the awesome/terrifying freedom

out here, somewhere, figuring it all out.

a visual representation of my movie watching

since announcing my film literacy project in late september, i've been steadily watching the history of film, in a roughly sequential order. my original list of 500-some movies gradually grew to a current list of 751. the original master list compiles the following lists:
  • roger ebert's 'the great movies' (films added as he adds them to the list)
  • richard maltin's top 100
  • afi top 100
  • imdb top 250 (i wanted popular films, not just critical successes)
  • best picture oscar winners
the interesting thing that started to happen was that after watching a lot of silent films, i began to understand the language of silents and wanted to seek more out - so i'd go searching for another list that would add a few more silents, but would also pepper in other films throughout the list.

then after reaching the films of the 1940's, i started to realize that by now, adding in another list isn't really going expand it by much (there is a lot of overlap), so i added a few more in.

i wanted to see foreign film history unfold, so i added:
  • all winners of the best foreign film oscar
  • movieline's top 100 foreign films
i chanced on this list online, saw it had some new films in it, and added it to the list as well:
  • totalfilm's most influential films
after adding these, i felt it was time to stop adding. if the list gets too big, i'll never get through the whole thing. i need to complete the list as is first, and then add into it afterwards. but then i realized a key list was missing:
  • the 100 all time box office adjusted for ticket price inflation
this list added a fascinating new element: audience hits, but critical failures. no picture of the history of film can be complete without exploring that.

and so, 752 films. all data is kept on an excel spreadsheet, which was once online, but i'm working on updating the data (google docs incorrectly imports colored cells, which screws up my system for tracking what i've watched, so keeping the list up to date online has been a pain). in excel it's easy to scale your page to fit the screen. because i color-code the films i've seen, zooming way out shows you just how much of the 'bible' i've 'read.' here's the visualization in a strip:

the top of the strip is 1895 and the bottom is 2008. the blue area represents films that i've seen and the white is films i've yet to see. i've seen nearly all of the 162 film on the list before 1950 (which is that big block of blue at the top). the giant gap in my viewing is the period from 1950 to 1980. there are nearly 100 films in each decade, and i can't wait to see how history, american culture, and film technology evolve during that period. i can't wait until i can look at one giant, big blue block of seen films.

i feel like i'm done adding for now. i'm still not totally opposed to adding new lists, but a compelling argument must be made for how its inclusion would inform my reading of the other lists. but once i finish this project in its present form, i will probably seek to double the size of the list, adding in any esoteric collection i can possibly find.


i was asked by a friend to create an inspirational graphic using the word 'decide.' he'd been through a tough period and needed a zen-like reminder that just making a decision, while tough, feels a lot better than torturing yourself indefinitely.

so i put my photoshop skills to work and made this greeting card-ready image:

though my darker side gravitates to something more like this:

the couch

a couple weeks ago, someone put a couch out by the street in front of my apartment building. it's very comfy, and it faces the sun for a good part of the day, and it's within reach of my wireless signal. so until it inevitably gets picked up, i'll occasionally go outside with my laptop and work from the couch. it's a great way to get some sun while working from home.

just now this neighbor lady had a fit at me. while pulling out of her driveway, she yelled at me from her car:
you can just have that couch if you want it! it's not my couch. our neighbor put it out there and i don't know why. it's not my business. i'm not going to get involved in someone else's business. i'm just saying that you can have that couch if you want it. because it is going to get ruined when it rains this weekend, which it's supposed to do and i don't want to see it ruined. i don't understand it. why would they do something like that. that couch needs to go. it's just driving me crazy and it's gonna get ruined if you don't take it or do something with it. it's not my business. i'm not going to get involved in someone else's business.
and with that she drove off. it's always impressive to me how people allow something that's not even remotely connected to them to utterly ruin their day. i also love when people exclaim that they're not going to get involved in someone else's business, like those who say 'i don't mean to be a bitch, but..' it's obvious that her true objection is that to her eye, it makes the neighborhood look cheap.

maybe i should claim the couch and leave it out here.

the curious trajanization of benjamin button

in early previews and on the website, i was so impressed with the beautiful, 1920's font chosen for the film's title:

anxious to see the theatrical trailer, i gasped in horror as this god damned straight-to-video trajan version has replaced the exquisite, original treatment. wtf!?!?!?

for more on how much i hate trajan, look here and here and here and here and here.

i've compiled 4 'best of all time' lists, and reorganized them into chronological order. i'm going through and watching any movie i haven't seen (or any that i haven't seen since before college. it's amazing what you don't pick up in a movie before you've had sex or dealt with heatbreak and real jealousy).

the three lists i've used are eberts 'the great movies' list, leonard maltin's top 100, and afi's top 100. i was hoping to find more foreign film representation, but any other list i added just blew the project too far out of proportion. i'm starting with this and then will branch outwards from here. i'm not a big fan of maltin as a critic, but his all his post 1978 picks were all repeated in the other 2 lists, and since my main focus was to really get up to speed on older films, i dropped his choices in. he adds a lot of early comedies to the list, and some questionable choices. mary poppins? on your all time list? ..ok..

on top of all that, i popped in IMDBs's top 250 list, which is mostly current films that i've seen, but also adds in more popular favorites, hitchcocks and kubricks, more sci-fi and fantasy, and surprisingly, more foreign films.

i've watched 8 silent films since starting with 'birth of a nation,' and am now hitting the films of buster keaton. silent film is almost a completely separate art form from the current cinema, and i'm finding it rather intoxicating. if you're interested, my compiled list is below. i started with ebert's list, so his picks are in black. added to that are maltin's in blue, and afi in red. so it doesn't tell you what was on each list, only how each list compares to ebert's. with each of ebert's picks, there is an accompanying essay on his website, which puts the film in its historical context.

*for the sake of completion, i also dropped in all the best picture winners that were not already on the list. because no other list recognized them, they can pretty much be counted as the weakest offerings of the academy, but any historian should see all the winners. these appear in the list in purple.

if you'd like a copy of this list in excel format, shoot me an email.

ebert: black
+ maltin
+ afi
+ imdb top 250
+ oscar winners
i still haven't seen it: bold italic
  • Cabiria (1914)
  • The Birth of a Nation (1915)
  • Intolerance (1916)
  • Broken Blossoms (1919)
  • Cabinet des Dr. Caligari., Das (1920)
  • The Kid (1921)
  • Nanook of the North (1922)
  • Nosferatu (1922)
  • Our Hospitality (1923)
  • Safety Last (1923)
  • Sherlock, Jr. (1924)
  • The Last Laugh (1924)
  • Greed (1925)
  • The Battleship Potemkin (1925)
  • The Big Parade (1925)
  • The Freshman (1925)
  • The Gold Rush (1925)
  • The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
  • Faust (1926)
  • Metropolis (1926)
  • The General (1927)
  • Wings (1927)
  • Pandora's Box (1928)
  • Sunrise (1928)
  • The Crowd (1928)
  • The Fall of the House of Usher (1928)
  • The Last Command (1928)
  • The Man Who Laughs (1928)
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
  • Un Chien Andalou (1928)
  • The Man with a Camera (1929)
  • Broadway Melody, The (1929)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
  • City Lights (1931)
  • Cimarron (1931)
  • Dracula (1931)
  • Frankenstein (1931)
  • M (1931)
  • Grand Hotel (1932)
  • Trouble in Paradise (1932)
  • Baby Face (1933)
  • Cavalcade (1933)
  • Duck Soup (1933)
  • King Kong (1933)
  • Sons of the Desert (1933)
  • It Happened One Night (1934)
  • It's a Gift (1934)
  • L'Atalante (1934)
  • The Scarlet Empress (1934)
  • The Thin Man (1934)
  • A Night at the Opera (1935)
  • Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
  • Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
  • The 39 Steps (1935)
  • Top Hat (1935)
  • Triumph of the Will (1935)
  • Camille (1936)
  • Dodsworth (1936)
  • Great Ziegfeld, The (1936)
  • Modern Times (1936)
  • Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
  • My Man Godfrey (1936)
  • Swing Time (1936)
  • The Crime of Monsieur Lange (1936)
  • Grand Illusion (1937)
  • Life of Emile Zola, The (1937)
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  • The Awful Truth (1937)
  • Olympia, Parts 1 and 2 (1938)
  • You Can't Take It with You (1938)
  • The Lady Vanishes (1938)
  • Gone With the Wind (1939)
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
  • Ninotchka (1939)
  • Stagecoach (1939)
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood (1939)
  • The Rules of the Game (1939)
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  • Fantasia (1940)
  • His Girl Friday (1940)
  • Pinocchio (1940)
  • Rebecca (1940)
  • The Bank Dick (1940)
  • The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  • The Great Dictator (1940)
  • The Philadelphia Story (1940)
  • The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
  • Citizen Kane (1941)
  • How Green Was My Valley (1941)
  • Sullivan's Travels (1941)
  • The Lady Eve (1941)
  • The Maltese Falcon (1941)
  • Casablanca (1942)
  • Cat People (1942)
  • Mrs. Miniver (1942)
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
  • The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
  • Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
  • The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
  • Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
  • Double Indemnity (1944)
  • Going My Way (1944)
  • Laura (1944)
  • Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
  • The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944)
  • Brief Encounter (1945)
  • Children of Paradise (1945)
  • Detour (1945)
  • The Lost Weekend (1945)
  • Beauty and the Beast (1946)
  • Great Expectations (1946)
  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • My Darling Clementine (1946)
  • Notorious (1946)
  • The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  • The Big Sleep (1946)
  • Gentleman's Agreement (1947)
  • Out of the Past (1947)
  • Hamlet (1948)
  • Red River (1948)
  • Rope (1948)
  • The Red Shoes (1948)
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
  • Gun Crazy (1949)
  • Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
  • Orpheus (1949)
  • The Bicycle Thief (1949)
  • The Third Man (1949)
  • All the King's Men (1949)
  • White Heat (1949)
  • All About Eve (1950)
  • Harvey (1950)
  • In a Lonely Place (1950)
  • Rashomon (1950)
  • Sunset Boulevard (1950)
  • American in Paris, An (1951)
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  • Ace in the Hole (1951)
  • Strangers on a Train (1951)
  • The African Queen (1951)
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
  • The River (Le Fleuve) (1951)
  • Forbidden Games (1952)
  • Greatest Show on Earth, The (1952)
  • High Noon (1952)
  • Ikiru (1952)
  • Singin' in the Rain (1952)
  • Umberto D (1952)
  • Chuck Jones: Three Cartoons (1953-1957)
  • From Here to Eternity (1953)
  • Mr. Hulot's Holiday (1953)
  • Roman Holiday (1953)
  • Salaire de la peur, Le (Wages of Fear) (1953)
  • Shane (1953)
  • Stalag 17 (1953)
  • The Band Wagon (1953)
  • The Big Heat (1953)
  • The Earrings of Madame de... (1953)
  • Tokyo Story (1953)
  • Ugetsu (1953)
  • Beat the Devil (1954)
  • Dial M for Murder (1954)
  • Johnny Guitar (1954)
  • On the Waterfront (1954)
  • Rear Window (1954)
  • Rififi (1954)
  • Sansho the Bailiff (1954)
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
  • Strada, La (1954)
  • The Seven Samurai (1954)
  • Touchez Pas au Grisbi (1954)
  • Bob le Flambeur (1955)
  • Diaboliques, Les (1955)
  • Marty (1955)
  • Ordet (1955)
  • Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
  • Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)
  • The Apu Trilogy (1955, 1956, 1959)
  • The Night of the Hunter (1955)
  • Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
  • The Searchers (1956)
  • Written on the Wind (1956)
  • 12 Angry Men (1957)
  • Nights of Cabiria (1957)
  • Paths of Glory (1957)
  • Pyaasa (1957)
  • Smultronstället (Wlid Strawberries) (1957)
  • The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
  • The Seventh Seal (1957)
  • The Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
  • Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
  • Gigi (1958)
  • Mon Oncle (1958)
  • The Music Room (1958)
  • Touch of Evil (1958)
  • Vertigo (1958)
  • Floating Weeds (1959)
  • Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
  • Ben-Hur (1959)
  • North by Northwest (1959)
  • Pickpocket (1959)
  • Some Like It Hot (1959)
  • The 400 Blows (1959)
  • The Apu Trilogy (1959)
  • Breathless (1960)
  • Inherit the Wind (1960)
  • La Dolce Vita (1960)
  • L'Avventura (1960)
  • Peeping Tom (1960)
  • Psycho (1960)
  • Rocco and His Brothers (1960)
  • Spartacus (1960)
  • The Apartment (1960)
  • Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
  • Jules and Jim (1961)
  • Last Year at Marienbad (1961)
  • The Hustler (1961)
  • Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
  • Victim (1961)
  • West Side Story (1961)
  • Yojimbo (1961)
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  • The Exterminating Angel (1962)
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
  • The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
  • Winter Light (1962)
  • 8 1/2 (1963)
  • Charade (1963)
  • My Life to Live / Vivre sa Vie (1963)
  • The Great Escape (1963)
  • The Leopard (1963)
  • Tom Jones (1963)
  • A Hard Day's Night (1964)
  • Bande à part (1964)
  • Dr. Strangelove (1964)
  • Goldfinger (1964)
  • Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)
  • Mary Poppins (1964)
  • My Fair Lady (1964)
  • Woman in the Dunes (1964)
  • Chimes at Midnight (1965)
  • Juliet of the Spirits (1965)
  • Per qualche dollaro in più (A Few Dollars More) (1965)
  • Sound of Music, The (1965)
  • Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)
  • Battaglia di Algeri, La (The Battle of Algiers) (1966)
  • Blow-Up (1966)
  • Closely Watched Trains (1966)
  • Man for All Seasons, A (1966)
  • Persona (1966)
  • Belle de Jour (1967)
  • Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
  • Cool Hand Luke (1967)
  • In Cold Blood (1967)
  • In the Heat of the Night (1967)
  • Le Samourai (1967)
  • Mouchette (1967)
  • Playtime (1967)
  • Samurai Rebellion (1967)
  • The Battle of Algiers (1967)
  • The Graduate (1967)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • Oliver! (1968)
  • Once upon a Time in the West (1968)
  • Planet of the Apes (1968)
  • Romeo and Juliet (1968)
  • Rosemary's Baby (1968)
  • The Firemen's Ball (1968)
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1968)
  • The Producers (1968)
  • Yellow Submarine (1968)
  • Army of Shadows (1969)
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
  • Easy Rider (1969)
  • Midnight Cowboy (1969)
  • The Wild Bunch (1969)
  • El Topo (1970)
  • Five Easy Pieces (1970)
  • Patton (1970)
  • Woodstock (1970)
  • A Touch of Zen (1971)
  • A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  • French Connection, The (1971)
  • McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
  • The Last Picture Show (1971)
  • Walkabout (1971)
  • WR -- Mysteries of the Organism (1971)
  • Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
  • Cries and Whispers (1972)
  • Last Tango in Paris (1972)
  • Late Spring (1972)
  • Sleuth (1972)
  • Solaris (1972)
  • The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
  • The Godfather (1972)
  • The Godfather, Part II (1974)
  • Day for Night (1973)
  • Mean Streets (1973)
  • The Exorcist (1973)
  • The Long Goodbye (1973)
  • The Sting (1973)
  • A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
  • Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)
  • Amarcord (1974)
  • Blazing Saddles (1974)
  • Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)
  • Chinatown (1974)
  • Don't Look Now (1974)
  • The Conversation (1974)
  • The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)
  • Young Frankenstein (1974)
  • Barry Lyndon (1975)
  • Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
  • Jaws (1975)
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
  • Nashville (1975)
  • Night Moves (1975)
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
  • Network (1976)
  • Rocky (1976)
  • Taxi Driver (1976)
  • 3 Women (1977)
  • Annie Hall (1977)
  • Killer of Sheep (1977)
  • Saturday Night Fever (1977)
  • Star Wars (1977)
  • Stroszek (1977)
  • Days of Heaven (1978)
  • Gates of Heaven (1978)
  • The Deer Hunter (1978)
  • Alien (1979)
  • Apocalypse Now (1979)
  • Being There (1979)
  • Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
  • Life of Brian (1979)
  • Manhattan (1979)
  • Stalker (1979)
  • The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)
  • Atlantic City (1980)
  • Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980)
  • Mon Oncle d'Amérique (1980)
  • Raging Bull (1980)
  • Ordinary People (1980)
  • The Big Red One (1980)
  • The Elephant Man (1980)
  • The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • The Shining (1980)
  • Body Heat (1981)
  • Boot, Das (1981)
  • Chariots of Fire (1981)
  • Mephisto (1981)
  • My Dinner With Andre (1981)
  • Pixote (1981)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982)
  • E.T. -- The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  • Fitzcarraldo (1982)
  • Gandhi (1982)
  • The Thing (1982)
  • A Christmas Story (1983)
  • El Norte (1983)
  • Fanny and Alexander (1983)
  • Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Scarface (1983)
  • Terms of Endearment (1983)
  • The Right Stuff (1983)
  • A Sunday in the Country (1984)
  • A Year of the Quiet Sun (1984)
  • Amadeus (1984)
  • Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
  • Paris, Texas (1984)
  • The Terminator (1984)
  • This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
  • Brazil (1985)
  • Back to the Future (1985)
  • Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)
  • Out of Africa (1985)
  • Ran (1985)
  • The Color Purple (1985)
  • The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
  • The Up Documentaries (1985)
  • The Fly (1986)
  • Aliens (1986)
  • Platoon (1986)
  • Stand by Me (1986)
  • The Singing Detective (1986)
  • Au Revoir, les Enfants (1987)
  • Full Metal Jacket (1987)
  • House of Games (1987)
  • Last Emperor, The (1987)
  • Moonstruck (1987)
  • Nayakan (1987)
  • Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
  • The Dead (1987)
  • The Princess Bride (1987)
  • Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
  • Die Hard (1988)
  • Nuovo cinema Paradiso (1988)
  • The Decalogue (1988)
  • Wings of Desire (1988)
  • Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
  • Do the Right Thing (1989)
  • Rain Man (1988)
  • Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
  • Glory (1989)
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
  • Santa Sangre (1989)
  • Say Anything (1989)
  • After Dark, My Sweet (1990)
  • Dances with Wolves (1990)
  • Miller's Crossing (1990)
  • Raise the Red Lantern (1990101)
  • GoodFellas (1991)
  • JFK (1991)
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • A Tale of Winter (1992)
  • A Woman's Tale (1992)
  • Howards End (1992)
  • Reservoir Dogs (1992)
  • Unforgiven (1992)
  • Farewell My Concubine (1993)
  • Groundhog Day (1993)
  • Leolo (1993)
  • My Neighbor Totoro (1993)
  • Schindler's List (1993)
  • The Age of Innocence (1993)
  • The Blue Kite (1993)
  • Three Colors Trilogy: Blue, White, Red (1993-1994)
  • Chungking Express (1994)
  • Crumb (1994)
  • Drunken Master II (1994)
  • Ed Wood (1994)
  • Forrest Gump (1994)
  • Hoop Dreams (1994)
  • Léon (1994)
  • Pulp Fiction (1994)
  • The Lion King (1994)
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
  • Braveheart (1995)
  • Casino (1995)
  • English Patient, The (1996)
  • Haine, La (Hate) (1995)
  • Heat (1995)
  • Se7en (1995)
  • The Usual Suspects (1995)
  • Toy Story (1995)
  • Twelve Monkeys (1995)
  • Ulysses' Gaze (1995)
  • Fargo (1996)
  • Trainspotting (1996)
  • L.A. Confidential (1997)
  • Titanic (1997)
  • Mononoke-hime (Princess Mononoke)(1997)
  • Vita è bella, La (Life is Beautiful) (1997)
  • American History X (1998)
  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
  • Lola rennt (Run Lola Run) (1998)
  • Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  • Shakespeare in Love (1998)
  • The Big Lebowski (1998)
  • American Beauty (1999)
  • Fight Club (1999)
  • Magnolia (1999)
  • The Green Mile (1999)
  • The Matrix (1999)
  • The Sixth Sense (1999)
  • Amores perros (2000)
  • Gladiator (2000)
  • Memento (2000)
  • Requiem for a Dream (2000)
  • Snatch. (2000)
  • The Terrorist (2000)
  • Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)
  • Wo hu cang long (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) (2000)
  • Beautiful Mind, A (2001)
  • Kandahar (2001)
  • Donnie Darko (2001)
  • Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, Le (Amelie) (2001)
  • Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (Spirited Away) (2001)
  • The Lord of the Rings (2001–03)
  • Chicago (2002)
  • City of God (2002)
  • Mou gaan dou (Infernal Affairs) (2002)
  • Ripley's Game (2002)
  • Talk to Her (2002)
  • Finding Nemo (2003)
  • Big Fish (2003)
  • Finding Nemo (2003)
  • Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
  • Le Boucher / The Butcher (2003)
  • Mystic River (2003)
  • Oldboy (2003)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
  • The Pianist (2002)
  • Crash (2004/I)
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
  • Hauru no ugoku shiro (Howl's Moving Castle) (2004)
  • Hotel Rwanda (2004)
  • Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
  • Million Dollar Baby (2004)
  • Shaun of the Dead (2004)
  • The Incredibles (2004)
  • Untergang, Der (Downfall) (2004)
  • Dark City (2005)
  • Batman Begins (2005)
  • Sin City (2005)
  • V for Vendetta (2005)
  • Babel (2006)
  • Children of Men (2006)
  • Laberinto del fauno, El (Pan's Labyrinth) (2006)
  • Leben der Anderen, Das (The Lives of Others) (2006)
  • Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
  • Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
  • Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
  • The Departed (2006)
  • The Prestige (2006)
  • Moolaade (2007)
  • Into the Wild (2007)
  • No Country for Old Men (2007)
  • Ratatouille (2007)
  • Scaphandre et le papillon, Le (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) (2007)
  • The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
  • There Will Be Blood (2007)
  • Diva (2008)
  • In Bruges (2008)
  • Iron Man (2008)
  • The Dark Knight (2008)
  • Vengeance Is Mine (2008)
  • WALL·E (2008)

i've got a long long way to go. and what's sobering is the knowledge that this is only the beginning of any real attempt to become literate in the world of film. but it's a good place to start, and watching them in order, i'm looking forward to seeing the history of film, the advancement of technology, and the shifting tastes of the audience play out before me.


i'm really starting to get into 'true blood.' the characters are deepening, and unlike other HBO shows (carnivale, deadwood, john from cincinatti..) 'true blood' shares the strength of 'six feet under' in that it's able to tell its story with genuine humor. one of my favorite characters is tara, who could easily come off as a complete bitch in her first couple scenes. it's a huge actor trap, and here's the original actress, brooke kerr, playing tara's first scene:

it feels like a scene from a 'bring it on,' straight to dvd sequel. now watch rutina wesley do the same scene, with the same scene partners, even:

it reminds me of sitting through auditions, listening to the same sides over and over again, and then suddenly someone walks in who just nails the thing because they're being completely themselves while they do it. it's like night and day.

god it must suck to recast, though. lots of people have to admit they were wrong, great expense is taken to reshoot, and an actor counting on a steady paycheck is suddenly out of a job. john august showed us some realities of this in 'the nines.'


took pics of my good friend buddy this weekend. he's been in town with the national tour of 'my fair lady.' full flickr set from the shoot here.

tackiest gift in the world: guest edition

my friend jase in new york sent me this picture.

it's said that the art of sculpture is in uncovering the masterpiece that already exists within the marble.
if that's so, then the art of tchotchke is in taking something that has the potential to be cool and burying it in disturbingly misguided details.

this is a truly sublime atrocity. i don't think it's quite the right scale either, though i'm sure the 'artist' was really dead-set on depicting mike right at penis-level for this portrait. i wonder, does this little statuette fly off the shelves of hatch's gift store across the country? if someone had this sitting on their fireplace mantle, would you run?

you could say that this little piece is a tribute to michaelangelo's achievement. but, uh, isn't that what the statue -itself- is?

i think the only person who would buy this is, mickey, valerie cherish's makeup artist on 'the comeback.'

tackiest gift in the world: paris round 2

honestly, where paris is concerned, nothing will ever, ever beat emily's commando in action paris for men. but that didn't stop me from trying. i combed that city up and down looking for that horrible je ne sais quois. friends were bringing me tacky shit left and right, but i turned it all away. no, the perfect tacky gift has to work on multiple levels. it has to say something both about the character of the city, and the character of the tourists they hope to sucker into buying their crap. like finding clothes that fit at filene's basement, it takes perseverance.

which brings us to my paris entry in the international competition. behold. relive the glory of aristocratic france.

previous tackiest gifts in the world:
las vegas stripper bottle opener
commando in action paris for men
the horny hillbilly
airbrushed overalls w/ baby white tiger tshirt

idea: punish mediocrity

here's the problem with 'vote you off' reality shows, specifically, project runway.

the truly innovative contestants get voted off because they're willing to take risks, and those risks aren't always going to pan out. so you may be a genius, but part of what makes you that genius is that you allow yourself to be truly horrible sometimes. and so we usually come to a finale that is between the 2 or 3 contestants that were able to hide in the background the longest.

i'd love to see a show that votes out the middle, and keeps the top and bottom scores. imagine the risks it would encourage people to make, the audacity it would inspire!

the year in movies

laura asked me if i had a top ten list for '07.. i've never really done it before because i've rarely felt like i've seen enough films. but i figured i should go through and look at all the 07' films i saw, and see how they stack up. so here's all the major released films and my star rating (out of 5) to go with it:

5 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 days
5 The Lives Of Others (technically '06, but wide released last year)
5 Ratatouille
5 No Country For Old Men
5 There Will Be Blood
4.5 Zodiac
4 The Host
4 Grindhouse
4 Hairspray
4 The Bourne Ultimatum
4 Atonement
3.5 300
3.5 Journey From The Fall
3.5 Knocked Up
3.5 3:10 To Yuma
3.5 Juno
3.5 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
3 Breach
3 Waitress
3 Ocean's Thirteen
3 The Method (El Método)
3 Stardust
3 Across The Universe
3 Beowulf
3 Enchanted
3 I Am Legend
3 The Kite Runner
2.5 Reno 911!: Miami
2.5 Blades Of Glory
2.5 Spider-man 3
2.5 Day Watch (Dnevnoi Dozor)
2.5 Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
2.5 Lions For Lambs
2 The Good German
2 The Astronaut Farmer
2 Disturbia
2 Shrek The Third
2 Pirates Of The Caribbean: At Worlds End
2 Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer
2 Transformers

a great reason to stop using trajan

here. and by association, here.

stating the dream

happy new year!

some things from the last few months:

• in november, my grandfather on my father's side passed away. which has had me, my parents and family thinking a lot about life, death, etc.

• i directed a few more episodes of the tv show i work on. i'm getting better, but still have a lot to learn. celeste said to me after one particularly grueling shoot, "stop apologizing. you apologized to every single person on set today at least once, and some people you apologized to all throughout the day. you get paid less than anyone else working on the show, and you have the most responsibility. you don't have anything to apologize for."

• my first instinct while writing another blog entry was to apologize for not having written anything for so long.

• at brunch with neal recently, we were talking about goals, and what we want in life, and i found myself stammering "well, say that, what if, if i were to, what would be the possibility, i mean, what if i said.." i was having so much trouble speaking words that were so clear in my head. what i wanted to say was "is it possible for me to be directing a network show in 5 years?" and once i finally got the words out i realized why it had been so hard to say. because saying it out loud, in front of someone, makes you responsible for it. as soon as the words finally escaped my lips, a flood of all the things i would need to do to make it happen filled my brain. it means working on a reel, it means directing as much as i possibly can in the next five years. it means winning awards at festivals, not just getting into them. it means i have to stop talking and start doing. am i willing to take on that work? can i handle it? boy, it had really better be what i want, hadn't it? so there it is, the goal, or at least one of them. i want to direct a network show in 5 years. i want to be directing features in 10 years, but we can deal with that later.

• overall it was a damn good year. i landed a great job that had me writing, directing, organizing and managing shoots. it also saw my two short films play in seven festivals across the country. i have plans to shoot at least 3 more shorts next year, which will have sharper scripts, better production values, and even more potential to help shuffle my career along (that's the plan anyway).

• i went to a lot of weddings. seeing all my friends make the decision to have families has really begun to put the sting into my singlehood. but more than that - it's solidified my desire to get married myself. but yeah, probably need to, like, date someone first. this is the year.

• i will be starting a new blog, for lost-related recaps, analyses, theories, etc! i have plenty to write about already with these, this, and this already leading us into season 4. it's in its infancy now, but many links and goodies will be added as the show progresses.

• this new year also seems to call for a change in the look and focus of my blog, so look for that coming soon too.

• thanks to all the friends who helped me achieve everything that happened in the past year. it never ceases to amaze me how just a few great connections can open so many possibilities. can't wait to see what this next year will provide.

sonnets 5 & 6

these two are a pair, so i redid #5 to match my reading of #6. plus, i'm prety unhapy with my original reading of 5. i'm much better at being honest in a manic way than in a still, quiet way. need to keep working on that.

"he wants to make sure you enjoy him."

sam took me out to dinner for my birthday at the hump, where we were served an amazing 8 course japanese meal. the piece de resistance was the lobster. lobster sashimi was served in the shell of the tail, and next to that was charlie's entire upper half, still alive, legs and antennae still moving, watching us snack on his raw tail. sam was a little disturbed. i thought it was super cool.

wedding pics - the video

and now, thirty two.

i thought i'd take a look at years past.


wow, i've been blogging for a long time. thirty-one was a great, unpredictable, mind-blowing year. here's what i wrote at 28:

last friday i turned 28. twenty fuckin eight. and i sit behind a desk making less money than marissa who sits in the neighboring cubicle and who just turned 24. what the hell am i doing? am i just insane for trying to pursue something that will never, no matter how far or high i climb, be stable?

i guess i'm hitting that age where time suddenly seems to speed up, where the path of my life seems visible in the distance, where the choices seem to narrow, where it becomes more and more difficult to switch tracks. part of that is comforting - that i'm working with a theatre company, that i've achieved certain steps towards an acting career - but the sitting in a cubicle part doesn't sit well with me. how much longer can i do this? surely i possess more valuable skills? don't i? don't i?

i have to keep reminding myself never to allow things to progress to the point where i am this unhappy ever again.

those photos at 29 were taken in the hole in the wall office of the hole in the wall theatre i used to work at (in addition to my full time job) in nyc. dana and mike were nice enough to come by during my hours and bring a little cake. at that point, i was coasting, and on the downslope. that entire year would be frought with disappointment, idleness, and frustration. and then six feet under would end, i would turn 30, and a new path would finally become clear.

32 rivaled 30 in terms of birthday noteriety. 30 saw my first trip to la, and my first tattoo. 32 saw my first trip to paris, and my best friend's wedding. this past year has also been defined by film festivals, an amazing boyfriend who became a best friend, roommates who've become best (& better) friends, two creative jobs, and the return of possibility, potential and positivity (god, i sound like tony robbins now) to my life. had a lovely party saturday night, where i served an assortment of french cheeses i bought at the paris airport. neal also got me this awesome gift:

it was damn good. here's to keeping 32 on the upswing..

anne & max's wedding

the weekend was too emotional to blog about with any sense of justice. so, here's my favorite photos.

all the americans stayed at 'the gite' in pont de pany, just outside of dijon

on friday night - a crepes party, where we met max and anne's extended family, and where all of max's american friends convened.

the next morning was the wedding. first, the civil ceremony, which was lighthearted and informal (even though it was presided over by a very official looking guy).

after the civil service, the wedding party filed into the street, congratulations all around, then walked into a sunlit courtyard for photos.

and then we walked down 'rue de la chouette,' to the church. along the way, we would touch the magical owl (la chouette), carved into the side of the church, and make a wish. (don't look at the owl while making your wish, however)

we approached the street, then turned to the left, and there was the church, which had been completely hidden from view. i had to stop and catch my breath.

the guests filed into the church. max and anne hung out outside, waiting to process in..

and it was time to enter..

max's sister christy sang a beautiful song from 'the baker's wife.'

sadly, the light was too low to take any good closeups. i wasn't about to start firing the flash. max had trouble getting through the vows, he was so choked up. everyone was. it was honest, heartfelt, and beautiful.

see the full set of photos here.

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  • 5: the man of genius

  • 4: blunders & absurdities

  • 3: conservative after dinner

  • 2: what lies below

  • 1: where there is no path

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