Monday, March 31, 2014

The Sides of March: #iPodAlbumPlaylist, March 2014


March was definitely the month of music. I listened to forty-two albums, but also spent a lot of time listening to songs rather than whole albums (often favorite tracks on the albums I had just discovered). For the first time in over a year, I added to my collection: eight albums by month's end, including much recent hip-hop. Because this was the month of songs as much as albums, I'll list thirty tracks I recently added to a playlist of favorites:

Dark Fantasy (Kanye West) • All of the Lights (Kanye West/Rihanna/Kid Cudi) • Lost In the World (Kanye West/Bon Iver) • Runaway (Kanye West/Pusha T) • Monster (Kanye West/Jay-Z/Rick Ross/Nicki Minaj/Bon Iver) • Gorgeous (Kanye West/Kid Cuti/Raekwon) • Backseat Freestyle (Kendrick Lamar) • Sherane A.K.A. Master Splinter's Daughter (Kendrick Lamar) • Money Trees (Kendrick Lamar/Jay Rock) • Swimming Pools (Drank) (Kendrick Lamar) • Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe (Kendrick Lamar) • Poetic Justic (Kendrick Lamar/Drake) • DNA (Danny Brown) • Fields (Danny Brown) • Toss It Up (2Pac/Danny Boy/KC & JoJo) • To Live and Die in L.A. (2Pac/Val Young) • Krazy (2Pac/Bad Ass) • Brooklyn Zoo (Ol' Dirty Bastard) • Run (Air) • Walking on Air (King Crimson) • More Than Distance (Telex) - skip to 4:10Your Silent Face (New Order) • Right Where It Belongs (Nine Inch Nails) • Lake of Fire (Nirvana) • Falling (Julee Cruise) • Questions in a World of Blue (Julee Cruise) • Rockin' Back Inside My Heart (Julee Cruise) • The World Spins (Julee Cruise) • Mysteries of Love (Julee Cruise) • Just You (James Marshall, Sheryl Lee, Lara Flynn Boyle)

Here are covers, info, and favorite tracks for all the albums I listened to in the past month. You can also follow my listenings on Twitter, scan my last playlist or look at all previous round-ups on this blog.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Future of Lost in the Movies: status update, March 2014

"Ah, the democracy of Hollywood Boulevard - 4 stars in a row: 
Humphrey Bogart, Johnny Cash, Tab Hunter, Auguste Lumiere"
(from a recent tweet)

I've made promises before, but usually by setting goals before determining methods. Now, I've finally reversed that process. So I can't say when it will occur, but I can tell you what to expect on Lost in the Movies over the next few years. First off, from now on I will be posting once a week, every Monday at 7am: sometimes book or music round-ups, sometimes visual tributes, but mostly good old-fashioned movie reviews, as I discuss many films featured in clips and images on this blog but not (as yet) in prose. I plan to cover the underseen Dennis Potter teleplay Son of Man during Holy Week, but otherwise my schedule is undetermined.

Meanwhile, beneath the surface, behind the scenes, I'll be drafting hundreds of entries in several series. No series will appear until the final entry has been written - at which point they will unfold in a regularly scheduled manner over many months. This work includes resuming the Neon Genesis Evangelion episode guide, and the "Favorites" countdown of my 100 favorite films list. I had planned to discuss those titles from memory but recently decided they need rewatching. Thus completion will take longer than expected - perhaps not until 2015 (especially since my list includes very long films like Satantango and Out 1, which I won't watch in a single sitting).

Further down the line I have other ideas: a "Collection" series which would thoroughly review every DVD or VHS tape I own - probably presented in 365 entries over an entire year; a year-by-year formal analysis of popular films and shifting mainstream film styles via numerous video essays; finally, my much-discussed canonical series in which I would examine about 150 films in multiple entries varying in both focus point and style (prose, video, and image analyzing form, content, production history, my own personal connection, etc). I've been proposing that one since 2009, so we'll see. At any rate none of these series would even begin to be posted until at least 2016 or 2017, probably longer.

I can confidently predict these eventual manifestations - if not forecast the dates of their appearance - because I've finally found a blogging system that works; indeed, I've discovered a schedule to not only manage my blog but all my extracurricular work. On Saturdays, I will spend a minimum of four hours blogging and a maximum of four hours engaged in other ongoing tasks (to wit: an hour on the King James Bible, an hour reading Time cover stories from past decades, an hour visiting other blogs, and an hour completing any unfinished business that doesn't have an immediate deadline). Sundays I get up early and write creatively (or at least, allow myself no distractions from writing) for eight hours. The rest of the week I am free to read, watch the occasional movie or TV episode (mostly the latter nowadays), go out, or relax. What I can't do is blog, or work on anything other than filmmaking. This not only liberates me from self-imposed pressures, it also makes me more productive in the time I do allot for ongoing activities.

The system is imperfect, of course: it doesn't yet make much room for video essays (which is where I really want my blog to go), plus whenever I initiate my "Collection" series I'll have to find more time for watching and writing, probably on certain weeknights. Overall, though, I've been using this schedule for a few months and it's by far the most effective approach I've found for multitasking. Most importantly, this approach clears the deck for screenwriting and eventually filmmaking, while keeping my blog alive as a potential platform for that work.

For now, expect something new every week. I hope you'll enjoy the results as much as I plan on enjoying the process.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The more things change...: A collage/catalog of Forrest Gump


I've always been obsessed with cataloging experiences, creating variations on a theme, and juxtaposing change and consistency against one another (as well as viewing characters changing against historical backdrops, and maturing from one age to another). As such, I can't help being endlessly fascinated by Forrest Gump. It is chock-full of repetitions, variations, catalogs: sometimes droll, sometimes somber, sometimes sentimental. Below I've included nine image-compilations as examples; if you want to see larger versions of these pictures, click on the image.