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akira114 and I went to see The Saddest Music in the World, an exceptional piece of filmmaking.. it's not at all simple to describe adequately, but.. well, in that publicity shot, yes, that is a pair of glass legs filled with lager. The simple premise is that Lady Port-Huntley, owner of a brewery in Depression times, announces that, for the fourth year running, Winnipeg has been deemed by the Times to be the saddest place in the world. As such, she wishes to seek out the saddest music in the world, with $25,000 in prize money for the winner. And so the contestants come, paired off against each other, the winners to go flying down a slide into a vat of her beer. It's all shot on 8mm film and video - as is Guy Maddin's style, apparently - mimicking 1920s cinematography eerily well, with the exception of brief saturated color in a few instances. It all forms a darkly comic, tragic, hilarious, surreal tale unlike anything you may have seen. (A minor point of trivia: Kazuo Ishiguro also wrote the screenplay for a rather different film, The Remains of the Day)

The inimitable Twink have a new album out - and two rather neat t-shirts too. It's music made using (mostly) toy musical instruments they find at garage sales and suchlike - playful, silly, fun stuff.

Other things we've been observing of human nature, in order to better accommodate their needs when we assume control of the Earth, include: Azumanga Daioh, Princess Tutu, Haibane Renmei, Interstate 60, Urbania, Escape from Galaxy 3 (</i>"The story? There isn't really a story. The whole film is inter-cuts between Starcrash space battles, and softcore porn in ancient Greece. It's much worse than it sounds."</i>), Cats Don't Dance, David Lynch's Rabbits, Girls Will Be Girls, and Lion King 1.5 (or 3).

For some potentially nifty eye candy, The Cremaster Cycle might be worth a look (caution: uses Flash extensively); a trailer (35MB QuickTime) is available. rabbitswift might be interested to note the Lexington screening in September, listed here. There's a distinct danger of pretentiousness, but certainly visually creative, if nothing more.

And, for something completely similar, Instant Karma sounds like it has definite furry animation appeal potential: "A visual effects-laden comedy about a safecracker who dies and is reincarnated as a series of animals."

The Pathfinder experiment does sound quite astonishingly cool - and it's just come one step closer to reality, with the awarding of a core contract. In order to detect whether gravity ripples really exist: "The Lisa mission will consist of three spacecraft flying in a triangular formation. The sides of this equilateral triangle will be five million kilometres long. Each craft will hold a free floating gold block held in place by electrostatic fields. The lasers will measure the distances between these blocks." They'll be trying to detect - even on this grand scale - disturbances on the order of 1x10-12m, or one millionth of a micron.

Continuing our run of visiting the city during the least popular times (last time being some big football final, leading to slight difficulties finding a cheap hotel room), Wednesday's visit to the Chapter coincided with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and the florid mating rituals of the scalper. Once there, however, we savored the deliciousness of three more of Guy Maddin's works: the intense short parody of silent Soviet propaganda, To the Heart of the World, the more Lynchian The Dead Father, and a peep-show homage to the art of the penny dreadful, Cowards Bend the Knee, a tale of a scheming lover who seeks to have her dead father's hands transplanted onto her beau, so they might kill her mother's murderer - his mother. (Beers included Hare's Breadth, a light brown ale with an almost oud bruin hint of sourness, and Moleskeeper, a pale ale with a superbly milky, yeasty fluffiness cushioning the aftertaste) FWIW, whilst this is almost the end of the Guy Maddin touring programme, it's now winding up with a visit to Sheffield, at the Showroom, if anyone happens to be in that locality.

Here's a Swiss public toilet with a difference. The left photo shows it from the outside, whilst the right is an inside view; it's made entirely of one-way mirrors.

I wonder what the process of dreammaking entails? One the other night had me in some deli, examining a tube of Pringles, emblazened with Popeye imagery. Yet, oddly, they were apparently rabbit flavored. Needless to say, aside from my confusion, I couldn't buy them.

Finally, enjoy Sinnerman's eloquently satirical review of a Korean horror film, "Wishing Stairs". ^_^ (It's the second on the page)
The Saddest Music in the World is a tremendous ... experience. The cast play along with the conceit wholeheartedly. I noticed a woman reading Heat magazine before it started; on the bus home I asked her opinion and she could have been used as a definition by example of 'nonplussed'.

You might enjoy Guy Maddin's four-minute Sissy-Boy Slap Party at http://www.saddestmusic.com/
Oh, good grief.. that short was hilarious. ^_^ I'll have to include a link thereto in my next entry - brief, but it's a reasonably illustrative introduction to his work. And, thankfully, actually downloadable - doubly handy, as that means I can keep it on the drive, and dialup users can download a good quality copy, rather than having to accept a much more tightly compressed version in lieu.

The cast play along with the conceit wholeheartedly.

Very much so. I think that unstated playfulness serves to raise the humor of the high melodrama being unfurled. As Ebert said in his review: "Nor can you catch Maddin condescending to his characters; he takes them as seriously as he possibly can, considering that they occupy a mad, strange, gloomy, absurd comedy."

Much as I enjoy the majority of Lynch's work - Twin Peaks especially, but Lost Highway also, not to mention the quite different The Straight Story - this additional dimension of, basically, a keen sense of wit is most appealing. I suppose his enjoyment of 1920s aesthetics doesn't hurt my feelings towards his work, either, as that was a particularly strong period for creative and imaginative design, to my mind.

I wonder if Terry Gilliam's ever chatted with Guy Maddin?

I want a tube of Curry Pringles.

Britain is unquestionably the world leader in crunchy potato and corn technology.
Damn, that's an awesome toilet. But... o.O I wouldn't be comfortable using it...
It is rather spiffy, isn't it? I'd be interested in learning how it came about.. and, of course, how the locals feel about it, and availing themselves of said facility. ^_^

I can't help but feel I'd like to have a camera outside feeding a display within, absolutely proving, in real-time, that nothing was visible from the outside..
Heh. You'd need 2.. maybe 4 cameras though.. Or a mobile camera that circles the toilet housing whatever-you-call-it.

"The Cremaster Cycle"


Heh, sorry... personal history there ;)
Ooh.. time for Story Hour with Unca Q? ^_^

fek didn't seem entranced by it, so I can only guess that there's rather more style than substance.. I'm intrigued, though, what the pace actually is, as the first trailer seemed far too rich to be more than a few minutes - like drinking a pint of cream. A little can be nice, but too much..

Although akira114 does have tales to tell involving egg nog.