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For the lover of contemporary film/theater.

Dresden Codak » Archive » 42 Essential 3rd Act Twists.

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Upping the ante for fridge art

A familiar rite of passage for many: your art, however hastily scrawled, be-stickered or dotted with glued macaroni appears on the most vaunted surface of the family: the refrigerator. It hangs there until someone spills soda on it or the season changes or, gasp, you do something else.

Now I’m not going to knock the creativity of children or the need to display the finest in coloring book art, but there’s now some competition for this venue! Remember those magnetic poetry kits? well, this is even better:

Magnetic mosaic tiles. In greyscale and different color sets.

Every kit can make the many cool images (mostly portraits) featured on the site (in case you don’t think in 8 bit).

The current selection is, however, limited. They are working on bringing out new colors and getting new design ideas.

Think you have something?

I’m not the type to shill for a product, but I’m totally psyched at the idea of making it easier for people to express some creativity and individuality. If I know one thing about the people who check in here, it’s that they have a mind for making cool stuff. Head over to Random Good Things and enter the contest. If you win, you’ll get a free set with which to experiment and earn the admiration of all who enter your kitchen! Bonus points if you have a steel door somewhere, or another large magnetic surface.


Duck and Chicken.

Duck! A movie, a novella, and a game. Warm and fuzzy all over.

A Chicken Growing Up has its fuzzy as well.

Just doing my part to share the love of the things with feathers and beaks.

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I don’t think birds should wear earrings.

There’s something wrong with it.

Besides the obvious, I’d think that the jealousy of other birds would be a factor. Birds do like ears, however.

Cheers to Friday and the approaching weekend.

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You don’t play it for the plot.

Modern technology has brought us so many wonderful things, but few are the as simultaneously ridiculous and downright necessary as this little flash game. The instructions are in Japanese, but the point is quite simple: smack the bejesus out of that haughty woman on the other side of the screen. Don’t feel guilty, she’ll aim one for your cheek if you’re not careful enough to dodge.

There is some kind of plot here, but the main point is that when it is socially or legally unacceptable to show someone the back of your hand, this game is the perfect refuge. Not that I’d advocate violent solutions to problems , but sometimes it’s better to release that kind of energy before it builds up and you’re suddenly driving down the road in a stolen car or something. The lovely graphics and music almost make this seem civilized!


Strangeness and Tragedy Afoot in the Art World

NB: I’m not leaping into investigative journalism here, but the story is convoluted, chilling and bizarre. thoughtintersect is definitely not a source of news (breaking or broken).

The facts:
Theresa Duncan was a filmmaker and cultural critic. She had worked as a video game designer.
Jeremy Blake is known for his DVDs and C-prints. He worked with Beck on covers and inserts for the album Sea Change, and with P.T. Anderson on visual sequences for the film Punch-Drunk Love.
Duncan and Blake were partners for around 12 years.
Theresa Duncan was found dead in her apartment on July 10.
Jeremy Blake’s clothing was found Tuesday evening along a beach in the Rockaways. No body has been found (and is she mentioned as a former girlfriend because she predeceased him?)

The basic story in links:
Here’s the New York Times piece/obituary from July 21.

As mentioned, Theresa Duncan kept a blog. It’s a fascinating read with stunning visuals, and a visit is highly recommended (do go before it gets taken down or fades into internet obscurity–it’s back up now. Google cache here). This entry is particularly poignant in view of the situation. (Site is back up: Reproduced in comment #1)

That’s not the only entry that’s of note in the situation, however. In particular this discussion of issues relating to all manner of conspiracy theory bugbears such as scientologists, the FBI, and neoconservatives (site is back up, text in comment #2). The prose is twisted and some parts of the story aren’t visibly connected to others. A summary of the post is here.

Ron Rosenbaum is not taking the facts at face value. He refutes the main news story here, He also takes pains to state that Duncan’s death has not officially been ruled a suicide, and that Blake’s body has not been found.

Here’s another person’s perspective as someone late to the game and also puzzled.

This sort of strange mystery seems like a work of art in its own way. I’m not saying that it was staged as such, but the different layers of meaning in the events (as well as the ambiguity of some information) makes it quite compelling.

Update 25 July 2007: LA Times Article.

Update 31 July: Body confirmed as Blake.
Update 2 August 2007: Looking back at the couple and their paranoia.


An Open Letter to Sir Ian McKellen

Dear Sir:

I regret to inform you that I will not be able to attend your performance in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of King Lear. It pains me to say this, as I had been looking forward seeing you on the stage in such a fantastic role. In fact, I even put out an open call for assistance in securing the tickets. However, my inability to make the journey to Stratford-upon-Avon isn’t just a fickle American whim, but rather based on something quite substantive.

You see, the picture of the front door that accompanies this letter is that of my new house. My husband and I had not expected to find such a great place in a neighborhood (close to three of the best theater companies in town as well as a number of restaurants and cafes). The unfortunate reality is that a mortgage payment and plane tickets cannot both be wrung from our meager budget, so we’ve opted in favor of long term domesticity over a long weekend of arts and adventure. Your understanding in this matter is greatly appreciated.

I sincerely apologize for the ramifications of this decision upon you, and I hope that you will allow us to invite you to our new house for tea and dinner at one of the fine local restaurants as a token of our good will. We’ll be taking possession in early June, so any time after that works for us. If there’s a show playing at one of the aforementioned theaters I would also happily take you as our guest. I would offer you a place to stay as well, but the house has only one bathroom and I would not impose upon you such an uncomfortable arrangement; instead I can recommend a swank and tasteful hotel that is close by and in a lovely part of town.

On the evening of May 22, there may be a small gap in audience, but my thoughts will be with you. If by any chance you take this production to New York, I would be especially pleased to travel there. In fact, the opportunity to see you on stage again would even take the sting out of visiting my family.

Sincerely yours,

P.S.–If you know anyone who could make use of these tickets, please let me know. I’d be thrilled if they could be occupied instead of sitting empty like a memorial.


Get culture and give health

There’s an artist by the name of Phineas X. Jones (an enviable moniker by any measure) who works in a variety of media. Check out the watercolors and Polaroids especially!

Right now he’s running a sale to raise money for a surgery to handle some complications stemming from pneumonia. It’s not uncommon to be unable to afford insurance if you’re self employed in this country, and without insurance you’re stuck footing the massive bills alone. It’s no pity party though, the work is very interesting and priced to make it easy to find a special space of your walls.

Simple equation: buy art = help artist = good karma + a great piece of art.


A gift that keeps on giving.

A few years ago, Yongi and I happened to be watching The Late Show with Dave Letterman, an oldie from the eighties. Father Guido Sarducci was one of the main guests, but there was also a lively woman named Mrs. Alba Ballard who put costumes on parrots. A couple of snaps up the back and suddenly a macaw was a mini Father Guido!

We were agog. The woman was colorful herself, speaking with an Italian accent and switching the rather docile parrots in and out of bizarre handmade costumes. We laughed at the improbability of it all, and never forgot our glimpse of this unique performance. Having had no luck ourselves even getting a harness on Zoe, it seemed all the more magical.

It turns out we weren’t the only ones captivated: a book of some of her photos has been released, and I can heartily recommend it. See for yourselves the marvels of a bit of home stagecraft, costumes, and willing avian companions. Some very savvy friends sent us a copy and we’ve flipped through it again and again. The temptation to take Mrs. Ballard’s inspiration and run with it is strong, but I think the desire to have all of my fingers intact is stronger!


Look What I Got!

Displayed in the most prominent place in the Casa Patita y Yongi, next to pizza coupons and the sock monkey, is this lovely coloring of Elvis.

Thanks again Jennifer–you have earned a spot in my road-tripping heart.

May much good kitsch find its way to you!

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