Thursday, October 28, 2004

After 86 YEARS, the Boston Red Sox won the Pennant. Kinda puts the whole Ateneo-beating-La Salle in a pathetic perspective, eh?

Man, I would LOVE to be in Boston right now. I really miss the place. :(

They must be going kah-ray-zee.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

I have been a zombie the last couple of days. Mostly still trying to catch up on a crapload of books and DVDs, when not trying to cram in/finish due articles. During a few days I was actually able to finish Takeshi Kitano’s Yakuza trilogy, George Romero’s Trilogy of the Dead, and managed to squeeze in Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cure and Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt. All quite brilliant, thankfully. Not a bad one in the bunch. As for movies that are out right now, my favorite parts of Shark Tale were the ones referring to other films, but Sky Captain is fun and a half! They really got to cram in all these genre staples of old pulps, and the Spielberg influence is unashamedly on display. And House of Flying Daggers is out, go see it. Open Water was alright, but nothing unmissable. I finally finished McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales! It really does take me longer to finish anthologies. Anyway, an excellent collection, more hits than misses, and damn can Chabon entice. I am actually having a quasi-difficult time deciding what to read next...


People who passed away recently:
Jacques Derrida
Christopher Reeve
Janet Leigh
Rodney Dangerfield


The other week I gave a talk to some kids about comics, which was fun, even though I didn’t have much time to prepare and thus was going along on the fly. Still, I was happily surprised that they were Asterix readers, which definitely did half the work for me already as I just had to address certain things like suggested movement and exaggeration of expression.


Photobucket have inevitably set a ceiling for their service: 25 MB. Otherwise you have to start paying. Oh well, here we go again...


Make with the click-click: The Ring 2 teaser (new story, and original director Hideo Nakata), and the long-awaited new Jean-Pierre Jeunet, A Very Long Engagement (Alexis said he saw this trailer attached to House of Flying Daggers, a very good sign indeed).


The new REM (Around the Sun) didn’t impress me. But the posthumous new Elliott Smith (From a Basement on the Hill) has been on repeat in my room. The first time I heard it I almost felt like crying, wondering if these would be the last "new" songs I ever hear from one of my favorite songwriters. :(

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Who would like to get the Bone: One Volume Edition I continue to rave about at a discount? Send me your info on the comments, please. And do it ASAP!


The Japanese boyfriend pillow's been in the news recently. But wouldn't you rather have the Godfather horse head pillow instead?

I know I would.


House of Flying Daggers is beautiful. It's got all these influences in it: dance, opera, music. It's got more layers than I thought it would. I particularly enjoyed that the fight scenes this time out didn't just feature exceptional choreography but a genuine consideration of setting. It's sometimes not about the cool moves but the mood and rhythm of a scene, where the thrust and parry is more about relentlessness and less about actually trying to conquer the opponent. There are also some tricks and visual treats that will leave your mouth agape. Who would've imagined that Zhang Yimou, of all people, would be so good at making wuxia action epics? And seemingly invent all these new tricks and moves? I wish I knew how he visualizes these things.

They played a bad 2046 trailer at the beginning. I hope this is a good sign.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Saturday's puppet show was awesome! It was 2 Spanish fellows, dressed entirely in black, manipulating puppets on a long table, with only a bunch of candles as illumination. The main puppets weren't marionettes, but some of the supporting one-off chracters were. Thankfully it wasn't in Spanish, or even in English-- it was all gibberish. Which you can pull off if it's Quixote. I sometimes wondered, though, what the experience was like for those who had no idea at all what Quixote was about. Anyway, it was obvious they knew their stuff, and had performed this many, many times. They were perfectly timed with the music playing over the speakers, and they knew their cues. Occasionally one of the guys would drop out of sight to prepare the next backdrop or characters, leaving only one person to control the puppets. But when both men operate one puppet, like in the beginning, the movement is incredible. Graceful, accurate, and just so alive and expressive that it made me feel like a kid again. I did love the fact, though, that I could be so entranced by the puppet, but just look up a few inches and there would be the puppeteers, faces acting out emotions as the gibberish spilled forth. Occasionally the puppets would actually acknowledge the puppeteers, maybe ask them to do this and that, or chastise them with a look for prying, and in this, again, the fact that it was Quixote didn't hurt. The music was good, the set construction ingenious, and the whole thing was just terrific. Even though I was dog-tired I was really glad I went. There was an interesting effect achieved at the end, when, one by one, the candles were snuffed out, making it the theatrical equivalent of a fade to black. Brilliant.

After the show, they left the puppets on the table and while some people were shy at first, I thought I might never see these kinds of puppets again and so bounded up the steps to look at them up close and actually try them out. They were papier-mache, and a little heavier than I expected, but as usual, the eyes were eerily realistic, and reflected light really well.


I finished The Passion and, yay, it was also very good. It had much more plot than I thought it would, but as ever, Winterson's strength is her language, and she convincingly posits love as both irresistible force and immovable object. I was surprised at how short it was. The fact that the two narrators sometimes had the exact same thoughts/observations/conclusions reminded me of Haruki Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland & The End of the World. Speaking of Murakami, when the fuck is he coming out with a new novel in English? It's been years since Sputnik Sweetheart!

Have begun McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales, edited by Michael Chabon.


On the heels of the 2046 trailer, it's the first footage from Mirrormask. Thankfully, the thing I was unsure of, the music, isn't from the film. No hint of a story, just some beautiful images.

The project Wong Kar-Wai is developing with Nicole Kidman is called The Lady From Shanghai. I'm not sure yet if it's a remake of the Orson Welles film or not.

New trailers: the new Birth trailer, Days of Being Wild is going to be released in the US, the new Incredibles, and the new Jean-Pierre Jeunet, A Very Long Engagement.


Sometimes while reading someone's blog entry, in the midst of it you're already reacting, and maybe forming what will become, supposedly, a comment. But then the post in question arrives effortlessly at the conclusion that you did, and serves as a gentle reminder of why this person is a friend, and someone whose blog you read. Such is the case with Colleen's recent post.

And if I may mention, Neva's recent posts have been reminding me why she's under Blog Inspirations on the left. She makes it look easy. It comes very naturally to her, even if she doesn't see it sometimes.


Today was very satisfying, in that I re-organized my bookshelves. At the end, I was just staring at it, and smiling slightly to myself. I like seeing what I've read, and am slightly daunted at what remains unread, but excited all the same.

I'm in such a reading mood! I keep telling myself to set aside time to catch up on all these DVDs I haven't seen, but I end up staying in my room trying to finish a few more pages of whatever it is I happen to be on.

Friday, October 01, 2004


Quijote: The Puppet Show
02/10/2004 19:00 h.
Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium
RCBC Plaza, Yuchengco Tower
Makati City

It's free! I can't remember the last time I saw a puppet show. Sorry for the late notice; I got this from Gab.