Cameron‘s band The Franks has a new video out and it looks great, sounds great. Very impressive and lots of fun. They sure are stylish over there … something about watching The Doom Generation* this weekend and then seeing this video, combined with all the snow outside, is giving me some LA envy like I haven’t felt since I first read Weetzie Bat.
My new short, Pre-Apocalypse, is screening next week along with the other projects from my fiction film class. These films are pretty rough technically– each filmed in one day on 16mm, edited by hand on the Steenbeck, single track audio, no sound mix, no titles, some camera problems– but represent a lot of talent and hard work. I’ll be posting a d.i.y. digital transfer of my film up here soon, but I want to encourage everyone to come out and see it on the big screen because the film projection looks so much better. Hope to see you there!
“This series is about how those in power have used Freud’s theories to try and control the angerous crowd in an age of mass democracy.” – Adam Curtis
For anyone interested in why our culture is as it is today, I strongly urge you to watch The Century of the Self, an incredible documentary/film essay by Adam Curtis. It traces the rise of consumerism through the lens of PR and psychoanalysis.
Rather than just a catalog of how our society is broken, The Century of the Self documents how specific people, in particular “father of PR” Edward Bernays, made deliberate and calculated efforts to get us here. At least according to this film, consumer culture was not entirely a happy accident; our corporate forefathers were quite aware of what they were doing, with the explicit intention of “controlling people through their subconscious desires.”
I generally avoid documentaries because I hate that feeling of despair and disgust as I sit helplessly outraged in front of the screen, watching the credits roll. Century of the Self certainly invokes such emotions. But the helplessness is overshadowed by a sort of internal mental churning, as my mind picks apart its psyche. A potently interactive viewing experience, the film forces one to question their own values. It outlines the trajectory of ideas such as “individualism” and “self expression” in our society, documenting their promotion and exploring their broader implications. Afterwards, one cannot help but attempt to articulate their own fuzzy but ingrained values, and to ask who put them there, and if they belong.
I don’t have the patience to be a true conspiracy theorist, but I do believe the following: that the government is not to be trusted; that the elite are sketchy, secretive and often psychotic bastards; and that humanity has much to gain by ditching theistic religions, nationalism, and corporatism. But above all, I enjoy a good story. And for that reason alone I recommend taking two hours to watch Zeitgeist, preferably with a couple friends and your preferred paranoia-inducing substance.
Impressive student documentary of all the intense events that happened at my high school the year after I graduated, when students decided to join together to bring about change and unify the school. Really inspiring. How have I not seen this until now? Why isn’t this happening everywhere?
The whole video is 45min, broken up into parts because youtube is annoying. But very much worth the effort to watch. Anyone know what Columbia is like now? Is there anything alums can do?
After seeing the near-total lack of protest (at least at this scale, relatively) on both the Berkeley and Harvard campuses, I have to give major props to my peers from CHS for making this happen. By luck I was on break from college the day of the big walkout, so I was there, and it was far more inspiring than anything I’ve seen on campus. I would not be surprised if a number of our generation’s leaders come from the halls of Columbia.
Written, produced, and directed by Cris Thorne
My friend & former housemate Jenna Mellor managed to snag an impromptu interview with Kucinich for Hbomb Magazine. This being the Harvard sex magazine (and Jenna) all the questions are about sex. Most are policy-related but some are quite personal. Then they hug. Twice. Its definitely the most adorable thing I’ve seen all campaign season.
To all my family & friends,
I am so insanely lucky to have you in my life. A blog post feels massively inadequate for expressing my gratitude, appreciation, and love for all of you, but to not use this space to say something seems wrong. Because of you, I think it is fair to say that I have had the most exciting, educational, and life-affirming year of my life. I hope that your 2007 was wonderful too, but more importantly, that your 2008 is even better. May the new year bring you peace, health, love, growth, and happiness.
To Marjane Satrapi and Vikram Seth,
Thank you for making art. Marjane, thank you for reminding me how powerful and beautiful animation can be. Vikram, thank you for writing a novel about San Francisco in verse. To both of you, thank you for demonstrating the importance of not compromising as an artist, for giving me a reason to look forward to tomorrow’s cross-country flight with a 2 hour layover, and for helping me view life with some reverence (the good kind). May the new year bring you success and inspiration, and may your work influence our culture.
To the weather,
Thank you so much for snowing today in Cambridge. I really needed that. May the new year keep you safe from global warming.