What’s good, y’all? I’m keeping my head above water at work. Normal thing, but SXSW is going on, and I’m obligated to log some fun in the evenings. I think I’ll be seeing at least one or two of you this week. If you’re in town, let me know.
This is my second year with a badge (volunteered the first time, am cohabiting with a film crew chief this time), and I broke my see-shit-you-wouldn’t-normally rule on the first night, cos Cat really wanted to see Cosmos and the panel with Dr. Tyson. Visually, it’s a wonder (except for the hand-drawn stuff, which veers between Aquarian psychedelia and Christ poses… also, the formation of the moon ends up depicting the angriest popcorn ball). Thematically, this was more of a table-setter, pledging fealty to Dr. Sagan and echoing a bunch of its memorable lines.
I caught Tyson on NPR the other evening. The interviewer asked him about being a science communicator, and when he realized that he had the gift. And the doctor mounted a soapbox: it was not easy, he countered, it took work. (Then he drew a parallel between Larry Bird being praised for his smarts and Michael Jordan being praised for his innate ability — which is kind of reductive, because everyone talks about the hate-furnace in Mike’s belly, which I guess is its own kind of problematic conclusion. Dr. Tyson also said that wasn’t a top draft pick going into college, by which I think he meant he was #2 out of college. But you know, nerds.) It was highly entertaining, and something I remembered whenever he filled the frame, arching his eyebrows and moving his hands just so. A scientist to the bone, he’s finetuned these calibrations over years. I’m looking forward to spending Sundays with him.
Last night we caught The Desert at Alamo Slaughter. It’s a tangential zombie film; the only undead we see is, essentially, the zombie in the room, a repository for all the things left unsaid and actions left unexplained between our three survivors: Ana, Axel and Jonathan. The latter two found the former; together, they boarded up someone’s house, drank someone’s wine, and recorded over someone’s memories in favor of an aggravating video-confessional technique. The best part of the film is the hundreds of daily duties necessary for survival: the jerry-rigged showers and power systems and security gates that keep out the living and the once-living. Ana’s with Jonathan, Axel loves her, and everyone goes a little bit mad over the course of, like, thirty hours. It’s meant, I think, as a general comment on casual cruelty, and the way we block our own happiness and the happiness of others. But, of course, it’s the post-apocalypse genre, which craves to show our baser selves. It’s even easier to be cruel after your world burns. Still, by focusing almost entirely inside the makeshift fortress, and concentrating on the vast periods of boredom that make up these folks’ days, director Christoph Behl brings his world a lot closer to hours.
Now that How I Met Your Mother has gone off the rails, I may have to actually tune in tomorrow, unless something awesome’s showing at the theater near us. But hey, I’m not a film critic, so I’ll probably spare you if I do see something. Until Saturday, though: that’s when the Kickstarted Rahsaan Roland Kirk doc is playing.
Still working on Megapop, as always. The temp playlist is heavy on nu-disco and electropop. I’m going to break away, though, and focus on non-English-language stuff for a while. Otherwise I’ll scotch one of the reasons for doing this thing. Y’all have a good night.