actually wanting people to move there aside from more tax revenue. Where is the recruitment for actual businesses? What firms want to move to a city where there seems to be no space or buildings to have an actual office on?

The rumor of the city trying to bring Coconut Beach to the lakefront facility is a step in the right direction, but the city really does need more forward thinking people both in the public and private sector if it wants to change the demographics and the crumbling effect now going on.



Vic Armstrong on Bond

From Eric Vespe at AintItCoolNews' interview with legendary stunt man Vic Armstrong:

Quint: It seems to me the big three for me from reading the book seem to be SUPERMAN, BOND, and INDIANA JONES where it’s like those were almost like legacy projects for you. You almost began your career on a Bond movie and you’ve touched upon Bond through almost every iteration. I think the only ones… You didn’t work on and of the Dalton BONDs, right?

Vic Armstrong: No I didn’t no, but it’s been a great series for me. I remember seeing DR. NO before I was in the film business and the effect it had on me and then to wind up on YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE I bought my first car on it with 90 pounds, about fifty bucks for a car and to me it was just such an honor to work on a Bond movie. It was like “Oh my God, I’m on a BOND.”

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CDC Zombie Preparedeness

If you're ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you're ready for any emergency. emergency.cdc.gov



The Sky Today

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The French Quarter Today

1009 Bourbon St. The house we lived in when I was born:

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Duplass Brothers' Kickstarter Projects

Kickstarter is a way for people to raise money for projects through crowd sourcing. The projects can range from a short film to science experiments.

Now, Mark and Jay Duplass both have projects on there.

Jay Duplass has a documentary called Kevin he is trying to get funded:

In Austin, TX in the early '90s, Kevin was my hero. He was the purest, most inspired artist I had ever seen. His fusion of all-American folk-poetry with a wild flamenco guitar style was completely original, and I went to every show of his I could.

But in 1995, Kevin disappeared completely from the music scene, and I had no idea why.

Two years ago I finally tracked him down, and we began a friendship. I learned about the painful events back in ’95 that shattered his lifelong dream of making and sharing music. I learned he had barely touched his guitar ever since, and forgotten how to play almost all of his songs.

But then, thanks to a magical twist of fate I could never have imagined, Kevin and I found ourselves traveling halfway around the globe and back. And along the way, I watched as Kevin’s dream reignited right before my eyes.

KEVIN, my documentary debut, is that story.

Mark Duplass has a project with his wife to fund a feature film

This idea of making a girl-based thriller has been banging around my head for a while now... Which is interesting because I'm not actually a huge fan of the genre. Or at least what the genre is today. The thrillers I've loved are the ones like DELIVERANCE, CAPE FEAR even RIVER WILD… Where the threat to the characters is real. Very real. And, while you hope it never happens to you, the possibility that it could happen to you is almost just as terrifying as the film itself. No little white albinos crawling out of crevasses or long hair coming up from bathtub drains… Just the real deal terror that makes you look inside yourself and hope to hell there is a sharp-clawed survivor in there. Exploring that kind of movie really excites me as a filmmaker. So the challenge I have posed to myself is this: make a feature film, following all the rules of the thriller genre, but do it on my own terms and make a film the only way I know how, which is simply and honestly.

Sooo, it was over the holidays this past year that my husband, Mark, and I went to visit my family where I grew up on the coast of Maine. One evening, we drank some wine and took a walk. And everything was so beautiful… the water, the rocks, the trees… it was just insanely gorgeous. And we started talking about this idea I had of this girls' trip gone awry… how I wanted it to be brutal and ugly and real... and beautiful. Then we looked around and it struck us: What better place to set these girls in a life and death struggle than on the rocky, harsh, yet utterly breathtaking coast of Maine? And that’s where BLACK ROCK was born. Mark flew back to L.A. and, thanks a to blizzard-induced 12-hour layover, landed with a rough draft of the script.

And here we are now, one month out from production. It has happened so crazy fast! We have an fabulously awesome cast: KATE BOSWORTH, LAKE BELL, JAY PAULSON, ANSLEM RICHARDSON, WILL BOUVIER… and me. We have an amazingly talented crew that will be out there, helping me. And what was once just an idea banging around my head is now very real, with incredibly strong momentum behind it...

Which brings me to you. We want this move to LOOK gorgeous. In the past, the smaller films we have done have all had a similar, lo-fi look to them. And, while they are all visually interesting in their own right, you can only do so much with a low budget camera. I believe BLACK ROCK should look different, better. There is a new camera out now called the ARRI ALEXA and it can do amazing things like shoot really well in exterior low light situations (like maybe an island in the middle of the ocean in the middle of the night with no electricity) and it can shoot fast motion (like maybe girls running for their lives through the woods) without any of the bizarre digital quirks from other cameras. With this camera, our little movie will look as good as any big budget Hollywood movie. And, being able to work on this level opens up a whole new world of opportunities for a smaller film like ours.

So, I ask/beg/implore you to help us out… This film may have started small, but it has a big heart, and with your help, the potential to be ginormous! Be a part of it!

Mark and Jay Duplass are not novices to filmmaking. They have recently graduated from the indie utlra-low budget world to working on studio projects. So I find it really interesting that they are turning to Kickstarter for help for each of these.

I see Kickstarter as a way for the audience to actively participate in creating the content they want to see. No more bitching about if only someone would have funded this filmmaker or if only the studios would make certain kinds of films. With Kickstarter you can actually help make these projects come to life.

Having two filmmakers who are in the system going to Kickstarter might just lead to more. Here is a way to get that little arthouse film made. I think right now the only draw back is the Duplass Brothers don't seem to have a strong social networking strategy. I find the projects which usually get funded have strong support or talk on Twitter and Facebook as well as getting various blogs and websites to write about the projects.

Jay Duplass' project has 8 days left to be funded (I only found out about it with about 14 days left), and yet it is barely halfway to being funded. I wish he had approached some sites and writers he knows to get the word out there.

Mark Duplass' project with his wife has already shown up on a couple of movie sites already, so I have a feeling it will reach its goal.

Still, I applaud the two of them for getting outside of the rut of those who constantly want a studio or producer to pay for everything and trying to find a new model to fund certain projects.

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The Return of Sabata Opening Titles

I love the Sabata Trilogy, but these are also some of the best opening titles and songs ever. The Return of Sabata.

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Target Comics T-Shirt Display

Saw this display at Target last week:

If only comic books were pushed as hard as comic book character merchandise.

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JazzFest 2011

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