27 June 2010

Things I Liked Last Week 062710

01: JAWS FFFUUUU: I was never a big fan of the FFFUUUU internet meme that began, as these things usually do, over at 4Chan. It's not the meme itself that I don't like, but rather its execution by most internet morans. But I do like this particular piece, which captures the essence of FFFUUUU so succintly, so brilliantly...Yeah, yeah, this is probably old and you've probably seen it already, but...

02: This Perpetual Teen strip I did a while ago wherein Rageman auditions for vocalist (naturally) of Kieth's band, Peppermint Dildo. And then Jack Cactus makes the scene. Dinger Jockey! Classic.

03: This Week's Obligatory Cat and/or Squirrel Picture: Nuff said? Ayup.

04: Gus Van Sant: Gerry [2002]: I watched Gus Van Sant's Death Trilogy completely out of order. Gerry was the first made, so naturally I watched it last. I'm not sure if it matters what order in which Van Sant's three films should be watched, as they're all different kinds of the same thing, death. Elephant concerns murder. Last Days is about suicide. Gerry explores what I'm calling "organic death" - literally a body's organs shutting down (nevermind the ending, because Gerry was dead long before he died). I suppose you could call it a "natural death" because nature is the cause of death in this film. My point is, there may be a million ways to die, but I'm of the belief that these three kinds (organic, murder, suicide) are the only three, into which those million ways can be categorized. If I believed in God, I suppose his hand would be the fourth, and Van Sant would have to make one of those four-part trilogies.

Like the other two death films, Gerry tells it's story mostly through visuals, and here there are long stretches of relative silence, the sounds of the desert, with short bursts of dialogue between the two Gerrys (Matt Damon and Casey Affleck), who get seriously lost while hiking in the desert. But mostly this film is about the beauty and grandeur of nature, and the scenes here are awash in pastel skies stretched over a rugged and jagged terrain, equal parts adventure and danger. As the film progresses, the situation becomes much more serious for the two Gerrys, much more bleak, and here, in the third day of their undoing, the last reel, we see them slowly and painfully shuffling across white salt flats like they might be walking on the moon, or maybe heaven. Despite the pace of the film, I found myself riveted. Like Elephant and Last Days (and life itself) we know the inevitable end of Gerry, and that pulled me along quite effectively. Van Sant once again handles the subject of death with a sort of grace and an even hand, without really passing judgement on characters in any of these films. Death happens. And once again, his secret weapon in Gerry is certainly cinematographer Harris Savides, who's shots linger and shimmer like dreams. I like.

05: Bill Griffith: Zippy: "Four Frame Game" [2000]: Comic stripping and death come together, and Mr. Toad explains the meaning of bowling. If I haven't mentioned this before, Zippy is my favorite comic strip of all time. Hmm...One of these days, maybe I should rank 'em...

06: Kingsford Charcoal Fascination: I've been seeing this commercial around the television lately. That song is Rob Crow's (Pinback) interpretation of "(Keep Feeling) Fascination" by The Human League. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about this, but then I figured "fuck it" - I thought the '80's were a great decade, "Fascination" included.

Hotcha! Hank

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