The guy could sing. And play.
The guy could sing. And play.
That's all I can say. But it's going to be good. Really good. All we gotta do is find the money...
Saw "Lust, Caution" tonight. I've become a Tony Leung fan and given Ang Lee's current status it seemed like a no brainer. The fact that Tang Wei is beautiful (and as it turns out, a great actress) was a plus. So my review? Hmm...well, it goes something like this. Great acting. Beautifully shot. A sumptuous period piece. No "happy ending." All great, right? Well, I had to admit that the film still left me a bit cold. First off, it was too long. I hold up Infernal Affairs as a gold standard for economical storytelling and Lust, Caution could have easily been 20 minutes shorter. They could start by cutting the violent sex scenes that earned the film an NC-17 rating. Much as I didn't appreciate the rape scene in A History of Violence, the first sex scene in Lust, Caution didn't do it for me. And imho it was not necessary to explain the depths of Leung's character. There are more subtle ways to do it. It seemed upon further discussion that Lee was trying to make a "classic" film, much like the black and white movies that were shown during Lust, Caution. But those made their impact without shocking sex/violence. Subtle was often the watchword. I wish that would make a comeback frankly...
that's all i can say right now. stay tuned...
I know there is an AFI 100 list of the best films, but what about the best screenplays, storylines, etc? Specifically, what are the best examples of 3rd act twists, well-crafted interwoven narratives, etc? Well, I guess I need to compile that list because I opened my mouth in a meeting. Silly me...
Well, you've got your all-day meeting with the spooks, and a critical "ok, this is it" meeting with the editor and artists on another project. What else can we stuff into the day? Hmm, maybe a nice stiff drink. At the end of course.
Can you measure it? Bottle it? Teach it? Well, I guess we aims to find that out. A lunch today with an eclectic group as the university goes after a major grant to understand "creativity." Many interesting questions put forth and of course I am rarely shy to share my answers. The first thing put forward was whether the issue of limitations inhibit creativity. My reaction is that in fact it is the opposite case. Without boundaries, you don't have a box to think outside of. Or a preposition to end a sentence. With.
Shooting me. Again. Sigh. More last minute script changes mean more VO changes means another session with the camera and the teleprompter for me. Turns out the biggest challenge is wardrobe. How many times can I wear the same green shirt before having to wash it? Luckily we're not shooting HD so I don't have to worry about the cat fur.
No, thankfully not me. Instead, the beloved 911. I've had some crunching going into 3rd for some time now, but at Buttonwillow 2nd started acting up. Heel and toe will sometimes get a smooth shift (note to self - adjust pedals to make that easier) but it is getting worse. Sometimes it won't go in at all and the car freewheels...not what you want in the middle of a turn in the middle of a race or hot lap. Infineon made it worse still, but I have more events this year. Specifically I'm leading the STS championship by a mere 7 points, so I need to run at the last two events. So 2nd gear will have to put up with me and I'll try to be gentle. Here's me being gentle en route to a 1:31 lap and a class win for the day. Win for me, loss for 2nd though...it's getting bad.
Thankfully, the title has nothing to do with my race results from today. Well, I don't actually know the results as I left early to give both the car and Calvin a break, but I managed a respectable lap and was a second or so faster than my competitors so the class championship should be sewn up. I wish I could say the same for my car. On the drive home 2nd was barely there. Of course Calvin came to the rescue: "dad, just short-shift to 3rd." That would be my boy. Then when I tried to put the car in 5th it went into 3rd. Twice. I left it in 4th for a bit, then tried again and it found 5th. Time for a new tranny. There are cup races first weekend in December but I can't get it fixed in time for that...oh, and it'll likely be $3500 minimum and more like $5K likely to rebuild it. Sigh again. Maybe I should just buy this one (Jim's car that I co-drove at Buttonwillow...this is me braking into turn 1):
Well, it has been a long weekend but it looks like it has bled into the week. I'm in edit mode for a work project, learning more FinalCutPro on-the-fly. Great program but plenty of trial and error. This isn't straightforward as I'm taking game footage capture and trying to present it in a legible fashion on-screen. Turns out resolutions are whack, and text likes to get artifacted (a word?) to oblivion. But finally got something good using an HD 1080i codec and letterboxing to 1024x768. Wow, all these new verbs. And 3 video streams on screen at once. See? Watching 24 *is* work-related...
When's the jack of speed going to come out to play? Some writing needs to get done...
Another song for the hopper, and especially relevant for a solo coffeehouse gig. I think I have enough songs now...so what's keeping me from doing it?
Now deep in the heart of a lonely kid
Who suffered so much for what he did,
They gave this ploughboy his fortune and fame,
Since that day he ain't been the same.
And something to shoot for...amazing performance, and good god, could this be any more beautifully shot?
So how does one lose an instruction manual and ipod dock? On something that you suspect you might want to return. Well, you can't take it back if you don't have the manual. Crap. Way to go, slick. I'm a moron.
Well, some more money out the window in search of sonic bliss. Or at least some nice sound. A Hsu subwoofer and Ascend front channel speakers replacing the Panasonic home-theater-in-a-box setup. Upgrade-itis? Perhaps, but the difference is astounding. I've been listening/watching "The Last Waltz" for the past week, and with the new setup, I hear horns that I never noticed before. Quite amazing. It's a shame I have to send this disc back to netflix, but Amazon here I come...
Well, the cut is "done." At least it moves into the next phase. Picked up the harddrive with the FinalCut project file and now I'll start doing music and sound. Plus I need to add some titles at the end. I hope I don't mess it up...
Been watching/listening to "The Last Waltz". Amazing. The highlight of the whole show might be Stagefright, but It Makes No Difference is a close second.
It makes no diff'rence where I turn
I can't get over you and the flame still burns
It makes no diff'rence, night or day
The shadow never seems to fade away
Watched "Lost In Translation" again tonight. I suppose that the Chinese in me has increased over the past few years as I found the movie somewhat condescending. When I first saw it, I was on the heels of a really bad trip to Tokyo. The movie made a lot of sense. Now...it just seemed really kind of sad and a little mean. Perspective.
To cleanse my brain I'm now watching Infernal Affairs 2. I wish I understood Cantonese...
It is great when a sequel (or in this case, prequel) is good compared to the original. And for Mou Gaan Dou 2, it was a fine example of giving the backstory and perspective on characters from the first movie, while maintaining pace and having its own story. Lots of people die though...and sadly Carina Lau (as Mary Hon) gets run over by a car. It was a cool twist to have the new Mary enter at the end though
|Carina Lau||Tony Leung||Yu Chiu|
Notes are always a bit scary. You've worked a ton on a cut, have it to where you think is a pretty reasonable spot (and in this case, have spent out the editor budget), so there are limits to what can be done. Well, unless you are a DIY-kinda guy. So the notes today were a little depressing. "It's selling something we don't have." Uggh. Of course he's right, and always a challenge with these "vision" pieces. How do you present what you have in a positive light while selling "what could be" (without intimating that you already have it). So it is somewhat back to the drawing board. Out comes my on-screens I think (no biggie there), but I have to rewrite the VO script and re-record. And recut some bits. My trial-by-fire with FinalCutPro continues. Gonna be a long month(s).
Not going to wax deeply philosophic here. Thanks to a number of S's, V's, J's, and especially Calvin, for showing me what is what.
This technology stuff never ends, but I can say that upscale to 1080p is pretty damn cool. The Dan never looked better. If only I didn't live in an apt and could really crank it up. Oh well, next life. For tonight, perhaps a little "Days of Being Wild." Or some more Errol Morris. So many films, so little time. Oh yeah, and have to make mine as well. I think recording another Little Feat song might be in the offing. I better quit typing and start playing and/or watching.
Well, two out of three ain't bad. I've previously raved about Infernal Affairs, and the prequel Infernal Affairs 2. Sat down to watch the third movie in the trilogy and frankly couldn't make it through. Really bad. They were trying so hard to be clever/tricky/smart and instead created a mess of a script and movie. Oh well...I can always watch the other ones again (one advantage to owning the box set).
Hmm, funny how when you experience any artist over time things can change. Chungking Express was my first Wong Kar Wai film, and maybe that wasn't the best introduction. Mostly because I'm beginning to think that was his best work. I liked that film a lot (doesn't hurt having Faye Wong and Tony Leung in it), and appreciated WKW's look and aesthetic. But since then I've seen In the Mood for Love and now Days of Being Wild. While I certainly appreciate the sights (young Carina Lau and Maggie Cheung in the same movie...yow!), they both kind of meander. Maybe that is the point. He does have a great way of expressing the vibe of living in Hong Kong through his use of doorways and hallways for framing. And I have 2046 in the queue.
|Maggie Cheung||Carina Lau|
Spent the night cutting a trailer. I wish I could show it, but there is this pesky NDA thing. Oh well, suffice it to say that I'm getting better at FCP by the minute, and I need a new computer that renders more quickly.
And so begins week two. Previous admonitions to "breathe" help, but i forgot "smile" and "laugh" should accompany that. Too little time to be mired in the muck.
"can't be 'round this kind of show no more..."
Shocking, but the blog software upgrade did not cause life as we know it to end. There was a glitch with paths to the db, but the isp fixed that, and it seems like things are working. Now to figure out the sassy new features and how this is going to change life as I know it.
Well, time to A/B two different speaker systems. The new ones are way smaller but a lot prettier (mmm, cherrywood). But you don't get speakers to look at, but rather to listen to. So the early evening was spent swapping back and forth between sets. Hmm...this is hard work.