Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Directors Notes Podcast

There are two types of podcasts I don't enjoy:

1. The guy in his basement ranting and rambling into low-quality computer mike
2 The over-developed, high on fluff, low on content, podcast-wanna-be-radio show.

Thankfully, Directors Notes is neither of these, with interesting, well produced content without a lot of beating around the bush.

Every week, MarBelle posts an audio interview with an independent director (mp3), a large quicktime clip from his or her film, and sometimes the script, storyboards and moodboards. The films range from feature length documentaries to 30 second animated shorts with everything in between. The interviews themselves are engaging and to-the-point, with guests from all over the world who approach film-making from many different backgrounds. The questions in the interviews are researched and specific, making for a conversation both interesting and informative. For someone who is trying to learn film-making on their own, Directors Notes is a godsend. The 85 odd archived shows are well worth downloading.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

exploring game worlds and eden as a video game

This may be obvious, but I think the difference between how we experience a beautiful computer game, (Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis or Riven for example) and the way we experience our world is the relationship we have to that world. The artificial world does not have all the responsibilities that the real one does, and perhaps the newness of the format makes me see it with new eyes. Because I see a videogame as crafted, I notice and marvel at the craft.

Or is it the distance that makes it so attractive? It is that way to some degree with paintings, photos or the grass on the otherside of the fence. Is it the absence of me? Perhaps my driving force is just trying to get to a place free of me. But what is it about game worlds that is so attractive to me? In exploring abandoned buildings I get some of the same feeling. The desire to explore. What is it about horizons that so attracts us?

Relevant texts:
my post on kierkegaard and our relation to nature
C.S. Lewis' Pilgrim's Regress.
John Howe's blog post on Wanderlust

What about drawing? Does that help me get that feeling in the real world? Maybe
Or Photography? Yes and No.

Did Eden feel like an adventure game to Adam? Did life feel like a game? Was there play before the fall?

In many ways the world was like a game. Adam suddenly existed fully formed in a new world teaming with life. I suppose he had no memory. He did not yet know how this world, this life, worked, and what he was supposed to do. What the objective was. But then he was told. It became multiplayer. He got started, and then a things went south. But the games objectives didn't change. It became more complicated, but the rules and ultimate task are the same for us.

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texan philosopher film-makers

I like philosophers turned film-makers who live in Texas.

Like Terrence Malick and Richard Linklater.

If I ever happen to be in the city where Terrence Malick wrote his thesis on Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein, I'll have to go dig it up in the university library and have a look at it. Malick, one of my favorite film-makers is notoriously silent, never giving so much as a single interview in decades.

If you take math as a branch of philosophy you can include Shane Carruth in the list, but I guess that's a stretch.

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New Blog: Modern Christianity

A friend of mine recently started a new website and blog: At the moment, there are three of us writing for the site. The goal is to provide "Thoughtful Observations and Discussion on Christianity in the 21st-Century." Feel free to comment, we're looking for discussion.

P.S. I'll continue my personal blog on here.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Utility and Beauty in Telephone Poles

What if telephone poles were beautiful like trees? What if they were, to borrow a phrase from Moses, a delight to the eye and good for carrying electricity. They have the utility down, but not the beauty. Cars, however, often have both. Perhaps if telephone poles were part of the consumer market they would have both. I suppose poles made from trees (like the one above) retain some of the tree's beauty that the new metal ones do not. At least they have a wonderful texture and particularity. They also have some individuality in that they are sort of put together for a specific location.

Actually, I think after looking at Bernd and Hilla Becher's photography of thousands of water towers and the like, I have come to appreciate each pole's individuality and slightly fantastic look.
Shaun Tan, who I mentioned earlier is similarly inspired by "the pattern of plumbing on the wall behind my local supermarket". I get that from drawing telephone poles.

This is one of the Becher's books, I first found out about them through the amazon wishlist of a favorite digital artist of mine, Matt Gaser, who incidentally, now has a blog. And yes, I make an attempt to stalk all my my fav. artists and authors amazon wishlists.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

credenda agenda is now free!

Whoa! Check it out. You can now subscribe and get hard copies of Credenda Agenda for free!