30 June 2005
Molly, our much beloved tortoiseshell cat, passed away shortly before her 11th birthday on May 14, 2005, after having been diagnosed with a rare feline cancer "cutaneous lymphosarcoma" only weeks earlier. Devastated by her painful but heroic struggle and our eventual loss, I poured my grief into an illustrated memorial to her, in the style of Patrick O'Donnell's delightful "Mutts" comic strip. Enjoy, and love your pets as much as we did our precious girl. I'll be talking about her a lot so get used to it.
29 June 2005
With George having finally completed his six-part space opera (although I'm sure he promised us 9 or even 12 chapters back in 1977) and vowing to return to those experimental films he's been talking about in every interview since the age of Meco, it seems that "closure" on the "Star Wars" saga is looong overdue for those of us way-too-old to not remember our sister's birthday but can effortlessly recall that the Millenium Falcon's docking bay number at the Mois Eisley Spaceport is "94". The charming Anthony Daniels--the very voice and form of series mainstay C-3P0--hosted a special concert in which he narrated a "Reader's Digest" version of the saga while the brilliantly capable Toronto Symphony Orchestra performed rousing musical cues from John Williams' scores under the sure hand of conductor Erich Kunzel. Some cheesy lighting effects and questionable musical choices aside (Jar Jar's theme over Padme's funeral?) it made for a wonderful evening of warm memories and that rare communal experience that didn't have me threatening to call for the manager. To steal a quote from someone else, for many film buffs of my generation, John Williams is what the movies sound like. and tonight's performance (witnessed from Orchestra row "E", not bad) reminded me of why I've devoted so much of my life to this nonsense in the first place.
28 June 2005
The trailer for Peter Jackson's "King Kong" remake rolled out last night in a variety of media and IMHO, it looks amazing. Of course, I'm biased: I've been nuts about the simian softee since I caught his 1933 debut projected in 8mm at my hometown's public library. I'll even stake my credibility on admitting a certain "affection" for the 1976 remake directed by John Guillerman. Just about everyone dismisses this Dino DeLaurentis production as an abomination the size of Fin Fang Foom, but it was the first EVENT movie that I ate, lived, and breathed until its Xmas release. Thanks to my patient folks, I had everything but the Levis belt buckle that came with a strand of Carlo Rambaldi ape-hair: the jigsaw puzzles of John Berkey's conceptual art, the soundtrack album of John Barry's score, and, in the dark ages before DVD supplements: the paperback of Lorenzo Semple Jr.'s screenplay and the notorious "Making Of Dino DeLaurentis' King Kong" book that essentially claimed that the ape onscreen was a 60 foot mechanical robot (Rick Baker and his monkey suit warranted nary a mention, and word has it he wasn't even invited to the film's premiere). My main quibble? They showed too much of the ape! Times have changed, sure, but those ambitious Wetans should downplay the pixels, play up the passion, and take a cue from Spielberg--who's given us teaser after teaser of A-listers staring mouth agape at something offscreen and it hasn't hurt his box office returns any.
So, you've happened upon my little soapbox--likely by accident (no offense taken) and are wondering: just what the hell kind of name is "Nadaland"? First up, perish the thought that I'm some sophomore hipster with a crappy black dye-job who just discovered Hubert Selby Jr. and Russian import cigarettes--rather, those in-the-know will have immediately recognized that your present location has been named for the blue-collar Everyman John Nada, as portrayed by (Rowdy) Roddy Piper in John Carpenter's 1988 paranoid classic "They Live". I'm hardly "blue collar" and don't fancy myself an "everyman"--but I do really dig John Carpenter's flicks.
After years as resident know-it-all to the likes of the dear-departed Compuserve entertainment forums, eDrive's Tapehead, and the moribund Movieforum, I decided to launch my own site where I could periodically pontificate on the woefully misunderstood world of genre film and its poor cousins, while shamelessly self promoting my "other" life as a professional broadcast designer and storyboard artist in the feast-to-famine world of Toronto film/television production.
Portfolio to come in bits and pieces. Do visit often and when you speak of me, speak well.