Saturday 22 November 2008

saw Quantum of Solace, the new Bond movie, yesterday afternoon with the wife of my bosom. One thing I like about the way this last couple with Daniel Craig have gone is that the old style villain's lair has been discarded. The big showdown inside the lair was always the part of the movie that bored me. As soon as you realise they're into that part, you know it's strictly formula from here on, usually with the villain's monologue and all the usual fittings.
"They (these lairs) should be embedded in the material culture of the times - albeit with the resources of a meglomaniac millionaire or billionaire - and also able to reach a little bit beyond into a near-future as those resources allow."(link below)

Wired has a photo gallery: Bond Villain lairs revealed
As essential as the curvaceous leading ladies and not-so-subtle sexual innuendo, every James Bond villain has an impressive lair. Some are exotic, others chic. All are impressive locations for unsavory types to plot and scheme."
This article at Magical Nihilism explains the change with some insight:
Who Stole My Volcano? Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dematerialisation of Supervillain Architecture.
"The modern Bond villain (and he might have added, villains in pop culture in general) is placeless, ubiquitous, mobile. His hidden fortress is in the network, represented only by a briefcase, or perhaps even just a mobile phone.
...for a “4th generation warfare” supervillain there aren’t even objects for the production designer to create and imbue with personality. The effects and the consequences can be illustrated by the storytelling, but the network and the intent can’t be foreshadowed by environments and objects in the impressionist way that Adam (Ken Adam, production designer of numerous Bond films) employed to support character and storytelling."
On the other hand, nowadays we have the video game:
The game's developer, Garrett Young, says Daniel Craig is a keen gamer who was excited yet nervous about how he would look in a videogame.
"But once he saw it, he was happy and much more comfortable," Mr Young said.
"Then he grabbed the controller out of my hand and just started running around and playing. He is a gamer, so he picked up the controls right off the bat.
"Then he started getting killed a lot, so I told him about cover. Once he started taking cover, he was really successful."


Friday 21 November 2008

it's 2004; the two comic book artists are fighting in the street.

It's two weeks ago; I'm writing this blog entry and forgetting to post it.

It's 1974; I'm being introduced to Dave Gibbons.

It's 2008; Dave Gibbons is publicizing his book, Watching the Watchmen.

There are all the thumbnail sketches, abandoned alternative character designs, colour guides for the characters and other paraphernalia, script addenda and memos, three dimensional scale location constructions and all the other stuff by which perfectionists such as Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore intricately work out their ideas and communicate their vision to each other and the people who work with them.
The Guardian is showing a bunch of sample pages.

It's two days ago. Mick Evans is telling me to check it out.

The torn photograph is on my desktop.

(I pinched it from here, but don't tell.) That's me , Dave and Bob Chapman from Bob's Dead Dog party, always the last Sunday of the San Diego con, invite only. Bob, Dennis Kitchen and I usually close it and walk through the empty San Diego streets in the wee hours. This year I had to leave early as our publicist had me on a six a.m. flight to Chicago. This meant that at least I didn't wake up on the Black Freighter again.

It's today. Dave's on Foxnews video

It's 2004; the Dead Dog party. The two comic book artists are fighting in the street. They're really trying to hurt each other. At the bar I ask Dave what could two cartoonists possibly be fighting over?
Dave says in an American accent, "But you never GAVE ME (BIFF!!) any colour guides! (WALLOP!)"


Thursday 20 November 2008

big storm here last night and the old bridge took a pasting. Usually this creek isn't deep enough to catch a fish in.

The Prime Minister calls it a war zone. 4,000 homes damaged, 300 of them seriously, at least 30 beyond repair. When did we start calling them 'homes,' which belongs to the hyperbole of predatory real estate salespeople and sentimental Americans? A home is where they put you when you lose your marbles, such as 'home for the mentally disabled', as in the old George Formby song from the world war 2 years, 'you'd be far better off in a home'
Our Annie's joined up a week come Saturday
Annie's joined up, the Army shouts hooray
She's a F.A.N.Y. cos she's fanny that way
So we chase her all round the barrack square.

You'd be far better off in a home
You'd be far better off in a home
You'd be far better off, far better off
Far better off in a home

Wandering around the house at two in the morning tieing things down, I bump into the wife of my bosom on the verandah, presumably doing the same thing. We laugh and I give her a kiss, with the final conflict between good and evil going on outside.


Wednesday 19 November 2008

i've gone and let them talk me into getting foxtel. oh well. I caught the end of an episode of The Tudors from last year. I see this production is not afraid to embrace the bogus. Wolsey supposedly committing suicide is problematic but outside of my little floor tile of expertise. But this sex scene is a worry:
Actress Natalie Dormer, 24, played Anne Boleyn in the recent BBC bodice-ripping drama, The Tudors, where she faced several sex scenes with co-star Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
Were the sex scenes embarrassing for you?
Taking your clothes off in front of a film crew, even on a closed set, is completely harrowing. Anyone can sympathise with that situation. You find the motivation for it in your head. With Henry and Anne, you’re talking about an intense love affair. In my experience, intense love affairs result in taking your clothes off. It’s about justifying it through characterisation.
Hell, it embarrassed ME. I found it very cringeworthy. Pornographic even. Not because sex is pornographic but because that position they adopted (out in the English woods for heavens sake) with her astride, arching back over him reclining, only exists on account of pornography's camera. The position allowing one's lover a view is quite different from that which allows the screen viewer ocular access. Still, I can't imagine it would be bad for her career. They do the same shit in ALL the movies.
The part of me that enjoys mocking other people's innocent pleasures finds this hilarious:
"For your satisfaction, we assure that the CDs offered on this site are Genuine Mantovani And His Orchestra recordings before listing them here. Please see the report on the Bogus Mantovani CDs being offered around the world. For the most part they are absolutely awful in quality, sound nothing like Mantovani, and Mantovani Fans will recognize this within a few bars of the first track. I believe this is just as serious and fraudulent as selling bogus Rolex watches."
For the immortally young among you, they're talking about what used to be called 'elevator music'. There's a note at that link about a latter day reversal of the principal, first tried at the central railway station in Amsterdam, where they play loud classical music to chase away the drug pushers.
Now here's something we haven't done in a while. This is just a little sketch on typing paper. I'll sign it and send it to the first who claims it in comments.

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