the blog of Eric Austin Lee
Category Archives: Film
In a week from today, Tiana and I are taking off on a plane for Nottingham. Bum deal for me today, though: I came down with some flu-like symptoms. I went into work a bit late as I wasn’t feeling well, hoping I would recover by the time I got there, but then by 10am I started getting feverish and nauseous. Lame. So I went home and just laid on the couch and tried to take it easy until my fever broke.
Well, I think it did so now we’ve been spending the evening going through our stuff yet again. Sorting, sorting, sorting. I went through my books again and pulled out a huge pile that I really don’t need to take. Anything directly related to my dissertation topic, though, is going…which is hard, though, because I guess I can justify a pretty wide net of stuff at this point.
While I was shivering with the chills today, I re-watched Once. It’s such a gorgeous and wonderful movie. Okay, that was random, but it’s what I did. And then began sorting. We’re also bringing over things like MacGyver seasons 1 & 2, LOST seasons 1 & 3, Goonies, and The Jerk DVDs just in case we need to unwind.
I’m still not feeling so hot so I should probably go to bed.
From an interview with Alan Moore, who is for good reasons ambivalent (to put it lightly) about a movie adaptation of Watchmen (I’m still excited, though!):
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Don’t you have the slightest curiosity about what Watchmen director Zack Snyder is doing with your work?
ALAN MOORE: I would rather not know.
He’s supposed to be a very nice guy.
He may very well be, but the thing is that he’s also the person who made 300. I’ve not seen any recent comic book films, but I didn’t particularly like the book 300. I had a lot of problems with it, and everything I heard or saw about the film tended to increase [those problems] rather than reduce them: [that] it was racist, it was homophobic, and above all it was sublimely stupid. I know that that’s not what people going in to see a film like 300 are thinking about but…I wasn’t impressed with that…. [Eric's comment: LOLZ] I talked to [director] Terry Gilliam in the ’80s, and he asked me how I would make Watchmen into a film. I said, ”Well actually, Terry, if anybody asked me, I would have said, ‘I wouldn’t.”’ And I think that Terry [who aborted his attempted adaptation of the book] eventually came to agree with me. There are things that we did with Watchmen that could only work in a comic, and were indeed designed to show off things that other media can’t.
Do you think that any good can come of comics movies?
I increasingly fear that nothing good can come of almost any adaptation, and obviously that’s sweeping. There are a couple of adaptations that are perhaps as good or better than the original work. But the vast majority of them are pointless.
Is there anything anyone could offer you — possibly outside DC and Warner Bros. — that could interest you in Hollywood?
There’s nothing that could get me interested in Hollywood again. And, increasingly, there’s nothing that could get me interested in the American comics industry again. I’m going to be doing more comics bits in the future, but that will most certainly be with [his new publisher] Top Shelf or [an indie] company like Top Shelf. Hollywood and American comics, I have given them a chance, and I think 20 years is long enough. If they were going to deliver, they would have done it by now.
(again, via Dan T.)
From Shalina’s blog:
Hereâ€™s my debut short film. For the final project in my Digital Video class I made a music video to the song Things I Donâ€™t Remember by Ugly Casanova. Iâ€™m very new to this but itâ€™s proving to be the latest addition to my â€œI <3 hobbiesâ€ list.
Awesome!!! I’m really impressed.
Last night, Tiana and I watched the brilliant movie Once, which may be one of the most stunning movies I’ve seen in a while. Absolutely great music and a good story. I won’t say too much more about it except to point out something weird that I noticed while returning this movie to Blockbuster this morning: the movie cover is a bit different from the soundtrack album cover:
DVD movie cover:
CD soundtrack cover:
Notice anything different about the content of the image?
Here, the collector’s edition soundtrack actually conceals the bit in question:
I highly, highly recommend watching this movie. But their confused marketing actually obscures the trajectory of the entire plot! Which is which I’ll leave up to you.
Top Red Guard: “You can’t ask us. You can only ask one of us.”
Top Blue Guard: “It’s in the rules, and I should warn you that one of us always tells the truth, and one of us always lies. That’s a rule too.” Gesturing to the TRG, “He always lies!”
TRG: “I do not! I tell the truth!”
TBG: “Oh, what a lie!”
Sarah: “Alright,” to the TRG, “answer yes or no: would he [TBG] tell me that this door leads to the castle?”
Sarah: “Then, the other door leads to the castle, and this door leads to certain death.”
Both Guards: “oooOOoooh.”
TRG: “How do you know? He could be telling the truth!”
Sarah: “But then he wouldn’t be. So if you told me that he said ‘yes’, I know the answer is ‘no.’”
TRG: “But I could be telling the truth!”
Sarah: “But then he would be lying. So if you told me that he said ‘yes,’ then I know the answer would still be ‘no.’”
TRG: “Wait a minute,” to the TBG, “is that right?”
TBG: “I don’t know –I’ve never understood it!”
The second part of my essay on Stranger than Fiction is up.
I have a post on “the gift” in Stranger than Fiction over at the Church & Postmodern Culture: Conversation blog. It is the first of two parts, this part focussing on Derrida’s concept of the gift and applied to this movie. Based on Derrida’s Given Time: I. Counterfeit Money, I ask myself: how would Derrida look at this movie? So, I took a creative whack at it.
The post is edited down considerably from its original, leaving out some of the more technical Heideggerian stuff. I actually did quite a lot of reading in Heidegger before I even started reading Derrida (I think one can’t really understand quite a bit of Derrida without this), but for length and technical readability, I have left it aside for now. However, if you would like the full version with all the references and whatnot, feel free to ask me.
On Wednesday, I plan on posting the second part, which explores John Milbank’s work on the gift through his first main essay on the subject called “Can a Gift Be Given?: Prolegomena to a Future Trinitarian Metaphysic.”