Monthly Archives: April 2010

MIA Hates Gingers

by Lewis Manalo

The BBC reports that MIA’s racially-charged music video has been pulled from Youtube, whose spokespeople cite “rules [that] prohibit content like pornography or gratuitous violence.” But on a Youtube that condones bare-knuckle boxing and war violence, isn’t the censorship of MIA really about fighting her message of hate?

Click through if you haven’t yet seen MIA’s explicit video.

Born Free BMF
Uploaded by BlakMusicFirst. – Watch more music videos, in HD!

And to keep the debate balanced:

The central issue that seems to have escaped the bulk of the debate is if the tune is any good.  I say, that when all her other songs sound exactly the same, at least this one sounds different.


DVD: 44 Inch Chest

by Lewis Manalo

You could go for one of the handful of wannabe award winners that comes out today: Crazy Heart, Young Victoria, or The Lovely Bones. You could even waste your time with that movie about blue Thundercats that comes out this week.

Or you could spend your time with some proper villains.

From the writer of Sexy Beast, which turned Ben Kingsley into the anti-Gandhi, comes 44 Inch Chest. The high-concept pitch? Get all the old British bad-asses together, get them angry at a French waiter, and see what the hell happens.

Your Daily Affirmation

No big critical thought here, just a reminder that Anna Karina makes life livable, twenty-four frames at a time.

DVD: Nana Uncut Box Set, Vol. 4

by Lewis Manalo

Get your Japanese pop-punk fix!  If you’re not familiar with the awesomeness of Nana, prepare to have your heart broken.

Nana started as a manga about two girls – one a bubble-headed romantic, the other an aspiring rock star, both named “Nana” – who become friends when they make the move to big city Tokyo.  The ensuing late night parties, pop star rivalries, and male prostitution give Gossip Girl a run for its money.  There’s a reason VIZ labeled the DVDs “Uncut.”

The manga spawned two live action movies and this anime series.  Volume 4 ends the series, so if you were waiting for the chance to watch the entire thing in one sitting, you now can!

How Uncanny Is My Valley

by Tony Nigro

It’s ironic that I, who currently makes a living as a visual effects editor, so often have an uncanny valley-type response to digital effects.  That is, the more real it’s meant to look, the more I don’t like it.  Give me Wall-E, not digitized, recognizable actors.

An example of where the unreal meets the real in a way that I can live with is Arev Manoukian’s short film, “Nuit Blanche.”

Beside the minor detail of the car crumpling up against the man, nothing is meant to be visually that unreal.  Or is it?  Slow motion qualifies as less than real in my book, and its prevalence tempers any uncanny moments that might otherwise throw me off.  Add that it’s spun as a dream sequence with a classy sense of style, and “Nuit Blanche” is a great few minutes of my time — plus a nice use of visual effects.

Freak of the Week: Birdemic

by Tony Nigro

I won’t mince words. All the hubbub surrounding Birdemic: Shock and Terror gets me down because my favorite crappy movie of late, Dangerous Men, seems to have been forgotten since mega-auteur John S. Rad passed away –not to mention because a turkey like The Room still survives with screenings and a looming billboard. But when you get right down to it, we’re only talking about bad movies here — our generation’s Plan 9s, non-ironic garbage that is nonetheless the guiltiest of such pleasures — so why should I care? Birdemic has digital birds that act more convincingly than the analog people. And supposedly there’s a message. I should lighten up.

Fortunately, the Los Angeles exhibitor of the Birdemic phenomenon happens to be Cinefamily, one of my favorite local cinemas and cohorts involved in the glorious (if brief) Dangerous Men phenomenon. Too bad tomorrow’s midnight show is sold out.

Maybe another local wonder, New Beverly Cinema, can hook up a triple feature of Birdemic, The Room, and Dangerous Men and all will be at peace.

Clash of the Paradigms, Part II: I told you so!

By Lewis Manalo

Mathias Döpfner, Acolyte

No matter how unseemly it may be to say it, I TOLD YOU SO!  Boo-YAHH!  Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer AG, one of the largest newspaper publishing companies in Europe says:

I think every publisher in the world should sit down once a day and pray to thank Steve Jobs that he is saving the publishing industry with [the iPad].

Yes, the iPad has the potential to save the publishers in the publishing industry (not so much the retailers), but do you have to make the paradigm shift with such religious fervor?  I never expected such blatant idolatry.  He barely even blinks at the fact that he’s praying to a business executive.

View the entire transcript of his interview with Charlie Rose here. (I swear I don’t usually watch this much Charlie Rose, especially not for tech news.)