This is a fer-de-lance, which makes an appearance in the interview. It may also make an appearance in my dreams tonight.
I recently came across this absolute gem of an interview with Will and Jaden Smith, which the world seems to join me in finding both entertaining and kind of weird. Seriously, go read it. You’ll learn a lot about Will Smith’s parenting style and how seriously he takes everything from global finance to the alphabetizing of his laser discs (and the fact that he has laser discs). You also learn that Willow Smith is a little girl with magical powers who only shops at Target (who somehow comes across as the sanest one in the family). Personally, I also found it delightful that 14-year-old Jaden manages to use the terms “multidimensional mathematical” and “Mommy” in the same conversation. And, of course, he rather succinctly sums up the whole interview with the answer, “Patterns, boom” (my favorite part of the whole thing).
In fact, I found the experience of reading this interview to be so titillating that I wrote a found poem from it.
The Complexity of Things that We Say All the Time
There’s a high concentration of snakes
on the school board. You go to paint something
and a color’s empty. If you were a student
of the pattern, you’d have to understand
there’s a destructive aspect to a piano
with a microphone. This is how
the camera works. It’s mental illness Read more »
the other day me & a whole bunch of other nerds waited in line outside a movie theater so we could sit in very uncomfortable chairs for a sold-out double feature (one of which films was shot on 16mm film ten years ago & was readily available via streaming, dvd, etc.) and listen to the films’ creator talk about what he’d made. if i could summarize in a single reason why we would do such a thing, i would say it’s all shane carruth’s fault.
i imagine that the reason most of us were in line that day was because we’d seen primer (shane carruth’s first film, and half of this double feature), and had been collectively holding our huge nerd breath waiting for him to release another movie. if you haven’t seen primer, i honestly cannot recommend it enough. in fact, i love it so much that, for those of you who care first & foremost about plot surprises, i’m going to “ruin” it for you: the main characters build a time machine. and you might be surprised by how far you go into that 77-minute film before that little fact is revealed. but primer is about time travelling in much the same way that moby-dick is about whale hunting.
The first film adaptation of a David Sedaris piece premiered this year at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Written and directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez, C.O.G. is based on the autobiographical short story by Sedaris about a young man who graduates from Yale and decides to experience the “real world”, which for him means a small apple farm in Oregon. The film was recently acquired for theatrical release later this year.
Sedaris gave his blessing for Alvarez to adapt his work and is quoted in The Harvard Crimson saying: The reasons I agreed to it were that a) I liked the first movie he made, and b) the story that he wants to adapt doesn’t involve my family. I’m in it, but none of my brothers or sisters are, or my mom. Because I so liked his first movie, I said OK. I don’t want any control over this movie. I don’t want script approval. I trust him. Most movies never get made, but I hope this one does because I just think so highly of this young man.
Kyle won the prestigious “Someone to Watch” Award at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards for his writing and directorial debut film Easier with Practice. The film was also nominated that year for a Spirit Award for “Best First Feature.”
Kyle wrote and directed C.O.G.
Bark: Your first film, Easier With Practice, was based on a GQ article by Davy Rothbart and now C.O.G. is based on a short by David Sedaris. What about short form writing lends itself to film? Do you feel it gives you more focus as a screenwriter?
Kyle Patrick Alvarez:
For me, I find the short story format can fit a film structure really nicely. I have an easier time adapting something if the themes and characters are really contained. Some people do incredible work adapting novels, but that’s the process of reduction, and the goal in doing that is to maintain the essence of the book while making it shorter. What’s nice with a short story, is that you still have room to create and add and translate instead of just cramming and that’s exciting to me. Having said that, COG is a relatively lengthy short, about 40 pages I believe, and that made adapting a lot easier than with Easier with Practice which was only a 3 page article! Read more »
One of the constants in my childhood was the simple fortepiano music that accompanied the BBC Pride & Prejudice miniseries. My mother watched this series over and over — often simply playing it in the background as she ironed or made my sister and I yet another Halloween costume. And as a child, I hated the show. Few things triggered instant boredom quite like the sound of that music or the cadence of the dialogue. I remember feeling baffled as to why my mother returned to it again and again.
Then I hit puberty and all hell broke loose. I read Austen’s novel. I watched Bridget Jones’s Diary. And I finally watched the 6-hour miniseries. Over and over again. My bff and I even spent an entire day trying to make iron-on shirts that said I Love Mr. Darcy. I remember the first day I wore the shirt in public. I expected every female to stop me in the street, grabbing me by the arm and demanding I make one for them. Surprisingly few people commented on the shirt. One grocery clerk asked if my shirt was for “Jimmy Darcy, the realtor?” The women who did comment on my shirt were often much older than me, and seemed shy, usually just passing and mumbling, “I love him, too.” Read more »
The city of Spokane was a cesspool of drugs and poverty, blanketed by gray clouds of indifference. The homeless wandered the streets like some ghostly zombie apocalypse, drifting through, invisible to the fat pharmaceutical cats and detached college students living in a pot-induced haze. I was no better, but I had long since found my inner peace at the bottom of a bottle of cider. The city was dying from the inside out, hemorrhaging compassion and sensible driving and, most of all, heat. I threw on my trench coat and stepped into the gray streets. . .
As any self-respecting author of literary genre fiction would, I have a special place in my heart for the hard-boiled detective novel, the literary kin to film noir, and if there’s one thing as iconic as a detective’s fedora or .45, it’s his trench coat. Inspiring many a nerd to take up the cloth out of context, the trench coat is the ultimate blend of form and function. Strong enough for a man, but made for a (private) dick. I recently stumbled across this legendary garment at Goodwill and adopted it into my wardrobe, but unlike Sam Spade of Philip Marlowe, I haven’t got a clue as to how to go about wearing one.
Welcome. If you haven’t watched a single episode of Downton Abbey I am here to try and guide you through the madness. Moreso, I am here to try and convince you to join the madness.
For any of you wondering why your social media feeds exploded last night with the (US) premier of season 3 here are a few reasons why people fell in love with the series. And by people I mean me. *Proceed with joyous hearts indeed, no spoilers ahead*
1) Characters Downton Abbey is an ensemble cast. The opening credits alone display 18 names. Since the show is based in a large house in the early 1900′s there are endless family members, lady maids, valets, etc etc. This means there is always someone to love, someone to hate, and someone you will love to hate. The show does a nice job of developing unexpected storylines (as well as the usual expected ones) that give insightful glimpses into what motivates each character. It’s the typical literary writing exercise of trap a bunch of people in an elevator and watch shit unravel only instead of an elevator it’s a huge house. And there’s money, class, and pride on the line.
While at times the show has speedy-wit akin to a Gilmore Girls’esque type dialogue, it never feels forced or unnatural. Maybe we’re thrown by their British accents? Either way the writing feels fluid. And it’s fun. Several characters, Maggie Smith’s character especially, rarely disappoint when they open their mouths. Plus, I mean, British accents. Hello. Read more »
1) If the ground is icy I will slip and a handsome man will catch me. He will join my embarrassed laughter but as he tries to steady me our faces will suddenly become very close. We will lock eyes. We need to hold this position for at least 3 seconds.
2) If I am a workaholic I need to learn to “live in the moment.” I will dye my hair, take chances, buy some kicky clothes, and fall in love. All in 48hrs.
3) If I am selfish I have one weekend to help change the life of an underprivileged inner-city kid who is preferably a different race than my own.
4) If I am afraid of commitment I need to learn to trust again. This will only take two days.
5) Sidewalks, airport terminals, and country roads are for running. Towards the love of my life. Before they get away. Grab that net and catch that beautiful butterfly, pal!
6) If I bring a “fake” boyfriend home for the holidays to trick my family into thinking I’m no longer single then the following will occur:
Awkward bedroom arrangements will be made. I will probably see him naked. Or he will see me naked. Either way someone’s walking in on someone doing something and we will both shriek in horror.
Someone will demand to see us kiss and we will both act hesitant but as we pull away a single moment of je ne sais quoi will pass between us.
Someone will discover he is fake. Everyone will feel betrayed and outraged. Everything will fall apart but as he drives away we will suddenly realize our true feelings.
By the end of the 3 day weekend we will both be in love. Guaranteed.
7) That guy I hate? The one who is trying to sabotage my career? Soon I will realize he is my soul mate. Read more »
What fascinated me most about last week’s gleeful torpedoing of Lifetime’s Liz and Dick was how everyone tuned in to see if the film would be as terrible as they expected. Really? If?? The network that brings you I Married My Dog Because I’m Blind and Thought It Was My Ex-Husband and Whoops Is That a Baby Coming Out of My Vagina? made a film that wasn’t award-worthy? Bitch, please.
Lindsay Lohan and I go way back. And because of this I’ve always been rooting for her. Plus, as I mentioned in my defense of celebrity gossip, I love a good comeback story.
But recently (and by recently I mean the last seven years?) it’s been pretty difficult to keep the spirit alive on Team Lindsay.
But like I said: Lindsay and I go way back.
In sixth grade one of my friends was absent for approximately 80% of the school year. She was in Los Angeles working as a double for Disney’s remake of The Parent Trap. I remember the first time she came back to school my friends scrambled out to the playground and assaulted her with questions: What is Dennis Quaid like? How late do you get to stay up? Do people yell at you? But most of all we wanted to know about the unknown actress who had been cast in the lead. What was her name again? Read more »
Hey all, welcome to my inaugural post as a regular Bark contributor! I wanted to start things off ambitiously and begin with the first post in a series I like to call Fiction’s Dirty Little Secret. While I severely doubt I’ll be writing anything risqué (I might give you a pic of a hardcover without its slip if you’re good), titling things dirty and secretive are supposed to draw a crowd. There’s a dirty little secret about advertising for ya.
When I say Fiction’s Dirty Little Secret™, I’m talking about how writing appeals to our base desires. Sure, the brain gets off on watching K in Kafka’s The Castle talk his way through a never ending bureaucracy, but some of the most memorable pieces of writing are those that punch us right in the gut with a fist constructed of unicorn tears. Fiction’s dirty little secret is that no matter how you dress it up in social relevance or political statements, it’s got to tell a good story. Thus, this series will cover all the good stories that get told outside of the literary community
Forward Unto Dawn is a five-part science fiction miniseries created as promotional media for the first person shooter video game Halo 4, and while I’ve had a longstanding belief that the only good piece of cinematography that’s ever come from a video game is the live-action Super Mario Bros movie staring Bob Hoskins, I’m willing to make an exception for Forward Unto Dawn. Go ahead and take 15 minutes out of your day to watch Part 1. Nerdgasms commence after the jump and I’ll keep it as spoiler-free as possible.
November is my least favorite month. Cold and grey with shorter and shorter days, it seems to hang on forever before we get to Thanksgiving. But here in Spokane, there is one more good thing about this month. The weekend before turkey day, The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour comes to town. We’re extra lucky, because the festival screens for three days and so we usually get a chance to see all of the movies that made it on to the tour.
Yesterday, I went to the Bing Crosby Theater for opening night. It was my third time at the festival and every year there are more people than last year. This year is the first where all three nights were sold out.
Most of the movies have some sort of outdoor theme, but the focus of each film are vastly different and as diverse as the filmmakers who come from all over the world to participate and compete in the festival. Last night, I watched a kayaker almost getting killed in New Zealand, a 92 or maybe 96-year-old (he can’t remember) talk about his life as an outdoor guide in southern Colorado, wildlife biologists discussing the impact of wildlife highway over and under passes around Banff, the most famous ultimate marathoner finishing five races on five continents, a small town in New Zealand lamenting the impact of global warming on outdoor curling, two young English blokes climbing Century Crack—the hardest off width in the world—and thereby pissing off a bunch of American climbers, and several more great films.