Wednesday, August 26, 2015

You Can't Fire Me I'm Fired

--Dan Kilian

Witness The Birth

Good Help Is Hard To Find 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bright Lights/Deep Shade: Messing Up A Beautiful Thing

Is She Perverted Like Me?
Alanis Morissette is having a moment! She gets the David Foster Wallace analysis via Jason Segel in The End of The Tour, and now she's just had a duet with Taylor Swift. If you've somehow forgotten who Alanis is, well, you ought to know. 

Serena Williams and Drake are back on again. Warning Serena! Drake's from the Canadian province of Siswatchthatman! Okay that's stupid, but damn it, there's a Canadian province joke in there somewhere. Watch that Manitoba or he'll be Gone-tario. Damn it! Tennis metaphor.

One Direction aren't splitting up, they're just taking a break. That's what my parents said. 

Steve O doesn't like SeaWorld. He feels like it's a prison for Orcas and dolphins, but now the Jackass star faces prison time himself for his protest stunt. 

Is Jake Gyllenhal off Susan Sarandon and onto Dakota Johnson? Or is it all just gossip? Senseless gossip? Maybe Gyllenrandon is still going strong. Maybe I'm ruining it by printing these rumors. Maybe people just like to eat in restaurants. I don't know. I hope I'm not messing up something beautiful.  

Those are the only things that have happened. 


--Dan Kilian

Celebrity Farts

Environmental Anniversary Proposal: Day-After-Earthday

Monday, August 24, 2015

Bright Lights/Deep Shade: Pop Goes The Princess

Iggy Azalea denies heroin addiction rumors. She says those marks on her hands aren't needle tracks, just cat scratch fever. Maybe the paparazzi confused her with Iggy Pop.

Somewhere there's a giant noseless clown who's upset.

Olivia Munn kicks some ass and Britney Spears shows some tail.

Kelly Osbourne was always the nice one on Fashion Police. She's not working so hard to say kind things about former co-host Giuliana Rancic. Call internal affairs! 

Ri Ri Rules
"Ri Ri rules" says Run The Jewels, getting all frank, see, in an interview with Banksy. 

Hey, it's hard to rhyme Bansky! So why did I do a rhyming news item? I don't know.

That's all that's happened. You're done!


--Dan Kilian

The Last Reality Show

James Bond's Bad Day

Living More Than Enough For The City

There has been a growing consensus that urban living is better for the environment than suburban sprawl and its higher carbon footprint. Cities are also great laboratories for ideas: so many smart ambitious people packed in together are bound to collaborate, coming up with the businesses, causes and ideas of the future. 

So cities might save us. The question is, how do we live in these boxy things without going crazy? Evidently that question occurred to a lot of designers crammed in together, and they’ve found ways to give our urban lifestyle more style while making it more livable.

Tudelü retractable walls allow one-room apartments to close off or open up at the push of a button. Designer Luca Nichetto, working with developer Urban Capital, has come up with the "Cubitat": a customizable ten-foot cube that functions as kitchen, bedroom, storage, and more. While the future of design seems bent on making the best use of every cubic inch, there’s also a retro movement, perhaps resisting this tight-cornered trend, for the curvy metro-sexiness of midcentury modern design. 

Design issues matter when you’ve left your apartment as well. Vision Zero city planning aims to make streets. Other city planners have brought the issue of light to light. Are these skyscrapers putting us all in too much shadow? 

Inside or out, the challenges of urban living will inspire new designers as we continue to pile into these growing swarming cities. 

What new idea are you going to bring to the Cubitat? 

Dan Kilian

Death To Everyone

The Magic Banjo


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Casting About

Who would you have star in the latest unfilmable novel?
Reading Girl on the Train, I immediately started imagining who would play the characters when it inevitably becomes a film. We all do this, and we all do a lousy job, but that’s part of what makes the exercise such harmless fun. I remember a childhood conversation, before Spider-Man had been filmed, two incarnations ago. We were wondering who would play Gwen Stacey, and my friend Matt ventured “Streep?” Streep?! Never mind that she was even then too old to play a kid, was Meryl Streep ever a teenager? Hell, she was a haunted angel in The Seduction of Joe Tynan. 

Since Girl on the Train has been hyped as the next Gone Girl (they’re both girls!), I immediately cast Ben Affleck as Tom, the ex-husband of the titular Girl, which makes no sense. Then I went with Aaron Eckhart. I can’t explain why without divulging spoilers. All right, I’ll tell you. Tom gets half his face melted off and becomes a criminal supervillain.

I cast Jeanne Tripplehorn as Rachel, even though Hollywood hasn’t given her a leading role since she turned twenty-four. I don’t care; I think she could play Rachel’s hazed-out desperation, based on her work in The Firm, I guess. Okay, it was Waterworld. That’s the miracle of movies: a viewer can hold on to the memory of a performance long after Tinseltown has chewed the performer up and spat her out.

Realizing this, I tried to second-guess what Hollywood would actually do and came up with . . . Jennifer Lawrence, based on her crazy-eyed work in American Hustle and the fact that the answer to every question about actresses is Jennifer Lawrence. Googled to see who’s actually going to be playing the role for the film already in development and it’s . . . Deanna Durbin? No, wait, that was the 1945 production of Lady on a Train. The Girl train is on track(!) to be an Emily Blunt project.

So I’m no good at casting movies that are going to be films soon. What about movies that will never be made into films? Surely I can do better there.

Granted, they’ve actually tried to film a lot of unfilmable books, for example Naked Lunch; Charlie Kaufman’s Adaptation, putatively based on The Orchid Thief; and Howl (casting James Franco for your unfilmable movie is a cop-out). Maybe those books are just screaming (or Howling! By the way, The Howling franchise is the strangest movie adaptation of Ginsberg’s poem, and didn’t get enough credit when Franco’s movie came out) for some ambitious director to film them, because of their very unfilmability, but there are other books which aren’t throwing down a gauntlet but are just unfilmable because they exist in worlds of the mind.   

If you had to keep checking the title page to confirm that The Dog was written by the same Joseph O’Neill who wrote Netherland, you were not alone. While Netherland earned accolades and comparisons to Gatsby for its pulsing and earnest depiction of a first-world striver as witnessed by the narrator, The Dog is a satirical stream-of-consciousness spree from the mind of an unnamed lawyer living and thinking in detachment in the sterile confines of Dubai skyscrapers. He lays out a system of personal rules and rationales as a plot gently bumps into him from time to time and then suddenly catches up to him. It’s so much about the character and his disassociated embrace of the seemingly dehumanizing aspects of humanity that it reminds me of Up in the Air, which, damn it, they turned into a halfway decent movie! Still, I’m not casting Clooney.

I want to cast Aaron Eckhart, but isn’t that just because I was talking about him before? How about Ben Affleck? No! Clear the mind. Who is a chilly intellectual type who seems somewhat removed from his moral code, but not? Jessie Eisenberg’s too young, but that’s what I thought about Jeanne Tripplehorn. No, let’s go with . . . Michael Shannon!

Nicholson Baker’s The Anthologist is just a guy ruminating about poetry. There are other Baker books that would make for visually stimulating cinema, but not this one. Oh, let’s just get Gene Hackman out of retirement. Tell him it’s not a cop, see if he bites.

There But For The by Ali Smith is actually quite filmable. Take out all the postmodern experimentalism and you’ve got a zany story with multiple points of view, something movies don’t actually do all that well but that they do all the time. Still, it’s got a weird title and a gay protagonist and I think that will put the financial backers off. So I’m going to cast it and come up with a new Hollywood-friendly title. Let’s cast Mr. Robot’s Elliot Alderson as young Miles Garth, Michael Shannon as grown Garth, Jeanne Tripplehorn as older Anna, Chloë Grace Moretz as young Anna, Susan Sarandon as the demented May Young (even though she is still beautiful and should still be starring in romantic dramas, but Hollywood sucks and I do like to see her in movies), and an unknown as Brooke, the kid. Call it Grace of God, make Miles Garth straight, have love conquer all, and make it an ongoing series on Netflix. It’s probably already in development with Emily Blunt.

Or you could just read the book and cast it yourself. 
 --Dan Kilian

Freddy vs. Wishmaster

Michael J. Fox's Bad Day


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Rejected Pixar Projects

With their latest triumph Inside Out, Pixar maintains its status as the premiere producers of 3-D computer animation entertainment. It seems as though they can do no wrong, but that’s not the case. Pixar’s success depends on strict quality control. If they had green-lit every project in preproduction, their batting average wouldn’t be so extraordinary. Here are some Pixar concepts that never made it to the screen.


Some of the less popular cups in the cabinet team up when Teacup breaks her arm off. Joining her are characters such as the lovably drunk Beer Stein, the adorable Sippy, and an assortment of underused mugs, as well as a spider who lives in Chippy, the most forgotten of the gang. They must embark on a spectacular journey across the kitchen. One tangent takes them to the microwave, where they gain wisdom from the half-full, half-warm, half-forgotten cup of coffee, who tells them where the drawer with the super glue is. You’ll drink a mug of tears when Mustache protector discovers his owner is now clean-shaven, and when Best Dad Ever learns he doesn’t belong on a trophy rack but is just a thoughtless gift. 


WallEye looks on in dismay as the new inhabitants of Earth eat the last of the new plants, and slowly starve to death. 


A group of ambitious fans escape to the countryside to fulfill their dream of becoming windmills, only to find that wind power is a corrupt lie, powered by coal. 


A blender and a food processor team up on a journey to compete in a reality TV cooking show, only to find that once they are unplugged they become motionless objects, stuck on a counter, cursing their fates. 

Cars V

The cars explore their history and learn of the singularity that eliminated all non-machines from Earth. 

The Story of Hall and Oates

Eschewing Pixar’s usual strategy of imbuing inanimate objects with anthropomorphic cuteness, this movie depicts a true story of the career of these 70s/80s pop superstars. Unfortunately, due to copyright issues, none of the duo’s music can be used in this picture, so Pixar will use Randy Newman songs instead.


A bunch of wigs wig out! This is the story of one low-budget wig who aspires to be worn by Elton John (voiced by Randy Newman). You’ll pull out your hair crying at the heart-wrenching ballad “A Small Price Toupee.” 


A bunch of poops aspire to escape from a sewer modeled after the Nazi prison camp in The Great Escape. You’ll cry when they get their wish. 


This one gets a little vague. The animation is, as usual, impeccable.