For some reason I haven’t seen Michael Moore’s SiCKO until now. I’m sure Michael Moore did a lot of cherry picking to make his point more convincing and I wish he had offered a few more opponent’s counter arguments with requisite rebuttals. But even taking all of that into account this film offers a devastating account of the health care system in the United States. Just watching this documentary can make you feel sick.

It looks like Moore tried his hardest to rally the troops and make a grass roots rebellion happen, he cites people’s propensity to take to the streets in France as one of the main reasons things are pretty good there. Unfortunately, two years later very little has budged and forces continue to conspire against any kind of change on this front.
(The sheer number of lobbyists and amount of money that is on the table for things not to change, was probably one of the more eye opening and depressing aspects of the film.)

Things like the boat excursion to Cuba, while rooted in reality, are so outlandish and obviously contrived for arguments sake, that I think he is starting to stretch the term documentary a little thin. While he makes a very convincing argument using real footage, maybe documentary is not the best term for a Michael Moore film anymore.

James Franco is a performance artist?


James Franco recently joined the General Hospital cast. He plays an artist named Franco. But wait! According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, penned by James Franco himself, all of his General Hospital appearances were actually a big piece of performance art. He waxes on and on about the “grandmother of performance art,” Marina Abramović, in the article but doesn’t much explain his own art.

Then there is this video:

He also recently completed a film collaboration with the artist Carter, entitled Erasing James Franco, somehow related to the famous Rauschenberg Erased de Kooning Drawing.

It’s exciting to see the words “performance art” being bandied about by the general public, but I’m not sure what to make of all of this. My bet, there is more of this yet to come. Maybe all of it is a thesis project for the MFA degree he is currently working on? If it’s all some kind of publicity stunt, then it’s weirdly highbrow. Any other ideas? lmk.

Antony Gormley

These sculptures are so amazing to me. I love large scale installations, especially ones that are minimal as well as pieces that deal with the human body and it’s relationship to the space it is in. His sculptures embody all of this. His pieces are very diverse but there is a central theme tying them together. I think he is master artist. I’m not sure that I’ve seen his work in person before, but I sure will be on the look out for it from now on.
Continue reading Antony Gormley

Fantastic Mr. Fox


I’m not a Wes Anderson fanboy, but I really liked this movie. I think it was fantastic! It’s really a great film for adults and children alike, and I think I will take everyone’s advice and give it another go, apparently it’s the only way to catch all of the intricate details of the sets and action. (speaking of which I think this might be the only movie where a screen shot, as seen above, actually does the movie injustice. In a film still the little animals look terrible and lifeless, but when animated it’s hard to remember that they are even puppets.)

For some reason, I’ve never read the book version of Fantastic Mr. Fox, but I am a huge Roald Dahl fan. [The Twits is my fave.] I think that might be my only criticism, there was so much quirky Anderson-ness in it, which seems to match this animation style perfectly, that I felt like some of the Dahl-ness was lost. There were some moments that felt almost too real or gory for a children’s movie and even characters who smoked, perfect Roald Dahl, but somehow, the overall quirk, made it really feel like a Wes film. Not a bad thing though, I really enjoyed it and had few good laughs.

[if you have access to it, there was a fascinating article about this creative feat in the nov.2 new yorker. read the abstract here.]

Some Movies

The Men Who Stare at Goats

Can’t believe it’s based on a true story. Would love to know which parts actually a happened becasue the whole thing is pretty unbelievable.

The Brothers Bloom

More of a Children’s Fable but for adults. It had it’s moments, but I liked Brick better.

Good Hair

As all documentaries go, reality is fascinating, and I learned a lot. (might have been better as a multi-part series, though.)