September 23, 2011

The Record or how Facebook is literally rewriting history

I had a true "a-ha" moment today, sitting in the hall listening to Mark Zuckerberg give his keynote address at F8, Facebook's annual developer's conference.

To coin a phrase, history isn't just written by the victors. It's written about the victors: the people we've all some how collectively deemed important and significant. But, in Facebook's perfect world, by introducing their new timeline feature, they want to write history about EVERYONE.

Every action and relationship and preference for every single human being on the planet.

So, a billion years from now, when our sun has gone supernova and even our graves have been reduced to cinders, if someone has the presence of mind to stick Facebook's user database on a truckload of drives and shoot it into space before the end, some alien civilization will know exactly when my niece graduated from high school, and what kind of music my coworker liked to listen to and when my classmates' babies were born and when I got engaged and how much we loved each other. And they'll know that about all of you, too.

It's a true history of the human race, were we all matter enough to be cataloged.

Too romantic? Probably. But its a nice dream, and worthy of aspirations.

September 14, 2011

About that "Fright Night" remake...

Last month in the post "Scream and Scream Again", I made a defense of horror remakes, and the new 3-D Fright Night in particular - that we should judge all of these movies on their own merits.  Well, I just want to say, having now actually seen the new Fright Night, that it's actually one of the better studio horror movies I've seen in some time.  Shocking, great twists, and intense.  Kudos to all involved.  If you're a horror fan and your boycotting it out of some misguided loyalty to the original film, shame on you, because you're missing out.

Jawjacking with Gods, or why I love Grant Morrison.

For those of you who don't know, Grant Morrison is a comic book writer. Most recently, he's worked on the relaunch of Superman in the new Action Comics #1 and has been writing Batman for the last 4-5 years. His big projects include JLA, New X-Men, Final Crisis, Doom Patrol, Animal Man, as well as his amazing creator-owned work We3, The Invisibles, and The Filth.

All of which probably mean absolutely nothing to you if you don't read comic books.

But what's fascinating about Grant (@grantmorrison) is that he treats his role as a comic writer in much the same way that someone like David Bowie treats his role as a musician. Grant wants to find the magic in comics and bring that world to life here in the real world.

As he says in the documentary below, "the bomb before it was the bomb was an idea. But Superman is a better idea, so why don't we try to make that one real."

I felt like I never experienced both the humanity and the wonder of The Justice League or The X-Men or Batman until they were written by Grant. And only grant could make an idea as insane as We3 (logline: household pets are kidnapped and turned into cyborgs by corrupt military scientists before going on a killing spry to find their way home to their owners) into something so equally beautiful, horrific, tragic, and triumphant, all at the same time.

When I write, I want to be more like Grant Morrison.

I highly recommend watching this entire documentary. It's so worth it.

September 12, 2011

The Art of 9/11

Rather than talking about the event itself, I'd much rather reflect on all of the amazing artistic responses the September 11th terror attacks elicited.  Tragedy always requires an emotional outlet, and these films and TV shows, at least, in my opinion, captured them perfectly.  And, frankly, I don't think any of these shows would have existed in the form that we know them without that awful day.  These are just the top few off the top of my head on a Monday morning.  I'll add as more occur to me, but please, feel free to chime in yourselves.


Battlestar Galactica

The Dark Knight

Planet Terror