June 10, 2010
Once is a lovely, lovely little film.
Yeah, I may be the last human on the planet to see it (it’s three years old, after all), but I was thoroughly charmed by both the movie and the music. And I think what charmed me the most was the actionless plot and an unsatisfying ending.
Because isn’t that the way it happens in life?
June 30, 2009
Turning points, paradigm shifts, whatever you want to call them, there are maybe a dozen in my childhood and one was the night that Dad bought a huge box of books, at auction, for a quarter. That small thing started me on a writer’s journey.
I thought about it Friday as I stood in line to sell a few hundred books to Powells. I tried to decide if I had come back, full-circle, to Dad’s box of books or if I were simply committing literary murder.
June 27, 2009
The Joy of Coldworking
A guide to grinding, smoothing and polishing blown and fused glass
Available through warmglass.com or the Bullseye Resource Center (although as of 6/27/09 it wasn’t listed in their online store)
No, the book’s title is not an oxymoron, at least not for author Johnathan Schmuck. The dude actually likes to grind and polish glass, and since his writing gives no sign of mental deficiencies I must conclude he knows what he’s talking about.
May 12, 2009
Morning chores: Shower, dress, feed and jab the cat,* do the litter and breakfast (with a handwash in between), make the bed, get at least a quarter of yesterdays’ email answered and download a book to read on the train.
I am, apparently, drinking the Kindle koolaid, albeit with an iPhone, not a Kindle.** This is probably the dozenth book I’ve downloaded onto Gigi-the-iPhone in the last couple of months. eBooks, which didn’t appear to me to be of much real use, have suddenly become a significant new way to acquire new reading material. There are several reasons for this:
April 29, 2009
Portland Art Museum is screening new short films by Northwest filmmakers tonight (April 30) and there’s one I particularly recommend: Help Wanted, by Teo Guardino.
WHERE: NW Film Center at the Whitsell Auditorium (inside the Portland Art Museum)
1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97205
WHEN: Thursday, April 30th at 7pm
The film is superbly done (even more impressive when you hear the conditions under which it was produced). It’s simple, doesn’t make the mistake of whacking you over the head with the obvious, and although it’s only 13 minutes long I fond myself choking up, watching it.
Please, if you can show up and agree with me that it’s a nice film, vote for Teo. The bigger the turnout, the more votes this film gets, the more likely it is to be invited to the Portland International Film Festival and the NW Film & Video Festival, both great places to get backers when you’re a fledgling independent filmmaker.
Just BTW, I was watching it at Teo’s mother’s place–Guardino’s Gallery on Alberta Street in Portland. From what I saw, she has an impressively talented son. And her gallery has done a lot for the arts in this town and on Alberta Street in particular, so it’d be kinda nice if Portland returned the favor…
March 13, 2009
Terry Pratchett has early-onset Alzheimers Disease. He’s also one of the most brilliant authors it’s been my privilege to read, and in true Terry Pratchett fashion, gave a speech that showed the (sorta) lighter side of dementia, donated a million bucks to the Alzheimers foundation and told them to spend it wisely.
February 22, 2009
Oscars night, and who the heck cares about all those silly, overpriced full-length features (except maybe Slumdog but I’m not going there). Naaaaah, the REAL action is in animation. It’s almost anybody’s game, for once, and that’s fun to see.
February 19, 2009
(sorry, couldn’t resist)
Tonight I was up for animation (when am I not up for animation?) and the Portland International Film Festival had its last showing of Bill Plympton’s Idiots and Angels…so Kat and I headed downtown to catch it. They were unfortunately sold out, so we wound up at Coraline instead. (And no, I am NOT misspelling Caroline. Go read the book.)
Marvelous film. Highly recommend it.
February 18, 2009
Editors and designers are often on opposite sides of the fence. Editors get really ticked off when the art directors reduce the copyspace, while designers fume over extra words messing up their nice layout. That tension creates the best visual communication.
And that’s pretty much what’s behind the documentary Helvetica. Nominally an homage to the Helvetica typeface, it’s also a balanced look at the history of modern design and its influences. Somehow it manages to both elevate the need for good visual design in commonplace things and knock down a heckuva lot of pretense.
Now, if you think it’s weird to worry about the politics of Helvetica, or the termination of its descenders, this may not be the film for you. But me, I’m a typeface freak (note that I didn’t say FONT–they are NOT the same thing), and I got teary in places.
It’s been out about 18 months now, so I’m coming late to the party and a lot of you have probably already seen it. But if you haven’t, it’s worth checking out. Nice stuff.
September 24, 2008
Kimiake Higuchi: Pate de Verre
Hardcover, 67 pages, $40
2007, Mitsukoshi Ltd.
Available at the Corning Museum of Glass
Underneath the Tagliapietra video, in the Corning box, was a slim volume on the work of Kimiake Higuchi. It looks self-published (and at $40 isn’t what I’d call cheap), but don’t let that stop you: It’s a beautiful book and a nice retrospective of her work.
If you know modern pate de verre you know Ms. Higuchi; she makes beautiful, hyperrealistic nature scenes of crushed glass and her color work is something to behold.