Tuesday, May 30, 2006

On Not Thinking Things Through



Yes, it is real, and it really was made.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

“I’ve Got All Five Senses And I Slept Last Night: That Puts Me Six Up On You.”

A film noir in which the protagonist is the high school geek? Yeah, you knew this one was never going to score less than “average” with me.

But Brick is more than art-porn for lonely kids who’ve read too much Raymond Chandler. It’s the best film I’ve seen this year, and might even be the best film I’ve seen in rather a long time.

The idea of making a film noir set in a school seems ridiculous at first, but the more you see of it, the more it makes sense. In addition, the unusual setting allows the film to avoid and/or subvert the conventions of the genre. Indeed, the plot somehow manages to encompass everything you would expect to find in classic noir, and somehow manages to make you believe it. As always with noir, though, to concentrate on the plot is to miss the point entirely: this film is all about creating a mood.

Mood is perhaps where the film excels the most, with the cinematography picking out the menacing emptiness in the American landscape, in much the same way that Hopper paintings did. The soundtrack is suitably subdues as well, which is a welcome change after years of jock-rock in American school films.

Not everything in Brick is perfect. There are occasions when its desire to pastiche classic noir nearly crosses the line into parody, and there’s no question that the best moments of the film are when it is trying to play things relatively straight.

If you’ve read this far, you probably already know whether this sounds like your sort of thing or not. It certainly comes with my highest recommendation.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

"Choke on 'em! Choke on 'em!"

It's about time I told the blog readers that I have a character in Urban Dead. Urban dead is a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) set in a city suffering from a zombie outbreak. You can play a survivor or a zombie, and will find yourself switching around as you get killed or "revivified". It's surprisingly fun for a browser-based game.

You can also see the current status of my character, Roy Allenson.

I'll see you behind the nearest barricade...