Lemon-Scented Bivouac  

Fatherly and, eventually, teacherly blather. Also: graphic design, baseball, synthetic fabrics, jug band music and, lord help us, the occasional politics.

Saturday, May 31, 2003  

Someone in Ballard has taken on this thankless task:

In unrelated news:

  posted by Andy @ 11:25 AM §

Thursday, May 29, 2003  

Mr. Defective Yeti has logged one of the funniest anecdotes I've read in a while. Yes, read all seven paragraphs.

  posted by Andy @ 10:26 AM §

Tuesday, May 27, 2003  


Elliott is beginning to develop in that middle arrange of emotions between screaming and, um, sleep, and I managed to get some of it on video. Enjoy. (And yes, when he was becoming miserable I put the camera down before he got to real misery.)

  posted by Andy @ 11:16 PM §

Monday, May 26, 2003  

I'm worried that the Internet Web! doesn't have enough reviews of X2: X-Men United floating around on it, so I'll note that it was really outstanding -- actually exciting, as opposed to smashing around with jumpy edits and throwaway special effects. The first movie gave you a chance to study the comic-book world in crisp, natural detail and still thrive on the page-flipping energy that gets you through most comics in ten minutes. That is, Wolverine's blades looked very real, but instead of giving off sickening feeling of real blades pressing against real skin they gave off the iconic energy of lines about to cut open a flood of color. Costume design, special effects, fine, but you only get that perfect effect when the direction is perfect. For all that I've heard about movies having only "comic-book violence," X-Men was one of the few movies that actually had it (I couldn't remember, after seeing it, if it had anything that would upset my parents).

This sequel translates that iconic power over to the characters. They're very clear, so that the moments when they visually match what we know about them -- and I'm thinking about that beautiful liquid blue puff that Nightcrawler leaves behind when he transports, or the demolition Magneto enacts with three tiny iron pellets -- it's so perfect it feels hilarious. The way they're set in the movie, there's a right distance from the Angst of these characters. It's iconic and comic-book sharp, but it's perfectly focused. It's a movie that hold you in a good, observant, delighted state for two hours and somehow has the politeness not to overwhelm you.

I'd always heard, but never actually experience, the promise that the ludicrous, outsized action of comic books could actually grow out of the characters' emotions in an interesting way (as opposed to a token gesture). I think it happens here, and it's a treat to watch. Two or three more of these movies would be fine by me.

  posted by Andy @ 11:52 AM §

This archaic piece from the Globe and Mail -- good lord it's three weeks old -- does a nice job of the narrow passage our present-day economy has come to. As much as my mundane authority problem makes me tend to believe that the people in charge are insane, I do think the Fed has a good grasp on the problem and its urgency. I just doubt they can do much about it, for reasons this article explains very nicely.

  posted by Andy @ 11:27 AM §

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