Wednesday, June 24, 2009


This may qualify as the coolest thing in the state of Alabama (via Boing Boing):

Goldie, the sculpture that looks like a rusty, prone robot, lies mute on Woods Quad. Curious, delighted visitors drawn to the enchanting novelty of a dead or sleeping robot hanging out on the grass in the middle of the University stand next to it and pose for pictures.

But the artwork and its sculptor – UA graduate student Joe McCreary – have a serious story to tell. Goldie symbolizes the closing of Birmingham’s Sloss Furnaces in 1972 and America’s passage into the post-industrial era. The robot is not so much dead or sleeping as turned off.

"The robot's been decommissioned, shut off," McCreary says. "It's not needed anymore."

McCreary's sculpture will lie out in the Quad until December. The artwork, which may weigh as much as 2 tons, brings a dynamic change of pace to viewers absorbed in UA's academic life.

"Goldie is a figurative work, so people relate to it," says Craig Wedderspoon, associate professor of art, who teaches sculpture. "People see in it a reflection of the human condition. They imagine Goldie in different scenarios. It's a nice break from the perils and stresses of academic life."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Embarrassment of riches

I had to smile when I read this in DVD Talk this morning:
These are tough times for us Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans. It's not a problem of content--in fact, quite the contrary. There's an embarrassment of riches as far as available product; the trouble is, trying to keep up will put you in the poorhouse. Original host Joel Hodgson and four other cast members are releasing a new, direct-to-video "Cinematic Titanic" DVD every couple of months, taking apart obscure bad movies in the best MST3K tradition, while prolific second host Mike Nelson and his castmates Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett are pumping out a steady stream on downloadable MST-style audio commentaries on their Rifftrax website. On top of that, Rifftrax put out a series of ten DVDs--eight feature films and two collections of educational shorts--this month (reasonably priced, but still, ten of 'em). And now here's the good folks at Shout Factory with another collection from the show that started it all. This kind of fandom can set you back a few dollars.

Speaking as someone who purchased both Rifftrax shorts DVD's and a Cinematic Titanic DVD this month (and with the MST3K box set being shipped next month), I know where he's coming from.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mirror, Mirror: Where's the Mirror?

OK. Here's the deal, Columbia Pictures:

A trailer is meant to build excitement for an upcoming movie. In order to do that most effectively, the trailer has to be accessible.

So take a movie like Zombieland, which is due to come out this October. Two versions of the trailer became available online today. Unfortunately, one version requires constant plug-ins that few people want to bother with and the other is in a flash format that is choppy for all but the speediest Internet connections.

So please, in future, take a page from Fox Searchlight and Walt Disney Studios: Get yourself a YouTube account and post trailers there. You'll be doing all of us a favor.

Friday, June 05, 2009


To fill in the dead air here, I present two photos from the "Red Dusk" shoot. The first is during the construction phase where you can see the beginnings of City Hall as well as some of my copious notes.

And the second is an unfortunate incident where someone crashed the set. Security sucks here at AMFI studios.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Vantage Point

This is just to remind me to watch this later. Accompanying article here (via Metafilter).

Monday, June 01, 2009

Roscoe Lee Browne Quote of the Month: June 2009

Did I mention a baby is coming?

OK, so let's make this one short and sweet. The Mambo Kings. Browne plays musical bigwig Fernando Perez. Armando Assante plays an up-and-comer named Cesar with an ego the size of all outdoors. Antonio Banderas plays Cesar's talented little brother, Nestor. Aaaand...ACTION:

Fernando Perez: "Have a Havana with me, Cesar. And let's see how Fernando Perez can take the Mambo Kings to the top."

Cesar: "Who the hell are you, anyway, the Mambo pope? Guy thinks I came top America to trade one thief for another, right?"

Nestor: "Cesar!"

Fernando Perez: "I think you don't know who I am, senor."

Cesar: "Well, whoever you are, I know La Havana, los mafiosos with balls of steel could not own Cesar Castillo. So don't you try."

Fernando Perez: "You have much to learn, Mambo King. Pray God you learn it. Before the banana boat sails back to Cuba."