A quick closet-cleaning of interesting stuff garnered over the past month.
New York City apartment buildings freecycle, and create new community spaces in the process.
A new book coming out called The Jazz Loft Project, documenting Weegee's time at 821 Sixth Avenue, where endless jam sessions took place. Very excited about this one, as it's a triple play: jazz, photography, New York.
Street artist Stuart Sherman (died 2001) did his thing on New York's paveways with nothing more than a little table and a bunch of quotidian items — household puppet theater, you could call it. Real creativity grows out of the cracks in the sidewalk.
We mourn the passing of another sidewalk saint, Brother Blue, one part Sun Ra and one part Punch and Judy puppet-master. "When you tell a story, you tell it to all creation," he once said. His story has now finished being uploaded into the universe.
Cormac McCarthy's old Olivetti manual typewriter goes to auction. Yes, the one on which he wrote everything from Blood Meridian to No Country for Old Men. "It’s as if Mount Rushmore was carved with a Swiss Army knife." See Patrick Farley's "The Guy I Almost Was" for another wonderful, quasi-fictional take on the romanticism, some of it wholly deserved, of Old School Analog Technology. I keep my fountain pen and notebooks for a reason — but sadly, going back to a typewriter for most of the work I do would be a major stab in the leg.
Nice overview of Jim Sheridan's upcoming remake of Brothers (see my review of the original film). Looks very promising, and also serves as further evidence that Natalie Portman will continue to have a fine career apart from being manhandled by George Lucas. (I could write a whole page of froth about his abominable FX-centric handling of actors, but I don't think I'd be telling you anything you hadn't already witnessed firsthand.)
Word on the live-action adaptation of Mulan, courtesy of veteran HK director Jingle Ma. It's already out "over there", but no word about domestic distribution. In the lead role: Zhao Wei, she of Red Cliff, Painted Skin, So Close, et al. Looking forward to this one.
The KeyHole video player, a streaming app that lets you watch live Japanese TV. Link's down last time I checked, but look back. Very addictive, especially if you haven't watched unfiltered Japanese media before.
The Auteurs now has a number of excellent Japanese films available online, some free and some for-pay. Onibabais free and well worth watching even in that tiny little PixelVision window. Also worth checking out is the groundbreaking Korean film The Housemaid, worth a review all by itself.