I make films. I'm also a nerd.

Archive for 2011:

Rosemaryed Baby


Errol Morris Is A Cheap Huckster, Not A Documentarian

The following was written at the request of Patrick Ripoll for the Director’s Club Podcast.

When The Thin Blue Line was not nominated for Best Documentary Feature in 1989, supporters of the film were outraged. The Academy’s reasoning, reportedly, was that the extensive use of re-enacted scenes made the film something other than a documentary. Rather than getting bogged down in a sophistic discussion of the semantic shortcomings of that particular word, I’d like simply to make the point that our definition of the term has shifted in the last twenty-two years–thanks partly to (or perhaps partly because of) none other than Errol Morris, the director of The Thin Blue Line

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The Five Dumbest Android Phones That Will Be Launched Before Lunchtime

  1. “HTC SWERVE HD XT2 3D with Beats Audio and a Can Opener”
  2. “Samsung Galaxy Sii “Wind” 4D Touch Lite 2.7″
  3. “LG BrickWad 9”
  4. “Sony-Ericsson p19m8JnkOMFGh9187”
  5. “Sony-Ericsson p19m8JnkOMFGh9187 3D HD PCP LSD”

Peter Travers speaks, and thereby invents Light.


Three pullquotes on a banner ad for Drive–all of them from Peter Travers. That must mean it’s a good movie, because Peter Travers is in no way a ridiculous joke of a man. But I guess we knew it was a good movie already, right? The title has like, double meanings and stuff.

My favorite thing about this pathetic ad: Travers’ star rating is in quotation marks. He literally uttered the sound of stars. Peter, thou art Lord.

Advice For Dreamers

What is the proper course of action when it comes to dreams? Not even dreams, really, but self-realization? If you want to be a given thing, should you work toward that end tirelessly and always assume that tireless devotion will get you there? Or should you “man up” and take a job scooping dirt out of holes, telling yourself it’s only temporary, and try in your few, dejected, quasi-dirt-stain-free hours to better yourself?
As painful as the starvation and misery which come with the former scenario will be–as hard as it will be to look people who ask you “why don’t you just go scoop dirt and make an admittedly meager living, and eat ramen instead of nothing?”–the only course of action, if you’re who you say you are, is to starve and to strive. Maybe a few people have fought upward from dirt-scooping, but operating a dirt-scooping company is no one’s dream.

There are two possible outcomes in any given life: living a dream, and living a nightmare. Don’t mistake living a comfortable nightmare for being a better outcome than living a painful nightmare. Nightmares have no qualitative gradients. Nightmares are nightmares.

Fighting for a dream will probably lead you to a nightmare, but there’s no way to get to a dream without fighting for every little scrap of dream-like experience.

Fight. Hard.

Red Wine Rant

A substance which pleasantly inebriates–and therefore renders one wobbly–ought not to be the most stain-producing substance in the world. If there were a god, and he were smart, he’d fix a problem like this on the first day his toy-world were set in motion.

And don’t give me any kind of shit about the Bible’s god being judgmental with regard to imbibation. His own son made a beeline for a carafe of water and turned it into hooch. “Look at this, guys, it’s a party!” It’s not as if turning water into lemonade were somehow less miraculous.

The Coming Wave of Goiters in America


This is something Ginger Carden and I talked about in our podcast, but it’s a thought that keeps on nagging me: we are all about to get massive, burstingly purple goiters. How? This fascination with sea salt. Look, I’m as into fancy gourmand salt as the next foodie, but do you really want a balloon for a throat? Morton Salt Company began iodizing their salt in 1924, and practically no one has had a goiter since. But no, screw that, we’d rather look like we’ve swallowed a tire (warning: not a particularly fun photograph).

Sometimes processed foods are OK, dammit.

Dreaming of liberty.


IF YOU CARE, the petulant teenager of green brands.


It should probably be called AS IF YOU CARE, ASSHOLE.

Children are afraid of ghosts.

Children are afraid of ghosts. They demur when darkness reclaims its rightful dominion over light. Simplicity is the thing, and complexity is no thing. Binarily: black is 1, and white is 0. This is this. That is that. But youth is magic. There are wonders. Gods. Beauty is ineffable. Infinity is awful. A disgusting thought. There must be an infinity. A life after this one. It’s too cruel, otherwise.

Misery arrives–the real kind. Fear. Terror, really. An implosion of the notion that anything can be saved. Loathing, usually inward. Bleak obscurity. Smoke, fire. No pity anywhere. Bitterness. I am too good for this hell. I am something–no, I’m nothing. I strive to attain the neutrality of Zero. Hate.

Adults are reasonable. There will be an End, and I am not afraid. That End implies not just a Beginning, but also a Middle. This is that Middle. There are no fairies in the sky. This Earth is the farthest thing from Hell (just as far as practical is from silly). I will die; soon. And you will. And we will have lived. What will I have done?