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Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Miracle

The gyrations, the good vibrations, the music!
This song really captures the majesty that was Queen:

Update: I unknowingly posted this video prior to discovering today marks the 20 year anniversary of Freddie Mercury's death! I'm happy to learn, however, that one of my most favorite screenwriters, Peter Morgan, will be penning the forthcoming Freddie Mercury film. He's quite the man for the tribute! I'm curious to see what route Morgan, a master of zooming into historical figures' lives to tell larger, inspiring stories, decides to take.

Rest in peace, dearest Freddie Mercury

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Promised Land"

Fabulous cover gracing the current New Yorker by Germany-born illustrator Christoph Niemann:

Niemann tells the LatinoVoices arm of the Huffington Post: "I'm an immigrant myself and what I always found staggering is that there are tons of Europeans who get green cards and I know some of them are not legal from the get-go and that never comes up," he said. "Having a racial undertone in this debate is extremely hurtful. It shouldn't have anything to do with where the immigrant comes from." "Too often in politics, very complex subjects are being turned into sound bites, so it's easy to take them apart," he also reminds the magazine, "I draw a parallel between current immigrants and early settlers -- the hope is that it will provide context, to help keep things in perspective."

Thanks for the reminder, Chris!

The Man With the Midas Touch

As I dive into researching the life and musical genius of the legendary John Barry, I felt compelled to share the musical evolution of the James Bond universe by way of blog. While reading about Mr. Barry's life, I continuously ask myself why I connect so deeply with this older British dude who is associated with a franchise that ostensibly had little respect for women! I only have inklings at the moment, recalling that before I even knew what John Barry's style was I loved John Barry's style; before I even knew there was a song called Goldfinger I imitated Shirley Bassey's voice for fun. As I start picking up on similar perspectives and preferences, even if they're as simple as mutual predilections for Kier Royals or finding permanent homes (miles away from actual home) in New York City, I am discovering a man who's more mysterious and fascinating to me than the selfsame initialed character he helped breathe life into.

Dr. No, 1962

To Russia With Love, 1963

Goldfinger, 1964

Thunderball, 1965

You Only Live Twice (1967) is unfortunately not available for embedding, but you can view it here.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service, 1969

Diamonds Are Forever, 1971

Live and Let Die, 1973

The Man with the Golden Gun is available here.

The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977

Moonraker, 1979

For Your Eyes Only, 1981 - Check out the unused (BETTER ONE!) by Blondie here.

Octopussy, 1983

A View to a Kill, 1985

The Living Daylights, 1987

Licence to Kill, 1989

GoldenEye , 1995

Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997

The World Is Not Enough, 1999

Die Another Day, 2002

Casino Royale, 2006

Quantum of Solace, 2008 - I can see the influence of On Her Majesty's Secret Service in this version.

I'm anxious to see what Sam Mendes comes up with next year.
I'm particularly fond of the Shirley Bassey, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and the a-Ha ones.
The Garbage one is pretty cool, too. Least favorite is definitely the Madonna one- what were they thinking?

Monday, November 14, 2011

What Inspires You?

The sound isn't properly synced, but every couple of days I (genuinely) watch this video for inspiration.
I can't really tell you what it is about it that fuels me, but it's something really messed up and very carefully hidden somewhere in my subconscious.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The End Will Smell Really Really Bad

I am finishing Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man concurrently with Zone One, a dedication heightened by the newfound realization that leaving books unfinished is a pet peeve of mine. I was happy to encounter a parallel passage where good ol' Jimmy Joyce describes a biblical hell on Earth scenario, I guess touching upon and elaborating on Judgement Day as he finishes talking about moral courage. It was a great complement to the imagery of Zone One, best described as "The gray layer of dust covering things has become their best part" by Whitehead himself.

They lie in exterior darkness. For, remember, the fire of hell gives forth no light. As, the command of God, the fire of the Babylonian furnace lost its heat but not its light so, at the command of God, the fire of hell, while retaining the intensity of its heat, burns eternally in darkness. It is a neverending storm of darkness, dark flames and dark smoke of burning brimstone, amid which the bodies are heaped one upon another without even a glimpse of air. Of all the plagues with which the land of the Pharaohs was smitten one plague alone, that of darkness, was called horrible. What name, then, shall we give to the darkness of hell which is to last not for three days alone but for all eternity?

The horror of this strait and dark prison is increased by its awful stench. All the filth of the world, all the offal and scum of the world, we are told, shall run there as to a vast reeking sewer when the terrible conflagration of the last day has purged the world. The brimstone, too, which burns there in such prodigious quantity fills all hell with its intolerable stench; and the bodies of the damned themselves exhale such a pestilential odor that as Saint Bonaventure says, one of them alone would suffice to infect the whole world. The very air of this world, that pure element, becomes foul and unbreathable when it has been long enclosed. Consider then what must be the foulness of the air of hell. Imagine some foul and putrid corpse that has lain rotting and decomposing in the grave, a jellylike mass of liquid corruption. Imagine such a corpse prey to flames, devoured by the fire of burning brimstone and giving off dense choking fumes of nauseous loathsome decomposition. And then imagine this sickening stench, multiplied a millionfold and a millionfold again from the millions upon millions of fetid carcasses massed together in the reeking darkness, a huge and rotting human fungus. Imagine all this and you will have some idea of the horror of the stench of hell.

- James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,
pp 85-86 from Dover Thrift Editions. unabridged.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This Weekend In Books (... Like Actually In Them... Living Right Inside of Them)

I'm only 15 pages into Colson Whitehead's Zone One, the first selection for my newly established Brooklyn-based Book and Garden Club! I, along with four other fabulous literary ladies, will be delving into Mr. Whitehead's novel which, from my superficial knowledge before starting the book, was written as an allegory of post-9/11 American life. Incidentally, my dear Netita sent me this video via Facebook which (also superficially) echoes the vibe of this post-apocolyptic horror novel.

After finishing Euginedes' Marriage Plot last week, I was in the mood for something broader, something that offered a more macroscopic view of life, of more certain, observable things. It's bad enough to be trapped with my own concerns about the future, and wondering about my personal destiny, so after Marriage Plot I needed a new taste in my mouth- quick! This is not to say I didn't enjoy the book, on the contrary, I found it to be very engaging (pun intended). I could very much relate to the three, quite extreme, characters, going so far as to label myself as 25% Madeline Hanna (for only biological and naivety/optimistic reasons), 40% Leonard Bankhead and 35% Mitchell Grammaticus. I felt that the book had very little to do with the actual marriage plot described in the beginning and touched upon by Mitchell at the end of the book (er the actual "marriage" part in the book even seemed irrelevant to me, at the end of it all) and way more to do with the anxiety inducing mystery surrounding our individual fates, how romance is intertwined with the struggle to make sense of it, and how very different people who have the same questions and each approach and deal with it all.

I trailed off in search of the Madeline Hanna referenced A Lover's Discourse by Roland Barthes along with apparently every other New Yorker who read the novel (deduced from the unfortunate reality that the book was out of stock in every local bookstore). I resorted to picking up another Barthes selection (only because the synopsis said the book cited 'both Beethoven and Goldfinger'- which I took as a sign -yes, a sign from a man who wrote about signs (!), albeit different types of signs- since I have just completed a film about Beethoven and am setting off to research a story about the life of composer John Barry). Last-minutely ditching the discounted copy of Madness and Civilization, out of 50% fear that I'd appear like an amateur-existentialist- NYU student to the cashier and 50% not wanting to become even more distraught than I already am on the world's slow and steady disintegration, I left the Strand Bookstore on a lonely Saturday evening with a sufficiently eclectic combination of Zone One, Image Music Text and Cocteau, Frances Steemguller's biography on the legendary French visionary. Pas mal for a "lazy" weekend.

It's now 11:45 pm and I have about 3 hours of work ahead of me, so I better get to it. I just can't resist turning back to Whitehead's story every now and then... I will leave you with my favorite line so far from the book:

"Even angels are animals."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Saddle Is the New Black

All saddle everything...

That was the color of my new computer case- "saddle". It's otherwise known as caramel, camel or brown. I don't mind saddle except it rouses suppressed anti-Western pseudo-Electra complex I had with my father as a teen who, as a true Central Mexican, was obsessed with ranch life, horses and all things cattle related.

As you can see below, I won my last Robinson Golluber scarf Ebay auction.... Okay, so maybe I just begged the owner if I could buy it for $5- nonetheless, I absolutely love this scarf. I even threw some sea salt caramels in there to chew on during crunch time. Giddy up!

Update: New saddle colored shoes for the new winter frontier! Yee-haw.

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I'm an LA transplant now living in Brooklyn. I develop film projects by day, write at night, and have a dangerous predilection for vintage Robinson Golluber scarves- this blog serves as a tiny window to everything else I do when I'm not satisfying those first three passions. I'm trying to blog more and tweet less @annabelleqv. What about you?


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