Dir. Terry Zwigoff 2006 Like Ghost World, "Art School Confidential" started as a Daniel Clowes comic in Eightball, but unlike the first narrative, which played itself out over several issues, this was a one-shot, a blast of vitriol aimed directly…
‘Dinosaur’ Invites Audiences to Dig
With David Lynch-like moments of crossed realities, John Walch’s “The Dinosaur Within” wears influences from the film world on its sleeve. Yet the play, which Theater UCSB is presenting through the weekend, is not a frustrated screenplay. Instead, its numerous time-jumps and parallel narratives push what can be done with theater. By stripping down a convoluted story to a minimalist stage, Mr. Walch’s play manages to be complex yet comprehensible.
“The Dinosaur Within” opens with five characters in a tableau, like figures in a natural history museum. They are introduced by a sixth, 12-year-old Tommy (Ryan Lockwood), who addresses us from the podium of the Young Paleontologists Convention. He speaks of evolution, of adapting to survive, of excavating the past and understanding the present. Tommy is introducing the themes of the play, but it’s OK, since how these five characters are going to work out these themes is not apparent.
Dir. Brett Ratner
As a comic reader (never enough $$ to be a collector) as a kid, my love for tragic stories probably comes from the Dark Phoenix saga of the X-men. Not that I could ever buy that particular “death of Jean Grey” issue, but I could make out what I had missed in the lead-in and the aftermath. It was also their handling of the death later on that turned me against superhero comics right around age 16.
So I do have a soft spot for the X-Men. The fact that Jean Grey could not control her powers, destroys a planet in a frenzy, and is then sentenced to death, finally sacrificing herself lest her lover and her friends step in to stop justice from proceeding, gave me a little look into themes that would be dealt later in more adult literature (though writer Chris Claremont is responsible for a lot of Marvel’s maturity). A tragic flaw that cannot be rectified with anything other than death–it paved the way for me to read Hamlet later in high school, etc.
Written by Mark Gatiss 2006 A great period setting--the Queen's coronation, 1953--and a bit of retro technofear (new televisions as alien conduit) make this episode one of the better ones. The Doctor and Rose land in London to way too…
Two obits in a row--I better write some jollier entries. Imamura was one of the masters of the Japanese New Wave. I highly recommend "The Pornographers" and "Insect Women" from his classic early period. Two-time Cannes winner Shohei Imamura dies…
Dead at age 64, from a heart attack. One of the greats! R.I.P.
Writer: Tom McRae
The first two-parter of the season “Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel” brought back an old nemesis (one of the least interesting, in my book) and tried to rework some modern magic on them. I found the episodes only mildly successful, mostly because of its pretensions of scope and its inability to provide the visuals or ideas to match. Instead of following the mythology–cybermen, hailing from Telos, invading planets and such–the script posits an alternative universe where Cybermen are invention by a mad CEO of a telecommunications company. Played by wheezing, scene-chompiness by Roger Lloyd Pack, John Lumic desires to evolve and escape from his wheelchair-bound, terminally ill state. (Though I have to give Mr. Pack credit for saying he created the character based on Donald Rumsfeld.)
Paul Morely writes in this Observer piece on the history of Manchester's music scene about the nights that changed music as we know it--the Sex Pistols gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall, June 4 and July 20, 1976.Devoto, let's…
Photo by Brian Damage from this Flickr set.
[Warning: Geeky, obsessed fan review follows] I’ve had few transcendent moments watching live music (many more on headphones and/or driving, thanks), but this weekend I had an damn near out of body experience at The Fall concert at the Knitting Factory. It helped that I haven’t seen the group since 1993 and that the new album is just brilliant, and also that I was second from the front of the stage, dead center, and located right next a giant bass floor speaker that I’m sure has now rendered me sterile through low frequency vibrations. But it was worth it!
Vintage, 2003 Mark Haddon comes from a background of childrens books, which partly explains the simple, straightforward storytelling of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Yet the tone, and the clinical POV of its autistic protagonist allow…