11.21.2007

An Eye With a View


Don't miss this unexpected masterpiece—Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le Scaphandre et le papillon)—directed by Julian Schnabel, which screened at the Mill Valley Film Fest, based on the French language novel by Jean-Dominique Bauby. Schnabel concentrates his megalomaniac sensibility by restricting it to the view from behind one man's last bit of self-control, his post-stroke unparalyzed eye.

Scott Foundas of the L.A. Weekly called it "disability porn." It must have made Scott uncomfortable to witness the strong artistic and sexual urges of a massively paralyzed writer projected and magnified to the size of Schnabel's canvas with the gravitas of Jean-Do's cerebro-vascular condition. Let's remember the story comes from Bauby himself, not some John Doe Hollywood screenwriter. It's an autobiography, true, devoid of sap. I find Scott's comments condescending, to say the least. How could he call this utterly human story pornographic,—because it turned him on; because the photography was thrilling; the vantage point zoomed in; and the voyeurism used to great effect?

My only complaint is that the spelling portions of the film couldn't be well translated from French to English.

Cinematical has written a lengthy and supportive review in the film's defense.

By the way, don't watch the trailer, it'll give you the wrong impression. This isn't about driving through the French countryside in a fancy car with dolled-up children and a manicure.

11.07.2007

In Rainbows, Close to OK Computer

It was awfully sweet of Radiohead to offer a download of their new album for whatever you'd like to pay. I'm blissfully enjoying my suite of Radioheadiness for only £ 1.45. I'm also happily blogging from a new computer, our very first Mac an iMac (an early Christmas gift from my immediate family and extended family). This moment's like a Jigsaw Falling into Place.

I've always been a dedicated P.C. user, taking advantage of the efficiency of the use of DOS commands to blaze through complicated tasks. But, I'm not missing DOS at all. My daughter and I are OK with our computer, and with the new Radiohead. Thank you to our extended family for pitching in and buying us a truly modern machine! We're no longer Luddites—piecing together leftover scraps to run a slogging system that had us mostly crashed and burned.

From Pitchfork: "…it's a very different kind of Radiohead record. Liberated from their self-imposed pressure to innovate, they sound-- for the first time in ages-- user-friendly; the glacial distance that characterized their previous records melted away by dollops of reverb, strings, and melody."

From SisterRye: "…it's verily a different kind of computer. Liberated from our self-imposed pressure to scrape and ennervate, we sound—for the first time in ages—user-friendly; the freezing vista that epitomized our previous record keeping smoked away by drips of sonic, threads, and ascension."