Jason Shulman has created a series of photographs by pointing a large format camera at a large monitor for the duration of a movie, effectively flattening down an entire film into a single image. The photographs end up looking like impressionist paintings with only small details and color schemes recognizable from the original work. I think they’re beautiful.
This is a clip from the film Samsara, directed by Ron Fricke (also the director of Baraka and the director of photography for Koyaanisqatsi) packs a real punch, without saying a word. If you are not too squeamish, stick to the end, the last scene is the kicker. This is not comfortable or pleasant viewing. It is dystopian and confronting and robotic. Both tragic and beautiful. And definitely worth a watch.
Don’t let this stop you from watching the entire film though.
Samsara is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives. Filmed over a period of almost five years and in twenty-five countries, Samsara transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, Samsara subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern.
RIP Bookslut. It has published its final issue. I’m sad to see it go. I was never a heavy reader the site but I always had an affinity for it. See, my foray into the blogging world started fourteen years ago with a book blog that started just a month after Bookslut. So I have always considered Bookslut to be a much more worthwhile, articulate, entertaining and much smarter stepsister-blog to my little “I Love You Too” book blog.
There is an excellent interview in Vulture with Jessa Crispin, the site’s founder and editor. Here’s a favorite pull-quote to get you salivating:
There’s always space to do whatever you want. You won’t get as much attention, but fuck attention. Fight for integrity. Now everyone has a TinyLetter instead of a blog. As soon as the first writer got a book deal for a TinyLetter, everyone’s TinyLetter just became book-deal bait, written the same way. This weird conformity just takes over as soon as the possibility of money or access or respectability comes up. That’s disappointing.
Earlier this week, David Lynch and his production crew wrapped principal shooting on the new Twin Peaks. In celebration, Showtime has announced all 217 cast members for the upcoming Twin Peaks revival. There are a bunch of the original cast members returning (noted in the list below in bold), along with some notable newbies. Interestingly, some of the returning actors played characters who are long dead. Standout new cast members include Ashley Judd, Michael Cera, Eddie Vedder, Laura Dern, Trent Reznor and Jim Belushi
I’m torn about whether this reboot will be any good. Lynch will definitely show us something we didn’t ask for, and it will probably unmoor us. Whether that qualifies as “good” or “not good” will depend almost strictly on the individual viewing it. The owls are not what they seem.
Anderson, Eric Ray
Blevins, Ronnie Gene
Cantu, Juan Carlos
Coulson, Catherine E.
Cox, Grace Victoria
Davies, Owain Rhys
de la Reguera, Ana
Del Rio, Rebekah
Dowlin, Edward “Ted”
Ferguson, Jay R.
Jones, Caleb Landry
Kelly, David Patrick
Leigh, Jennifer Jason
Logan, Bellina Martin
Long, Sarah Jean
Niehaus, Priya Diane
Parenzini, Elias Nelson
Riggs, Carolyn P.
Rondell, Erik L.
Russell, Carlton Lee
Stanton, Harry Dean
Sutherland, Sabrina S.
Tewes, Cynthia Lauren
Van Etten, Sharon
I didn’t have the privilege of seeing Prince perform live before his untimely death yesterday. But I have seen him perform a handful of times on television. You’re going to hear a lot about his blistering performance during the half-time show during Super Bowl XLI (2007). And rightfully so, this standout performance took place in a rainstorm and included “We Will Rock You”, “Let’s Go Crazy”, “Baby I’m a Star”, “Proud Mary”, “All Along the Watchtower”, “Best of You”, and “Purple Rain”.
However, my favorite televised performances were from his appearances on Saturday Night Live. On November 1, 2014, Prince bucked Saturday Night Live tradition by playing a single, eight minute, four-song medley (instead of the standard of multiple songs sprinkled throughout the show). The unbroken set consisted of pieces of “Clouds,” “Plectrum Electrum,” “Marz,” and “Another Love”. One of my favorite parts is when Prince attempted up turn up his guitar’s volume only to smile as he realized it was unplugged.
My very favorite Prince performance was his commanding execution of “Fury” for the February 4, 2006 Saturday Night Live. It had been over 24 years since Prince had last played on SNL and “Fury” had not been heard live or as studio recording up until this point. Prince’s guitar work for this performance was amazing. He effortlessly shredded the song up and down. My favorite part is the end, when he throws his mic stand on the floor while exiting the stage. He does this with a sly grin, letting his audience know he is fully aware that he was on fire.
This territorial struggle between two octopuses (octopi, octopodes) is a thrill to watch. The tentacle free-for-all and color changing turmoil from the sea provides for an exciting couple of minutes. The ambushes an guerrilla style aggression exhibit the undeniable intelligence of our cephalopod friends.
The most important lesson for aspiring Scrabble nerds
is to memorize the whole list of two-letter words.
There’s one hundred and one, just like the Dalmatians,
but instead of pooches they’re pronouns, prepositions, exclamations.
And rather than skinning these pups, à la Cruella de Vil,
you’ll play with them daily—it’s your opponents you’ll kill.
Some of these words are obvious, others uncanny
But master them all and you just might beat Granny.
AA, pronounced “ah-aah,” is cindery lava,
the word’s from Hawaii but you may find some in Java.
An AB is a muscle found on magazine covers,
an AD in the mag says Virginia’s For Lovers.
AE thing is one thing, the word’s oldish and Scottish;
AG means agriculture, the word’s academic and oddish.
AH expresses surprise, like “Ah, look at those!”
an AI is a sloth who’s just got three toes.
AL is not just Pacino, it’s an East Indian tree,
and AM is not just talk-radio, it’s a form of “to be.”
AN is an indefinite article, I just said it twice,
and AR is the letter that starts the word “rice.”
When you use an example, you can use the word AS,
and AT tells you where, such as “At Alcatraz.”
We make the sound AW when we see kittens sneeze,
or when lumberjacks insensitively AX stately trees.
AY one might say, to say “I agree.”
BA is the Ancient Egyptian idea of the soul, basically.
To BE is to exist, to have actuality;
a BI is a guy or girl with bisexuality.
BO is a pal, like “Meet my bo, Jackson.”
“BY the way,” one might say, “he’s looking for action.”
DE, from the French, means “of” as in “from;”
DO, like the deer, is the first tone you hum.
ED is education, it’s just shorter this way,
And EF is for F, like “What the ef word did you just play?”
EH…it’s like…I don’t know…like an expression of doubt?
The EL train (think el tren elevado) is a pain to wait for when it’s raining out.
EM refers to the letter; the same goes for EN.
ER is…hesitation; use ES to start “sen.” (A former Japanese currency.)
ET is a past tense of to eat; the letter EX marks the spot.
FA is also sung as part of the scale. (Some folks think it’s “far” but it’s not.)
The Hebrew letter FE (“fay”) was long ago used by Moses.
As GO is a word referring to the game, so its plural gos is.
“HA!” blurted Adam, earlier in the Bible, when HE saw Eve evolve from his rib,
“HI,” she replied, then “HM,” because she couldn’t ad lib.
“HO!” Adam said, easy—it can be another sound of surprise—
and Adam’s ID fought his ego. (The superego decides.)
IF, IN, IS and IT we pretty well know
But how about for sweetheart the endearing term JO?
Then there’s a couple kay words that can keep back a conniption,
the first one is KA: the spiritual self—like ba, it’s ancient Egyptian.
The other is KI—pronounced “chee”—is a deep concept, son,
referring to the Chinese vital life force—way before Obi Wan.
LA, a note to follow sol
LI, about five hundred yards
That, LO—attention!—will bring us up to MA, a mom, a female mom,
ME, a name a I call myself…
But in the song of course MI also a note meant.
Use “MM” to assent; and a MO is a moment.
The Greek letter MU, MY friend, should NA (not) be unknown to us,
At least compared to El Greco’s real name—NE Dominikos Theotokópulos.
NO, the Greek letter NU should likewise not be a shock,
Unlike the word coined by the German Baron Dr. Carl von Reichenbach,
who came up with OD, a hypothetical life force,
which he derived from the god Odin—who of course was Norse.
From that same part of the world, not far from the Highlands,
we get the word OE, a whirlwind off OF the Faroe Islands.
“OH,” you cry, “OI, my brain is starting to swell!”
But relax, my friend, take heart, you’re doing so well,
try saying an OM to help counter confusion,
for ON we go to OP, abstract art based on illusion.
OR think also of OS, another word that might be new to us,
it could refer to a bone, or an orifice of the uterus.
You might exclaim, “OW!” if like an OX,
you stub your big toe, wearing just sox.
“OY,” you might cry, “come help me, PA!”
(Which reminds me to warn you not to try to play “da.”)
PE, like fe, is another Hebrew letter,
tho Greek and math people prefer their PI better.
QI, Scrabble’s most popular word, is just ki spelled with a kue,
and like qat (or your cat) it doesn’t need U.
Back to the Von Trapps, let’s not forget the tone RE,
and don’t SH them yet—they have more to say:
there’s also SI and SO from the scale diatonic,
and don’t say TA, or thanks, to them yet, for their lesson harmonic
because we likewise have to make time for TI,
TO which the music teacher Sarah Ann Glover changed the tone si.
UH, UM…oh yeah, there’s UN,
Juste comme the French, it simply means one.
There’s UP and US, and UT—an old name for the first (and last) tone, do,
and WE (the funnest pronoun) and WO, which is woe.
With the Greek letter, XI, we’re near the end of our song.
The Viet coin, XU, was a cent to their dong.
Congrats: YA got all the words that I wanted to teach YE
And—YO! —I almost forgot: there’s ZA, which is pizza!
So now you know your Scrabblish AA, BO, QIS,
next time won’t you sing with MI?
The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary Fifth Edition has added some new two letter words since this poem was first published at The Daily Beast way back in 2003. I have created the following addition to modernize David’s poem.
Since time has passed, Scramble has changed its ways
and you will come to find out DA is a safe word to play.
GA is the white robe worn while performing martial arts.
TE sounds like TI, the seventh note if you’re smart.
PO is a chamber pot, a safe place to pee in.
And now that you know this, more Scrabble you should win.