Amoeblog

Spotlite? on Paul Anderson

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 27, 2008 09:04pm | Post a Comment

Background

Paul Anderson is a prolific Generation X filmmaker with a trademark style and five Academy Awards under his belt. He's also made music videos for everyone who's performed at Largo. In addition to his film-making, he's dated models turned singers, singers turned models, daughters of singers and models who only sing in the shower.

Style

Paul Anderson's films are notable for their flashy style and complicated, interweaving story lines. As one of the video store generation of filmmakers, he employs a large bag of cinematic tricks, including quick cuts, constant camera movement, stunning scenery, dutch tilts, low angles, high angles and revolving pullback shots-- tricks gleaned from growing up with a VCR rather than film school learning. He frequently employs female-led ensemble casts drawn from a stock of trusted actors. Making up that group are such players as Julianne Moore, Sean Pertwee, John C. Reilly, Colin Salmon, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jeremy Bolt, Melora Walters, Jason Isaacs, and Luiz Guzman, to name a few.

Themes

Anderson's ostentatious style is frequently used to elevate the seemingly mundane to epic proportions. Sometimes the point of this ostentatious streak seems merely like showing-off, perhaps an effect of Anderson's high level of film exposure but probable lack of theory. He frequently revels in the seedy underside of outwardly blissful environs. Other frequently recurring themes include constructions and examinations of makeshift families, the role of media, divine acts, secret governmental organizations and the unintended consequences of technology run amok.

Films

He made his first film while still in High School. It was The Dirk Diggler Story. It was a short mockumentary inspired by the teenage Anderson's voracious appetite for porn.

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North Asia

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 27, 2008 07:53pm | Post a Comment


While trying to beat the heat, I often think of what far-off cold places I'd like to go before the world turns to desert. North Asia is high on my list for sheer obscurity. Even the designation "north Asia" sounds like something that never gets said. I think that my first awareness of North Asia as a place came with playing Risk (aka La Conquête du Monde) when my conquering cavalry rode triumphantly into Yakutsk, Irkutsk and Kamchatka. It's expensive to fly there, they almost all love throat-singing, the curiously named Jew's Harp and occasionally stumble across frozen mega-fauna. Beyond that, I know more about the member Planets of the Federation than the little-known nations of North Asia... (in Ying Yang Twins voice) at least til now.
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(If interested, there are similar entries about Caucasia, Eastern Europe and South Asia.)

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The Altay (also known as Altai or Altayans ) people are a nomadic Turkic people who've settled in the Altai Republic (and neighboring Altai Krai).

 

According to the website waytorussia.net:

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One Man's Basura is Another Man's Trash - 5

Posted by Whitmore, June 27, 2008 08:12am | Post a Comment

Some facts on garbage: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produces about 4.4 pounds of garbage a day, or a total of 29 pounds per week and 1,600 pounds a year; multiply that by the United States population of about 300 million, and you have one hell of a mountain of trash. And this average only considers households and not industrial waste or commercial trash.

The garbage produced in a year in the U.S. alone could fill enough garbage trucks to form a line to the moon… or cover the entire state of Texas two and a half times … or bury more than 990,000 football gridirons six-foot deep in compressed waste. Also, Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild the entire fleet of commercial jets in the US.

And for those inclined, here are a few more dumpster diving tips.

Tip # 1 - Never, and I do mean never, climb inside a dumpster that is equipped with a trash compactor. Sure some of those tales may be just urban myths, but once in a while down at the ol’ landfill a grisly discovery finds some poor sucker, flashlight still in hand, squished like a bug.  

Tip # 22 - I always avoid climbing a fence to reach a dumpster. Here are a couple of reasons why: first, if there is anything worthwhile to be had, chances are middling to good that the wares will be lying around outside the fence. The fact is most people are lazy and won’t take the time to put their trash bag down, reach in their pocket, fiddle for some keys, struggle with selecting the right key, unlock the fence, pick the sack of garbage back up, open the dumpster, drop it in and the relock the gate unless they absolutely have no other choice … and even then they’ll find an excuse. And the second reason for not climbing a fence: As a kid, my little sister slipped climbing over a chain link fence. She caught her arm on a spike, and as she dangled there, frantically clawing at the air and at the fence, screaming “there’s a hole my arm, there’s a hole my arm!” every thrashing twist ripped a bigger gash in her bicep, until finally it tore loose. The sight of a dripping hunk of skin hanging from a spike on a fence and the blood soaked cement below has stayed with me for many a decade. Simply put -- I don’t climb fences.

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June 26, 2008

Posted by phil blankenship, June 27, 2008 01:12am | Post a Comment
Wanted Film Ticket Angelina Jolie

AMOEBLOG INTERVIEW WITH ESPERANZA SPALDING

Posted by Billyjam, June 27, 2008 12:55am | Post a Comment

Hard-working jazz singer/instrumentalist Esperanza Spalding, who recently played several dates in California and whose latest album Esperanza on Heads Up International has been available at Amoeba Music since it was released last month, took some time out of her busy schedule to talk with the Amoeblog this week. The jazz acoustic bassist/vocalist  talked about how she defines the type of music she plays, her recent gig at the Roots Picnic in Philly, the state of jazz music in 2008, and how she got into the style of music initially. 
 
"I fell in love with the music via the bass," said Esperanza. "Playing the instrument automatically made me a draw for jazzers who needed bass in their band, or on a gig. People would literally tell me, 'Hey if you check out these records or learn these songs, you can have this gig.'  And, when the music I was assigned or turned onto was jazz, I would take it to heart and try my best to understand it. Of course, for my musical palette at that time, it took a while before I could really    
   appreciate what I was listening to."

As for the challenge of being both a vocalist and an instrumentalist simultaneously, the artist said that it just takes practice as far as executing the music. "But what can be difficult is being a singer, in the sense that you are engaged with the audience, and really responsible for emoting, and getting into the lyrics, melody, etc and being an effective bassist/band leader," she added. On the topic of Esperanza's music, I asked the artist how she herself describes her style? "Hmm, investigative," she replied. "I am trying to synthesize all the elements that are present, or at least present in my intention, if it doesn't always translate to the listener. I figure in a few years I'll really be able to peg my sound."

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