Friday, May 22, 2009

Camera Obscura: Tarantino Tackles WW2; David Lynch's 121-Webisode Project Launches

I sadly found the music service I've used in the past here to embed music on my blog, Seeqpod, has gone dark, due to lawsuits, and it may return as a Microsoft entity, but until then all those musical links I had included are just dead links.

I roamed about some looking for new embeddable music players which would play songs I select and have had hit or miss success. The bottom line is plans this week and today to place music on this page have all met with failure. Or ran smack into my low threshold for frustration, with the result of No Music On The Blog Today. But I'll gather up some fortitude and try again in coming days. Maybe.

On to what matters - Movies.

The 62st Annual Cannes Film Festival is now underway and as always, notable movies are rolling out alongside the pitching and selling of movies of dubious qualities. One movie I'm already drooling to see is Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorius Basterds", a fanciful World War 2 movie with Brad Pitt leading a squad of Jewish American soldiers who alter the very history of today. Cinematical has a great roundup of critical praise (and disappointment) of the movie and a stack of clips from the movie.

The movie includes his eclectic musical cues - David Bowie and Ennio Morricone - as his squad ultimately sabotages the entire Third Reich with a style most critics agree is World War 2 as a Spaghetti Western (and I love the trailer for the movie). The movie opens in the US in August 21.

Another movie generating lots of press, boos, and some praise is the psychosexual madness of Lars Von Trier's "Antichrist". Centered on a couple grieving the death of their son, it includes some fairly outrageous scenes of mutilation and heaps of weirdness. Trier says he was deeply depressed at the time he made the movie, but perhaps his next movie will find him feeling chipper (I doubt it.)

The official Cannes Festival web site includes a top-to-bottom primer on the French New Wave movement of the 50s and beyond and how it has influenced "alternative cinema" ever since. In other words, it is a celebration of how French films are "incroyable" and "au delĂ  de comparez", n'est-ce-pas?

In online movie news, director David Lynch is launching a year-long film project called "Interview Project", a 121-episode of web-only segments. The mini-movies will be released every few days from June to June of next year offering up interviews from people all across the nation.

A very interesting sample these interviews is offered at EW and it is well worth the time to view. Also, sign up for email notices of the project here at the official web site for "Interview Project".

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fingerprints For Traffic Tickets?

Are we a nation of criminals, guilty until proven innocent?

The trends nationwide - and here in Tennessee - are more and more often pointing to "Yes".

For now, a new proposal which would allow for Tennesseans who get traffic citations to be fingerprinted is on hold until it comes up for a vote again next Thursday. This news means Sen. Joe Haynes knew there would not be enough votes to pass this bill ... today.

But police seem to want this law passed. They want new electronic ticketing equipment, they say, and hey, only someone guilty of something could be opposed to such a procedure, right?

" ...
the ones who were most worried about it were likely the ones who were doing something wrong ... " (link)

Some communities already require this - and there are host of state-required licenses which demand fingerprints, such as optometrists in Texas and dentists in Tennessee. A new law in Chicago requires a fingerprint from someone who wants to sell their home, another law will require fingerprints in San Diego for those who skateboard. (In Tennessee, a law requiring a fingerprint to purchase a gun, however, has been eliminated.)

Arguments are constantly offered that such requirements prevent crimes, catch criminals, offer security, affect only those guilty, etc etc.

If fingerprints are the best way to catch a criminal or prevent a crime, then let's use technology and jump ahead a few years -- let's just require a DNA identification be created at your birth, an ID which will be kept in databases (never to be abused or misused, noooo). And if anyone ever gets a ticket or is arrested (not convicted, just arrested) or wants a job in real estate or dentistry or teaching or buying a car or using a parking garage, then they must be implanted with a tracking chip so we can keep tabs on them. Just in case.

Since our nation requires fingerprints now for so many jobs and transactions, why, we should already be safe as safe can be. And if these programs have not made everything perfectly safe, then more security, more demands must be placed on you, all of you, since none of you are to be trusted.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Legislature OKs Bill To Limit Rights in Tennessee

Sad to see the state pushing forward with plans to amend the state constitution and limit the rights of women. Worse, to see my own representative, John Litz of Morristown, vote for this needless amendment. (SJR127).

If it is approved in the next legislative session, it will be a weird item on the ballot in 2014 for state voters - how will the proposal be presented to voters? Most likely, given the recent sweeping changes to county election commissions turning them into Republican-led offices, it will be presented incorrectly and will continue to politicize legal abortions as heinous crimes. And aiming cultural fire at a woman's right to chose and the state's duty to protect those rights - that was surely the goal here.

Using this bill to howl and proclaim a moral high ground is a sham.

There's this bit from SJR127 I find quite interesting: "
the people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes ..."

That seems in conflict with the first sentence of our state constitution, which gives rights to "people" first and no mention of elected officials:

Sec. 1. That all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; for the advancement of those ends they have at all times, an unalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper."