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Not with a whimper, but with a bang.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,340 words on Chapter Three of The Red Tree. A good writing day, and I hope it's going in the right direction.

I do not yet have my finalized schedule for Readercon, as I've asked to be taken off a panel. But I'll get it up here as soon as possible. Perhaps tomorrow.

I want to go to the ocean, but the tourists have come, like a swarm. It won't be so bad next week, and maybe we can sneak down one evening and find a tourist-free place. Still feel like I'm sleeping much more than usual, except at night, when I should be sleeping. But, hey, no more fits. I don't think I left the house yesterday, which is unusual these days. Spooky made stir fry for dinner. I got some reading done. There was some Second Life rp (thanks to Artemisia, Cerdwin, Joah, et al.), but my infatuation with SL continues to wane. Best Toy Ever? I thought that once. Maybe if the world were ready for it, which it clearly isn't. Perhaps it never shall be. Something I hear a lot about SL, and in particular about SL rp, that you get out of it what you bring to it, or what you put in, or something like that. I think the problem here is that very few arrive inworld with more than a desire for a sort of chatroom visual interface, or a new MMORPG, or free virtual sex, or an fps experience, or perhaps the hope that actual money can be made with this thing. Very few come bearing the imagination, skill, and ingenuity to take advantage of the potential inherent in SL. Any world imaginable. Anyone imaginable. Any story. Any vision. But visionaries are a rare commodity in SL, and it seems to me that, more often than not, they are looked upon (if recognized at all) with suspicion and annoyance. I think I'm learning that, in SL, genuine creativity must confine itself to marginal, unexploited niches, if it is to survive. Anyway...

Last night, we watched Richard Kelly's Southland Tales (2005/2006), but I'm putting all my thoughts behind a cut, to avoid spoilers:



What amazes me the most is that after this box-office and critical disaster, Kelly was still able to raise in excess of 30 million dollars for The Box (2009), his forthcoming adaptation of Richard Matheson's "Button, Button." On the one hand, yes, Southland Tales is a gargantuan mess, and it manages to do very little that wasn't done far, far better in Donnie Darko (2001). Indeed, this film is pretty much Donnie Darko tarted up as a great, gaudy, long-winded variety show of apocalyptic proportions, devoid of the essential spark and compassion that I think made Donnie Darko work. And yet, I simply could not look away. It is, undeniably, a spectacle, and as a spectacle, I have to applaud it. I think I may even have to sit through the blasted thing a second time, just to be sure it was actually as fucked up as I think it was. It's not a brilliant film. It might not even be a very good film, but it's...well, a spectacle. Then again, so was Tammy Faye Baker/Messner. We saw the 144-minute cut, the only one that I'm aware is available on DVD. And it's at least half an hour too long, maybe more. I think Moby's score was probably the best bit, with a few inspired performances strewn here and there. Now and then, the film clicks, for just a moment or two, and you can glimpse what it might have been — such as Justin Timberlake's musical number, or the opening scenes of the nuclear attacks in Texas. And, I'll admit, the last forty-five minutes had me staring in slack-jawed bewilderment at the sheer strangeness and audacity. But, in the end, strangeness and audacity aren't enough, and the film's rather simple premise folds in upon itself like the cataclysmic time warp portrayed in its final moments. This is not a complex story requiring complex story-telling devices, but a very, very simple one burdened with excess baggage, along with the director's desire to say everything at once using far too many characters. Still, I think it's a must-see. I hope Kelly recovers from this fiasco, because, if nothing else, his screenplay for Tony Scott's Domino (2005) proves he has stories to tell that are not merely bloated rehashes of his first success.



And now...I have this day to deal with.

Comments

kiaduran
Jul. 14th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
One of the things that has been holding me back in joining in the RP'ing in Toxia is my lack of knowledge of the place and my overwhelming fear of embarrassing myself and annoying others by my ignorance.

Other than bumbling about the place, is there a postcard or central info hub in Toxia that advises on proper clothing and where to find it, etiquette, time period involved and all those other pesky things one ought to know to avoid being pummeled with sticks by Toxia's inhabitants?
greygirlbeast
Jul. 14th, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)

Other than bumbling about the place, is there a postcard or central info hub in Toxia that advises on proper clothing and where to find it, etiquette, time period involved and all those other pesky things one ought to know to avoid being pummeled with sticks by Toxia's inhabitants?

When you arrive in Toxia, you rezz in on "the docks," and yes, all that information is there. Mostly, though, you just ned to get the DCS, unless you have it already. It costs only 75L. When it comes to Toxia, just think Angel meets Vampire: The Masquerade meets a billion dark fantasy clichés.
kiaduran
Jul. 14th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the information. I shall work on my courage and venture into Toxia and try not to be too much of a doofus.