Saturday, March 31, 2007

I find myself using iTunes now to listen to my mp3s--I had to install the programme when I got my iPod, but I hadn't used it for anything besides putting stuff on my iPod. Then, a few days ago, I saw my sister had taken to using it and I realised I could use it to play the m4a files Sonya* had sent me, which I'd so far only been playing in the Media Player Classic that comes with the Combined Community Codec pack (I point Mac users to MPlayer), which can play anything but doesn't have a handy playlist feature. I wish WinAmp would play the m4a files, though, because fuck if iTunes isn't one of the most bloated programmes this side of Adobe Acrobat (by the way, those of you who think you're stuck with Acrobat when reading pdf files, I point you to Foxit). It takes iTunes nearly thirty seconds just to open, whereas with WinAmp, it's just a matter of clicking the icon and blip, it's open, with a full playlist of all my mp3s, plus a snazzy amateur-made Evangelion skin I downloaded years ago. iTunes can't even seem to display all my mp3s at once, and its playlists thing is a slog.

Anyway, I finished Daughter of Hounds last night. I don't know if I'd call it Caitlin R. Kiernan's best novel (though it might be), but it's definitely the most fun. I mentioned Tolkien and C.S. Lewis before, but the more I think about it, the more I perceive a definite Alice's Adventures in Wonderland influence, which is something you'd think I'd have noticed before considering I happened to've been reading both books at the same time. And the similarities become stronger the further one gets into Daughter of Hounds, as both books feature precocious young girls confronting citizens of what seems at one level to be a non-sensical, dreamlike fantasy world, but with sublevels of curious, rarefied logic.

There's also a fair bit of Lewis Carroll charm, in the almost Caterpillar-like character of the Bailiff**, and one might see Odd Willie as a twisted version of the White Knight, at least as seen through Emmie's perspective--Emmie being one of the precocious young girl protagonists. In fact, scenes of six year-old Soldier*** being treated to sweets by the Bailiff while having conversations and thoughts about identity and dreams--coming up against the Bailiff's inscrutable, vaguely dangerous, but almost sedentary strangeness--comes off as an interesting play on Alice's anxiety over having changed so many times in the day that she's hardly sure who she is anymore. The similarities become even stronger when we discover what the Bailiff's done to Soldier, and what Soldier needs to do in order to fix it.

I've pointed out to Caitlin recently that her characters seem to spend a lot of time arguing with one another. I really became aware of this while reading Daughter of Hounds as I noticed it's rare for any character to say anything that isn't somehow a dismissal of what another character had just asserted. In her previous books, this had a tendency to ramp up tension as the characters become angrier and angrier with each other. I'd feel bad for them--I'd frequently want to grab one and say to herhimit, "Why are you wasting the energy?" In fact, characters frequently seem to ask each other this question. In Daughter of Hounds, there are actually a few characters, most notably the Bailiff, who seem able to keep arguments going without noticeably expending energy, which has the effect of being somewhat funny, and there's a consequential broadening of the environment, somehow.

And it's a book of beautiful prose. It made me just about every kind of happy while reading it.

So, to-day I think I may just try to catch up on colouring. I'm really far behind on it, and it's no surprise--I spent four hours colouring just one panel last night. I suspect that this is a combination of the greater amount of detail I'm putting into the work, the slightly more complicated techniques I came up with while working on Moving Innocent, and the fact that I'm working with images a few thousand pixels larger than I've ever worked with before. Gods, this computer needs more memory.

*I told Sonya I'd try using footnotes in emulation of her.
**The Bailiff uses a kukri at one point. I love it.
***This is the character portrayed, somewhat inaccurately, I think, on the book's cover with teased-out, 1980s-ish hair. I personally imagined it more unkempt and kept out of the way in a pony tail, as Soldier seems to consider herself utilitarian and no-nonsense. You get the impression that she's got hair-trigger reflexes and she's always ready to kill, and yet she seems to spend a lot of time talking in nearly every confrontation in which we see her, giving her an interesting, unselfconsciously diplomatic nature.

Friday, March 30, 2007

I don't know what I'd have done without Daughter of Hounds yesterday. It was Thursday and I was kind of broke, but instead of just killing three hours, I had a really nice time sitting on a mall bench reading the book.

And then, at around 12:40am last night, the power went off in my neighbourhood. Again. And it always seems to happen in the middle of the night. There must be some frayed cable somewhere people're too lazy to fix.

Anyway, I spent another three hours with Daughter of Hounds at a Denny's. What a really nice book. I felt proud CaitlĂ­n's my friend. I've frequently noticed a J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis influence in her work, but I think this is the first time she seemed like a writer like them.

I'm sure I'll have more to say about it when I'm finished, and I'm only thirty pages away. But I thought I should note it was the first time in years where I felt like a book was my companion through the day. It took me back to when I was going to school and stealing as many hours as possible on whatever book I was reading, and just letting my consciousness disappear in it. Dostoevsky, Bronte, Tolkien, and Kiernan have done that for me.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Okay. Pencilled two pages. That's not so bad for eight hours. Now at least I won't feel as bad about Thursday preventing me from getting anything done.

I hadn't wanted to go out all night, but at 2am I realised I actually needed groceries. When I came back, I had some Earl Grey tea while playing Doom 2 and listening to Family Guy. Afterwards, I started reading the new Sirenia Digest, which is so far reminding me of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

Thirty minutes to sleep . . . I'll read. I've been reading more lately, and more books at once. I read a bit of Daughter of Hounds, Maggie the Mechanic, Saiyuki, Anne Sexton, and of course, I'm reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland yet again. This after I recently viewed the Disney movie on DVD. Alice, as a character, really got short-changed in that film--she's more a picture with random quotes from the book, utterly stripped of human motivation, than she is a character. But I do still think it looks beautiful--the years Disney's team spent designing it certainly paid off.
Everything's Okay When You're a Moron

Posted by Nancy Pelosi on YouTube; "The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform holds a hearing: 'Allegations of Misconduct at the General Services Administration.' The hearing inquires about allegations that GSA Administrator Lurita Doan failed to follow proper procedures for awarding federal contracts, attempted to intervene in contract negotiations, and engaged in partisan political activities on federal property. Rep. Braley questions GSA head Doan on a political briefing given at GSA headquarters."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Blugh. My life feels weirdly cluttered lately. At least there's never a dull moment. I've got a tug of war inside me for my feelings about progress on my current project. There's no denying I'm moving a lot slower than I ever did with Boschen and Nesuko. But on the other hand, I'd say the quality of work is definitely better. I've been allowing myself to stop whenever I really don't feel up to drawing anymore. Which has been nice, but it's left me feeling less intimate with the story than when I was constantly in the thick of things. But on the other hand, it's made me automatically daydream a lot more about the future of the story, which is actually really useful.

Oh--so why is my life so cluttered right now? I guess it just seems like a lot of little things, and a lot of it's probably in my head. Yesterday, I woke up early because there was an irregular tapping at my window that had been fighting with my slumber for hours. I thought maybe it was a raven, and nothing more, but it turned out to be hail. I found the outside world was having a blustery day. Lucky the cat still wanted out, though, especially when he saw a dead leaf fleeing in terror across the patio. So I let him out, and he promptly ran back inside as a wave of dead leaf soldiers descended upon him.

I had to take him to the vet on Monday to replace his plastic claws. Now both he and Victoria have fresh sets of purple toes. So, on Monday, there was that, and also my failed attempt to buy some minutes for my phone--gods, people in Santee must be the most pathetic people in the world. I showed up at the Verizon store to wait thirty minutes while the three clerks helped three customers before I gave up, went to the mall, bought the first volume of Saiyuki and coffee, and came back to find the same customers were still working the clerks, nearly an hour later, asking questions like, "How big are the phones?" and other things one could easily find through a website or one of the numerous pamphlets. Adding to the frustration was the store layout, which is in the vein of the "grazing free-for-all" customer-service philosophy wherein no queues are defined and everyone's expected to wander about, anxiously checking now and then to see if an associate's become available, under the quaint delusion that representatives are always available. One woman stopped a salesman to ask if there'd be much of a wait.

"I'll be with you as soon as I'm finished helping these people here."

"Well," said the woman, "do you think I should get Cherry Chocolate or Champagne?"

I couldn't make out the salesperson's response, but it sounded like he started sucking happily at the egg she handed him.

I waited another twenty minutes before giving up again. Fucking people.

Anyway, I'd better focus again on pencilling the fifteenth page of this thing . . .

Monday, March 26, 2007

I felt weirdly weary all Sunday, like I had lead weights stapled everywhere, especially on my head. I didn't, and still don't, feel up to especially complex activities or thoughts.

It was in this spirit that I went to see the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Which, as Ninja Turtles media go, was probably the best piece of work so far, except for maybe the comic. I haven't read a lot of the comic, but it seems so far the only version where the writers relaxed and didn't seem to feel like they were trying very hard to hit certain notes before they finished.

The new movie had this problem, seen in the kind of overreaching sentimentality that makes you want to spend a few days eating oatmeal and playing Solitaire. But, as all the positive reviews have been saying, the tension between Leonardo and Raphael actually manages to be genuinely interesting and their climactic confrontation is impressive and absorbing. The movie mostly looks good, too, with shadowy city nights, burnished brick walls, flaring fluorescents, and realistically textured turtle skin. The character designs look similar to those of The Incredibles, with Mr. Winters, the villain voiced by Patrick Stewart, a near dead ringer for Mister Incredible. The design scheme seems to've benefited the turtles themselves the most--usually I don't like the slightly oversized hands and feet that seem to be in vogue nowadays, but it works for the heroes as it is somewhat turtle-esque. Unfortunately, part of this design scheme seems to be an edict that all women need look like eight year-old twig girls. I'm not just speaking as a guy who likes voluptuous women. April O'Neil just looks wrong.

I was a huge Ninja Turtles fan as a kid, and the movie did please that kid who's been dismantled and compacted for storage somewhere in my freezer heart. I'm sort of in the mood now to dig out the old Nintendo games and action figures . . .

But I think for now just I'll find something beautiful and slow to watch and hope this funk I'm in is gone when I wake up to-morrow.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I think this movie is destined for more parodies than Brokeback Mountain;

Thursday, March 22, 2007

In the five hours of sleep I managed to obtain to-day, I dreamt I lived in a one storey, brown stucco apartment complex. People had begun to disappear, and somehow it was determined that a man living at the end of one row of apartments was killing them. He never appeared to leave his apartment, but everyone knew he was a cannibal and that he had metal teeth.

So one night, I and two of the tenants, Donald Duck and Suzanne Somers, decided to break into the man's home and kill him. His apartment was dark and lit by only a few candles casting orange light on the walls with strangely hard edged, arching shadows. But we caught the man and started dismembering him, as somehow we knew that if he was not thoroughly torn apart, he would revive. I distinctly remember grabbing his mandible and maxilla in each hand, feeling the steel teeth under my fingers, and pulling. Eventually there were brains on the floor like soggy ramen with blood resembling Easter egg dye in the cracks. I put some seaweed in the brain matter and asked the man if he could hear me and if he could still think.

"Yes," he said. "But my thoughts are going through the seaweed and it's difficult.

I took the seaweed away and worked at more completely dispersing his matter. The next day, I visited Suzanne Somers in her apartment where she was entertaining guests. She couldn't speak of last night before the outsiders, but she thanked me for saving her life.
I felt like an angry water balloon yesterday. Bloated. I don't know why, but after my first pot of coffee, I had to make urine several times, and my head felt like it was going to burst. I felt like water or blood was going to leak from my ears every time I leaned over the page of comic I was working on.

Fuck, I was chomping at the bit to get work done, too. But all I managed was to pencil two pages over the course of seven hours. I actually had to completely erase and start over on two panels, something I almost never have to do. I finally had to call it quits at around 9:20pm when a difficult angle on a crowd shot was utterly defeating my cognisance. I felt like there was a hex on me. If so, fess up now--which of you was it? Maybe it was a general hex on comic artists cast by someone I don't even know . . . Anonymously hexed; how depressing. Que mala suerte.

I did manage to find an 85% cocoa chocolate bar last night. That's dark, baby, yeah. I also re-watched the first episode of Dirty Pair because Tim'd found a new fansubbed version--apparently it's being released on DVD in Japan. Which would explain why Sunrise took the theme off YouTube.

Anyway, it's one of them fucking Thursdays, so I better open up negotiations with sleep. Though I have been managing to get to bed as early as 5am lately. So I may well have six hours of slumber ahead of me . . . By the way:


Monday, March 19, 2007

So Zack Snyder's the latest example of a young, overrated Hollywood director hitting it big. And like Brett Ratner before him, not only does Snyder look like a weasely prick (shown here being Ernie to Frank Miller's Bert), but he also has a weasely prick name. I woke up early to-day as I found myself thinking up the names we'll see directing future low-brow, high-earner zeppelins;

Mega-Successful Weasely Prick Directors;

Mick Lecker
Gus Shatner
Chett Snipper
Tod Tucher
Ky Goila
Cliff Tekker
Cid Cutter
Jet Filnan
Scot Kiltner
Lyn Bobner
Win Casher
Jack Slammer
Ham Jacker
Kip Comer
Pop Zipper
Brad Pulner

As usual, I've been watching things on the screens. I just a couple hours ago watched Sanjuro for the first time and found it to be a very satisfying experience. I bought it last week as part of Criterion's new Yojimbo/Sanjuro package. I had the old Criterion edition of Yojimbo, but I wanted the new one for its commentary and superior image quality --I watched it before Sanjuro and found it well worth the purchase.

I suppose I neglected seeing Sanjuro for so long because I'd heard it was inferior to Yojimbo, but I guess a Kurosawa movie's still a Kurosawa movie--it's really hard to judge degrees of brilliance for a filmmaker who invariably draws me completely into his films.

It was nice to hear Masaru Sato reprise his raucous theme for Sanjuro from the previous film, and Toshiro Mifune slouching into the group of awkward boy samurais was nice, but it is a very different film from Yojimbo. Where Yojimbo is a dusty, corrupt village and its denizens, Sanjuro is a series of formal rooms and gardens populated by stiff samurai and politicians. There's a more conventional beauty to it, and I loved shots of samurais framed by flowers.

The movie features several actors from the first film in different roles, even recognisable stars like Takashi Shimura and Tatsuya Nakadai. Though Shimura's role as the brewer in the first film was almost invisible and Nakadai both looked and acted almost like a different person. Still, the showdown was inevitably between him and Mifune once again, and very bloody for a Kurosawa movie--and even bloodier for this otherwise bloodless and almost gentle film. There seems to have been more of an attempt to comment on the function of heroic psychopaths in a society as one character refers to Sanjuro as a "sword that is never sheathed" while noting that "a sheathed sword is more powerful".

Let's see . . . I'm about nine episodes into Tenchi Muyo: Galaxy Police. Mostly it's been disappointing, not one episode even resembling the brilliant first episode in terms of writing or animation. But my interest was renewed when I found out the character named NB is in fact a robotic version of Nabishin from Excel Saga, because both series' were directed by Shinichi Watanabe. So I'll stick it out a little longer . . .

Also recently I've watched Young Sherlock Holmes and The Wicker Man, and my thoughts on them may be found here and here, where you can see me being forward with Sonya.

I would also add to my comments about Young Sherlock Holmes this question for all who've seen both that movie and this adaptation of Silver Blaze; am I the only one who remembers Moriarty's first name is "James"?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Here's an old favourite, guilty pleasure. Only the first two episodes, unfortunately;

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Something that needs more attention; a debunking of the recent New York Times article that attempts to discredit the acknowledged severity of Global Warming and Al Gore.
I saw 300 last night. It was okay.

Actually, except for some mildly pleasant action sequences, my overall reaction to the movie was about as dispassionate as its dull colour palette was pretty much grey. But that could just be me--I am, after all, the guy who never screamed on rollercoasters, and I don't claim to have the slightest understanding of audience mentality. My main interest in seeing the film, actually, was to be able to engage in discussions of the various controversies it seems to've provoked.

One criticism that intrigued me in particular was Robyn's seeming contention that the movie was sort of anti-feminist. Having seen it now, it's my opinion that the movie was not meant to be anti-feminist, in a sense, it isn't anti-feminist, but in practice, it is. About the same thing can be said of some of its other negative aspects; it doesn't mean to be racist, it isn't racist, but in practice, it is. It doesn't mean to be homophobic, it isn't homophobic, but it is.

I think the key to all this is a sentiment director Zack Snyder has expressed in interviews, as in this Suicide Girls interview; "No it’s not for the kids! Fuck the kids! I got some shit I want to show you!"

He wants fun, R-rated movies. Movies with fucked up shit for people mature enough to handle fucked up shit. The only trouble is, most adults these days aren't mature enough to handle fucked up shit, as the giggling from the audience during 300's rape scene demonstrated to me.

You see, I can appreciate a story where we can acknowledge and even admire the military superiority of a few Spartan men over thousands of Persian slaves, at the same time that we recognise that the Spartans tended to kill a lot of their babies and had rigid customs regarding the roles of men and women that invariably put women on a lower peg. And in the Suicide Girls interview, Snyder says, "I always said 'We're not Spartans in the movie.' They throw their kids off cliffs and beat the snot out of them. Whenever I could I tried to remind the audience, 'Guess what? You're not a Spartan. It is fun to be with them and hang out with them. But it ends in death on the battlefield. That’s how that road goes.'"

There are only two problems with this; for one thing, lots of people do beat the snot out of their kids. For another, audiences have short memories. During the slow motion march of the rippling muscled Spartans, they either tend not to remember or tend to forgive a previous scene where baby skulls sat at the bottom of a cliff.

So also there's a very obvious problem with the fact that the movie is white, heterosexual good guys versus stormtrooper-like, homosexual, physically deformed black people. The movie's cheerfully stylised--the heroes are impossibly beautiful naked people, the villains are over-the-top ugly and/or bizarre. That in itself is okay, but coupling dumb fun with obviously loaded social issues seems irresponsible to me. In a story that obviously cherry picked only the facts that filmmakers found most exciting, it's hard to argue it had to be this way. If you choose to make the Spartans fight without armour, in order to show off their muscles, why must you also choose to portray evil as the condoning of homosexuality? Especially since homosexuality was apparently accepted in Sparta. It might also have been worth noting that Spartan women enjoyed greater rights and freedoms than in most other societies at the time.

I wonder if General Pace saw 300 over the weekend before his Chicago Tribune interview Monday when he infamously said "I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts."

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Celebrating Birthdays this day, March 10;

Osama bin Laden and Chuck Norris.

Also born to-day was Barry Fitzgerald, who perhaps somewhere is raising a glass for poor humanity.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I'll probably see 300, and I may even like it. But I can't help giggling at A.O. Scott's negative review in the New York Times, especially this bit;

Hot Gates, indeed! Devotees of the pectoral, deltoid and other fine muscle groups will find much to savor as King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) leads 300 prime Spartan porterhouses into battle against Persian forces commanded by Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), a decadent self-proclaimed deity who wants, as all good movie villains do, to rule the world.

Orcs Persians come runnin' for the great taste of manflesh! I'm not sure why exactly, but this has me picturing a movie of Michelle Malkin and Anne Coulter exchanging cunnilingus while watching Matt Sanchez pornos.

I had a busy day yesterday. It was the first day in an annoying while that I was able to get real work done on my comic, pencilling one page and inking two. I have a backlog of pages to colour, but that's never been a problem.

I listened to Ian Christie's commentary for A Canterbury Tale while inking, and a shot of Colpeper with a scythe reminded me I still had gardening to do. So at 1am, I went into the backyard and continued with the planting, now dropping the little flowers into small, pitch black holes I dug in the dim porch light. What tedium. I planted eight plants before I went inside and saw I'd only been at it for thirty minutes. It felt, as Robert Smith might say, like a hundred years. Or maybe a quote from "The Hanging Garden" would be more appropriate. Something from Pornography, anyway.

I see it's nearly five o'clock, and Sonya's recommended I watch I Know Where I'm Going. Her recommendation is my command, so now you know where I went . . .

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Monday's featured article on Wikipedia was The Battle of Ceresole, which happened to occur on my birthday, April 11, four hundred thirty-five years before I was born. Maybe it's fitting that the date featured a "marvellously confused" and exceptionally bloody battle.

Well, it wasn't a violent day for me Monday, though it did seem cluttered. I planted some flowers for my aunt and I learned I have no interest in gardening.

Sunday night, at Sonya's recommendation, I watched Lost Horizon, a Frank Capra movie from 1937, which turned out to be an interestingly pro-communism movie--just one of the many reasons for the film's alternate cuts through the years.

It was a decent movie all the way through, but my favourite part was the beginning, which was a great adventure escape sequence and a rather obvious inspiration for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. A small group of assorted characters narrowly escape a bloody revolution in China by boarding a large passenger plane on a mobbed airfield--however, unbeknownst to them, the pilot's been killed and the plane hijacked by a strange Chinese man.

The movie cost a rather amazing four million dollars, and it shows in the surprisingly realistic footage of the plane and its misadventures through the Himalayas. Eventually, the plane crashes in a snowstorm and the survivors are led by a mysterious group of people to Shangri-la, where much of the tension's drained from the movie as realistic, dangerous flight through exotic locales is replaced by simplistic philosophical drama among indoor sets that come off as a resort hotel.

Sonya and I had got to talking about the film because we were discussing Edward Everett Horton, who I seem to remember having seen in at least two more 1930s movies every time I think of him. And he was good as the nervous, high-strung palaeontologist in this film. Also good were Ronald Colman and Spock's mom, Jane Wyatt, who looked fantastic naked and swimming amongst water lilies while Colman for some reason made a scarecrow with her clothing.

As I said, a good movie, and Capra's characteristic plea for good will towards all men comes through plainly (though the film certainly isn't flattering to women, even for 1937).

Sheesh, 3am already and I didn't do half the things I meant to yesterday . . . I need caffeine.

I guess it'll be a while before another new Heroes . . . Last night's episode wasn't wholly bad, except it brought the show much closer to X-Men rip-off status, introducing a character who's basically Mystique, and showing Sylar to essentially be Magneto. And that's not even mentioning the disappointing diffusion of the Horn Rimmed Glasses with erased memory plot thread. Wouldn't it have been more interesting if, for a while at least, he really didn't know he'd helped Claire escape?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Last night I watched A Good Year, a movie from last year my mother and sister recommended I watch. Since I'd just been having a conversation with Sonya about the classic films of Ridley Scott, I thought it couldn't hurt to see what the old boy was up to these days.

It didn't really hurt at all. A Good Year is a film rife with flaws, but they go down easily, mostly because Scott remains a brilliant photographer. Before A Good Year, the most recent Ridley Scott movie I'd seen was Gladiator, which also starred Russell Crowe. In fact, I wondered if his character in the new film, Max Skinner, was meant to be a descendant of Maximus.

A Good Year is not about the tire company, by the way. Crowe in fact plays in it a vaguely cutthroat, wealthy investment expert who as a boy played by Freddie Highmore would spend holidays with his uncle Albert Finney at a beautiful chateau in the French countryside. Max returns as an adult when he learns of his uncle's death and that he's apparently inherited the chateau. At first Max means to sell the place at the highest price possible, but over the course of the movie he learns through quiet osmosis the importance of love and hanging out with beautiful women at a beautiful French chateau, prompting him to leave his life in England of hanging around with beautiful women and making lots of money by standing around and smirking at lines and numbers.

Did I mention all the beautiful women in the movie? None of them are characters in the movie sense, but more like characters in the sexual role play sense--Marion Cotillard is Fanny Chenal, the remote beauty from the nearby village who's notoriously "choosy", a fact everyone continues to agree upon even after she sleeps with Max on the first date. There's Abbie Cornish as the banal, pretty American girl Christie Roberts who shows up to be Crowe's long-lost hot cousin. And there's my favourite--the unfortunately named but gorgeous Archie Panjabi as Max's assistant Gemma, who's always smirking with him and subtly giddy at the idea of sleeping with him.

Yet, as I said, the movie doesn't hurt. Usually bad writing makes me angry, but the photography in this film was so beautiful and the pace so leisurely, I couldn't feel worse than relaxed. I even chuckled at some of the jokes.

Maybe part of it is that Scott's style is still curiously cold, even in the context of a romantic comedy. A casual lunch conversation looks like it was filmed with eight different cameras, and we cut between angles with odd rapidity. Then there are static, low angle shots of shadowed rooms and dust in the air. This movie, I think, would have been better as a book of photographs.

Here's a surprisingly elusive anime, considering its notoriety.

Of the original, 1985 Dirty Pair series, only clips of the opening and ending themes seem to be available on YouTube. The show itself isn't available on DVD, and the episodes Tim downloaded are of such poor quality--they look like they come from twenty year old VHS copies. But I can't stop watching them--each episode is a perfectly paced piece of action and adventure.

I've also been watching the mid-90s Dirty Pair Flash series, which is good, but not quite as crisp. It doesn't have the same heady feeling of artists treading enthusiastically into the unknown.