Art: Kids Clothing Week

kcwc_fall_button3It’s here again, and I am totally unprepared! I had every intention of participating, but I am not having a very good day so who knows.

I do have a pair of Leapfrog pants on the needles for Sam that I started in JUNE and still have not finished, so maybe I can work on those. And Grace has long outgrown the pair I made for the pattern (sob) so I should make her another pair.

And if I can get some funds together I have some fall sweater knitting to get started on… but those funds are looking unlikely until we get our tax return. (We filed an extension in April because Grace still did not have a birth certificate or social security number. She FINALLY got an SSN on Friday and I filed our return late that night. And then again on Satuday because the IRS rejected it because I entered Sam’s SSN incorrectly. Oy.)

What I’d really like to do is sew some dresses and work on Halloween costumes, but I have no hope for that this week. I can’t even get to my sewing table. Sigh.

Art: self-portrait

So. You’re walking down Sunset and a guy who looks like he’s maybe hungover walks toward you, deliberately, and you’ve been mugged before so you know that isn’t what’s happening because it’s not that kind of deliberate, but he’s saying something to you and he’s kind of mumbling but you definitely catch “revenge,” and you’re trying to come up with a split-second escape plan but the baby is on your back so your exit strategy can’t involve turning around and oh gee whiz, maybe you should have paid more attention when you got dressed because he was just reading your shirt.

writingwell

Purchased from Fussy.org.

(I am pretty sure my boobs are not really larger than my head. It’s forced perspective.)

Art: Film vs. Movie

Hi there. It is I, your absentee host. Did you enjoy my husband’s guest post? Of course you did, he is witty and entertaining.

I’m sure you’re wondering where I stand on the film vs. movie, horror as art thing.

I think any motion picture (see how I used a different term?) can be art, which is the crux of what Will and Katherine (and the other commenters) were discussing. And of course, while some are art, many are not. It is a good discussion. But I dislike the distinction of film vs. movie, and frankly think it is (if those of you who use it will forgive me) horseshit.

Film is a medium. It is, literally, the material on which one takes a picture.

Movies are pictures that move.

And I’m rather of the opinion that calling movies “films” makes you sound pretentious.

The end.

[/curmudgeon]

Art: A Night in the Loathesome October

This is a guest post by my husband, Will Klein, a.k.a. oslowe.

October is coming, and fast. As long time readers might recall (and especially them of you who followed me over from Livejournal), with October comes the Trailers to horror movies. One of the great things about movie trailers is that they can be good, bad , and totally awesome– often without revealing the actual merits (beyond budget) of the movies they are selling.

Well, don’t worry, I’ll be chronicling them again next month–hopefully not missing a week or so like I did last year.

But I bring this up because of a terrific post over at my pal Miss Twist’s blog about “movies” and “film”, and the whole “art” of the medium.

I wanted to bring it up in regards to Horror Films.

People who know me well–or at cocktail parties where the subject comes up–tend to be aware of my disgruntled reaction every Halloween when a number of “Best of” and “top ten” type lists about horror movies appear, and for some reason Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining always ends up on them.

I do not think it is a terribly scary movie. A well made movie, most definitely. A “film” even–quite probably. But it’s constant inclusion on these lists has long been a real aggravator for me.

And now, thanks to Miss Twist, I think I get it.

There is a kneejerk ghettoization of Horror Movies–because so many of them are Cheap, Sleazy and without any Redeeming Values–and it is, mostly, deserved. But then, name me a genre of movies where most of the examples AREN’T less than art?

My beloved Western genre–tons, and I mean literal tons of sub-par pre 40’s oaters were produced. Most of the Tex Ritter, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers movies–frankly, if you’ve seen two of them you’ve seen the formula.

Dozens–if not more–of craptastic cash-in shoot ’em up Spag Westerns that had “Django” or “Sartana” in the title had none of the artistic merit of Leone or Corbucci or Solima’s features.

There are Great adventure and action movies and films–and a lot of crap. Science Fiction is littered with the corpses of stinkers, both low budget and high.

And most movie lovers can probably name a movie or two–even a film or two–in just about any genre–including Romantic Comedies *shudder*.

But horror gets short shrift, because of the aforementioned ghetto “video nasty” vibe that most people have about them.

But there definitely are horror films out there. And not just Kubrick’s.

If I were to make a top ten list of horror “Films”, I don’t even know if The Shining would end up on it.

Bernard Rose’s Candyman would–to be sure. Adapted from a Clive Barker short story from the ground up, it is an elegant, haunting, scary ghost story. It is also a film that explores the reaches of storytelling, of myth-making, and of white flight, urban paranoia, and the racial divide of Chicago- that is a lot of heady shit for a movie that most people (especially those who didn’t see the damn thing) remember solely as “that Tony Todd is all sexy ghost-romance thing.”

I would argue in favor of Neil Jordan and Angela Carter’s The Company Of Wolves being a film–a flawed one, yes, but a visually gorgeous, elegiac look at (again) the powers of storytelling, dreams and nightmares, and just how scary sexual awakening can be for most young people. Oh yeah, and it has some awesome werewolf transformations (sorry, Courtney).

Robert Wise’s adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s novel “The Haunting Of Hill House” (an utterly terrifying piece of literature) is pretty damn amazing too. Who would have thunk that the director of West Side Story and The Sound of Music, and the future director of Star Trek: The Motion Picture had as wonderfully atmospheric and spooky a story as The Haunting in him? Pitch perfect casting, smart use of Jackson’s original prose (actually bettered in the opening and closing voiceover of Nelson Gidding’s screenplay), an incredible sound design attached to smart editing and great simple special effects used well–this is a damn fine “film,” and one of the best horror movies ever made.

Anthony Shaffer and Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man is an undeniable work of art–a great, great film in almost every way possible. Dread inducing existential horror, amazing performances, fantastic location shooting… it’s just great.

Should Tod Browning’s Dracula make the list? I don’t think so- the first twenty minutes are spellbinding, but after that it becomes a stage bound potboiler.

Does The Bride of Frankenstein even count as horror, or is it science-fiction and comedy wrapped in some horror trimmings?

What about Polanski’s adaptation of Rosemary’s Baby, or Lucky McKee’s May?

Kaneto Shindo’s incredible Kuroneko still haunts me (more-so than his more well-known Onibaba, arguably the first two J-Horror films)–and what about Ringu? Is it “just” a Great horror movie, or is it a horror film?

Is it even possible for Takeshi Miike to make a film? If so, it might be Audition, or does it just resonate for a few scenes–is the overall movie as good as the high points?

I think arguments could be made to include Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, though is it great because of it’s flaws or despite them?

A lot of time older movies end up on “top ten” lists because they are “classics,” and while I have tons of respect for classics (especially in that they influence what comes after) I don’t think anything deserves inclusion on an actual non-sop “Best EVER” list just because they were first, or are old.

What horror movies do you think transcend the genre to become more than just movies, to become art–to become “films”?

Also not about art.

I feel like talking about food some more, and YOU CAN’T STOP ME. (Please don’t try. Grace is getting tooth #2 and it’s a toss-up which of us is more miserable.)

We are planning a family picnic. We’re always saying we should bring one to Vasquez Rocks but we never do because we don’t know what to pack. The last time we packed a picnic was in 2009 when we went to Will Rogers State Park, and it consisted of bread and cheese and fruit that we bought at TJ’s. Which was DELICIOUS but I want something more meal-like.

So far I’ve come up with:

  • hard-boiled eggs
  • fried chicken

Which leaves plenty of room for “Which came first?” jokes.

What are YOUR favorite picnic foods? I need ideas for veggies and salads and stuff. And DESSERT! So basically everything. But I’ve got protein covered! (Though you can leave more ideas for that, too.)

I don’t feel like writing about art today.

I didn’t yesterday either.

And I don’t feel like writing about what’s going on. (Nothing bad, but some hard stuff.)

So, um. What to write.

The baby’s new favorite food is carrots. Not stewed, or however most babies eat them. And not carrot sticks, which I am pretty sure is the way Sam ate them. No, not this baby. She eats the bits of shredded carrot off my salad, carefully chewing one up and then yelling for another.

Also she has a tooth! Nearly two months ahead of when Sam got his first tooth. (It’s the bottom right if you care about such details.)

And that’s the news from Lake Woebegone.

Art: yarn love

septemberbooty

I joined Booty Club! I’ve wanted to do the semi-solid sock club for as long as it’s existed, but when Georgia offered a woolies option I knew I had to do it. Grace will only be in diapers for a couple years, and I can knit socks after that.

I am crazy about Georgia’s yarns and her color sense. Orange and purple! I would not have thought of that! It’s nice and Halloweenie, too, so I’d better get knitting. Soaker or shorties? I could probably get longies in her current size, but once she moves up I’ll have to switch to the 10 ounce woolies club (that’s 6 ounces there).

Art: Superheroes

Alex-Ross-Justice-League

Several years ago I bought this Alex Ross Justice League poster. At least, I think it was this one. It is still rolled up in a corner. Someday I will get it framed. I think it is amazingly beautiful, even if it is a white Green Lantern.