fj: (phkl)
What always bothered me about "Mommie Dearest" was just how bad the movie was at portraying its subject, completely undermining its credibility. Joan Crawford was terrible actress, but she knew what the fuck she was doing in front of a camera, and she wasn't nearly as decrepit in the early years as the movie tries to make us think.

So of course, I fired up bit torrent to finally make my point. I have a Mac after all, this shit is easy now, and actually was loads and loads and loads of fun to do, snipping here, titling there... my first YouTube video is the Old School Gayest thing ever done, even more than the PHKL considering 10 year old gorls won't like this:

I am really crossing off the items off my To Do list on Hiveminder:, this, financial stuff, portfolio, getting a proper chair (only 4 more weeks, yay!). At the bottom, still, that entry: Get Job. It stares at me.
fj: (phkl)
You know, if George Lucas really had wanted to do a service to global cinema, he could have done something far more useful than using his digital toolbox on his own movies.

Joan Crawford in "The Story of Esther Costello" (1957), eyebrows digitally retouched

Because the above is not what she actually looked like in the movie... )

All I did was retouch the eyebrows. 10 minutes for two frames. And ok, I don't know good eyebrows so I turned her a little chola, but still, think about what a craftsman could do. Now, wouldn't this have bben better than Star Wars Ep IV - VI Special Editions?
fj: (health)
Thick-ribbed whole grain baked "crisps" spread on aluminum foil in the oven pan, stacked many many small slices of mozarella, put under the broiler. Meanwhile quickly heat can of hormel vegetarian chilli, add pre-cooked pieces of chicken. Store half of mixture for tomorrow's lunch, pour the rest over the molten cheese on "crisps", back under broiler to heat up some more. Put both salsa and guacamole, at which Tesco makes a really credible and fresh attempt, and cottage cheese in ramekins, remove food from oven, transfer the whole mess by the aluminum foil to a plate, put on tray with ramekins to take to dinner table. Oh yes, I had nachos, after, like, 6 million years. And yes, with the way I eat salsa and guac, you'd never know I used cottage cheese instead of sour cream, I know myself. I can't even write down dessert. Now that's a good start of the weekend.

I am in a spate of dowloading classics to watch over BitTorrent. They come in in about an hour or two. Not eveyrthing is there, but the ones that are are seeded and hosted with great care over thick pipes. Brief Encounter -- man that guy was fresh and pushy -- Imitation Of Life (1953, Lana Turner version, no waffles), The Day The Earth Stood Still. This could be a fun habit, althought mininova tells me nobody is hosting either Mommy Dearest nor The Best Of Everything. Also, it's really weird to get to the end credit of a movie and not get Robert Osborne telling me some trivia. It's like the movie didn't finish properly. It's just not right, you know.

 By the way, I am taking suggestions for classic pulp 50s Sci-Fi. I am not sure I have seen them all.
fj: (LA)
First thought upon queuing the video: I wonder if John has a SAG card by now.

Does anyone want my thoughts on yesterday vs Nokia S60?
fj: (Default)
I want to clear up the mistaken impression that all I do is sit on my ass and have kittens lick me. First of all, since I skipped the gym Friday I did manage to make up for it yesterday and today. Yesterday I also picked up [ profile] epilady from attending a student fashion show in Glendale, to spend the rest of the day with her and [ profile] chestertodd in Santa Monica. I over-braked only twice during the trip and she was quite graceful about it, Then we had Build Your Own burgers and spent time watching art being made on Pico Place, after which I promptly fell asleep on their couch. I think the week had gotten to me.

But this weekend, over two days, I also managed to do the most difficult and tricky of all the scheduled painting without dripping paint anywhere; the conduits for the new electrical work for the blinds and the chandelier now match the ceiling color, thus recede visually. All the big painting I can do myself is now done. In fact, I think all the minor projects I can do myself are now all done, so unless I want to start on ripping out the 'original' kitchen cabinet and shelves, this may be it for DIY now. Then again, I should rip them out and replace that mish-mash for something sleek. Oh sigh, I am so over this manual stuff. I think I will do the beach. Or confront my resume and job search first. I can't keep avoiding it. I bet all the good jobs at Disney have now been taken by my colleagues. I wonder if this was all a big subconcious ploy to avoid transitioning to another job inside Disney.

Tonight I settled down to finally watch a movie. I made my late-night protein shake with a drink mix of molten chocolate, which I bought as a treat for Sundays but never get around to actually using. I borrowed the kitten from next door, which I am watching this weekend since the owners are at a wedding. I stretched out on my couch which I have now configured to be an enormous movie-watching lounging pit. I queued up 28 Days Later, which I always wanted to see. 90 minutes afterwards my drink is gone, the kitten is still sucking my ear, and the lone survivors of the plague are about to enter the military compound and I know where this is going, and I don't want to be jostled anymore by a derivative story shot half-heartedly which at this point feels the need to go into the issue of the inhumanity of humankind, an overdone standard plot element of post-apocalyptic movies. I switch it off, look up the movie on Wikipedia, and confirm it would go where I thought it would and I had no desire to experience. Now I am wondering if I am withdrawing from media even more.

As mentioned in comments, it seems that indeed even without a cable box I still get basic cable from the cable outlet, something the TiVo seems able to deal with just fine. And infomercials seem to be part of basic cable. I may have something to watch after all.*

Also, I have deided to stop worrying about staying awake till 2 AM. Just means I'll wake up at 10. I can do that now. I should enjoy it. It need to keep reminding myself that this is the most free time I have had in 10 years or so, and I managed to fill it up with projects all the way. I need to take an actual frickin break.

* I may not have mentioned this recently, so new readers may not be aware of this trait of mine: I like watching infomercials. Not all of them, I have my preferences, but I do enjoy having them on. Mainly because life is beautiful and perfect on them, and when something gets you down and you think "There must be a better way!" it turns out there actually is. And that is wonderful.
fj: (LA)
Scootering home tonight over 8th street, I had to get off the sidewalk because it was filled with punk kids with spiked jackets and spiked hair. 50 or so of them, hanging around. I scootered on the street, wondering when I would be stopped by the production assistants -- the huge lights across the street, swarmed by guys in t-shirts and cargo shorts pretty much clued me in to what was going on here. Guess they were still doing lights and not shooting yet. I passed the punkers, then saw 3 English Bobbies on the sidewalk standing next to them adjusting their big round helmets, followed by red phonebooth just standing there which looked just too small. On the other sidewalk, past the huge lights, miscellaneous crew just sitting around with big laptop screens, waiting, waiting, waiting. Filming always seems so boring. No picture, I didn't want to hang around -- people were working there.

Yesterday a friend invited me to have lunch with him at the Chateau Marmont Hotel.. So I slipped into some kabuki-inspired grey leather sandals, the Target version of the dirty-looking slightly-flared low-rise jeans that are so popular in LA these days, and a long-sleeve shirt in cream heavy raw silk. Had to roll the sleeves up for that one, my new shoulders make the end of the cuffs barely reach my wrist. I was slightly late, my friend was even later. It gave me time to sit in the beautiful garden, in the shade, watching the people at the other tables: the fauxhawk bleached blazered jeaned thirtysomething waiting for his female guest, the three high-class germans of which the one with glasses and hair in a tight bun and white shirt was chainsmoking till she drove another couple, him an lanky 'rugged' middle-aged guy recounting everywhere on the world he had been to the asian woman he was with, to another table away from the smoke. He made his move when she showed him a picture on her phone and suddenly he was sitting next to her, all hands on her bare arms. Some other table had the two Rich Blond Ladies, one wearing half my share of the mortgage in pave diamonds on a cuff on her arm, and god knows that probably the rest of her accessories made up the remaining part. They were soon joined by a third lady, in a slightly too orange a shade of red to look polished -- I have been several shades and configurations of red myself, I know these things -- and a twenty something skinny guy with jet black slicked hair, his shirt open showing nothing, and sulking table manners.

The appetizers looked better than anything else, so I had a plate with three California cheeses, two spectacularly ripe strawberries soaked in light balsamic vinegar, and hazelnut bread, together with a plate of lightly seared ahi tuna and celery salad. We ate it slowly in the sun, the breeze around us, supposedly in a cocoon of chic far away from the city, if it weren't for the subtle noises of traffic coming from Sunset Boulevard. Like the earsplitting firetruck sirens. The goat-cheese cheesecake with crushed berries was as pretentious as it sounds: lovely cheesecake and that is all it was. He invited me there because he knew I would love the whole friggin experience of seeing all these people desperate to be seen by each other. It was delicious.
fj: (Default)
Well, first I wanted to blog that Dolores Gray's look in The Opposite Sex must have been the start and end of where Amanda Lepore gets her inspiration from for her face, but I couldn't find a very good still of the movie to do the comparison with. Movie's terrible, btw, nobody needs a remake of The Women that includes Leslie Nielsen in the cast, has stiff and young Joan Collins as a showgirl, and allows June Allyson to have the lead role in which she is uncapable of showing us why we should care her frumpy boring ass gets dumped.

Ook had ik leuk iets willen schrijven over de column in Anil Ramdas in 'nrc de week', waarin hij opent, onder het mom 'duidelijkheid', met groepen mensen benamingen aan te meten waar van hij expliciet meldt dat de mensen in die groepen er helemaal niet van gediend zijn, maar ja, Anil kan niet anders. Dat dat op zijn minst onbeleefd is, zoniet onbeschoft, en dat groepen mensen zo te schofferen nog nooit iets heeft bijgerdagen aan welke discussie ooit, zit Anil blijkbaar niet mee; hij vat mensen samen zoals hij dat wil want anders zou hij zich nog eens met niet-achterhaalde nuance bezig moeten houden zeg! Waarna hij zijn bespreking over groepen in Nederland, die hij dus onmiddelijk op scherp heeft gezet, eindigt met het recept "Geef ze goede opleiding en goede banen". Als hij nou zijn eigen krant zou hebben gelezen zou hij geweten kunnen hebben dat de kids het te druk hebben met 50 Cent na te doen om hun goede opleiding af te maken, en het is algemeen bekend dat teveel het VMBO niet eens aan schijnen te kunnen. Maar het is misschien teveel gevraagd van een schrijver om te weten dat in de normale wereld een goede baan niet gegeven wordt, want er moet geproduccerd worden, maar dat een goede baan wordt verdiend, met het afmaken van een opleiding of het goed afhandelen van een niet zo goede baan. En als Anil nou niet zo gefixeerd zou zijn op simplificatie dan had hij misschien kunnen weten dat een goede baan hebben niets betekent als je omgeving zoveel vooroordelen over je heeft dat je die baan niet goed kunt uitvoeren, want weinig goede banen gebeuren helemaal alleen in je eentje. Kip, ei, kip, ei, maar niet voor Anil, voor Anil is het duidelijk dat het met wat weggeefertjes het allemaal wel terecht komt. Maar ja, het is nu de krant van vorige week, dus niet meer aktueel.

So, failure as a blogger, today.
fj: (Default)
One of the designers I work with has a wife, Sam, who likes to direct. So, to make a calling card for herself, she took her bonus from work and produced, directed, and starred in a short movie. She also co-wrote the script together with the writer of the short story it is based on. The short story itself comes from a collection of stories inspired by Bruce Springsteen's "Meeting Across A River" (Born To Run, 1975). So yes, there's desperation, shady meetings, and hopes for redemption.

She entered the result into a short film competition over at , and has survived all the rounds, based upon internet voting, all the way to the finals. Last 5. Prize money and exposure are on the line here. So the designer is telling his friends and cow-orkers about his wife's work, and I went, and registered as a fan -- minimal registration required, choose FAN REGISTRATION on the first screen -- went to STAGE 12 - SHORT FILM, chose KEEPING IT GOOD from the scroll of thumbnails on the right hand side, saw the short, and voted for it below the main screen, because I genuinely liked it.

There are allegations of ballot-stuffing by the main competitor to KEEPING IT GOOD for the last couple of rounds; in fact, he lost a lot of votes in the previous round after an audit by the organizers. It is Internet voting, after all. Right now votes him seem to be coming in in ten-minute bursts -- by going to Apple stores and voting anew from each machine? Seeing bunches of new friends on irc? Who knows.

Anyway, watching some amateur short movies that have been whittled down from a large playing field to the five best is not the worst way to spend an afternoon. And then vote for the one you like best, but mine was for 'Keeping It Good', yes. I did like it the best.

Although after seeing my cow-orker credited as art director on the end credits I went to his cube and said as a joke: "I can't vote for this, the art direction is too awful."
-- "All I did was buy some inspirational posters." And temporarily replaced much of the furniture of the house for worse looking stuff to fit the story. Yeah, that's their own place. I am sure [ profile] zombietruckstop has all sorts of stories of his own about repurposing his own and found stuff for the camera. However, here is a detail about the maker, Sam, that he hasn't emulated or gone through yet: Sam didn't do all this work, besides having a full time job, and then go out and rent a pregnancy suit to play Cherry in her state of pre-motherhood. Sam was doing all this work while she was actually two months away from popping for real with her first child.

Now that's dedication to cost-cutting.
fj: (Default)
Trog was not a very good movie.

It has been over a week without cats now, and I miss them. Opening the door when I come home is just sad, and when I am in bed I keep seeing low shadows out of the corner of my eye, shapes that should be one of the two slowly and silently walking towards the bed to be with me. But they are not, they are just shadows from this lamp on the floor.

I was right in giving them to [ profile] pinkfish, Oliver needs a lot of attention until he mellows out a year or two from now, and with Dean working from home it is perfect. He was attention-starved with me, and is already doing much better and gets to be outside, which he likes a lot. Twinkie needs other cats or she withers away, and they seem to be doing better together in new territory. I am happy not to have the responsibility for a while; since Piruli started needing shots every 12 hours until his death, cats have been a large part of my life, and I like the break. But having all that life around me was nice. I feel like physically everything from my old life is gone right now. It's not nice.
fj: (smug)
My TiVo caught Trog last night on TCM.
fj: (Default)
Didn't leave the loft all day, except to fetch Oliver a couple of times when he started enjoying his own echo in the hallway a bit too much. Did install some extra lights above the closet. Took care of loose ends, but not enough. Had some food. Still wonder if I should take up Allstate on their earthquake insurance offer.

And finally tried out the Amazon / TiVo cooperation called 'Unbox' where you can order a movie from your account on Amazon (or on your TiVo if you told Amazon what your credit card is) and rent or buy a movie and have it uploaded to your TiVo. I'd never buy that way, because I'd want to offload it off my disk and burn and back-up and I bet that is a pain, but rental seems ok. They had a special on "Happy Feet", which I have always wanted to see, for $.99. ([ profile] jpeace says that won't even cover flipping the bit on the database row at Amazon, but I think he's wrong -- I bet it is at&t who is paying the most having those bits delivered to my home).

The integration is spiffy and spooky: buy something here, have it appear there. I could order a movie at work and have it on the box when I come home. The picture quality is excellent on my standard television, and although the sound alas does not seem to be encoded in some 5.1 or more dedicated standard, the quality of the signal does allow my receiver to interpret the standard broadcast Dolby (Faux-encoded) Surround quite lavishly, exercising my modest investment in home theater nicely (two subwoofers rumbling hard, woo-hoo).

And Happy Feet is a glorious little movie. As [ profile] nanne said, you expect one movie and it turns into another one halfway, and then it goes back, and then you realize the whole movie is built around leading up to the words of the bridge of a Prince song.

Which really, every movie should aspire to.
fj: (Default)
Remember us, the kids who got plonked in front of TVs for hours on end? Because we wanted to? Maybe we hated playing outside, or couldn't because of weather, or maybe we just plain goshdarn liked TV and watched it for hours when we could. Now we've grown up into ironic hipster nerdcore IMing parents, or at least, many of my friends and co-workers have. "Only one hour a day and only PBS", I said semi-jokingly when a co-worker -- black-rimmed glasses, mobile network management engineer biggie, shag cut, faded jeans -- mentioned in conversation his child's TV intake was monitored. To which he answered "I thought that was my quote. Because yeah, that's pretty accurate. Sesame street and stuff."

And now I am wondering, besides how wussified about TV this new generation will be, what movie will these kids go to twenty years from now to debate whether their childhood is being raped by Michael Bay v2.0 or not? "Dora The Explorer: The Live Action Movie"? "Bionicles"? I am so out of touch; what is the non-ironic bang-em-up franchise for boys these days?
fj: (LA)
But for now, whose idea was it to direct Katharine Hepburn to play Jo in that version of "Little Women" as if she was a senile 80-year-old?

Meanwhile, we've been driving the little rollerskate with a tree tied on its roof. from the Glendale WHole Foods to downtown. I never knew the radio antenna scrwed off. We need to slam lights in it before tomorrow night when we will have some people to deocrate it.

And get the appartment showable. First real event here. Not even close to finished, but it was time.
fj: (Default)
No matter how many times I watch Mildred Pierce -- and it is sort of my comfort food, so I watch it often -- Bette Davis keeps being correct: rivetting as she is, Joan Crawford can't act.

Doesn't help the script gets the details of real emotions so wrong it feels like it was written by a well-meaning Martian.
fj: (LA)
I am not sure if this goes for all of LA, but one thing you have to count on downtown are the shoots. No, not the shootings, it seems that although the Down and Out come here to live, they ain't the Violent. It is the movie shoots, commercials, TV. Downtown has cheap rental of real estate for these purposes, it is a way to make another buck out of decrepit real estate that once had a period of grandeur, and can be made to look like a highrise in some more glamorous location.

If the shoot is Big and Involved, you will get notices on your building, else you just encounter blocked streets as you are trying to get home. The biggest stuff seems to happen on weekends. Three weeks ago Spring street was blocked off two weekends ina row for a couple of blocks, and the street looked like a giant robot had walked through it, with crushed up pavement and burning wrecked army hummers. Not surprising since it was the shoot for Prime Directive, the working title for the Transformers movie. I think they will be adding the actual mecha in post, because all there was to see were chunks of Torn-Up Asphalt And Detrus And Wrecks made of fiberglass, trucked around in a flatbed and then put into place, and bunches of extras. I have also seen a CVS commercial being shot outside at night with a drugstore and shelves re-created on the street -- no clue what that was about -- something that was obviously a car commercial, random night shoots with huge super troppers on scaffolds shining their suns into a window.

You just get used to it. Tunrs out one of the buildings in our complex has an agent. I can't get discovered for the obvious quirky beauty megastar that I am, but our neighbouring building has an agent. I've seen a photoshoot happen on its roof from the pool on the roof of the building accross our courtyard.

Oh Look!

Sep. 12th, 2006 01:40 pm
fj: (Hector The Protector)
As few movies as the iTunes Movie Store launched with, it is nice that they made sure to include my favorite Stallone Masterpiece.
fj: (Default)
I think I already saw Children of Men when it was American Cyborg: Steel Warrior. Which at least had eyecandy beyond a Bad Hair DayApocalyptic Julianne Moore.
fj: (Hector The Protector)
Disney's version of Snow White, first of all, does not have skin white as snow. This delusion everyone supports her in seems to have brought on a bad case of cleaning OCD, which is what she spends a quarter of her screen time doing, in two locations. Her pathology is probably exascerbated by the fact that she attracts birds and vermin wherever she goes. I also noticed that she exhibits other hysterical touches, like putting on heels to for a walk in the woods, which is so impractical it must be for vanity reasons only, and she exhibits rather poor impulse control in that she runs off with the first man to kiss her while she is uncocious.
fj: (Default)
On Just My Luck, Lindsay Lohan's new movie:

Just My Luck, the new Lindsay Lohan movie, features Li.Lo doing what Li.Lo does best: Pretending to be one kind of person (lucky/unpopular/a teenager/one twin/not a race car driver) and then pretending to be the exact opposite (unlucky/popular/a mom/the other twin/a race car driver).

-- Jon Popick, PLANET SICK-BOY

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