Beck — Brandon Nevins
In 2008, Seattle radio station 107.7 The End held a contest and the winner would have a song written about them by Beck. The contest required people to submit a “Why they deserve a song written about them” and the best one would be picked.
The winner was Brandon Nevins of Seattle.
Beck called this “an odyssey,” and also that his 8 albums have led up to this song. It was recorded on GarageBand and is filled with cheesy Casio beats, goofy vocal effects, some amazing melodies, and a number of insane musical shifts.
This reminded me just how much I love Beck’s crazyass humour. 12 minutes of groovy and hilarious entertainment. Also read the lyrics along in the video’s description (or here).
ADAM: Actually there is something I could show you. It’s not far.
ADAM (cont.): There, that’s Jack White’s house.
EVE: Oh, I love Jack White!
ADAM: That’s where he grew up.
EVE: Aw, little Jack White. Nice.
ADAM: D’you know, he’s actually his mother’s seventh son?
EVE (amused): That figures.
— Only Lovers Left Alive (2014, dir. Jim Jarmusch)
Paul Thomas Anderson on screenwriting. The real deal, folks. Read and be thankful.What’s the most common mistake in written dialogue?
Complete sentences. Bad movie dialogue speaks in complete sentences without any overlapping or interruption, and avoids elliptical speech, which is truer to how people actually talk.Did you consciously train your ear to be sensitive to how people talk?
I probably did when I was eighteen and was just starting as a writer. Actually my mission then was to rip off *David Mamet, because I foolishly believed Mamet’s dialogue was how people really talked. It took me a while to realize that Mamet had developed a wonderfully stylized way of highlighting the way humans speak. People immediately think of dialogue when they hear Mamet’s name, but I think the strength of his writing is his storytelling—he uses very solid, old fashioned techniques in setting up his stories. House of Games, for instance, is one of the best scripts ever written, and it’s the story structure that makes it so brilliant.When you’re writing dialogue, does it take on a life of its own and move in directions that surprise you?
Absolutely. I’m showing some of my cards here, but I often write scenes without knowing where they’re gonna go, and as I write I start acting and sort of improvising. It’s great when the scene takes on a life of its own and frustrating when it doesn’t, because the passages you have to labor over are invariably worse than the ones that seem to write themselves. This notion that writing happens in the rewriting is something I’ve never agreed with. I’ve always hated rewriting. Rewriting is for pussies! Send it out, zits and all, is my feeling.What elements must a story have in order to interest you?
I like stories with good old-fashioned roots that obey the rules—you know, “the gun on the wall in the first act goes off in the third,” and so forth. My favorite directors are the ones who know and embrace those rules, then pile something completely punk rock on top of them—François Truffaut, for instance.Do you have any interest in adapting material, or do you intend to be the sole author of all your scripts?
I’m open to adapting material, although the one time I tried it I wasn’t too successful—I adapted the Russell Banks novel Rule of the Bone for Carl Franklin. Having been through an experience with **Hard Eight where I felt my work had been violated, I sort of became this master protector of other peoples’ work, and I couldn’t make myself tread on the bible, which was Banks’s book. I couldn’t get a grip on the fact that I was writing a movie, not a love letter to the book.Do you have structured writing habits?
Absolutely, and they revolve around finding a pattern of behavior I can depend on. Waking up at the same time every day, having certain rituals to go through that free me up so I don’t even have to worry about putting my pants on—it’s all about routine. I write in the morning and can put in three or four focused hours a day. It’s limited to that because I smoke myself to death when I write, and smoking makes me tired. At the same time, there’s almost something superstitious about smoking, as if the cigarettes are a good luck charm. It’s probably very silly. —Paul Thomas Anderson, Creative Screenwriting
You gotta love him for being so open about his creative process.
On the 6th March 2011 in the Syrian town of Daraa, fifteen children were arrested and tortured for painting anti-authoritarian graffiti.
The protests that followed their detention led to an outbreak of violence across the country that would see a domestic uprising transform into a civil war displacing 9.3 million people from their homes.
More info at WithSyria.
Townes Van Zandt — Lungs
From the latest (and this season’s penultimate) episode of True Detective. A fantastic show with a fantastic bluesy and blues-rock soundtrack.
The lyrics really shine in this wonderful track by The Zandt. Fellow singer-songwriter and good friend Steve Earle reportedly said that Townes wrote this song while sick with pneumonia in a hotel bed in NYC.
"Get the jumper cables, this motherfucker is lying."
Thanks to Elaine for getting me hooked on this show.
Wild At Heart (1990, dir. David Lynch)
I gotta say, I was kind of disappointed by this one. Maybe because I didn’t expect a comedy, but in the end, I think, it would have worked better if it were more of a comedy, actually. It could have been Lynch’s “Raising Arizona”—it would’ve worked wonderfully. And in a way it is, but too little, and often not intentionally so. Kind of like the less-than-great parts of Twin Peaks (which, one should add, came out at about the same time this film did). This leaves the film as a very superficial love story with cardboard cut out characters with a big dash of Lynch’s surrealism. And some gratuitious violence, which was the most interesting aspect of the film, together with the villains, which were the best aspect—Willem Defoe is mesmerizingly creepy and hilariously entertaining at the same time—but their screentime is unfortunately rather short. What would’ve also made the film much better is if Lynch hadn’t just dropped the intriguing secret-organization subplot he introduced and never mentioned again somewhere halfway in. The screencap shows the mysterious organization’s insignia.