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tom moody


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Recommended: Paddy Johnson's takedown of the New York Times' "Screens" blog, for the crimes of banality, bogus ironic distance, and, least pardonable of all, light posting. Blogging is a particular knack; not everyone has it and not everyone is driven to post every day. As Steve Gilliard has often pointed out, going to the "right" schools and meeting the "right" people was a prerequisite for success under the old media, gatekeeper model. Once you schmoozed or credentialed your way into one of those gigs, it was yours to command and audiences were yours to bore forever. With blogging anyone with talent can find an audience without going through the usual career abasement, but the downside, if it is one, is you're only as good as your last party. But whether the itch to blog waxes or wanes, it's supposed to be about your passion(s). It's not about rattling off a long list of current video formats and trends ("web video, viral video, user-driven video, custom interactive video, embedded video ads, web-based VOD, broadband television, diavlogs, vcasts, vlogs, video podcasts, mobisodes, webisodes, mashups and more"), as the "Screens" blogger does, and then apologizing for it by breezily calling it all "senseless" (as in, "we make sense of the senseless"). That just won't wash when people are hungry for information, amusement, and some kind of honest context.

- tom moody 7-26-2006 9:41 am [link] [add a comment]



A recording of my bookstore talk with Ed Halter last Wednesday, along with some photos, has been posted here. We discuss Halter's book From Sun Tzu to Xbox: War and Video Games (Thunder's Mouth Press/Avalon, 2006) and the author takes some questions from the audience. The .mp3 lasts about an hour and it's a good, clear recording, so I recommend it as a lively, information-packed introduction to some of the themes and ideas in the book.

- tom moody 7-24-2006 8:03 pm [link] [7 comments]



Dennis Hollingsworth

New Dennis Hollingsworth painting. It's a beaut. I like the suggestion of a head, the unfinished Ryman-esque quality of the edges, and the physics-flouting, flying-off-the-canvas dynamism of the paint. The sensuousness of that thick buttery substance communicates even in pixel form. Yum.

- tom moody 7-22-2006 9:20 pm [link] [16 comments]



Steamloller

ascii artist unknown

- tom moody 7-22-2006 6:55 am [link] [3 comments]



"808 Straight" [mp3 removed]

Some dancefloor-type beats. A mix of hardware and software instruments, analog and digital, but entirely electronic: every sound originated as a voltage.

I haven't been following the Grime scene that closely, but after listening a bit to this site that bloggy recommended, I think I'm in the ballpark with what I'm doing here. I need a fuller bass sound, though, and more dubby beats (that's all). My main influences are still electro, acid house, and a kind of prog sensibility. I'm not that "street." I'd like to work on that.

This dubstep track "Midnight Request Line" by Skream is excellent.

Update: bumped the volume on "808 Straight" slightly.

- tom moody 7-21-2006 11:35 pm [link] [3 comments]



Variety, July 20, 2020: Linklater to Give Scanner "Makeunder" Using Original Footage

"It hasn't held up over the years," admits the sexagenarian erstwhile slacker Richard Linklater, now one of Hollywood's leading directors, speaking of his 2006 film A Scanner Darkly. "I don't know why I let them talk me into using those damn filters for everything," he says. "That digital rotoscoping technique was momentarily cool in the early '00s, but let's face it, it made Winona Ryder look cretinous in some shots. Her features were sliding all over her face. Woody, too," he adds, referring to the late Woody Harrelson, who also played "Munson" in Kingpin.

Film fans agree. "The rotoscoping technique was just wrong for that material," says blogger Joe Chip, who had a brief cameo in the film. "Take the scene where Keanu Reeves addresses the Rotary Club," Chip says. "He's wearing a suit that digitally scrambles his features, masking his identity. It's a dramatic, surreal effect, but the problem is, with that rotoscoping technique, everyone in the room looks like they're wearing a scramble suit."

That scene and others are being re-edited to remove the digital effects except where they're needed to advance the plot--such as in the "hallucination sequences" where Reeves imagines his housemates as giant insects. Other film buffs are ecstatic about the proposed changes. "Robert Downey, Jr. did some of his best work in the picture," says director Arnold Kott. "It was a riff on his creep in Altman's Short Cuts, and you hated to see his talent buried under all that faux-artistic, Photoshop-like filtering."

But others don't think the changes will make any difference. "Linklater and Dick weren't the right fit," says Bruno Bluthgeld, a scholar of Philip K. Dick, whose book the movie was based on. "Scanner was an interesting mistake the way Cronenberg's Crash was. The novels were rooted in their eras, and just as the Swinging London sexual licentiousness of the J.G.Ballard book made no sense in the post-AIDS '90s, Scanner was a tale of the late '60s/early '70s, when a generation came down off a psychotropic high and got gobsmacked by harder stuff. This was an anachronism in 2006, when the drug blight du jour was meth labs in the sticks. And not that it should matter, but the rootless addiction hell Dick went through isn't comparable to Linklater's student experiences crashing on couches in Austin, TX."

We'll know soon enough: the newly scrubbed Scanner is due out in 2021.

- tom moody 7-21-2006 9:43 pm [link] [17 comments]



Gas Prices

"The ashy, veiny hand reaches out, gas pump nozzle in hand, a stream of 'S'es pouring forth from its spout like precious drops of gasoline. Together, the hand and pump give off an eerie glow as Honest Abe looks onward, his gaze obstructed by an exaggerated dot screen. George Washington is barely visible, shrouded by an orange shadow of depression. The message is clear: Rockland County joins gas sales tax capping."

From a great, mercilessly cruel, blog post from Ironic Sans on The Art of 1010 WINS. (via mo, mbs, et al) "The radio station 1010 WINS is for New York City what CNN Headline News is for cable television. Its just nonstop headlines, weather, and traffic, repeating every 22 minutes. Their slogan is, 'You give us 22 minutes, and well give you the world.' Their website, 1010WINS.com, features local headlines and news stories mixed in with syndicated newswire stories. But for me, the real treat is the unintentional art gallery at 1010WINS.com. Sometimes, 1010 WINS uses photos from the newswire. But often, some Photoshop Whiz Kid Artist at 1010 WINS smashes together some stock photos with a Photoshop filter and makes some of the greatest image mashups on the internet."

1010 WINS also does unbearable audio montages, something I was complaining about on this blog on September 12, 2001.

- tom moody 7-20-2006 7:37 pm [link] [add a comment]



Tonight at 8:00 at the Brooklyn bookstore BookCourt I'll be talking with Ed Halter about his book From Sun Tzu to Xbox: War and Video Games (Thunder's Mouth Press/Avalon, 2006), covering a range of topics rather pertinent to what has been called either World War III or World War IV, depending on whether you're listening to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich or former CIA director James Woolsey. These include, most centrally, America's Army, a realistic game developed by the military as both a recruiting and training tool, but also combat simulators flacked at high tech trade shows, behaviorist game designers concerned with "making memories" in players, Americans blowing away virtual Bin Ladens after 9/11, games such as "Under Ash" and "Under Siege" marketed to the "Arab Street," and American activist/left hacks of violent games. The announcement for the event is a here; earlier posts about the evening are here and here. I hope to see you there.

8:00 pm
BookCourt
163 Court Street
Brooklyn NY 11201

map and directions

- tom moody 7-20-2006 12:37 am [link] [6 comments]