31 January 2010

Music | Music Go Music

{ Source: thanks Benoit }

I'm a fan. Blondie will never die.

Disco inferno

Or Dante's.

30 January 2010

Story of an artist

"Day after day we seek an answer to the ageless question Aristotle posed in Ethics:

How should a human being lead his life?

Traditionally humankind has sought the answer to Aristotle’s question from the four wisdoms—philosophy, science, religion, art—taking insight from each to blot together a livable meaning. But today who reads Hegel or Kant without an exam to pass? Science, once the great explicator, garbles life with complexity and perplexity. Religion, for many, has become an empty ritual that masks hypocrisy. As our faith in the traditional ideology diminishes, we turn to the source we still believe in: the art of story.

The world now consumes films, novels theatre, and television in such quantities and with such ravenous hunger that the story arts have become humanity’s prime source of inspiration, as it seeks to order chaos and gain insight into life.

Some see this craving for story as simple entertainment, an escape from life rather than an exploration of it … To retreat behind the notion that the audience simply wants to dump its troubles at the door and escape reality is a cowardly abandonment of the artist’s responsibility. Story isn’t a flight from reality but a vehicle that carries us on our search for reality, our best effort to make sense out of the anarchy of existence.”

- Robert McKee, from his book, Story.

For kicks, here's the excerpt from "Adaptation." with Nicholas Cage as Charlie Kaufman and Brian Cox as Robert McKee.

27 January 2010

I care because you do

{ Thanks go to Miss Jessica McOmish }

24 January 2010

Short film | L'homme qui plantait des arbres

Exquisite. "The Man Who Planted Trees".  By many considered to be the best short film of all time.  If you have a spare 30 minutes this week I encourage you to watch this, it's in four parts:

08 January 2010


Russian Cannibal Who Ate His Mother Gets a Lenient Sentence Because “He Just Was Hungry” - I don’t know what is more remarkable – the judge’s reasoning or the fact that 15 years in jail is all one normally gets in Russia for killing his mother for her pension money and eating her.

Smart Dolphins - the more we study them the smarter they turn out to be.

The Large Hadron Collider may be being Sabotaged by time travellers from the future - I’m dying to see what exactly got those future people so worried.

    07 January 2010

    1940 Tour de France

    Team Wehrmacht.

    05 January 2010

    Music | Mussorgsky and friends

    This is the first piece of classical music I can remember, and it remains my favourite.

    My father told me about the piece, sitting up on his knee. I think I would have been four or five years old: “This is a piece that a man wrote to remember his friend after he died, because he liked him so much.”

    I think the story went: Mussorgsky has a best friend, a fellow artist, who died suddenly. He was so heartbroken, he created these pieces for him, to be played during an exhibition.

    Quite plainly: it's a touching story.


    Pictures at an Exhibition is a suite in ten movements composed for piano by Modest Mussorgsky in 1874.

    No apologies that this isn't the perfect version. I think the more amateur the better. (The one on wikipedia is particularly lovely). Heartbreak isn't perfect. It's wavering and coarse. The perfect version of this piece feel fake.

    If you want to hear pain, longing and platonic heartbreak in a short tune, listen to the Promenade (the first).

    It starts with a solitary trumpet. Alone. Friendless. More brass join the tune, but act as a mere echo. The music builds in intensity, until finally the calmed by a chorus of violins, like a response from another side? Or sometime. Something nice.

    And wouldn't this just be perfect for film?

    "...the most sublime noise... ever to have penetrated the ear of man."
          — said in reference to Beethoven's 5th Symphony in Howards End (1992)

    I think we all have (or should have?) a piece of music or art that just resonates with you in perfect unison. For my father it's Handel's Water Music - every time he listens he stops, his eyes stare into nothingness, lost in the beauty.  For Jessica, my sister, it's Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto no. 1. I asked my friend Chelsea, and she said that for her there's no equivalent to Tennyson's verse:
    And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
    Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

    04 January 2010


    Let's make it simple.  Watch this.  I usually dislike this kind of advertising, it brings out my inner sceptic, but hey, it's not for a financial company, it's for Chevas, and I like Chevas.  Or maybe I just like the idea of chivalry at the moment?  It's a rare quality.  Honour.  Galantry.  Giving a damn.  What happened to straight talkers who give their word, and keep it?  However, I highly doubt drinking Chivas will bring out your inner gentleman, but I like the sentiment.

    { Montgomery Clift | photographed by Stanley Kubrick }

    03 January 2010

    She's an artist

    She's got everything she needs,
    She's an artist, she don't look back.

    { Dame Edith Sitwell | POET }

    She's got everything she needs,
    She's an artist, she don't look back.
    She can take the dark out of the nighttime
    And paint the daytime black.

    { Joni Mitchett | SINGER }

    You will start out standing
    Proud to steal her anything she sees.

    { Cat Power | SINGER }

    You will start out standing
    Proud to steal her anything she sees.
    But you will wind up peeking through her keyhole
    Down upon your knees.

    { Sofia Coppola | DIRECTOR, SCREENWRITER }

    She never stumbles,
    She's got no place to fall.
    She never stumbles,
    She's got no place to fall.
    She's nobody's child,
    The Law can't touch her at all.

    { Francoise Hardy | SINGER }

    She wears an Egyptian ring
    That sparkles before she speaks.
    She wears an Egyptian ring
    That sparkles before she speaks.
    She's a hypnotist collector,
    You are a walking antique.

    { Michelle Williams | ACTRESS }

    Bow down to her on Sunday,
    Salute her when her birthday comes.
    Bow down to her on Sunday,
    Salute her when her birthday comes.
    For Halloween give her a trumpet
    And for Christmas, buy her a drum.

    { Simone de Beauvoir | PHILOSOPHER }

    This was...


    02 January 2010

    Younger than Jesus

    "Art should never try to be popular.
    The public should try to make itself artistic."
    - Oscar Wilde