Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘There Will Be Blood

Super There Will Be Blood

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Footage has been found from Super There Will Be Blood on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. There’s also the classic text adventure version, if that’s more your speed:

> drink milkshake
You don’t have that. 

> get milkshake
It’s too far away.

> get straw
Got the straw.

> drink milkshake
It’s too far away.

> drink milkshake with straw
It’s too far away.

> reach
Reach where?

> reach across room with straw

> drink milkshake with straw
You drink it up!

Written by gerrycanavan

November 2, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Found Poetry: “There Will Be Blood”

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Duke library results for search terms “there will be blood.” I find it works best if you imagine “There Will Be Blood” as an alternate title / subtitle / tagline / warning for each of the books that come up…

1. There Will Be Blood [videorecording]
2. Stakeholders in the Law School
3. Law 101
4. Neuropsychology and Cardiovascular Disease
5. Gossip Girl. The Complete Second Season [videorecording]
6. The Quality of Freedom: Khodorkovsky, Putin, and the Yukos Affair
7. Sticky Church
8. Backstabbing for Beginners : My Crash Course in International Diplomacy
9. Angel. Season 2 [videorecording]
10. Discovering Genomics, Proteomics, and Bioinformatics
11. Laugh Lines: Short Comic Plays
12. Countdown to Sunday: A Daily Guide for Those Who Dare to Preach
13. American Working-Class Literature: An Anthology
14. Lutheran Questions, Lutheran Answers: Exploring Christian Faith
15. The Nation’s Bounty: The Xhosa Poetry of Nontsizi Mgqwetho
16. The Immortalists: Charles Lindbergh, Dr. Alexis Carrel, and Their Daring Quest to Live Forever
17. Journalism Ethics: Arguments & Cases
18. Museum Frictions: Public Cultures/Global Transformations
19. The Abingdon African American Preaching Library
20. Introduction to Glycobiology
21. Sing, Stranger: A Century of American Yiddish Poetry: A Historical Anthology
22. Occupied Minds: A Journey Through the Israeli Psyche
23. A Story of Suffering and Hope: Lessons from Latino Youth
24. Operations and Tears: A New Anthology of Malawian Poetry
25. American Theatre Book of Monologues for Women

I could, I assure you, go on.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 30, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Tuesday Morning

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* An arrest has been made in the Times Square car-bombing case. Click the link to find out the ethnicity of the accused and therefore whether this was terrorism.

* New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has broken a 63-year precedent and refused to reappoint a sitting judge to the New Jersey Supreme Court, opting instead to nominate someone who has neither been a judge nor active in politics. Click the link to find out the ethnicity of the two judges and therefore whether Christie’s a bold innovator or bowing to special interests.

* Superman vs. offshore drilling. Zack Morris vs. offshore drilling.

* Discussion question: When is an entirely manmade disaster an act of God?

* WTFArizona: Arizona Senate Majority Leader Follows Stormfront on Twitter.

* A rare thing that isn’t soul-crushingly terrible: Jimmy Fallon’s ongoing Lost parody, Late.

* And it was forty years ago today.

Friday Night

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* Breaking news: TPM is reporting right this second that Obama has brokered a climate deal with China.

* Also breaking at this hour: I will never get a job.

* Trinity College entrance exam, 1900-1901. Via Mitch.

* Two more Avatar reviews, here and here.

Yes, on one level it’s a crock: predictable, sentimental, and tin-eared. It’s an attempt to rewrite (and reanimate) American history in the form of a barely disguised parable of Native Americans triumphing against white imperialists who would drive them from their ancestral lands — aided by a white imperialist (a Marine) who has Gone Native. Set in the year 2154 on Pandora, a moon of the vast gas planet Polyphemus in Alpha Centauri, it’s Dances With Thanators (and Banshees and Direhorses and Hexapedes and Hammerhead Titanotheres and Leonopteryxs). The narrative would be ho-hum without the spectacle. But what spectacle! Avatar is dizzying, enveloping, vertiginous … I ran out of adjectives an hour into its 161 minutes.

* Muhammed Ali fought 50 men. Only one disappeared.

* And There Will Be Blood wins movie of the decade on Gawker’s meta-list. Surprised to see Eternal Sunshine and the Lord of the Rings series as such close seconds, and found this observation noteworthy: “If the Pixar movies had been one series, it would have won the decade. Easily.” PS: Quentin, Wes, Alfonso, Chris, and the Coens wuz robbed.

‘What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Movies’

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This backlash follows a perfect storm of anti-intellectual prejudice: Movies are considered fun that needn’t be taken seriously. Movies contain ideas better left unexamined. Movies generate capital in all directions. The latter ethic was overwhelmingly embraced by media outlets during the Reagan era, exemplified by the sly shift from reporting on movies to featuring inside-industry coverage….

This disrespect for thinking—where film criticism blurred with celebrity gossip—has resulted in today’s cultural calamity. Buyouts and dismissals are, of course, unfortunate personal setbacks; but the crisis of contemporary film criticism is that critics don’t discuss movies in ways that matter. Reviewers no longer bother connecting movies to political or moral ideas (that’s was what made James Agee’s review of The Human Comedy and Bosley Crowther’s review of Rocco and His Brothers memorable). Nowadays, reviewers almost never draw continuity between new films and movie history—except to get it wrong, as in the idiotic reviews that belittled Neil Jordan’s sensitive, imaginative The Brave One (a movie that brilliantly contrasts vengeful guilt to 9/11 aftershock) as merely a rip-off of the 1970s exploitation feature Death Wish.

If the current indifference to critical thought is a tragedy, it’s not just for the journalism profession betraying its promise of news and ideas but also for those bloggers. The love of movies that inspires their gigabytes of hyperbole has been traduced to nonsense language and non-thinking. It breeds a new pinhead version of fan-clubism.

“What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Movies”: Armond White argues that film reviewing in America has gone completely off the rails.

What we don’t talk about when we talk about movies these days reveals that we have not moved past the crippling social tendency that 1990s sociologists called Denial. The most powerful, politically and morally engaged recent films (The Darjeeling Limited, Private Fears in Public Places, World Trade Center, The Promise, Shortbus, Ask the Dust, Akeelah and the Bee, Bobby, Running Scared, Munich, War of the Worlds, Vera Drake) were all ignored by journalists whose jobs are to bring the (cultural) news to the public. Instead, only movies that are mendacious, pseudo-serious, sometimes immoral or socially retrograde and irresponsible (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Army of Shadows, United 93, Marie Antoinette, Zodiac, Last Days, There Will Be Blood, American Gangster, Gone Baby Gone, Letters From Iwo Jima, A History of Violence, Tarnation, Elephant) have received critics’ imprimatur.

That there isn’t a popular hit among any of these films proves how critics have failed to rouse the moviegoing public in any direction.

There’s a little too much of Matthew Arnold here for me, and anyway I think he’s misread There Will be Blood (actually very good) and World Trade Center (actually pretty pernicious) at least—but I can’t disagree too vehemently with anyone who gets this out there:

Critics say nothing about movies that open up complex meaning or richer enjoyment. That’s why they disdained the beauty of The Darjeeling Limited: Wes Anderson’s confrontation with selfishness, hurt and love were too powerful, too humbling. It’s no wonder that the audience for movies shrinks into home-viewership; they also shrink away from movies as a great popular art form.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 24, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Friday Night Is Stupid YouTube Night

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Friday night is stupid YouTube night.

* News of a new David Cross/Bob Odenkirk HBO series brings a MetaFilter thread full of classic Mr. Show videos.

* Asking random celebrities who would win in a fight, a minotaur with a trident or a centaur with a crossbow. Via MeFi.

* There Will Be Vader.

(The centaur, obviously.)

Written by gerrycanavan

March 22, 2008 at 1:16 am

Top Cinematic Moments of 2007

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InContention has a list of the top ten cinematic moments of 2007. (Part 1, Part 2.)

I’ll go along with a lot of what’s said here—though I can’t help noting that Tapley is a bit over-appreciative of The Assassination of Jesse James; that the best shots of There Will Be Blood surely beat all comers; and that the omission of the opening sequence of Darjeeling Limited (out on DVD tomorrow!) is simply inexcusable.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 26, 2008 at 1:19 am

Saturday Potpourri: Immortality, There Will Be Blood, Comics, Zombies, The Affluent Society

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Saturday potpourri:

* Science is still teasing me with dreams of immortality:

A genetically engineered organism that lives 10 times longer than normal has been created by scientists in California. It is the greatest extension of longevity yet achieved by researchers investigating the scientific nature of ageing.

* At culturemonkey, Ryan’s got an essential take on There Will Be Blood that I think people who have seen the movie should be very interested in reading. (There’s a good sidebar on No Country for Old Men too, the movie with which There Will Be Blood will forever be paired.) Click the [+/-] for a brief, spoiler-laden excerpt.

In TWBB one gets the impression from Eli, a grotesque parody of Christianity as both the paradigmatic model for non-capitalist politics and a type of show business, that stories can no longer be seriously invested in. Instead we learn to see Plainview the same way he sees others: “I see the worst in people. I don’t have to look past seeing them to get all I need.” In the much-criticized final showdown in the bowling alley, this impression of God and his earthly salesmen is rendered painfully concrete. It’s the scene where the film’s facade of realism, though always unsettled, is strained to the point of absurdity: the priest recants, he is made to suffer for his sins, and behold, his milkshake, it hath been drunk! But not even the grand narrative of entrepreneurial capitalism can survive past the last shot. The realization that has been building over the course of the film, in the form of Plainview’s increasingly strained encounters with Standard Oil and the unstoppable expansion of monopoly power it represents — that the individual capitalist is no longer a suitable vessel for the daemon of capital — comes at last to fruition, and so with the resignation “I’m finished,” the lights go out. The camera apparently hasn’t the right to follow. But is it irrational hope to wonder if nostalgia for the end of a distant era can reflect any light back on the end of one still present? Or has Plainview eaten that as well?

Not to toot my own horn, but I think there have been some interesting points made by both Ryan and myself in the comments of that post, too.

* Sci-Fi Weekly has a good interview with George Romero on Diary of the Dead and what’s next for the definitive zombie franchise.

Romero: I have this balls-out comedy zombie thing that I have wanted to do for three years. It’s basically the coyote and the roadrunner. It’s one human and one zombie. You can do a lot of damage to a zombie and it still lives. So I just had this idea that I’d love to do that as almost a cartoon. That’s the one that’s closest to my heart, but I don’t know if anyone’s ever going to get it enough to say, “OK, we’ll finance that.”

* Although most people have been saying that the writers’ strike won them a good deal, delightful crackpot Harlan Ellison insists the writers actually got taken for a ride.

* It has become so much part of conventional wisdom that affluence is a problem that it is hard to imagine that attitudes were ever different. The media is full of stories about problems that allegedly owe much to our affluent lifestyles, including environmental degradation, social inequalities and even mental illness. Daniel Ben-Ami at the Spiked Review of Books remembers John Kenneth Galbraith’s excellent The Affluent Society as a prelude to launching a broadside attack on it.

* And at the Valve, John Holbo says Douglas Wolk’s Reading Comics is the best work of literary criticism of the last year. I’ve been meaning to pick this up; now I have no excuse not to.

There Will Be Nitpicks

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It gives nothing away about There Will Be Blood to say first that the movie is excellent and second that it is impossibly ludicrous to expect a 23-year-old actor, Paul Dano (right), to play 35 years old.

It’s bad enough that the movie is also very unclear that Dano is actually playing twins. But when the movie jumps about fifteen years forward in time from the early 1910s to 1927, the reappearance of Dano looking exactly the same age entirely kills the moment. I’ve even seen speculation that the final scene was a dream—realism is that challenged.

That’s Dano-as-35 in the photo, by the way. I know I can be a bit of a nitpicker, but it just doesn’t work.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 25, 2008 at 6:12 am

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