Film: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives won the highest award at last year’s Cannes. It sounded quite striking: ape creatures, ghosts, a princess. That stunning still of a shadowy creature with glaring red eyes out in the jungle. In the end though, it’s no more than these items, striking ideas floating throughout this ether of a film. The sequences in Boonmee are, almost...
Album: Ghostory - School of Seven Bells
Over the past year there’s been a good deal of new music with nineties influences. None so blatant as Pains’ latest album, but influences that are certainly present in a number of smaller ways (as in Attack on Memory, for instance). These aren’t necessarily the same sounds either - but they’re nonetheless sounds that belong to a different moment in music. Yet another...
Windows 8 Consumer Preview
Admittedly, these impressions are secondhand, but I’m very interested in what Microsoft is doing with Windows 8. The metro interface is brilliant, and it looks great. It’s surprisingly elegant, a mix of modern design and usability. The tiles inform the user, and they make the interface a joy to look at. For a while now it’s been apparent that Microsoft needed to make...
Album: Attack on Memory - Cloud Nothings
It has been out for a month now, but I like it too much not to discuss it (and really, these articles only go back a week). Cloud Nothings’ new album, Attack on Memory, is exciting. Very exciting. It’s some of the best new music I’ve heard in a while, and I’ve been loving it since its release. I’m not familiar with their earlier two albums. Other write-ups have...
Considering the Oscar winners is always on odd mix of disappointment and acceptance. But the awards have managed to stay relevant, far more so than, for instance, the Grammy Awards. The Academy has to run a difficult line between awarding truly distinguished work and work that a wider audience can accept. Largely, this year’s nominations for the major awards were quite good in their...
iTunes Store Overhaul & Chomp
A rumor broke earlier this week that Apple was looking to overhaul the iTunes store. Yesterday’s news was that Apple had purchased Chomp, an app search and discovery product. I can’t say much as to Chomp’s ability, but from the bit that I’ve played around, it seems useful. What’s more important though is the notion. The iTunes Store is a mess in a number of...
I finally caught up with Shame after opening nearby last week. I had seen the trailer, but had otherwise little idea of what to expect. Shame is an incredible film. It is well made in every sense. There are brilliant directorial choices, story-wise, visually. We are introduced to Brandon, who is consumed by sex. There is an immediate sadness to the sex, but the viewer does not yet move to...
Album: Visions - Grimes
It can be difficult for music with a strong electronic focus to connect in the manner that an acoustic set might. There’s a lot working against it. A single songwriter is isolated and vulnerable, or so we view them. Hidden behind electronic noises, the listener is removed from the proximity of the scrape of a pick along a guitar string. Grimes’ album Visions subverts this. There...
Stories: The Theory of Light & Matter
I’ve just finished reading The Theory of Light & Matter, out a few years ago by Andrew Porter. It’s a collection of ten stories and the winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. The stories are all first person and largely from the view of teenagers. These narrators are distanced enough to tell their stories, or at least mature enough to not feel trite. The...
Album: Reign of Terror - Sleigh Bells
Backed by a wall of amps, Sleigh Bells performed on SNL’s stage this weekend. After Lana Del Rey’s troubled performance, the next indie-big-thing-on-SNL wouldn’t have had to do much to look good. But Sleigh Bells, as should be expected, looked good. Alexis danced around in studded leather, while Derek and their touring guitarist framed her, working their guitars. It was a...
The 2012 Oscar Nominated Shorts
My thoughts: Dimanche/Sunday This is a fine short that otherwise fails to impress. The style of animation is simple and cute, but it is something that has been seen before. Largely, the style is not used to further the story. The plot is simple, a boy experiencing the dullness of childhood while surrounded by adults. There is no dialogue. Instead, expression is often conveyed through broad...
It’s amazing that no one guessed it: like Leopard to Snow Leopard, Apple is taking an iterative step from Lion to Mountain Lion. This is a desktop release concerned with mobile. There’s a mix of feature parity and catchup with iOS. Matching apps are a great move toward a persistent UX, but are otherwise minor additions. No one is getting excited about a notepad in 2012. ...