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December 27 at 11:00am

What I Did This Year

My enthusiasm and commitment for the Web increased a great deal this year.  I started a whole bunch of blogs, among other things.  Where did that enthusiasm come from?  I think this video captures a lot of it.


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December 20 at 11:35am

Windsor McCay


Over at Bowl Of Noses, I’ve posted about one of my true heroes, someone whose imagination has driven mine, whose art has inspired me and driven me, whose life I wonder about: the man who gave us the comic strip, moving pictures, and true hybrid works, Windsor McCay.  Little Nemo In Slumberland and Dreams Of A Rarebit Fiend are must haves, true Essential Reading.  

I just had the pleasure of stumbling across a study he did, a work in progress.  CENTAURS are the early stages for a film we will never get to see.  But we do get to see his strong line drawing and the personality he injected into each character while delving into art in the age of mechanical reproduction.  The joy the young centaur — they would truly be “kids”, right? — projects at the end of the piece speaks to what could have been.
The curse that the only Little Nemo we have to enjoy as a completed animated film is the one we have is a true misfortune.
Also be sure to check out Meeting McCay, hailing from Windsor’s home town in Michigan, Spring Lake, and chock full of good stuff on the man, his art, and his influence.
I recommend you buy the books, but you can enjoy an excellent taste of Nemo over at the Comic Strip Library.


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December 14 at 9:09pm

Timesculpture

Not having cable or being a television watcher, I miss out on some culture, some artistry, some trends. I am glad there are ways to make up for that now. Maybe it’s an odd thing to select to watch advertisements. But when someone reorders the world into new art, I want to see it. I also want it explained. I was glad to find this out there too:

And thanks to The NYTimes YEAR IN IDEAS for tipping me to this too.

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December 13 at 11:04am

Playing For Change

“Playing For Change” combines three of my fave things in one nice package.

I have always wanted to see the definitive busker documentary.  Every time I encounter one in a subway station, my spirits are lifted.  I would time my trips and pick my destinations if I knew when I could find who performing where.  It’s a good day when I encounter two good acts in the same day. Every once and awhile I wonder what’s stopping this doc from getting made.
Definitely one of the most watched and loved videos of the year was “Where The Hell Is Matt?“.  Beyond the silly dancing and great locations, I like the inherent message that the “Where The Hell Is Matt?” structure gives in terms of a one world connectivity.
“Stand By Me” has always been one of my favorite songs.  For me it was first delivered by John Lennon on his “Rock & Roll” album and that led me to Ben E. King’s sweet sweet voice.  If I wasn’t thankful enough for John already, that upped the ante.  
This trinity joins together in “Playing For Change”.  I really enjoy the voices as well as the video as much as the song here.
The feature doc is much more than this song and features a great number of performers throughout the world.  I look forward to seeing it.  You can learn more about it on the link at the top of this entry.


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December 10 at 11:06am

Other ways to tell stories

A couple months back, I read about a novel from the ’60′s that wasn’t bound as a book but as individual chapters that could be read in any order.  The novel was about memory and as such the form mirrored the content’s non-linear nature.  The playfulness of form has stayed in my mind (and on my agenda).

Part of technology’s promise is that we will find new ways to express ourselves.  I definitely like some of what Jonathan Harris is doing, which is quite a bit.

Thanks Geralyn!


Here’s another experiment in telling stories, but now in One Sentence.  It’s a good way to practice your pitches, you screenwriters you.


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December 9 at 1:11pm

Imagine

I got the album for Christmas the year it came out.  I had matching glasses.  I played the album over and over and stared at the photos and the poster.  Every song entered my being, and is still there today.  By the time this day rolled around 24 years ago, I felt that John was someone I need to move on from.  My music had changed, but I was not truly ready to move on; I was only acting the angry young man part, a part that I had partially lifted from John.  I am glad he lives on today.  Imagine…


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December 6 at 12:19pm

The Old Man’s Back Again! Scott Walker Comes Home…

A guest post today from filmmaker Stephen Kijak:

As Ted’s mind was blown by Captain Beefheart (see previous post), I had a similar mind-melt one day in 1990 in SF when someone played me a song called “The Old Man’s Back Again” by a fellow named Scott Walker. ( I discovered Ted is also a Scott fan – so thanks for sharing this space with me.)


The Walker Brothers: “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore”:

Inspiration is the thing, isn’t it? The older we get it seems it is harder to be truly blown apart and transformed by music. Those sorts of transformative spells seem easier to fall under in our youth. But no. Time and time again, I have found that Scott Walker will really mess with someone’s head, with their whole life, as it did with mine. So much so that I went and made a film about him. “Scott Walker – 30 Century Man” is my cinematic mix-tape designed to convert you, to shake you up, and to put the fear of Punched Meat in you (you’ll have to see the film…).

The core thesis was “inspiration”. That first song, recorded (I soon discovered) in 1969, seemed to contain in it the seeds of everything that I loved in music; all that dark, cinematic bliss and mystery – where did he get it and how did Bowie, Ferry, Eno, Marc Almond, Tindersticks, The Smiths, Pulp, Divine Comedy, Radiohead, Goldfrapp and countless others get their hands on it and how has it moved through their lives, their music? But as Scott moved from 60′s orch-crooner to contemporary avant-gardist (this is where the meat punching comes in) the inspirational power he transmits is not just about what singer is copping his croon, but about a very intense and focused dedication to craft, pure and simple.

Scott today: “Jesse” a video created by Graham Wood for the film: 

Here is a man who moved through fame and into his ART and has never, ever looked back. That this man found fame and than infamy in the UK while his home-country has all but ignored him (he was born in Hamilton, OH and cut his teeth on the Sunset Strip in the early 60′s) has inspired me to do my damnedest to bring him home, to get America to wake up and take note of one of our great, great musicians, composers, and poets.
Trailer for the film:

(Film starts a limited theatrical on Dec 17th at IFC Center in NYC before moving on to SF and LA and beyond.)


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