Monday, June 28, 2010

Stop Motion Extravaganza!

I caught this on the Sundance Channel a few nights ago. It's called Madame Tutli Putli and is a stop motion animation about one woman's surreal trip on a train across country. I was extremely impressed with the quality of the puppets and animation in general, though I'm sure a little CGI was used to smooth out the flow of movements. What I liked most were the expressive eyes of all the characters and the bumpy textures of their skin.

I didn't really understand the ending but I think it's worth watching for all of the creepy backdrops and colorful characters.

This is the moment where she meets a famous tennis player who is a very rude man! A man like that deserves a crisp slap across his face!

These two men are playing a wobbly game of chess while sitting in their suitcases. Another wonderful moment.

So this got me thinking that I have to plug two other favorites. I know I've mentioned this one before but it's definitely worth re-mentioning. Peter and the Wolf (2006) is a modern stop motion adaption of an old composition by Sergei Prokofiev.

"Boys like Peter aren't afraid of wolves." Awesome.

I've always had a fixation for wolves. The Bog Bad Wolf is my favorite fairytale villain and I've dated several guys because they were wolf-like (bad idea in the long run). The wolf from this tale will not disappoint. He's mean and scary and has a coat of beautiful, alluring fur.

Don't you just want to pet that lovely beast and keep it in your home as your companion?

Look at Peter's wonderful face. An example of some very fine sculpting.

This is an older live action version of Peter and The Wolf that I used to catch on the ARTS channel back in the day. It's narrated by Sting (as a puppet) and is a combination of Barnum and Bailey and nightmares from childhood. My favorite elements are the Marx brothers-esque hunters, the alcoholic duck, and the giant frightening wolf puppet with it's long, lolling tongue. To my delight the first chunk of it is available on youtube. Watch it and bring lots of joy to your eyes!

The past two weekends have been stimulation overload for me...but in a good SummertimeinChicago kind of way.

Trump Tower

I spent Saturday night in Trump towers with my good friend Sheena and my new friend Sam. We were on the 23rd floor in her deluxe suite and I couldn't fall asleep because I was deftly afraid of sleeping in a room so high up.

A king size deluxe suite at the Trump. Roughly what Sheena's room looked like.

I imagined the room splitting in half and me plunging 23 three stories below to a poisonous river death, clad only in my pajamas. I guess this means that I might be afraid of heights which makes sense considering that I've lived in 2 or 3 flats my entire life.

By the way, Artistic Liberties recently posted an extensive interview with yours truly. Read it to find out all about my humble beginnings!

Anyway, it's my bedtime. Happy Monday!

P.s - I saw a lady reading a book on the train today entitled Give Us A Kiss. I know that has to be some kind of sign. Just not sure what it means.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Take your protein pills and put your helmet on..

I just finished reading The Man Who Fell to Earth and it was so much better than I was expecting it to be (minus some mild sexism and the term "African savages" being used a couple times.) In short it was about an alien from some place called Anthea who comes to earth with the intent of saving his dry, rotting planet and its mere 300 inhabitants.

The exact version of the novel that I have. Except mine is in better condition. I 'd love to have a poster of this on my wall.

What I liked most about this book was that although it was science fiction, it was less about an extraterrestrial and more about human nature. Infact it seemed that this alien was more human than the humans he surrounded himself with. A few times he described his interactions with humans as communicating with highly intelligent and crafty apes.

In the novel, Thomas Newton (the Anthean) mostly learned about our planet from years of watching television and listening to the radio.

It's pretty needless to say that he did not succeed with his mission and the CIA/FBI caught on to him. In the end though it wasn't the CIA or FBI that broke him, it was "earth culture". The book portrayed him as a very delicate being which was refreshing and a stark contrast to the aliens portrayed in movies like Independence Day and Mars Attacks. I especially loved the scene that described him breaking his entire leg by fainting in an elevator (he wasn't used to our gravity).

The Anthean without all of his earth disguises.

Bowie circa early 60's.

I haven't watched the movie because it seems so different from the book and I don't want to be disappointed but kudos to the filmmakers for casting David Bowie as the extraterrestrial! I cannot think of a more graceful, delicate being who'd be perfect for the part. Look at all of that lovely boyish charm! I bet you can't even look at him directly without burning your retinas.

Newton and Mary Lou, who in the book was named Mary Jo and was not his lover but his housekeeper.

From what I understand they added a romance to the movie which was not at all present in the novel. I guess it was an excuse to film David Bowie naked in the thralls of love, which I'm totally fine with! I didn't get the feeling from the book that he had a human-like genitalia but either way, I think it's a bad idea to have unprotected sex with an alien.

I listened to Space Oddity as soon as I finished reading and now this song seems to be infused with another layer of meaning.

A live cover by Gnarls Barkley. I usually don't care much for covers but this one is phenomenal! I wish they would record a full length version. Cee-lo's voice is so rich and perfect for it.

On a semi related note: I can't stop listening to the Sailor Moon Soundtrack! I found it at the Brown Elephant two years ago for 50 cents. Even though the original Japanese version totally kicks the American version's ass, it still has some pretty annoyingly catchy songs.

Moon Prism Power!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Let's talk summer attire...

Here are some things I've been thinking about for the summer months.

  • Bright, bold patterns (Isn't that stripped skirt fun?!)
  • Floral blouses/Rompers (I've yet to find the perfect romper to this day!)
  • Big, obnoxious earrings (The kind of earrings I prefer actually.)
  • Gladiator sandals (Yes, I like them. Fuck you.)
  • Linen hair bows (You can never have too many headbands with bows on them!)
  • Short Shorts (Especially with cute patterns.)
  • Cloth necklaces (Any tips where I could find some cute ones?)
  • Leaves, Leaves, Leaves
  • Cloth flats
  • Woven Bags
  • Plum lips with deep shades of lip stick (This summer, I vow to give lipstick a try.)
Aren't those snake earrings just the most amazing thing you've ever seen? I found them on a very questionable website for 20 bucks!

Happy Saturday!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fuerza Bruta!!

I apologize for my lengthy absence. If you only you had known what the past two weeks have been like for me. Nonetheless, I'm back and life has reached a nice calm plateau for the time being. But anyway let's get to it! We have much to discuss you and I.

I had the privilege of seeing Frueza Bruta last Saturday at the Harris Theater. My friend scored free tickets and very sweetly invited me along. For those of you not familiar with them Frueza Bruta (brute force) is a crazy spectacle/circus/dance/performance collective from Argentina.

The first performer (a man running on a treadmill on a flat, rolling platform) terrified me to the point of nearly having a heart attack. As he started to run, the music sped up and got louder until a loud gun shot rang out causing him to stumble and a giant blood stain to appear on his shirt. When he straightened himself out, he removed his white shirt and another (bloodless one) was underneath.

The running man breaking through a wall.

This sequence continued possibly two or three more times and included him breaking through walls and trying to run while holding on to tables and chairs. In addition to a mild case of agoraphobia I am also very deeply disturbed by loud noises, particularly gun shots. I didn't realize that I was hunched over covering my ears until my friend stroked my arm reassuringly and tried to distract me by calling my attention to two aerial artists doing a very graceful routine against an aluminum "wall".

The second time I nearly lost it was during the water choreogaphy. Out of nowehere a giant pool appeared above us with a woman gracefully splayed out in a minimal amount of water.

More women entered the pool as it lowered over us and the crew members encouraged us to raise our hands up to touch it.

The pool being lowered over the audience. My favorite experience from the show but also the most terrifying.

The women at first interacted with the audience by pressing themselves and their hands against the pool. Towards the end of the routine, they began jumping and slamming their bodies against the pool as hard as they could!

I imagined the entire thing collapsing, leading to a bloody, watery death for us all but fortunately it was over before I reached my breaking point. But just when I thought things were once again safe, the running man appeared shortly after.

The running man again- this time with some friends!

The show ended with lots of loud music, flashing lights, and a smiling audience, soaking wet and dancing in damp confetti remnants. I had a great time. Go see it if you're in Chicago and in no way bothered by death-defying feats!

On semi- related news I got hired for my first non-Redmoon Theater related puppeteering gig! I am now a puppeteer for a sci- fi comedy web series entitled Human Resources. It's written by a sister writing duo (Kozi and Kyra Kyles) about alien abductions in the work place. You can read a little more about it here.

Also my friend just finished interviewing me for her Artistic Liberties series. I will post a link as soon as the interview is up and running!

Aside from that I am now two years shy from being a quarter century old and aerial classes start next week! Yay!