The New York Times calls David Mitchell's new novel, "The Bone Clocks," his most ambitious novel. This is significant because his other novels are fairly ambitious. [more inside]
A six-minute documentary snippet discusses Kubrick's camera modifications for special, low-light f/0.7 Zeiss lenses used to film candlelit scenes in Barry Lyndon, now available to rent by aspiring filmmakers.
The comic series Ex Machina [PDF preview] was started in 2004, created by Y: The Last Man writer Brian K. Vaughn and artist Tony Harris. The main character, Mitchell Hundred, is an ex-superhero who hangs up his jetpack and successfully runs for mayor of New York City in an alternate post-9/11 timeline. The last issue (#50), released this week, concluded the series with a harsh yet wonderfully written view of Hundred's political fate. BKV talks about the final issue with IGN [Spoilers].
Chasing Ghosts is a terrific documentary that follows the fates of the winners of the 1982 arcade world championships and the short lived era when coin operated Video Arcades boomed and then busted coming to a crashing end shortly after 1984. It focuses primarily on the first player to play a perfect game of Pac Man, meaning going 256 levels, on one man and eating four ghosts on every powerpellet (in the first 19 screens after that the ghosts don't turn) and ending up on the kill screen and finding all the hidden dots there. (Warning lots of Youtube.)
The man behind the classic sound of Al Green, Memphis producer and soulmeister supreme Willie Mitchell has passed on. Many of the Al Green sides are legendary, of course, and very well known (as is the fantastic "I Can't Stand the Rain, by Ann Peebles), but be sure and head over to the excellent Funky 16 Corners where you can hear three of his lesser-known but deeply grooving productions. Fat stuff. So long, Willie Mitchell, and thanks for the wonderful music.
Mitch Mitchell, best known as the drummer in the Jimi Hendrix Experience, dead at 61. The last member of the trio to pass away, Mitchell was found in his hotel room early Wednesday morning. Give the drummer some!
Leonard Nimoy ruins Joni Mitchell. Johnny Cash redeems Gordon Lightfoot. The Donnas render Men Without Hats ever so slightly less ridiculous. The CBC assembles a list of great (and sub-great) covers of Canadian songs. And a happy Canada Day to you.
So, who doesn't use steroids or HGH? So what do you do when MVP winners, Cy Young award winners and some World Series winners all have cheated? Any ideas? [more inside]
Nude Marathon! Psychotherapy traveled down a lot of strange paths in the 60s and early 70s, but perhaps none stranger than the naked group therapy sessions, some up to 48 hours long, supervised by Paul Bindrim. Bindrim's sessions were the subject of a documentary film and an unflattering, thinly fictionalized novel by Gwen Davis Mitchell. Bindrim sued Mitchell for libel. Can descriptions of a fictional character be libelous of a real person? Yes.
Machine as romantic object. The short film “Deere John” explores how narrative archetype can humanize the inanimate (and is funny).
The Spook Who Sat By The Door, a movie pitched and marketed as blaxploitation, was a low budget political science fiction thriller about black revolution in urban black America based upon the novel written by Sam Greenlee. It was withdrawn two weeks after its release in 1973, ostensibly at the behest of the FBI. Some remember it fondly, while others revile it in recollection. Thirty-one years later, it has been released on DVD. Sam Greenlee's an interesting man--another book of his, Baghdad Blues, is evidently an autobiographical novel based upon his first hand experience of the 1958 Baath coup in Iraq. Side notes: Researching this post led me to the intriguing Chicken Bones. And here is Elvis Mitchell's take on The Marginalization of Black Action Films.