Angry Robot

Salam Interview

Profile of Salam Pax in the Guardian. And he’ll be writing there “fortnightly.”

Hate the Strokes

because they’re good: “The Strokes opened up for my band, blew us away, and all I got was this lousy lifetime supply of sour grapes.” (via remainder)

Now That's Illegal!

Todd Haynes’ infamous Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story is available for download in its entirety. (via adampsyche) Be sure to check out the rest of the site – the Mickey Mouse Gas Mask is breathtaking, plus they have a ton of scandalous, copyright-infringing mp3s.

Karl Rove's New MOW

The only way this could get better is if it were a musical: The W Story, produced by “a White House insider.” (via y, and before you get mad at me this doesn’t count toward the competition, OK?)

Caesar Miniseries

TNT will air a Miniseries about Caesar at the end of Junius. Featuring Chris Walken as Cato! Needless to say, my battery of high-powered IP attorneys will be watching with Disneyesque avarice. (via Michael)

See You Later Boi: The SK8ter Boi Story

It’s a nightmare and I want to wake up:

the film will be “true to the spirit of the song” which features the chorus: “He was a skater boy, she said see ya later boy, He wasn’t good enough for her.”

Down with Hollywood! (via LES)

Here's a Tip

Don’t write about a show before you see it, as it apparently sets off a hefty jinx. No-one got in.

Prefuse n' Manitoba Tonite

Excited! Gonna go see Manitoba and Prefuse 73 perform tonight – although I almost wish I could go see that last review perform tonight:

“The Color of Tempo” mangles its feminine samples with a virile beatbox pattern; “90% of My Mind Is with You” breaks up heavy panting with a deliberately difficult, meter-defying beat, and ends with a series of mournful, defeated R&B samples. There can be no more doubt when, on “Female Demands”, a girlfriendish voice casually tells Herren to “fuck with the beat here” only to be throttled by digital effects; the rest of the track feels like a giant damaged gynorcism.

Hot damn.

NXNE 2003

Yo it’s almost NXNE time again, Toronto kids! Get it through your heads that you should come along with D-spot in the T-dot (augh! that was horrible!). Yeah, you, friends, even you strangers are welcome. We’re doing it wristband-style, and we may even see some films. (Into The Night: The Benny Mardones Story sounds pretty sweet.)

Am I Legal Or Not?

OK so pot isn’t going to be legal? You folks south of the border may be as confused as we Canucks are about what our country’s doing with pot. At the same time they are introduce legislation that would decriminalize possession of marijuana ($150 fine for having under 15 grams), Chretien et al. are unveiling a $245-million anti-pot propaganda campaign. This is typical of our two-faced poll-junkie politicos but that’s another story. As far as I can tell, the reason for all the nonsense is that our judicial branch was throwing out pot possession cases anyway. It’s happened in
Nova Scotia, PEI and elsewhere, because of a ruling in Ontario that federal laws outlawing possession were no longer valid. As it stands now, if I were to be arrested for pot-having today, not only would the case be thrown out by the judge, I’d have a good shot at winning a wrongful arrest lawsuit. So the feds have little choice in the matter – seeing as it ain’t criminal anymore anyway, why not milk a few steep fines from those docile potheads? As for the propaganda: a) I’m sure it has something to do with this and b) damn I’d love to get some cash from the fund to produce some modern-day scare films. Reef-toking makes you a dry-mouthed fat lazy psychotic sex maniac terrist, doncha know?


US Plans Death Camp. And so the Bush administration runs afoul of Godwin’s Law.

Donnie DVD

I have seen the future of DVDs and it is Donnie Darko.

Follow up that pompous hook, you say? er, OK. It’s a simple, refined disc, as mandated by the film’s box office failure; motion backgrounds, but nothing too fancy. It surely has enough special features – deleted scenes, music video, trailers, the usual – but the key to it all is the feature entitled “the philosophy of time travel”. It’s basically an explanation of the film’s cryptic ending, but presented as a sampling of pages from Grandma Death’s book. It enhances the film experience by demonstrating an artifact from the story. It’s a way of learning more about the film from inside rather than from without.

An example. Something similar happens with Mulholland Drive but in the wrong way. That DVD provides a good transfer of the film, but beyond that it’s an abomination – there aren’t even chapter markers! (David Lynch misunderstands hypermedia, but that’s another story.) However, the disc comes with an insert card entitled “David Lynch’s 10 Clues to Unlocking This Thriller”. It serves the same purpose as the Darko disc’s fakey book, but at a remove, from the tired old position: “we are fabulous filmmakers and let us enlighten you as to our precious film’s earthshattering importance.” And this position must be retired.

The Reservoir Dogs special-ed DVD comes with one special feature entitled “Securing the shot: location scouting with Billy Fox.” Hear me when I tell you that it’s one tiny step away from “Taking Out the Trash: Garbage Removal with Assistant Locations Manager Jim Lunchpail” or “Painting Wood Different Colours: Set Decoration with Danny Asscrack.” Who fucking cares. If anyone does now, they won’t for long, as film’s mystique – dare I say aura? – is worn down by junky so-called special features. Behind-the-scenes nonsense ‘featurettes’ have got to stop, as do most directors’ commentaries, as do straight-from-the-junket actor’s interviews. They literally add nothing to the value of the disc since the studios literally give this stuff away in their EPKs.

Who says DVD features have to be behind-the-scenes junk? Certainly not D. Darko’s disc, and that’s why I think it’s gazing longingly into a brighter future. Show us more of the story, not how you made it, goddamn it. Pull us further into your world, O Mighty Filmmakers, and from within it let us judge it for ourselves.

I Wanna Be a Hulkamaniac

Hulk Hogan sings, badly. More good shit here, including Abba in Hindi, KFC training tapes, breathtaking proto-bootleg that combines Mission Impossible with Norwegian Wood, Pat Boone sings Stairway to Heaven, rectal xrays and so goddamned much more. (update: links fixed)

Fuck a Matrix

Reasons why The Matrix Reloaded, like its predecessor, sucks:

  1. Who wants to watch a movie about a flying priest?
  2. Who wants to watch a movie about a flying priest played by Keanu
  3. If your main character is presented as the Invincible Chosen One, and in
    fact if your key supporting character goes on and on about how invincible
    said main character is, don’t expect any dramatic tension when Captain
    Invincible fights bad guys. Notice how the only good fight scene in Reloaded
    is Neo-free?
  4. Let’s have a scary villain. Was the main bad guy that dude with the goatee? Was it Hugo what’s-his-name? Sorry, an accountant in a tight suit doesn’t make me tremble and quake, no matter how many special effects he can generate.
  5. If I’m watching a mid-forties, paunched-up Larrance Fishburne soar forty
    feet into the air from the top of a speeding truck, I’m watching a comedy
    scene. I can try and suspend some disbelief but it’s like seeing Mickey
    Mouse have sex with Hitler, it’s unbelievable and it’s straight-up comedy.
    Which leads to
  6. Can these movies get a goddamned sense of humour? Was there maybe two
    wisecracks in this latest one? We have winners for gold and silver in the
    Most Pretentious Action Movie Ever category. Which is a problem not because
    of the ambition but because of the
  7. Shit writing. Wow, two whole films made of 90% exposition. I guess the
    Wachowski boys missed the “show don’t tell” part of writing 101. “Hello, Neo
    and the audience, I will now tell you what is happening in this part of the
    movie.” The dialogue sucks – has anyone ever said “hear me when I tell you
    that…” outside of a Heston movie? The structure sucks – call that a third
    act, bitch? Felt like it was written by 14-year-olds.
  8. Ah, the href=””>profound
    philosophy behind the Matrix… puh-fucking-lease. Golden Bough,
    Gnosticism, ‘Baudrillard for Dummies’ for Dummies – you can throw
    that shit on Flashdance and it’ll stick. Merovingian, Persephone, Morpheus,
    the Architect – naming characters after Important Things doesn’t get you a
    blackbelt in symbolism, babe. More importantly, it doesn’t make your movie
    any better.
  9. Shit premise #1: The Matrix is necessary because machines need to farm
    human body heat. Here’s an idea: use cows instead! The Cow Matrix would be a
    helluva lot easier to build. In fact, cows would probably be happy just
    staring at the wall.
  10. Shit premise #2: fakey Matrix bullets kill real-life people because “the
    body is nothing without the mind.” Even if you know they’re fake? That’s not
    even equivalent to the foolish assertion that if you die in a dream you die
    for real. It’s like saying that if I die in a video game I die in real life.
    Bullshit. In the Matrix movies it’s just a bullshit excuse to have lots of

Sure you can throw together a bunch of ‘cool shit’ references, but it
should a) create a world that has an internal logic and b) function as a
(good) movie. During the first act of the first one I was thrilled to see
the Baudrillard reference, but it was only skin deep. If I slap a Bukowski
sticker on my motorbike it may look cool, but it doesn’t make it profound,
nor does it make it a good motorbike. I’m convinced that the genesis of these movies lay not in a philosophical idea, but rather in: “let’s make a movie where we have Tsui Hark style wirefighting effects plus john Woo style gunfighting effects plus Terminator style unstoppable machine effects plus Phil Dick style ‘whoa the world ain’t what I thought it was’ story effects and we’ll have cracker-hacking and cool-dancing rave-drug taking and a geek-turns-out-to-have-godlike-powers hook and it will be really, really cool.” Which is great, if it works. But it doesn’t. Not for me.

HD Home Video

Interesting. There’s an HD Camera for consumers now. Sounds like it’s not all that, especially not for $3,500 US, but nonetheless I like where this is headed.

Dears @ Shoe, Last Saturday

The Dears at The Horseshoe. It’s prog-rock crooning, it’s Mel Torme karaokaing to Dazed and Confused, and the long and the short of it is: crooning wins. The Dears will live and die by the strength of Murray Lightburn’s voice. If things get all Jailhouse Rock and he gets punched in the throat, it’s over. It was a good set, except midway they delved into a lackluster and vocal-free prog-wank that killed any momentum – from that point on they were winning the crowd back rather than bowling them over. Interestingly, a co-worker mentioned that the last time he saw them the prog-wank developed into one of their popular songs, and it worked much better; at the Horseshoe they cut it short and saved the song for an encore. Goes to show that life can turn on these pivotal points, or something like that.


Great new film weblog: GreenCine Daily. Also a good example of a weblog as promotional tool. Which leads to: has anyone tried any Canadian online DVD rental services?

Neighbours Growing Apart

Interesting thing about increasing divergence in Canada / US attitudes.

Photos a-poppin'!

The photo cra-Z-ness continues! I’ve developed a love for bikerides up the Don River, and my camera accompanied me one time. Note also a little image in the sidebar that will display the most recent photo. This will a) remove the need for announcements like this post and b) encourage me to keep up the photospree. ÿ‘s in on the action, too, with some classic mini-D & ÿ bikin’, grass-eatin’ and just plain chillaxin’.

Hawaiian Pidgin

Just to piss mageebags off, here’s the link of the day: learn conversational Pidgin. (via mageebags)

More Photos

Added: another smattering of photographs, not of any particular interest, from a protest this winter.

Bats Drinking Game

Players must drink whenever a character in the movie Bats says “bats”, or when bats are shown on screen. Rockstars, private detectives and airline pilots might make it through the first 10 minutes.

Another Day, Another Man

I’ve become obsessed with the trailer for Another Day, Another Man, even though all I’ve experienced is its audio track. Seeing as Something Weird released the film and trailer on the above-linked double feature DVD, one should be able to find it at one’s local specialty video rental establishment (Queen Video or Suspect, in my case). It’s a trailer from an era where bad girls had to be heartily condemned right from the getgo – the second line of voiceover is “they had to pay for their sins.” It also promises “raw, naked violence.” There are a few vintage trailers that try to lure you in with violence, something which nowadays we like to call action. Curious that one sociopolitical requirement has been replaced by another – we no longer need to frown on loose women as explicitly, but we need to euphemize violence (oh for a world in which action movies were called ‘violence movies’). Above and beyond all that, the trailer has kickin’ sleazy music and the voiceover sounds like it was performed by one of the Speed Racer dubbing artists, something that the first link mentions is true of all Doris Wishman’s films, which makes them sound alluring, as do her “easily distracted camera” and the raw, naked seductiveness of her background story: “Doris Wishman was a Florida housewife who inherited her husband’s film distribution business. Checking out some of the nudist camp films making the rounds at the time, she was convinced she could do better.”

Glamorous Biomass


It must have been a month ago that I created the World’s Best Looking Sandwich. Commendably, I paused to record its beauty for posterity before feeding upon it, and the evidence is now up in yet another new d/photo category, edible biomass.


I addded GeoURL tags to this page and to Caesar, after reading a good post from Matt Haughey about its potential uses. Lookit all them neighbours!