Wednesday, June 28, 2006

a wondrous place...

...is the internet. Check this out.

And when you are done regarding this, try downloading Lansing-Dreiden's "A Line You Can Cross," from their The Dividing Island album. It makes me think of shimmery things, and the smell of black lipstick; and, rather unaccountably, of Patrick Nagel. Also recommended: Lansing-Dreiden's "I Keep Everything," from the The Incomplete Triangle album. Very shimmery, Houston-we-have-liftoff indeed.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Lawrence Fishburne, you're my hero

The Solvang trip was perfectly as predicted (am I psychic or what?), and it ended up involving pinot noir after all, and it was the best steak I have had in a very, very, very, very long time. Whooee. Run, do not walk, to The Hitching Post in Buellton if and/or when you can.

Last night, my ever-culturally-minded parents sprung for tickets for all of us to see Without Walls, a play currently at the Mark Taper Forum. It's a 70's look at the story of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, with Lawrence Fishburne as the gay, Southern, high-school-drama-teaching, quasi-Brodie figure. Honestly, I never knew Fishburne had it in him, and I was blown away. BLOWN AWAY, people. The only other folks in the cast are Matt Lanter and Amanda MacDonald, who are also stupendous, and with just the three of them I was utterly convinced of their universe for all eighty minutes. In fact, their universe was so convincing, I was suprised that only three people stepped out to take a bow at the end, and then I realized that all the other 'characters' in the story were completely in my head, hinted at by the cast's performances. Just incredible.

Thing is, I've grown spoiled by realistic film acting; theatrical acting, which may be necessary to be perceived from the back of a theater, sort of disgusts me, at least until I've grudgingly grown used to it. And then it's great. Still, it hurts my brain a bit to have to switch so radically in my appreciation of performance. Would it really hinder things to be so minimal on a stage? Or am I asking too much?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

YouTube: highbrow culture for the masses?

So, within a couple of hours of putting down YouTube, I finally succumbed. And I discovered the genius of Guy Bourdin, French Vogue photographer and sometime filmmaker! I would link to his site, but I don't want to get shut down by the MySpace police. Let's just say that, while Monsieur Bourdin was a-ok by French standards, he would make American censors very nervous indeed. Check him out, but I'll tell you right now, he's not exactly safe for viewing at work, unless you work in a very unusual office. (Don't worry, the film below is merely eerie, not outright obscene.)

boy oh boy oh boy

I HAVE WIRELESS DSL WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I can now ignore my e-mail at blistering speeds. I can now also ignore YouTube at blistering speeds. Best of all: I can now download all the eye candy at Plan 59 at blistering speeds, which truly makes living worthwhile.

Also: I am reading two books at the same time, but not simultaneously. One is What We Believe But Cannot Prove; Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty, edited by John Brockman, and the other is Florence of Arabia by Christopher Buckley. I recommend both unreservedly. I mean, hey, how can you not enjoy reading about rollicking feminist conspiracies in the Middle East and homo sapiens eating Neanderthals?

Plans for this week:
1. E-mailing the powers that be at various London film schools, enquiring into possible teaching positions.

2. Calling the wretched 900 number given to me by the British Consulate, so that I can get the ball rolling on my dual citizenship (gor blimey).

3. Calling my Mercury dealer and finding out the numbers on buying out my Grand Marquis land barge, so that I don't have to worry about lease crap when I'm abroad next year.

And for tomorrow, June 19: My family and I are chillin' in wild, wild Solvang, where there are non-operational windmills and plaster stork replicas galore! Mom will go nuts over the tchotchke shoppes, and Dad & Co. will roll our eyes to the point of eye socket pain.

And then there will be barbecue.

Give a Dane a set of grilling tongs, and they will apparently feed you the world; we're going to the place featured in the film Sideways, pinot noir optional.

Friday, June 9, 2006

well, now

[What follows was a little something I tried to post two days ago, to no avail until now -- just FYI]

June 7, 2006:

I just got home from the 3rd Annual University of Michigan Entertainment Coalition Film Festival at the Pacific Design Center (whew), where I got to watch some good short films, and then hobnob with folks afterwards. Everyone asked each other what we'd all been up to, and the general consensus was that we're all working, we're not playing much, things are okay, we're paying bills, but nothing in our lives right now is terribly exciting.

It wasn't until a few minutes ago that, in the course of writing an e-mail to my friend Phil, I suddenly realized my life has been unbelievably fabulous lately. Shocking but true.

Exhibit A: Two weekends ago, I shot a movie! Good people all around, craft service included homemade scones with Grand Marnier, orange essence and dried cranberries, and the footage (nearly all of it, except for when it started raining) turned out gorgeously.

Exhibit B: On Memorial Day, I went to a barbecue at the home of an ex-wife of a veryveryvery famous film director. She was super nice, so was her boyfriend, the barbecue was smoked over mesquite to perfection by the nanny (also fab), everyone else in attendance totally rocked, and the pool was splendid. I even remembered to bring a swimsuit, hooray!

Exhibit C: Last weekend, I went to a croquet party, with a pleasant horde of architects from SciArc, and I wore a sexyglorious white dress and a Japanese parasol, and it was heavenly. I kicked off my gold sandal heels and played badminton, and didn't entirely suck at it.

Exhibit D: Immediately after the croquet party, I went to a bachelorette party, and four of us girls stayed overnight in Anaheim, across the street from Disneyland. The best part was that we didn't go to Disneyland. Despite the drinking/dancing/singing Def Leppard at a dueling-pianos bar well into the night, we still found the energy to play a round of The New York Minute Board Game, based upon the esteemed film of the same name starring the grande dames of cinema Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, sitting around in our PJs at three in the morning. Contrary to how this may sound, it was immensely satisfying.

Exhibit E: I got to see my friend Brett tonight at the film fest, and I also got to see a galley of her latest novel (The Lightning Rule, reserve it today)! I feel so cosmopolitan just for knowing her.

Exhibit F: I got to see my friend Brandon tonight at the film fest, AND he won for Best Student Film! Hopefully, we'll get to hang out tomorrow afternoon before he flies home.

Exhibit G: I'm shooting a movie this Saturday! Okay, to be fair, we're shooting pickups from two weekends ago (a bunch of inserts, and reshoots for scenes where we lost sunlight), but still. I'm shooting a movie!

Exhibit H: I'm going to a futurist salon at UCLA this Sunday! I haven't been before, and I'm not sure I'm cool enough for the reigning geeks, but I hope they'll at least let me be a groupie.

So, there you are. My life rocks. Why didn't anyone tell me this earlier? And why do I pathologically have to focus on just the bad stuff, except during rare moments like this? I'm a madwoman, I tell you. A MADWOMAN. If I ever complain again that my life is but a barren wasteland, I give you permission to yell out "SAYS YOU!" and pelt me gently with the candy of your choice. If said candy has dark chocolate in it, and was not manufactured by the Hershey corporation, try aiming at my mouth.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

truly, truly, truly outrageous

I heard Falu for the first time about half an hour ago on KPFK, and she totally made my morning. Check her music out, if you haven't already.

On a slightly more serious note, I have finally mustered up all my courage and gotten myself my own accountant. I've been going through my family accountant for a while, but since he's a) based in NJ, and b) knows next to nothing about film biz matters, I figured it was High Time that I take matters into my own hands and get someone who can make sure that, yes, I CAN claim back episodes of "Jem" as a tax deduction. This is a huge step for me, and is extremely nerve-wracking, considering that I have literally never sat down with a CPA before. I normally just send my tax crap to my mom, who delivers it to her CPA for me with the rest of the family tax junk, and that's the end of that.

And this just occurred to me: I've been really good about keeping all my bills/receipts, except FOR MY PHONE BILLS. What the HELL is up with that?! As a dorm-mate once wrote on their dry-erase board, back at Michigan, "I am an idiot/sauteed in a fine wine." I couldn't have put it better myself. GAWD, I am SUCH a STUPID artist-type, gag me with a W2. Goddamn.