Sunday, September 10, 2006

Mark's Cultural Landscape

Stuff i'm digging at the moment

Movies
Thank you for smoking -I haven't been to the Movies since seeing Da Vinci Code and i can't remember what was the last movie i actually paid to go see. Well I paid to see this and it was good. Nice to watch a satire that isn't hollywood based and not a mockumentary.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off - I remember renting this when it came out on video and watching it 3 times. Watching it again recently saw it go up at least 10 spots in my top 100 movies list. Almost the perfect comedy.

Television
TV is crap at the moment. The only things that i almost make an effort to watch is Criminal Minds and My Name is Earl. I keep forgeting Extras and Battlestar Galactica is on which says more about them than me. Its sad when the only thing i'm looking forward is to watch is the new Jamie Oliver show. TV is Lame now.

Blog
The Satorialist and Face Hunter are great. I'd love to do something like this but hate taking people's picture. Also i'm in Adelaide, and who wants a blog full of people in black and tracksuits?
Signal vs Noise; nice mix of marketing, usability and fun

Music
Be Your Own Pet - 34 minutes long/15 songs. Hard and fast and sexy.
JT - new Timberlake album is mesmerising in how good it sounds. Usually with mass produced pop i'll like it for 4 listens and thenn I'll detest it (usually anything involving Pharrel/NERD/Neptunes - see the Gwen Stephani album). I'm not usually keen on stuff produced by Timbaland stuff (overproduced) and couldn't imagine how Rick Rubin would work outside of oldschool hip hop and metal but this is sure mature sounding but still funky (with an edge of lounge). It is very futuresexy indeed, kind of like Scott 4 meets Prince, just shows you put the right people in the mix and you get gold.

Comics
Golgo 13 - the text peices at the end are dumb especially the 2 pages on Golgo's penis but otherwise very cool smart stuff.
Monster - I always think this is going to devolve into 'the fugitive' but its very gripping and moves fast enough with enough sub plots to keep it exciting.

Books
Possibility of an Island - i don't understand it - i can't stand Hoelleques' (i think all the letters are there you might have to rearrange them as necessary) politics but he does awesome fiction. This is probably the most depressing but best thing i've read for awhile.
Otherwise the last 2 books i've read have kind of sucked; Into Tibet: the first Atmic Spy was written like a Who Weekly article and History of the OSS is so clinically written it makes the idea of spies fighting behind enemy lines during WW2 boring.

13 comments:

Mr Tang said...

Movies I'm hanging out to see: Nacho Libre, that new Will Ferrel one and The Lady in the Lake. But I've been pretty busy, so we'll see.

For tv, the only thing I hang out for on a weekly basis is Grey's Anatomy, and Everybody Hates Chris when I remember.

Music I like the JT album too. But I've been a big fan of his since his boy band days. Probably says more about me than anything...

Comics: I missed out on Lost Girls cause it sold out in one freaking day! I'm really into Naruto at the moment, although the cartoon is a lot better than the manga. Also my usual stuff: Fables, Y The Last Man, Hikaru No Go, Ultimates, New Avengers, Astonishing X-Men... I'm poor for a reason.

Books - ummm I don't read books. Dey hurt my brainz.

Cactus said...

TV- Penn & Teller's show Bullshit, is on late night on Nine on thursday or somethin.
But It's just preaching to this choirboy. But I saw this clip on youtube and thought "I'd like to watch this show"
http://youtube.com/watch?v=wymi_YDXces

Owen Heitmann said...

Ferris Bueller's Day Off is my all-time favourite movie.

That is all.

The Frase said...

Rick Rubin produced all of the (awesome) Johnny Cash American Recording albums...... and maybe... Neil Youngs latest?

Mark Selan said...

Mr Tang - I think that guys like Will Ferrel and Jack Black are too big comedically to be the main character in the movie, they drown out all the other stuff and i find they get tiring too watch.
I've come to accept that its ok to like pop music. My name is mark and i like beyonce (musically)(and physically)
I'm getting bored with comics so need to try some new titles; sad thing is nothing out of DC or Marvel excites except for 100 bullets and Y, the last man. I only say i read books to impress the chicks - you can to just read the amazon reviews instead.

Cactus - yeah, Bullshit is good buts a matter of remembering to watch it. it doesn't help that the scheduling is up to the whimsy of some mouth breathing moron.

Owen - yep, i forgot how awesome it really is.

Scotty - yeah, i read that. All his stuff is really striped back and basic, which seems to be the complete opposite to modern r'nb music.

Anonymous said...

Justin Timberlake?

I... I... my entire image of you has just been shattered.

Maggie

Andy said...

"I... I... my entire image of you has just been shattered."

Come on Maggie, can't you just picture Marky Mark dancing round his loungeroom to JT when he's got the house all to himself!?!? I know *I* can! :O

Anonymous said...

...I recall a time when a domestic flight was missed and almost, almost a connecting international flight as Ferris Bueller's Day Off - had to be watched....

Mark Selan said...

maggie - "crisis on infinite marks" everything you thought you knew.
i get a little bit of stick about it but i'm nonplussed. I don't really understand why musicians like Timberlake get dissed. Because its manufactured? I can't see the difference between something like 'Pirates of the Caribean' and a Shakira album. Its part of the machine, its entertainment, not art (or Art).

Andy - who's says i need the house to myself? I'm a dancer not a stripper!

Brett - Shit was that Ferris that did that? In my defense the plane left 15 minutes then it was supposed to.

Anonymous said...

Simple: PotC was made by a director who honed his craft and rose up through the ranks by creating films which got him noticed. It's acted by actors who've done basically the same. The manufactured part is the idea and the means to bring it to the screen.

If the analogy to JT and similar pop creations were carried forward, the director would be an interesting person, picked for his public appeal not his mediocre directorial skills, surrounded by directors who will do the work for him, but not get their names on the poster. The actors would all be mediocre, but exceedingly pretty or notoriously featured in scandals on checkout tabloids.

And, in reverse, Timberlake woud be a singer/musician who chose his craft and honed it and was good enough to rise above and be noticed for his talent. As it is... he just got to cut the queue and go to the front because he fit a slot in a mold (and, to his credit I guess, he's managed to hang on a bit longer than most plastic idols).

M

PS - Story will be done by the weekend. Sorry I haven't kept you abreast. Work, moving, life. All that. :)

Mark Selan said...

The movie was director who started making commercials for large corporate entities and then made kids films and remakes and it was produced by Jerry Bruckhiemer and Disney, i can't see it being driven by artistic intent but rather by marketing. 2 of the principles are pretty young things; orlando was plucked out of acting school and has only been in what 3 movies made for under 10mill? the rest were blockbusters made for mass consumption. Kiera has had bit parts and supporting roles but nothing that required much acting. Only Rush and Depp have had to do the hard yards. And Depp started in 21 Jumpstreet which must be the TV equivalent of 'nsync.
Orlando and Keira can't carry a film on acting alone, they need the directors, writer, etc for a good film but they've got their names above the title when they really add very little artistically to the movie. They're used to sell the movie, not the director and writers who have much more to do with the sucess of the film (though Depp is also a main part of the success). Sure Timberlake is used as a puppet to front for talented producers but so is bloom and knightly.
POC is a product designed to sell tickets and auxillary products to the masses just as much as JT is.
Except in both cases its just done very well.

and i know you have danced to 'rock your body' :)

PS. Squeeeeel

Anonymous said...

To me it boils down to some pretty simple things. But to boil it down even more, it's almost like asking "do you know the difference between the Monkees and the Beatles". Both were pop music groups, both were put forth by execs to make money from young girls, but they were still as different as night and day.

20 years from now "JT" will be a footnote of Sean Cassidy proportions (that is to say, a small one marked mostly by his place in pop culture and his effect on young girls, not his music). But you'll still be able to buy a copy of PotC from wherever it is we get movies from in 2026 and the Beatles' "Revolver". But it's doubtful you'll have as easy a time finding 'Beerfest' or a "JT" CD. And maybe the Monkees too, as they will fade once my sister's generation grows old and their nostalgia wanes.

Mark Selan said...

The Monkees rule! I'd give my left nut for their show on DVD. it was hilarious and 'daydream believer' is a great song. Doesn't mean i think 'happiness is a warm gun' is the greatest beatle song ever and in my top 100.

time will tell.

Popularity and history is a tricky barometer for quality; for every elvis presely remembered there's a carl perkins forgotten.

i think we'll have to disagree. I think POC movie and the JT album are just as manufactured as each other, produced by large corporate entities. They differ from Beerfest or Lily Allen album because they are manufactured extremely well done. but the intent behind them is to sell tickets or albums to a wide general audience.
If the argument was against JT and Crash then, hands down there is a difference, same if we compared Nevermind with police academy 5. But POC was a Disney film, not Miramax or Touchstone who in the past have had more artistic leeway. POC is manipulative and superficial, its not about anything except to make you laugh at the right spots. And it does it very successfully - i think its a great movie (different from a great film - which makes me sound wanky). Like the JT album it uses skilled production staff to make me move my booty.

At the moment for pop/rnb music that i can groove to, there isn't much that isn't cliche-ridden and boring. Futuresexy provides that for the moment. because remember i'm a dancer not a stripper.

so please email me in 20 years and we'll see who made the right prediction.