Category Archives: random

Reading without rhythm – 24/4/08

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Thanks TokyoMango!

Vom leisen Inferno der Depression und von der Unheimlichkeit des Glücks.

– Vantan gets a sneak preview of the Peranakan Museum. The museum occupies the old Tao Nan school building at Armenian Street, next to The Substation.

PingMag pays homage to Tony Silver, one of the first to identify and capture the anarchic spirit of graffiti culture on film in the 1984 Style Wars. When he went back to interview the same kids in 2003:

The reunion was different for each person. Some of them had succeeded as artists while others regretted what they had done in the past. But every single one of the kids Silver had captured in the early ’80s on his 16mm film were radiant and the filmmaker who shared that moment might have been one of the first few adults to deeply understand hip-hop culture.

– It’s nice that Newater’s winning prizes, but maybe we should learn from how the Aussies conserve water?

– Omodaka, responsible for the infectious Kokoriko Bushi video, has more music videos up on YouTube.

What is OMODAKA?
OMODAKA is the name of the project developed through a trial and error process of mutational fusion of music and motion graphics. It will knock over your existing image toward a music video by a beautiful trajectory.

OMODAKA って何?
音楽とモーション・グラフィックスの突然変異的融合を試行錯誤してきた企画の名前それ が OMODAKA。あなたのミュージックビデオに対する既存イメージを美しい軌跡でひっ くり返します。

– SFS is screening Manufactured Landscapes this Saturday afternoon (details here), and Sight and Sound has a review.

– Ok, we know Makhmalbaf, Kiarostami, Majidi, Abbas, (does Satrapi count? viz. Persepolis) But who’s Rakhshan Bani-Etemad?

Internationally, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad is a directors’ director, loved by the dedicated and the educated. At home, she is a godmother of Iranian cinema who has been working for two decades and whose films are hits even as they critique Iran’s paternalism. Her work deserves to be seen abroad because she addresses many of the questions which western Europe and America have, not only about living in an Islamic state but also about the individuality and identity of all women who live under anti-woman regimes.

– In criticising religion, atheists don’t have a good explanation of why religion is still so pervasive. They seem to have ignored its narrative power, as Mark Dery argues:

Arguably, this is because it’s not about God; rather, religion is simply the only philosophical (or, if you will, mythic) language available to some Americans to articulate their discontent and their visions of social change. The Dawkins/Hitchens question—What’s wrong with religion?—is far less illuminating than the question they might have asked: What are American evangelicals really talking about when they talk about religion?

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Randomness #785D

  • R.I.P. Gary Gygax. Found out from, of all places, How The World Works:

    In the deep structure of ancient Internet culture, where the same computer programmers who helped build the Net often spent their leisure time pretending to be online wizards and warlocks, there’s no underestimating the genetic influence of Dungeons & Dragons. Gygax’s legacy is built into the infrastructure. I hope he took pleasure in that as the years went by, and I hope Gygax always knew how much millions of gamers and fantasy-dwellers, whiling away their hours on online quests, owe to him and his co-author Dave Arneson.

    Order of the Stick has a charming tribute too.

  • Zhou Enlai was born today, 5th March 1898. My impression of him was that of the model civil servant (not necessarily a compliment), managing to survive while Mao offed all his contemporaries. But what was he thinking on the inside? What kind of conscience did he have? I bought Gao Wenqian’s The Last Perfect Revolutionary with those questions and others in mind. Only managed to read a bit before being distracted by other books — should go back to it soon.
  • Jottings From The Granite Studio also informs us that 5th March was the start of the “Learn from Lei Feng” campaign too. Ah, a man for all (propaganda) seasons
  • When in London, why not visit the Stanley Kubrick Archive?
  • Turns out that the rumours of a new lime-green Lamy Safari are true. Here’s one for sale on eBay.
  • Randomness #520F

    Whew! The Japanese Film Festival‘s over.

    If you missed this year’s movies and the Q&A sessions with director Ichikawa Jun and actress Yoshiyuki Kazuko (who seriously looks like she’s 50 and not 70+), Stefan has taken very detailed notes.

    Q&A with Ichikawa Jun

    Q&A with Yoshiyuki Kazuko 

    I may not always agree with his opinions or like his writing, but I genuinely admire his diligence. The man’s a true movie fan.

    So what if this rumour that Google might be developing a virtual world isn’t true? Bet the folks up on Mountain View are working on something similar anyway.

    More interestingly, judging from the slate of apps that Google already has — especially Google Earth and Google Maps — maybe their virtual world will do what none have so far: integrate both the real and virtual — bring us closer to augmented reality.

    But with one company controlling almost all this tech… that’s scary. Some possible glimpses into a Google-dominated future from Bruce Sterling and Cory Doctorow

    This is not a painting of Ophelia — it is a picture of Elizabeth Siddal dying of hypothermia.

    Randomess #406V

    The Japanese Film Festival‘s still on btw. Last day 23 Sept. Most of the Imamura films have been screened, but we haven’t started on Ichikawa Jun’s and Yoshiyuki Kazuko’s yet. In other words, come watch 🙂

    TimeOut writeup on JFF 2007

    Steven Levitt explains why you don’t get much good analysis of current public policy.

    Charles Landry speaks to Der Spiegel on redeveloping cities.

    What an information policy for the Library of Babel might look like. (Currently reading Borges’ Fictions btw)

    Walerian Borowczyk works, apparently from an exhibition at the Annecy Museum.