Paranormal Activity

I just watched the movie called _Paranormal Activity_. Pretty scary!

Eventhough it was made a couple of years ago it’s great to see something that’s being made in these (uncertain economic) times that makes me feel something other than disenchanted with cinema.

The freaky thing was about ten or fifteen minutes into watching it — I just d/loaded the torrent and was watching it here in the apt., by myself, with the lights off, as I normally do with movies, and my fucking clothes rack collapsed. That’s a pretty big co-incidence that it should happen then, it’s been standing fine for the last 8 months. Get this: I was just reading the wikipedia article on the movie and I saw this

They were impressed by the film as well and handed the DVD to Steven Spielberg, who took it home to watch.[8] Spielberg allegedly returned to DreamWorks the next day with the DVD in a “garbage bag” because he thought the DVD was “haunted”. According to Spielberg, minutes after he viewed the film, his bedroom doors “locked by themselves” and he could not get out without calling in a locksmith.

I mean, that could be hype… but interesting.

Anyhoo, there was some point in the film where because they limited themselves to one camera, and needing to keep the suspense building, the plot started to poke through the suspension of disbelief, but it did very well for at least the first 40 minutes, and even when I could tell it was a fiction I was still scared by it. I’m still scared now! :O

Peace, love and a nagging feeling that ur not right

I watched the movie ‘Woodstock’ last night. All of the footage of the late-60s young people, sometimes called hippies, made me uncomfortable. I think it was their aimlessness, pretending to be fine when they weren’t, and looking for something in all the wrong places that got under my skin.

Obviously there wasn’t three days of music on the movie, usually just one song from a bunch of people, but it was interesting how many of them were playing old stuff. Joe Cocker singing British popster song, ‘with a little help from my friends’ — not very counter-culture if you get what I mean. I know I like Jefferson Airplane, but the song from them on it wasn’t that good. The only two bits that had a sound that was pushing into the future were Sly and the Family Stone (I love their horn section. And they were so dancey they were almost electronic before electronics were invented) and *Jimi*. He’s still light years ahead of the game even today. The way they edited it, he comes out onto the stage, just for a moment looks out into the dried-mud disaster area, says “I see that we meet again”, like Kung Fu and launches.

<a href=”” title=”jimi by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”520″ height=”295″ alt=”jimi” /></a>


I’m having a bad day re getting the studies done. Sometimes I’m right on it, other times it’s like I just can’t get the water hot enough to make steam and drive the wheels. Fuzzy.


Sometimes the writing I am forced to do each week leads to interesting juxtapositions. Like, What about a film recombination of the literary classic, _heart of darkness_, a few elements of _Apocalypse Now_ and the basic plot outline of the 1966 science fiction film, _Fantastic Voyage_? I don’t know how these thing fit together but maybe it could be a cautionary tale about nanotech, and the invasiveness of technology on the body.
I remember seeing fantastic voyage when I was a small boy and it was interesting to see it again. It included the nervous englishman who went nuts or psychotic, a subtle message on the ills of cigartte smoking, a hat tip towards hinduism and Racquel Welch, although I was expecting Racquel Welch to be in a swimsuit at least once but this did not happen.

ps. how much does google love blogs? I just googled the phrase, ‘tuo yaw’ to see what else had used it and this post was _already_ listed — 30 seconds later.

“Nanty coming it on a pall, or wid cracking to queer a pitch.”

I don’t know why do these kinds of things with animals.

The first thing is about chimpanzees. I don’t like it, yet I cannot look away.

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The second thing came from a curiosity about Henry Mancini. I don’t really know how highly rated he is, so I can’t say he’s under-rated. He’s put together some great tunes though. Stuff you might not necessarily know the name of, but would recognise the sound instantly. Perhaps the most famous piece is ‘Baby Elephant Walk’ which came from the soundtrack of a (1962) film, _Hatari!_ starring John Wayne.

I’m not going to explain the whole movie, that’s what whikkapeddia is for, but to me the film was notable in that the footage of capturing animals was gruesome but amazing because it’s from another age; we’ll never be seeing real footage like that being shot again because a) we will have killed all the animals, b) some people don’t want us to be doing that to real animals or c) computer generated images.

The opening scenes are of Wayne and his cohort chasing a rhinceros across the plains of East Africa. The rhino sideswipes and headbuts the vehicles as well as getting his horn into one of the hunters (phallic!). I was definitely barracking for the rhino and this time it did get away but I couldn’t get over how it was real. Different from the approach we get now, through nature docos.

<a href=”” title=”rhino-hatari by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”662″ height=”387″ alt=”rhino-hatari” /></a>

The film is structured around footage of chasing and capturing animals. The plot is very much tacked on and a lot like some 50s boys comic. Both racist and sexist in spades.

But getting back to the soundtrack, and Mancini. There’s a couple of other good tracks on there, one called ‘the sounds of hatari’. It sounds  a lot like rhinos barrelling along at full speed. It’s got that mix of indigineous and whiteboy (brass) sounds that I like – fusion of origins. Taking a guess, I’d say this inspired the Amon Tobin track, Rhino Jockey, from Supermodified.

Here are some other great Mancini tracks connected with other films or tv shows: – a shot in the dark

– experiment in terror

– theme from Peter Gunn

– Pink panther theme

a thousand avant-garde films on the roof

I don’t drop by the ubuweb site often enough but when I do there’s always treats a-plenty.

They’ve got a whole shitload of films here.

I just watched the one that’s under J.G. Ballard. There’s a few recognisible names like captain beefheart, brian eno and laurie anderson as well as folks like jean baudrillard .
The one on Ballard was actually a doco on his growing up in Shanghai.
I wish I had more time and brain power for reading. I read a couple of his collections of short stories years ago and they were memorable. I’d like to check out his other stuff.

Ocean’s eleven

(Warning: Possible plot spoilage happening here.)

The other day I found out that the movie they’re advertising by this name is a
remake. Found out because one of the tv stations showed the original. This
itself was odd. Maybe because it’s non-ratings season, (and of course because
it’s been dragged up by Hollyweird again) but rare are the times that they put a
1960 movie on at 8:30pm.

Read on…
I wish they’d do it more often. Generally, old movies are easier to watch, the violence, if there is any is much lighter and the whole thing goes slower
therefore easier to understand. They’re funny in their antiquatedness and also
interesting from that angle.
I haven’t seen this new version so I don’t know how closely they followed the
plotline of the original. It had an unexpectedly quirky ending; the heroes
didn’t get their money.
To me this oldie highlighted how the values of Hollyweird have changed. Of
course, even Hollyweird has bosses they answer to – but it’s the directors,
stylists, and casting agents who tell us what we want. It’s not `give the
audience what they want’, it’s `We’ll give the audience what we want’.
The original starred (Mr.) Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., another
guy who looked familiar but who I couldn’t put a name to (the guy who croaked
it) and another guy who looked oddly similar to Biily Crystal! Hahah
Now let’s compare this to Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Julia Roberts … (I don’t
know who the hell the rest of them are).
But my point is that Now – there is less emphasis on talent and more on looks.

Put aside the question, `Can any of them act?’ – because I can’t answer it.
What is good acting? I don’t know… I feel like all this watching of
Hollyweird’s output has completely blunted any sense I had of what good acting
Acting as a creative endevour is right up the other end from where I am. it’s
alien to me — there’s no way I could ever do it. i should ask my sister if she
can tell good from bad – she’s into drama.
Ah – hang it – I’ll have a go anyway – Franky S. can’t act. -1960 he looked
quite young – it took me a while to catch on that it was actually him, and he
didn’t do any singin. I don’t think Sammy Davis is much of an actor either, but
then, he’s got a brilliant singin voice, and they gave him a bit of a run in
that area.
Dean Martin is probably the only one of them all who’d cut it in today’s
Hollyweird. This is because he fits into the “Dreamboat” catagory. (I
say this as a happily hetro fella, but who can openly recognise a handsome man
when he sees one.) Martin can also sing – and got to, incedentally, they also
gave him a lot of the funny lines too, so his character really shined.
This is what I’m saying – talent like singing ability these days is worth little
compared to looks — or so say the powers that be in Hollyweird.
Of the 3 modern day actors that I know of in the remake – I don’t think any can
act — Clooney should stay on tv, Pitt gets roles based on spunk-ability (and
the crowd that’ll pull (this brings up the question of beauty: do we know what
we like, or are we conditioned through mass-media to like what we know — I’ll
leave this for another time) (although I did like Pitt in Johnny Suede) and
Julia Roberts, from all appearances, seems like a lovely person, but I don’t
think she can act either, and is starting to go the way of the `Jack Nicholson’
figure – where the actor shows up to any sort of movie and *plays themselves*
rather than a specific role.

So what actors do I like? I s’pose I make my judgements based on what type of
roles they take, and how well they fit the roles. Keven Spacey is good, John
Malkovich, Judy Davis, Samuel L Jackson… I can’t think of many right now.

If I was an actor I don’t think I’d be satisfied with taking a role in a remake
of essentially what was a dud movie to begin with.

They always do that. Haven’t you ever noticed whenever a supposed new Holywood “blockbuster” comes
out, the Saturday/Sunday night movie turns into a) the latest “hit” movie one of the stars (or preferably) both were in,
or b) in the case of remakes, show the old movie.
Pushes up ratings 🙂
“Hey, that guy thats in that new movie is going to be on tonight.” – Famous last free-thinking words
phony bolognese – 02.03.02, 09:20