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"..why is life worth living?.."

(Isaac lying on the couch, speaking into the tape recorder) Isaac: An idea for a short story about ... um ... people in Manhattan who ... er ... are constantly creating these real unnecessary neurotic problems for themselves - because it keeps them from dealing with more unsolvable terrifying problems about ... er ... the universe - Um, tsch -- it's, uh ... well, it has to be optimistic. Well, all right, why is life worth living? That's a very good question. Um. Well, there are certain things I - I guess that make it worthwhile. Uh, like what? Okay. Um, for me ... oh, I would say ... what, Groucho Marx, to name one thing ... uh ummmm and Willie Mays, and um, uh, the second movement of the Jupiter Symphony, and ummmm ... Louie Armstrong's recording of "Potatohead Blues" ... umm, Swedish movies, naturally ... "Sentimental Education" by Flaubert ... uh, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra ... ummm, those incredible apples and pears by Cézanne ... uh, the crabs at Sam Wo's ... tsch, uh, Tracy's face ...Manhattan, 1979


by Anna Sunshine Ison

On Wednesday, they pulled a woman,
once-woman, out of the lake—
drowned who-knows-when
and turned into soap.
This is not the sort of transformation
we are taught to expect—
girls into birds, plastic surgery,
born-again Christians.
These changes we can deal with,
with little more than a stretch of belief.
But this. Bones become soft,
a face that fingers could reshape.
Is that what they did to bury her:
sculpt her into her original form
like Avicenna’s bear-mother
nosing her whelps? Or
is now the time for artistic license,
to gift her with a beauty she never had,
an apology for seeing her so undone?
I want to know if the coroner
found his hands unexpectedly clean
where he’d lifted her,
and if he plunged them into the muck
so he could have a stain to wash off
when he got back home.

From The Greensboro Review, Spring 2004
Art: (c) Aya Kato

Miyazaki's Howl

  Howl's Moving Castle
(Hauru no Ugoku Shiro)  Howl's Moving Castle

Music from the Score - (if you like the music in "Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain" you may like this)

Liz, Kim and I are overly excited about this movie. I saw it and while at first I wasn't that interested ( I was noticing too many Miyazaki staples and was becoming bored ) at some point it took a turn and completely pulled me in. "Princess Mononoke" remains my favorite Miyazaki movie because of all the action it has.

"Online Ghibli reports that according to the Nanjing Morning Post, Studio Ghibli has decided that the next feature movie project from the legendary Hideo Miyazaki ("Spirited Away", "Princess Mononoke") would be an adaptation of a children novel called "Wo diushile wode xiaonanhai (I Lost my Little Boy)," a new piece of work by a Chinese writer called Yishu."

+"I Lost My Little Boy" book cover
+ Illustrated Guide to the Studio Ghibli Museum
+ The Studio Ghibli visit

the many faces of Batman

BATMAN: COVER TO COVER - I don't have this book but I want it.
Commentary on personal favorites is provided by Batman Begins director Christopher Nolan, TV's first Batman Adam West, the voice of the Joker Mark Hamill, as well as comic book creators Neil Gaiman, Alex Ross etc etc.


+ Golden Age Batman Cover Gallery
+ Another Batman Cover Gallery goes all the way to 1994
+ from "Superman: The Complete History"

Gorillaz Get Around


Filter-Mini: The latest issue features Gorillaz, Mercury Rev, Tim Burgess vs. Tegan and Sara. Also,The Gorillaz track "Kids With Guns" will be featured on the O.C. tomorrow night.
+ Wikipedia: Gorillaz - " Gorillaz have earned the Guinness World Record for being the Most Successful Virtual Band "
+ Previously... [ Martina + Gorillaz  ]

My sassy girl keeps being remade


The thing about my Korean crush Jeon Ji-hyeon is that a few of her movies are getting remade by Hollywood and I'm dying to see Hollywood's bright idea of an american version of Jeon Ji-hyeon. Actually they've already casted one of her roles, the female lead in the American remake of "Il Mare" is Sandra Bullock. I'm more interested in the remake of "My Sassy Girl": " DreamWorks has just announced that Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha will be remaking the Korean hit for Western audiences" (source). hmm...

Other Korean or *Hong Kong* remakes:

//Infernal Affairs becomes Scorsese's The Departed (WTF is up with this title?) with with Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson.

//The Eye becomes Hideo Nakata's The Eye with Tom Cruise

//Old Boy becomes Old Boy as directed by Justin Lin ( I vote for Nicholas Cage in the lead)

Speaking of Infernal Affairs and Jeon Ji-hyeon: Top-star Jeon Ji-hyeon has chosen the Hong Kong movie “Daisy,” directed by Andrew Lau, as her next production. She will play opposite Jeong Woo-seong, who played the lead in the movie “A Moment to Remember.” “Daisy” will be directed by Andrew Lau, who also directed the “Internal Affairs” series, while the script will be overseen by director kwak Jae-Yong, who directed “Windstruck.”


Lars Von Trier's "MANDERLAY" is to be shown at Cannes 05.

The story continues from the point where Grace left Dogville. We follow her and her father as they come to Manderlay, a plantation in Alabama where they witness the horrors and injustice of slavery, which compels Grace to intervene.

+ Director cuts dead donkey scenes
Danish director Lars Von Trier has cut scenes of a butchered donkey from his forthcoming movie, bowing to pressure from animal rights campaigners.

Others in the cast: Willem Dafoe, Danny Glover, Lauren Bacall, Jeremy Davies, Udo Kier and Chloë Sevigny.

The USA trilogy ( Dogville, Manderlay and Washington ) is based on Jacob Holdt's (above, left) book "Amerikanske Billede". It was also a documentary -  "American Pictures" . ( Review )

Who is Mr. Holdt? he keeps a very peculiar web page that includes, among his serious photography and genealogy works,  Hobby #7. World's greatest collector of e-mail jokes and a complete photo catalogue over my old girlfriends! (not really).

Previously... [ Lars von Trier on Casablanca ]

Cohen for Nobel

[ AUDIO ]  Paul Kennedy convenes a public forum at Montreal's Blue Metropolis Literary Festival to nominate Leonard Cohen for The Nobel Prize in Literature.

+ CBC Archives - Leonard Cohen: Canada's Melancholy Bard - Excellent collection of Audio and Video.
+ CBC host heads Nobel drive for Leonard Cohen

Previously.... [ Lustless ] [ Cohen is 70 ][ "Beautiful Losers is...." ] [ Women.. ]


I like to classify Ex Machina as a comic book most likely to be a kick ass tv show anytime, anywhere.


Brian K. Vaughan Interview on Comic Con Update: 1 + 2.

Since we're talking about comics... BATMAN BEGINS ON SMALLVILLE FINALE: The WB has announced that it will show an exclusive eight-minute special footage preview of Batman Begins during the 90-minute season finale of Smallville on Wednesday, May 18.

Shaun of the Dead: the comic book

Mix Tape


Sarah Vowell talks about the mysteries of the long-distance love affair, and one distinctive modern feature of the process: the compilation tape. She says that the problem she's had with making tapes to send to her boyfriends is that she and her beloved tend not to have the same taste in music. While the whole process is romantic, it's left her with boxes and boxes of tapes that she never intends to listen to again. Now, there's a service that will make mix tapes to order...she visits with the proprietor of this unusual business.
( Real Audtio - starts at 28 minutes )

+ Theoretical Adventures of Sarah Vowell
+ Sarah Vowell: Superheroine by Nick Hornby
+ A very brief exploration of the evolution and uses of the mixtape in society
+ The Quaint Cassette Is Sent Reeling Into History's Dustbin
+ Wikipedia: mixtape

“Ask any ex of yours from the early ‘90s about the amorous mix tapes you once made, and chances are, Sonic Youth appears somewhere among the track listing. So, perhaps it’s fitting that Thurston Moore is working on a book that takes a nostalgic look at that most humble vehicle of adolescent expression. Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture explores the sound mixes and art we created in our bedrooms long before iTunes and Photoshop.”
―Michael Dougherty, Blackbook Magazine.  Fall 2004.
This title will be released on May  3, 2005

Year One


    I'm afraid I may
    have to die tonight.
I'd rather die...than wait
    I have waited eighteen years,
since that night....
    since all sense left my life.
You've eaten Gotham's wealth.
    Its spirit.
Your feast is nearly over.
    From this moment on...
None of you are safe.
How father?
    How do I do it?
What do I use...
    to make them afraid? "

+ Also by Miller and Mazzuchelli: Daredevil: Born Again
+ Frank Miller was on 60 Minutes last week [via ]

Michael Zulli's TMNT

Before Michael Zulli did "The Wake" I had encountered his work in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #31, a comic book i really liked when I was kid for its stark contrast to the tv cartoons. I think this was collected into a trade paperback but I'm not sure. Funny that it featured many Matthew, The Raven like birs all over it. Years later Zulli's take on Matthew sort of became the best version of the character.

+ "The Last Morpheus": 'Evolution of a Dream', A Painting in Progress by Michael Zulli
+ Sandman - Morpheus Poster
+ Sandman - Daniel Poster ( which I had up on my wall for years )
+ Sandman - Zulli's pencil work

Ashlee vs the rude fan


" Ashley Simpson came to see Chad and watch their show. Of course, Eisley met her after their set. The drama occurred when, toward the encore of nfg's set, some kid turned to her and said, "you suck!... now you see what it's like to hear REAL music"; her female assistant tried to apply some kind words to divert the drama and was shoved by the kid. Then Ashley's personal security guard pinned the guy down and poured beer on him... the kid tried to fight him... and got more beer poured on him until the drama ended. Ashley left - presumably sad." { source }

[ I came so far for beauty ]


" Her shoulders were intolerably graceful: I would never permit my wife to wear strapless gowns with such shoulders, but how could she be my wife? Renny says to Nell in the English version of Monparnasse's rather comic tale: "The infamous shadow of our unnatural affair will follow us into the low depths of the Inferno which our Father who is in the sky shows to us with his superb digit." For some odd reason the worse translations are not from the Chinese, but from plain French."
Vladimir Nabokov, "Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle"

[ Stina Nordenstam -  I came so far for beauty ]

The Three Wise Men of Comics


Grant Morrison, Brain K. Vaughan and Brian Azzarello

Above are the three wise men of modern comic book writers. They've produced my favorite reads this year. Here's some examples:

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"Hero-vestite", from Seven Soldiers #0

+ The Grant Morrison Experience

Y: THE LAST MAN #31/32 - My favorite scene was the ending of "Ring of Truth". Finding out that our protagonists are going to Japan. Enter: chick pirates.

+ Yorrick has a problem with Willie Nelson
+ BKV - The Last Man Speaks: Brain K. Vaughan talks ending Y.  I didn't know Y the last man ends with issue 60.

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"The eff word for tonight", from 100 Bullets # 57. A great ending to a very intense story arc that I expected to end with bloody murder instead of forgiveness. Issue #58 ended up proving that #57 was a sucker punch.

+ Brian Azzarello Interview
Sadly, Brian's Superman run is awful. I'm going to ignore its existence like I Ignore The Matrix sequels were ever made.

Honorary Mention: David Lapham's "Stray Bullets" turned 10 this year and its as great as ever. The last issue released made me laugh out loud.

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[ Song Requests ]

Recent Performances Of Interest...Ben Lee, The Kills, Lou Barlow , Graham Coxon , Joseph Arthur, M. Ward, Kings Of Convenience and Tegan and Sara.

Others: Arcade Fire , Shivaree , The Delgados and The Twilight Singers.

Songs I'm looking for:

Josh Ritter & Kathleen Edwards - some live song they did together.
Gavin Friday - In the Shadow of a Gun from "The Boxer" soundtrack. (got it! thanks : Caroline )
Leila - Won't You Be My Baby, Baby.

Womenfolk has some Sinead Lohan mp3s. According to the Gavin Friday website, he "penned two ballads for Sinead's new album" last year.

+ Alanis and Avril sing together.
+ R.E.M - After Hours (Live)
+ The mysterious production of ANDREW BIRD

+ Miracle Drug with the orgin story

Miho and The Bride

Frank Miller on Quentin, Miho and The Bride
" I think Quentin and I are in some sort of collision of universe these days. Especially with him working on Big Fat Kill. I didn't even know it, but the swords that Miho used are the same ones that Uma used in Kill Bill. So Who knows, maybe they met once ".

first taste of Veritgo

VERTIGO: FIRST TASTE is released today. The six issues included in this book are: 100 BULLETS #1, THE BOOKS OF MAGICK: LIFE DURING WARTIME #1, SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #21, TRANSMETROPOLITAN #1 and my personal favorites: Y: THE LAST MAN #1 and DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING #1. All this for $4.99

+ New Jersey Star Leger mentions "Vertigo: First Taste"
+ The History of DC/Vertigo Comics
+ Coming soon from Vertigo: NEIL GAIMAN'S NEVERWHERE - the comic book
+ Charles Vess Interview

[ Fiona Apple - The first taste (live) ]

Happy 10th "The Bends"


"The Bends" Original U.S. Release Date:  April 4, 1995 

[ Nice Dream ] Demo & [ Nice Dream] Live

I recall getting tickets to see R.E.M with Radiohead opening and being disappointed. I said to myself "Those one hit wonders are opening?". Imagine my fate when I saw Radiohead open for R.E.M two nights in a row and experience a future favorite album as a live show first. "Fake Plastic Trees" making it to the "Clueless" soundtrack could only be considered a good thing regardless of what Alicia Silverstone said about it in the movie.

"The Bends was many things, but it wasn't really *chirpy* was it? It was more like a darkness lumbering over the horizon with gun turrets strafing the Britpop hordes with misery. Er, sorry. Got a bit carried away there." - Colin

"We wanted to make this new record a year and a half ago but the U.S. success of 'Creep' kept us from going into the studio. The delay added a seasoned street spirit that probably would not have been there if we had recorded it earlier. It's a lot more relaxed than our first record." - Colin { source }

Ranked #110 in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time"
Ranked #4 in Q's "Best 50 Albums of Q's Lifetime"   
Ranked #30 in The NME "Top 30 Heartbreak Albums
Ranked #4 in NME's `Top 50 Albums Of The Year' for 1995. Melody Maker  {source}

Warren Ellis - Unpublished Hellblazer

Archived Comic

" Many moons ago, Warren Ellis and Phil Jiminez wrote and drew an issue of Hellblazer.
It was called Shoot.
It got pulled before it went to press, because at the time the higher ups at DC and Time Warner deemed it too sensitive after the school killings in the US. Which I have still to see the US government do anything about, other than blame it on computer games and the Matrix. "

Sin City: about the dvd

Rodriguez on the Sin City DVD - Unique features planned for the discs

"We shot the full stories of the books," Rodriguez says. "And I knew we could truncate it down, we weren't going to lose any scenes. Eventually they would all be available for people to see. The DVD will come out with the theatrical cut, and then there will be a separate disc that's got the individual episodes separate with their own title card and you could just watch The Big Fat Kill from beginning to end in its full cut as a single story and then switch over and watch The Yellow Bastard, and that's 45 minutes. It will have all the material back in, so it will be like the experience of picking up the books where you pick up one story and you read it from beginning to end and it will have all the material in it. So you can kind of shuffle your own version of the movie and just watch them all separately."

The stories will feature additional scenes that will be familiar to fans of the graphic novels. "There were some things we had cut out from [Yellow Bastard] just to pace it for a feature because they weren't supposed to be three stories put together when he first wrote them, they were all separate books. So [there were] things to sort of pace it for a feature and keep it on a through line… Mickey Rourke doesn't go visit his mom now like he did in the book and get his gun, but we shot all that and it's all great stuff.

+ NPR: Kevin Smith Interviewing Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller
+ Book Excerpt
+ A well done Polish Sin City site
+ Marv - the toy