Multi Media

I came back to Korea loaded with new books and DVDs. Then I arrived at my office to find more stuff a friend had ordered while I was gone. So I’ve done my foraging, the saliva glands are kicked in, and now I’m fully in mastication mode. Here are the juicy morsels…

THX 1138
There was a time when George Lucas really knew his craft. This film is a lesson in how to create art under heavy restrictions. He used random locations for sets — one is a lecture hall/studio where I taught an aesthetics class at my old university — and somehow made it all work. I’m looking forward to Walter Murch’s commentary.

Into Great Silence
I haven’t seen this. Apparently it’s a film with no dialogue. That’s the only reason I bought it.

Blade Runner Collector’s Edition
My all-time favorite movie, finally finished to Ridley Scott’s original intentions. Or is it?

Badlands
Days of Heaven
My all-time favorite director, Terrence Malick. This rounds out my collection, which I guess isn’t saying much.

Howl’s Moving Castle
Spirited Away
Two more favorites.

Titus
I really loved this movie. The critics didn’t.

Hero
Maybe it’s unfair to compare, but I thought this was a better film than Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. It’s a shame that Quentin Tarantino’s name is all over it, because he really didn’t have that much to do with it.

The 4th Dimension
This little independent film was just a hunch. I saw it in Rasputin Records and the box sold me. I watched it my first night back and liked it. The influences and themes are great: Kafka, Spider, Einstein, Lynch, insanity, physics, sleep paralysis.

Exile and Creativity: Signposts, Travelers, Outsiders, Backward Glances (Susan R. Suleiman, ed.)
This was the first book I bought. It’s a series of essays on expatriation and creativity.

The Cinema of Terrence Malick: Poetic Visions of America (Hannah Patterson, ed.)
It’s impossible for me to walk into City Lights bookstore in San Francisco without buying something. This was the first of two books I decided to get that day. The essays look really interesting, with a couple dedicated to sound.

Seoul Searching: Culture and Identity in Contemporary Korean Cinema (Frances Gateward, ed.)
Despite the embarrassingly lame title, this also looks interesting. I’m not sure how good the quality of the writing and research is, but this falls into one of those things buried in my long to-do list: learn more about Korean cinema.

Haunted Weather: Music, Silence and Memory (David Toop)
I’m about 50 pages into this. David Toop is one of my favorite writers. I like the way his mind works and his research and knowledge is extraordinary. Nearly every paragraph introduces some new obscure cultural artifact that he’s dug up in his travels and research. I like how he’s not trying to be definitive or comprehensive in his topics, but sees and hears things through his own very personal perspective. This book is really inspiring a new desire to make music right now.

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