PX92: Hypnotic Tales

(August 2, 2021)

Hypnotic Tales by Richard Sala (213x276mm) OK, I seem to be digressing from the putative subject matter of this blog series more and more… I originally planned on focusing hard on the Raw period of comics (so, 1978-89… ish), and the artists around Raw, really. I wasn’t going to do anything newer than 1990, and … Continue reading PX92: Hypnotic Tales

July Music

(August 1, 2021)

Music I’ve bought in July. I think this is the least amount of stuff I’ve bought in a one month period… probably ever? I’ve been busy (and listening to old music (i.e., from 2020)). But I did discover one thing that really made me feel… er… out of touch. That is, the Tiny Mix Tapes … Continue reading July Music

PX Stuff

(August 1, 2021)

Devin and Gary Go Outside This is a CD by Devin Flynn and Gary Panter, published by Picturebox, apparently. It’s far out. This blog post is part of the Punk Comix series.

PX80: World War 3 Illustrated #1

(July 31, 2021)

World War 3 Illustrated #1 edited by Seth Tobocman, Peter Kuper and Christof Kohlhofer (202x270mm) When starting this Raw-focused blog series, I wondered whether I should do some World War 3 Illustrated, too – it was another anthology started in New York around the same time, and with as much claim on the phrase “punk … Continue reading PX80: World War 3 Illustrated #1

PX86: Everything in the World

(July 30, 2021)

Everything in the World by Lynda Barry (230x149mm) “Love the hurly ding-dong.”!? Anyway, it’s been fun reading these early Lynda Barry books chronologically – I sorta knew that her style had changed a lot during her first (say) five years… but now we’re kinda getting near to the style she was going to use when … Continue reading PX86: Everything in the World

PX86: Hercules Amongst the North Americans

(July 29, 2021)

Hercules Amongst the North Americans by Mark Marek (218x279mm) Marek’s previous book was published by a New York design firm… but now “new wave” comics is starting to become a thing, commercially, so Penguin dips their toes into the waters with this book. Wow. That’s the most accurate map of the US ever. I like … Continue reading PX86: Hercules Amongst the North Americans

PX81: The Previous Future

(July 28, 2021)

The Previous Future edited by Pete Friedrich (215x275mm) This is published by Look Mom, Comics – the same people who published Psycho Comics. So I wasn’t going to cover this magazine in this blog series, but I had already bought it, and the cover looks pretty intriguing… so let’s give it a go. Oh, well: … Continue reading PX81: The Previous Future

PX87: Buzzbomb

(July 27, 2021)

Buzzbomb by Kaz (280x380mm) OK, here’s my deepest, darkest secret: I’m not really much of a Kaz fan. So I haven’t read this book since it was published, and I pretty much forgot that it existed – otherwise I would have covered it in the Fantagraphics blog series. So: This is a big (Raw-sized) saddle-stitched … Continue reading PX87: Buzzbomb

PX Stuff

(July 26, 2021)

Spy vs Spy by by John Zorn with a cover by Mark Beyer (1989). It’s Zorn doing hardcore/jazz versions of Ornette Coleman stuff. It’s fun! This blog post is part of the Punk Comix series.

PX84: Raw #6: The Graphix Magazine That Overestimates The Taste Of The American Public

(July 25, 2021)

Raw #6: The Graphix Magazine That Overestimates The Taste Of The American Public edited by Françoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman (269x359mm) This is it: This is the first issue of Raw I read, and I was 15, and I thought it was the most amazing thing ever in the history of ever. Sure; I’d read … Continue reading PX84: Raw #6: The Graphix Magazine That Overestimates The Taste Of The American Public

PX Stuff

(July 24, 2021)

Mark Beyer screen print. This blog post is part of the Punk Comix series.

PX88: Childhood is Hell

(July 23, 2021)

Childhood is Hell by Matt Groening (228x228mm) I’m slightly fascinated by the relentless drive towards mainstream (i.e., bookstore) respectability for basically all the books I’m covering in this blog series. In the pre-mainstream era, there was a certain freedom with formats – mostly stapled things, and often oddball (too large/too small) formats. This is a … Continue reading PX88: Childhood is Hell

PX81: Boys & Girls Grow Up #2-4

(July 22, 2021)

Boys & Girls Grow Up #2-4 edited by Tom Campagnoli and Amy Crehore (216x280mm) I’m not quite sure where I happened onto these comics… I feel… I found them in a TAKE THEM AWAY WE HAVE TO GET RID OF THEM box at a comic book store. But those may be false memories. These are … Continue reading PX81: Boys & Girls Grow Up #2-4

PX88: Hard-Boiled Defective Stories

(July 21, 2021)

Hard-Boiled Defective Stories by Charles Burns (229x305mm) Pantheon had released only a handful of comics by this time: The Life in Hell collections, Maus I and the Read Yourself Raw collection. That is, their taste level was impeccable. Still, I remember happening upon this in a bookstore in 1988, and I was kinda… surprised? It’s … Continue reading PX88: Hard-Boiled Defective Stories

PX84: Kromalaffing

(July 20, 2021)

Kromalaffing edited by Michael Merrill (179x267mm) This is a catalogue: From February 4 to 25 of that year, Michael Merrill curated a gallery show called “ChromaZone/Chromatique Presents Kromalaffing” at Toronto’s Grünwald Gallery. The exhibition presented experimental and humorous comic artwork from American, Canadian and European artists. It was in 1984, and I think it had … Continue reading PX84: Kromalaffing

PX79: I’m in Training to be Tall and Blonde

(July 19, 2021)

I’m in Training to be Tall and Blonde by Nicole Hollander (210x137mm) I thought it might be amusing to include a few things that’s sorta “adjacent” to the putative subject matter of this blog series. Nicole Hollander was a friend of Lynda Barry’s, started working a few years earlier (Hollander 76; Barry 79), appeared in … Continue reading PX79: I’m in Training to be Tall and Blonde


(July 19, 2021)

All the intertubes were atwitter about the Oda Speakers last year. The concept is pretty odd: You buy these speakers, and then you buy a subscription to a series of concerts. You can only listen to these concerts on these speakers, and the speakers don’t really do much else. They do have a line in, … Continue reading Oda

A Cerebus-Inspired Roundtable on Sexism in Comics

(July 18, 2021)

I was reading World War Illustrated 3 #16 when I happened upon an article by Trina Robbins that vaguely intersected with two recent subject matters on this blog: Cerebus and Art Spiegelman. Cerebus had raped Astoria, and Dave Sim had invited women to write in with their reactions. Robbins was impressed by the responses, so … Continue reading A Cerebus-Inspired Roundtable on Sexism in Comics

PX Stuff

(July 18, 2021)

Amy + Jordan figure set published by Dark Horse in 1986 from a design by Mark Beyer. They’re soft and quite poseable – kinda like… silly puttyish, but retaining the shape? Probably lots of phthalates. I think they’re kinda cool – they look so much like Beyer’s artwork. This blog post is part of the … Continue reading PX Stuff

Comics Daze

(July 18, 2021)

It’s a nice afternoon, so I thought I’d try reading out on the balcony… Sō Percussion, Dawn Upshaw, and Gil Kalish: Caroline Shaw: Narrow Sea 17:27: Le château des animaux vol 2 by Delep & Dorison (Shadow Zone) Oh, so this is basically a riff on Animal Farm? The level of anthropomorphism here is interesting: … Continue reading Comics Daze

PX98: Burning Monster

(July 17, 2021)

Burning Monster by Gary Panter (216x160mm) This is a collection of stuff from 1983, but published by Le Dernier Cri in 1998. I think it’s all screenprinted? It feels that way, at least. It’s a stylish little book, with fold-in flaps and everything… Some of the pages look a bit like sketchbook work, but many … Continue reading PX98: Burning Monster

That Range, Tho

(July 17, 2021)

I thought I’d move to the balcony for some comics reading, so I wanted to set up a bluetooth speaker there, and so I opened up the bt panel on my laptop: And on and on and on. There’s about 60 devices in the list, and most of them are called “Tier” and “lime”, so … Continue reading That Range, Tho

PX08: Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@꩜🟊!

(July 16, 2021)

Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@꩜🟊! by Art Spiegelman (260x363mm) Man, that’s a bad cover… Well, the front endpapers look OK… But then… yuck! OK, I should probably explain what’s with all this kvetching. I just read the original version of this book, and it was such a thrilling book – a … Continue reading PX08: Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@꩜🟊!

PX77: Breakdowns: From Maus to Now

(July 15, 2021)

Breakdowns: From Maus to Now by Art Spiegelman (260x360mm) I got this just a week ago, and I’m really excited to be fondling it now. I mean reading it! Reading it! Wow, the colour separation thing continues over the front endpapers, too… must have been so much work to do. Anyway, this is a collection … Continue reading PX77: Breakdowns: From Maus to Now

PX96: Amy + Jordan

(July 14, 2021)

Amy + Jordan by Mark Beyer (285x135mm) Beyer seldom talks directly to the reader, so this was a change. Anyway, this book reprints Amy + Jordan strips from 89 to 91. It’s pretty essential Amy + Jordan. It seems like publishers see Beyer’s work and they think “hey! let’s make an art object!” The focus … Continue reading PX96: Amy + Jordan

PX87: School is Hell

(July 13, 2021)

School is Hell by Matt Groening (229x229mm) Hi! Welcome back after that long, long pause in blog posts… what’s that you say? You didn’t notice any pause? Indeed! I was doing these with over a month’s lead time, and then I didn’t blog for almost a month, and now I’m back. Confused? Sure. Me too! … Continue reading PX87: School is Hell


(July 13, 2021)

Well, that didn’t take that long? Hm… Oh, I started this stretch on 2021-05-27, so it’s a month and a half? But at least the number of bugs actually decreased this cycle: Yes, you guessed it – it’s time for another one of these posts about Emacs bugs where I’m totally boasting while pretending that … Continue reading 9×10%

PX Stuff

(July 12, 2021)

Four postcards by Joost Swarte printed by Françoise Mouly. This is kinda a random ebay find: I was just searching for stuff and then this popped up, and I couldn’t resist it. OK, perhaps I should just include all the postcards here, because they’re kinda nice: Heh heh. The back of the cards all look … Continue reading PX Stuff

Comics Daze

(July 11, 2021)

It’s a sunny Sunday today, so what better way to spend it than on the couch, reading comics… Tuxedomoon: Live At The Palms (1978) 13:54: Crash Site by Nathan Cowdry (Fantagraphics) Oh, is this some kind of post Nick Drnaso thing? It has his colour scheme (which I hate), and his incompetent drawing style. And … Continue reading Comics Daze

PX05: Beyer’s Beasts

(July 11, 2021)

Beyer’s Beasts by Mark Beyer (148x223mm) This is published by Dark Horse, and I wonder what was going on there for a brief second: They did this, the Amy & Jordan figures, and the Jimbo action figures – and then nothing more. (And nothing in this area before this.) So this is a stationary set … Continue reading PX05: Beyer’s Beasts

PX03: The Asshole

(July 10, 2021)

The Asshole by Gary Panter (105x160mm) This was originally published as a photocopied mini by Panter in 1979 – what I have here is the reprint he did in 2003 with stiff cardboard covers. And I seem to have bought it in 2008? Possibly? Or later, I guess. I’m not sure I would have guessed … Continue reading PX03: The Asshole

PX86: Chemical Imbalance #4

(July 9, 2021)

Chemical Imbalance #4 edited by Mike McGonigal (215x275mm) I was so impressed by #6 of this magazine – it was basically like a music version of The Comics Journal (format wise) – that I got this issue, too. #6 had a bunch of comics relevant to this blog series. But this is a very different … Continue reading PX86: Chemical Imbalance #4

PX91: Cheap Novelties: The Pleasures of Urban Decay

(July 8, 2021)

Cheap Novelties: The Pleasures of Urban Decay by Ben Katchor (202x193mm) By this point, Penguin had taken over publishing Raw, so this is a kinda stealthy Raw One-Shot – it’s not presented as such on the front cover. This is a collection of Katchor’s alt-weekly comic strip Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer. (Which isn’t mentioned … Continue reading PX91: Cheap Novelties: The Pleasures of Urban Decay

PX Stuff

(July 7, 2021)

Painting onto transparent acrylic by Mark Beyer. This blog post is part of the Punk Comix series.

PX83: Raw #5: The Graphix Magazine of Abstract Depressionism

(July 6, 2021)

Raw #5: The Graphix Magazine of Abstract Depressionism edited by Françoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman (265x360mm) The Raw editorials started out pretty … er … abstract, but we’re solidly in chatty territory now. We’re told that the Pascal Doury piece in this issue has been censored – all the penises are replaced by white boxes, … Continue reading PX83: Raw #5: The Graphix Magazine of Abstract Depressionism

PX89: Flashmarks

(July 5, 2021)

Flashmarks by Carel Moiseiwitsch (212x274mm) I covered this comic in the Fantagraphics Floppies blog series, too, but I couldn’t do a “punk comics” series without Moiseiwitsch, now could I? I see that I drew some comparisons between this work and Sue Coe in that blog post, and… I totally agree with myself. But it does … Continue reading PX89: Flashmarks

PX83: Big Ideas

(July 4, 2021)

Big Ideas by Lynda Barry (216x139mm) I’ve got the reprint edition (from HarperCollins) of this book, but I assume the contents are pretty much the same as the Real Comet Press edition? Hm… “The Fun House”? I don’t have that book! Ebay shopping break! *two minutes pass* Yay! Got a copy. And I thought I’d … Continue reading PX83: Big Ideas

PX99: We’re Depressed

(July 3, 2021)

We’re Depressed by Mark Beyer (327x330mm) This is a physically pretty unique book – it’s square and has these very thick pages – like a children’s book, I guess. It’s published by Water Row Books, who’ve done a bunch of high end publications. Bruno Richard does a… unique… introduction to the book (which is a … Continue reading PX99: We’re Depressed

PX86: Picture Story 2

(July 2, 2021)

Picture Story 2 edited by Ben Katchor (214x276mm) Picture Story Magazine #1 was published by Katchor in 1978… and just eight years later, we have the second issue. This is a 64 page magazine sized book with cardboard covers and thick interior pages. Jerry Moriarty does the mysterious wrap-around cover. We start off with some … Continue reading PX86: Picture Story 2

PX99: Big Baby

(July 1, 2021)

Big Baby by Charles Burns (235x312mm) Oh, the edition I have has a glued-in signature sheet, as well as a screenprinted print. Anyway, this reprints all of the Big Baby things – starting with the first two-pager from ram #5. It’s definitely the creepiest one, and Burns says (in the back of this book) that … Continue reading PX99: Big Baby

June Music

(July 1, 2021)

Music I’ve bought in June. Hm… anything special this month? Nope, just looks like the normal mixture of new stuff and old stuff. One album that stood out in particular was the new one by Mia Doi Todd: It’s very pretty. Hm… Oh, yeah, there’s also a handful of things I got for my Punk … Continue reading June Music

PX Stuff

(June 30, 2021)

Drawing in ink and gouache? on paper by Mark Beyer. I remember where I got this one – it was at the Lambiek comics store, and it was the most expensive thing I had ever bought. I was a student, and I really couldn’t afford it, but I had to have it. I think. Or … Continue reading PX Stuff

PX86: Raw One-Shot #5: Big Baby: Curse of the Molemen

(June 29, 2021)

Raw One-Shot #5: Big Baby: Curse of the Molemen by Charles Burns (158x236mm) The end papers set the scene: We’re in a 50s child’s world. Well, that’s nice! “To my Big Baby – Jeffrey”. Or… is it? (I’m not sure whether snapping pics like this is an invasion of privacy or not, so I’ll just … Continue reading PX86: Raw One-Shot #5: Big Baby: Curse of the Molemen

Comics Daze

(June 28, 2021)

Today’s a nice day for comics. It’s kinda… grey… Psychic TV: Dreams Less Sweet 14:37: The Gift by Zoe Maeve (Conundrum) Love the artwork here… … and it’s an intriguingly told fantasy about what the tsarinelles’ (that’s totally the correct word for “czar children”) lives (and deaths) were like. But… I just found myself annoyed … Continue reading Comics Daze

PX80: Slash volume 3 number 4

(June 28, 2021)

Slash volume 3 number 4 edited by Claude Bessy and others (290x380mm) I thought it might be fun to have a look at a random issue of Slash – it is the birthplace of Gary Panter’s Jimbo, after all. Slash was published in LA, so we get a bunch of local in-jokes, like labelling pics … Continue reading PX80: Slash volume 3 number 4

PX81: Psycho Comics #1-2

(June 27, 2021)

Psycho Comics #1-2 edited by Daniel Clowes (216x280mm) What’s this then? Surely this book doesn’t fit the theme of this blog series? No, it doesn’t, but I’m including it for two reasons: It’s from New York in 1981, and, er, I kinda bought these by mistake recently. Both excellent reasons! It’s also a contrast to … Continue reading PX81: Psycho Comics #1-2

PX82: Dead Stories

(June 26, 2021)

Dead Stories by Mark Beyer (216x280mm) The odd thing about this book is that it looks so normal. It’s standard magazine-sized, with a heavier paper stock and white, matte paper. Beyer thanks Françoise Mouly, and she did have a printing press, but this surely can’t have been printed there? It’s so… professional. This copy is … Continue reading PX82: Dead Stories

First Post-Vax Festival

(June 26, 2021)

It was the awesum.

Second Post-Vax Show

(June 25, 2021)

It’s Stian Westerhus. It was the best ever. This was also nice. “I can’t bear it any longer!” I know the feeling. But it’s over! Sort of! Kind of! In some parts of the world! Except it’s not.

PX87: Work is Hell

(June 25, 2021)

Work is Hell by Matt Groening (231x230mm) I seem to remember this sort of thing becoming a tradition in Life in Hell books? Anyway, this is the second Life in Hell collection, and it seems to be more considered commercially. We get an introduction to all the characters, and the characters now definitely have names. … Continue reading PX87: Work is Hell

PX82: Raw #4: The Graphix Magazine For Your Bomb Shelter’s Coffee Table

(June 24, 2021)

Raw #4: The Graphix Magazine For Your Bomb Shelter’s Coffee Table edited by Françoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman (265x360mm) This was the earliest issue of Raw I had as a teenager – but it wasn’t the first issue I laid my hands on. I think I started buying them with the next issue? And then … Continue reading PX82: Raw #4: The Graphix Magazine For Your Bomb Shelter’s Coffee Table

First Post-Vax Show

(June 23, 2021)

It was teh awesome. Guro Moe, Håvard Skaset and Helge Sten. I AM BACK

PX Stuff

(June 23, 2021)

Mark Beyer silk screened poster. This blog post is part of the Punk Comix series.

PX84: Bad News #2

(June 22, 2021)

Bad News #2 edited by Mark Newgarden and Paul Karasik (270x390mm) The first issue of this magazine was published by the School of Visual Arts, but this issue was self-published by the editors. It’s in a similar format to Raw, but is a bit taller, which I guess means that it’s in tabloid format? It’s … Continue reading PX84: Bad News #2

PX17: 2016-17

(June 21, 2021)

2016-17 by Mark Beyer (144x210mm) Huh. Why do I have two copies of this? Oops. This is published by Le Dernier Cri, and I’m assuming this is … sketchbook stuff from Beyer? The covers are screen-printed and the interiors are offset, I think. This artwork is a lot rougher than Beyer’s usually meticulous style, at … Continue reading PX17: 2016-17

PX81: Raw #3: The Graphix Magazine That Lost Its Faith In Nihilism

(June 20, 2021)

Raw #3: The Graphix Magazine That Lost Its Faith In Nihilism edited by Françoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman (268x360mm) Huh. “Half-Raw (issue 3.5), a tabloid issue”? I don’t think that ever happened… Anyway, the first issue of Raw was stunning, and the second was a let-down (relatively speaking). One problem it had was just pacing … Continue reading PX81: Raw #3: The Graphix Magazine That Lost Its Faith In Nihilism

Mysteries of Communication

(June 20, 2021)

Dear Web, since the world is opening up again, I thought it might be a good idea to spruce up the Concerts in Oslo apps for IOS and Android. Nothing major – just fix some minor layout issues and stuff like that. The Apple App Store submission was accepted within 12 hours (very nice), but … Continue reading Mysteries of Communication

PX86: Raw One-Shot #6: X

(June 19, 2021)

X by Sue Coe with Judith Moore and Art Spiegelman (158x236mm) Sue Coe had previously illustrated How to Commit Suicide in South Africa, but this is also written by her. From the title you may have guessed that this book is about Malcolm X… but most of Coe’s pages don’t touch directly upon him. But … Continue reading PX86: Raw One-Shot #6: X

The Only Evo Benchmark That Matters

(June 19, 2021)

I while back, I was rather impressed with the new M1 chip from Apple, so I wondered what Intel’s response to all that was going to be. (My guess was “not much”.) I mean… the Apple laptop was more than twice as fast as my Lenovo Carbon X1, and that was just pitiful. (On the … Continue reading The Only Evo Benchmark That Matters

PX87: Chemical Imbalance #6

(June 18, 2021)

Chemical Imbalance #6 edited by Mike McGonigal (200x267mm) What’s this then? Isn’t this a blog series about punk comics, not punk music? Yes, but I’d thought it’d be fun to take a look at some of the more prominent zines of the time and see what’s up. So I went ebaying, and this was the … Continue reading PX87: Chemical Imbalance #6

PX Stuff

(June 17, 2021)

Mark Beyer screenprint. This blog post is part of the Punk Comix series.

PX89: Corpsemeat 2

(June 16, 2021)

Corpsemeat 2 edited by Savage Pencil (300x405mm) This is a huge, all-screenprinted 24 page extravaganza – the printing is really superb. And since it’s screenprinted, they’ve helpfully included sheets of paper in between all the pages to keep the pages from melding into each other, as paint has a tendency to do. About half the … Continue reading PX89: Corpsemeat 2

Facebook Continues Its War Against The Web

(June 16, 2021)

I just got jabbed again today, so I thought it was time to start going out to catch some concerts again. It’s been just a … year … since the last time, and meanwhile my Concerts in Oslo concert listing web scraper aggregation service hasn’t received a lot of love. I mean – everything’s been … Continue reading Facebook Continues Its War Against The Web

PX87: Love is Hell

(June 15, 2021)

Love is Hell by Matt Groening (230x230mm) This is so weird – I’ve got the British edition of the expanded Pantheon edition of the Caplan collection. What’s so weird about it is that it’s from 1987, when I was 19, and I could have sworn that I had this book when I was like 16. … Continue reading PX87: Love is Hell

PX Stuff: Gary Panter in Slash

(June 14, 2021)

Somebody has scanned and uploaded the entire run of Slash Magazine to the Internet Archive. So I thought it might be fun to pick out the Panter pages from that huge PDF and see whether there were any differences between the various editions of Jimbo (in Paradise) and the first printing here… and there is, … Continue reading PX Stuff: Gary Panter in Slash

PX04: Jimbo in Purgatory

(June 13, 2021)

Jimbo in Purgatory by Gary Panter (314x445mm) This huge book took Panter a few years to make – started in 1997, and the introduction was written in 2001: And it’s obvious that Panter’s put a lot of work into this. It’s Panter’s most intricate work, certainly… But it’s totally not my kind of thing? Panter … Continue reading PX04: Jimbo in Purgatory

PX06: Jimbo’s Inferno

(June 12, 2021)

Jimbo’s Inferno by Gary Panter (285x388mm) I didn’t mean to turn this blog series into Jimbo All The Time (it’s been more than a week now?), but once I started on the first Jimbo book, it seemed natural to just look at them all, since they connect in various ways. Mostly by being partial reprints … Continue reading PX06: Jimbo’s Inferno

PX95: Jimbo

(June 11, 2021)

Jimbo by Gary Panter (168x242mm) A Simpsons comics publishing entity had been established a few years earlier (Bongo Comics), and Matt Groening apparently thought that was a good setup for publishing some of his friends, so the Zongo imprint was established. (It’s probably a good idea to keep these comics somewhat separate from the Simpsons … Continue reading PX95: Jimbo

PX Stuff

(June 10, 2021)

Jimbo action figure designed by Gary Panter. This was produced by Dark Horse Comics, of all people. And… it’s a bit odd? I mean, Jimbo was never that swole in the comics. Has he been pumping iron and going on the roids? And I know you’re wondering: Yes, there’s a penis under the loin cloth. … Continue reading PX Stuff

My New Horticulture Blog

(June 10, 2021)

For some reason, I didn’t take care of my plants on the balcony last year at all. (Did anything happen in 2020? I forget.) So even the weed (not the fun kind) died and I just ripped it all out: Blank slate! So it’s been kinda nice weather here lately, so I got a couple … Continue reading My New Horticulture Blog

Comics Daze

(June 9, 2021)

It’s a beautiful day… a beautiful day to say on the couch and do nothing but read comics. 13 & God: Own Your Ghost 12:45: Girl in the World by Caroline Cash (Silver Sprocket) Silver Sprocket publishes a lot of good stuff, but they’re kinda variable? This one is brilliant, though – it’s got such … Continue reading Comics Daze

PX21: Jimbo: Adventures in Paradise

(June 9, 2021)

Jimbo: Adventures in Paradise by Gary Panter (230x305mm) This is a reprint of the Pantheon (1988) edition of this book by New York Review Comics. They wisely didn’t use the cover of that book, though, but went with the inner cover of the 1982 edition. We get an introduction by artist Ed Ruscha… … but … Continue reading PX21: Jimbo: Adventures in Paradise

PX88: Jimbo: Adventures in Paradise

(June 8, 2021)

Jimbo: Adventures in Paradise by Gary Panter (230x305mm) This Jimbo book is published by Pantheon Books in a less extravagant size than the previous two incarnations. And instead of being saddle-stitched, it’s squarebound, and both of those things make this seem like a more serious, less wild publication. Perhaps it’s to counter that that they’ve … Continue reading PX88: Jimbo: Adventures in Paradise

PX83: Jimbo: A Newwave Comic Art

(June 7, 2021)

Jimbo: A Newwave Comic Art by Gary Panter (260x364mm) This is a Japanese edition of the first Jimbo book, and was apparently published the year after. I don’t know what the story behind this was – somebody in Japan saw the book and were so enthused that they had to do an edition straight away? … Continue reading PX83: Jimbo: A Newwave Comic Art

PX82: Raw One-Shot #1: Jimbo

(June 6, 2021)

Raw One-Shot #1: Jimbo by Gary Panter (278x368mm) Let’s do a Jimbo mini-series in this blog series: The rest of the week we’ll be looking at various Jimbo permutations. The cover here is corrugated cardboard with a coloured inlay glued to it. And I guessed by looking at it on the intertubes that it was … Continue reading PX82: Raw One-Shot #1: Jimbo

PX Stuff

(June 5, 2021)

Painting on acrylic by Mark Beyer. This blog post is part of the Punk Comix series.

PX84: Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Coloring Book

(June 4, 2021)

Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Coloring Book by Lynda Barry (278x355mm) I hope Steve liked the book. Is that an official designation? Anyway, I don’t think the “coloring book” thing is meant to be taken seriously, but this is a huge black-and-white book with drawings of naked ladies and Barry writing about her childhood … Continue reading PX84: Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Coloring Book

PX03: Panter Versus Beyer

(June 3, 2021)

Panter Versus Beyer by Gary Panter and Mark Beyer (322x465mm) I guess you could call this a portfolio? It’s got four folded sheets of paper in a slightly larger cover/folder. Each sheet of paper is printed on both sides – usually with two separate images on the “outer” side… … and one larger image on … Continue reading PX03: Panter Versus Beyer

PX83: Mark Marek’s New Wave Comics

(June 2, 2021)

Mark Marek’s New Wave Comics by Mark Marek (208x270mm) Mark Marek explains how this book came to be published. It’s striking how few of the books I’m covering in this blog series are published by… well… publishers. The alternative comic book market wasn’t huge at the time, but publishers like Fantagraphics did exist, and book … Continue reading PX83: Mark Marek’s New Wave Comics

PX79: Okupant X

(June 1, 2021)

Okupant X by Gary Panter (140x216mm) This is a most curious book. It was published in 1979 by Diana’s Bimonthly Press, with a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. It’s offset-printed (I think; very shiny ink) and stapled. I tried googling the publisher, and I’m finding things like: And: But nothing that says … Continue reading PX79: Okupant X

May Music

(June 1, 2021)

Music I’ve bought in May. I’ve got virtually no new music this week – I’ve been listening mostly to stuff I bought last year. So behind the times.

PX00: Lost Faces

(May 31, 2021)

Lost Faces by Mark Beyer (138x122mm) This little 12 page booklet (apparently drawn in 1995) comes in a little sleeve, making the book feel a little more luxurious. Amy & Jordan have gotten a bit chunkier? Other than that, everything is as usual: It all ends as well as you’d suppose. This was published in … Continue reading PX00: Lost Faces

PX83: Raw One-Shot #2: How to Commit Suicide in South Africa

(May 30, 2021)

Raw One-Shot #2: How to Commit Suicide in South Africa by Sue Coe and Holly Metz (268x360mm) I’ve had this book for a few years now, but I’ve never read it – I thought it would just be too depressing. Spoilers: It is. We start off with a poem by Bernadine… … but then the … Continue reading PX83: Raw One-Shot #2: How to Commit Suicide in South Africa

PX Stuff

(May 29, 2021)

Painting onto cel plastic by Mark Beyer. This blog post is part of the Punk Comix series.

PX80: Raw #2: The Graphix Magazine for Damned Intellectuals

(May 28, 2021)

Raw #2 edited by Françoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman (268x360mm) I love that cover by Joost Swarte. I had a subscription to Raw, but when they cancelled Raw after #8, they sent me this poster as a substitute for the remaining issue(s): The poster has a much better tag line than Raw #2: “Putting the … Continue reading PX80: Raw #2: The Graphix Magazine for Damned Intellectuals

PX81: Girls and Boys

(May 27, 2021)

Girls and Boys by Lynda Barry (218x139mm) My first exposure to Lynda Barry was in The Comics Journal #92: I was just fascinated by this, and I so wanted to read Ernie Pook’s Comeek. It’s not that these jokes are the funniest in the world (but they are funny) – it was the artwork. Her … Continue reading PX81: Girls and Boys

PX78: Picture Story Magazine #1

(May 26, 2021)

Picture Story Magazine #1 edited by Ben Katchor (215x276mm) A lot of the comics I’m covering in this blog series I’ve had since I was a teenager – but more obscure ones, like this book, I’ve picked up over the last few years while thinking about doing this blog series. (Believe it or not, picking … Continue reading PX78: Picture Story Magazine #1


(May 26, 2021)

Status update on my Emacs Bug Chasing Project: It’s been three month since the last post in this series, and that’s because… I took a few months off. I had meant to take a vacation lasting just a couple of weeks, but I have a very one track mind: Either I’m doing This Thing, or … Continue reading 8×10%

PX84: Raw One-Shot #4: Invasion of the Elvis Zombies

(May 25, 2021)

Raw One-Shot #4: Invasion of the Elvis Zombies by Gary Panter (165x233mm) This was published in 1984, and I was 16 at the time. I remember being very puzzled by the book: I’d read a couple of issues of Raw at the time, but this was … something else? First of all, the format: It’s … Continue reading PX84: Raw One-Shot #4: Invasion of the Elvis Zombies

PX84: Raw One-Shot #3: Jack Survives

(May 20, 2021)

Raw One-Shot #3: Jack Survives by Jerry Moriarty (268x358mm) This is a book I wasn’t able to find when I was a teenager – I didn’t score a copy until about a decade ago… But I’d seen Moriarty’s pages in Raw, and I’d seen pics of the book itself on the interwebses. But I didn’t … Continue reading PX84: Raw One-Shot #3: Jack Survives

PX83: Bad News #1: World Ends

(May 19, 2021)

Bad News #1: World Ends possibly edited by Paul Karasik (210x260mm) According to comics.org, Bad News was: Started as a SVA class project assigned by Art Spiegelman in order to give his students some practical experience. Mark Newgarden confirms in The Comics Journal #161, page 84: KELLY; You used to edit a comic anthology, Bad … Continue reading PX83: Bad News #1: World Ends

PX Stuff

(May 18, 2021)

Painting on glass by Mark Beyer. Beyer’s done a bunch of paintings onto acrylics (“plexiglass”) and other kinds of transparent plastics, but this is the only one I’ve seen that’s painted onto real glass. I had this one mounted to that you could see the back, too: Neat, eh? The framer said she never wanted … Continue reading PX Stuff

PX79: Work and Turn

(May 17, 2021)

Work and Turn by Art Spiegelman (75x82mm) This curious little book (and it’s very small – 7.5x8cm) was presumably printed by Mouly and Spiegelman on their own press? It’s got one panel per page, but only on the right-hand page… I think it’s about sex and dancing? Some of the pages repeat… … like this … Continue reading PX79: Work and Turn

The Twits

(May 16, 2021)

Over on the movie blog, I’m been amusing myself by formatting the director name(s) in the first image of each post in a way that’ll look consistent on Twitter – taking Twitter’s cropping/fixed-width thing in account. I know! So vital. Example: See how the text is the same size, visually, in every image? Which is … Continue reading The Twits

PX80: Raw #1: The Graphix Magazine of Postponed Suicides

(May 16, 2021)

Raw #1 edited by Françoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman (268x370mm) The immediately striking thing about Raw is its size: 27x36cm (or 10.5″ x 14.12″). It’s not quite tabloid size, which would be 11 x 17 inches, so quite a lot higher – the form factor is slightly taller than a European album, but larger. I … Continue reading PX80: Raw #1: The Graphix Magazine of Postponed Suicides

PX80: Ralph Records no. 5

(May 15, 2021)

Ralph Records no. 5 by Ralph Records (41x91mm) What? Wasn’t this supposed to be a blog series about comics? What’s this then? A record catalogue? Indeed, because it has this: The Rozz-Tox Manifesto. This may or may not be the first place Gary Panter’s manifesto was published. This page, for instance, says that it was … Continue reading PX80: Ralph Records no. 5

Punk Comix

(May 14, 2021)

I grew up on a steady diet of Franco-Belgian comics, Carl Barks and various sundries. But perhaps it was reading my first issue of Raw Magazine that made me a comics fanatic, and I’ve been fascinated with that particular time and place in comics history ever since. Raw, to me, represents something qualitatively different from … Continue reading Punk Comix

Comics Daze

(May 9, 2021)

It’s a grey, rainy Sunday… perhaps today is a good day to spend reading comics? It is? Great! Zonal: Wrecked 12:29: In Pictopia by Alan Moore, Donald Simpson and others (Fantagraphics) This is that story from Anything Goes, the Fantagraphics benefit series, right? (Somebody had sued The Comics Journal because they were mad about something … Continue reading Comics Daze

Renegades & Aardvarks Redux

(May 6, 2021)

Let’s start off with a list of all the comics, and then there’s a summary after that. Cerebus (1977) #1-25 Cerebus (1981) #26-50 Michael T. Gilbert’s Strange Brew (1982) #1 Neil the Horse Comics and Stories (1983) #1-15 Journey (1983) #1-14 Cerebus (1983) #51-80 normalman (1984) #1-12 (and annual) Ms. Tree (1984) #10-50 A-V in … Continue reading Renegades & Aardvarks Redux

A&R1990: Cerebus #139-150

(May 5, 2021)

Cerebus (1990) #139-150 by Dave Sim and Gerhard So, Renegade Press is now a thing of the past, so all I have to do in this blog series is about 150 issues of Cerebus, and then Cerebus Archives and Glamourpuss, and… Let’s get to it. Sim starts off with a jibe at people who didn’t … Continue reading A&R1990: Cerebus #139-150

A&R1988: Spiral Cage

(May 4, 2021)

Spiral Cage (1988) by Al Davison Here we are – the final Renegade Press comic. (It’s possible that other comics trickled out after this, but it’s the last #1, though.) And it’s a total outlier in the Renegade library: For one, it’s not a newsprint pamphlet – instead it’s a squarebound book with white paper: … Continue reading A&R1988: Spiral Cage

A&R1988: Starbikers

(May 3, 2021)

Starbikers (1988) #1 by Ronn Sutton Sutton writes an introduction and explains what this comic is: It’s a reprint of Starbikers stories that had appeared in the Vortex and Black Zeppelin anthologies. The reason for this reprint is that they were launching a new ongoing title – T-Minus-1 – that had Starbikers as the lead … Continue reading A&R1988: Starbikers

A&R1988: T-Minus 1

(May 2, 2021)

T-Minus 1 (1988) #1 by David Day, Ronn Sutton, Gene Day and Dan Day So this is basically yet another Day Brothers anthology (and Renegade had published more than a handful of thse)… but teaming up with Ronn Sutton this time around. We lead off with a Starbikers story (David Day inking Sutton), and … … Continue reading A&R1988: T-Minus 1

A&R1988: Tony Bravado, Trouble-Shooter

(May 1, 2021)

Tony Bravado, Trouble-Shooter (1988) #1 by Dave Darrigo, Steve LeBlanc and Louis Paradis You may remember Dave Darrigo from Wordsmith… or not. So here’s him with a couple of newcomers to comics. Let’s read the first three pages. Well… ouch? The artwork is very variable – Tony’s chin grows and shrinks in every panel. And… … Continue reading A&R1988: Tony Bravado, Trouble-Shooter

April Music

(May 1, 2021)

Music I’ve bought in April. What! It’s been another month? Time flies when… er… did I do anything at all this month? And I can’t really remember buying music according to some… idea… this month, either, so it’s just random stuff. Find of the month is Espen Reinertsen: I saw a live streaming thing of … Continue reading April Music

A&R1988: Suburban Nightmares

(April 30, 2021)

Suburban Nightmares (1988) #1-4 by Larry Hancock, Michael Cherkas and John van Bruggen One of the more successful (both commercially and critically) comics at Renegade was The Silent Invasion – so this is a spin-off off of that, sort of. That is, it’s the same creators, working in much the same milieu. And this was … Continue reading A&R1988: Suburban Nightmares

A&R1988: Trypto the Acid Dog

(April 29, 2021)

Trypto the Acid Dog (1988) #1 by Bill Mumy, Miguel Ferrer and Steve Leialoha Max Allan Collins (of Ms. Tree fame) writes the introduction here – which is very usual for Renegade. The vast majority of the books have little or no contextualisation… which I kinda like. So let’s skip the introduction and just start … Continue reading A&R1988: Trypto the Acid Dog

Elaine Lee Comics Redux

(April 29, 2021)

In my very humble opinion, Starstruck (by Elaine Lee and Michael William Kaluta) is one of the best things… ever… in any medium. But I hadn’t really sought out any of the other books that Lee had written, and I thought it might be fun to do that – while blogging about the experience. Here’s … Continue reading Elaine Lee Comics Redux

ELC1980: Starstruck

(April 29, 2021)

Starstruck by Elaine Lee with Susan Norfleet Lee & Dale Place, published by Broadway Play Publishing Inc. Time flies like a banana. The previous post in this blog series was half a year ago, but I kinda forgot to write the final post, since I got sidetracked there for a bit… (Oh, Here’s an explanation … Continue reading ELC1980: Starstruck

A&R1988: Cerebus #112-138

(April 28, 2021)

Cerebus (1988) #112-138 by Dave Sim & Gerhard Hey, it’s been a while since this blog series covered a block of Cerebus issues, and that’s because the bulk of the Renegade publications happened while Church & State (vol 2) was rolling. (And there’s only a handful more Renegade series to do after this post.) But … Continue reading A&R1988: Cerebus #112-138

A&R1987: Kilgore

(April 27, 2021)

Kilgore (1987) #1-4 by Brian B. Chin and Jesse Jarvis When I’m typing these blog posts (I wouldn’t call it “writing”), I generally do so after I’ve read the entire series I’m er typing about, but I do so as if I was typing in real time while reading? (Rare peek behind the scenes! Secrets … Continue reading A&R1987: Kilgore

A&R1987: Agent Unknown

(April 26, 2021)

Agent Unknown (1987) #1-3 by Robert Sodero, Dell Barras and others Man, that’s an amateurish-looking logo. But let’s read the first three pages. As usual in a Renegade series, there’s no contextualisation as to what we’re reading – my immediate thought upon seeing these pages was that this had to be a reprint of a … Continue reading A&R1987: Agent Unknown

A&R1987: Roscoe! The Dawg, Ace Detective

(April 25, 2021)

Roscoe! The Dawg, Ace Detective (1987) #1-4 by Martin Trengove and others Roscoe! The Dawg had appeared in various issues of Fox – the Australian anthology, but this is his first solo series. Let’s have a look at the first three pages: Yes, indeed, we’re in zany noir pastiche territory. I assumed that this was … Continue reading A&R1987: Roscoe! The Dawg, Ace Detective

A&R1987: Mechthings

(April 24, 2021)

Mechthings (1987) #1-4 by Brad W. Foster Oh, I remember him – Foster used to pop up in various small press anthologies all the time, and I like his artwork and zany humour. Well, the artwork is like I remembered it – it’s kinda… uhm… it reminds me of Howard Cruse (the stippling and the … Continue reading A&R1987: Mechthings

A&R1987: Ms. Tree’s 1950’s Three-Dimensional Crime

(April 23, 2021)

Ms. Tree’s 1950’s Three-Dimensional Crime (1987) #1 by Nick Alascia, Pete Morisi, Ray Zone and others OK, I’m up for some 3D Ms. Tree stories… sure… Oops. That didn’t turn out so good. But instead of that, Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty explain that they just don’t have the time to do a special, … Continue reading A&R1987: Ms. Tree’s 1950’s Three-Dimensional Crime

A&R1987: Robot Comics

(April 22, 2021)

Robot Comics (1987) #0 by Bob Burden Burden is, of course, most famous for the Flaming Carrot series, also published by Renegade. This is apparently a reprinting of a comic Burden had done in 1981. “Elecra-Fiction” is the name of the genre. Let’s read the opening spread: OK, so it’s prime Burden lunacy. The entire … Continue reading A&R1987: Robot Comics

A&R1987: Renegade Romance

(April 21, 2021)

Renegade Romance (1987) #1-2 edited by Deni Loubert with Trina Robbins Ah, these are comics I remember fondly from when I was a teenager, but I haven’t read them since then. That’s a nice pair of covers from the Hernandez brothers, isn’t it? As usual, I’m bewildered at how little hard selling is going on … Continue reading A&R1987: Renegade Romance

A&R1987: Shadows from the Grave

(April 20, 2021)

Shadows from the Grave (1987) #1-2 by Kevin McConnell, David Day and Dan Day I had the second issue of this as a teenager, but I never bothered getting the first one at the time, so I’ve got a bad feeling about this… Well, OK, the artwork by the Day Brothers is pretty nicely rendered … Continue reading A&R1987: Shadows from the Grave

A&R1987: Jacques Boivin’s Love Fantasy

(April 19, 2021)

Jacques Boivin’s Love Fantasy (1987) #1 by Jacques Boivin and others This comic has three short stories, all with artwork by Boivin, but with different writers, which is a somewhat unusual approach. The first one is written by Mike Baron (of Nexus fame, presumably). It’s a vignette about a guy without any particular qualities (except … Continue reading A&R1987: Jacques Boivin’s Love Fantasy

A&R1987: Friends

(April 18, 2021)

Friends (1987) #1-3 by Bill Dinardo When I was considering doing a blog series about Renegade, the first thing that popped into my mind was “Yeah! Friends! I get to read Friends again!” Which is pretty odd, since I could just re-read it anyway, but… I remember Friends well from when I was a teenager. … Continue reading A&R1987: Friends

A&R1987: Wimmen’s Comix

(April 17, 2021)

Wimmen’s Comix (1987) #11-13 The first ten issues of Wimmen’s Comix were published by Last Gasp. I’ve got them here in some shortbox somewhere, but since this is a blog series about Renegade, I’m gonna skip re-reading them now. Besides, I re-read it all somewhat recently when I got the box set collecting the entire … Continue reading A&R1987: Wimmen’s Comix

A&R1987: Kafka

(April 16, 2021)

Kafka (1987) #1-6 by Steven T. Seagle & Stefano Gaudiano (I will be discussing the plot of this 35 year old comic here (which I usually don’t much), so if you don’t want spoilers, skip this one.) This was a series I had when I was a teenager – and I remember really liking it, … Continue reading A&R1987: Kafka

A&R1987: Holiday Out

(April 15, 2021)

Holiday Out (1987) #1-3 by Michael Vance and an unknown number of other people Content Warning: I’ve tried to keep this blog series polite, because 1) shouting at forty year old comics isn’t cute, and 2) I chose to read these comics of my own volition, and 3) there should probably be a 3). So, … Continue reading A&R1987: Holiday Out

A&R1987: French Ice

(April 14, 2021)

French Ice (1987) #1-13 by Lelong, Binet and others You can’t really say that the end is within reach for this blog series, but we are kinda starting to see Renegade winding down: This is the final series they published that reached double digits. But we’re in February 1987, and the black and white boom … Continue reading A&R1987: French Ice

A&R1986: Open Season

(April 13, 2021)

Open Season (1986) #1-6, Open Season (1989) #7 by Jim Bricker Hey! I remember this series from when I was a teenager… well… OK, you got me: I just remember having about half of the issues, but I don’t remember anything about the contents. Except it being kinda… like… sitcom-ish? Or was it more drama-ish? … Continue reading A&R1986: Open Season

A&R1986: Revolver Annual

(April 12, 2021)

Revolver Annual (1986) #1 edited by Robin Snyder Robin Snyder’s Revolver anthology had been coming out at a steady clip at Renegade – under various names, but with basically the same kind of content: Some Ditko material as the meat of the issue, and then some Henry Boltinoff, and then whatever people had lying around, … Continue reading A&R1986: Revolver Annual

Comics Daze

(April 11, 2021)

Hang on… I read comics all day yesterday. Is it possible to do that two days in a row? Let’s find out! Hm… music… I’m still in a nostalgic mood: Let’s go with Talking Heads. Talking Heads: 77 08:48: I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Mannie Murphy (Fantagraphics) So… this is a book … Continue reading Comics Daze

A&R1986: Eternity Smith

(April 10, 2021)

Eternity Smith (1986) #1-5 by Dennis Malonee, Rick Hoberg and others This is Renegade’s first (and I think only) colour book. And it’s a kinda-sorta super-hero book (well, it’s got a guy running around in leotards who has (augmented) powers, so I think it counts). Both are unusual things for Renegade to be publishing… and … Continue reading A&R1986: Eternity Smith

Comics Daze

(April 10, 2021)

It’s a nice day for reading comics. And I could listen to… hm… Yeah! I’ll listen to a lot of Bowie. It’s a Bowie kind of day. David Bowie: Space Oddity 06:02: I Wish I Could Say “Thank You” by Yukari Takinami (Fanfare/Ponent Mon) So this book is about the artist’s mother dying from pancreatic … Continue reading Comics Daze

A&R1986: Murder

(April 9, 2021)

Murder (1986) #1-3 edited by Robin Snyder Another three months, another anthology from Robin Snyder. The first ones were centred on various Ditko bits that he apparently had lying around, but this one doesn’t mention Ditko at all on the cover. Let’s have a look at how the first issue starts: Well, OK, there’s more … Continue reading A&R1986: Murder

A&R1986: Ms. Tree Summer Special

(April 8, 2021)

Ms. Tree Summer Special (1986) #1 by Max Allan Collins, Terry Beatty and Gary Kato I covered the main run of Ms. Tree here, but there’s a couple of specials to mop up. This is the first one: The Rock’n’Roll Summer Special. We’re into the days of the Black and White Boom, and Deni Loubert … Continue reading A&R1986: Ms. Tree Summer Special

A&R1986: The Puma Blues

(April 7, 2021)

The Puma Blues (1986) #1-23 by Stephen Murphy and Michael Zulli Oh! This is a series I remember well from when I was a teenager. That is, I don’t remember much of the specifics, but I remember the pensive atmosphere and the sight of those manta rays floating in the sky. It used to be … Continue reading A&R1986: The Puma Blues

A&R1986: Cases of Sherlock Holmes

(April 6, 2021)

Cases of Sherlock Holmes (1986) #1-15 by Dan Day and Arthur Conan Doyle We’re in May 1986, a low point in American comics publishing: These are the hectic days of the dreaded Black and White Boom, when dozens and dozens of fly-by-night publishers would get their cousins to draw up something, anything that could be … Continue reading A&R1986: Cases of Sherlock Holmes

March Music

(March 31, 2021)

Music I’ve bought in March. It occurred to me that Cabaret Voltaire had released a bunch of 12″ singles from their mid-80s period that I didn’t have. So I’ve fixed that this month. Other than that… it’s been a quiet month. Just the normal random selection of new and old stuff.

A&R1986: Terry Beatty’s The Phony Pages

(March 28, 2021)

Terry Beatty’s The Phony Pages (1986) #1-2 by Terry Beatty This is a collection of stuff Beatty had previously published here and there, mainly in the Buyers Guide for Comics Fandom, so I didn’t have high hopes for this mini-series: Especially since it’s from the height of the black and white boom. But let’s look … Continue reading A&R1986: Terry Beatty’s The Phony Pages

A&R1986: Cecil Kunkle

(March 27, 2021)

Cecil Kunkle (1986) #1-3 by Charles A. Wagner I had the first issue of this series as a teenager, but never read it for some reason or other. But some trepidation, let’s read the first three pages together: *gulp* The early desktop publishing lettering (I think that’s what it is? Did that exist in 1985?) … Continue reading A&R1986: Cecil Kunkle

A&R1986: Ditko’s World featuring Static

(March 26, 2021)

Ditko’s World featuring Static (1986) #1-3 by Steve Ditko This series is sometimes referred to as Revolver #7-9 – Robin Snyder was putting together a monthly series of Ditko stuff at Renegade, but varying the title. And here they’ve kinda-sorta ditched the “Revolver” title, which is probably a good idea, since anthologies don’t sell. Let’s … Continue reading A&R1986: Ditko’s World featuring Static

Comics Daze

(March 23, 2021)

What a lovely day. So why not spend it reading comics all day long? Yes, why not. The other day, I tidied up my stacks of unread comics, and I unearthed a bunch of pamphlets and minis hidden in between all the bigger comics, so let’s start with those… and I’ll put a bunch of … Continue reading Comics Daze

A&R1986: The Silent Invasion

(March 22, 2021)

The Silent Invasion (1986) #1-12 by Larry Hancock, Michael Cherkas and others I do remember Silent Invasion from when I was a teenager. However, I wasn’t really a fan – that is, I bought the first couple of issues, and then I dropped it. But I have no idea why… I can’t recall what I … Continue reading A&R1986: The Silent Invasion

A&R1986: Howard Cruse’s Barefootz

(March 21, 2021)

Howard Cruse’s Barefootz The Comix Book Stories (1986) #1 by Howard Cruse Cruse had published a three issue Barefootz series at Kitchen Sink in the 70s, but had also used the character in the short-lived Marvel “underground” magazine Comix Book. This book reprints these strips. I really like Cruse’s comics – they’ve got a lighthearted … Continue reading A&R1986: Howard Cruse’s Barefootz

A&R1986: Amusing Stories

(March 20, 2021)

Amusing Stories (1986) #1 by Scott Shaw and Don Dougherty This was solicited as a continuing series, but only a single issue was published. Half the issue is Dougherty’s Blast – I did a quick Google, and this seems to be the only appearance of these characters. It’s a zany space action comedy thing, and … Continue reading A&R1986: Amusing Stories

A&R1986: Maxwell Mouse Follies

(March 19, 2021)

Maxwell Mouse Follies (1986) #1-6 by Joe Sinardi We’re now in the Black and White boom period of the US comics market – patient zero, Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters #1, had been released and had shown that people desperate for the next Teenage Mutant etc Turtles would snap up any #1, as long as … Continue reading A&R1986: Maxwell Mouse Follies

A&R1986: Strata

(March 18, 2021)

Strata (1986) #1-5 by Joe Judt, Ray Murtaugh, Jim Brozman and others Renegade’s publishing profile is pretty odd, to say the least, but most of the series published by Loubert up till now had been by a single creator, or at most a writer/artist pair. This is the first that has a writer/penciller/inker line-up, I … Continue reading A&R1986: Strata

Walt Kelly Weighs In On The Stan Lee Controversy

(March 17, 2021)

(According to this, Lee didn’t start using “Excelsior!” as his catchphrase until 1960, and this Pogo is from 1959, so either the chronology doesn’t work, or… KELLY HAD ESPN!!!)

A&R1986: Manimal

(March 17, 2021)

Manimal (1986) #1 by Ernie Colón Renegade was a very hands-off company, editorially… but for such a creator-friendly publisher, they sure were vague about credits. Nowhere in this comic does it say explicitly who created it. Even the indicia is vague: It’s “© 1985”, but by whom? (Who? Hoo?) It was “designed & produced” by … Continue reading A&R1986: Manimal

A&R1985: Cerebus #81-111

(March 16, 2021)

Cerebus (1985) #81-111 by Dave Sim & Gerhard This batch of Cerebus comics are the issues collected as Church & State II; December 1985 to June 1988. Let’s see how it starts: Ah, yeah: Cerebus is the Eastern Pope, but had been thrown into the Lower City (of Iest) by a Thrunk, a very big … Continue reading A&R1985: Cerebus #81-111

Oddball Raspberry Pi Screen Resolutions

(March 13, 2021)

A couple years back I bought a Dasung Paperline HD to use as an alarm clock, and it’s worked perfectly. However, the little FitPC computer I was using died today. I was looking through the Cupboards of Mystery to see if I had anything here that I could replace it with, and I found a … Continue reading Oddball Raspberry Pi Screen Resolutions

A&R1985: Revolver

(March 9, 2021)

Revolver (1985) #1-6 edited by Robin Snyder Deni Loubert says in the introduction to this anthology that she’s not much of a fan of anthologies. Myself, I love anthologies: Every issue is an opportunity to surprise and delight the readers with something new and unexpected. But I understand why many people shy away from anthologies: … Continue reading A&R1985: Revolver

A&R1985: Wordsmith

(March 9, 2021)

Wordsmith (1985) #1-12 by Dave Darrigo and Richard G. Taylor I liked Renegade a lot back in the 80s, and comics like this were a major part of that: Comics that just seem… out of whack with what anybody else was publishing. This comic is about a pulp writer… in the mid-to-late 30s… and… that’s … Continue reading A&R1985: Wordsmith


(March 6, 2021)

It’s over? It’s over! So, after doing a blog series where I watched one movie per year for a century (1919-2018, I think), I then did a blog series for every month in a decade (the 40s), and this one was one movie per week in a year (1939). You may be noticing a pattern … Continue reading MCMXXXIX Redux

MCMXXXIX LII: Invisible Stripes

(March 6, 2021)

Invisible Stripes. Lloyd Bacon. 1939. This is it! The final movie in this blog series; a Bogart movie released in the last week of 1939. This is pretty good. A quite noir noir. Heh heh. This evil capitalist wanted to hire Raft to snitch at the workers at his plant and Raft decked him! Pow! … Continue reading MCMXXXIX LII: Invisible Stripes

MCMXXXIX LI: Gulliver’s Travels

(March 5, 2021)

Gulliver’s Travels. Dave Fleischer. 1939. Oh, it’s animated! Is this the first animated movie in this blog series? I think it may be. Directed by Dave Fleischer… It quite un-Disney so far. It’s very odd, though. The animation shifts wildly between being quite good and OH MY GOD WHAT”S GOING ON WITH THAT FACE THE … Continue reading MCMXXXIX LI: Gulliver’s Travels

MCMXXXIX L: Gone with the Wind

(March 5, 2021)

Gone With The Wind. George Cukor, Victor Fleming, Sam Wood. 1939. So we’re now in December 1939, and I have only three movies to go in this blog series. This one is … big. Long? Long. Ooops. I had forgotten that this movie is so long that is has an overture. So it starts seven … Continue reading MCMXXXIX L: Gone with the Wind

The Best Comics of 2020

(March 5, 2021)

It’s been a year and… some… and I forgot to do a year end summary. I know! It’s what you all were waiting for. So: When I read comics, the ones that are particularly cool end up on a little shelf near the couch where I can look at them fondly while doing other things. … Continue reading The Best Comics of 2020

MCMXXXIX XLIX: The Devil’s Daughter

(March 4, 2021)

The Devil’s Daughter. Arthur H. Leonard. 1939. The audio and video quality here is horrible… but I’m enjoying this already. Love this tune. This is a super low budget movie, but it does have a certain charm? I guess it’s mostly down to the actors – it’s not that they’re… convincing… but it’s all very … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLIX: The Devil’s Daughter

MCMXXXIX XLVIII: Destry Rides Again

(March 3, 2021)

Destry Rides Again. George Marshall. 1939. Oh, I thought this was one of those serial movies… Destry Comes To Town… Destry Fights the Indians… Destry Rides Again. But no; it’s got Marlene Dietrich, and it’s one of those them there serious westerns. Well, OK, this isn’t exactly a serious western… but it’s mainly in the … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLVIII: Destry Rides Again


(March 3, 2021)

Day-Time Wife. Gregory Ratoff. 1939. This is fun! It’s a cheap, quick little B movie, but with higher production values than usual. It’s about the wife of a guy that’s obviously stepping out… or is he!?!? This is almost hilarious. Tyrone Power isn’t really miscast here, but… somebody funnier would have made this so much … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLVII: Day-Time Wife

MCMXXXIX XLVI: Tower of London

(March 3, 2021)

Tower of London. Rowland V. Lee. 1939. That’s phat. Eeevil! Eyes. EYES! I don’t know about this movie… all the actors are chewing the scenery in a most pleasant way, but it’s still not… quite… clicking. This could almost be a camp classic, but instead it’s just kinda damp? Kill those dolls! Kill them! This … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLVI: Tower of London

Comics Daze

(March 2, 2021)

Geez. Why did I get up this early? Well, I could spend all day reading comics… it’s been so long since I’ve had an opportunity to do that! Busy busy. OK, I’ve put some oldies on the stereo. Let’s do it. ESG: ESG 08:25: American Splendor #1 by Harvey Pekar A couple weeks back, I … Continue reading Comics Daze

A&R1985: Vicki Valentine

(March 2, 2021)

Vicki Valentine (1985) #1-4 by Barbara Rausch and Bill Woggon I definitely had this series as a teenager, but I don’t remember anything about it. Let’s read the first four pages: Oh, this was originally planned as a one-shot? But was expanded into a quarterly series, which I take to mean that the first issue … Continue reading A&R1985: Vicki Valentine

A&R1985: Gene Day’s Black Zeppelin

(March 1, 2021)

Gene Day’s Black Zeppelin (1985) #1-5 by Gene Day and others Gene Day died in 1982, but left behind a number of half-finished projects. This series collects these bits and bobs along with other pieces already published in fanzines, as well as new comics from friends of Day. It’s a pretty unique series in that … Continue reading A&R1985: Gene Day’s Black Zeppelin

February Music

(February 28, 2021)

Music I’ve bought in February. Let’s see… yes, it’s the usual mix of new and old stuff? Except that there’s a bunch of Mort Aux Vaches CDs in there… The discovery (because I’m slow on the uptake) of the month was this: The Sets & Lights album by Xeno & Oaklander. It’s so 1983! Even … Continue reading February Music

A&R1985: Valentino

(February 28, 2021)

Valentino (1985) #1-3 by Valentino I remember this comic well from when I was a teenager. It seemed fresh and new and original: An autobio comic. Now, this isn’t exactly the first autobio comic ever: I think people usually point to the Binky Brown thing by Justin Green, and there had then been a bunch … Continue reading A&R1985: Valentino

MCMXXXIX XLV: Allegheny Uprising

(February 27, 2021)

Allegheny Uprising. William A. Seiter. 1939. Wayne! This seems… like an in-between western? I mean, it’s certainly not like one of those cheap, cheerful earlier western serials, and it’s not like one of those later, epic westerns? The people look kinda… gritty (almost all of them have torn clothes and greasy hair), but the repartee … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLV: Allegheny Uprising

A&R1985: Cerebus Jam

(February 27, 2021)

Cerebus Jam (1985) #1 by Dave Sim, Gerhard and others Huh. How did I end up with two copies of this? Anyway, this is the first “new series” published after Deni Loubert left Aardvark-Vanaheim, so Dave Sim does the introduction. Cerebus Jam had previously (much previously) been announced as a bi-monthly title, but I guess … Continue reading A&R1985: Cerebus Jam

A&R1984: Flaming Carrot Comics

(February 26, 2021)

Flaming Carrot Comics (1984) #1-4, Flaming Carrot Comics (1985) #5, Flaming Carrot Comics (1985) #6-17 by Bob Burden I think I said in a previous post in this blog series that the only Aardvark-Vanaheim book I didn’t buy as a teenager was normalman? I’d forgotten about Flaming Carrot: I only got a couple of issues … Continue reading A&R1984: Flaming Carrot Comics

MCMXXXIX XLIV: Drums Along the Mohawk

(February 26, 2021)

Drums Along the Mohawk. John Ford. 1939. Claudette! Henry! Well, OK, this is kinda slow but nice… And then… … Colbert goes totally hysterical at the sight of that guy, so Fonda has to slap her around. I mean, this is John Ford, so it looks nice and all, but so far this movie has … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLIV: Drums Along the Mohawk

MCMXXXIX XLIII: The Roaring Twenties

(February 25, 2021)

The Roaring Twenties. Raoul Walsh. 1939. Hm! Raoul Walsh? That name sounds really familiar, but perhaps I’m thinking of… something else… Oh wow! It’s like three movies a year for decades. He directed 120 movies in total, according to imdb. I think I’ve seen at least a handful of these movies… but I’m guessing he … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLIII: The Roaring Twenties

A&R1984: A-V in 3-D

(February 24, 2021)

A-V in 3-D (1984) #1 by Lots of People The publisher explains that this comic is a sampler to introduce the new line of Aardvark-Vanaheim comics to the public… but it was published a lot later than planned, so it’s not really that much of an introduction. Hey! This Ms. Tree strip was reprinted in … Continue reading A&R1984: A-V in 3-D

MCMXXXIX XLII: Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

(February 24, 2021)

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Frank Capra. 1939. This wasn’t the movie I was going to watch representing week 42 1939 (mid-October, that is). But the DVD I’d gotten of At The Circus refused to play, so I had to choose something else: And Mr. Smith was available from der torrentses, so here we are. … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLII: Mr. Smith Goes To Washington


(February 23, 2021)

Zangiku monogatari. Kenji Mizoguchi. 1939. I haven’t seen many pre-WWII Japanese movies…. hm… I guess it’s possible that I’ve never seen any? Like everybody else, I’ve seen a bunch from the 50s and 60s (when the Japanese got very influenced by French movies), but I guess 30s Japanese movies aren’t really part of the Cinematheque … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLI: 残菊物語


(February 23, 2021)

A&R1984: Ms. Tree

(February 22, 2021)

Ms. Tree (1984) #10-15, Ms. Tree (1985) #16-18, Ms. Tree (1985) #19-50, Ms. Tree 3-D (1985) #1 by Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty with Gary Kato I covered the first ~ten issues of Ms. Tree over at the Eclipse Blog, but I didn’t re-read the Aardvark-Vanaheim/Renegade comics at that time. I did mostly have … Continue reading A&R1984: Ms. Tree

MCMXXXIX XL: Ninotchka

(February 21, 2021)

Ninotchka. Ernst Lubitsch. 1939. This is most amusing. It’s an American fantasia of robotic Soviet women and naive Soviet men, and Garbo sells it. Ah! Billy Wilder. I should have guessed. Fashion is hard. This is very charming indeed. My main problem with the movie is the Count – the steps the Grand Duchess are … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XL: Ninotchka

MCMXXXIX XXXIX: The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex

(February 20, 2021)

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. Michael Curtiz. 1939. Oh, wow. I thought they were from two different movie generations, never to meet on screen. Vincent Price!?! Whatever colour process they were using in this early example looks good. But a bit off register, somehow? Perhaps it’s just this DVD transfer. Looks less fuzzy … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXXIX: The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex


(February 20, 2021)

Espionage Agent. Lloyd Bacon. 1939. Er… uhm… Oh! The DVD I’ve gotten of this absolutely refuses to play. That is, it plays the three minute preview thing, but not the actual movie. And… it’s not on the torrentses? Or Amazon Prime? And… I can’t find any of the other movies released this week, either! Gah! … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXXVIII: Espionage Agent

Mort aux Vaches

(February 18, 2021)

There’s this series of CDs called Mort aux Vaches (probably named by somebody that either hates cows or really likes eating cows (metaphorically)). It’s a series of recordings commissioned by the VPRO radio station, and it’s basically like the Peel Sessions: It’s a “live in the studio” thing, but for experimental music. They’ve got pretty … Continue reading Mort aux Vaches


(February 18, 2021)

Babes in Arms. Busby Berkeley. 1939. Hey! Busby Berkeley. Hey! It’s Judy! And… er… whatsisface… Oh yeah. Mickey Rooney. I knew that he’d been a child star – he started in 27, when he was… 7… but looking over his imdb, I may never have seen any of his early movies? He’s 19 here. And … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXXVII: Babes in Arms


(February 18, 2021)

Blackmail 1939. H.C. Potter. 1939. I thought this was gonna be a noir movie? But it sure starts off a a screwball comedy. And that guy looks so familiar… Nope, doesn’t ring a bell… Oh, he’s been in over 200 movies, starting in 1919 and ending in 1961. I’ve probably seen him around. So, Edward … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXXVI: Blackmail

A&R1984: normalman

(February 17, 2021)

normalman (1984) #1-7, normalman (1985) #8, normalman (1985) #9-12, normalman Annual (1986) #1 by Valentino I bought everything that Aardvark-Vanaheim released as a teenager… except normalman. I think I had one issue? And then decided “nuh-uh”. But teenagers have been wrong before, right? Perhaps this is one of those times? THE TENSION MOUNTS Deni soon-to-be-Loubert-again … Continue reading A&R1984: normalman

A&R1983: Cerebus #51-80

(February 16, 2021)

Cerebus (1983) #51-80 by Dave Sim and Gerhard I started reading Cerebus with #49 (when I was 15), so you can imagine how confused I was in the first couple of issues. But then a new story started, and things were a lot easier to make sense of. Well, slightly more. I re-read the High … Continue reading A&R1983: Cerebus #51-80

Command Discovery In Emacs

(February 16, 2021)

One thing that has annoyed me forever about Emacs is that when you define a command for a specific more, the commands become so… global. I mean, you define a command in, say, eww-mode for navigating to the next link, and that command only works in that mode. But then you type `M-x ewwTAB’ to … Continue reading Command Discovery In Emacs


(February 16, 2021)

The Women. George Cukor. 1939. Well, that’s a way to introduce the actors! Aww. I assumed I had seen this before, but… this doesn’t look familiar? *gasp* That set design. This is fantastic! Impeccable pacing and cinematography. This is absolutely riveting! Rosalind Russell is fantastic. *gasp* A newspaper set in Futura! I love that woman… … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXXV: The Women

MCMXXXIX XXXIV: Fifth Avenue Girl

(February 15, 2021)

Fifth Avenue Girl. Gregory La Cava. 1939. Oooh! Ginger Rogers! And she’s got all the lines! The plot seems a bit creepy, though – the old, kindly millionaire seems to be on the make for Rogers, and that’s kinda eh? I mean, the formula for appropriate lusting is (+ (/ old 2) 7), which yields … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXXIV: Fifth Avenue Girl

Latency Is So Over

(February 14, 2021)

In our continuing look at issues that are of vital importance to everybody, and not just stuff I’m doing because I’m getting a bit stir crazy: Audio latency. It’s the worst, right? Here’s the backstory: When I moved in here ten years ago (gasp… ten years? huh…) I wired up all the rooms with Cat5, … Continue reading Latency Is So Over

A&R1983: Journey

(February 14, 2021)

Journey (1983) #1-14 by William Messner-Loebs I covered this book when doing Fantagraphics, so I’m not going to write about it again: It’s really tempting to re-read it, though… It’s totally spiffy. This blog post is part of the Renegades and Aardvarks series.


(February 13, 2021)

A&R1983: Neil the Horse Comics and Stories

(February 13, 2021)

Neil the Horse Comics and Stories (1983) #1-10, Neil The Horse Comics and Stories (1984) #11-15 by Arn Saba with Barbara Rausch, David Roman and others Ah, Neil the Horse. I was (counts on finger) 15 when I read the first issue of Neil the Horse, and I was absolutely enthralled. It was love at … Continue reading A&R1983: Neil the Horse Comics and Stories

MCMXXXIX XXXII: The Wizard of Oz

(February 12, 2021)

The Wizard of Oz. Victor Fleming. 1939. I’m gonna attempt the Dark Side of the Moon/Wizard of Oz match up… started the record at the third roar from the lion as this says… It’s uncanny! On The Run started just when Dorothy fell into the pig sty. OK, it’s not so uncanny now that she’s … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXXII: The Wizard of Oz


(February 12, 2021)

In Name Only. John Cromwell. 1939. This is kinda odd? I mean, the pacing. It seems like every scene should sizzle with witty repartee, but instead the scenes just have these odd lacunae. But it’s Lombard and Grant, so the scenes are fun anyway. I can just imagine what Douglas Sirk would have done with … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXXI: In Name Only


(February 12, 2021)

Beau Geste. William A. Wellman. 1939. XXX! That means that I’ve just got er *counts on fingers* about 20-ish more movies to go in this blog series of movies from 1939? It also means we’re in the middle of July 1939 – so this is a summer blockbuster, I guess? It also means that I’m … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXX: Beau Geste

A&R1982: Michael T. Gilbert’s Strange Brew

(February 11, 2021)

Michael T. Gilbert’s Strange Brew (1982) #1 by Michael T. Gilbert and others This is the first non-Dave Sim comic Aardvark-Vanaheim has published, and it’s in a somewhat strange format: It’s the same height as Cerebus, but a couple of centimetres wider – so the form factor is more like a magazine, but smaller. It’s … Continue reading A&R1982: Michael T. Gilbert’s Strange Brew

A&R1981: Cerebus #26-50

(February 10, 2021)

Cerebus (1981) #26-50 by Dave Sim We (that is, I) continue our (that is, my) (re-)reading of Renegade/Aardvark-Vanaheim with the second batch of Cerebus comics – the High Society sequence. (Hopefully with fewer parentheses per paragraph than this one (right).) I started reading Cerebus with issue #49 (when I was 14), which is the 24th … Continue reading A&R1981: Cerebus #26-50

A&R1977: Cerebus #1-25

(February 9, 2021)

Cerebus (1977) #1-25 by Dave Sim I started reading Cerebus with issue 49, in 1983, and I was 14, and I read Cerebus until it ended some decades later. At first I thought Sim sounded like a pretty smart cookie, but by the time I was 16, I realised that he was just a bundle … Continue reading A&R1977: Cerebus #1-25

Renegades & Aardvarks

(February 8, 2021)

I’ve been doing these blog series for the last few years where I’m re-reading comics from the 80s: First I did Fantagraphics, because I really wanted to re-read Love & Rockets one more time, and then the whole idea of setting up a challenge appealed to me: I was going to (re-)read all the pamphlets … Continue reading Renegades & Aardvarks


(February 8, 2021)

In the previous blog post in the series “Lars Humblebrags A Lot” in late December, I claimed I was going to take a break from Emacs bug spelunking… … and as you can see, I did. For a couple of weeks, and then they pull me back in! This time around I got the brilliant … Continue reading 7×10%

January Music

(February 1, 2021)

Music I’ve bought in January. *gasp* I just discovered that Mimi Goese released an album last year with Ben Neill! So I got it yesterday and have been playing it on repeat since. It’s really good! I’ve been a huge fan of Goese ever since her album Soak in the mid 90s: Unfortunately, she seems … Continue reading January Music

MCMXXXIX XXVII: On Borrowed Time

(February 1, 2021)

On Borrowed Time. Harold S. Bucquet. 1939. So this is about… death and stuff? I’m guessing he’s the guy in the first scene. I’m actually not quite sure what’s going on in this movie, but I am a bit befuddled. There’s a lot of shouting, and people being angry, but the plot just seems… unclear. … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXVII: On Borrowed Time


(January 30, 2021)

Each Dawn I Die. William Keighley. 1939. Cagney! And he’s not a crook!? Is that even legal!? OK, but he’s sentence anyway. *phew* (I didn’t know it’s a sci-fi movie – he’s sentenced for drunken driving (and killing some other people while driving (it’s a frame!)), and as we all know, that just doesn’t happen … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXIX: Each Dawn I Die

MCMXXXIX XXVIII: Bulldog Drummond’s Bride

(January 30, 2021)

Bulldog Drummond’s Bride. James P. Hogan. 1939. I ordered the DVD… but apparently it never arrived? Can’t find it now anyway. Fortunately, this movie is in the public domain, so it’s on youtube. So this was a whole series of movies? So it’s more like a serial than a proper movie, and this one kinda … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXVIII: Bulldog Drummond’s Bride

Today’s Copyright Claim

(January 30, 2021)

A while back, I digitised a bunch of VHS tapes I had made in the early 90s and uploaded the interesting bits to Youtube. So, of course, the copyright claims started streaming in, but they all kinda made sense? I mean, I don’t own any of this material, and if EMI doesn’t want people to … Continue reading Today’s Copyright Claim

MCMXXXIX XXVI: Bachelor Mother

(January 29, 2021)

Bachelor Mother. Garson Kanin. 1939. WON”T ANYBODY FEED THE BABY I’m getting anxious. Anyway, this is most amusing. And kinda nightmarish: She’s totally trapped: Bullied, threatened, hounded into taking care of a baby that’s not hers. This could easily have been a kafkaesque drama with just a less bouncy soundtracks. FINALLY SOME FOOD This is … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXVI: Bachelor Mother

MCMXXXIX XXV: Five Came Back

(January 29, 2021)

Five Came Back. John Farrow. 1939. Oh, Lucille Ball in a dramatic part? I think I’ve seen her only in comedies? This looks like a pretty low budget movie? I mean, just by how awkward these shots are – it’s like nobody had time to do any blocking, and everybody’s hidden behind something else. Or … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXV: Five Came Back

Comics Daze

(January 26, 2021)

My sleeping patterns are all fucked up again, so I’ll be reading comics until morn. And beyond? Bobbie Gentry: The Girl From Chickasaw County: The Delta Sweete 01:45: Ric Hochet 3: Comment réussir un assasinat by Zidrou & Van Liemt (Zoom) This is from the Ric Hochet revival: The old series had a certain charm, … Continue reading Comics Daze


(January 24, 2021)

Fric-Frac. Claude Autant-Lara & Maurice Lehmann. 1939. Another French movie! What are the odds! Very stylish title sequence. Natcherly the French movies we (that is I) see from this era are the indisputable classeec arteest films… but this is an out and out low budged entertaining non-art movie? How exciting! It’s a comedy about… a … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXIV: Fric-Frac

MCMXXXIX XXIII: Le jour se lève

(January 24, 2021)

Daybreak. Marcel Carné. 1939. *gasp* The first non-English language movie in this blog series! I’m not familiar with Marcel Carné’s movies… Wasn’t he the director the brats I mean geniuses from Cahiers du cinéma heaped all kinds of scorn upon? Indeed: In the 1950s the belligerent critics of Cahiers du cinéma, soon to be film-makers … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXIII: Le jour se lève

MCMXXXIX XXII: Charlie Chan in Reno

(January 24, 2021)

Charlie Chan in Reno. Norman Foster. 1939. I may never have seen a Charlie Chan movie before? I mean, I must have, but I can’t recall doing so. So this comes as something of a surprise: It feels pretty much like a TV episode of a long-running show (which I guess it is, except it’s … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXII: Charlie Chan in Reno


(January 23, 2021)

The Gorilla. Allan Dwan. 1939. I wonder whether this DVD has been sourced from a recording from a broadcast? Hm… probably not? It’s very artefactey, but it doesn’t look like VHS artefacts. This is a Ritz Brothers movie? I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never heard of them. But: That’s a lot of movies. They … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXI: The Gorilla

MCMXXXIX XX: Goodbye, Mr. Chips

(January 23, 2021)

Goodbye Mr. Chips. Sidney Franklin & Sam Wood. 1939. This is a very odd movie… in that it’s so quotidian. It’s basically the story (told in flashback) of a guy that’s worked as a teacher at a public, i.e., private school in England. So we follow him from when he starts as a young, not … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XX: Goodbye, Mr. Chips


(January 23, 2021)

Jamaica Inn. Alfred Hitchcock. 1939. Oooh! Hitch! And I don’t think I’ve seen this one before? Is that even possible? This has been expertly restored by the Cohen Film Collection and the BFI. Looks really sharp, but with lots of grain. : In 1978, film critic Michael Medved gave Jamaica Inn a place in his … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XIX: Jamaica Inn

MCMXXXIX XVIII: Rose of Washington Square

(January 22, 2021)

Rose of Washington Square. Gregory Ratoff. 1939. Oh, this is by the same guy who made the confusingly made “Wife, Husband and Friend” movie earlier this year. (Are they all the same person? Two people? Three?) We’re now in May, for those people who don’t know where week eighteen is. This is an odd one. … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XVIII: Rose of Washington Square

MCMXXXIX XVII: Union Pacific

(January 21, 2021)

Union Pacific. Cecil B. DeMille. 1939. So this is the XVIIth, I mean, seventeenth week of 1939, which means that we’re in late April. What kind of movies are movies are they doing in spring? This is really epic – it’s got that epic movie feeling going: One group of people is trying to get … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XVII: Union Pacific

MCMXXXIX XVI: Dark Victory

(January 17, 2021)

Dark Victory. Edmund Goulding. 1939. *gasp* Bette! They’re talking really fast, see? Is that Ronnie? It is! I thought this was gonna be a noir crime thing, but it’s a very dramatic drama instead? I’m digging it. Everybody’s talking like they’re in an early 30s crime thing, though. See? Boo. When they introduce the male … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XVI: Dark Victory

MCMXXXIX XV: Never Say Die

(January 16, 2021)

Never Say Die. Elliott Nugent. 1939. OK, so this is about a hypochondriac millionaire at a spa. I’m guessing there’ll be hi jinx! Monty Woolley! This is very funny! And quite risque. As screwball comedies go, it’s very, very screwy. Martha Raye is a comedic genius. Oh! Preston Sturges! I should have known! The script … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XV: Never Say Die

MCMXXXIX XIV: East Side of Heaven

(January 16, 2021)

East Side of Heaven. David Butler. 1939. This is most amiable. Joan Blondell, Bing Crosby, and a plot that doesn’t feel like it’s going to be too taxing for my poor branes. There haven’t been many musicals in this blog series? Last night was the Vernon and Irene thing, which was, I suppose, but like … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XIV: East Side of Heaven

Linux on the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Fold

(January 16, 2021)

For some reason I can’t quite imagine, I’m a bit bored these days? It’s a mystery. So I seem to be buying more … stuff, and today I got a Lenovo Fold. Yes, yes, I know. Epic unpacking sequence (on the couch; it’s cold): It folds! See? Anyway, I don’t quite know what I’m going … Continue reading Linux on the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Fold

MCMXXXIX XIII: The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle

(January 16, 2021)

The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle. H.C. Potter. 1939. Hey! I thought this was gonna be a Thin Man movie! But it’s not! This is better! I’m really enjoying this… the only thing I’m confused about is whether we’re supposed to thing that the Castles are wonderful dancers or not? I mean, Astaire and … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XIII: The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle

MCMXXXIX XII: You Can’t Get Away with Murder

(January 15, 2021)

You Can’t Get Away With Murder. Lewis Seiler. 1939. Bogie! This is an odd movie. It started in one place, and now we’re in a totally different place. I wonder where this is going. OK, now the two parts are connected… but… it’s kinda boring now? So this is all about a kid who’s on … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XII: You Can’t Get Away with Murder

Comics Daze

(January 13, 2021)

What? Another day of comics so soon after the last one? Yes, I’m slacking off this week. Let’s get readin’. Hilt: Stoneman 10:57: The Contradictions by Sophie Yanow (Drawn & Quarterly) The way Yanow portrays awkwardness is absolutely amazing. On the other hand, the book is such a “oh look how stupid I was when … Continue reading Comics Daze

The Only M1 Benchmark That Matters

(January 13, 2021)

I’ve got a new Apple laptop, so I thought I’d do an Emacs build benchmark. Building Emacs is what people do on computers, right? At least if I extrapolate from myself, which is the only natural thing to do. It’s called proof by induction. Look it up, nerds. So here’s the benchmarks: My Main Build … Continue reading The Only M1 Benchmark That Matters

Comics Daze

(January 9, 2021)

Let’s do it! I’ve wanted to do a comics reading day for yonks now, but things keep getting in the way. But now! I’ve got candy! I’ve got a new, soft blanket! (It’s chilly.) I’ve got comics! And Now That’s What I Call Quite 80s on the stereo! Let’s go! The Smiths: Complete (5): The … Continue reading Comics Daze

My New Couture Blog

(January 7, 2021)


(January 5, 2021)

Midnight. Mitchell Leisen. 1939. Claudette Colbert! I like her. This movie gets off to a really great start: Everything is explained in a couple of sentences and then we’re off. Colbert is a lot of fun to watch, too. I’m all in. This movie is a lot of fun. It’s got a great set-up: A … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XI: Midnight

MCMXXXIX X: The Little Princess

(January 5, 2021)

The Little Princess. Walter Lang, William A. Seiter. 1939. So this is the tenth week of 1939… so we’re into March? And this movie is in colour! Oh, they’re using the Boer War (turn of the century? the previous one?) as a proxy for the war that’s currently brewing in Europe? This movie is quite … Continue reading MCMXXXIX X: The Little Princess

MCMXXXIX IX: The Oklahoma Kid

(January 5, 2021)

Oklahoma Kid. Lloyd Bacon. 1939. But… but… that’s… that’s… It is! It’s Bogart! What’s he doing in this cheapie western? Was this before he became famous? Ah, right, he was doing all these things in the 30s until his big break in 1941, I guess. Because this is a Cagney vehicle. This isn’t a very … Continue reading MCMXXXIX IX: The Oklahoma Kid

December Music

(January 1, 2021)

Music I’ve bought in December. I rediscovered LTM Recordings this month, and placed such a large order that they thought I was running some kind of scam. LTM specialises in re-releasing music originally released by Factory Benelux, Les Disques du Crépuscule and related labels in the early 80s. So it’s totally in my wheelhouse, and … Continue reading December Music

New Gadget!

(December 29, 2020)

It’s been so long since I got a new gadget. So when I saw this e-ink frame the other week, I bought one immediately. And it arrived today: What’s appealing about this e-ink thing is that it’s freestanding: It’s got a battery (supposed to last a year), and communicates via wifi. So you can put … Continue reading New Gadget!


(December 28, 2020)

Look! We cracked the 3K line! I’ve been tricking myself into working by gamifying Emacs bug handling, but this 10%-er was kinda a slog. Even if it was just 311 bugs this time around. I’ve been doing mostly newer bugs, and they’re often more work than geriatric bugs – many of the older bugs are … Continue reading 6×10%

The Year In Review

(December 27, 2020)

When this year started out, I had so many plans! I was going to go to the Big Ears festival in Knoxville, and perhaps go to some islands, and zip and zoom around, and… So instead I was standing before the wall of unread books, as so often before, and thinking “I’m never going to … Continue reading The Year In Review

Building the Development Version of Emacs on Windows (mingw edition)

(December 24, 2020)

Some days ago, I gave a brief write-up on how to build the development version of Emacs on Windows under Cygwin. Cygwin is all well and nice, but some prefer the fully native mingw-w64 version, so here’s the howto for that. The first four steps are identical with the previous recipe, so let’s just skip … Continue reading Building the Development Version of Emacs on Windows (mingw edition)

MCMXXXIX VIII: Wife, Husband and Friend

(December 20, 2020)

Wife, Husband and Friend. Gregory Ratoff. 1939. What! There were no lanes in New York in 1939? Just total anarchy? I love it! This movie’s got a whole bunch of gags… but none of them really land? I mean, very few do. I almost feel bad at not enjoying this movie, because it’s puttering along … Continue reading MCMXXXIX VIII: Wife, Husband and Friend

Building the Development Version of Emacs on Macos (Macports Edition)

(December 18, 2020)

A while back, I wrote a how-to for building Emacs on Macos (for people who have no interest in using Macos), but I based that recipe on HomeBrew. There was recently a Macports-related bug report, so I set up a VM with Macports, and I thought I might as well write that up, too. It … Continue reading Building the Development Version of Emacs on Macos (Macports Edition)

How To Build the Development Version of Emacs on Windows

(December 18, 2020)

I think I’ve probably spent… more than an hour? but less than three hours? My entire life? on a Windows machine, so I’m the most qualified person ever to explain how to get started developing Emacs on Windows. Because people who’ve used Windows before don’t really know what other people don’t know. It’s about the … Continue reading How To Build the Development Version of Emacs on Windows

The Best Albums of 2020

(December 12, 2020)

It’s that time of year again: December. Unlike other people who come up with “best of” lists, I use a totally scientific method, and therefore my list is more correct: Emacs tallies which albums I’ve listened to the most in 2020, and those are ipso facto cogito alea jacta hoc the best albums of the … Continue reading The Best Albums of 2020

MCMXXXIX VII: Nancy Drew… Reporter

(December 4, 2020)

Nancy Drew… Reporter. 1939. William Clemens. I mean… I didn’t expect much from this movie – it’s a shortish, goofy B movie thing. But it seems odd to me how little of the Nancy Drewiverse they’ve retained? I mean… I don’t remember much of Nancy Drew… but didn’t she have a gal pal? And stuff? … Continue reading MCMXXXIX VII: Nancy Drew… Reporter

MCMXXXIX VI: Made for Each Other

(December 4, 2020)

Made For Each Other. John Cromwell. 1939. Oh, I’ve seen this one before! And not too long ago, either. I wonder where… Emacs knows everything. I watched this in… October? Last year? Hey! I even blogged about it. This is a serious break-down in my movie methodology. Oh well! Now it’s in 2K. I’m liking … Continue reading MCMXXXIX VI: Made for Each Other

November Music

(December 1, 2020)

Music I’ve bought in November. Let’s see… I guess this month it’s just the usual mix of new and old stuff… Oh, yeah, I’ve been shopping a bunch of CDs from Häpna records from around 2000-2005 that I didn’t get at the time. And some albums from people connected to the band Tape, like Ass … Continue reading November Music

MCMXXXIX V: Honolulu

(November 30, 2020)

Honolulu. Edward Buzzell. 1939. So much drama! Heh. That was a good fake-out. This is most amusing. And horribly racist. And that’s the main problem with this movie: Robert Young really isn’t that believable as somebody who’d people would go nuts for. I mean, he’s great and all, but imagine if this were Cary Grant … Continue reading MCMXXXIX V: Honolulu

Comics Daze

(November 28, 2020)

Hey! It’s been a while since I did one of these, so… er… there’s a lot of new comics to read. Let’s get started: All comics, all day, until I plotz. Zazou Bikaye: Mr. Manager 11:09: The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott by Zoe Thorogood (Avery Hill) Man, this is a lot, just visually. I … Continue reading Comics Daze

MCMXXXIX IV: Idiot’s Delight

(November 26, 2020)

Idiot’s Delight. Clarence Brown. 1939. Hey… this is fun. It’s about a soldier (Clark Gable) returning from the previous war, and he’s an actor on a downwards trajectory. It’s very fleet-footed. The movie has turned kinda strange. Clark is being pursued desperately by Norma Shearer… I mean, that’s not odd, but the way the movie … Continue reading MCMXXXIX IV: Idiot’s Delight

MCMXXXIX III: They Made Me a Criminal

(November 26, 2020)

They Made Me A Criminal. Busby Berkeley. 1939. So here in this blog post is where I was supposed to make some food, but the next dish in the Bistro Cooking book was a mussel dish, and… while I was waiting for the grocery delivery guys to deliver a kilo of live mussels for me … Continue reading MCMXXXIX III: They Made Me a Criminal

A Panel from a Comic Strip Presented Without Comment

(November 15, 2020)

MCMXXXIX II: Son of Frankenstein

(November 15, 2020)

Son of Frankenstein. Rowland V. Lee. 1939. For today’s dish from the Bistro Cooking, we have another apple tart. I mean sex worker. This one looks less like an omelette than the previous one… it’s a cream and egg thing (and apples, of course). It is, again, as with many of the recipes in this … Continue reading MCMXXXIX II: Son of Frankenstein

MCMXXXIX I: King of the Underworld

(November 12, 2020)

King of the Underworld. Lewis Seiler. 1939. Welcome to the first week of the 1939 movie blog. But first: Some food. So tonight’s dish from Patricia Well’s Bistro Cooking (which I’m cooking my way through, semi-chronologically) is a chick pea salad. I’m not really all that enthusiastic about this one, because I’m seeing “onion” and … Continue reading MCMXXXIX I: King of the Underworld


(November 12, 2020)

I hate choosing movies to watch; it’s just … better … to watch the next scheduled one, so a schedule has to be created. A few years back, I watched one movie per year from 1918 to 2018 (i.e, a century), and then last year I did a decade (the 1940s); one movie per month. … Continue reading MCMXXXIX


(November 6, 2020)

John King At Home

(November 5, 2020)

As we already know, this soup is under seasoned, so I asked you to send me the salt, and bear with me, you sent me the salt, and I added this salt to the soup and then, as we all know, I sent the salt back to you. Now, this means that my soup should … Continue reading John King At Home


(November 5, 2020)


(November 4, 2020)

One More Bergman Thing: Rabies

(November 1, 2020)

A few years back, I watched 87 Bergman things, but I was unable to find this TV movie from 1958. A comment on Youtube alerted me to somebody uploading it, and after spending two days downloading it, I’ve now put the movie on Youtube: Enjoy it before the copyright strike, I guess? Gotta hand it … Continue reading One More Bergman Thing: Rabies

October Music

(October 31, 2020)

Music I’ve bought in October. Oopsie! That was more… than… I should have? Let’s see… it’s not all old stuff, either? It’s a pretty good mix. So what are the most interesting ones? Er… as you can imagine, I haven’t really heard many of these a lot of times, so I don’t really know. But … Continue reading October Music


(October 26, 2020)

Hey! Target reached: Bragging time! I mean, this is the irregular Emacs update … stats … report… thing… So, I’m gamifying Emacs development by setting myself a goal of closing (i.e., fixing, triaging, etc) 10% of the Emacs bugs, and since the trend is downwards: That’s fewer bugs each time. (But harder bugs, so it … Continue reading 5×10%

BC&B: Poulet Mistral le Prieuré w/ Tarte aux Pommes Françoise Potel

(October 22, 2020)

This is it: The final post in this exciting blog series, where I cook two dishes from Patricia Wells’ Bistro Cooking book (sequentially), and read one book from the shelf that had the most recently acquired books. (Yes, it makes no sense as a blogging concept.) I’ve only made it about… a fifth? of my … Continue reading BC&B: Poulet Mistral le Prieuré w/ Tarte aux Pommes Françoise Potel

Into the Vortex Redux

(October 16, 2020)

Vortex (1982) #1-15 Stig’s Inferno (1984) #1-5 Mister X (1984) #1-14 Those Annoying Post Bros. (1985) #1-18 Kelvin Mace (1985) #1-2 Kaptain Keen and Kompany (1986) #1-6 Yummy Fur (1986) #1-24 Savage Henry (1987) #1-13 Bloodlines (1987) #1-4 Ken Steacy’s Summer Rerun (1987) Paradax! (1987) #1-2 Transit (1987) #1-5 Black Kiss (1988) #1-12 Mister X … Continue reading Into the Vortex Redux

V2018: Hellmington

(October 15, 2020)

Vortex (2018) by Justin Hewitt-Drakulic (as Jay Drakulic), Alex Lee Williams and others Hellmington. Justin Hewitt-Drakulic. 2018. ⚁ [two minutes pass] Well! Perhaps I should just get all the films Vortex has produced? Wolfcop was a barrel of laughs, and this starts off really well. [twenty minutes pass] Or… perhaps not? This is like a … Continue reading V2018: Hellmington

V2014: WolfCop

(October 14, 2020)

Vortex (2014) by Lowell Dean and others “What’s this then? A MOVIE?!?! BUT THIS IS A COMICS BLOG!” Once again, dear reader, I can read your mind. But you see, after Vortex Comics stopped publishing comics, they… Well, I don’t quite know what they did at first, but they ended up as an independent movie … Continue reading V2014: WolfCop

V1991: Nocturnal Emissions

(October 13, 2020)

Nocturnal Emissions (1991) #1-4 by Fiona Smyth Welcome back to the blog that covers all your NASCAR sports racing comics needs. Today we’re… we’re… HANG ON! THESE AREN”T SPORTS COMICS! Yes, Vortex had one last hurrah in the midst of all the NASCAR comics they suddenly started selling: Fiona Smyth’s Nocturnal Emissions, and if there’s … Continue reading V1991: Nocturnal Emissions

V1991: NASCAR Adventures

(October 12, 2020)

NASCAR Adventures (1991) #1-8 by a bunch of people Welcome back to the sports blog! We’re all sports, all the time. Today we have NASCAR Adventures, the companion title to Legends of NASCAR, and the way to tell them apart is that one is called “NASCAR Adventures” and the other is called “Legends of NASCAR”. … Continue reading V1991: NASCAR Adventures

Comics Daze

(October 12, 2020)

What? Another daze less than a week after the previous one? And… this one starts right after midnight? What can I say… my sleeping patterns are all fucked up. Let’s get started. 00:35: Sweet Time & other stories by Weng Pixin (Drawn & Quarterly) Oh, yeah, the style seemed familiar: A couple of these stories … Continue reading Comics Daze

V1991: The Nascubs Adventures

(October 11, 2020)

The Nascubs Adventures (1991) #1 by Andrew Trull and J. C. Caskey Uhm… this is a sports blog about Vortex Comics, right? But is this comic published by Vortex? There’s nothing really indicating that anywhere, and I got this comic from somebody who included it in my NASCAR order. Some people think that it’s by … Continue reading V1991: The Nascubs Adventures

V1991: Legends of NASCAR Christmas Special

(October 10, 2020)

Legends of NASCAR Christmas Special (1991) by a bunch of people Here on the Sports Blog, we continue looking at Vortex’ NASCAR series, and this time it’s an Xmas special. Let’s read the first three pages together: Well, that’s kinda cute, isn’t it? These drivers are helping santa. Well whaddayouknow! *slaps thighs* But that’s just … Continue reading V1991: Legends of NASCAR Christmas Special

V1991: Daytona Special No. 1: The Daytona 500 Story

(October 9, 2020)

Daytona Special No. 1: The Daytona 500 Story (1991) #1 by Nat and JJ Gertler and Herb Trimpe and others OK, we continue traipsing through the Latter Days of Vortex. Let’s read the first three pages of this special: The Gertlers wrote one of the best issues of the Legends of NASCAR series (that’s not … Continue reading V1991: Daytona Special No. 1: The Daytona 500 Story

V1991: The Legends of NASCAR

(October 8, 2020)

The Legends of NASCAR (1991) #1-13 by a whole bunch of people “WHAT THE FUCK!” Yes, if you’ve been reading this blog series from the start (and if you have… why?), that’s what you’re saying now. “WHAT THE FUCK! I CAME HERE FOR YUMMY FUR AND OTHER COMICS ABOUT PENIS MUTILATION! WHAT”S THIS SPORTS SHIT!” … Continue reading V1991: The Legends of NASCAR

V1990: S’Not for Kids

(October 7, 2020)

S’Not for Kids (1990) #1, S’Not for Kids (1991) #1 by Matso and a bunch of other people I bought the first issue of this at the time, but didn’t know there was a Vortex connection. And perhaps there isn’t? No publisher listed. Assumed to be Vortex due to Vortex being the publisher of S’not … Continue reading V1990: S’Not for Kids

Comics Daze

(October 6, 2020)

Man, I’ve totally screwed up my sleeping schedule again… getting up at two in the morning wasn’t really my plan. But, OK, what better way to spend the night than reading comics, eh? Eh? 04:00: Future #1-2 by Tommi Musturi (Boing Being) Wow! Haven’t seen anything like this in a while: It’s a one-person anthology … Continue reading Comics Daze

V1990: Mister X Special

(October 6, 2020)

Mister X Special (1990) #1 by Pete Milligan, Brett Ewins and others This is billed as “Special no. 1”, which probably means that there was a bunch of Mister X specials planned, but this one was the only one published. It’s a 24-page black and white book, but with cardboard covers, and what was probably … Continue reading V1990: Mister X Special

BC&B: Tian de Légumes w/ La Brandade de Morue de Madame Cartet

(October 5, 2020)

Another day (or week or something), another book to read and another couple of dishes from the Bistro Cooking book by Patricia Wells. Only two more posts to go, though: I’m running out of books from that cubby. So today we have: A veggie gratin! With… courgettes and aubergine and stuff. But mostly those two … Continue reading BC&B: Tian de Légumes w/ La Brandade de Morue de Madame Cartet

V1990: Badlands

(October 5, 2020)

Badlands (1990) #1 by Steven Grant, Vincent Giarrano and others So this is the second ambitious series Vortex launched early in 1990, and like Doc Chaos, it’s also 32-page (well, 28-page), has shiny paper, colour, and lasted one issue. “A Red Fist Production”. Well, the design here isn’t up to Vortex’ usual standards… Anyway, let’s … Continue reading V1990: Badlands

A Panel From A Comic Book Presented Without Comment

(October 4, 2020)

V1990: Doc Chaos: The Strange Attractor

(October 4, 2020)

This blog post is part of the Into the Vortex series. Doc Chaos: The Strange Attractor (1990) #1 by David Thorpe and Stephen Sampson Based on the name alone (“Doc Chaos”), I assumed that might be a book by Peter Milligan or somebody like that. If there are anybody like that. I mean… Freakwave… Paradax… … Continue reading V1990: Doc Chaos: The Strange Attractor

V1989: Mister X

(October 3, 2020)

Mister X (1989) #1-13 by Jeffrey Morgan, D’Israeli, Ken Holewczynski, Shane Oakley and others So this is the second Mister X series, and shopping the issues I didn’t have was an er interesting experience. Most of these covers don’t have an issue number, and you have to read the often-minuscule indicia printed on the inside … Continue reading V1989: Mister X

September Music

(October 1, 2020)

Music I’ve bought in September. So what have we got here… oh yeah, I finished up buying all the Consolidated EPs I missed back then. And… Yup. It’s all old, old, old music. Except a couple new things. But! I did get one interesting thing: The 433 thing by Saito Koji. I was intrigued by … Continue reading September Music

Possibly The Most Unnecessary Thing I’ve Ever Bought

(September 28, 2020)

V1988: Black Kiss

(September 26, 2020)

Black Kiss (1988) #1-12 by Howard Chaykin Howard Chaykin was a hugely influential comics storytelling innovator in the 80s. We were all quite impressed by American Flagg, right? All those little insets and the cacophony. Re-reading it the other year, I was struck by how little substance Flagg had: It’s a fun read, but it’s … Continue reading V1988: Black Kiss

Movie Distribution Appreciation Time

(September 24, 2020)

Being a movie nerd, what you really start appreciating after a while aren’t the people who make the movies, but the people who make the movies available so that you can watch them. Or perhaps that’s just me. With less-popular movies, it seems like such a thankless task: To try to find ways of packaging … Continue reading Movie Distribution Appreciation Time

My New Innovations in Packaging Blog

(September 23, 2020)

Today I’ve gotten two musicalish things in the mail. The first is by Crickets: Which is JD Samson’s new thing. It’s in this very papery paper sleeve. Nice. The other odd thing I’ve gotten today is “It’s A Project” by Chicks on Speed. I think this is pretty old? I got this from somebody on … Continue reading My New Innovations in Packaging Blog

You Can Read Twitter With Gnus

(September 19, 2020)

Remember just the other week when I almost got Gnus to read Twitter? But not quite? No? Anyway, it was a whole thing. The use case was pretty simple: Just read a single Twitter thread sensibly, without the endless clickery. But it *sniff* didn’t work for bigger threads. But now Johann Klähn fixed it! By … Continue reading You Can Read Twitter With Gnus

“You Are Tilda Fucking Swinton”

(September 18, 2020)

This post is not part of The Tilda Swinton Project.

Comics Daze

(September 16, 2020)

I’m totally taking the day off today, and that means: Comics all day and all night. 13:51: Natacha Collected Edition: Vol 2 by Walthéry, Tillieux, Mittëi and others (Cobolt) I thinking that it’d had been a long time since I ordered anything from Denmark, so here I am now, with 30kgs of new/old comics that … Continue reading Comics Daze

V1987: Transit

(September 16, 2020)

Transit (1987) #1-5 by Ted McKeever As a teenager, McKeever’s artwork fascinated me. All my doodles turned into McKeever faces, replete with way too many teeth. Lou Stathis, the editor, writes an introduction to the series. I think he’s going for punk smart aleck, but he lands at hard-sell card salesman with delusions of grandeur. … Continue reading V1987: Transit

V1987: Paradax!

(September 15, 2020)

Paradax! (1987) #1-2 by Peter Milligan, Brendan McCarthy and others These are the people that did Johnny Nemo and Strange Days at Eclipse, right? And one of the characters in the latter series was Paradax… So let’s read the first four pages: Wow! That’s a lot. An explosion of colour and silliness, and also (of … Continue reading V1987: Paradax!

V1987: Ken Steacy’s Summer Rerun

(September 14, 2020)

Ken Steacy’s Summer Rerun (1987) by Ken Steacy So what’s this then? That looks very familiar… From the Vortex anthology, I guess? Yes. Oh, it’s all from the Vortex anthology? Which I read the other week. Well, that’s a disappointment. The introduction at the back explains that, indeed, it’s from the Vortex anthology. But that … Continue reading V1987: Ken Steacy’s Summer Rerun

V1987: Bloodlines

(September 13, 2020)

Bloodlines (1987) #1-4 by Rob Walton I know, this is a blog series about Vortex, but this series started at Aircel, before moving to… Blackburn Videos + Comics (!!!)… before moving to Vortex. 1 issue at Aircel, 2 issues at the video store, and 4 issues at Vortex, so you’d expect 8 issues at the … Continue reading V1987: Bloodlines

V1987: Savage Henry

(September 12, 2020)

Savage Henry (1987) #1-13 by Matt Howarth This series is a spin-off from Those Annoying Post Bros, and is, if I remember correctly, less concerned with atrocities and more fun? At least that’s what I’ve gleaned over the years – I’ve been picking up an issue here and an issue there, but I’ve never read … Continue reading V1987: Savage Henry


(September 11, 2020)

Time for another bragging post! I’ve been gamifying triaging/fixing Emacs bugs, setting myself as a goal 10% of the total (which hopefully decreases each time, otherwise it’s no fun): And today! The fourth lap completed! Just a bit over a month. When going after bugs, I find it useful to concentrate on some “seam” or … Continue reading 4×10%

V1986: Yummy Fur

(September 8, 2020)

Yummy Fur (1986) #1-24, Ed the Happy Clown: The Definitive Ed Book (1992) by Chester Brown *gasp* In this blog series, today we’ve come to Vortex’ second claim to fame: Chester Brown’s Yummy Fur. This was at the height of the black and white boom, and you could publish anything (as long as it was … Continue reading V1986: Yummy Fur

V1986: Kaptain Keen and Kompany

(September 6, 2020)

Kaptain Keen and Kompany (1986) #1-6 by Bill White and Gary Fields This is one of the Vortex series that’s most unfamiliar to me. I think I picked up one issue over the years, but I’m reading the rest for the first time today. And why is that, if I was such a Vortex fanboy … Continue reading V1986: Kaptain Keen and Kompany

V1985: Kelvin Mace

(September 5, 2020)

Kelvin Mace (1985) #1-2 by Klaus Schönefeld, Ty Templeton and others Ty Templeton introduced Schönefeld in Stig’s Inferno as a young guy mainly working in the commercial illustration business, and was therefore swimming in money… But after the Templeton lured Schönefeld back to the comics business, and they collaborated on several things, and Schönefeld also … Continue reading V1985: Kelvin Mace

V1985: Those Annoying Post Bros.

(September 3, 2020)

Those Annoying Post Bros. (1985) #1-18 by Matt Howarth and others As a teenager, I read first few issues of this series, but found the nihilistic over-the-top violence off-putting, so I stopped buying it. I have, however, continued to pick up issues now and then, and over the years I seem to have accrued a … Continue reading V1985: Those Annoying Post Bros.

V1984: Mister X

(September 2, 2020)

Mister X (1984) #1-14 by Dean Motter, Jaime & Mario & Jaime Hernandez, Seth, and a whole bunch of other people Mister X is an interesting book: Not really for the contents, which are uneven, but for its publishing history. Well… Its history of… not being published. In 1982 (I think it was), Vortex announced … Continue reading V1984: Mister X

V1984: Stig’s Inferno

(September 1, 2020)

Stig’s Inferno (1984) #1-5 by Ty Templeton and others Oh, I wrote about this over at the Eclipse blog, so I’m not going to repeat myself here. But it’s a lot of fun. One of my favourite comics as a teenager. This blog post is part of the Into the Vortex series.

V1982: Vortex

(September 1, 2020)

Vortex (1982) #1-15 edited by Bill Marks and others Hi! Welcome to the blog series where I (re-)read all the comics Vortex has published. I have mixed feelings about setting out on this er “venture”, because… some of the comics I’ve read so many times (as a teenager) (I’m speaking of Yummy Fur) that I’m … Continue reading V1982: Vortex

Into the Vortex

(September 1, 2020)

Often when I’m walking down the street, people will stop me and ask me “Lars, what’s the best mid-80s alternative American comics publisher?” To which I’ll respond by thwapping them over their heads with my backpack, which doubles as an assault weapon. But upon arriving home to my humble garret, I’ll frequently start pondering the … Continue reading Into the Vortex

August Music

(August 31, 2020)

Music I’ve bought in August. This month I’ve bought some actual new music. Released this year and everything. I’m impressed by the Nihiloxica album… very fresh. Shirley Collins has a new album out! *gasp* So do the Residents, but… I don’t like it. It’s called Metal, Meat & Bone, and it’s a parody of murder … Continue reading August Music

You Still Can’t Read Twitter With Gnus

(August 31, 2020)

I accidentally ingested some caffeine last night, so I went to bed at two and fell asleep six-ish. That gave me a lot of time to think about the important things in life, so I thought about how fun it would be if you could read Twitter threads with Gnus. “But why; for the love … Continue reading You Still Can’t Read Twitter With Gnus

ELC1994: “Saint in Neon”

(August 30, 2020)

“Saint in Neon” by Elaine Lee, published by Marvel. What’s this then!? Ectokid Unleashed? But that’s not Elaine Lee? (Oh, Here’s an explanation of what this blog series is.) No it isn’t, but comics.org says there’s a Saint Sinner story (remember Saint Sinner?) in here, so I’m reading it. So… I have no idea what … Continue reading ELC1994: “Saint in Neon”

ELC2010: Honey West: This Girl For Hire

(August 30, 2020)

Honey West: This Girl For Hire by Trina Robbins, Elaine Lee and various, published by Moonstone. Hey! It’s been a month since the previous article in this blog series. That’s mainly because I discovered a couple Lee items while I was doing the main part of the series, so here we are in a mop-up … Continue reading ELC2010: Honey West: This Girl For Hire

Building the Development Version of Emacs on NetBSD

(August 25, 2020)

I hadn’t really planned on installing a NetBSD VM (after doing all the other two BSDs), but then a NetBSD-related Emacs bug report arrived. The first it… years? So here I am! Actually finding the correct .iso to install took days, but with the help of some friends I finally found the right set! Go … Continue reading Building the Development Version of Emacs on NetBSD

Comics Daze

(August 24, 2020)

It’s less than a week since I did the previous daze, but I feel like taking a break from triaging Emacs bugs. So… another day of just doing nothing but reading comics. NOTHING ELSE I TELLS YA. 14:48: I Know What I Am by Gina Siciliano (Fantagraphics) OK, I got up a bit late today. … Continue reading Comics Daze

Changing the Input Source on a Sony A1 TV

(August 21, 2020)

I’ve got the most obscure and least important problem in the world, so I’ve just spent four hours investigate it and find a solution. So now you have to read about it! Hah! Share the pain! OK, backstory: I’ve got a Sony A1 TV, and it’s very nice: Nothing annoying about it, which is the … Continue reading Changing the Input Source on a Sony A1 TV

Comics Daze

(August 17, 2020)

I should be doing more Emacs bug database spelunking… but I’m taking the day off, and that means: Nothing But Comics Today. 12:32: Un uomo un’avventura: L’uomo del Sertão by Hugo Pratt (Faraos) Oh, wow: New Hugo Pratt!!! I mean, old Hugo Pratt, finally available in a language I can understand! (I.e., Danish.) Huh, this … Continue reading Comics Daze

Building the Development Version of Emacs on OpenBSD

(August 16, 2020)

And now, the continuing stoooory of a quack who’s gone to the dogs, I mean, a recipe for how to build the development version of Emacs as easily as possible under yet another operating system: This time it’s OpenBSD. (This recipe is for OpenBSD 6.7, but it should be the same on most modern versions … Continue reading Building the Development Version of Emacs on OpenBSD

Building the Development Version of Emacs on FreeBSD

(August 14, 2020)

Today in our series “How To Build Emacs For Fun And No Profit Whatsoever“, we’ve reached FreeBSD. Building Emacs here is very straightforward. First, as root, install the compilation dependencies like this: pkg update -f pkg install -y autoconf git gmake pkgconf texinfo pkg install -y `pkg rquery %dn emacs-devel` Then, as a non-root user, … Continue reading Building the Development Version of Emacs on FreeBSD

Have You Ever Seen Something That Is So Ugly That You Think “I Have To Have That”?

(August 7, 2020)

Well, I did! It’s a teapot from Jason Miller Areaware. You may not be surprised to hear that they don’t make these any more. After only three years with a watchlist on Ebay, I finally got one! And it didn’t shatter in the mail! Isn’t that just uniquely horrible? It’s a bit less horrifying on … Continue reading Have You Ever Seen Something That Is So Ugly That You Think “I Have To Have That”?

My New Innovations in Packaging Blog

(August 7, 2020)

So I’m opening packages, and out of an envelope this drops: Hi, Jack! Wut? Oh, it’s a record cover used as packaging: Reuse before recycle! (Oh, it was used as packaging for this classic comic by Lee Marrs):


(August 4, 2020)

Last summer I went on an Emacs bug spelunking, and set as a goal for me to close (i.e., fix, prod people about, or determine if the bug reports were invalid, etc.) 10% of the open bugs. I did that twice (which isn’t the same as fixing 20% of the bugs, because the 10% gets … Continue reading 3×10%

Emacs on Macos for Linux Peeps

(August 2, 2020)

Looking at the Emacs bug tracker, there’s a bunch of Apple-specific Emacs bugs, and I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the more trivial bugs. So I wondered what you’d have to do to build Emacs under Macos, and… I found a bunch of people talking about how easy … Continue reading Emacs on Macos for Linux Peeps

Comics Daze

(August 1, 2020)

The other week I spent all day doing absolutely nothing but read comics (and eat takeout pizza) and writing a couple words about each book, and today I’ve got an open schedule again, so here goes. 06:23: Uncle Scrooge: The Twenty-four Carat Moon by Carl Barks (Fantagraphics) It’s been too long since I’ve read one … Continue reading Comics Daze

July Music

(August 1, 2020)

Music I’ve bought in July.

User-Contributed Subtitles on Youtube

(July 31, 2020)

Gah. Remember just the other week? When I was nattering on about how nice it is that people can add subtitles on Youtube? This allows people to, like, watch stuff in other languages, like this Spanish translation of this Swedish-language Bergman obscurity that some kind soul just contributed? Well, since Youtube is Google, I should … Continue reading User-Contributed Subtitles on Youtube

BC&B: La Volaille au Vinaigre de Vin Bistro d’à Côté w/ Financiers aux Noisettes

(July 30, 2020)

The dead animal dishes I’ve enjoyed most from this Bistro Cooking book (by Patricia Wells) have definitely been the dead chicken dishes. The dead cow dishes have all (I think? how long has this blog series gone on now? a decade or two?) been disappointing: Very heavy and somewhat offputting. So this week I’m doing … Continue reading BC&B: La Volaille au Vinaigre de Vin Bistro d’à Côté w/ Financiers aux Noisettes

TSP2013: Death for a Unicorn

(July 28, 2020)

I found this short from 2015 on Amazon Prime, and I updated the placeholder post. Clicky the linky for postie. And that concludes this year’s Tilda Swinton Project update, I think. I found more stuff this year then the previous ones, for some reason or other. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.

TSP1990: Fruits of Fear

(July 28, 2020)

Somebody finally (like six years ago) finally uploaded this documentary short to youtube, so I could fill in a missing post. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.

TSP2020: Story and the Writer

(July 28, 2020)

Story and the Writer. Andrew Ondrejcak. 2020. So, this is a short you can watch on Youtube. Swinton does the voiceover… which is pretty oddly recorded. It’s very dry, as if she’s just talking into her phone or something. Which is a wasted opportunity. And… when you’re doing this sort of thing, your performers had … Continue reading TSP2020: Story and the Writer

TSP2019: What We Do in the Shadows: “The Trial”

(July 28, 2020)

What We Do in the Shadows: “The Trial”. Taika Waititi. 2019. Oh, OK – this is the TV series based on the movie? I saw that movie at the Sundance Film Festival! (I know! How hoity toity!) I think I gave it a… five? a four? on the score cards. It was fun, but kinda … Continue reading TSP2019: What We Do in the Shadows: “The Trial”

So you want to run your own mail server… redux

(July 26, 2020)

I was reading this blog article today, and it reminded me that I hadn’t implemented MTA-STS in that mail server setup script I put together the other month. MTA-STS isn’t really… vital… for running a mail server, but I guess it’s nice to have, and it’s easy enough to add. It does mean that the … Continue reading So you want to run your own mail server… redux

TSP2019: Uncut Gems

(July 25, 2020)

Uncut Gems. Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie. 2019. [twenty minutes pass] Oh deer. This is the Adam Sandler Oscar bait movie? To ensure getting nominated, you have to have some sort of health angle, so it starts with a colonoscopy (it is Sandler, after all) and some possible cancer, before we go into full-bore New … Continue reading TSP2019: Uncut Gems

TSP2019: The Dead Don’t Die

(July 25, 2020)

The Dead Don’t Die. Jim Jarmusch. 2019. [five minutes pass; i.e., I watched the titles] Wow; this movie basically has everybody that’s famous. It’s not just Jarmusch’s normal troupe (although many of them are here), but a bunch of random famous people. I’m assuming they called his agent or his agent called them and they … Continue reading TSP2019: The Dead Don’t Die

TSP2017: War Machine

(July 25, 2020)

War Machine. David Michôd. 2017. Oops. This is a Netflix movie from 2017? Starring Brad Pitt? I’ve never heard of it, but apparently Tilda Swinton has a tiny role in this, so I’ve gotta see it for this blog series. [ten minutes pass] Oh deer. This is my least favourite movie genre ever? The satirical-military-movie-with-an-omniscient-voice-over … Continue reading TSP2017: War Machine

TSP2019: The Souvenir

(July 24, 2020)

The Souvenir. Joanna Hogg. 2019. Hey! We’re back with our sorta-yearly “what has that Swinton woman been up to since last we checked?” This year, we have … about half a dozen movies? So she’s been busy. First off a movie by Joanna Hogg? That name seems so familiar to me that I assumed that … Continue reading TSP2019: The Souvenir

BC&B: Sauté de Veau aux Carottes La Boutarde w/ Harengs Marinés

(July 23, 2020)

Just four (?) posts to go! So that’s eight dishes and four books. The first dish of the day is the mains, because it turns out that the starter takes four days! Who knew! Not me! I never read these recipes before I start to cook; I just get the ingredients and hope for the … Continue reading BC&B: Sauté de Veau aux Carottes La Boutarde w/ Harengs Marinés

The Horror

(July 23, 2020)

So I was unpacking a mega package from the US today (I’m using a forwarding service, because it’s just … more fun), and one of the packages inside contained this item. “Queensryche? On tape?” I thought? “JUST HOW DRUNK HAVE I BEEN!!!1” “Oh, OK, perhaps it’s something so avant garde that they sell it in … Continue reading The Horror

Comics Daze

(July 22, 2020)

It’s been such a long time since I just sat down with a bunch of new comics… I’ve been reading (eww!) books all spring and summer (in addition to the Epic Comics thing), so my queue of incoming comics has grown to ridiculous lengths. So! Newish blog concept! I get up in the morning, and … Continue reading Comics Daze

BC&B: Terrine de Poireaux aux Lamelles de Truffes Michel Trama w/ Terrine aux Herbes de Provence Madame Cartet

(July 18, 2020)

It’s a new week, so it’s another couple of Patricia Wells recipes and a new book. OK, for the starter this week, I’m doing this… terrine? Tell me you’re reading this recipe the same way I’m reading it: It’s a bunch of boiled leeks? (Leek? What’s the plural? One leek, two leek… probably with an … Continue reading BC&B: Terrine de Poireaux aux Lamelles de Truffes Michel Trama w/ Terrine aux Herbes de Provence Madame Cartet

Some Bergman Youtube

(July 16, 2020)

Some years ago, I watched a whole bunch of stuff by Ingmar Bergman. As a result, I was sitting on a pile of really obscure things that I had acquired from various sources that I uploaded to Youtube a few years later. I then uploaded a bunch of subtitles and translated one of the pieces … Continue reading Some Bergman Youtube

ELC1995: Skin Tight Orbit

(July 15, 2020)

Skin Tight Orbit vols 1 & 2 by Elaine Lee and various, published by NBM/Amerotica. The US direct sales comics market has been through so many upheavals since it started in the late 70s. It always seems to be either going through a huge growth spurt or a catastrophic downturn? The reason I’m mentioning this … Continue reading ELC1995: Skin Tight Orbit


(July 14, 2020)

So… is “keep less relevant ads” the answer when you don’t want Twitter to use that extensive file on you that I’m sure they’re already maintaining?

ELC1990: Starstruck: The Expanding Universe

(July 14, 2020)

Starstruck: The Expanding Universe #1-4 by Elaine Lee, William Michael Kaluta, published by Dark Horse. I wasn’t going to do any Starstruck-related stuff in this blog series, but it occurred to me that I had the Dark Horse series, and it might be interesting to read it and compare it to the IDW collected edition. … Continue reading ELC1990: Starstruck: The Expanding Universe

ELC2011: “Mischief”

(July 13, 2020)

“Mischief” by Elaine Lee in Chicks with Capes, edited by Lori Gentile and Karen O’Brien, published by Moonstone. OK, this blog series is about Elaine Lee’s comics, and this isn’t a comic book. Instead it’s an anthology of short stories about super-heroes. But I’ve bought it, so I might as well read it. Oh, it’s … Continue reading ELC2011: “Mischief”

BC&B: Poulet Sauté aux Echalotes w/ Tarte au Fromage Blanc Ferme d’Alsace

(July 11, 2020)

Hi! It’s been quite a while since the last chapter of this blog series… since before The Pandemic, I think? It seems like most people reacted to the thing by starting to bake and cook like crazy, but I mostly just… sat on the couch and read stacks and stacks of books. For some reason, … Continue reading BC&B: Poulet Sauté aux Echalotes w/ Tarte au Fromage Blanc Ferme d’Alsace

ELC1994: Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant

(July 11, 2020)

Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant #1-4 by Charles Vess, Elaine Lee, John Ridgway and others, published by Marvel. What on Earth is this, then? A… new Prince Valiant? Published by Marvel? Wat? Oh, Charles Vess has done the plot, and Lee is doing the words, I guess? (Oh, Here’s an explanation of what this blog series … Continue reading ELC1994: Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant

ELC1999: Vamps: Pumpkin Time

(July 10, 2020)

Vamps: Pumpkin Time #1-3 by Elaine Lee, William Simpson and others, published by DC/Vertigo. This is the third and final Vamps mini-series, and I wrote about the first one here and the second one here. (Oh, Here’s an explanation of what this blog series is.) Let’s read the first three pages. Well.. the first thing … Continue reading ELC1999: Vamps: Pumpkin Time

ELC1996: Vamps: Hollywood and Vein

(July 9, 2020)

Vamps: Hollywood and Vein #1-6 by Elaine Lee, William Simpson and others, published by DC/Vertigo. This is the second Vamps mini-series, and I wrote about the previous one the other day. (Oh, Here’s an explanation of what this blog series is.) Let’s read the first three pages. Oh, the art style has changed substantially since … Continue reading ELC1996: Vamps: Hollywood and Vein

ELC1994: Vamps

(July 8, 2020)

Vamps #1-6 by Elaine Lee, William Simpson and others, published by DC/Vertigo. I’m guessing this is the most commercially successful series I’m covering in this blog series – it’s got two followup mini-series and has been collected later. (Oh, Here’s an explanation of what this blog series is.) Let’s read the first three pages. Hey! … Continue reading ELC1994: Vamps

ELC1993: Saint Sinner

(July 7, 2020)

Saint Sinner #1-7 by Elaine Lee, Max Douglas, Larry Brown and others, published by Marvel Comics. This book is part of Marvel’s Razorline – basically super-hero concepts from Clive Barker expanded into a line of four continuing series. I approached this series with a bit of trepidation after having read far too many Barker-based comics … Continue reading ELC1993: Saint Sinner

Emacs Screensaving Redux

(July 5, 2020)

Yesterday, I tweaked my toy Emacs screensaver to display images, and discovered that that was very slow indeed. Today I started actually benchmarking this stuff instead of just guessing what was taking all that time, and surprise, surprise, the problem wasn’t where I thought it was at all. Instead it was in the xelb library, … Continue reading Emacs Screensaving Redux

More Emacs Screensaver Fun

(July 4, 2020)

As I’m no doubt you all remember *cough* *cough* I hacked up an Emacs-based screensaver the other year because XScreenSaver twaddles the DPMS too much. (Yes really! I mean probably! I didn’t actually look at the source code.) My er solution used a transparent X frame to catch the mouse/keyboard so that it knew when … Continue reading More Emacs Screensaver Fun

ELC1997: BrainBanx

(July 3, 2020)

BrainBanx #1-6 by Elaine Lee, Temujin and others, published by DC/Helix. After a couple of less than totally thrilling series, I’m having high hopes for this series: The best Lee comics I’ve read have been science fiction, and this is science fiction… so there! (Oh, Here’s an explanation of what this blog series is.) I’ve … Continue reading ELC1997: BrainBanx

June Music

(June 30, 2020)

Music I’ve bought in June. It’s a good mix of stuff… old and new. And new stuff from old favourites like Aksak Maboul: Hm. Well, there’s not actually that much new stuff from new people this month, is there? Last month we had Irreversible Intanglements and Yves Tumor, but this month we have a 1984 … Continue reading June Music

ELC1995: Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny

(June 29, 2020)

Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny #1-4 by Elaine Lee, Dan Spiegle and Will Simpson, published by Dark Horse comics. (See this for what this blog series is about.) Hm! I assumed that this was an adaptation of one of the movies? Wasn’t one of them called something like “Spear of Destiny”? But it’s … Continue reading ELC1995: Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny

Home Renovations

(June 28, 2020)

So, I’ve got this chair on the balcony, and it’s got this brilliant design…. See if you can detect the minor irritating problem here. 1, 2… Yes, exactly. So whenever the weather turns nice and I want to sit down in it, there’s usually still a puddle there, and I can’t just tip it over … Continue reading Home Renovations

ELC1993: Ragman: Cry of the Dead

(June 27, 2020)

Ragman: Cry of the Dead #1-6 by Elaine Lee and Gabriel Morrissette, published by DC Comics. (See this for what this blog series is about.) This is the only series Lee wrote for DC Comics proper, but I’ll be covering her Helix and Vertigo (both DC imprints) later in this blog series. Let’s read the … Continue reading ELC1993: Ragman: Cry of the Dead

ELC1990: Steeltown Rockers

(June 25, 2020)

Steeltown Rockers #1-6 by Elaine Lee, Steve Leialoha and others. I wasn’t planning on doing the Lee comics in chronological order, but I think this may be the earliest one of the ones I’m covering in this blog series, anyway? (Oh, Here’s an explanation of what this blog series is.) Let’s read the first three … Continue reading ELC1990: Steeltown Rockers

Elaine Lee Comics

(June 24, 2020)

Starstruck, written by Elaine Lee and with artwork by Michael William Kaluta is one of my favourite comics. It’s certainly my favourite genre comic – it’s an exhilarating reading experience, and seemed to hint at an entirely new way of doing comics. Over the years, I’ve re-read it many times… mostly because they keep releasing … Continue reading Elaine Lee Comics

Totally Epic

(June 23, 2020)

Half a year ago I started (re-)reading everything published by Epic Comics. Today, I finished. It was an… it was an… isn’t there an expression for “big task”? I guess not. It was a big task. And stupid. Let’s not forget stupid – I never should have done it, but I did get to read … Continue reading Totally Epic

Officially The Best Redux

(June 13, 2020)

As a contrast, after watching a year’s worth of Netflix movies, I thought it would be fun to watch all the films on the Sight & Sound directors’ poll, so I did, and probably bored all you all to death while doing it. Or was that the COVID? It was probably the COVID. *crosses fingers* … Continue reading Officially The Best Redux

OTB#1: Tokyo Story

(June 10, 2020)

Tokyo Story. Yasujirô Ozu. 1953. ⚄ We’ve reached the end of this blog series, and we go out on a really good one. It’s a really moving film; even more so than that bicycle thief one. I can totally see why this ended up as #1 in 2012: The performances are swell, the cinematography is … Continue reading OTB#1: Tokyo Story

OTB#2: 2001: A Space Odyssey

(June 10, 2020)

2001: A Space Odyssey. Stanley Kubrick. 1968. ⚅ The end is nigh! For this blog series. I think… I haven’t seen this movie since the 80s? I think I saw it in a movie theatre? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I did. And then on VHS later. When thinking back on it, there’s so many scenes … Continue reading OTB#2: 2001: A Space Odyssey

OTB#2: Citizen Kane

(June 9, 2020)

Citizen Kane. Orson Welles. 1941. ⚂ I have seen this movie a number of times before – I’m not a complete moron. (Note: “Complete”.) But it’s been several decades, and I just remember some flashes of a huge, empty house, and a sled being thrown into an incinerator? Oh, now it’s coming back to me… … Continue reading OTB#2: Citizen Kane

OTB#4: 8½

(June 8, 2020)

8½. Federico Fellini. 1963. ⚅ I watched this (wow) six years ago, and it’s a wonderful movie. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#5: Taxi Driver

(June 8, 2020)

Taxi Driver. Martin Scorsese. 1976. ⚅ OK, let me just tell you where I’m coming from: I don’t like Martin Scorsese’s movies. All the ones I can recall seeing are about uninteresting morons that do uninteresting and stupid things. They’re usually competently shot, with a cast of actors that make watching the movies not sheer … Continue reading OTB#5: Taxi Driver

OTB#6: Apocalypse Now

(June 8, 2020)

Apocalypse Now. Francis Ford Coppola. 1979. ⚃ I’ve seen this a couple of times before? But back in the 80s. I remember being quite taken with most of Coppola’s movies at the time – I even liked One from the Heart and Rumble Fish (well, sort of). Sitting down to watch this, though, I have … Continue reading OTB#6: Apocalypse Now

OTB#7: Vertigo

(June 6, 2020)

Vertigo. Alfred Hitchcock. 1958. ⚅ This movie is #1 on the critics’ poll. I have seen this before, of course, but… it’s probably a while ago? Is this the one with the Dali sequences? Hm… No, that was Spellbound! Which I have to see again. Oh right, this is the one with Kim Novak… Which … Continue reading OTB#7: Vertigo

OTB#7: The Godfather

(June 5, 2020)

The Godfather. Francis Ford Coppola. 1972. ⚄ I watched the second episode in this series a couple of months ago, and it was (to my great surprise) quite fun. So I’m guessing this is gonna suck. [five minutes pass] I can’t stop staring at the huge wads of cotton they’ve stuffed into Brando’s face: He … Continue reading OTB#7: The Godfather

OTB#9: Mirror

(June 5, 2020)

The Mirror. Andrei Tarkovski. 1975. ⚅ I watched this film when doing the one-movie-from-each-country blog thing. It’s really good, but I think Stalker is better, really. And perhaps Solaris, too? But I can kinda see why that one isn’t on this OTB list… I think… Anyway! This one is really good, too. This blog post … Continue reading OTB#9: Mirror

OTB#10: The Bicycle Thieves

(June 5, 2020)

Bicycle Thieves. Vittorio De Sica. 1948. ⚅ I watched this amazing movie in 2014? I’m not rewatching it now, because I’m all out of kleenexes. *sniff* I’m tearing up just thinking about the movie. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#11: Breathless

(June 5, 2020)

Breathless. Jean-Luc Godard. 1960. ⚄ I watched this some years ago, and it’s a wonderful movie. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#12: Raging Bull

(June 5, 2020)

Raging Bull. Martin Scorsese. 1980. ⚁ OK, we’re now in the final dozen movies in this blog series, and what’s striking about the final (i.e., most highly rated) movies is that they’re mostly box office smashes: It is, perhaps, not surprising, exactly – but it’s definitely a thing. It’s not that the OTB list is … Continue reading OTB#12: Raging Bull

OTB#13: Persona

(June 4, 2020)

Persona. Ingmar Bergman. 1966. ⚅ I watched this movie two years ago during the 87 Bergman Things blog series, but I wanted to watch it again, so here you go: Probably a slightly different series of screenshots? You gets what you pays for, dead reader. [thirty minutes pass] Looking at the remaining films on the … Continue reading OTB#13: Persona

OTB#13: The 400 Blows

(June 4, 2020)

The 400 Blows. François Truffaut. 1959. ⚅ I really thought I’d seen this before, but I couldn’t find it anywhere… until I searched for Quatre Cents Coups. Duh. Anyway, I watched this in 2016, and now I’m watching it again. I don’t actually remember much of this (pre?-)Nouvelle Vague movie other than that it was … Continue reading OTB#13: The 400 Blows

OTB#13: Andrei Rublev

(June 3, 2020)

Andrei Rublev. Andrei Tarkovsky. 1966. ⚂ I watched this a couple of years ago, and it’s a bit naff. Which was really surprising for me, because Tarkovsky is usually absolutely brilliant. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#16: Fanny and Alexander

(June 3, 2020)

Fanny & Alexander. Ingmar Bergman. 1982. ⚅ I watched this in 2018, but I’ve watched it a bunch of times before. It is 100% amazeballs. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#17: Seven Samurai

(June 3, 2020)

Seven Samurai. Akira Kurosawa. 1954. ⚂ [two minutes pass] I thought I had seen this movie before, but now I think not? And it lasts ALL THE HOURS. I may have to take a pause in the middle of this. I mean, I got up at 6 this morning and it’s 20 now… [half an … Continue reading OTB#17: Seven Samurai

OTB#18: Rashomon

(June 3, 2020)

Rashomon. Akira Kurosawa. 1950. ⚃ [fifteen minutes pass] I’ve seen this before, of course, but only once? I think? But the Rashomon concept is so well-known that it feels like I’m just waiting for the plot elements to happen… which isn’t the best way to watch a movie. So far, the cinematography has been a … Continue reading OTB#18: Rashomon

May Music

(May 31, 2020)

Music I’ve bought in May. The albums I bought this month seems to be all over the place… new stuff, old stuff… and unusually enough, I haven’t actually listened to any of it, because I’ve been listening to old stuff. But I can recommend this one:

OTB#19: Barry Lyndon

(May 31, 2020)

Barry Lyndon. Stanley Kubrick. 1975. ⚁ Oh, I saw this as a (young) teenager. I remember renting it on VHS. What I remember from it is… er… that there were a lot of green hills? Correct! I also remember that I really liked the movie. And that it’s somehow a Kubrick movie that all Kubrick … Continue reading OTB#19: Barry Lyndon

OTB#19: Ordet

(May 31, 2020)

Ordet. Carl Theodor Dreyer. 1955. ⚄ I watched this in 2015, and it’s really good. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#21: Au Hasard Balthazar

(May 31, 2020)

Au hasard Balthazar. Robert Bresson. 1966. ⚃ I watched this five years ago. I remember liking this a lot more than I apparently did. I was probably wrong! This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#22: Sunrise

(May 31, 2020)

Sunrise. F.W. Murnau. 1927. ⚅ This is a 2K version (from Eureka (Masters of Cinema)), but it’s only been very lightly restored? That is, it’s got a lot of horizontal shudder going on, which is usually the first thing they fix (since it can be done pretty much automatically by computers these days)… but otherwise, … Continue reading OTB#22: Sunrise

OTB#22: Modern Times

(May 31, 2020)

I think that guy might have nose powder. Modern Times. Charles Chaplin. 1936. ⚄ Here’s the thing: Obviously Chaplin is a genius etc bla bla bla, but… they’re not movies that I would seek out to watch on my own, because… I just don’t enjoy them that much? So I’ve never seen this one; perhaps … Continue reading OTB#22: Modern Times

OTB#22: L’Atalante

(May 28, 2020)

L’Atalante. Jean Vigo. 1934. ⚄ I watched this in 2015, and … I vaguely remember this movie. It’s pretty spiffy. And has cats! This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#22: La Règle du jeu

(May 28, 2020)

La Regle du jeu. Jean Renoir. 1939. ⚃ I watched this in… 2014!? That’s like half a lifetime ago. I have absolutely no recollection of having seen this, but apparently I wasn’t too impressed. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#26: The Night of the Hunter

(May 28, 2020)

The Night of the Hunter. Charles Laughton. 1955. ⚅ Ooo. This is a good one, I think. I may have seen this only once before? Or… I think I remember thinking the last time I saw this (in the 90s? at the Cinematheque?) that I must have seen it before, so I was probably scarred … Continue reading OTB#26: The Night of the Hunter

OTB#26: Touch of Evil

(May 28, 2020)

Touch of Evil. Orson Welles. 1958. ⚄ I watched this movie in 2015, and it was apparently really good. I remember zilch about it now, though. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#26: The Battle of Algiers

(May 28, 2020)

The Battle of Algiers. Gillo Pontecorvo. 1966. ⚃ I watched this movie when doing the “one movie from every country” thing. It’s a bit disappointing. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#26: La strada

(May 28, 2020)

La Strada. Federico Fellini. 1954. ⚄ I talked about this movie here. It’s good. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#30: Stalker

(May 28, 2020)

Stalker. Andrei Tarkovsky. 1979. ⚅ I was so sure I’d already blogged about this movie that I didn’t re-buy it for this Officially The Best blog series. But then it turned out that I hadn’t, so I rebought it on bluray. Which took weeks to get here. And now it turns out that the bluray … Continue reading OTB#30: Stalker

Useful Consumer Review

(May 25, 2020)

A few years back, I got a Dyson robot vacuum – the 360 Eye. I’d tried various other robot vacuums before, like the iRobot thingie, but the problem with those is that they’re… so noisy. I mean, not to me: I can just leave the room and sit somewhere else. But they seem to be … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Self-Hosting WordPress Even More

(May 24, 2020)

I know, I know; all blogs that’s hosted on WordPress inevitably turns into a blog about WordPress… Sorry! This is just a post of aimless complaining about an issue that’s so minor you won’t believe it, but these days there aren’t anybody on my lawn that I can shout at. Sorry! I started this blogging … Continue reading Self-Hosting WordPress Even More

I Am So Observant

(May 22, 2020)

They’ve been … grinding away at the stairs in this building for the last few days. The house is from the late 1800s, and (apparently unusually) the tiles in the stairwell are made from concrete, not ceramics. So they’re porous, and grow ever-more dirty over the years? I’m not an expert. I didn’t know that … Continue reading I Am So Observant


(May 4, 2020)

I’ve just read the second book in Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy, and it’s fabulous – perhaps even better than the first? Anyway, it reminded me that I read a shattering and hilarious parody of Cusk in a Norwegian newspaper a few months back. So I translated it into English; I hope nobody minds? I think … Continue reading Outline

OTB#30: Amarcord

(May 2, 2020)

Amarcord. Federico Fellini. 1973. ⚂ Ah, yes… I saw this a few years ago, but on a horrible interlaced DVD (so the effective resolution was horrible). The is a 2K version restored by Criterion, and… it… still doesn’t really look very good? Like… the colours are kinda all over the place and… but that’s probably … Continue reading OTB#30: Amarcord

April Music

(April 30, 2020)

Music I’ve bought in April. Oh my. That’s a lot of new music. How did that happen? Did I spend the entire month of April on my couch shopping? Yes, I did. The two main threads here are my continuing fascination with Ze Records. They were a late-70s/early-80s New York record company (very, very New … Continue reading April Music

OTB#30: L’Avventura

(April 29, 2020)

L’avventura. Michelangelo Antonioni. 1960. ⚅ Emacs tells me that I watched this in 2014, but that was before I started movie blogging 4 realz, so I have no recollection of this movie. But I’ve quite enjoyed the other Antonioni films on the list, so this is probably going to be spiffy. [half an hour passes] … Continue reading OTB#30: L’Avventura

OTB#30: The Godfather: Part II

(April 25, 2020)

The Godfather Part II. Francis Ford Coppola. 1974. ⚄ I’m watching the movies on this list of the officially best movies in reverse order, and since the first Godfather movie is further up on the list, I’m watching part II first. ¡Scandalo! But I gotta keep the blogging concept going, right? Right. I haven’t seen … Continue reading OTB#30: The Godfather: Part II

OTB#30: Il Vangelo secondo Matteo

(April 21, 2020)

The Gospel According to Matthew. Pier Paolo Pasolini. 1964. ⚅ I watched this move a few years ago, and it’s pretty spiffy. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#30: City Lights

(April 21, 2020)

City Lights. Charles Chaplin. 1931. ⚃ Oh, wow. It’s a silent movie? From 1931? I thought Hollywood had stopped making these at least a couple years before? And everybody had hastily started converting everything into talkies? Was Chaplin one of those people who thought that silent movies were for art and sound was vulgar or … Continue reading OTB#30: City Lights

OTB#30: Come And See

(April 21, 2020)

Come and See. Elem Klimov. 1985. ⚂ I watched this movie the other year, and I wasn’t very impressed, but that might have been because of the horrendous DVD transfer I was watching? This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#37: Un condamné à mort s’est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut

(April 21, 2020)

A Man Escaped. Robert Bresson. 1956. ⚄ There’s four films by Bresson on this “officially the best” list, which is a lot? I don’t think there’s anybody with five movies, but Bresson is tied for the coveted Most Movies On The List prize with Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Stanley Kubrick and John Cassavetes. … Continue reading OTB#37: Un condamné à mort s’est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut

OTB#37: Some Like It Hot

(April 20, 2020)

Some Like It Hot. Billy Wilder. 1959. ⚄ I’ve blogged about this movie before, but we’re in a pretty serious grouping of movies on this list, so I want to re-watch it. Here’s a second look at the screenshots from that movie. You’re welcome. The last time I watched this, it was on an interlaced … Continue reading OTB#37: Some Like It Hot

My New Exnovations in Packaging Blog

(April 18, 2020)

Oh boy oh boy! I braved the throngs of shuffling zombies I mean panting jogging sportspeople to go to the post office to collect a biiig package from Staples: (Orange for scale.) What could it be!? It was… some Post-It index flags (the primary and vital tool for my comics blog). Thanks, Staples! Your packing … Continue reading My New Exnovations in Packaging Blog

OTB#37: La dolce vita

(April 17, 2020)

La dolce vita. Federico Fellini. 1960. ⚅ I must have seen this before? Right? But I can’t really recall it… This is the one with the fountain scene? I must have seen it… or perhaps I’ve just seen that scene, which is included in every documentary about Italian cinema. Oh, yeah! Here’s the opening shot … Continue reading OTB#37: La dolce vita

Storage… To The Max!

(April 16, 2020)

For some years now, I’ve been ripping DVDs (and blu-rays) before watching, both for practical reasons and stupid reasons. One theoretical nice side effect of all this is that I can re-watch movies without rummaging through boxes of stuff… And I actually did re-watch something this year, although I should have re-bought it on blu-ray. … Continue reading Storage… To The Max!

OTB#37: Close-Up

(April 14, 2020)

Close-Up. Abbas Kiarostami. 1990. ⚄ This is one of the rare movies on this “officially the best” from outside of the US/Europe/Japan/Hong Kong Axis of Movies, and I watched it for my World of Films and Cocktails blog series. It’s really good. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#37: Viridiana

(April 14, 2020)

Viridiana. Luis Buñuel. 1961. ⚄ The third and final Buñuel movie on this list of movies. (Well, or the first, if you’re counting from the top, which would be more logical…) Eep! No English subtitles on this bluray! *phew* Subscene to the rescue. Without kindly pirates it would be next to impossible to watch the … Continue reading OTB#37: Viridiana

OTB#37: Passion of Joan of Arc

(April 13, 2020)

The Passion of Joan of Arc. Carl Theodor Dreyer. 1928. ⚅ This film is absolutely amazeballs, and I wrote about it here. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#37: Playtime

(April 13, 2020)

Playtime. Jacques Tati. 1967. ⚅ So this is where Roy Andersson got his aesthetic from! Oh my. I realise now that I’m in a kinda multiple French delusion zone: For some reason, the name “Tati” made me think both of that umbrella movie by Jacques Demy, so slightly understandable, but also of Louis de Funès, … Continue reading OTB#37: Playtime

OTB#44: Le mépris

(April 9, 2020)

Les Mepris. Jean-Luc Godard. 1963. ⚂ I watched this in 2015 and didn’t like it at all, apparently. I was probably wrong, because the screenshots look lovely. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#44: Once Upon a Time in the West

(April 9, 2020)

One Upon a Time in the West. Sergio Leone. 1968. ⚃ I’ve seen all the Eastwood Leone movies… but I may never have seen this one? I probably have, though, on third-generation VHS back in the 80s. Oh wow. Argento and Bertolucci? Well, the first sounds good, but not the second… OH WOW! This is … Continue reading OTB#44: Once Upon a Time in the West

OTB#44: The Apartment

(April 9, 2020)

The Apartment. Billy Wilder. 1960. ⚂ I watched this movie five years ago, and apparently I didn’t like it? I can’t remember why. I mean, it looks fun? I may be wrong here? I kinda want to re-watch it, but not with that DVD transfer, which sounds tragic. This blog post is part of the … Continue reading OTB#44: The Apartment

OTB#44: Hour of the Wolf

(April 9, 2020)

Hour of the Wolf. Ingmar Bergman. 1968. ⚃ I watched this a couple years ago, and I think it’s an odd Bergman movie to land on this “Officially the Best” list. It’s… I think there’s at least 20 better Bergman movies out there? I mean, it’s not bad, but… This blog post is part of … Continue reading OTB#44: Hour of the Wolf

OTB#48: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

(April 9, 2020)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Milos Forman. 1975. ⚄ I think I saw this when I was a child. I remember… it being sad? Yes. That’s all I remember. And I think I may have it confused with Birdy. And… Oh! Now I remember the Mad parody of it. There’s some pillow action at … Continue reading OTB#48: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Noindex Redux

(April 8, 2020)

A month ago, I wondered whether there was any way to make those useless WordPress overview pages (i.e., category, author and “page X” pages) go away from search index results. To recap, whenever I’m looking for something, Google has a tendency to return a result pointing to “page 35” of somebody’s blog, but when I … Continue reading Noindex Redux

OTB#48: L’eclisse

(April 6, 2020)

L’eclisse. Michelangelo Antonioni. 1962. ⚅ Oh, L’eclisse… not Réglisse… So this isn’t a French movie about liquorice, but an Italian movie about an eclipse. Makes more sense. [time passes] OH MY EMACS! Everything in this movie is so gorgeous! The performers, the lighting, the costumes, the interiors, the framing, the film stock, the 2K transfer… … Continue reading OTB#48: L’eclisse

Is This The Kind Of Thing You Should Be Worried About Finding On The Back Stairs?

(April 6, 2020)

The Campaign Against Link Rot

(April 6, 2020)

This blog has been going for a while, and more and more of the very, very useful external links (ahem) now point to sites that have disappeared, or that have rearranged all their internal links. This is sad. I wondered whether there was a tool that’d just point all the broken links to archive.org, and … Continue reading The Campaign Against Link Rot

The Google Audit

(April 6, 2020)

As I’m sure you remember perfectly, in 2012 (!) I did something silly (no really): I scripted a teensy thing that would check what was playing on the stereo, and then search Youtube for a video that matched that as best it could (based on artist name, track title and the length of the track), … Continue reading The Google Audit

OTB#48: Lawrence of Arabia

(April 4, 2020)

Lawrence of Arabia. David Lean. 1962. ⚁ This isn’t a movie I’ve looked forwards to watching. I think I’ve seen it… a couple of times? Back in the 80s? I seem to remember it being one of those double VHS box things? And all I remember about the movie is that it’s one portentous desert … Continue reading OTB#48: Lawrence of Arabia

March Music

(April 1, 2020)

Music I’ve bought in March. After a very slow February, I pulled myself together and got buyin’. And not just new old music: But mostly. And, hey, a new single from Team Dresch!

So You Want To Run Your Own Mail Server…

(March 25, 2020)

Whenever the subject of running your own mail server comes up, there’ll always be two people who chime in. The first will say “No, don’t do it! It’s a virtually impossible thing to do these days!” The second will say “Don’t listen to that guy! It’s trivial! I just installed one and I had no … Continue reading So You Want To Run Your Own Mail Server…

Outgoing DKIM and exim4

(March 22, 2020)

So, I sent an email to my sister, and I didn’t hear back. After exchanging some SMS-es, it turns out my mails went to the spam box on Gmail. Rude! That’s a new development for my MTA (quimby.gnus.org), so I tried poking around seeing whether I’d ended up in a blacklist or something. But, no, … Continue reading Outgoing DKIM and exim4

OTB#48: The Searchers

(March 22, 2020)

The Searchers. John Ford. 1956. ⚃ There’s sure a whole bunch of westerns on this survey, padner. I got this one from a 20 disc box set some years back. I think it was this? That’s a pretty solid collection. This is the only John Ford movie on the list, which is somewhat surprising. And … Continue reading OTB#48: The Searchers

OTB#48: Pickpocket

(March 21, 2020)

Pickpocket. Robert Bresson. 1959. ⚅ Oh, I’ve got this both on DVD from Artificial Eye and bluray from Criterion… I’m watching the Criterion release. OH MY EMACS! Bresson is straight from the screen into my pretentious mind. Those affectless deliveries! The moral quandaries! Those French hairstyles! It’s just pure fabulousness. I’m there from the first … Continue reading OTB#48: Pickpocket

OTB#48: Pather Panchali

(March 20, 2020)

Pather Panchali. Satyajit Ray. 1955. ⚄ There aren’t a lot of movies on this list from outside the US/Europe/Japan/Hong Kong axis. Is this the only one? Haven’t made a survey, but it kinda looks like it? Uhm… Oh! It’s got Close-Up by Abbas Kiarostami, too. (From Iran.) That one’s really good. My guess is that … Continue reading OTB#48: Pather Panchali


(March 19, 2020)

OTB#48: Man with a Movie Camera

(March 19, 2020)

Man With A Movie Camera. Dziga Vertov. 1929. ⚅ I think… when English translators are translating from certain languages… they always end up with “scenario” being “SCENARIO” instead of “script”, which is what it means… At least that’s my impression after reading a book about movies translated from French to English the other month. And … Continue reading OTB#48: Man with a Movie Camera

OTB#48: Rear Window

(March 18, 2020)

Rear Window. Alfred Hitchcock. 1954. ⚅ I saw this movie just the other year (I think… on a plane?), but now I’ve got it in 2K, so I’m rewatching it. The movie is kinda perfect, but this 2K transfer isn’t. Or perhaps it was just this soft on the celluloid (or er whatever the young … Continue reading OTB#48: Rear Window

OTB#48: Goodfellas

(March 18, 2020)

Goodfellas. Martin Scorsese. 1990. ⚂ My most shocking, controversial opinion ever is this: I think Scorsese is overrated. I was amused by all the accolades The Irishman got when it came out. I mean, just look at the critics falling over themselves in trying to praise it more than everybody else. It’s a mediocre movie, … Continue reading OTB#48: Goodfellas

Did You Ever Wonder What It Would Look Like If You Pointed A Lamp Down Into A Scanner And Then Scanned?

(March 17, 2020)

No? But now you know.

OTB#48: Shoah

(March 17, 2020)

Shoah. Claude Lanzmann. 1985. ⚂ I suspect I’ve seen this before: Was it serialised on TV in the 80s? But it’s just a perfect day for watching this nine hour kneeslapper, isn’t it? Oh, yeah, I have definitely seen this before: I remember the really annoying way it has of have people talking in Polish/Czech/whatever … Continue reading OTB#48: Shoah

OTB#48: Psycho

(March 14, 2020)

Psycho. Alfred Hitchcock. 1960. ⚅ Oooh! Psycho! I haven’t seen this for quite some time! And now in a restored 2K version! Oh, it’s not in “acedemy” ratio? That’s the way I remember it, but perhaps it was pan-and-scanned when I watched it on VHS in the 80s… Hitchcock was a fucking asshole and apparently … Continue reading OTB#48: Psycho


(March 14, 2020)

I was just walking back to the couch to watch the next movie when… OH MY EMACS! I’ve had that Zamioculcas for over a decade, and it’s never done that before. Is it Corona!?

OTB#59: Blow Up

(March 14, 2020)

Blow Up. Michelangelo Antonioni. 1966. ⚄ Whu uh. I thought I had seen this movie before, but in my mind it’s in black and white, and it’s set in Italy. This is in colour and is set in the UK. From the first five minutes, I would have guessed that this was a Nick Roeg … Continue reading OTB#59: Blow Up

OTB#59: Gertrud

(March 13, 2020)

Gertrud. Carl Theodor Dreyer. 1964. ⚅ Oh, wow – a Dreyer movie from 1964? I had no idea he lived that long. Hm… Ah. It’s his final movie. I’ve seen the fabulous Joan of Arc he did back in the 20s, but not a lot of his later movies. This is some grade-A bizarre acting. … Continue reading OTB#59: Gertrud

Stockpiling the Essentials

(March 13, 2020)

OTB#59: Aguirre, Wrath of God

(March 12, 2020)

Aguirre, Wrath of God. Werner Herzog. 1972. ⚅ Wow, this is the only Herzog movie on the list… and it’s a Herzog movie I haven’t watched! Amazeballs. (Not really.) Anyway, this is so incredibly lush… every scenes seems out of control and fraught with danger. And Klaus Kinski is insane here. (And probably in real … Continue reading OTB#59: Aguirre, Wrath of God

OTB#59: A Woman Under the Influence

(March 12, 2020)

A Woman Under the Influence. John Cassavetes. 1974. ⚅ This is the fourth (and highest-rated) Cassavetes movie on the list of Best Movies Ever (Officially). OK, after watching all these Cassavetes movies, it’s hard not to be charmed by his aesthetic. I think that he’s thinking that he’s showing us actual, real, life, and everything … Continue reading OTB#59: A Woman Under the Influence

OTB#59: Il conformista

(March 12, 2020)

The Conformist. Bernardo Bertolucci. 1970. ☐ I am not a fan of Bertolucci, so I was happy to see that there’s only one movie by him on the “Best Of” list. And this is movie of his I haven’t seen before, so that’s even better. Perhaps this one will be great! There’s a whole bunch … Continue reading OTB#59: Il conformista

The Mysteries of WordPress

(March 12, 2020)

I moved to a self-hosted WordPress last week, and importing the images failed, so I had to do that manually. (That is, with rsync.) Everything seemed to work fine, but then I noticed that loading the images of some of the older pages seemed to take a long time. Like, downloading megabytes and megabytes of … Continue reading The Mysteries of WordPress

OTB#59: Blue Velvet

(March 9, 2020)

Blue Velvet. David Lynch. 1986. ⚅ I think I may only have seen this movie once before, which is odd, because I love David Lynch. On the other hand, I remember not being … thrilled? by this movie when I saw it. Which was probably on VHS in 1987 when I was 19. What I … Continue reading OTB#59: Blue Velvet

OTB#59: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

(March 9, 2020)

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Sergio Leone. 1966. ⚄ Has anybody remarked on the similarity between the first trumpet thing (mow mow moooow) in the theme song and the Sad Trombone thing? No? Anyway, this is the first Leone movie in this blog series, and it’s a movie I’ve seen a couple times … Continue reading OTB#59: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

OTB#59: La grande illusion

(March 9, 2020)

La Grande Illusion. Jean Renoir. 1937. ⚄ I watched this movie about five years ago, and it’s pretty spiffy. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#67: Ugetsu Monogatari

(March 8, 2020)

Ugetsu. Kenji Mizoguchi. 1953. ⚂ I read a compilation of Cahiers de cinema (the 50s years) the other month, and one film that was mentioned a lot was this one. I haven’t seen it before… I haven’t seen it before, and it definitely has it going on. But… there’s a whiff of super-simplified morality play … Continue reading OTB#67: Ugetsu Monogatari

This Is A Test

(March 8, 2020)

This blog has been hosted on WordPress.com for many a year. It has, all in all, been a very pleasant experience: It feels like the uptime has been at least 110%, and most everything just works. The problems with using that solution is that it’s very restrictive. There’s so many little things you just can’t … Continue reading This Is A Test

Search Index Cleanliness Is Next To Something

(March 5, 2020)

Allegedly, 30% of all web pages are now WordPress. I’m guessing most of these WordPress sites aren’t typical blog sites, but there sure are many of them out there. Which makes it so puzzling why Google and WordPress don’t really play together very well. Lemme just use on of my own stupid hobby sites, Totally … Continue reading Search Index Cleanliness Is Next To Something

OTB#67: Badlands

(March 3, 2020)

Badlands. Terrence Malick. 1973. ⚄ As usual with American movies depicting teenagers, it’s always confusing: Are these older actors really supposed to be teenagers, or are they developmentally challenged adults? Spacek looks mid-20s, but acts like she’s aiming for twelve, and Sheen looks like he’s late-30s, but acts like aiming for fifteen? Or are they … Continue reading OTB#67: Badlands

BC&B: Morue à la Provençale le Caméléon w/ Aïoli

(February 29, 2020)

Food time! The salt cod dishes in the Bistro Cooking book have been pretty spiffy… this one looks like it’s in a more bacalaoish direction than the previous ones, what with all the tomatoes and stuff. There’s all the usual stuff… and then a whole lot of herbs. Even before starting to cook, it smells … Continue reading BC&B: Morue à la Provençale le Caméléon w/ Aïoli

February Music

(February 29, 2020)

Music I’ve bought in February. *gasp* Virtually no new music! Well, it’s been a slow February.

Parallax Error Beheads You

(February 25, 2020)

tl;dr: I made a silly 3D web page thing. Yadda yadda: For entirely nostalgic reasons, I’ve been buying a bunch of paperback books published by the largest Norwegian publishing house, Gyldendal, in the 60s and 70s. I guess these are the Norwegian equivalents of what Penguin was at the time: Cheap, but nice and with … Continue reading Parallax Error Beheads You

The Fate of gmane.org

(February 25, 2020)

As previously discussed in this embarrassing saga, gmane.org was bought by Yomura Corporation, and they have now let the domain expire. The domain went to the normal Namesilo auction process, and I was waiting for it to appear there so I could buy it back. I didn’t check often enough, and before I was able … Continue reading The Fate of gmane.org

OTB#67: Vivre sa vie

(February 24, 2020)

Vivre sa vie. Jean-Luc Godard. 1962. ⚅ Godard movies of this era are such a delight to watch. He’s having so much fun, being all mischievous and stuff. Like filming the actors from behind for the first five minutes, and fading the music in and out at seemingly random. He’s so punk. Every single scene … Continue reading OTB#67: Vivre sa vie

OTB#67: Blade Runner

(February 23, 2020)

Blade Runner. Ridley Scott. 1982. ⚃ Apparently, I didn’t really like this movie when I saw it some years back. It seems better in my head than a ⚃, so it’s quite possible I was too grouchy when I watched it. On the other hand, perhaps not? This blog post is part of the Officially … Continue reading OTB#67: Blade Runner

OTB#67: Sunset Blvd.

(February 23, 2020)

Sunset Boulevard. Billy Wilder. 1950. ⚄ It’s a Billy Wilder movie, so I assumed that this was a comedy. It’s not, and I’m a moron. That’s some supporting cast. This is one of three Billy Wilder movies on this “best of” list, and the only one I haven’t seen recently. (Or… ever? But it does … Continue reading OTB#67: Sunset Blvd.

OTB#67: Journey to Italy

(February 19, 2020)

Journey to Italy. Roberto Rossellini. 1954. ⚅ This 2K restoration looks great: Another class release by the British Film Institute. Your tax money at work, for some values of “your”. But… “English version”? Oh! They seem to be moving their mouths in a slightly English-looking way? Did Rossellini film several versions of this? (As usual … Continue reading OTB#67: Journey to Italy

BC&B: Tranche de Gigot La Boutarde w/ Tarte au Citron Madame Cartet

(February 19, 2020)

Food and book time! I usually shop specifically for the dishes in the Bistro Cooking book, but today I saw some lamb cutlets and I thought that surely there’d be a recipe for that in the book, even if that meant I had to cheat and skip forward a bit in the Les Viandes chapter. … Continue reading BC&B: Tranche de Gigot La Boutarde w/ Tarte au Citron Madame Cartet

OTB#67: In The Mood For Love

(February 18, 2020)

In The Mood For Love. Kar Wai Wong. 2000. ⚄ I saw this movie a couple of years ago, and I’m not rewatching it for this blog series. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#67: Singin’ in the Rain

(February 17, 2020)

Singin’ in the Rain. Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen. 1952. ⚅ Hey! We’re no longer on #75! It was a 16-way split, so we stayed on the same number for a while. #67 is only split between… eight movies… Oh well. I’ve seen this movie a bunch of times, but it’s been a few years … Continue reading OTB#67: Singin’ in the Rain

OTB#75: M

(February 16, 2020)

M. Fritz Lang. 1931. ⚃ Oh! It’s German? I really thought I’d seen this before and that it was an American movie? Perhaps I was thinking of the 1951 Losey movie… but… I do remember Peter Lorre being in it? I’m all kinds of confused. Anyway, this is a very narrow movie. I mean, format … Continue reading OTB#75: M

BC&B: Poulet Basquaise w/ Céleri Rémoulade

(February 15, 2020)

Food time. The next starter in the Bistro Cooking book is another rémoulade. And… it does look like a nice slaw, doesn’t it? Celery root and Dijon mustard. But… that’s like the entire dish? Just a slaw as a dish? That’s… kinda… Perhaps this is the the best slaw ever. Anyway, it’s just those ingredients. … Continue reading BC&B: Poulet Basquaise w/ Céleri Rémoulade

OTB#75: Battleship Potemkin

(February 13, 2020)

Potemkin. Sergei M. Eisenstein. 1925. ⚅ I’ve been looking for the Pet Shop Boys version of this movie, but that’s apparently never been released, so I watched this movie while playing the CD and things probably didn’t line up perfectly… I mean, it can’t because silent movies have a kinda vague connection to timing anyway… … Continue reading OTB#75: Battleship Potemkin

New Lists Can Now Be Added To Gmane

(February 12, 2020)

I’ve now hacked up a new admin interface to the Gmane mailing list archive. If you want to add new lists, use the new admin interface. Older lists can also be edited, and you can request resubscription and stuff. This stuff has not exactly been rigorously tested, so if you have any problems with the … Continue reading New Lists Can Now Be Added To Gmane

OTB#75: The General

(February 11, 2020)

The General. Clyde Bruckman / Buster Keaton. 1926. ⚃ Lobster? Who are they, then? Over the years, the companies doing releases and restoration of classic (and not-so-classic) movies has been ever-changing. Let’s see… there’s Criterion, of course, who’s been going all along. And BFI, doing more and more stuff, presumably gummint-funded. But I was thinking … Continue reading OTB#75: The General

OTB#75: There Will Be Blood

(February 11, 2020)

There Will Be Blood. Paul Thomas Anderson. 2007. ⚂ Is this one of those movies designed for an actor that acts big to be allowed to be totally over the top so that he can win an Oscar (see all male actor Oscar wins ever)? Oh it is: The standard joke is that the craft … Continue reading OTB#75: There Will Be Blood

Reagent is… Nice?

(February 11, 2020)

I’ve been procrastinating on writing a web-based admin interface for news.gmane.io… because I just haven’t been able to make up my mind as to what technologies to use. I hate learning new stuff, but it feels pretty stagnant to tap away in Javascript (on the frontend) and PHP for whatever has to happen on the … Continue reading Reagent is… Nice?

BC&B: Gardiane La Cargue w/ Cervelas Rémoulade

(February 10, 2020)

Busyness never ends, so I’ve had no time to read anything… which means that I can’t cook anything either. It’s this whole concept. Finally, time for some food. So the starter couldn’t possibly be simpler: It’s sausages with a Dijon mayonnaise. But that means that I get another crack at making mayonnaise: My two previous … Continue reading BC&B: Gardiane La Cargue w/ Cervelas Rémoulade

Strict Lamp Policies

(February 10, 2020)

I bought a lamp the other day. I had no idea what I had signed up for! “Failure to do so will be punished according to the current national legislation.” Is this what they call a zero-click license agreement?

OTB#75: A Clockwork Orange

(February 6, 2020)

A Clockwork Orange. Stanley Kubrick. 1971. ⚂ I’ve seen this before, but it was in my teens and I don’t really remember much about the actual movie. But everything from it is part of popular culture now, so it all seems so familiar anyway. Surely those bar tables aren’t very practical. Virtually no critics thought … Continue reading OTB#75: A Clockwork Orange

OTB#75: Angst essen Seele auf

(February 6, 2020)

Fear Eats The Soul. Rainer Werner Fassbinder. 1973. ⚄ This is the only Fassbinder on the “best of” list, and it’s a movie I can’t recall seeing anybody mention before, so I’m excited. Well, some things just aren’t believable here! Like the bartender not knowing how to pour beer! That’s a lot of foam, dude. … Continue reading OTB#75: Angst essen Seele auf

OTB#75: Hidden

(February 5, 2020)

Hidden. Michael Haneke. 2005. ⚃ I talked about this movie here. It’s the best Haneke movie I’ve seen, so I’m not shocked it ended up on this list of movies. I had expected Amour to show up either on this list or the critics’ list, but I realise now that that movie was released after … Continue reading OTB#75: Hidden

OTB#75: The Shining

(February 5, 2020)

The Shining. Stanley Kubrick. 1980. ⚄ Yesterday I watched Salò, and I may have given the impression that it’s more interesting than it is. It isn’t interesting. There’s no reason to watch it; it’s just audience abuse. So tonight (while waiting for the dinner to cook) I’m watching a much cosier movie. I don’t think … Continue reading OTB#75: The Shining

OTB#75: The Seventh Seal

(February 4, 2020)

The Seventh Seal. Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⚅ I watched this movie two years ago, and it’s fabulous, of course. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#75: Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma

(February 3, 2020)

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom. Pier Paolo Pasolini. 1975. ⚁ Well, this isn’t a movie I’ve been looking forward to seeing… I’m so over the whole épatering la bourgeoisie thing. Somewhat interestingly, the critics and the directors are really divergent on this one, only getting to the 202nd place in the critics’ poll. … Continue reading OTB#75: Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma

OTB#75: Kes

(February 3, 2020)

Kes. Ken Loach. 1969. ⚃ I’ve seen this before… like, a handful of years ago? I did not much like it then: The relentless awfulness of the boy’s life is… relentless? (I have a way with words.) But perhaps I misremember. Especially now that I’ve got a 2K copy of the movie. Heh heh: The … Continue reading OTB#75: Kes

OTB#75: Mulholland Dr

(February 2, 2020)

Mulholland Drive. David Lynch. 2001. ⚅ I’ve seen this several times before, of course… but now it’s in 2K! I adore Lynch, but I wonder: Why Mulholland Dr. and not… like… Inland Empire? There’s two Lynch Movies on this list: Blue Velvet (duh) and this. Perhaps the attraction of this movie is that it’s, well, … Continue reading OTB#75: Mulholland Dr

OTB#75: Husbands

(February 2, 2020)

Husbands. John Cassavetes. 1970. ⚀ I watched this movie a few years back, and I really loathed it. I can’t quite remember why, but I was probably right? Was is something about that interminable dinner scene? Hm… This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#75: The Wild Bunch

(February 2, 2020)

The Wild Bunch. Sam Peckinpah. 1969. ⚂ Oh, I’ve got this on an old 6Mbps DVD release… I should have bought a 2K version, because it looks like that would have been really nice… OK; I’m going through all the rest of the movies to see whether they’re suspiciously small files and re-buying them. But … Continue reading OTB#75: The Wild Bunch

OTB#75: Los Olvidados

(February 1, 2020)

Los olvidados. Luis Buñuel. 1950. ⚄ I didn’t know that Buñuel made straight-up sappy movies like this. This feels like it could have been any Italian neorealist movie of its time. Only set in Mexico. Not surprising: Los Olvidados was largely disparaged by the Mexican press upon its release. It’s a very picaresque look at … Continue reading OTB#75: Los Olvidados

The Best Comics of 2019

(February 1, 2020)

When reading comics, the ones that seem particularly interesting end up in this little shelf in the living room that I can then sit and ponder. I meant to do this blog post at least a month ago, but time flies, so here goes. And I don’t have time tonight to write anything insightful (hah! … Continue reading The Best Comics of 2019

January Music

(February 1, 2020)

Music I’ve bought in January. There’s proportionally fewer Discogs finds this month, because I went through Norman Record’s Best Albums of 2019 list and picked up some stuff that seemed fun. Like black midi: Which, indeed, turns out to be very good. Well, OK, I also bought ‘ard Corr by Well ‘ard from Discogs, because … Continue reading January Music

Innovations in Music Distribution

(January 30, 2020)

I was at a concert the other day, and as usual, I checked out what wares the musicians had to sell in the interval. And there was this box: … with a card inside: It’s USB! Isn’t that great? It conducts light really well, so that if your USB hub has a LED, it looks … Continue reading Innovations in Music Distribution

OTB#75: Jaws

(January 30, 2020)

Jaws. Steven Spielberg. 1975. ⚂ This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series. I assume this has been voted the 75th best movie of all time by directors is because of the technical qualities. I mean, nobody can argue against how effective the “doon duun” scary music is. It’s beyond perfect. And … Continue reading OTB#75: Jaws

OTB#91: Pierrot le Fou

(January 30, 2020)

Pierrot le fou. Jean-Luc Godard. 1965. ⚅ I did not re-watch this movie for this blog series, but you can read about it here. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#91: Un chien andalou

(January 30, 2020)

Un Chien Andalou. Luis Buñuel. 1929. ⚄ I have never seen this, but I’ve seen shots from every scene from this movie in various articles over the years. So I knew when to hold a pillow before my face, and I still haven’t seen That Scene. This is Luis Buñuel’s famous exercise in épater la … Continue reading OTB#91: Un chien andalou

OTB#91: Chinatown

(January 30, 2020)

Chinatown. Roman Polanski. 1974. ⚄ I’ve seen this before, but I was like… twelve. The only thing I remember is the shocking ending. This is like a proper mystery movie! With lots of detecting and conspiracies and stuff. I did not remember that at all. Very moody. Nicholson is great, of course, as the somewhat … Continue reading OTB#91: Chinatown

OTB#91: La Maman et la putain

(January 28, 2020)

*gasp* Shoes in bed! La maman et la putain. Jean Eustache. 1973. ⚄ All the movies on the list of the best movies (officially) are readily available… except this one. The only legit source I could find it from was this $80 VHS tape, and since my VHS player i… somewhere… I bought a bootleg … Continue reading OTB#91: La Maman et la putain

OTB#91: Beau Travail

(January 27, 2020)

Beau Travail. Claire Denis. 1999. ⚅ Somebody described Denis as “the best living director today” a few years back, and that’s what it takes to get on the Official The Best list if you’re a woman. (At #91.) There are no further female directors on the list. I’ve seen this movie several times before, and … Continue reading OTB#91: Beau Travail

OTB#91: Opening Night

(January 27, 2020)

Opening Night. John Cassavetes. 1977. ⚅ Gina Rowlands! I love her. I’ve had my doubts about Cassavetes before. I mean: But this is brilliant. Everybody behaves so awfully towards the Rowlands character (including the Cassavetes character (her husband, after all) slapping her), that it starts getting… is like Cassavetes trying to say something to her? … Continue reading OTB#91: Opening Night

OTB#91: The Gold Rush

(January 25, 2020)

The Gold Rush. Charles Chaplin. 1925. ⚄ Man, this has been beautifully restored by Criterion. It’s a 2K release, and it looks super sharp. OK, some of the shots are a bit blurry, but it generally looks great. Much better than the transfers I saw back when I was a child. Because I think it’s … Continue reading OTB#91: The Gold Rush

OTB#91: The Deer Hunter

(January 25, 2020)

The Deer Hunter. Michael Cimino. 1978. ⚂ This won all the Oscars, which immediately makes me suspicious. And I have seen it before, but I was probably… twelve…? at the time (probably got it on VHS some years after the release). And I remember absolutely nothing about it except that it’s sweaty and there’s some … Continue reading OTB#91: The Deer Hunter

OTB#91: Zéro de Conduite

(January 24, 2020)

Zéro de conduite: Jeunes diables au collège. Jean Vigo. 1933. ⚃ Since there are 16 movies tying for “last place” on this top 100 (all at #91), it means that I’ve got some leeway in choosing the order of movies. So the next film alphabetically was The Deer Hunter, but that’s over three hours long!? … Continue reading OTB#91: Zéro de Conduite

OTB#91: L’argent

(January 20, 2020)

L’Argent. Robert Bresson. 1983. ⚅ I blogged about this movie here. I should probably re-watch it, but I’m not. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

OTB#91: The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

(January 20, 2020)

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. John Cassavetes. 1976. ⚂ OK, the weirdest thing about the list of 100 best movies I’m doing is that Cassavetes has four movies on it. I mean, there’s nobody on here with more movies than Cassavetes. I wonder whether that’s an artefact of the age of the participating voting … Continue reading OTB#91: The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

OTB#91: Sans Soleil

(January 20, 2020)

Sans Soleil. Chris Marker. 1983. ⚃ The DVD of this I bought has La jetée as the main attraction, and this movie as the extra. Which makes sense, because I’ve heard of La Jetée, but I haven’t heard of this movie. Which makes me excited. I really love the central conceit of this movie: It’s … Continue reading OTB#91: Sans Soleil

OTB#91: Don’t Look Now

(January 18, 2020)

Don’t Look Now. Nicolas Roeg. 1973. ⚄ Oh, man. I have no recollection of having seen this movie, but every scene there’s a kind of primeval recognition. Could I have seen this, like, on TV as a child or something? It’s deja vu all the way for me. I must have been scared shitless while … Continue reading OTB#91: Don’t Look Now

OTB#91: Soy Cuba

(January 18, 2020)

I Am Cuba. Mikhail Kalatozov. 1964. ⚅ This is a movie I was completely unaware of, and I don’t seem to be the only one: It really is a neglected classic. It’s so weird! Movies this weird don’t usually end up on lists like these. Is it recently rediscovered or something? I’ve never seen cinematography … Continue reading OTB#91: Soy Cuba


(January 18, 2020)

I’ve had my servers in my employer’s data room since 1997, but (since that company doesn’t exist any more), I had to make some changes. I had planned on doing some coloc thing locally here, so I bought some semi-spiffy new servers. But then I changed my mind. It all just seemed too much work: … Continue reading Clownin’

OTB#91: L’Année dernière à Marienbad

(January 16, 2020)

L’Année dernière à Marienbad. Alain Resnais. 1961. ⚅ I’ve seen this at least a couple of times before. The last time was in 2015 according to Emacs… I regret not rebuying it on 2K. It’s such a beautiful film, and I’ve got it on a windowboxed DVD, so the resolution is like nil by nought. … Continue reading OTB#91: L’Année dernière à Marienbad

OTB#91: Le Samouraï

(January 16, 2020)

Le Samouraï. Jean-Pierre Melville. 1967. ⚃ I have apparently bought the Spanish version of this, but fortunately there’s also a French soundtrack. But no English subtitles! Subscene to the rescue! What would we do without pirates? Just watch Michael Bay movies? Oh, wow. Alain Delon. I don’t think I’ve seen any films by Melville? But … Continue reading OTB#91: Le Samouraï

Officially The Best

(January 16, 2020)

I’ve always wanted to watch all the movies on the Sight and Sound list of movies. First of all, it’s a poll taken of working directors, and that in itself makes it interesting. Secondly, the film that won was neither Citizen Kane nor Vertigo, which immediately makes it seem more relevant. I’ve jokingly referred to … Continue reading Officially The Best

B&CB: Aïoli Monstre w/ Aïoli

(January 16, 2020)

New year, new decade, new food. The previous salt cod dish from the Bistro Cooking book was delicious, so I’m all excited about this one: Lots of veggies, cod and aioli. The only thing that’s odd about this recipe is its name: Grand aioli. I mean, that’s just the sauce. So this is a two-for-one … Continue reading B&CB: Aïoli Monstre w/ Aïoli

news.gmane.org is now news.gmane.io

(January 15, 2020)

As previously discussed, the gmane.org domain was no longer viable, and the NNTP server has now moved to news.gmane.io. Likewise, mailing list subscriptions have been moved from m.gmane.org to m.gmane-mx.org. As of this writing, neither service is up, because I’m doing the final resync before restarting the services on a new server. I expect the … Continue reading news.gmane.org is now news.gmane.io

SMTP Callouts

(January 13, 2020)

After doing several rounds of mop-ups after moving all the mailing lists from gmane.org to gmane-mx.org, I was wondering whether there were any way of checking whether a mailing list is dead for sure or not (mostly to see what percentage had been ported), and… of course there isn’t. But you can use SMTP callouts … Continue reading SMTP Callouts


(January 10, 2020)

When looking at the log on my mail server, it usually looks like this: Just and endless stream of spammers sending spam to addresses that don’t exist. I’ve often wondered why people who run MTAs don’t just band together and work out was to just ban these obviously horrible spammy monsters from the interweb totally! … Continue reading “Spamtraps”

Whatever Happened To news.gmane.org?

(January 6, 2020)

I fucked up. Short version: If you’re reading mailing lists with an NNTP news reader via news.gmane.org, you should update your news reader to point to news.gmane.io instead. Over the past few years, people have asked me what happened to Gmane, and I’ve mostly clasped my hands over my ears and gone “la la la … Continue reading Whatever Happened To news.gmane.org?

NFLX2019 Redux

(January 4, 2020)

Almost a year ago I foolishly decided to watch all “Netflix Originals” movies to see what it’s like. Here’s the tl;dr: Based on these movies, Netflix is doomed. There were some movies I enjoyed, but none I could recommend without any caveats. However, it’d be a mistake to think that these movies have that much … Continue reading NFLX2019 Redux

NFLX2019 December 31st: Ghost Stories

(January 4, 2020)

Ghost Stories. Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★ Nooo! The final Netflix Original movie of 2019 is an Indian movie! Nooo!!! Not that there’s anything wrong with Indian movies. Some of my best friends are Indian movies. It was just not what I was expecting to round off the year. … Continue reading NFLX2019 December 31st: Ghost Stories

NFLX2019 December 31st: Dead Kids

(January 3, 2020)

Dead Kids. Mikhail Red. 2019. ☆☆★★★★★ Huh. A Filipino movie? That’s definitely a first in this year of Netflix Originals. It’s… a bit amateurish. The actors are pretty likeable, but take that scene in the bar where they’re arguing about going to a night club: There wasn’t anything much wrong about any single line, but … Continue reading NFLX2019 December 31st: Dead Kids

NFLX2019 December 26th: The App

(January 3, 2020)

The App. Elisa Fuksas. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Hey! It’s Italian! I think this is the first Italian Netflix Original I’ve seen in this blog series? Perhaps it’ll be wonderful! Hm… that’s a lot of mobile phone screen caps… In portrait mode… Well, that’s harsh… But what does he really mean? Well, I can see why people … Continue reading NFLX2019 December 26th: The App

The Best Albums of 2019

(January 1, 2020)

Here’s the best music of 2019, according to Emacs, which has carefully tallied what I’ve been listening to: Sam Amidon I See The Sign Meat Beat Manifesto Opaque Couche Coil Swanyard Various Third Noise Principle (Formative North American Electronica 1975-1984) Brigid Mae Power The Bones You Keep Close Lucy Roleff Left Open in a Room … Continue reading The Best Albums of 2019

December Music

(January 1, 2020)

Music I’ve bought in December. Hm… not a very exciting month for new music, apparently. But I got a bunch of old stuff that I remembered needing, like Chrome Hoof:

NFLX2019 December 24th: Como Caído del Cielo

(December 30, 2019)

Como Caído del Cielo. José Pepe Bojórquez. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ A Mexican movie? I think this is the first one I’ve seen in this blog series? So the plot is that a dead guy’s er spirit gets to take over a dying guy’s body. Hilarity should ensue, but doesn’t really. Instead they go right to the … Continue reading NFLX2019 December 24th: Como Caído del Cielo

NFLX2019 December 20th: The Two Popes

(December 30, 2019)

The Two Popes. Fernando Meirelles. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Oh, fuck. This is that Catholic propaganda movie? Gah. OK, perhaps it’s watcheable anyway? I mean, the Riefenstahl movie was pretty good. This is also one of the few Netflix movies that has gotten some attention in the media, so it’s a movie Netflix has pushed hard, I … Continue reading NFLX2019 December 20th: The Two Popes

NFLX2019 December 13th: 6 Underground

(December 30, 2019)

6 Underground. Michael Bay. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆☆ Huh! It’s that guy from Deadpool! In a plane! And now he faked crashing the plane! And now they’re in a car chase! Is this the best movie ever? And the car chase is in Italy! And now there’s guns! There’s somebody in the back seat doing surgery to … Continue reading NFLX2019 December 13th: 6 Underground

BC&B: Poulet au Vinaigre Le Petit Truc w/ Estouffade Provençale

(December 27, 2019)

The next poultry disk in the Bistro Cooking book is a chicken-in-vinegar thing, and I’m not all that fond of vinegar, so I’m slightly sceptical. But let’s see. The ingredients are simple enough: A chicken, tarragon, wine and vinegar (and some veggies). And Stargate: SG1. So to get the show started, the chicken has to … Continue reading BC&B: Poulet au Vinaigre Le Petit Truc w/ Estouffade Provençale


(December 27, 2019)

Blinded by the neighbour’s house.

The Best Albums of the Decade

(December 13, 2019)

As a data scientist, applying machine learning to my listening patterns has led to this quantitative analysis of the albums of the decade. I can therefore reveal that these are officially the best albums released during the previous ten year period: Dani Siciliano Dani Siciliano Black Cab Games of the XXI Olympiad Anohni Hopelessness Grumbling … Continue reading The Best Albums of the Decade

NFLX2019 December 6th: Marriage Story

(December 7, 2019)

Marriage Story. Noah Baumbach. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ Oh, I’ve seen reviews of this movie in all the newspapers. And it’s always that way: A Netflix movie either has no presence whatsoever in mass media or it’s absolutely everywhere. So I guess that there’s certain Netflix movies that Netflix pushes really hard, and the rest they just … Continue reading NFLX2019 December 6th: Marriage Story

NFLX2019 December 5th: A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby

(December 6, 2019)

A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby. John Schultz. 2019. ☆☆★★★ Oh, this is part of a series? At least, while searching for it, there seemed to be some other movies with suspiciously similar names. And it starts with a recap. Check. Man, it just immediately seems like a super-cheap film: The early crowd scenes seems … Continue reading NFLX2019 December 5th: A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby

NFLX2019 November 28th: Holiday Rush

(December 6, 2019)

Holiday Rush. Leslie Small. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ I think we’re getting to a certain … time of year. I think Netflix has done at least half a dozen Xmas movies this year? But interestingly enough, each one seems to target a lightly different genres. Or audiences. So this is the black one. Uh-oh. OK, but these … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 28th: Holiday Rush


(December 6, 2019)

So I’ve been futzing with my living room stereo setup lately after getting new speakers, and things look a bit too… stacked? So I thought I’d at least slim down the box the stereo is sitting on: That’s an Ikea box, and it’s too wide and too high and too deep. Inside that box is … Continue reading Stereo

NFLX2019 November 27th: The Irishman

(December 5, 2019)

The Irishman. Martin Scorsese. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ So here it is: Netflix claim to cinematic greatness. They shovelled a whole lot more money in Scorsese’s way than anybody else would have, and they got a movie (shown in actual cinemas (for a couple of weeks)) that all the newspapers in the entire world wrote think pieces … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 27th: The Irishman

NFLX2019 November 21st: The Knight Before Christmas

(December 4, 2019)

The Knight Before Christmas. Monika Mitchell. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Uh-oh. This movie starts off with that sample of an eagle er falcon that’s used everywhere. Yeah, this one: This doesn’t bode well for the budget. OK, this is very high concept: A knight from the thirteen hundreds (I think?) is magically transported to the present day. … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 21st: The Knight Before Christmas

NFLX2019 November 15th: House Arrest

(December 4, 2019)

House Arrest. Shashanka Ghosh, Samit Basu. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ I think this may be the final Indian Netflix Original of the year. They’ve been more miss than hit, so my expectations aren’t high. This one starts off really well: They’re going for a kooky, topsy-turvy aesthetic, and the actors seem charming. It’s basically a screwball comedy … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 15th: House Arrest

BC&B: Saucisson Chaud Pommes À L’Huile w/ Cake au Citron

(December 4, 2019)

It’s been a while since I French Bistroed (had a cold twice! or two different ones once! each!), but it’s time to start cooking again. The next thing in the appetiser section is … basically some sausage with some potatoes tossed in an onion/vinegar mixture. I’m quite sceptical, because it looks (once again) like it’s … Continue reading BC&B: Saucisson Chaud Pommes À L’Huile w/ Cake au Citron

November Music

(December 1, 2019)

Music I’ve bought in November. I’ve been buying all the usual nonsense this month, but I’ve particularly been delving into the output of Broklyn Beats (yes, one O), a label that was active in the early noughts. They concentrated on what some people at the time called “brokebeat”: Harsh, annoying music you can’t dance to. … Continue reading November Music

Translations are Hard

(November 29, 2019)

Yesterday I was delving into the wonderful world of crowd-sourced subtitles, and I was wondering whether TV translations are easy to do. I downloaded the Emacs/mpv-based subed mode and got started. And then stopped immediately, because the mode is really geared towards editing srt files, not writing brand-new ones. You can write new ones, but … Continue reading Translations are Hard

Some Bergman Subtitles

(November 29, 2019)

I was wondering how much work it is to do subtitles for some of the Bergman rarities I uploaded yesterday: Somebody has written a subtitling mode for Emacs, so I wondered whether that was going to be my new hobby. But then it occurred to me that there’s a gazillion of busy bees out there: … Continue reading Some Bergman Subtitles

Some Bergman Things

(November 28, 2019)

Some years back, I watched a whole bunch of things Ingmar Bergman had done. Most of his movies “proper” are available through conventional means, but a surprising number of things weren’t. (We’re talking plays like The Ghost Sonata (on one end of the video quality scale) to The School for Wives (on the other end), … Continue reading Some Bergman Things

Useful Consumer Review

(November 27, 2019)

All Emacs users, at one point or another, feel like they need a pedal to get all the keystrokes in. But now I could actually use one: I’ve got a blogging project that requires using a scanner, and triggering that with a foot would mean less bending to reach the keyboard. So I got an … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Totally Epic

(November 25, 2019)

I don’t really have time for this, but I’ve started blogging about yet another 80s comics publisher: Epic Comics. Or rather “publisher”: It’s an imprint of Marvel Comics, but was initially running as a somewhat separate entity within the Marvel offices. Don’t expect very frequent posts. Or at least not to begin with, as the … Continue reading Totally Epic

NFLX2019 November 15th: Klaus

(November 22, 2019)

Klaus. Sergio Pablos. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★ This is super sweet. It’s told in a brash, irreverent tone, but it’s a very sentimental Christmas movie about Santa Claus and stuff. If you’re easily moved, it’s full of really touching scenes throughout: It’s amazing that they keep delivering these highly emotional punches time and time again. And the … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 15th: Klaus

NFLX2019 November 8th: Earthquake Bird

(November 22, 2019)

Earthquake Bird. Wash Westmoreland. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Man, this is a mess. I was totally on board thinking this was a really interesting movie, where ever shot had a deeper meaning. We were all “oh, this means she can see dead people! No, she’s a vampire! No, she’s dead!” but calm down: There’s no Shyamalaning going … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 8th: Earthquake Bird

Adding a CSS File to WordPress

(November 18, 2019)

Of all things in the world that are frustrating, Googling for how to do things in WordPress is the absolute worst. I guess I’m not used to, like, search for stuff that’s popular. Because whatever you search for related to WordPress, the top ten answers are from content farms that wants to sell you something, … Continue reading Adding a CSS File to WordPress

Emacs Supremacy

(November 13, 2019)

I use Emacs to control the stereo, so 95% of the screen is Emacs: But I like to have a clock there too, so since I started this thing (in… 1997?) I’ve also had an xwatch in the corner. The other night I decided that this was completely and utterly untenable: So I thought “it … Continue reading Emacs Supremacy

Useful Consumer Review

(November 13, 2019)

My wifi saga has been long and painful. Using a single AP, no matter how monstrous, just hasn’t worked in this flat: I’d get miserable bandwidth whenever not within two meters of the AP, and some parts of the flat got no coverage at all no matter where I put it. I guess wifi doesn’t … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

NFLX2019 November 8th: Let It Snow

(November 9, 2019)

Let It Snow. Luke Snellin. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ My prejudices immediately told me that this was going to be a horrible teen comedy thing. But it’s not! It’s a fun teen comedy thing. The actors are charming (it’s an ensemble thing) and the interlocking plots (FSVO plot) are all kinda interesting (and intersects in interesting ways) … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 8th: Let It Snow

NFLX2019 November 1st: Holiday in the Wild

(November 9, 2019)

Holiday in the Wild. Ernie Barbarash. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ This is initially just confusing, because they’re sending off somebody to college… … but which one is he? Is the one in the middle or the one on the right? Who’s playing the teenager here? (It’s the one in the middle, and he’s cast for this way-appropriate-age … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 1st: Holiday in the Wild

NFLX2019 November 1st: The Man Without Gravity

(November 9, 2019)

Hey! I’ve read that book. The Cloven Viscount? The Man Without Gravity. Marco Bonfanti. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Fourth movie of the night! Wow. An Italian movie? I think this is the first Italian Netlix Original? There’s a buttload of Indian ones, and a handful of Spanish, but other than that it’s mostly American. But no, this … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 1st: The Man Without Gravity

NFLX2019 November 1st: Drive

(November 9, 2019)

Drive. Tarun Mansukhani. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ Third movie of the night: This is an Indian action movie or something? “DROVE”? As in “it drove me crazy”? The titles at the start seemed to say something about Israel? Is this an Indian/Israeli thing? And now there’s dancing! Yay! What spectacle. After the titles, I’m definitely intrigued. Oh … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 1st: Drive

NFLX2019 November 1st: The King

(November 9, 2019)

The King. David Michôd. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ OK, second movie of the night, and it’s a longer one. I guess you could term this a… post-Game of Thrones historical drama? That is, it’s “gritty”. But it does aim for more realism than Game of Thrones, I guess: The hairstyles are bad and the actors have artfully … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 1st: The King

NFLX2019 November 1st: American Son

(November 8, 2019)

American Son. Kenny Leon. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ I was already behind on mah Netflix stories, but then I got a cold and now I’m even further behind. But now I’m fine! I slept from 8 to 20 today! Can I watch all the Netflixes tonight? There’s only seven! It’s now 23, so I should be done … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 1st: American Son

BC&B: Gratin de Morue w/ Tartines de Pistou et Poisson Fumé la Boutarde

(November 2, 2019)

Is this the first fish course I made from this book? It may be, and it’s because I took a look at the first recipe in this chapter and thought “well, OK, that sounds good, but… not now.” But now is now. Or a couple of days from now, because the main ingredient here is … Continue reading BC&B: Gratin de Morue w/ Tartines de Pistou et Poisson Fumé la Boutarde

October Music

(November 1, 2019)

Music I’ve bought in October. I’ve been buying a lot of stuff this month, eh? It’s mostly along two lines in inquiry: Is everything Ze Records published in the late 70s/early 80s fun? The answer is yes, but not everything is good. But some is! The other is: There has to be more good music … Continue reading October Music

NFLX2019 October 25th: Rattlesnake

(October 26, 2019)

Rattlesnake. Zak Hilditch. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Hm! This has some similarities with that grass movie I saw the other day. I mean, driving in the boondocks… and a child… OK, it’s not a very er similar similarity. Hm… Is it Wicker Man!? I’m just fifteen minutes in so I’m just guessing here. I’m enjoying this. They’re … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 25th: Rattlesnake

NFLX2019 October 25th: Dolemite Is My Name

(October 26, 2019)

Dolemite Is My Name. Craig Brewer. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ Hey? Eddie Murphy? There’s a face I haven’t seen in a while. He’s good here. Some of the famous people doing all these cameos aren’t really up to his level, but there’s other fun performances, too. Like Tituss. Anyway, it’s very entertaining. It’s a rags-to-riches story, but … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 25th: Dolemite Is My Name

BC&B: Pâtes aux Citron, Jambon, et Olives Noires le Procope w/ Quatre-Quarts aux Poires

(October 21, 2019)

I had a cold, so I’ve been fixing Emacs bugs instead of cooking, but now I’m back in the kitchen. This is the first pasta recipe I’ve done from the book? Looks annoyingly simple: It more fun to do elaborate dishes. But perhaps it’ll be delicious. Hm. That list of ingredients makes me doubtful, though. … Continue reading BC&B: Pâtes aux Citron, Jambon, et Olives Noires le Procope w/ Quatre-Quarts aux Poires

NFLX2019 October 18th: Upstarts

(October 18, 2019)

Upstarts. Udai Singh Pawar. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Indian movie. Hopefully it’s a comedy, because the serious Indian Netflix movies have been pretty dire. … Oh, darn. It’s a dramedy. I think! My initial thought was that this movie made fun up start-up culture and apps and stuff… but… perhaps it’s serious? If it’s the latter, this … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 18th: Upstarts

NFLX2019 October 18th: Eli

(October 18, 2019)

Eli. Ciarán Foy. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Whut… the titles said “Paramount” and then “MTV Movies” and then a bunch of other producers. So how is this a Netflix Original? Oh: In October 2017, Paramount Players acquired distribution rights to the film, and set it for a January 4, 2019 release. However, Netflix acquired distribution rights to … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 18th: Eli

NFLX2019 October 18th: The Laundromat

(October 18, 2019)

The Laundromat. Steven Soderbergh. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Oh, shit. This is a didactic Soderbergh movie about money? Was this one filmed on an Iphone, too? Soderbergh’s previous Netflix movie was one of the very few that I had to bail on because of pure tedium. OK, I broke down and googled. This is based on the … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 18th: The Laundromat

NFLX2019 October 18th: Seventeen

(October 18, 2019)

Diecisiete. Daniel Sánchez Arévalo. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★ Hey! A Spanish Netflix Original. I have hope! [30 minutes pass] I still have hope! Actually, this is a pretty spiffy film. A lot kinda rests on the face of the seventeen-year-old in question, and he kinda aces it. He veers a bit between petulant and determined, but he … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 18th: Seventeen

NFLX2019 October 12th: Street Flow

(October 17, 2019)

Street Flow. Kery James. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ The French title means… Suburbanites? I’m just guessing. I don’t know from French. But I guess that doesn’t translate to the US. “Street Flow” is kinda generic, though. It’s a quite stylish movie with good (and good-looking) actors. The plot is, however, of a pretty standard “it’s tough growing … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 12th: Street Flow

NFLX2019 October 11th: Fractured

(October 17, 2019)

Fractured. Brad Anderson. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ I’m half a minute in and I’m assuming they’re Shalamaying us. [time passes] So now I’m 15 minutes in and I’m still assuming that they’re Shyamalaning us, but even if they aren’t, the assumption is draining all fun out of the movie. Not that there’d be much fun anyway. It’s … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 11th: Fractured

NFLX2019 October 11th: The Forest of Love

(October 17, 2019)

The Forest of Love. Sion Sono. 2019. ☆★★★★★ This is such a bizarre movie. Netflix keeps is really mainstream with the movies they make (or have made) in the US, but they buy up the rights to some pretty oddball foreign movies. But none as odd as this. I don’t even know how to start … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 11th: The Forest of Love

NFLX2019 October 11th: El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

(October 17, 2019)

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. Vince Gilligan. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Full disclosure time: I’ve watched two episodes of Breaking Bad. I watched the first one and thought “this is Extruded New Golden Age Of Quality TV Product”: All the ticks of “seriousness” that viewers of silly TV series love these days. And I watched the … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 11th: El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

NFLX2019 October 4th: In the Tall Grass

(October 17, 2019)

In the Tall Grass. Vincenzo Natali. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ So what’s this then? A Children of the Corn remix? Oh, it’s based on a shortish story by Stephen King. It’s about a pregnant woman and a a guy lost in … tall… grass? What is that grass anyway? Doesn’t look like papyrus? I guess it’s just … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 4th: In the Tall Grass

NFLX2019 September 27th: In the Shadow of the Moon

(October 17, 2019)

In the Shadow of the Moon. Jim Mickle. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★ Netlix didn’t release much over the summer, but now suddenly there’s a whole bunch of stuff! Let’s get started. Well, that’s a strange way to start a movie. With a straight-up scientific voiceover that explains the concept of the movie. (It’s telepathy.) OH!!!! The voiceover … Continue reading NFLX2019 September 27th: In the Shadow of the Moon


(October 11, 2019)

Since this summer, I’ve er had some time on my hands, so I thought I’d work at fixing Emacs bugs. (Or closing stuff that’s no longer relevant.) And since working towards some goal is more fun, I decided that 10% of the Emacs bug tracker would be nice. There was about 4500 open bugs in … Continue reading 2×10%

BC&B: Poulet Rôti aux Herbes Pile ou Face w/ Le Cachat

(October 6, 2019)

OK; time for more food. The next selections from the Bistro Cooking book in the cheese section is this thing: It’s… uhm… Simple? It’s chevre with cottage cheese and some herbs. I did not have summer savory (because it’s autumn), so I just went with thyme. So you dump it all into a food processor … Continue reading BC&B: Poulet Rôti aux Herbes Pile ou Face w/ Le Cachat

BC&B: Daube de Boeuf Auberge de la Madone aux Cèpes et à l’Orange w/ Gâteau au Chocolat Le Mas de Chastelas

(October 5, 2019)

It’s been a while since I cooked anything for this silly blog series, but I’ve been like busy and stuff. And so I’m going to cheat and not actually read a book (this is a food/book pairing blog, I’m sure you don’t remember). So just food this time, but it’s food that takes a while … Continue reading BC&B: Daube de Boeuf Auberge de la Madone aux Cèpes et à l’Orange w/ Gâteau au Chocolat Le Mas de Chastelas

September Music

(October 2, 2019)

Music I’ve bought in September. After some months of really trying to cut down on buying music, I just kinda gave up. LET THE FLOODGATES OPEN!

BC&B: Tapenado Restaurant Maurice Brun w/ Oeufs en Meurette

(September 23, 2019)

This is a slightly unusual tapenade – it’s big and chunky and is supposed to be eaten like an appetiser. Well, I’m on board with that, because I love olives. I was unable to find olives from Nyons, so I substituted some other, less Nyonneuse olives. I wonder what makes them special… Hm… Ah, they’re … Continue reading BC&B: Tapenado Restaurant Maurice Brun w/ Oeufs en Meurette

Parsing Exif Data

(September 22, 2019)

Emacs is moving away from ImageMagick support, and is instead handling all the major image formats (PNG, JPEG, etc) natively. The reason for this is that the ImageMagick libraries have a pretty bad track record: Over the years, a large number of Emacs crashes have turned out to stem from ImageMagick crashing. While things have … Continue reading Parsing Exif Data

NFLX2019 September 20th: Between Two Ferns: The Movie

(September 21, 2019)

Between Two Ferns: The Movie. Scott Aukerman. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ *gasp* This is like the first Netflix Original in a while that isn’t “well, if you like that kind of stuff, here’s a movie that’s kinda like what you’d like to see, only not actually that movie you’d like to see”. Instead if’s a mockumentary about … Continue reading NFLX2019 September 20th: Between Two Ferns: The Movie

NFLX2019 September 13th: Tall Girl

(September 21, 2019)

Tall Girl. Nzingha Stewart. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ There haven’t been many Netflix Original movies the past few months. I’ve kinda missed watching horrible, horrible movies. This doesn’t really look that bad. It’s a high school comedy where the main concept is that it’s embarrassing to be a tall girl. I can relate. I’m tall, girl. So … Continue reading NFLX2019 September 13th: Tall Girl

My New Innovations in Packaging blog

(September 21, 2019)

While unpacking this week’s haul, I was surprised when unpacking a Laraaji album (Sun Transformations) sent to me by… … All Saints Records. It’s this intricately, but beautifully cut paper. It feels like just kinda normal paper, but since it’s been cut in this way, it replaces bubble wrap. It’s kinda magical: It’s light but … Continue reading My New Innovations in Packaging blog

BC&B: Salade Frisée aux Lardons aux Lyonnais w/ Mon Gâteau au Chocolat

(September 20, 2019)

I think I’ll do a salad tonight, because… Salads. As salads go, it’s not very saladey. I mean, the main ingredient is pork sausage. Those aren’t green. Or not supposed to be green. If you’re eating green pork sausage, you should probably reconsider. I went to a couple of stores to get endive, but couldn’t … Continue reading BC&B: Salade Frisée aux Lardons aux Lyonnais w/ Mon Gâteau au Chocolat

TSP2019: Letters from Baghdad

(September 19, 2019)

Letters from Baghdad. Sabine Krayenbühl. 2016. This is not my favourite genre: It’s a docudrama with the footage “aged” to simulate oldee tymee stock; everything played back slightly too fast to make it look like an old silent movie. But with fake sounds inserted… incessantly… it’s never silent; always a bed of foley or music. … Continue reading TSP2019: Letters from Baghdad

TSP2019: Suspiria

(September 17, 2019)

Suspiria. Luca Guadagnino. 2018. I have not seen the original Suspiria movie, but I’ve seen quite a few movies by Luca Guadagnino, and I’ve liked almost all of them. There’s so many references here… “Dr. Klemperer”… Arthur Koestler… “Berger”… Baader-Meinhof… Surely these can’t all have been in the original horror movie? Or perhaps they were? … Continue reading TSP2019: Suspiria

TSP2019: Avengers: Endgame

(September 17, 2019)

Avengers: Endgame. Anthony & Joe Russo. 2019. Hey! It’s time to catch up with Tilda Swinton again. I really enjoyed the previous Avengers movie (by the same directors as this one). The Marvel Studios movies have really gotten a whole lot better the past few years, embracing humour and sci-fi more than the first few … Continue reading TSP2019: Avengers: Endgame

BC&B: Pot-au-Feu aux Deux Viandes Chez Adrienne w/ Gratin Dauphinois Madame Laracine

(September 14, 2019)

OK, time for more bistro cooking and more books. Today I’m doing this meaty meat recipe, which looks pretty fun. It’s the most complicated recipe so far, with about seven things that have to be timed to be finished at the same time. And it’s got marrow bones, which I’ve never cooked ever, so that’s … Continue reading BC&B: Pot-au-Feu aux Deux Viandes Chez Adrienne w/ Gratin Dauphinois Madame Laracine

BC&B: Soupe à l’Oignon Pied de Cochon w/ Anchoïade Chez Gilbert

(September 11, 2019)

As you will remember from the previous chapters of this blog series (*cough* *cough*), I’m cooking my may through the Bistro Cooking book. So for dinner tonight I’m starting off with: So that’s an… anchovy… paste thing on toast, I guess? So here’s the ingredients: It’s really super-simple, once again: Basically just garlic, anchovies and … Continue reading BC&B: Soupe à l’Oignon Pied de Cochon w/ Anchoïade Chez Gilbert

Bistro Cooking and Books

(September 8, 2019)

I’ve had this cook book by Patricia Wells for decades, and have always liked the results when I’ve made something from it. Which hasn’t been often, mind you, because I’m super lazy and the recipes often start with “take 25 rabbits…” and doing the required math to get down to the sizes I’m going for … Continue reading Bistro Cooking and Books

BC&B: Poulet Rôti L’Ami Louis w/ Gratin Dauphinois Madame Cartet

(September 8, 2019)

The major problem about blogging about cooking is that this is the default state of the kitchen: I’m glad that nobody saw that picture, because there’s like no room to cook anywhere because I’m a slob. Oops! OK, that’s marginally better. So today (the first day of this blog series) I’m cooking the first poultry … Continue reading BC&B: Poulet Rôti L’Ami Louis w/ Gratin Dauphinois Madame Cartet

Entering the Clown

(September 5, 2019)

I’ve always been the self hosting kind of guy (i.e., old), but with recent changes I’m trying to simplify and move things around. I’m not quite sure where I’ll end up with my main server(s) yet, and I’m testing out various things, but for my one self-hosted WordPress instance, I thought I could try something … Continue reading Entering the Clown

Comics Cavalcade Day 12

(September 3, 2019)

Look at that pitiful selection of comics remaining! Will this be the day when I finally conquer the Window Sill Of Too Many Comics? Let’s find out, and as usual: No reviews. The Structure is Rotten, Comrade by Viken Berberian and Yann Kebbi (Fantagraphics) This is a pretty odd book. The authors seem to want … Continue reading Comics Cavalcade Day 12


(September 2, 2019)

NFLX2017 December 15, 2017: Bright

(September 2, 2019)

Bright. David Ayer. 2017. ☆☆★★★★ I started watching this and then I realised that I hadn’t seen the movie, so I thought I should do that first. Amusingly enough, when I search for “Bright” in the Netflix app, it is not among the about 50 or so hits. Apparently “Lucifer”, “Triple Frontier” and “Isn’t It … Continue reading NFLX2017 December 15, 2017: Bright

Comics Cavalcade Day 11

(September 1, 2019)

OK, the number of unread comics on the window sill has definitely decreased, so this blog series is working! And, as usual, I’ll just be reading comics and write some uninformed notes, because there’s just no time for reviews. Incomplete Works by Dylan Horrocks (Victoria University Press) This is a collection of short pieces from … Continue reading Comics Cavalcade Day 11

August Music

(September 1, 2019)

Music I’ve bought in August. By the minuscule list below it kinda looks like I’ve finally managed to scale down the amount of music I’m buying… but it’s probably just because I went away on holidays. We’ll see!

NFLX2019 August 30th: Back to School

(August 31, 2019)

Back to School. Remy Four, Julien War. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ Hey, it’s a French comedy! As is often the case with Netflix movies, it’s got a classic plot: Two nerds going to a school reunion. These things usually suck, and… it’s not that bad? There’s hi-jinx and mistaken identities and all that kind of stuff. It’s … Continue reading NFLX2019 August 30th: Back to School

NFLX2019 August 29th: Falling Inn Love

(August 31, 2019)

Falling Inn Love. Roger Kumble. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ This is a likeable easy-on-the-eyes romantic comedy thing. It’s a classic set-up: Stranger arrives in little town; lots of comedy hi-jinx fixing up an old house and romance ensues. It’s got a good, relaxed vibe going on: It’s very secure in its genre conventions, but that doesn’t get … Continue reading NFLX2019 August 29th: Falling Inn Love

Comics Cavalcade Day 10

(August 29, 2019)

The to the finish continues, and as usual, no reviews, just reading. Marble Cake by Scott Jason Smith (Avery Hills) This is such a fresh comic. It’s told via an ensemble cast that more or less all interact with one another kinda randomly, but it all builds up and connects. It’s such a well-observed piece: … Continue reading Comics Cavalcade Day 10

Comics Cavalcade Day 9

(August 28, 2019)

OK, I got more comics, but this week I’m going to finish the Window Sill Of Comics for sure for sure and finally bring this blog series to an end. I HOPE. As usual, just reading, no reviews, because there’s just no time. Kid Gloves by Lucy Knisley (First Second) I have rather sworn off … Continue reading Comics Cavalcade Day 9

The Continuing Story of the Balcony

(August 27, 2019)

I had a peek out on the balcony just now (it’s unseasonable warm, fortunately), and this thing was waiting for me: What on Earth? I did not plant those flowers, so once again something has started growing spontaneously. Or perhaps there’s a guerrilla balcony plant planter gang terrorising arid balconies? What is this thing, anyway? … Continue reading The Continuing Story of the Balcony

Setting up GPG for Emacs

(August 26, 2019)

I know, everybody hates GPG these days (and for good reasons), but I’ve been looking at the Emacs bug database and getting annoyed with all the SMIME etc bugs that aren’t getting fixed, and thought I should do something about it. I last used GPG in the nineties, and I’ve forgotten everything I possibly could … Continue reading Setting up GPG for Emacs

Chirp Chirp

(August 25, 2019)

I put Violin Phase by Steve Reich on, and immediately four little birds congregated on the balcony, looking pensive and confused. (The fourth is hidden behind the speaker.) Coincidence or happenstance? You be the judge.

NFLX2019 August 16th: Sextuplets

(August 25, 2019)

Sextuplets. Michael Tiddes. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Wayans namechecks Tyler Perry early on in this movie, and for good reasons: The gag here is that Wayans plays six different characters. It’s an unpretentious, silly movie, and there are jokes that work. But they don’t come along very often. Looking at imdb, apparently a large number of people … Continue reading NFLX2019 August 16th: Sextuplets

Sunday Morning Evidence

(August 25, 2019)

… of what drunks in this neighborhood drink.

Comics Cavalcade Day 8

(August 25, 2019)

What happened!? How did the Window Sill Of Unread Comics grow while I was away on holiday? Oh, right, I stopped by Comix Experience in San Francisco and bought this little stack of comics. Not to mention this bigger stack of candy. So let’s get reading: Comics Cavalcade Comix Experience Edition! And as usual, no … Continue reading Comics Cavalcade Day 8

NFLX2019 August 2nd: Otherhood

(August 24, 2019)

Otherhood. Cindy Chupack. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ The Netflix recipe is to put a bunch of actors we like watching into a movie, and not really spending any money whatsoever on anything else, like directors or a script. But so what? Bassett, Arquette and Huffman are fun to watch. This starts off like it’s a lighthearted middle-age … Continue reading NFLX2019 August 2nd: Otherhood

NFLX2019 July 31st: The Red Sea Diving Resort

(August 23, 2019)

The Red Sea Diving Resort. Gideon Raff. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Uh-oh. “Inspired by true events”. Those are words to strike fear into any film fan. But what the fuck is this movie? It looks pretty nice… The action scenes are in shakycam, which isn’t my favourite, but the cinematographer doesn’t overdo it. We get kinda perhaps … Continue reading NFLX2019 July 31st: The Red Sea Diving Resort

NFLX2019 July 18th: Secret Obsession

(August 23, 2019)

Secret Obsession. Peter Sullivan. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Oh, Daily Dot: Secret Obsession is a soulless lump of generic mush that aspires to the cheese level of a Lifetime original joint but doesn’t come anywhere close. So this is a slasher flick? As has happened before with these Netflix movies, I’m not at all confident that this … Continue reading NFLX2019 July 18th: Secret Obsession

NFLX2019 July 12th: Point Blank

(August 23, 2019)

Point Blank. Joe Lynch. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ OK, after a couple of holidays I’m back on the Netflix Originals beat. My mission: To watch all the movies Netflix has released this year, according to the list compiled by these people. Right off the bat, this movie rubbed me the wrong way. The actors are pretty charming, … Continue reading NFLX2019 July 12th: Point Blank


(August 20, 2019)

The City and the City

(August 18, 2019)


(August 17, 2019)


(August 17, 2019)

The Universe is a Haunted House

(August 16, 2019)


(August 9, 2019)

So last night we went eating at the Japanese place next door to the hotel, Taikosho, and it turned out the had lots of funky, unusual stuff, like a duo of different uni on tempura: Deelish! Of the more decadent things on the menu was wagyu nigiri with caviar, and I was all “yeah, and … Continue reading Decadence

Funky Hotel

(August 8, 2019)

FF1972: The Guardsmen of Infinity Portfolio

(August 7, 2019)

The Guardsmen of Infinity Portfolio by Carter Scholz and Jim Wilson. This is the second publication from what one might call Fantagraphics’ prehistory. Publisher Groth was a teenager at the time, and I’m going to guess that everybody else involved was, too. You have to love the self confidence displayed in that introduction up there. … Continue reading FF1972: The Guardsmen of Infinity Portfolio

FF1976: Always Comes Twilight

(August 7, 2019)

Always Comes Twilight edited by Dave Dapkewicz. Concluding our look at Fantagraphics’ prehistory, here’s Always Comes Twilight, a 48 page magazine sized… thing… printed on nice thick paper. The editor explains what this thing is: It’s a fanzine, and that he’s grown out of comics fandom and will never read a comic again. Which is … Continue reading FF1976: Always Comes Twilight

FF1971: A Selection of Fictional Narratives

(August 7, 2019)

A Selection of Fictional Narratives by Dennis Fujitake. A couple of years ago I read all the floppies that Fantagraphics had published. It was a pretty random thing to do, but it turned out to be a fun little project. I used comics.org to get a list of the comics to read, and at the … Continue reading FF1971: A Selection of Fictional Narratives

Technical Analysis

(August 6, 2019)

I thought I could use my prodigious financial know-how to do an analysis of Emacs Open Bugs chart. First of all, we have clearly defined positive trend channels reaching back to 2009, broken by a period of recession. But lately, this growth has been curbed and we’ve seen a clear development of a resistance line … Continue reading Technical Analysis

Comics Cavalcade Day 7

(August 5, 2019)

These holidays keep getting in the way of me making some progress in my to-be-read shelf of comics. (I mean window sill.) That’s the point of this blog series: To finally get to Comics Queue Zero. So, as usual, just comics, no reviews, because nobody has time for that. How I Tried to Be a … Continue reading Comics Cavalcade Day 7

July Music

(July 31, 2019)

Music I’ve bought in July. And I went to Barcelona and saw a Joe Jackson concert (great) and went to Sónar (fun). I need to buy some stuff from some of the peeps I saw there… like… er… uhm… Oh, yes! Afrodeutsche was great. Very German. (You know, like To Rococo Rot and… Pole? Yeah.) … Continue reading July Music

Comics Cavalcade Day 6

(July 29, 2019)

Eep. I got caught up in an avalanche of Emacs bug fixing, so instead of working my way through the unread comics here, I’ve been slacking off. And buying more comics! Aargh! This blog series will never end! Previous rules apply: Just reading comics, no reviewing, because nobody has time for that. Usagi Yojimbo by … Continue reading Comics Cavalcade Day 6

A Panel From A Comic Strip Presented Without Comment

(July 29, 2019)

Your Emacs Statistics Service

(July 28, 2019)

I’ve been plugging away at the Emacs bug database the last month or so. I’m the kind of person who gets obsessed with something for a time and then I do something completely different the next month. So I’m away from Emacs developments for months on end (and this time it’s basically been a couple … Continue reading Your Emacs Statistics Service

Washed Away

(July 28, 2019)

As we saw in the previous episode of this mysterious saga, the pigeons had left the nest on my balcony, and just a few days later, I finally got my gloves and washing supplies off and started to scrub down the nesty area. The pigeons hadn’t pooped much on the chair-like object… … or indeed … Continue reading Washed Away

Empty Nest

(July 25, 2019)

As we saw in the previous episode, some pigeons had laid an egg on my balcony the day before I left for Barcelona. I saw one pigeon sitting on the egg quite happily, too. But now I’m back, and here’s what’s on the balcony now: No pigeon! No egg! Some feathers! What happened? I mean, … Continue reading Empty Nest


(July 22, 2019)


(July 20, 2019)


(July 19, 2019)

Crispy Mini Taco With Tuna

(July 18, 2019)


(July 15, 2019)

For some days now, while I’ve been on the couch, programming, this guy has been sitting pensively on the balcony: Not really doing anything, other than looking at me once a while: Hi there! I didn’t really think much about it, and everything looked normal out on the balcony (which I haven’t used this summer). … Continue reading Lodgers

End of an Ear

(July 11, 2019)

Hey, I forgot to mention that last week was my final day at the job I’d been at for… 22? years, but I’ve now assembled a souvenir from the library I put together while I was there: So I’m no longer a bankster, and I have to figure out what I’m going to do when … Continue reading End of an Ear

Comics Cavalcade Day 5

(July 9, 2019)

OK, got a really late start today, so this’ll be a short one. But just comics; no reviews, as usual, because busy busy. Heat by Jean Wei (Peow) This sounds like a high concept comic (a fire demon comes to live on a farm), but it’s really sweet. It’s got a quiet ruminative feel. Unfortunately … Continue reading Comics Cavalcade Day 5

Comics Cavalcade Day 4½

(July 9, 2019)

I thought I was going to be busy all day today, but apparently not, so let’s do a half day of comics. As usual, the rules are: No reviewing, because we do not have time for that. Soda 12 by Gazzotti and Tome (Zoom) This is a “modern” (i.e., isn’t from the 50s) French-ish series … Continue reading Comics Cavalcade Day 4½


(July 5, 2019)

I’m not a King Crimson fanatic, but I really love the three albums with Adrian Belew from the early 80s (the ones all Crimson fans hate). And it turns out that Fripp is re-releasing the entire oeuvre in a ridiculously lavish fashion. It’s like 20 discs per “era”. It’s ludicrous! I love it! So I … Continue reading Crimson

Comics Cavalcade Day 4

(July 3, 2019)

The cache of unread comics has shrunk considerably! So let’s get reading, and as usual: No reviewing. Fashion Forecasts by Yumi Sakugawa (Retrofit/Big Planet) So this booklet is based on an Insta thing? Hey, this is amazing. Not only is it funny, but the artwork’s so appealing. Love the colours. It would have been nice … Continue reading Comics Cavalcade Day 4

Comics Cavalcade Day… 3?

(July 2, 2019)

The was an unplanned service interrupting in this blog series yesterday (OK, I went to a garden centre and bought a rose bushlet that I then had to plant and etc), but I’m now back to reading comics all day long. And as before: No reviews, because ain’t nobody got time for that. War of … Continue reading Comics Cavalcade Day… 3?

Not Grass

(July 1, 2019)

I had planned on spending all day today reading comics, but I found myself at a garden centre and I bought a rosebushlet, so I thought it was time for me to get weeding the balcony instead (and get the furniture out of storage). And then it started raining immediately, of course. *sigh* The ivy … Continue reading Not Grass

June Music

(June 30, 2019)

Music I’ve bought in June.

Comics Cavalcade Day 2

(June 30, 2019)

It’s day two of the comics reading marathon, and today I hope to put in more hours than yesterday. The rules are the same, though: No reviewing. Nocturne by Tara Booth (2d cloud) This is amazing! It’s a hilarious but simultaneously moving look at an encounter gone wrong and the aftermath. Booth’s artwork is so … Continue reading Comics Cavalcade Day 2

Comics Cavalcade Day 1

(June 29, 2019)

I love comics. I mean, as a medium: Most comics suck, but when the comics are good, they’re better than anything. They connect to something in my brain like nothing else. To this day, my most intense dreams are of me stumbling into an unknown back room or cellar of a well-known comics store and … Continue reading Comics Cavalcade Day 1


(June 28, 2019)

I haven’t been weeding the balcony this year (June has been cold). So I went out to the balcony for the first time this year and this was what’s out there: What is that? Grass? It’s a mighty substantial grass. Is that… some kind of grain? Wheat? Rye? Barley? Am I a farmer for real … Continue reading Grass

NFLX2019 June 19th: Beats

(June 21, 2019)

Beats. Brian Welsh. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ I thought this was going to be the usual rags to rap riches story, but instead it’s an unusual rags to rap riches story. It’s got PTSD and mental illness and stuff. It turns out that everything needed to get well is some hard truths from an older man. The … Continue reading NFLX2019 June 19th: Beats

Towards a Cleaner Emacs Build

(June 20, 2019)

I’m planning on getting back into Emacs development after being mostly absent for a couple of years. One thing that’s long annoyed me when tinkering with the Lisp bits of Emacs is the huge number of compilation warnings. The C parts of Emacs were fixed up at least a decade ago, but this is what … Continue reading Towards a Cleaner Emacs Build

NFLX2019 June 14th: Murder Mystery

(June 14, 2019)

Murder Mystery. Kyle Newacheck. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ Oh deer. Adam Sandler. Jennifer Aniston. And the director has a long an undistinguished career in television. But, you know, Netflix is TV, so… I assumed that this was going to completely horrendous, but it’s actually not that bad. The concept here is that Aniston and Sandler are working … Continue reading NFLX2019 June 14th: Murder Mystery

NFLX2019 June 7th: Elisa & Marcela

(June 14, 2019)

Elisa & Marcela. Isabel Coixet. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Another Spanish Netflix Original? Sure, I’m game. And it’s in black and white? Great. But… it looks kinda like an odd black and white? It’s looks a bit washed out… as if it was done on colour video and then they just dropped all the colour? I don’t … Continue reading NFLX2019 June 7th: Elisa & Marcela


(June 12, 2019)

New York Times, patch.


(June 5, 2019)

I’ve been messing around to see whether running a WordPress installation is fun or not (spoilers: it’s really not), and all of a sudden my test blog articles had turned a strange shade of non-UTF-8. For instance, some texts I had quoted used that strange apostrophe in “it’s”, and that had turned into “it’s”. Now, … Continue reading Ununicode

May Music

(June 1, 2019)

Music I’ve bought in May. After restraining my music buying impulses for a very, very long time (a month or two?), I broke down in May and went on several shopping sprees. In particular, I’ve been buying Joe Jackson live albums and singles and stuff. I grew up with Beat Crazy, that wild and weird … Continue reading May Music

NFLX2019 May 30th: Chopsticks

(May 31, 2019)

Chopsticks. Sachin Yardi. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ Hey, yet another Indian movie… They have been of more variable quality than the American movies (which are mostly er not very good), so perhaps this’ll be good? It’s a comedy, at least. This is mainly a Hindi-speaking film (I think?), but when they speak English (as all Indians seem … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 30th: Chopsticks

NFLX2019 May 31st: Always Be My Maybe

(May 31, 2019)

Always Be My Maybe. Nahnatchka Khan. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★ Hey, this looks cute. It’s about two friends growing up? Wow, that’s a weird song choice. Young Americans (by David Bowie) in a horrible cover version? Didn’t want to pay for the rights or would it be too obvious that that’s a horrible choice of a song … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 31st: Always Be My Maybe

Eclipse to Pacific

(May 26, 2019)

Last summer, I did a little separate blog on Eclipse Comics, and nine months after I wrote the last blog article “proper” for the blog, I finally got the documents about the Toren Smith vs. Eclipse Enterprises court case. So now that that blog is over for reals, I thought it might be fun to … Continue reading Eclipse to Pacific

NFLX2019 May 24th: Rim of the World

(May 25, 2019)

Rim of the World. McG. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ It’s a sci-fi movie by the guy who produces Supernatural? Sure, I’m in. Oh, it’s a movie for children. Oh, well. Hey, it’s kinda amusing. Lots of kooky characters; some great lines. Heh heh. I laughed out loud in real life loudly. This is funny! As with Malibu … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 24th: Rim of the World

NFLX2019 May 24th: The Perfection

(May 25, 2019)

The Perfection. Richard Shepard. 2018. ☆☆☆☆☆★ I’m not sure in what sense this is a “Netflix Original”. It’s a Miramax movie released in 2018… but then Netflix bought the exclusive distribution rights? Or something? OK, I’m hiding the rest of the text because if you want to watch this movie, you should be un-spoilered. Click … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 24th: The Perfection

NFLX2019 May 17th: See You Yesterday

(May 25, 2019)

See You Yesterday. Stefon Bristol. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ What’s this then? From the name it sounds like a science fiction movie… but it’s produced by Spile Lee? Is that what he does these days? I kinda lost track of him in the 90s after a couple of kinda boring movies he did after the initial burst … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 17th: See You Yesterday

NFLX2019 May 16th: Good Sam

(May 25, 2019)

Good Sam. Kate Melville. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Watching Netflix Originals in this way, one by one based on release date but knowing nothing about them, I find myself playing the What Genre Is Netflix Making A Generic Movie In Now? game. This is about a scrappy TV reporter? It’s very efficient: In the second scene, the … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 16th: Good Sam

NFLX2019 May 13th: Malibu Rescue

(May 24, 2019)

Malibu Rescue. . 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★ So what’s this then? Is this a children’s movie… or is it at parody of a children’s movie? OK, I’ve watched now for ten minutes and I still can’t tell. Perhaps it doesn’t matter? It’s weird as fuck anyway. The actors are really fun. Everything is somewhat over the top, … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 13th: Malibu Rescue

NFLX2019 May 10th: Wine Country

(May 24, 2019)

Wine Country. Amy Poehler. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ Oh wow. Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, Jason Schwartzman… Oh! And Poehler directed this! From the name, I supposed that this would be a Netflix rip-off of that Pinot Noir movie that was all the rage a while back, but this looks more like a parody … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 10th: Wine Country

NFLX2019 May 3rd: The Last Summer

(May 24, 2019)

The Last Summer. William Bindley. 2019. ☆★★★★★ So… this is one of those teen dramedies about a pre-nostalgic “last summer”. There are jocks, there are nerds, there are Heathers. It’s such a generic throwback of a movie. I can’t decide whether the filmmakers are totally inept or they’re taking brave artistic choices: Everything is washed-out … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 3rd: The Last Summer

NFLX2019 May 3rd: Despite Everything

(May 24, 2019)

Despite Everything. Gabriela Tagliavini. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ I went on a holiday for ten days, and then I had a cold for a week, so I’m way behind on my Netflixes. I seem to have eight movies to catch up with… Well, that’s doable this weekend. Let’s get started. Hm… Oh, this is a Spanish movie? … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 3rd: Despite Everything

It’s a Sign

(May 14, 2019)


(May 13, 2019)

It’s a Bargain!

(May 13, 2019)

A Siegfried-Free Night

(May 9, 2019)

But instead there was Ikue Mori, Arto Linsay (i.e., two thirds of DNA) and YoshimiO (or Boredoms etc fame). It was fabulous and very funny. Xxx.

Wrong Aspect Radio

(May 8, 2019)

If Only It Had Been Twenty-Three Years

(May 7, 2019)

Police Enforced

(May 6, 2019)

CCCB: Ulysses

(May 2, 2019)

This is the last entry in this blog series (where I read an old unread book and bake something, because that’s a thing), and I wanted to bake something non-sweet for a change. But not bread. After considering a lot of things that straddle the baked goods/dinner continuum it all of a sudden occurred to … Continue reading CCCB: Ulysses

New Music

(April 30, 2019)

Music I’ve bought this month. I finally managed to stop buying so many albums!  On the other hand, I changed the posting date from the 12th to the 1st, there’s just 18 days in this month.

Colon Files: rsync-tr

(April 24, 2019)

I was copying over some music to my phone (via jmtpfs and rsync), and I noticed that some of the files failed with “Input/output error”: After a while it dawned on me what all these files had in common was that there’s a colon in the file names. And presumably the MicroSD card in the … Continue reading Colon Files: rsync-tr

Today’s Topical Peanuts Strip

(April 22, 2019)

wordpress.com is annoying

(April 21, 2019)

I’ve got some blogs hosted on wordpress.com, and when I looked at the stats for one of them today, this thing popped up: Wha… My blog isn’t “set up” unless I signed up for some weird Google product? When I click on that link I get this: There’s no way to say “I don’t fucking … Continue reading wordpress.com is annoying


(April 20, 2019)

Hidden tracks on CDs used to be a pretty common thing. Not “real” hidden tracks: You could play tricks with the directory structure and put a track before the first one, so you have to skip back from 1 to get to 0. No, the common way to do this is to pad the final … Continue reading unsilence

NFLX2019 April 19th: Music Teacher

(April 19, 2019)

Music Teacher. Sarthak Dasgupta. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ I’ve been following the “drama” and “comedy” lists here and thinking that I was getting all the Netflix Originals. But then I noticed that I wasn’t getting “The Silence”, which I thought was a Netflix Original. It turns out that it’s on this list instead, which is a list … Continue reading NFLX2019 April 19th: Music Teacher

NFLX2019 April 19th: Someone Great

(April 19, 2019)

Someone Great. Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ I’m like totes caught up with the Netflix (this movie was released today), so I’m watching other movies on the side. But since they’re not really uh conceptual? then I’m not blogging about them, for which everybody’s happy, I guessing. But I’ve discovered over the years that it’s … Continue reading NFLX2019 April 19th: Someone Great

A Panel From A Comic Strip Presented Without Comment

(April 15, 2019)

NFLX2019 April 12th: The Perfect Date

(April 12, 2019)

The Perfect Date. Chris Nelson. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ I think imdb says it perfectly: i think this in one of the many netflix-production that will place itself in the basket of inrecognition, unless you like social network-work, and the freshnes of new juicy fruits entering the silver screen with beauty and galore . i think the … Continue reading NFLX2019 April 12th: The Perfect Date

NFLX2019 April 12th: Who Would You Take to a Deserted Island?

(April 12, 2019)

Who Would You Take to a Deserted Island?. Jota Linares. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ A Spanish Netflix movie! I am exite! But… well, there’s good bits. They’ve gone for a very low-makeup look for the actors (you can see every pore), and the actors are pretty good. Especially the women. But it’s difficult to get into this … Continue reading NFLX2019 April 12th: Who Would You Take to a Deserted Island?

New Music

(April 11, 2019)

Music I’ve bought this month. My plan to cut down on buying new music to give me more of a chance to actually listen to what I’m buying is showing results! Plot twist: I haven’t listened to any of these albums – I’m still trying to catch up with the stuff I’ve bought earlier. *sigh*

CCCB: The Fall of Hyperion

(April 11, 2019)

I’ve done too many almond-based goods, so I thought I’d try my hand on some profiteroles with this recipe. Approx. Because I didn’t really want the chocolate part. Most of the recipes stress how “simple” this recipe is… but it has the normal number of ingredients. What’s simple, perhaps, is that it uses something as … Continue reading CCCB: The Fall of Hyperion

Keith Giffen / K. K. Kitten

(April 7, 2019)

I finally read the second volume in IDW/Eurocomics brilliant reprinting of the Sinner series by José Muñoz and Carlos Sampayo. It was was published about a year ago, but I somehow missed it. One of the shorter pieces in the book, Over Some Drawings, seems to call out for more attention than it got. I … Continue reading Keith Giffen / K. K. Kitten

NFLX2019 April 5th: Unicorn Store

(April 5, 2019)

Unicorn Store. Brie Larson. 2017. ☆☆☆★★★ Huh. Brie Larson? But she’s Captain Marvel? Two movies released at the same time? Errr: It screened in the Special Presentations section at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. It was released on April 5, 2019, by Netflix. So it’s two years old, but now suddenly it’s a “Netflix … Continue reading NFLX2019 April 5th: Unicorn Store

NFLX2019 March 29th: The Highwaymen

(April 5, 2019)

The Highwaymen. John Lee Hancock. 2019. ☆★★★★★ Does it say anything about our times that Netflix found it attractive to make a movie about Bonnie & Clyde where the heroes are the men who hunt them down? Or is it just the result of a random walk performed by the Netflix movie generator script? I’m … Continue reading NFLX2019 March 29th: The Highwaymen

NFLX2019 March 29th: 15 August

(April 5, 2019)

15 August. Swapnaneel Jaykar. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Hey! Another Indian movie. Netflix are really going after the Indian market? The other (three?) Indian movies so far this year haven’t all bin good, but they have a better track record than the American Netflix movies, so I’m excited. One slight puzzling thing about the Indian Netflix movies … Continue reading NFLX2019 March 29th: 15 August

CCCB: Marya: A Life

(April 4, 2019)

Last week I did croissants to indifferent results, so why not try something that has almost as bad reputation for being tricky: Macarons. And then I found this recipe for liquorice macarons. Yes! But then I started to study it, and it seems kinda odd. I mean 2 cups of chocolate chips for the filling? … Continue reading CCCB: Marya: A Life

4AD 1999

(April 2, 2019)

Listen to 4AD 1999 on Spotify. This is the end! Not of 4AD, but this blog series, and more importantly, an era: Ivo Watts-Russell sold 4AD to Beggars Banquet. So what did he do as the final year as the label boss? Release a buttload of Gus Gus things, and a smattering of “best of” … Continue reading 4AD 1999

NFLX2019 March 22nd: The Dirt

(March 30, 2019)

The Dirt. Jeff Tremaine. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ This doesn’t start off well, but once it gets going there’s one funny scene after another. It’s not even the most OUTRAGEOUS scenes that are funniest – there’s like the scene where they dump the blond guitarist. Ramsay Bolton totally deadpans his way through it, and that drummer guy … Continue reading NFLX2019 March 22nd: The Dirt

NFLX2019 March 13th: Triple Frontier

(March 30, 2019)

Triple Frontier. J.C. Chandor. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Oh deer. You’ve seen this movie a gazillion times before: Cool military guys doing cool military things with a roaming, restless camera (steadycam and helicopter footage). Every single shot is a cliché and there’s metal music to underscore how cool it all is. I mean: War is hell. That’s … Continue reading NFLX2019 March 13th: Triple Frontier

NFLX2019 March 8th: Juanita

(March 30, 2019)

Juanita. Clark Johnson. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★ Oh, I haven’t bitched about the Netflix UX yet, have I? Let the rant commence: I loathe it. I go to the Netflix app and it says DOUUUNNG as loud as possible. Then I start thinking about what I’m going to watch and it starts auto-playing, with full sound, whatever … Continue reading NFLX2019 March 8th: Juanita

NFLX2019 March 8th: Walk. Ride. Rodeo.

(March 29, 2019)

Walk. Ride. Rodeo.. Conor Allyn. 2019. ☆★★★★★ Oh deer. This is based on a true story? At the start here I thought this was a quite funny parody… but then… I slowly realised… that it’s a real Based On A Real Story movie. I don’t like to use hate speech so I’ve avoided using this … Continue reading NFLX2019 March 8th: Walk. Ride. Rodeo.

NFLX2019 February 22nd: Paddleton

(March 29, 2019)

Paddleton. Alex Lehmann. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Uhm. Ray Romano. He’s, like, somebody I don’t like a lot. I didn’t even recognise him before I read imdb. Well, to be honest, I still don’t recognise him after reading imdb. This is a movie extruded to satisfy the urges of the same audience as this? It’s even got … Continue reading NFLX2019 February 22nd: Paddleton

NFLX2019 February 22nd: Paris Is Us

(March 29, 2019)

Paris Is Us. Elisabeth Vogler. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆☆ I was totally wrong about how many Netflix Originals have been released this year: I had somehow counted 30, but there’s only 14. Which means that I’ll probably get caught up this weekend?! Have Netflix cut back? If they continue at this pace, there’ll be vaguely more than … Continue reading NFLX2019 February 22nd: Paris Is Us

CCCB: The Edible Woman/Surfacing/Lady Oracle

(March 28, 2019)

If there’s one thing an amateur cook shouldn’t attempt (and there’s nobody more amateur than me), it’s croissants, apparently. So I wanted to give it a try. It’s 3x more futzy than any other recipe I’ve attempted. It’s not that any single step is particularly daunting, but there’s just so many of them with hours … Continue reading CCCB: The Edible Woman/Surfacing/Lady Oracle

4AD 1998

(March 26, 2019)

Listen to 4AD 1998 on Spotify. I asked last week whether 4AD would even release anything good again, and here we are in 1998 and the answer is… Yes! There’s Kristin Hersh’ new album, and His Name Is Alive make a comeback of sorts with Ft. Lake. And then, uh, and then… uh… Well, there’s … Continue reading 4AD 1998


(March 24, 2019)

A while back, I launched an in-depth investigation into a claim that French(ey) comics used to be serialised half a page at a time. Somebody on the internet was clearly wrong (because not even French children are that patient). As I had never myself seen these anthologies, I had to resort to Google for the … Continue reading Spirou

NFLX2019 February 22nd: Firebrand

(March 24, 2019)

Awesome beard. Firebrand. Aruna Raje. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ I never thought I’d say these words but: *phew* Finally it’s another Indian movie! This is a somewhat strange movie. It combines the aesthetics of a lighthearted drama with a rather distressing storyline about PTSD after rape. This is a movie that seems to have avoided attention by … Continue reading NFLX2019 February 22nd: Firebrand

NFLX2019 February 8th: High Flying Bird

(March 24, 2019)

High Flying Bird. Steven Soderbergh. 2019. ☆★★★★★ Everybody loved Steven Soderbergh after Sex, Lies, and Videotape, but then the rest of his movies happened. I mean, he’s got a bunch of blockbusters with the Oceans * movies (haven’t seen them), but he’s also done more ambitious movies, like his Solaris remake (I’ve seen it, but … Continue reading NFLX2019 February 8th: High Flying Bird

NFLX2019 February 1st: Velvet Buzzsaw

(March 23, 2019)

Velvet Buzzsaw. Dan Gilroy. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Once again, this movie seems so calculated. It’s like they put random attractive movie traits (Gyllenaal as totally gay; the art scene; horror) through a blender and came up with this without anybody wanting to make this specific movie. That doesn’t mean that this is horrible: Any scene is … Continue reading NFLX2019 February 1st: Velvet Buzzsaw

NFLX2019 January 25th: Polar

(March 23, 2019)

Polar. Jonas Åkerlund. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★ Oh. Jonas Åkerlund? Did he just do the film about black metal Lords of Chaos? Hm… I see; that one was made a couple of years ago but not really released until now. Anyway, I’m expecting something stylish with an excessive amount of violence, so I’ve got my pillow ready. … Continue reading NFLX2019 January 25th: Polar

NFLX2019 January 18th: Soni

(March 22, 2019)

Soni. Ivan Ayr. 2018. ☆☆☆☆☆★ Great! After two horrible American Netflix Originals, this is an Indian movie picked up for distribution by Netflix, so its script presumably hasn’t been auto-generated by an Eliza bot. This movie reminds me a bit of 70s hyper-realist movies like Jeanne Dielman. 23, quai du Commerce. 1080 Bruxelles. I mean, … Continue reading NFLX2019 January 18th: Soni

NFLX2019 January 18th: IO

(March 22, 2019)

Futura! Brave choice! This guy eats a tomato for the first time in forever and has a foodgasm, which reminds me of this Sheri Tepper novel I read many years ago: It’s set in a future where there is no nature, and on a game show, a family wins the right to eat the very … Continue reading NFLX2019 January 18th: IO

NFLX2019 January 11th: The Last Laugh

(March 22, 2019)

The Last Laugh. Greg Pritikin. 2019. ☆★★★★★ OK, this one is HDR for some reason… why not… By Emacs! This is a horrible movie. Let me sum up the plot: Chevy Chase and Richard Dreyfuss are old. That’s it. The (I hesitate to call it that) cinematography is violently pedestrian. The jokes are… there… The … Continue reading NFLX2019 January 11th: The Last Laugh

NFLX2019 January 4th: Lionheart

(March 22, 2019)

Lionheart. Genevieve Nnaji. 2018. ☆☆☆☆★★ OK, we’re off on The Journey Into Netflix Originals. This is the first thing I’ve actually watched on this setup: I’ve only done debugging, so far, and of course problems are showing up, so my concentration on this film is far from 100%. I’ve got the Apple TV set to … Continue reading NFLX2019 January 4th: Lionheart


(March 22, 2019)

I’ve recently been watching mostly old movies, so I thought it was about time for a complete turn-around: What’s going on in movies today? And the freshest movies available (outside movie theatres) are on Netflix: In particular the “Netflix Originals”. Some of these have a brief limited theatrical release, but arrive on the screens pretty … Continue reading NFLX2019

CCCB: The Ticket That Exploded

(March 21, 2019)

For this week’s cake I’m making something called “tropical aroma”. I know you’re thinking “pineapple and mango?” now, but this is an old-school chocolate cake, and the tropical ingredients are cinnamon, nutmeg and coffee. And possibly the chocolate. That’s tropical too, right? I’m not a coffee drinker (I guzzle tea by the gallons), but I … Continue reading CCCB: The Ticket That Exploded

4AD 1997

(March 18, 2019)

Listen to 4AD 1997 on Spotify. Listening to 4AD in 1997 is obviously listening to a label shutting down. There are no new artists, but instead there’s the first of many pilferings to come of one of 4AD’s most commercially successful bands of the 90s, Pixies. And there’s a concerted effort to make Tanya Donelly’s … Continue reading 4AD 1997

AWOB18: Hellraiser: Judgment

(March 16, 2019)

Hellraiser: Judgment. Gary J. Tunnicliffe. 2018. ☆★★★★ This is another Hellraiser sequel made for pure reasons: Several years later, Dimension Films was required to make another Hellraiser film to retain their rights to the series, giving Tunnicliffe a chance to propose his vision to the studio. Well… it’s… inventive… I guess the idea is to … Continue reading AWOB18: Hellraiser: Judgment

AWOB11: Hellraiser: Revelations

(March 16, 2019)

Hellraiser: Revelations. Víctor García. 2011. ☆☆☆★★★ The impetus for some of the previous Hellraiser movies is sometimes obscure, but this one is straightforward: The film was produced in a matter of weeks, due to an obligation on Dimension Films’ part to release another Hellraiser film or risk losing the rights to the film series. Due … Continue reading AWOB11: Hellraiser: Revelations

AWOB05: Hellraiser: Hellworld

(March 16, 2019)

Hellraiser: Hellworld. Rick Bota. 2005. ☆☆☆★★★ This is the third and final Hellraiser movie directed by Rick Bota, and this time he’s got somebody vaguely famous to play the lead: Lance Henriksen. And according to imdb, it had a generous $5M budget, so it’s pretty flush in a Hellraiser context. And, yet again, it’s based … Continue reading AWOB05: Hellraiser: Hellworld

AWOB05: Hellraiser: Deader

(March 15, 2019)

Hellraiser: Deader. Rick Bota. 2005. ☆☆★★★★ This is the second in a trio of movies made by Rick Bota/Tim Day/Carl Dupre/Ron Schmidt (and people) as director/writer/producer combos. Weirdly enough, it’s the only one that’s only available on DVD, while the first and third movies are on bluray. What’s up with that? Oh, Weinstein Bros: Like … Continue reading AWOB05: Hellraiser: Deader

AWOB02: Hellraiser: Hellseeker

(March 15, 2019)

Hellraiser: Hellseeker. Rick Bota. 2002. ☆☆☆★★★ Hey! Ashley Laurence, who was in the first two movies, is back! As with the previous movie, this apparently originated in a script Dimension Films had in storage that they altered to add some Hellraiser characters. (The Weinsteins are always so thrifty.) This horror movie feels refreshingly old-fashioned. I … Continue reading AWOB02: Hellraiser: Hellseeker

AWOB00: Hellraiser: Inferno

(March 15, 2019)

Hellraiser: Inferno. Scott Derrickson. 2000. ☆☆★★★★ Heh:: Like Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002) after it, “Inferno” was originally a non-Hellraiser related horror script owned by Dimension. To save money on writing a completely original Hellraiser story, the script was quickly edited to insert the Pinhead and the Cenobites. Well, that’s promising! Now I’m picturing a production company … Continue reading AWOB00: Hellraiser: Inferno

AWOB96: Hellraiser Bloodline

(March 15, 2019)

Hellraiser Bloodline. Kevin Yagher. 1996. ☆☆☆★★★ Pinhead… In… Spaaaaaaace. This is the final Hellraiser movie that got a theatrical release. And:: [It’s] the last [film of the franchise] to develop [its] story around the original premise rather than simply tacking Hellraiser elements onto a pre-existing script. As such it’s one which, for all its problems, … Continue reading AWOB96: Hellraiser Bloodline

AWOB92: Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth

(March 14, 2019)

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth. Anthony Hickox. 1992. ☆☆★★★★ After two movies that have a quite homey feel to them, this seems more… professional. I’m guessing it was made in the US? It has that American feel to it. Grips and best boys that are in the union. The first two Hellraiser movies may not … Continue reading AWOB92: Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth

AWOB88: Hellbound: Hellraiser II

(March 14, 2019)

Hellbound: Hellraiser II. Tony Randel. 1988. ☆☆☆☆★★ Well, that’s an odd way to start a sequel: We get a very… intense… recap of the first movie! Before the titles! All the famous one-liners and excerpts from the most gruesome scenes. I don’t think I’ve seen it done that blatantly before. And then we’re off: Several … Continue reading AWOB88: Hellbound: Hellraiser II

AWOB87: Hellraiser

(March 14, 2019)

Hellraiser. Clive Barker. 1987. ☆☆☆☆★★ This is pretty scary right from the get go. It’s an original way to introduce the audience to the horrors, too: Give us glimpses of the fantastic, and drench it in blood. Barker is of the Carpenter school of horror movies: Show it all; don’t hint at it. And then … Continue reading AWOB87: Hellraiser

A Weekend of Blood

(March 14, 2019)

Last year, I re-read a bunch of 80s comics published by Eclipse Comics, and among these were a a bunch of adaptations of Clive Barker short stories as well as a couple of fannish books about him. I quite enjoyed reading his Books of Blood at the time: They were something new and fresh in … Continue reading A Weekend of Blood

CCCB: Magic Hour

(March 14, 2019)

I’ve never made a pie before, which isn’t surprising, I guess, because I’ve basically never baked in my life before starting this blog series. So I was just thinking about what to make, and the words Lemon Meringue Pie just popped into my head. So I’m going to make that, even though I’ve never tasted … Continue reading CCCB: Magic Hour

New Music

(March 12, 2019)

Music I’ve bought this month. Last month I declared that I was going to cut back radically on how much music I’m buying (because I can’t listen to all this stuff), so this month I’m down to… er… thirtyseven releases… OK, quite a bit of that was albums trickling in that I’d ordered earlier, so … Continue reading New Music

4AD 1996

(March 12, 2019)

Listen to 4AD 1996 on Spotify. Let’s focus on the positives: Dead Can Dance returned with Spiritchaser, and that’s a quite good album. Throwing Muses continued the streak begun with University and released another excellent album. His Name Is Alive went in a new direction: They discovered the Beach Boys. Heidi Berry released her final, … Continue reading 4AD 1996

Useful Consumer Review

(March 11, 2019)

I’m always in the lookout for new smart remotes, so when I saw this Turn Touch wooden thing, I thought it might go better with my living room table: Than the old remote I use to control the stereo (and the lights): Eh? Eh? Slightly better, huh? That Targus thing there has worked reliably for … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Decade Redux

(March 10, 2019)

After watching movies kinda aimlessly for a while, I wanted to focus on a specific era, so I chose the 40s: One movie from every month of that decade. I chose the 40s more by process of elimination than anything else: All the other possible decades had bits that seemed less exciting here and there. … Continue reading Decade Redux

December 1949: Twelve O’Clock High

(March 9, 2019)

Awrite! The final movie in this blog series! December 1949! A decade of movies! It’s over! I think I started in… September? So it’s taken me about six months to watch 120 movies? That’s two thirds of a movie per day. OK, I’ll do a summing-up post later… So what’s this movie about? A high … Continue reading December 1949: Twelve O’Clock High

November 1949: Port of New York

(March 9, 2019)

Huh. This… looks like a B movie sourced from Youtube from VHS, but how did I buy this? It must be on a box set of some kind, but … which one? I sure can’t find it. And it’s weird. It’s got a voiceover like an educational short. I’m guessing this is a public domain … Continue reading November 1949: Port of New York

October 1949: Love Happy

(March 9, 2019)

What! A Marx Brothers movie!? I thought I’d seen them all? How did I miss this one? It must have been part of that Marx Bros box set I bought some years back? But… huh. This is not one of the classic Marx movies. There’s not a lot of Groucho in here (and his scenes … Continue reading October 1949: Love Happy

September 1949: The Fighting Kentuckian

(March 9, 2019)

Hey, John Wayne. Oh, and er Laurel? I mean Hardy. Or do I? This is a romantic western comedy, I guess. Wayne is a polarising actor, but I really like having him on the screen. He’s fun to watch. This is very, very slight fare. It’s charming and easy on the headbone. But perhaps it … Continue reading September 1949: The Fighting Kentuckian

August 1949: I Was A Male War Bride

(March 8, 2019)

Howard Hawks! Cary Grant! Ann Sheridan! And this is the first post-war war movie I’ve seen in this blog series, I think? Oh… it’s not really a war movie. It’s a post-war movie, set in present-day (i.e., 1949) Germany. This is a screwball comedy of sorts: Lots of pratfalls for Grant to excel at. But … Continue reading August 1949: I Was A Male War Bride

CCCB: Woman on the Edge of Time

(March 7, 2019)

Thursday is baking day, and I chose a cake I haven’t tasted in decades: The Tosca Cake. It’s apparently named after that most jumpingest of all opera heroines. Perhaps it’s named after her because it’s a pretty heavy cake and Tosca fell like a rock into the river? The comment on that page, however, claims … Continue reading CCCB: Woman on the Edge of Time

Working with X in Emacs

(March 5, 2019)

While tweaking the Emacs-based screensaver, it began to become clear that I just didn’t have access to a sufficient number of X events. In particular, I want to be able to wake the screen up by hitting the shift key, and I just could see any way to get at that event. So I asked … Continue reading Working with X in Emacs

4AD 1995

(March 5, 2019)

Listen to 4AD 1995 on Spotify. I think perhaps it makes sense to regard 1995 as the end of the iconic, classic version of 4AD. 4AD’s ends their association with The Wolfgang Press here, and that’s a group of people that had been with them (in various permutations) since 1980: The very first “proper” 4AD … Continue reading 4AD 1995

July 1949: Too Late For Tears

(March 2, 2019)

Based on the title I thought this was gonna be a Douglas Sirk weepie. But instead it’s a very noir film noir! This movie started off simply fabulous. Ly. Great random set-up and perfect noir performances. But things get more involved and the actors start chewing the scenery and instead of ever-increasing tension, we just … Continue reading July 1949: Too Late For Tears

June 1949: Kind Hearts and Coronets

(March 2, 2019)

Huh. Is this the first Ealing comedy I’ve watched in this blog series? I believe it is… Oh! They didn’t start until 1947, so that explains it. This is only their fifth movie, apparently. This isn’t quite what I expected: It’s slow and witty, but it’s about a serial killer murdering his way into a … Continue reading June 1949: Kind Hearts and Coronets

May 1949: Africa Screams

(March 2, 2019)

Hey! Abbot and Costello. I haven’t seen too many of thse… This is uncomplicated fun: A mix of physical humour, weak bon mots and general silliness. I’m smiling a lot while watching this, but I’m not actually laughing. But I can totally see an eleven-year-old me finding this to be the height of hilarity. The … Continue reading May 1949: Africa Screams

April 1949: The Secret Garden

(March 1, 2019)

Dean Stockwell!? But he can’t possibly… Oh, he plays the ten year old boy. And I was thinking of Harry Dean Stanton. ANYWAY. This is a fascinating movie. It’s not that often you see a movie that doesn’t fit neatly into a genre category or where you have no idea where the plot is going. … Continue reading April 1949: The Secret Garden

March 1949: Little Women

(March 1, 2019)

Oh, this isn’t what I thought it was going to be at all? I thought it was with… Bette Davis? And an adult drama? Little Something Else? The? Anyway, this is a big-budget Hollywood movie, and it really shows. When this kind of thing works, it really works. And this really works. There’s so many … Continue reading March 1949: Little Women

Fun with DPMS; or, An Emacs-Based Screensaver

(February 28, 2019)

I’ve got a bunch of monitors, large and small, that (in general) are always on. Because I’m too lazy to switch stuff off and or. They display some useful information, but are largely decorative (i.e, some of them display temperature data, and some use xscreensaver to show what albums are playing). But I’ve got the … Continue reading Fun with DPMS; or, An Emacs-Based Screensaver

(Not) HDR10 to sRGB

(February 27, 2019)

I’m going to be watching a bunch of 4K movies in High Dynamic Range (i.e., UHD HDR) later this year, and I’m going to be screenshotting a bit. Now, as you can see from that blog post, I’m using an HDMI splitter that sends the UHD HDR bits to the TV, and sends 2K SDR … Continue reading (Not) HDR10 to sRGB

4AD 1994

(February 26, 2019)

Listen to 4AD 1994 on Spotify. The most important thing that happened in 1994 was that Kristin Hersh launched her solo career. While not really that radically different from her Throwing Muses music, it gave us more Kristin Hersh, and that’s always better, right? Also: 4AD signed Lisa Germano and released her stunning Geek the … Continue reading 4AD 1994

No Fuss No Knead Yes Bread

(February 25, 2019)

No-knead breads have become very popular lately, but the recipes all seem to have some incomprehensibly complicated steps (involving folding the dough and a pre-heated pot) in the middle. So I thought I would try to just bypass those and see what happened, and the results were just as good. And a lot less work. … Continue reading No Fuss No Knead Yes Bread

Paperlike HD

(February 24, 2019)

Since the first time I heard of e-ink products, I was pretty enthused: Imagine having something with the resolution of paper and the convenience of a very light tablet to read from! What a marvel! And then I saw an e-ink e-reader. They’re horrible! The resolution is way less than paper, and when you flip … Continue reading Paperlike HD

February 1949: Caught

(February 23, 2019)

Quite a few of these late-40s DVDs have been from Olive Films, a company I was previously unaware existed. Is this a new iteration of one of the older quality-minded DVD companies? Like… uhm… Eureka? Artificial Eye? Curzon? Tartan? I know that some of those have gone under and been resurrected under other names… All … Continue reading February 1949: Caught

January 1949: A Letter To Three Wives

(February 23, 2019)

*gasp* Nineteen fortynine! I just have 12 more movies to go for this blog project! This is pretty good. We get presented with three women’s lives, possibly at a pivotal point for any of them, and it’s pretty interesting. But mainly I’m wondering whether Ingmar Bergman saw this movie and then thought, hmm, I can … Continue reading January 1949: A Letter To Three Wives

December 1948: Force of Evil

(February 23, 2019)

Hm… that’s a very familiar name? Oh, yeah, that’s what I thought: Orson Welles did a movie with a similar name. This is definitely not that one. It’s John Garfield playing a mobster(ish) lawyer. It’s about the intricacies of running a numbers game. Basically everybody in this movie are crooks. I don’t know. I didn’t … Continue reading December 1948: Force of Evil

October 1948: June Bride

(February 22, 2019)

Oops! I was supposed to watch this before the previous movie, but I got confused because the first copy of this DVD arrived broken and I had to get another one in and then etc. But here it is! June Bride! Bette Davis! And… people… I didn’t think Davis did that many comedies, but this … Continue reading October 1948: June Bride

November 1948: Unfaithfully Yours

(February 22, 2019)

He’s on the down low here. It feels like forever since I saw the previous movie. But it’s been only… two weeks? Last weekend was Copenhagen. Oh wow! This is written, directed and produced by Preston Sturges, the director I wasn’t aware of before doing this blog series, but who’s become a new favourite after … Continue reading November 1948: Unfaithfully Yours

CCCB: Downriver

(February 21, 2019)

For the baking today, I’m going to do a slight re-run: A few weeks ago I did a knead-free pan bread. Which turned out delicious. But it seemed to me that the recipe just had a few more complicated steps than seems necessary: You’re supposed to fold the dough a few times before doing the … Continue reading CCCB: Downriver

A New Eval Server For Emacs

(February 19, 2019)

Emacs has a mechanism for client/server communication (and remote eval) that’s simultaneously too insecure and too secure at the same time. Here’s the extremely convenient way to start a server: (setq server-use-tcp t server-host (system-name) server-name (concat “foo-” (system-name))) (server-start) This will create a file (if called on a machine named “stories”) called ~/.emacs.d/server/foo-stories with … Continue reading A New Eval Server For Emacs

4AD 1993

(February 19, 2019)

Listen to 4AD 1993 on Spotify. 1992/1993 sealed 4AD’s fate: They had two major hits in the US college market with Belly’s Feed the Tree and The Breeders’ Cannonball; both going into heavy rotation on MTV (back when that meant something). Major label Warner Bros came sniffing seeking grunge acts, and Ivo Watts-Russell signed a … Continue reading 4AD 1993

Adventures in Netflix

(February 14, 2019)

I’ve been watching a buttload of 40s movies over the past few months, and I was thinking about watching something really modern next. And then it occurred to me: How about if I watch all “Netflix Original” movies released in 2019? Sizzling fresh movies! And if you’ve ever read this blog before, you’ll know there’ll … Continue reading Adventures in Netflix

My New “Trends In Packaging” Blog

(February 12, 2019)

So I bought a Kid606 remix CD via Discogs… That’s a very normal envelope. And then there’s paper. And then there’s… A Frank Ocean CD from… er… Channel Orange? And then there’s the CD I bought! So Frank Ocean is now packaging material for Kid606. These are the latest trends in packaging.

4AD 1992

(February 12, 2019)

Listen to 4AD 1992 on Spotify. 1992 was another year of change for 4AD. Ivo Watts-Russell wanted to be able to pick more freely among things to release without getting in a serious relationship with bands, so he started the Guernica imprint which released three things at a rapid pace at the end of the … Continue reading 4AD 1992

New Music

(February 11, 2019)

Music I’ve bought (or resampled) this month. I discovered a shelf of 12″ things this month: They were all items I’d bought in the early noughts before I started doing FLAC instead of MP3. So I had to resample them all, of course, even though I’ll probably never listen to many of them again… But … Continue reading New Music

September 1948: Sorry, Wrong Number

(February 9, 2019)

Oh, wow! I know this storyline! I’ve been listening to old Norwegian radio dramas while walking the last year, and there was a 50s serial about an invalid woman overhearing a murder plot on a crossed line on the telephone, and then trying to do something about it – all over the phone. So the … Continue reading September 1948: Sorry, Wrong Number

August 1948: The Scar

(February 9, 2019)

Huh! The previous movie was also an Eagle-Lion thing. How odd I’ve bought two of these in sequence. At least this had been restored properly; the Amazing Mr. X looked horrible. This is noir, though, and is told from the viewpoint of a bunch of small-time (wannabe) gangsters. I don’t think I’ve seen a movie … Continue reading August 1948: The Scar

July 1948: The Amazing Mr. X

(February 9, 2019)

Wow, this is a bad DVD transfer. Looks like it’s been sourced from VHS via an NTSC broadcast. But never mind. This is fun! It’s a horror movie, sort of. Or perhaps thriller? It’s kinda thrilling, anyway. Being able to see what was going on would perhaps have been even better, but it works anyway. … Continue reading July 1948: The Amazing Mr. X

June 1948: Easter Parade

(February 8, 2019)

I can see! In colour! Based on the name I thought this was going to be a cheap B movie, but instead it’s an Irving Berlin extravaganza! With Fred Astaire and Judy Garland! But like I guessed by the “parade” name, this is basically a bunch of songs and dances and skits with some nonsensical … Continue reading June 1948: Easter Parade

May 1948: Hamlet

(February 8, 2019)

Directed by Laurence Olivier, this is pretty spiffy. Lots of weird little touches. It’s not filmed theatre at all – it’s all movie. I didn’t recognise Olivier at all. Perhaps I’ve just seen him in much later movies? Or is it just the blond(e)ness? He’s fabulous here, anyway. We’ve all seen Hamlet way too many … Continue reading May 1948: Hamlet

April 1948: Letter from an Unknown Woman

(February 7, 2019)

Oh, directed by Max Ophüls. I haven’t seen a lot of movies by him… I remember seeing The Earrings of Madame De… the other year. I think? Yes. I was apparently befuddled then. This looks great. The cinematography is relentlessly intriguing. Joan Fontaine is marvellous. Her acting style is so different from what you usually … Continue reading April 1948: Letter from an Unknown Woman

CCCB: Miracle of the Rose

(February 6, 2019)

When I went to the kitchen equipment store and asked for the stuff I needed to bake these things, the shop assistant asked me “you’re making smultringer (literally “lard rings”) after Christmas?” incredulously. Which was slightly weird. These are things one makes in Scandinavia at Xmas, but they’re eaten all year long, because these are … Continue reading CCCB: Miracle of the Rose

4AD 1991

(February 5, 2019)

Listen to 4AD 1991 on Spotify. The most striking thing about 1991 is that a lot of the sleeves aren’t very good. Vaughan Oliver/Chris Bigg might have been going through a period of burn-out, and there’s some external designers used, too. Counting Backwards, Time, the Spirea X releases, Flesh Balloon are all pretty bad. And … Continue reading 4AD 1991

March 1948: Fort Apache

(February 2, 2019)

Johns Ford and Wayne! Is this the first John Wayne movie I’ve seen in this blog series? Hm… Oh, Shirley Temple and Henry Fonda, too… This is sweet. I thought this was going to be one of those serious and relevant westerns (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but instead it’s pretty funny. Not … Continue reading March 1948: Fort Apache

February 1948: Sleep, My Love

(February 2, 2019)

Noir! Sirk! Colbert! *gets popcorn* This is brilliantly paranoid; a vortex of (possible) gaslighting, (possible) insanity and (possible) conspiracies. They give away the game a bit too early, I think, and from then on it all seems a bit too predictable. But it’s fun and it’s funny and gripping and it’s quite Douglas Sirk. Sirk … Continue reading February 1948: Sleep, My Love

January 1948: The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre

(February 1, 2019)

Bogie! And… other people… I thought this was going to be a western, but it’s contemporary and is something much more singular. It’s the kind of movie you (I mean, me) have no idea what direction it’s going to go in. It’s by John Huston, so of course it’s good, and as usual with a … Continue reading January 1948: The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre

December 1947: The Lady From Shanghai

(February 1, 2019)

*gasp* Orson Welles! And Orson is dubbed into a comedy Irish dialect!? WTF?! His lips don’t match up to the audio all the time, at least, so I’m assuming it’s not Welles himself doing the awful impression… This is such a weird movie! I love it! It makes no sense! I assume that Welles’ diet … Continue reading December 1947: The Lady From Shanghai

November 1947: Out of the Past

(January 30, 2019)

This is a film noir, but it starts off as like a 50s Tennessee Williams movie. But then you get all of the genre trappings: Flash-backs, gangsters, dames, beaches, repartee. I’ve never realised how similar Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas are. They’re basically the same person. Mitchum is a bit more muscular, but otherwise they’re … Continue reading November 1947: Out of the Past

October 1947: Green Dolphin Street

(January 30, 2019)

This has few votes on imdb so I assumed that it was a B movie. But this is an MGM high budget costume drama… with Lana Turner and Donna Reed. And what costumes! It was nominated for a handful of technical Oscars as well as Best Cinematography and was apparently quite popular upon release. That … Continue reading October 1947: Green Dolphin Street

4AD 1990

(January 29, 2019)

Listen to 4AD 1990 on Spotify. 4AD head Ivo Watts-Russell has later said that he was going to shut down 4AD after ten years, but he didn’t because he felt an obligation to the bands. So instead 1990 turned into one of the busiest years ever, with 17 releases, and some of the biggest commercial … Continue reading 4AD 1990

September 1947: Dark Passage

(January 27, 2019)

Wow! Bacall! Bogie! Agnes Moorehead! I haven’t seen this before? I don’t think so? Why!? It’s the most noir thing ever! It’s an absolutely thrilling and riveting movie. The first-person camera in the first section of the film is amazeballs. The constant coincidences in the plot makes such paranoid sense. It’s fantastic! I’m not familiar … Continue reading September 1947: Dark Passage

August 1947: Life With Father

(January 26, 2019)

Technicolor! Irene Dunne! William Powell! Elizabeth Taylor! This is not a noir! Unfortunately, the DVD version seems to be sourced from a torrent copy of the movie at a bitrate of “there’s a bitrate?”, and the torrent was sourced from an NTSC broadcast, so it’s very pretty on my screen. It looks like it originally … Continue reading August 1947: Life With Father

July 1947: Brute Force

(January 26, 2019)

Now this is noir! Burt Lancaster is in jail (where it rains all the time) planning an escape! I’m reading Miracle of the Rose by Jean Genet these days, which is told from an er slightly different perspective than this movie. But there are certain parallels: Both are told from the perspective of the prisoners, … Continue reading July 1947: Brute Force

Useful Consumer Review

(January 26, 2019)

I’ve had an Epson Expression 10000XL for over ten years, and it works very well. I mainly use it to scan covers of LPs and the like, so the A3+ size is perfect. It’s only got two problems: It’s slow, and it has a noisy fan. I can live with the latter, because the fan … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

June 1947: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

(January 25, 2019)

This is pure entertainment, and I love that. Gene Tierney is perfect as the plucky widow, and Rex Harrison camps it up as the ghost of a ship captain. It’s such a perfect fluffy thing. It meanders pleasantly without straining the brain. But then! In the third act! Drama! This kind of thing works much … Continue reading June 1947: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

May 1947: Possessed

(January 25, 2019)

Oh My Emacs! Another Joan Crawford movie? Is this like the 30th in this blog series? Who bought these movies anyway? This is super noir. They even found rainy days to shoot in Los Angeles. As usual, you can’t fault Crawford’s er expressive performance. The other actors also plays it large, and it’s pretty great. … Continue reading May 1947: Possessed

April 1947: Monsieur Verdoux

(January 25, 2019)

Oh, this is Chaplin’s “serious” movie? Didn’t that flop spectacularly? Chaplin was subjected to unusually hostile treatment by the press while promoting the opening of the film, and some boycotts took place during its short run. In New Jersey, the film was picketed by members of the Catholic War Veterans, who carried placards calling for … Continue reading April 1947: Monsieur Verdoux

4AD 1989

(January 22, 2019)

Listen to 4AD 1989 on Spotify. The playlist is, once again, not complete because Spotify doesn’t have everything. The missing songs are marked with an asterisk*. 1989 is a year of change. None of the old 4AD heavy hitters (Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil, erm Clan of Xymox) release anything this year, … Continue reading 4AD 1989

March 1947: Green For Danger

(January 19, 2019)

I’ve never seen a DVD from this er company: It seems to be called Mr. Fat W Video, and the titles look like they’ve been made in Video Toaster in the 90s. And the DVD looks to have been upsampled from a low-resolution, low-bandwidth source: There’s both jaggy lines and banding. But it doesn’t look … Continue reading March 1947: Green For Danger

February 1947: The Fabulous Dorseys

(January 19, 2019)

This is yet another (probably public domain) B movie from that DVD box set I’m apparently mentioning every third movie in this blog series. This is the rags-to-riches story about the Dorsey brothers (who were jazz musicians back in the day). The acting shifts between horrible and ridiculous, but the script is pretty amusing. And … Continue reading February 1947: The Fabulous Dorseys

January 1947: Calendar Girl

(January 18, 2019)

It’s been a while, but here’s another B movie from that box set where all the other B movies came from. Unfortunately the sound quality here is so bad that I can make out only every third word. It’s kinda charming. It doesn’t really amount to a whole lot, but it’s inoffensive. Nothing much to … Continue reading January 1947: Calendar Girl

December 1946: Humoresque

(January 18, 2019)

Joan Crawford! John Garfield! And directed by Jean Negulesco! Er… Ok, that’s a completely utterly unfamiliar name to me. That’s a really unenthusiastic Wikipedia page. He was nominated for a bunch of awards but didn’t win much. But they let him make a bunch of movies, so I guess they were commercially successful? This is… … Continue reading December 1946: Humoresque

November 1945: Brief Encounter

(January 18, 2019)

This seems awfully familiar… Oh, I watched this in 2014! Oh, well. Let’s watch it again; I seem to remember it being rather good. This 2K version has been beautifully restored – the last time I saw this was on .7K. So many more pixels! This is adapted from the Noel Coward play, and I … Continue reading November 1945: Brief Encounter

CCCB: Jane Eyre

(January 17, 2019)

Thursday is book’n’bake day. The bready hype the last few months has been the no-knead bread recipe from the New York Times. (Were they the ones responsible for the one-pot pasta travesty that was all the rage a couple of years ago? That thing was vile.) But let’s give it a go. You basically just … Continue reading CCCB: Jane Eyre

4AD 1988

(January 15, 2019)

Listen to 4AD 1988 on Spotify. And here my problems really start with the “let people listen to 4AD as if they were around at the time” approach starts fraying. Over the next few years, 4AD would start getting in to the 12″ remix business, and it starts here with The Wolfgang Press’ King of … Continue reading 4AD 1988

October 1946: My Darling Clementine

(January 12, 2019)

As westerns go, it doesn’t get more western than a movie directed by John Ford starring Henry Fonda (!) as Wyatt Earp (!!) in Tombstone (!!!). Shirley, I must have seen this movie before, but I really can’t remember anything about it… This Criterion restoration of the film is almost … too much? The blacks … Continue reading October 1946: My Darling Clementine

September 1946: La belle et la bête

(January 12, 2019)

Huh! It’s an opera? Sounds very modern? I didn’t know that Jean Cocteau did operas? How odd. Oh! Philip Glass composed an opera perfectly synchronized to the film. The original soundtrack was eliminated, and he composed the opera to be performed along with the film projected behind the orchestra and voice talent. The compact disc … Continue reading September 1946: La belle et la bête

New Music

(January 11, 2019)

Music I’ve bought this month.

Not Dishwasher Safe

(January 11, 2019)

Some Kenwood attachments parts aren’t dishwasher safe. Guess which one! (Yes, they were both equally shiny before going into the dishwasher.)

August 1946: Black Angel

(January 11, 2019)

What’s this then? I wasn’t prepared for the segue into film noir was going to be this abrupt. Of the films after the war ended, virtually all the movies have been noir. This is another one, and it’s weird. I did see the twist coming a mile away, but there’s just so much strange little … Continue reading August 1946: Black Angel

July 1946: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

(January 11, 2019)

I love the title! And… wow! This is absolutely brilliant! I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s condensed, over-the-top melodrama; every scene, every camera angle pitch perfect. Lizabeth Scott is wonderful here. I’m not familiar with her work, but she’s like every 40s dame distilled. And Kirk Douglas is perfect as the milk-toast weaselly D. … Continue reading July 1946: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

Automated Turn-On Logic

(January 10, 2019)

CCCB: Last and First Men/Star Maker

(January 10, 2019)

Wow, it’s Thursday, so something must be baked. And it’s not me! Years ago, there was a fabulous cookie in the stores here. They were made by Walkers, and they were “stem ginger” cookies. They were glorious. Chewy, flavourful, in your face. Apparently nobody else liked them, because they disappeared only to be replaced by … Continue reading CCCB: Last and First Men/Star Maker

4AD 1987

(January 8, 2019)

Listen to 4AD 1987 on Spotify. This isn’t complete, unfortunately. The Fat Skier mini-album by Throwing Muses doesn’t exist on Spotify. Three of the tracks appear on various compilations, and I’ve included them on the playlist, but you’re missing some wonderful songs like And A She-Wolf After The War, Pools in Eyes and Soap and … Continue reading 4AD 1987

June 1946: Anna and the King of Siam

(January 5, 2019)

Barbaric! I don’t know… Irene Dunne is fun, of course. Rex Harrison as the king of Siam is… as you’d expect? But there’s something kinda loathsome about this film. It gets generally positive reviews, but it’s… horrifying and dreary. I really struggled to get through the last five hours of this horrid thing. Anna and … Continue reading June 1946: Anna and the King of Siam

May 1946: The Postman Always Rings Twice

(January 5, 2019)

Wow! This just looks so… restored! It’s the crispest 40s movie I’ve seen. This 2K bluray isn’t even a Criterion release. Oh, this is the one that was remade with Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson, but I don’t think I’ve seen this version. I can’t get over just how weird and abrupt this movie is. … Continue reading May 1946: The Postman Always Rings Twice

April 1946: The Blue Dahlia

(January 5, 2019)

Oh, written by Raymond Chandler and with Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd. We’re out of B movie territory, finally. Not that there’s anything wrong with B movies. … Wow! This is some kinda noir masterpiece! There’s just so much in here! Ladd’s semi-mute stoicicity (that’s a word). Lake’s dead-pan witty repartee. William Bendix simmering like … Continue reading April 1946: The Blue Dahlia

March 1946: Strange Impersonation

(January 4, 2019)

Well, this is a strange little movie. Barely an hour long and filmed on cheap (but nice (with the least convincing lab set ever in the history of ever)) sound stages, but it seems to have some ambition. It’s a B movie film noir/mystery thing, and is kinda unusual in that all the characters that … Continue reading March 1946: Strange Impersonation

February 1946: Breakfast in Hollywood

(January 4, 2019)

Perhaps I should have limited the number of movies from the 50 movie box set of (presumably public-domain) small-studio musical comedies for this blog series, but some of them have been unexpected gems. The vast majority are just vaudeville skits with some dialogue to fill in the gaps. Just like the previous movie, this is … Continue reading February 1946: Breakfast in Hollywood

January 1946: People are Funny

(January 4, 2019)

Of all the B-movies I’ve seen during this blog series, this is the one of them. As usual, it’s a series of vaudeville bits with some plots in between. The plot here is slightly more substantial (if that’s the word) than usual. I think. It was awfully confusing, but perhaps that’s because I’ve got a … Continue reading January 1946: People are Funny

CCCB: Composed on the Tongue

(January 3, 2019)

IT IS THURSDAY AND I MUST BAKE I had a lot of egg whites left over from making custard, so I thought I’d just make something very simple to go with this week’s book: Meringue. Olé! Caramba! Gaucho! But I put lots of liquorice powder into the er dough before piping it onto the silicone. … Continue reading CCCB: Composed on the Tongue

4AD 1986

(January 1, 2019)

Listen to 4AD 1986 on Spotify. 1985 was a good year for 4AD, but didn’t have many surprises. 1986 ramps things up considerably. First of all, we have Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares. I don’t think anybody saw that coming or were prepared for how beautiful these Bulgarian songs could be. And Cocteau Twins decided … Continue reading 4AD 1986

The Best Comics of 2018

(December 31, 2018)

*cough* *cough* I think I have a fever? What a way to start the new year. But as I’m stuck here on the couch under a duvet, I might as well type up that “best of 2018” comic thing I didn’t have time to do in December? Sure! When I happen upon a comic that’s … Continue reading The Best Comics of 2018

December 1945: Doll Face

(December 30, 2018)

I knew they had short ties back in the 40s, but… This is a B movie from that box set where all the other B movies I’ve been watching. And as usual, it’s set in a vaudeville theatre, so that the movie makers can just film a bunch of stage actors and then pretend that … Continue reading December 1945: Doll Face

November 1945: The Lost Weekend

(December 30, 2018)

Oh, Billy Wilder. I wasn’t quite aware that he had done a film noir, I think? I’ve seen all his 50s/60s comedies… This movie won all the Oscars, and confirms most of my prejudices against those movies. It’s about a tedious alcoholic doing tedious alcoholic things, but very dramatically. So much drama. It’s not that … Continue reading November 1945: The Lost Weekend

October 1945: And Then There Were None

(December 30, 2018)

Oh, this is the Agatha Christie thing! I’ve seen a bunch of versions and read the book etc, but I don’t think I’ve seen this version before. And I’ve forgotten who the murderer is. How delightful. At first I thought that they had embellished the novel greatly (as they usually did back in the days; … Continue reading October 1945: And Then There Were None

September 1945: Mildred Pierce

(December 30, 2018)

Surely I’ve seen this Joan Crawfordaganza before, but it really doesn’t seem very familiar… This is the Criterion-restored DVD version. It’s good, but it doesn’t look as brilliant as their best restorations do. The blacks never go down to full blackness, so everything is a bit washed out… but perhaps that’s what the director was … Continue reading September 1945: Mildred Pierce

August 1945: Love Letters

(December 29, 2018)

!!! Dum ti dum ti dum… WHAAAA AYN RAND! So it this going to be a super-corny schmaltzy ode to objectivism? It’s a budget movie? It looks like it’s been filmed on the cheapest, most cramped sound stages. I assume that it ended up in my queue due to block-voting on imdb (I selected movies … Continue reading August 1945: Love Letters

July 1945: Christmas in Connecticut

(December 29, 2018)

Hey! Why did this premiere in July? I assumed they did Xmas movies at Xmas? Is imdb wrong about the release date? Oh, this is delightful. It’s got a classic screwball set-up, charming actors and witty repartee. The “You have a baby? I want to give him a bath!” bit is even more unintentionally hilarious … Continue reading July 1945: Christmas in Connecticut

June 1945: Murder, He Says

(December 29, 2018)

It feels like weeks since I saw the previous movie… perhaps because it was? Gotta catch up now then. Wow, this is an odd movie. It’s a screwball comedy, but it’s set in a such a nightmarish milieu that it’s sometimes difficult to know whether to be horrified or amused: It’s about a hapless insurance … Continue reading June 1945: Murder, He Says

He gave her a room full of Chippendales that nobody sits in

(December 29, 2018)

In the continuing series of blog posts about misunderstanding lyrics:

CCCB: El desorden de to nombre

(December 27, 2018)

For the baking part of this challenge, I chose the Norwegian delicacy “school bread”, which is a bun with a dollop of custard, and then coconut frosting on the exposed bready parts. I’m guessing it’s called that because it’s very sweet and kinda fulfilling, what with all the wheat, sugar and egg involved. Not a … Continue reading CCCB: El desorden de to nombre

4AD 1985

(December 25, 2018)

Here’s 4AD 1985 on Spotify. In 1985, there weren’t really any major revelations: It’s business as usual, but, oh, what a business. The Wolfgang Press finally (after a complicated band story that started with Rema-Rema, the first “official” thing 4AD released as a label in 1980) came into their own after five years. With a … Continue reading 4AD 1985

CCCB: The Two of Them

(December 20, 2018)

It’s Thursday, so I have to pick a book to read. Hickory dickory… I choose The Two of Them by Joanna Russ. Many of the books I’ve apparently avoided reading for two and a half decades have good reasons for not being read. This is not one of them. I bought, at the time, all … Continue reading CCCB: The Two of Them

4AD 1984

(December 18, 2018)

The B-side to Kangaroo, the single by This Mortal Coil with the confusing name “It’ll End In Tears” is not included here, because I can’t find it on Spotify. It’s basically a short instrumental version of Kangaroo, though, so it’s not a catastrophe, I guess. But it’s a nice version. Somebody should fix that on … Continue reading 4AD 1984

For Flacs Sake

(December 16, 2018)

Yesterday, I bought this Black Cab EP off of Bandcamp, but when I played it today, all I got was silence. A new form of Extreme Australian Minimalism or a bug? My music interface is Emacs, and it uses flac123 to play FLAC files. It’s not a very er supported program, but I find it … Continue reading For Flacs Sake

May 1945: The Valley of Decision

(December 16, 2018)

Gregory Peck and Lionel Barrymore… And Greer Garson… Oh, I’ve seen her in Mrs. Miniver, which was very good indeed… Uh-oh! It’s a movie about Irish in the US. ME AM SUSPICIOUS There’s something particularly dreadfully tedious about Irish cultural extruded product. The combination of religiosity, pomposity, sentimentality and forced cheer is positively venomous. If … Continue reading May 1945: The Valley of Decision

April 1945: Blithe Spirit

(December 15, 2018)

*gasp* I can see colours! Technicolours! Well, this is a high-ticket item. Directed by David Lean from a script by Noel Coward (and also produced by him). Margaret Rutherford is wonderful as the most unlikely medium ever. It’s a very, very English screwball comedy: A deceased woman comes back as a ghost to visit her … Continue reading April 1945: Blithe Spirit

March 1945: Delightfully Dangerous

(December 15, 2018)

This is another cheap and cheerful B movie from that 50 movie box set. Perhaps a majority of the movies on the box set are stage shows wrapped in a nonsensical excuse for a framing device. I don’t mind; it’s fun to watch those stage shows. This is also an excuse to show a variety … Continue reading March 1945: Delightfully Dangerous

February 1945: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

(December 15, 2018)

This is like… neo-realism… before neo-realism. So is it realism? Oh, this is Elia Kazan’s first movie. He’d go on to define the 50s with A Streetcar Named Desire, On The Waterfront and East of Eden. This movie looks wonderful. It’s so sharp: The light and the shadows. New and fresh and a new thing. … Continue reading February 1945: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

January 1945: Objective Burma

(December 15, 2018)

On a War Movie scale of 1 to 10 this is 25: It’s all soldier, all the time. The director has the best profile picture ever on IMDB: And the movie is just about what you’d expect from seeing that picture: It’s brash, manly and filled with robust humour. And as you’d expect, it’s not … Continue reading January 1945: Objective Burma

December 1944: Together Again

(December 15, 2018)

Oh, this is from the Icons of Screwball Comedy DVD “box”, which I can’t seem to find at the moment… I’m substituting the other box for the dice throw picture. CONTINUITY ERROR This is a supremely amiable movie. The actors are charming; the storyline is cute; the lines are witty. It’s entertaining and amusing, but … Continue reading December 1944: Together Again

CCCB: Oliver Twist

(December 12, 2018)

It’s Thursday, so it must be time to bake something and read a book I’ve avoided reading for a couple of decades. I’ve done cake and cookies, so why not bread? Nutty bread. Looks like the flour:nut ratio is 25:10, and I have no idea whether that’s like totally nuts. I have baked a couple … Continue reading CCCB: Oliver Twist

The Best Albums of 2018

(December 12, 2018)

“Best album” has been decided by Emacs which keeps track of what albums I’ve listened to most, so this is a totally objective list that objectively literally lists the best music this year. Except for the bits where I just edited by hand, because I’ve been listening more to old music than new music this … Continue reading The Best Albums of 2018

New Music

(December 11, 2018)

Music I’ve bought this month.

4AD 1983

(December 11, 2018)

Here’s 4AD 1983 on Spotity. 1983 is the watershed year for 4AD, when they transition fully from a post-punk label into something much stranger and something that people will still obsess about decades later. Most important commercially (and musically, for that matter) are the Cocteau Twins releases. The Peppermint Pig single was a major step … Continue reading 4AD 1983

November 1944: The Children Are Watching Us

(December 8, 2018)

Oo. Those are purdy fonts. Huh? An Italian movie from 1944? Oh, it’s from the director of Bicycle Thieves, which is a wonderful movie. And this is pretty great, too. According to this, it was filmed in 1942, before Italy started losing. There’s no mention of the war in this film, although we do see … Continue reading November 1944: The Children Are Watching Us

October 1944: To Have and Have Not

(December 8, 2018)

After a couple of cheapies, this is a proper, expensive A movie. I mean, Bogart? Bacall? Howard Hawks? Hemingway? Doesn’t get more A than that. The movie has been beautifully restored for this bluray release. I must have seen this movie a few times before (who hasn’t?) because some of the scenes seem awfully familiar. … Continue reading October 1944: To Have and Have Not

September 1944: Swing Hostess

(December 8, 2018)

Oh, another cheapie B-movie from PRC from that box set. The previous movie, Minstrel Man, wasn’t er good, but you never know… This one seems more promising… for one, there’s no blackface. And the lead’s a better actor. It’s a real movie, sort of: It’s not just an excuse to string a bunch of songs … Continue reading September 1944: Swing Hostess

August 1944: Minstrel Man

(December 8, 2018)

This is another B movie from that DVD box set. The transfer is pretty good here – while some of these have been sourced from torrents, this looks like a straight from film to DVD transfer. Hm… it might have been done via high quality video tape… There’s some typical tape ghosting going on. It … Continue reading August 1944: Minstrel Man

July 1944: Summer Storm

(December 7, 2018)

Yay! Douglas Sirk! Mah favourite. I was a bit in the mood for a comedy after the last movie, but whatevs. I’m such a fan that I apparently bought two copies: Wow. This has Edward Everett Horton in a kinda-sorta serious role. I don’t think I’ve seen that before. I mean, it’s Anton Chekhov (it’s … Continue reading July 1944: Summer Storm

June 1944: Since You Went Away

(December 7, 2018)

Can any powder-box really be too gay? How odd. This DVD starts with a five minute overture (i.e., some swelling orchestral music playing while we’re shown some stills). I wonder whether this was part of the original movie theatre experience… I guess it could have been, because it’s long enough that it may have been … Continue reading June 1944: Since You Went Away

May 1944: The White Cliffs of Dover

(December 7, 2018)

Ah, finally! Back to the 40s! I only have the TV on on weekends, and the past few weekends have been busy with concerts and parties and other boring stuff. This is a proper grandiose, romantic war movie, with stoic British women pining (and nursing) away at home while brave British soldiers bravely fight against … Continue reading May 1944: The White Cliffs of Dover


(December 6, 2018)

I cracked open a paperback of The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White and: Huh, apparently a child had been checking whether their pen worked? Oh well, that’s what happens when you buy used books. And then I flipped to the back cover: Uhm. Right. Are either Brust or White doctors, by any chance?

CCCB: The Place of Dead Roads

(December 6, 2018)

It’s Thursday, so it must be time for some baking and an old book. I decided on ginger nuts, and I wanted a recipe that would give me slightly soft cookies. So I went for one with syrup. Does that makes sense? I don’t know? Do I look like I know what I’m doing? There’s … Continue reading CCCB: The Place of Dead Roads

4AD 1982

(December 3, 2018)

The 4AD 1982 playlist on Spotify. In a shocker, not everything from 1982 is available on Spotify. The Birtday Party/Lydia Lunch split isn’t, but I’ve substituted some other live Birthday Party tracks. The Lunch track isn’t available at all. And the We Means We Starts single (with a different version of Not To) by Colin … Continue reading 4AD 1982

8K: Metropolis

(December 2, 2018)

Look! *gasp* The number of albums er um musical units I have surpassed an arbitrary nice-looking number in the decimal number system! But what album was the eight thousandth? It’s this one! Metropolis! A jazz-ish album from the late 60s by Mike Westbrook, who I discovered recentlyish after Phil Minton did a gig here, so … Continue reading 8K: Metropolis

My New “Trends In Packaging” blog

(December 1, 2018)

As previously seen here, we’re all about packaging. The new trend in packaging 12″ EPs is:

CCCB: Haunted

(November 29, 2018)

It’s Thursday, so it must be time to pick an ancient unread book from the bookcase and bake some cake. The lucky winner this week is Haunted, a short story collection by Joyce Carol Oates. This is a collection of horror stories published in various magazines: It’s time for a shocking confession: I’ve never read … Continue reading CCCB: Haunted

4AD 1981

(November 27, 2018)

Here’s the link: 4AD 1981 on Spotify. Working with the 4AD data set brings back memories… In the early days of the WWW, before Mozilla came on the scene, I had written a 4AD database (called “eyesore”, written in C++) where you could mark what releases you owned, and it would spit out a list … Continue reading 4AD 1981

April 1944: Trocadero

(November 24, 2018)

This movie was done for TV. I didn’t even know that they did movies for TV in 1944, but I’m apparently off by a couple of decades according to Wikipedia. Or is the “FOR TELEVISION” thing it says at the start about this particular edit of the movie? I have no idea, but this is … Continue reading April 1944: Trocadero

March 1944: The Curse of the Cat People

(November 24, 2018)

Another Val Lewton production! Hm… oh. His name seemed so familiar that I assumed that I had seen dozens of his films, but it’s really just The Ghost Ship. Is there another producer with a similar name? Hm… ah, he headed the RKO horror division, overseeing a string of cheap B-movies that looked better than … Continue reading March 1944: The Curse of the Cat People

The Business Dealings of the Lesser-Known Koch Brothers

(November 24, 2018)

February 1944: Passage to Marseille

(November 24, 2018)

Claude Rains! Bogart! This is no B movie. I found this to be a frustrating watch. It’s a sort of mid-war fantasy about war. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s so… stiff? Perhaps it’s because everything looks like it’s filmed on a sound stage? Even the outdoors bits? This is definitely not … Continue reading February 1944: Passage to Marseille

January 1944: Career Girl

(November 23, 2018)

That’s some design on those er leotards. Indeed. This is a cheap and short B movie, I guess? It’s got a classic set-up: A Broadway hopeful moves into a hotel for Broadway hopefuls. Lots of good movies have been written around that concept… and while this is very likeable, and it’s got some good lines … Continue reading January 1944: Career Girl

The Award for the Most 1986 Comics Ad of 1986 Goes To…

(November 23, 2018)

CCCB: Mind as Passion

(November 22, 2018)

Eenie meenie… It’s Thursday, so time to pick another book to read from the cache of my most ancient unread books and bake another cake. And this time the lucky winner is Susan Sontag: Mind as Passion by Liam Kennedy. Which I apparently bought at a sale in mid-90s (so it’s a bit newer than … Continue reading CCCB: Mind as Passion

4AD 1980

(November 18, 2018)

Some years back, I read the excellent Facing the Other Way book by Martin Aston. It’s about the British independent record company 4AD, which I used to be an er somewhat obsessive fan of in my teens, which resulted in absurdities like this. I decided to listen to everything 4AD had released, chronologically, while reading … Continue reading 4AD 1980

December 1943: Ghost Ship

(November 17, 2018)

“Why, a captain has more law than the King of Siam! A captain can marry you!” “Well, I’m already married.” This is an extremely odd film about a crew on a ship ships that’s possibly haunted. Excuse me while I do some googling. It was produced by Val Lewton for RKO Radio Pictures as part … Continue reading December 1943: Ghost Ship

November 1943: Old Acquaintance

(November 17, 2018)

It’s Bette Davis! Again! Geez, the person who bought these movies had a one track mind… Anyway! It’s a comedy! A romantic comedy! I didn’t think Davis did those, but this is the second one in this blog series… Oh, it’s not a comedy after all. That makes more sense. It’s about an insufferably grating … Continue reading November 1943: Old Acquaintance

October 1943: Guadalcanal Diary

(November 17, 2018)

This DVD has a very artifactey transfer – it’s probably mastered off of a torrent site. This is not the first movie in this blog series that’s been told from the point of view of the troops, but this one keeps the focus there throughout the movie. And while it’s a propaganda movie (the opening … Continue reading October 1943: Guadalcanal Diary

September 1943: Le Corbeau

(November 16, 2018)

What’s this then? A French movie? Made during the occupation? That had to be controversial. Ah. Some wikipedia editor says: The film caused serious problems for its director after World War II as it had been produced by Continental Films, a German production company established near the beginning of the Occupation of France, and because … Continue reading September 1943: Le Corbeau

CCCB: Larque on the Wing

(November 15, 2018)

Like everybody, I’ve got a bookcase of unread books, but perhaps weirdly, mine is organised along a simple principle: Older books sink towards the bottom. That is, as I read books, I compact the rest and move them towards the bottom left. It’s a sedimental journey. The last couple of years I’ve read very few … Continue reading CCCB: Larque on the Wing

Useful Consumer Review

(November 13, 2018)

The backlight to the monitor in the hallway half died, and the monitor was more than ten years old, so getting a replacement seemed more prudent than trying to get it fixed. I wanted a kinda small monitor for the table. The main use cases is me scanning record sleeves and paying bills (because this … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Cropping Images in Emacs

(November 12, 2018)

I woke up in the middle of the night and started thinking about cropping images in Emacs, as one does. I started wondering how Emacs processed mouse events, and that turns out to be very easy: You just use `read-event’ inside a `track-mouse’ form, and you get all the events and coordinates, offset from the … Continue reading Cropping Images in Emacs

New Music

(November 11, 2018)

Music I’ve bought this month.

August 1943: Hi Diddle Diddle

(November 3, 2018)

This is a B movie, I guess? Cheap and cheerful. It’s got a convoluted and silly plot that putters away in a very pleasing manner. Much intrigue and running around. It’s not exactly a cinematic masterpiece, but it’s really funny. It’s just an almost-perfect bundle of silliness, and everything works out like it’s supposed to. … Continue reading August 1943: Hi Diddle Diddle

July 1943: This is the Army

(November 3, 2018)

Oh Em Gee! Colour! It’s a movie in colour! Is colour even possible?! My eyes! An Irving Berlin eleganza extravaganza. It’s about a bunch of guys drafted into the army and then they put on a show. As one does. It’s great! It’s got lines like Angry sarge: “Did you sleep well?” Private: “Sure. This … Continue reading July 1943: This is the Army

June 1943: Hitler’s Madman

(November 3, 2018)

Douglas Sirk! I love his 50s melodramas, but I haven’t seen any of his earlier stuff, so I’m excited to watch this movie. Virtually all of the war movies I’ve seen so far in this series (that are set in foreign countries) are set in the Czechoslovakia. I guess it makes sense… it was an … Continue reading June 1943: Hitler’s Madman

May 1943: The Ox-Bow Incident

(November 2, 2018)

Oh! A western! With a name like that I thought this was going to be about an obscure Pacific naval battle or something. This is from a director, William A. Wellman, who’s done a shit-load of movies, but who’s unknown to me, for some reason or other. Aaaanyway. This is a kinda odd western. It’s … Continue reading May 1943: The Ox-Bow Incident

April 1943: Clancy Street Boys

(November 2, 2018)

I am Confused, Bemused and Bemildred. What is this?!?! It starts off with a street gang spanking their leader… and then the rival gang spanks him… and I guess my general confusion is due to the video quality is kinda like fourth generation VHS, and the audio is more rumble than voice. But what’s even … Continue reading April 1943: Clancy Street Boys

March 1943: Hangmen Also Die

(November 2, 2018)

Huh. A British war movie directed by Fritz Lang from a script co-written with Bertolt Brecht. I had no idea what to expect here, but they use their not-inconsiderable talents to go all-in on the anti-Nazi propaganda war effort. And it’s great! The Nazis are evil, eeevil; mincing and brutally sadistic at the same time. … Continue reading March 1943: Hangmen Also Die

Cleanroom Development

(October 30, 2018)

Useful Consumer Review

(October 28, 2018)

I needed a new scanner, and I wanted one that was significantly faster than the one I’ve been using until now. After some Googling, I landed on the Epson DS-50000, which is an A3+ scanner with a promise of being able to scan an A3 300DPI page in four seconds. The web site I bought … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

A Scene From Parts Unknown Presented Without Comment

(October 28, 2018)

February 1943: Air Force

(October 27, 2018)

It’s a war movie! I’ve seen some spy stuff during this blog series, but very few out-and-out war movies. And it’s by Howard Hawks, so it looks like the shots are gorgeous… Except that the transfer I have i ridiculous. There’s digital artefacts all over the place. Not just banding and exaggerated grains, but also … Continue reading February 1943: Air Force

January 1943: The Hard Way

(October 27, 2018)

Opening with an attempted suicide, that’s not what you expect when imdb says that this is a romantiv musical. The scenes of industrial grime in a factory town are stunning. imdb is on acid, of course. This is a movie about struggling out of property and the hard-nosed grift needed. Ida Lupino is brilliant as … Continue reading January 1943: The Hard Way

A Cover Of A Comics Magazine Presented Without Comment

(October 27, 2018)

Download Codes

(October 27, 2018)

I mostly buy music on physical format because… I don’t know. I’m old? Right. So included in the latest batch was the new single from 80s phenomenon Soft Cell: And as is often the case these days, there’s a download code included so that people presumably can avoid actually listening to the vinyl: Now, I … Continue reading Download Codes

December 1942: A Night To Remember

(October 26, 2018)

Oh, this is just perfect. It’s a screwball comedy about a couple moving into a haunted tenement house… OR IS IT!??! Things move at a brisk pace, and if all the individual gags aren’t exactly genius, it all just kind of works. “Jeff! Don’t be a fool!” “Don’t be silly. I’ve always been a fool.” … Continue reading December 1942: A Night To Remember

November 1942: Once Upon a Honeymoon

(October 26, 2018)

Ginger Rogers! Cary Grant! In a romantic Nazi intrigue comedy! Director Leo McCarey was a veteran director with films like Duck Soup on his resumé, but hadn’t really been super-successful. (He did do An Affair To Remember later, though.) And… this movie tries so hard. It’s got so much going for it, like Rogers’ preposterous … Continue reading November 1942: Once Upon a Honeymoon

October 1942: Now, Voyager

(October 26, 2018)

Ooo! Bette Davis! I thought that perhaps I’d seen this before, but if so, it must be a long, long time ago, because scenes seem familiar in vague flashes. Perhaps I saw it as a child? But, man, Davis is amazing here. Didn’t get the Oscar, of course. Isn’t it weird how it’s more difficult … Continue reading October 1942: Now, Voyager

September 1942: The Major and the Minor

(October 13, 2018)

What could be more appropriate after watching a movie with Fred Astaire than a movie with Ginger Rogers? Had they stopped working together by this time? The computer says yes, almost. This is directed by Billy Wilder, who’d worked in movies a lot before this, but it’s only his second directorial feature (and the one … Continue reading September 1942: The Major and the Minor

August 1942: Holiday Inn

(October 13, 2018)

Yes! Fred Astaire! Bing Crosby! Irving Berlin! Bluray! I wonder whether I have the release date wrong here… or did they really release an Xmas movie in August? Watching movies by month I wanted to experience the change of the seasons, but… Anyway, it won the Oscar for best song: White Christmas, and no surprise. … Continue reading August 1942: Holiday Inn

July 1942: The Pride of the Yankees

(October 13, 2018)

Oh. This is about some sports guy? Who got a disease named after him? And it was nominated for all the Oscars? But only won for “Best Film Editing”? And it’s directed by schmaltzmeister Sam Wood, who we previously saw in Our Town and Kitty Foyle? I fear the absolute worst! And, yes, Wood lays … Continue reading July 1942: The Pride of the Yankees

June 1942: Mrs. Miniver

(October 12, 2018)

This movie won all the Oscars. So I approached this with some scepticism. But it’s irresistibly charming. The actors playing the Minivers are absolutely wonderful, but there are some variable performances otherwise. The plot’s not quite what I expected, either… Still, I don’t think this is quite as good as Wyler’s previous movie The Little … Continue reading June 1942: Mrs. Miniver

May 1942: Private Buckaroo

(October 12, 2018)

This is from that collection of cheap b movies and features the Andrews Sisters. This also has the fabulous Mary Wickes. She can liven up a movie just by being in the general vicinity of it, and when she’s on the screen, she’s just everything. And Shemp Howard is a perfect foil for her. This … Continue reading May 1942: Private Buckaroo

April 1942: This Gun For Hire

(October 12, 2018)

Yay! A real noir thriller! Alan Ladd’s great as the taciturn assassin. I don’t think I’ve seen many movies with Veronica Lake, and she’s definitely of the “I’m standing here waiting until the other person finishes their line so that I can say my line” school of acting, but she’s fun. She’s certainly a better … Continue reading April 1942: This Gun For Hire

New Music

(October 11, 2018)

Music I’ve bought this month.

Variable Pitch Tables

(October 10, 2018)

While using the Emacs WordPress interface on various screens here, it became clear that the sloppy way I was laying out various tables just didn’t really work. I was using the `variable-pitch’ font and sort of eyeballing how much space each column would take and then using `display ‘(space :align-to 100))’ to line stuff up. … Continue reading Variable Pitch Tables


(October 9, 2018)

Further Fun With the Clipboard

(October 7, 2018)

In the previous episode of this blog, I mused about how Emacs should perhaps handle non-text yanking (i.e., HTML and images). I didn’t really want to write a mode to examine the clipboard and the selections, but I did anyway just now, and I discovered something kinda interesting. Well I never! Anyway, this is basically … Continue reading Further Fun With the Clipboard

March 1942: Reap the Wild Wind

(October 6, 2018)

When I saw the start of the title sequence, with the American eagle and everything, I thought that we’d finally arrived at a honest-to-goodness American war movie. But no: It’s a Cecil B. DeMille extravaganza set in 1840. It’s a romantic/comedic/epic kind of thing, and I had no idea that the plot would get this … Continue reading March 1942: Reap the Wild Wind

February 1942: To Be Or Not To Be

(October 6, 2018)

To Be Or Not To Be. Ernst Lubitsch. 1942. Oh yeah! This one! I’ve seen it several times before. And the Mel Brooks remake, of course. I’ve been attempting to avoid movies I’ve seen before in this blog series, but my research sucks! “Heil myself.” It’s a very funny film, of course, and as a … Continue reading February 1942: To Be Or Not To Be

The Mysteries of the Selection

(October 6, 2018)

After writing the package to edit WordPress articles in Emacs, I started thinking about doing something about non-text X selections in Emacs. Emacs has all the required low-level support it needs to be able to yank HTML and images into Emacs, but nobody’s mainstreamed more high-level support into Emacs. Mostly because nobody really knew what … Continue reading The Mysteries of the Selection

My New Concert Review Blog

(October 5, 2018)

I went to a metal festival. In a church! It’s been desecrated I mean des-consecrated, but it’s still a great room. Thank you, religious people, for making impractical spaces like this that can be used for fun stuff now. The downstairs crypt is more intimate. Anyway, as usual I thought that the traditional metal bands … Continue reading My New Concert Review Blog

January 1942: The Man Who Came To Dinner

(October 4, 2018)

The Man Who Came To Dinner. William Keighley. 1942. Oh this isn’t Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner… I did think that was a much later movie… and it is! Well, you can’t but enjoy Monty Woolley’s over-the-top performance, and Bette Davis is here, so it’s definitely got things going for it. It’s funny! It’s good, … Continue reading January 1942: The Man Who Came To Dinner

Editing WordPress Articles in Emacs

(October 2, 2018)

I’ve got my blog on WordPress.com, which has some positive aspects (I don’t have to run it) and some negative (I can’t control it fully). But whether I’m running WordPress myself or not, there’s one thing that’s always true: I loathe the browser-based editor. When composing blog articles, I’ve been using the post-by-mail interface that … Continue reading Editing WordPress Articles in Emacs

December 1941: Sullivan’s Travels

(September 29, 2018)

Sullivan’s Travels. Preston Sturges. 1941. After a string of low-budget movies today, here’s an A feature. By Preston Sturges! This is his third movie in this blog series! I didn’t plan this! It starts off with people fighting on the top of a speeding train! That’s the best way to start a film! It’s a … Continue reading December 1941: Sullivan’s Travels

November 1941: Secret of the Wastelands

(September 29, 2018)

Secret of the Wastelands. Derwin Abrahams. 1941. Oh! This is a Hopalong Cassidy movie! I don’t recall having seen any of these before, but Hopalong himself looks very familiar. According to imdb, William Boyd basically did no other roles after the mid-30s, so I guess I must have seen one of these before? Looks like … Continue reading November 1941: Secret of the Wastelands

October 1941: All-American Co-Ed

(September 29, 2018)

All-American Co-Ed. LeRoy Prinz. 1941. Another thing from the box set, and pretty kooky. It’s a great set-up where they manage to come up with a good explanation for why a guy from an all-male college disguises himself as a woman and goes to an all-female college. I know! The drag isn’t very er fishy, … Continue reading October 1941: All-American Co-Ed

September 1941: Let’s Go Collegiate

(September 29, 2018)

Let’s Go Collegiate. Jean Yarbrough. 1941. Another b-movie cheapie from the musicals box set. And what seems to be a trend here, the b-movies are more diverse than the main features: This on has not only black people, but an Asian guy! Which is a first in this blog series, I think. It’s amusing, I … Continue reading September 1941: Let’s Go Collegiate

Useful Consumer Review

(September 29, 2018)

In the last episode, I whined about how useless wireless earbuds are, with the main problem being that the typical range of these earbuds extends all the way from your left ear to your left shirt pocket, and not any further (when you’re outdoors and the blutooth signal doesn’t have walls to bounce off of). … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

August 1941: The Little Foxes

(September 29, 2018)

The Little Foxes. William Wyler. 1941. *gasp* Bette Davis! She’s magnificent here, but that shouldn’t be a surprise. This is a film set in the somewhat oldee south, but I wonder whether it’s a conscious political decision to have a black person in just about every scene (mostly as servants, of course). It makes a … Continue reading August 1941: The Little Foxes

July 1941: Sergeant York

(September 29, 2018)

Sergeant York. Howard Hawks. 1941. This is a big-budget huge sentimental Hollywood movie written by John Huston and directed by Howard Hawks and starring just about everybody. This was nominated for all the Oscars and won a couple, and neither is surprising. This is one of those national myth-building American films that pop now and … Continue reading July 1941: Sergeant York

June 1941: Man Hunt

(September 28, 2018)

Man Hunt. Fritz Lang. 1941. Is this the first American war film (sort of) in this blog series? Everybody’s speaking English, though (except for the Germans), so perhaps it was just financed by Americans, but it’s British? And it’s Fritz Lang! Golly! The cinematography is on another plane entirely from these other American films I’ve … Continue reading June 1941: Man Hunt

May 1941: Sunny

(September 28, 2018)

Sunny. Herbert Wilcox. 1941. This is more the video quality I expected from the 50-movie DVD box set. Completely unrestored. But the sound’s kinda good. This is based on a stage musical, so it’s chock-full with musical numbers and doesn’t have much of a plot. Which is fine by me. Yay! Edward Everett Horton! I … Continue reading May 1941: Sunny

April 1941: That Uncertain Feeling

(September 23, 2018)

That Uncertain Feeling. Ernst Lubitsch. 1941. There’s like… nothing here. The film spins its wheels from the start to the end, and nothing really happens. It’s plain weird. But it might just be my lack of concentration? I don’t know. I skipped back a few times because I just didn’t track what (if anything) was … Continue reading April 1941: That Uncertain Feeling

March 1941: Meet John Doe

(September 22, 2018)

Meet John Doe. Frank Capra. 1941. I’ve seen this before! Unfortunately, this is the Amazon Prime version of this movie, and the video sucks and the audio is very mp3-artifactey. (Everybody is talking from underneath the ocean. Whoosh whoosh.) NEVER AMAZON PRIME AGAIN (unless I really have to). This is, of course, a very good … Continue reading March 1941: Meet John Doe

February 1941: Road Show

(September 21, 2018)

Road Show. Hal Roach. 1941. I love it! It’s one of those screwball comedy things. It’s absolutely insane. This is another movie from the absurd box set, and the audio/video quality is a lot better than anybody has a reason to expect. It’s a low budget movie, so I guess it’s a “B movie” of … Continue reading February 1941: Road Show

January 1941: Come Live With Me

(September 21, 2018)

Come Live With Me. Clarence Brown. 1941. This is another pro-immigration movie, with a refugee from Austria who’s being deported, and the very odd hi-jinx that ensue. (Which include her married boyfriend frittering and his wife (and her boyfriend) and you know.) It’s obliquely making references to the Situation in Europe. It’s very risque, and … Continue reading January 1941: Come Live With Me

December 1940: Kitty Foyle

(September 21, 2018)

Kitty Foyle. Sam Wood. 1940. I guess you could call this a light-hearted romp… or loathsome misogynistic propaganda. But that’s only the intro, and then we’re into the main part of the movie, and things get less divisive, I guess, but… I don’t understand these people at all. “My favorite movie of all time” “Another … Continue reading December 1940: Kitty Foyle

November 1940: Little Nellie Kelly

(September 20, 2018)

Little Nellie Kelly. Norman Taurog. 1940. So Irish. So very Irish. But this is an odd duck. It takes us through the American immigration process in excruciating detail. Is it meant as a manual for Irish immigrants? It’s based on a Broadway show from 1922… so what was the reason for the movie version in … Continue reading November 1940: Little Nellie Kelly

October 1940: Christmas in July

(September 20, 2018)

Christmas in July. Preston Sturges. 1940. Oh my god. This is one of those spiralling-out-of-control comedies with plenty of room for embarrassment, which I have to watch from behind a pillow. But it’s really good. Such great lines and so likeable characters. Is this one of those films they show on TV every Xmas? Because … Continue reading October 1940: Christmas in July

September 1940: Up in the Air

(September 20, 2018)

Up in the Air. Howard Bretherton. 1940. This is the first film from the 25 DVD/50 movie musicals box I’ve seen. I was expecting horrid audio and video quality, but this isn’t so bad… the sound is a bit scratchy. It a very simple (presumably low-budget) film about musical film-makers favourite subject: Performers putting on … Continue reading September 1940: Up in the Air

Z-Wave and Emacs

(September 16, 2018)

I’ve had a 433-MHz-based “home automation” system (i.e., light switches) for quite some time. It works kinda OK. That is, I’m able to switch the lights on and off, which is the main point. But, man, the range of 433MHz devices sucks, including all Telldus models. I’ve been able to overcome the problems by having … Continue reading Z-Wave and Emacs

August 1940: Night Train to Munich

(September 15, 2018)

Night Train to Munich. Carol Reed. 1940. I’m guessing that Carol Reed isn’t a woman? Yes? It just occurred to me that I did no filtering for gender when I bought these films, so I’m wondering whether this is going to be a 120 movie sausage fest… Anyway! I was very impressed by the montage … Continue reading August 1940: Night Train to Munich

July 1940: The Great McGinty

(September 15, 2018)

The Great McGinty. Preston Sturges. 1940. I like the plot structure, what with most of the movie being a flashback, and I like that the protagonist is, well, a crook. But such a personable crook. It’s all about grift and the mob running US politics and stuff, really, and we’re cheering them on. Being a … Continue reading July 1940: The Great McGinty

June 1940: The Mortal Storm

(September 15, 2018)

The Mortal Storm. Frank Borzage. 1940. This is the first war film in this blog series, and I assume that there’ll be a lot more, but perhaps not before December 1941? It’s the first one that touches on the war in Europe at all, except for a throw-away line in His Girl Friday. Anyway, this … Continue reading June 1940: The Mortal Storm

May 1940: Our Town

(September 15, 2018)

Our Town. Sam Wood. 1940. I hadn’t quite realised how many of films from the early 40s were based on theatre plays. I think so far it’s been… all of them? Almost all of them? This is another one. This was nominated for all the Oscar awards, including “best sound, recording”, and the sound is … Continue reading May 1940: Our Town

April 1940: The Doctor Takes A Wife

(September 14, 2018)

The Doctor Takes A Wife. Alexander Hall. 1940. You gotta admire the sheer preposterousness (that’s a word) of the premise here, but it just doesn’t fire on all cylinders. It’s also a very typical “battle of the sexes” thing of the period, which doesn’t help. But there’s a lot here to enjoy. The performances are … Continue reading April 1940: The Doctor Takes A Wife

March 1940: Too Many Husbands

(September 14, 2018)

Too Many Husbands. Wesley Ruggles. 1940. Hm… Did I see this before? I didn’t think so… Is it part of a box set I’ve bought some years ago? *time passes while I rummage through the bookcase* I dud have it! On “Icons of Screwball Comedy Volume One”. Well, this isn’t a very good track record … Continue reading March 1940: Too Many Husbands

February 1940: Pinocchio

(September 14, 2018)

Pinocchio. Norman Ferguson. 1940. I’ve never seen this one, but I’ve seen excerpts from it every Xmas (on a couple of channels), so I’ve heard the intro song more than a 80 times, and I’m feeling very Xmas-y now. You can say many things about Disney, but at least they took really good care of … Continue reading February 1940: Pinocchio

January 1940: His Girl Friday

(September 14, 2018)

His Girl Friday. Howard Hawks. 1940. And we’re off! I’ve seen this movie plenty of times before, and that’s not what I want to do in this blog series, really, but I had bought a new copy of this (as part of a screwball box set), so what the hey. And, as you all know, … Continue reading January 1940: His Girl Friday


(September 14, 2018)

When watching movies, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and always return to your favourite genre. (Which, for me, is science fiction. I’ll basically watch anything that’s science fiction, no matter how bad it is, and it gets really, really bad.) I’ve tried to mix it up by giving myself various stupid challenges, … Continue reading Decade

New Music

(September 11, 2018)

Music I’ve bought this month. After starting to sort the music I have by release date, I noticed that I have like absolutely no music from the 60s.  So I’ve been trying to explore that slightly more (like with the absolutely wonderful Bobbie Gentry), but I’m not really sure what methodology to use. I mean, … Continue reading New Music

Nails and Hammers

(September 9, 2018)

You know that old saying about gravitating to your favourite tool? Well, my go-to thing for compositing text on top of images (and stuff) was LaTeX, and I’ve been doing that for decades. What I’m mostly using this stuff for these days is the extremely important task of displaying weather data on small, cheap USB-powered … Continue reading Nails and Hammers

Useful Consumer Review

(September 1, 2018)

I walk a lot, and I used to listen to music while walking, using big, beefy, good wireless headphones or headphones with an mp3 player built in. That’s a solved problem; excellent products exist. Last year I started listening to radio dramas instead. Mostly mysteries, and quite a lot of stuff from the 50s. It’s … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

IMDB in Emacs; or, Honey, I Made an ORM

(August 28, 2018)

I’ve always been frustrated by the IMDB web pages. Usually when I’m looking at a director’s oeuvre, I’m not interested in all the shorts, videos and games the director has created, but just want a list of the movies. When I’m looking at a specific movie, it’s often because I want to know who the … Continue reading IMDB in Emacs; or, Honey, I Made an ORM

TSP2012: Radioman

(August 25, 2018)

Radioman. Mary Kerr. 2012. Whaaa! Another documentary! I’m developing a hatred of documentaries… But mostly American ones. This one in British, by Mary Kerr, and it’s good. But you have to wonder about whether this film will do its subject any good or whether it’ll just… make him so public that he can’t continue to … Continue reading TSP2012: Radioman

TSP2017: Letters From Generation RX

(August 25, 2018)

Letters From Generation RX. Kevin P. Miller. 2017. OH FUCK! It’s an American documentary, So it’s an incessant barrage of pedestrian imagery, where they try to keep the interest of bored viewers by putting in as many edits in per second as possible replete with “action reenactments”. I just loathe the “sentence fragment with dramatic … Continue reading TSP2017: Letters From Generation RX

TSP2011: Genevive Goes Boating

(August 25, 2018)

Genevive Goes Boating. Lucy Gray. 2011. This short (narrated by Tilda Swinton) can be found on Vimeo. It’s a kind of fairy tale/parable thing. I really like the way it’s made: The home-made-aesthetic scenography etc, and it is interesting, but I didn’t really get much involved. I guess the fairy tale thing just doesn’t work … Continue reading TSP2011: Genevive Goes Boating

TSP2017: Okja

(August 25, 2018)

Okja. Joon-ho Bong. 2017. I remember there being some controversy about this film at the Cannes Film Festival because it’s a Netflix film. That is, it wasn’t released to movie theatres? I think? And they changed the rules to exclude such films afterwards? Anyway, I signed up to Netflix to see just this film, and … Continue reading TSP2017: Okja

TSP2014: The Gospel According to St. Derek

(August 25, 2018)

The Gospel According to St. Derek. Andy Kimpton-Nye. 2014. This documentary can be found on Youtube here, here, and here. It’s a quite traditional documentary: A theme is established, and then they get a series of people talking about that, and then a new subject, and then pretty much all the same people talking about … Continue reading TSP2014: The Gospel According to St. Derek

TSP2017: async – first light

(August 25, 2018)

async – first light. Apichatpong Weerasethakul. 2017. This short can be found on Vimeo. It’s based on a piece by Ryuichi Sakamoto and is by the guy who made Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives and is a series of clips of people sleeping. It’s nice. This post is part of The Tilda … Continue reading TSP2017: async – first light

TSP2016: The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger

(August 24, 2018)

The Seasons in Quincy: Fout Portraits of John Berger. Bartek Dziadosz. 2016. This is a documentary film in four parts (with four different directors) produced by The Derek Jarman Lab. I know nothing about John Berger (but I’ve probably seen a couple of films based on his… work?), and this is not a film that … Continue reading TSP2016: The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger

TSP2018: Isle of Dogs

(August 24, 2018)

Isle of Dogs. Wes Anderson. 2018. Hey, it’s a Wes Anderson film, so of course Tilda Swinton is in here somewhere. It’s an animated film, but she does the voice of Oracle. (She has like four lines in the film, and two of them are “what?”) And… I love Wes Anderson, but it’s weird. Not … Continue reading TSP2018: Isle of Dogs

TSP2015: B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989

(August 24, 2018)

B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989. Jörg A. Hoppe. 2015. Hey! This is another part of my project to see whether all the films of a moderately famous actor are available in these modern days. (Spoiler: No.) It’s been a couple of years since the last one, so I thought I’d just do mop-up … Continue reading TSP2015: B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989

Twiddling Youtube; or, I mean, Innovations in Machine Learning

(August 14, 2018)

I mean, we’ve all been annoyed when we set up our USB monitor in our hallway that displays weather data, and then we decided to show videos from Youtube that somehow relate to the music that’s playing our apartment; we’ve dreamed of having something like the following catch our eyes when passing by on the … Continue reading Twiddling Youtube; or, I mean, Innovations in Machine Learning

New Music

(August 12, 2018)

Music I’ve bought this month.

Innovations in Emacs Touch Interfacing

(August 7, 2018)

I’ve long attempted to hack some touch interfaces for laptops in non-keyboard configurations. The sad thing is that there aren’t really any good solutions in GNU/Linux. If you want to be able to respond to more complex events like “two finger drag”, you have to hack GTK and use Touchégg, and then it turns out … Continue reading Innovations in Emacs Touch Interfacing

Best Size Specification Ever

(August 5, 2018)

I was going to buy that book it if it were 13-43/64″ wide, but 13-41/64″ is just an insult! Pah! “Monster sized.” Puny!

That’s Totally a UFO

(August 4, 2018)

I can haz mp4?

(August 3, 2018)

Let’s Encrypt was so ridiculously easy to install on my private web server that I wondered whether I could switch to mp4s for gifs. I mean, video snippets. I can’t do those directly on wordpress.com, because wordpress.com does not support controlling where mp4 videos appear in email posts. So let’s try! Did it work? Huh? … Continue reading I can haz mp4?

Innovations in Web Scraping

(August 3, 2018)

I added event descriptions to my Concerts in Oslo a few months back. It mostly worked kinda OK, but it’s using heuristics to find out what “the text” is, so it sometimes includes less-than-useful information. In particular, those fucking “YES IT KNOW IT”S A FUCKING COOKIE!” texts that all fucking web sites slather their pages … Continue reading Innovations in Web Scraping

Stamped Box

(August 1, 2018)

Hey! I got a package from France with the most stamps ever! Just look at it! Such variety! I’m very impressed. The contents are even better. It’s the Éric Rohmer bluray/DVD box set. The Intégrale. That sounds much classier than “complete edition box set”. I mean, if that’s what it means? The French are so … Continue reading Stamped Box

Useful Consumer Review

(July 28, 2018)

When buying electronics, the range of products available is vastly superior in the US compared to any European country. Fortunately, power adapters are now almost all “universal”; that is, they accept 110V-230V. So the only problem is the physical interface. I’ve been using these teensy adapters for a while, but the problem is… .. that … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Innovations in Balcony Furniture

(July 28, 2018)

It’s been a very pleasant summer here (I’m not even wearing a sweater now), so I’ve been spending a lot of time out on the balcony in the evening. I’ve had this chair for yonks, but it has two problems: 1) it’s not that comfy, and 2) it’s too tall. The house I’m in is … Continue reading Innovations in Balcony Furniture

Century 2018: Black Panther

(July 28, 2018)

Black Panther. Ryan Coogler. 2018. This started off really well and I was like “wow! this is like a real movie or something!” but then soon got bogged down in really bad acting (like the challengers in the coronation scene (and where they should have had thousands of people watching the fight, not dozens CGId … Continue reading Century 2018: Black Panther

Century 2017: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

(July 27, 2018)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Rian Johnson. 2017. OK, I’ve seen the other new Star Wars films… I think… And I saw the original ones back in the 80s. And I saw the first of the prequels. In short, I’m not really a Star Wars fan, but I though the previous one was pretty entertaining … Continue reading Century 2017: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Century 2016: Tickled

(July 27, 2018)

The parrot is fascinated by all the bokeh. Tickled. David Farrier. 2016. Last year, I bought all the films John Waters said were the best of 2016. Well, at least all the ones that were available at the time… There were a couple that were totally “er, no”, like Cattle Towards Glow, but in general … Continue reading Century 2016: Tickled

Century 2015: Louder Than Bombs

(July 21, 2018)

Louder Than Bombs. Joachim Trier. 2015. Hey! A Norwegian film! And it’s co-written by the guy who did a movie in my apartment. Er… small world? This, weirdly enough, is filmed in the US, with English language actors and a mostly American crew, I guess? And it’s weird seeing Joachim Trier’s usual directorial touches that … Continue reading Century 2015: Louder Than Bombs

Century 2014: Retour à Ithaque

(July 21, 2018)

Retour à Ithaque. Laurent Cantet. 2014. Quite a few of the DVDs I have I can’t really remember why I bought. I do remember this one: I thought it was a Cuban film, so I got it for my World of Films and Cocktails blog series. And it is filmed in Cuba, but it’s really … Continue reading Century 2014: Retour à Ithaque

Century 2013: Venus in Fur

(July 21, 2018)

Gah. Another DVVD with forced subtitles… Venus in Fur. Roman Polanski. 2013. Without Canal+, there would have been no European cinema for the past two decades. That’s my conclusion after watching a lot of films these past couple of years. Canal+ is always, in my mind at least, listed as a co-producer of any European … Continue reading Century 2013: Venus in Fur

Century 2011: Dreams of a Life

(July 20, 2018)

Dreams of a Life. Carol Morley. 2011. Oh, right. This is a documentary by Carol Morley, who did The Alcohol Years, which I saw… a couple of years ago? Hm. I don’t remember what it was about, but I must have liked it if I bought this one? Hm, I think I did? So it’s … Continue reading Century 2011: Dreams of a Life

Century 2010: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

(July 20, 2018)

Gah! This is one of those blu-rays that has a ‘forced’ subtitle; i.e., it’s part of the video stream instead of being a separate thing. Whyyyy. Oh, it’s by Digital Factory. I guess that’s more digital. I was so confused by the subtitles here. Jardin. Jaguar. Ooh! I love those ears. So Tardi. The Extraordinary … Continue reading Century 2010: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

Century 2009: Precious

(July 20, 2018)

Precious. Lee Daniels. 2009. Hey, I bought this one twice. Even if it won a couple of Oscars it’s not that bad! But the American convention of having adult actors playing teenagers is so weird. For the first few minutes I wondered why a woman in her mid-20s was attending junior high, but then (helpfully) … Continue reading Century 2009: Precious

Concert Diary: Rockefeller

(July 18, 2018)

Dear concert diary. Today I went to a Slowdive concert, mostly because Lost Girls were the opening act. They were great, and so were Slowdive, but the experience was somewhat marred by the odour of the venue. Rockefeller is the foundational concert venue in Oslo. t’s always been somewhat whiffy: If you don’t stand in … Continue reading Concert Diary: Rockefeller

Fighting Thirst…

(July 15, 2018)

… and capitalism at the same time.

Century 2008: The Smiths: The Queen is Dead

(July 14, 2018)

The Smiths: The Queen is Dead. Derek Jarman. 2008. What’s this then? Oh, it’s an “unauthorised” documentary about The Smiths focusing on The Queen is Dead. I’ve seen a couple of these before. They’re made on the cheap… But this does actually have The Smith’s songs, so it’s not as no-budget as some of the … Continue reading Century 2008: The Smiths: The Queen is Dead

Century 2007: What Would Jesus Buy?

(July 14, 2018)

What Would Jesus Buy?. Rob VanAlkemade. 2007. Whaaa. It’s a documentary by that Supersize Me guy? Why did I buy this? I hate modern American documentaries: They’re snippet, snippet, snippet with some officious deep male voice telling you how outrageous everything is. Or… Oh, it isn’t. It’s a mocumentary? Well, that makes more sense. I … Continue reading Century 2007: What Would Jesus Buy?

Century 2006: As You Like It

(July 13, 2018)

As You Like It. Kenneth Branagh. 2006. Oh, Kenneth Branagh. How we adored him in the early 90s. He could do no wrong. He was that perfect mix of high culture (Shakespeare) and real drama (Peter’s Friends) with a detour into silly genre (Dead Again). And he was married to Emma Thompson and had Phyllida … Continue reading Century 2006: As You Like It

Century 2004: Triple Agent

(July 13, 2018)

Triple Agent. Éric Rohmer. 2004. Oops! I had gotten to 2002 last month, and then I went back to 2001 in the previous post. So now we’re at 2004, because I have nothing from 2003, so that all worked out perfectly! Right? And… it’s an Éric Rohmer film! Yay! And it’s a period drama. I’m … Continue reading Century 2004: Triple Agent

Century 2001: The Man Who Wasn’t There

(July 13, 2018)

The Man Who Wasn’t There. Joel Coen. 2001. Hey, it’s been a while since I saw a movie. Busy busy. But finally! A weekend that’s all open. Now, I was a bit distracted while watching parts of this film, It certainly has an original cast of characters and some great actors in Frances MacDormand and … Continue reading Century 2001: The Man Who Wasn’t There

New Music

(July 12, 2018)

Music I’ve bought this month.


(July 11, 2018)

Flearman’s comments on the post about footnotes* reminded me that I was going to read all the issues of Pox, the Swedish punk indie comix magazine. So I got buyin’: These are all from Dolores in Göteborg. That’s like…. thousands of pages of late-80s anthologies that I’ll… get around to reading any day now. But … Continue reading Pox

Century 2002: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

(June 30, 2018)

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. George Clooney. 2002. I didn’t have tripe sec, so I used a orange liqueur instead. Offal, oranges; it’s all the same. But this is the first film George Clooney directed, and it’s such a typical first movie. Clooney’s going USE ALL THE TRICKS FROM ALL THE MOVIES in this film. … Continue reading Century 2002: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Century 2001: Hawaiian Gardens

(June 30, 2018)

Hawaiian Gardens. Percy Adlon. 2001. Well, this is a different aesthetic from Percy Adlon. Instead of super-saturated colours a sound stage and nice film stock, this looks like it’s been filmed on an early-generation digital camera, and it’s all on location with natural lighting. It’s got a rating of 4.1 on imdb, which is the … Continue reading Century 2001: Hawaiian Gardens

Everything Dies

(June 30, 2018)

Gah! I had the almost perfect machine for schlepping around the apt while cleaning, and then it goes and does this: Rebooting seems to help… sometimes. One out of five reboots it seems to come up alright again, but if I flip the orientation it goes back to that state again. It’s an HP Spectre … Continue reading Everything Dies

Century 2000: In The Mood For Love

(June 30, 2018)

In The Mood For Love. Kar Wai Wong. 2000. The last time I saw this film, it looked completely different! 2046 was more like this film, only much more mannered. This film has nerve and emotional depth. I watched the Anthony Bourdain Hong Kong show the other week, and he mentioned that this was his … Continue reading Century 2000: In The Mood For Love

Innovations in Music Distribution

(June 29, 2018)

I was at a jazz concert the other week, and I was looking at the CDs and stuff the musicians had brought to sell. Adam Pulz Melbye had brought a shrinkwrapped bass string: With a Bandcamp download code. (Censored above.) I just had to buy one! Genius! It’s weird that I haven’t seen anybody doing … Continue reading Innovations in Music Distribution

Century 1999: An Ideal Husband

(June 23, 2018)

An Ideal Husband. Oliver Parker. 1999. How weird. I can’t find the DVD for this film, or any of the other four I ripped on the same day… I must have… put them… somewhere.. But. Hm. what’s the expression to describe this… “Aggressively pedestrian”? “Excessively standard”? Ever single shot here is a shot you’ve seen, … Continue reading Century 1999: An Ideal Husband

Century 1996: Star Trek 8: First Contact

(June 23, 2018)

Star Trek 8: First Contact. Jonathan Frakes. 1996. Oops! Another Star Trek film. I guess my stacks of DVDs were pretty light on 90s films… I remember this as being much better than it is. It’s got the best Star Trek villains, the Borg, but somehow this film manages to strip away many of the … Continue reading Century 1996: Star Trek 8: First Contact

Century 1995: Rendez-vouz in Paris

(June 16, 2018)

Rendez-vouz in Paris. Éric Rohmer. 1995. Eric Rohmer was a director I was totally and utterly unaware of until a couple of years ago when I bought one of his films on a whim in a DVD shop somewhere. Mostly because of his name, which reminded me of Sax Rohmer. And it’s weird, because he … Continue reading Century 1995: Rendez-vouz in Paris

Century 1994: Trois Couleurs Blanc

(June 16, 2018)

Trois Couleurs Blanc. Krzysztof Kieslowski. 1994. This is one of the oldest DVDs I have, I think. I remember buying the box set while on holiday in London in the 90s. And somehow it’s never felt vitally urgent to watch these films, so it’s taken me almost 20 years to watch the trilogy. I have … Continue reading Century 1994: Trois Couleurs Blanc

Century 1991: Poison

(June 16, 2018)

Poison. Todd Haynes. 1991. Todd Haynes have done so few films. If I’m reading imdb correctly, this is his first one (from 1991), and he’s only done six more, which isn’t a lot of films per decade. And it’s not like his movies haven’t been successful… It’s weird. I like all his films (although I … Continue reading Century 1991: Poison

Century 1990: Alice

(June 15, 2018)

Alice. Woody Allen. 1990. This is a Woody Allen film from after I stopped watching him (I think I stopped the year before, growing tired of watching film after film concerning the problems of rich people in Manhattan), so I’m curious as to what he’s up to now, then. Aaaaand… it turns out to be … Continue reading Century 1990: Alice

Century 1989: Rosalie Goes Shopping

(June 15, 2018)

Rosalie Goes Shopping. Percy Adlon. 1989. This is one of the less-than-handful of films from the Percy Adlon DVD box set I bought that I can actually watch (most of the rest are in German without subtitles in any language I understand), but, oh, what a film. I remember watching this when it was new … Continue reading Century 1989: Rosalie Goes Shopping

New Music

(June 15, 2018)

Music I’ve bought this month.

Century 1988: Pee Wee’s Christmas Special

(June 10, 2018)

Pee Wee’s Christmas Special. Wayne Orr. 1988. OK, I’m on today’s nth cocktail, but I think this might be the best TV thing ever shown anywhere ever. Pee Wee has gotten an amazing number of amazing stars to appear on his special (Grace Jones, k. d. lang, Cher, Whoopi Goldberg), but it’s still the same … Continue reading Century 1988: Pee Wee’s Christmas Special

Century 1987: September

(June 9, 2018)

September. Woody Allen. 1987. Hm… what was the film that made me stop watching the yearly Woody Allen film? I don’t think it was this one… Perhaps it was one a couple of years later? Crimes and Misdemeanors? I don’t recall. But I do remember why I stopped watching his films: I was sitting in … Continue reading Century 1987: September

Century 1986: Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home

(June 9, 2018)

Worst. Punk. Ever. Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home. Leonard Nimoy. 1986. OK, we’re firmly in the 80s now. Instead of the crew of the Enterprise having extremely shiny faces now (a typical 70s thing), everybody has thoroughly powdered skin now. All matte. I did watch this film in the 80s, and the only thing … Continue reading Century 1986: Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home


(June 9, 2018)

For the first time ever, I’ve bought annuals, because I thought the balcony thing with the rose bushes looked a bit on the sparse side. I.e., 90% soil. I may have gone slightly overboard. The other one is a bit more reasonable. The ivy things will hopefully cover the soil and extend downwards while the … Continue reading Flowers

Century 1985: Spies Like Us

(June 8, 2018)

Spies Like Us. John Landis. 1985. It was this one or The Purple Rose of Cairo, which I don’t have any positive memories of. This is such a confusing movie. It has all the hallmarks of a zany crazy comedy, but there are like no jokes here, and the few jokes that are identifiable as … Continue reading Century 1985: Spies Like Us

Century 1984: Broadway Danny Rose

(June 8, 2018)

Broadway Danny Rose. Woody Allen. 1984. Yeah, OK, for 1983 it was this is The Search For Spock and I threw the dice and I went for this one. Allen had like an Imperial period where he could do no wrong, and this is towards the end of that period. And when he’s on screen … Continue reading Century 1984: Broadway Danny Rose

Century 1983: The Man With Two Brains

(June 8, 2018)

The Man With Two Brains. Carl Reiner. 1983. Oh my Emacs! This is so stupid. In the best way possible. I must have seen this before at some point, because so many scenes were familiar, like the Hufhurr thing, but it’s been a while. And I guess a lot of the jokes haven’t aged well … Continue reading Century 1983: The Man With Two Brains

Century 1982: Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan

(June 8, 2018)

Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan. Nicholas Meyer. 1982. I was going to watch Der Stand der Dinge by Wim Wenders, but my DVD turned out to just have German subtitles. *sigh* It seems to be a current theme with European films. So I have a choice between another Woody Allen film and this. … Continue reading Century 1982: Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan

Century 1981: Reds

(June 2, 2018)

Reds. Warren Beatty. 1981. Most films I have on my shelf of unseen films I can pretty much figure out why I’ve bought. This one, I have no idea. Did somebody recommend it to me? This is such a 70s film, and not in a bad way. If I had to make a guess at … Continue reading Century 1981: Reds

Farmer Lars

(June 2, 2018)

The last couple of years have had sucky summers so I kinda neglected the balcony. When gardeners go missing, nature happens: I have no idea what’s growing there, but it’s kinda stingey and I certainly didn’t plant it. So it’s a weed of some kind, but not the fun kind. So I basically ripped out … Continue reading Farmer Lars

Century 1980: Stardust Memories

(June 2, 2018)

Stardust Memories. Woody Allen. 1980. My plan was to watch Céleste by Percy Adlon for 1980. I’ve been looking for a collection of his films forever, because the few films of his I’ve seen I think range from great to wonderful (Zuckerbaby, Rosalie Goes Shopping, Salmonberries, Bagdad Cafe), and I wanted to watch the rest … Continue reading Century 1980: Stardust Memories

Century 1979: Die Patriotin

(June 1, 2018)

Die Patriotin. Alexander Kluge. 1979. In a weird way, what this film reminds me most of is The Last of England by Derek Jarman. They are stylistically very far apart, but there’s something in the punk approach to talking about larger issues that seems to connect them. Jarman’s film is mesmerising; this isn’t up there … Continue reading Century 1979: Die Patriotin

Century 1978: Interiors

(June 1, 2018)

Interiors. Woody Allen. 1978. Oh, right, this is Woody Allen’s first Bergman rip-off. I mean, his first drama film. I honestly thought this was going to be better. And the cinematography is totes amazeballs: The subdued colour scheme and the unshowy angles. It’s so calm and understated. But I feel that basically all the actors … Continue reading Century 1978: Interiors

Century 1977: The Duellists

(May 26, 2018)

The Duellists. Ridley Scott. 1977. I had to choose between watching the bluray of Eraserhead or this (both made in 1977), and I chose this. It’s the film Ridley Scott directed before Alien and then Blade Runner, both of which are er rather good. (I especially love Alien.) So I was curious as to what … Continue reading Century 1977: The Duellists

Century 1975: Love and Death

(May 26, 2018)

Love and Death. Woody Allen. 1975. Woody Allen is terribly controversial at the moment, but this is an incredibly funny film. Diane Keaton is perfection and the one-liners keep on coming at you. Not to mention all the physical comedy. It does tend to lose its steam with some regularity, and the standup-derived bits don’t … Continue reading Century 1975: Love and Death

Home Renovations

(May 26, 2018)

I’m not er very well versed in the mysteries of balcony furniture. But I bought this slatted thing years ago and it’s gotten sadder every year. And not it looks like this: Something had to be done! So I rummaged around in the Cupboard of Mysteries and found this: That I’m pretty sure I’ve never … Continue reading Home Renovations

Concerts in Oslo

(May 26, 2018)

I maintain a site that list concerts in Oslo. In Facebook’s continuing war on its users, the events API was discontinued without warning a month ago. (That is, they may allow access to some apps after doing an individual review, but somehow I suspect that allowing access to a service that tries to drive foot … Continue reading Concerts in Oslo

Century 1974: The Cars That Ate Paris

(May 26, 2018)

The Cars That Ate Paris. Peter Weir. 1974. I’ve been cocktailing from this very old book, but I think I’m ready to move on to another book now. Oldee-tymey cocktails seem basically to be random combinations of boozes with very little finesse. I feel the need for less booze and more mixers. Anyway! This is … Continue reading Century 1974: The Cars That Ate Paris

Useful Consumer Review

(May 26, 2018)

Some weeks ago I bought this Levimoon lamp. I didn’t really think it was going to work or anything, but hey: Unfortunately, despite being totally cool and fun, it makes a “BzbbbzbbzzHhghghzzbz” sound after it’s been switched on for about two minutes, so it’s a crapgadget instead of a useful lamp. And getting the moon … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Century 1973: World on a Wire

(May 25, 2018)

World on a Wire. Rainer Werner Fassbinder. 1973. I am no Fassbinder connoisseur, but I’ve seen my share. But I’m pretty sure this is a pretty abnormal Fassbinder film. On the other hand, aren’t they all? But this is sci-fi flick of sorts, and I don’t think that’s really his metier, is it? It’s like … Continue reading Century 1973: World on a Wire

Century 1972: Slaughterhouse Five

(May 25, 2018)

Slaughterhouse Five. George Roy Hill. 1972. Hey! I read this book when I was a teenager. And that was in the previous century! I’m amazed at how many scenes are familiar to me still, so it made a huge impression, apparently. Some of the scenes (like when the guy started talking about the dog and … Continue reading Century 1972: Slaughterhouse Five

Nice Vinyl

(May 25, 2018)

Zola Jesus’ album Okovi was one of the best albums released in 2017, so now there’s a remix/additions album out, and it’s on totes groovey vinyl: How pretty! Sounds great, too. And for some reason, Norman Records sent me a signed picture of Chris Carter in the same parcel: Thanks? It’s what I’ve always wanted? … Continue reading Nice Vinyl

Century 1971: Out 1: Noli me tangere

(May 20, 2018)

Out 1: Noli me tangere. Jacques Rivette. 1971. It’s a Saturday, and I should be working, but instead I’m watching this 12 or 13 hour movie from 1971. I’d read about it before, because it’s a pretty famous film (or perhaps infamous), and Carlotta released a really handsome collection of it on Bluray. 2K, but … Continue reading Century 1971: Out 1: Noli me tangere

Century 1970: The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

(May 18, 2018)

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. Billy Wilder. 1970. What a strange and awkward film. Is Wilder going for a 40s comedy but updating it embarrassingly with a gay panic storyline? But it’s mostly just a cod-standard Sherlock Holmes story. Although slightly more irreverent than usual and not based on a Conan Doyle story. It’s … Continue reading Century 1970: The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

Century 1966: Andrei Rublev

(May 13, 2018)

Andrei Rublev. Andrei Tarkovsky. 1966. This is officially the 13th best film ever. It’s got the most classic casting problem: The casting director is really hot on a certain type, so we get about twenty actors that look pretty much identical. So I’m spending most scenes waiting for somebody to mention the other characters by … Continue reading Century 1966: Andrei Rublev

New Music

(May 12, 2018)

Music I’ve bought this month.

Century 1964: Paris When It Sizzles

(May 11, 2018)

Paris When It Sizzles. Richard Quine. 1964. This cocktail was surprisingly delicious. The ingredients seem kinda meh, but all together they resulted in an amazing cocktail. Hay! I had two films from 1963 lined up, but it turned out that my DVDs of Les Carabiniers and Le petit soldat had no subtitles whatsoever, so that’s … Continue reading Century 1964: Paris When It Sizzles

Century 1959: Some Like It Hot

(May 11, 2018)

Some Like It Hot. Billy Wilder. 1959. Another Monroe film! This one’s pretty much on fleek. Can’t really fault it much, other than that I seem to remember the repartee being snappier? And I would guess that if I were to google around a bit I might find thought pieces about this being a transsexuals-as-predators-by-proxy … Continue reading Century 1959: Some Like It Hot

Century 1957: The Tarnished Angels

(May 6, 2018)

The Tarnished Angels. Douglas Sirk. 1957. Yay! Another Douglas Sirk film! I just watched the documentary on the DVD of There’s Always Tomorrow, and the was asked what his favourite film was (of his own), and he said that he doesn’t think like that. But he’d recently seen Tarnished Angels at a MoMa thing in … Continue reading Century 1957: The Tarnished Angels

Century 1956: There’s Always Tomorrow

(May 5, 2018)

Hm… is that the right aspect ratio? Isn’t the Earth supposed to be, like, round? Oh, that’s better! This is an anamorph DVD. You don’t see that very often – they usually just letterbox it, which means fewer pixels. Nice. There’s Always Tomorrow. Douglas Sirk. 1956. I’ve been looking forward to watching this movie: I’m … Continue reading Century 1956: There’s Always Tomorrow

Century 1955: The Seven Year Itch

(May 5, 2018)

The Seven Year Itch. Billy Wilder. 1955. I’ve seen this before, of course, but it’s been a while, I think. I wondered whether I would find it creepy this time over. I mean, it’s an entire film about some nerd creeping on Marilyn Monroe. And there certainly are some icky scenes in here, but Monroe … Continue reading Century 1955: The Seven Year Itch

Century 1954: La Strada

(May 4, 2018)

La Strada. Federico Fellini. 1954. What an odd film. Fellini’s later film are more overtly artificial, but here it’s unclear what the panto-like performance of Gelsomina is meant to convey. Is she supposed to be 14? Slightly er naive? Why does she shift from being naive to knowing so often? Why is she blond(e)? Nobody … Continue reading Century 1954: La Strada

Century 1952: Jack and the Beanstalk

(May 4, 2018)

Jack and the Beanstalk. Jean Yarbrough. 1952. Hey! Abbott and Costello on the heels of Laurel and Hardy! Whenever some Oldz person writes about either of the pairs, they’ll make sure to mention how the other pair is better/worse. I can never remember which one they prefer. Probably Laurel and Hardy? Based on the two … Continue reading Century 1952: Jack and the Beanstalk

Century 1951: Utopia

(May 4, 2018)

Slapstick isn’t funny if it looks like the guy is really suffering Utopia. Léo Joannon. 1951. The DVD transfer is rather beat. I almost looks like it was mastered from a VHS copy? And Laurel and Hardy look really beat here, too. Hardy is sweating profusely in many scenes and Laurel looks like he’s at … Continue reading Century 1951: Utopia

Century 1950: At War With The Army

(May 4, 2018)

At War With The Army. Hal Walker. 1950. Hay! What happened to the 40s? I skipped it, because I’m amassing a collection of 40s film for a future nefarious blogging project. So we’re not in 1950, but with a comedy/musical/war film. With Jerry Lewis! Oh! This has the scene that Monty Python referred to with … Continue reading Century 1950: At War With The Army

Century 1939: The Flying Deuces

(May 3, 2018)

The Flying Deuces. A. Edward Sutherland. 1939. Hey! That’s a gap of several years since the previous film! I thought I had more 30s DVDs… And I sort of have, but they’re all part of various box sets, so I’m skipping them for this blog series, which is All Single DVDs All The Time. This … Continue reading Century 1939: The Flying Deuces

Century 1934: It Happened One Night

(May 1, 2018)

It Happened One Night. Frank Capra. 1934. Uh-up. This one won the Oscars. But how bad can it be? It’s Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, directed by Frank Capra, so it should be, like, good. But it’s not. It all feels like a creeper rapey thing: Gable pursued Gilbert with a ferocity and inevitability that’s … Continue reading Century 1934: It Happened One Night

Century 1933: This Day and Age

(April 30, 2018)

This Day and Age. Cecil B. DeMille. 1933. I thought they said that teenagers were invented in the 50s! But here we are in the 30s and we’re rebelling without any cause whatsoever. Is this really from the 30s? Is imdb lying to me? Well, Wikipedia agrees with imdb, so let’s go with it… Anyway, … Continue reading Century 1933: This Day and Age

Century 1924: The Last Laugh

(April 30, 2018)

The Last Laugh. F.W. Murnau. 1924. Wow. That Murnau is going to go places. This is just so incredibly stylish and exciting to watch. Beautifully restored, too. It’s fascinating how well Murnau is able to tell the entire story with nary an intertitle: Virtually everything is conveyed through the acting, setting and cinematography. This involves … Continue reading Century 1924: The Last Laugh

Century 1921: The Phantom Carriage

(April 30, 2018)

The Phantom Carriage (Körkarlen). Victor Sjöström. 1921. This is one of Ingmar Bergman’s favourite films, and Bergman did a play based on the making of this film. Which explains the double feature on this DVD. Back in the pre-talkie days, Sweden was allegedly seen as a somewhat important film nation, and this was one of … Continue reading Century 1921: The Phantom Carriage

Century 1918: Hearts of the World

(April 29, 2018)

Hearts of the World. D.W. Griffith. 1918. Hey, it’s the first post of the new movie blog series hopefully taking me from 1918 to 2018. By skipping some years. D. W. Griffith is a very controversial director, of course, but Lillian Gish is Lillian Gish. This is an awfully confusing movie. Mostly because I thought … Continue reading Century 1918: Hearts of the World


(April 28, 2018)

Or rather: Leftovers. I was tidying the DVD stacks (rooting out doubles and the like), and it occurred to me that I should probably watch all this stuff at some point or other. While going through the discs, I noted that the oldest unseen movie I have is from 1918… And this year is 2018… … Continue reading Century

Bustin’ Out

(April 27, 2018)

So I was watching the newish Ghostbusters (the one from 2016) on 4K Bluray (it’s a pretty funny film; a couple of the scenes had me in stitches, but it’s got pacing problems, and too many of the jokes didn’t land), and it looks like this: I mean, it’s just a normal very-wide-screen film (2.4:1, … Continue reading Bustin’ Out

Dear Interweb

(April 21, 2018)

I was listening to an old mix tape the other day, and I happened upon this song: I can’t for the life of me figure out who this song might be by.  Shazam doesn’t recognise it and I can’t find any of the text snippets on Google (“dreams of what could be if you love … Continue reading Dear Interweb

mpv Is Nice

(April 20, 2018)

I’ve been watching movies and TV using an Emacs interface since 2004, according to the movie.el file.  Under the hood, though, I’ve hacked away at mplayer to make it do what I want, which includes a convenient way to switch audio outputs and output progress info so that I can store that to restart the … Continue reading mpv Is Nice

New Music

(April 17, 2018)

Music I’ve bought this month.

87 Bergman Things Redux

(March 30, 2018)

When I embarked upon my majestic Ingmar Bergman journey (ahem) there basically were two reasons for doing so: 1) I really wanted to, and c) it’s silly, and XIV), this box set had been released: I thought it was a complete collection, but it’s basically half his output. I’ve seen most of Bergman’s films before, … Continue reading 87 Bergman Things Redux

BTLXXXVII 2004: Bergman Island

(March 29, 2018)

Bergman Island. Marie Nyreröd. 2004. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This is basically a long interview with Bergman. Apparently these filmmakers were the first who was given access to film at Bergman’s home at the Färö island, and it’s a rather fabulous place. But this is not a completely successful documentary. It seems to want to wring too much … Continue reading BTLXXXVII 2004: Bergman Island

BTLXXXVI 2003: Behind Saraband

(March 29, 2018)

Yes, he’s painting the leaves with yellow paint to make it look more like autumn. Behind Saraband (I Bergmans regi). Torbjörn Ehrnvall. 2003. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This is the “making of” documentary from Saraband, Bergman’s final film (both as a director and a writer). He’s a very spry 85 year old here. Still a very hands on, … Continue reading BTLXXXVI 2003: Behind Saraband

BTLXXXV 2003: Saraband

(March 29, 2018)

Saraband. Ingmar Bergman. 2003. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Bergman’s winding down of his career over several decades is deliberate and well-directed: He said goodbye to directing films with his most successful production Fanny & Alexander (a tribute to his grandmother); his final film script was Faithless (where he sort of apologised for his life); he wound down his … Continue reading BTLXXXV 2003: Saraband

BTLXXXIV 1978: The Making of Autumn Sonata

(March 29, 2018)

The Making of Autumn Sonata. Ingmar Bergman. 1978. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. This bluray showed up in my mailbox the other day, and I was all “wat” because I’ve already seen Autumn Sonata. But after ripping it I recalled that the reason I bought it was that there’s a huge “making of” film included: It’s three and a … Continue reading BTLXXXIV 1978: The Making of Autumn Sonata

BTLXXXIII 2000: The Image Makers

(March 28, 2018)

The Image Makers (Bildmakarna). Ingmar Bergman. 2000. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This is the TV version of what Bergman wanted to be his final theatre staging. If you think “TV theatre”, this is it: It has an aesthetic that harks back to (or emulates perfectly) the first wave of “TV theatre” in the 60s and 70s when they … Continue reading BTLXXXIII 2000: The Image Makers

BTLXXXII 2000: Faithless

(March 28, 2018)

Faithless (Trolösa). Liv Ullmann. 2000. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Another film directed by Liv Ullmann, but this time without Sven Nykvist. It’s a film about making a story, and also about that story. It’s a fun way to approach this story, but it’s a pretty harsh self-portrait Bergman’s painted of himself. (Assuming that the young asshole of a … Continue reading BTLXXXII 2000: Faithless

BTLXXXI 1997: Behind In the Presence of a Clown

(March 25, 2018)

Behind In the Presence of a Clown (I sällskap med en clown). unknown. 1997. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Geeze. The “making of” films of Bergman’s films in the 80s and 90s are so fascinating. This is another fly-on-the-wall thing where we follow the taping (it’s TV) of the movie, and it’s pretty great. I didn’t know that Bergman … Continue reading BTLXXXI 1997: Behind In the Presence of a Clown

BTLXXX 1997: In the Presence of a Clown

(March 25, 2018)

In the Presence of a Clown (Larmar och gör sig till). Ingmar Bergman. 1997. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Bergman continues his stories about his family (more fictional than ever). This time it’s more about his uncle Carl (played by the same guy who did the part starting with Fanny & Alexander, so it’s his fourth film in this … Continue reading BTLXXX 1997: In the Presence of a Clown

BTLXXIX 1996: Harald & Harald

(March 24, 2018)

Harald & Harald. Ingmar Bergman. 1996. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This is a satirical political short (all unusual things for Bergman) about a text produced by the Ministry of Culture in Sweden. It’s funny, but I don’t have the context here, so I’m slightly lost. Here’s a typical sentence they’re reading and making fun of: “The theatre is … Continue reading BTLXXIX 1996: Harald & Harald

BTLXXVIII 1996: Private Confessions

(March 24, 2018)

Private Confessions (Enskilda samtal). Liv Ullmann. 1996. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. I couldn’t find this film anywhere: Not on Amazon, not Netflix, not nowhere, so I torrented it. And the torrent turned out to be with Spanish dialogue. *sigh* But then it turns out that some kind person has put the entire thing on Youtube. Thank you. Pernilla … Continue reading BTLXXVIII 1996: Private Confessions

BTLXXVII 1995: The Last Gasp

(March 23, 2018)

The Last Gasp (Sista skriket). Ingmar Bergman. 1995. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. The first ten minutes is documentary: Bergman shows us clips from old Swedish films (pre 1920) and tells us a bit about the people that made the films. And then we get a one act TV play where Bergman imagines a meeting between two of these … Continue reading BTLXXVII 1995: The Last Gasp

BTLXXVI 1992: The Best Intentions

(March 23, 2018)

The Best Intentions (Den goda viljan). Bille August. 1992. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. The copy I had of this film didn’t work, so I had to watch it via Amazon Prime, and it turns out to have two levels of subtitling in English: One from the theatrical version (burned into the film) and one for the hard of … Continue reading BTLXXVI 1992: The Best Intentions

Flashair, Emacs and Me

(March 23, 2018)

My blogging methodology is that I 1) open an Emacs Message buffer, write stuff, and then 2) take pictures of stuff (mostly comics), wanting to have those images appear right where I’m typing. This is a solved issued with Flashair, PyFlashAero and watch-directory.el, but I thought that it sucked that there were so many moving … Continue reading Flashair, Emacs and Me

BTLXXV 1993: The Bacchae

(March 17, 2018)

The Bacchae (Backanterna). Ingmar Bergman. 1993. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Bergman had first staged this opera to great acclaim at the Stockholm opera. This TV version is, as usual with Bergman, hugely reworked. And between the acts we get a five minute lecture about Dionysus. Anyway, it’s trey fab, especially the first act. I think it loses some … Continue reading BTLXXV 1993: The Bacchae

BTLXXIV 1992: Sunday’s Children

(March 16, 2018)

Sunday’s Children (Söndagsbarn). Daniel Bergman. 1992. ⭐⭐★★★★. This film is based on a script by Ingmar Bergman (which is again based on a chapter of his autobiography Laterna Magica). It’s about Bergman’s fraught relationship with his father, and it’s directed by Bergman’s son Daniel. It’s like Bergman-o-rama. The most amazing thing about this film is … Continue reading BTLXXIV 1992: Sunday’s Children

BTLXXIII 1992: Before Madame de Sade

(March 16, 2018)

Before Madame de Sade (Inför Markisinnan de Sade). 1992. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This is an interview that was shown before Madame de Sade on Swedish TV, so I should probably have watched it first, but I hate knowing stuff about things I’m going to see, so I didn’t. Hah! Bergman mostly talks about Mishima and not so … Continue reading BTLXXIII 1992: Before Madame de Sade

BTLXXII 1992: Madame de Sade

(March 16, 2018)

Madame de Sade (Markisinnan de Sade). Ingmar Bergman. 1992. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. This is the TV version of Mishima’s play that Bergman had staged at several theatres. It looks like it’s been somewhat reworked for TV: It’s by no means just a filmed version of the stage version. I got my copy off of teh torrenz, and … Continue reading BTLXXII 1992: Madame de Sade

BTLXXI 1986: The Blessed Ones

(March 15, 2018)

The Blessed Ones (De två saliga). Ingmar Bergman. 1986. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. Bergman ended his film career with Fanny & Alexander, but after Bergman’s previous TV film was upscaled from 16mm to 32mm and shown in theatres anyway, he apparently decided to make sure this never happened again by doing his first TV movie on video. (He’d … Continue reading BTLXXI 1986: The Blessed Ones

BTLXX 1983: Ingmar Bergman Bids Farewell to Film

(March 15, 2018)

Ingmar Bergman Bids Farewell to Film (Ingmar Bergman tar farväl av filmenb). Nils-Petter Sundgren. 1983. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Hey! Another documentary following Fanny & Alexander. The previous one was a fly-on-the-wall “making of”, and it was absolutely brilliant. This one is basically a guy interviewing Bergman about Fanny & Alexander for an hour. For what it is, … Continue reading BTLXX 1983: Ingmar Bergman Bids Farewell to Film

BTLXIX 1985: The Making of Fanny & Alexander

(March 14, 2018)

The Making of Fanny & Alexander (Dokument Fanny och Alexander ). Ingmar Bergman. 1985. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. I’ve seen more than a handful of “making of” films, but this is pretty unique. The documentary camera person is present throughout the filming and must have been just a few inches from the cinematographer. It really feels as if … Continue reading BTLXIX 1985: The Making of Fanny & Alexander

New Music

(March 11, 2018)

Music I’ve bought this month.

BTLXVIII 1984: Karin’s Face

(March 10, 2018)

Karin’s Face (Karins ansikte). Ingmar Bergman. 1984. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This short is basically Bergman showing us some pictures from his family album, with an emphasis on pictures of his mom. I got my copy off of teh torrenzes. The accompanying music is sentimental in the extreme. Perhaps Bergman should have used a disco soundtrack instead. But … Continue reading BTLXVIII 1984: Karin’s Face

BTLXVII 1984: After the Rehersal

(March 10, 2018)

After the Rehersal (Efter repetitionen). Ingmar Bergman. 1984. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Bergman insists that he had meant for Fanny & Alexander to be his final theatrical release, but After the Rehearsal ended up being released for cinemas in the US anyway. That’s the version on this DVD, I think, because it looks super-grainy and very crackly and … Continue reading BTLXVII 1984: After the Rehersal

So Much 4K

(March 10, 2018)

I got a 4K TV a while back, but I haven’t had any 4K media. Until yesterday! A couple of months ago, the encryption on 4K Bluray media was partially broken. It’s not just rip’n’go as it is with DVDs and 2K Bluerays, but, basically, you can anyway. You just download this file that has … Continue reading So Much 4K

BTLXVI 1983: The School for Wives

(March 9, 2018)

The School for Wives (Hustruskolan). Ingmar Bergman. 1983. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This play was rehearsed by Alf Sjöberg (the director), but he died and Bergman decided (as a tribute) to film the piece for TV. So it’s the usual kind of Molière farce. It’s funny, of course and the actors are great. It’s very filmed theatre, though. … Continue reading BTLXVI 1983: The School for Wives

BTLXV 1982: Fanny & Alexander

(March 9, 2018)

Fanny & Alexander. Ingmar Bergman. 1982. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Bergman’s final “real” film, and like some of the preceding ones, there’s a TV series version and a shorter theatrical release. I’ve seen the TV version a couple of times before, so this time I’m watching the theatrical edit. And it’s restored gloriously by Criterion on Bluray. I … Continue reading BTLXV 1982: Fanny & Alexander

Fast Music, or: USB Is Weird

(March 7, 2018)

I have my music on an USB3 RAID5 consisting of three external disks connected to one of these, which isn’t a bad little computer: It’s has a 1.7GHz i7-3517UE (Ivy Bridge) CPU, so it’s small, but not horribly slow. But then one of the disks went AWOL and I thought that perhaps it was time … Continue reading Fast Music, or: USB Is Weird

BTLXIV 1980: From the Life of the Marionettes

(March 3, 2018)

From the Life of the Marionettes (Aus dem Leben dem Marionetten). Ingmar Bergman. 1980. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Bergman called this his only real German film: Conceived, written and filmed while Bergman was in his German exile. And it certainly feels like an outlier in Bergman’s career. For one, the audio quality is way beneath Bergman’s usual standards. … Continue reading BTLXIV 1980: From the Life of the Marionettes

BTLXIII 1979: Fårö Document 1979

(March 3, 2018)

Fårö Document 1979 (Fårö-dokument 1979). Ingmar Bergman. 1979. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This is Bergman’s second documentary film about the island he made his home and workplace: Fårö. (Which doesn’t mean “sheep island” even if it looks like it.) Most of his most successful films were filmed on the island, and he did two documentaries about people living … Continue reading BTLXIII 1979: Fårö Document 1979

BTLXII 1978: Autumn Sonata

(March 3, 2018)

Autumn Sonata (Höstsonaten). Ingmar Bergman. 1978. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Huh! I may not have seen this one before… It seems rather unfamiliar. In any case: Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullmann. In a house. Drama. It’s wonderful. Bergman (the director) about Bergman (the actor): I discovered early into our rehearsals that to be understanding and offer a sympathetic … Continue reading BTLXII 1978: Autumn Sonata

BTLXI 1977: The Serpent’s Egg

(March 2, 2018)

The Serpent’s Egg. Ingmar Bergman. 1977. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. Hey! I watched this in 2014! And I’m not really looking forward to watching it again… but apparently I bought a new copy of the DVD for this blog series. Oh, well. Perhaps it’ll be better this time! This is Bergman’s first film after he fled (sort of) … Continue reading BTLXI 1977: The Serpent’s Egg

BTLX 1976: The Dance of the Damned Women

(March 2, 2018)

The Dance of the Damned Women (De fördömda kvinnornas dans). Ingmar Bergman. 1976. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Well, this is a strange one. It’s a wordless short, but it’s not a ballet per se. Before it starts, there’s a woman that explains that this is what we’re going to see, and that afterwards there will be a discussion, … Continue reading BTLX 1976: The Dance of the Damned Women

BTLIX 1976: Face to Face

(March 2, 2018)

Face to Face (Ansikte mot ansikte). Ingmar Bergman. 1976. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Originally a three hour TV series, “[i]t was edited down for theatrical releases for running times from 114 to 135 minutes.” And it stars Liv Ullmann and Erlend Josephson, so it’s very much similar to Scenes from a Marriage in that way. This one’s produced … Continue reading BTLIX 1976: Face to Face

The Ever-Shifting Sands of udev.rules

(February 25, 2018)

I use Telldus Tellstick to do home automation *cough* I mean control the lights: It’s an unassuming USB stick that implements a serial interface so that you can talk to it by just sending some strings to it and read the response. Ideal for Linux! Yes! But. You do want the device to show up … Continue reading The Ever-Shifting Sands of udev.rules

Useful Consumer Review

(February 25, 2018)

I’ve had the vast majority of the lights in my apt. controlled remotely (from Emacs, of course) for like a decade. It’s a flexible system built on Telldus Telstick receivers and transmitters, and Nexa wall sockets. But… Look at the un-pretty: Yes, those outlets are fugly. Fortunately quite a few of them are hidden behind … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

BTLVIII 1975: Silence! Action! The Magic Flute!

(February 24, 2018)

Silence! Action! The Magic Flute! (Tystnad! Tagning! Trollflöjten!). Katinka Faragó, Måns Reuterswärd. 1975. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This “making of” film of The Magic Flute is really interesting. It’s mostly fly-on-the-wall, and it’s really well edited and funny. “The Magic Flute isn’t just a risible fairy tale… But as a music play, it’s fairy tale/poem/dream.” This is one … Continue reading BTLVIII 1975: Silence! Action! The Magic Flute!

BTLVII 1975: The Magic Flute

(February 24, 2018)

The Magic Flute (Trollflöjten). Ingmar Bergman. 1975. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This was the most expensive TV production ever made in Sweden at the time, so there were the usual mutterings of “scandal”, but they sold the finished TV show to so many countries that it ended up earning the Swedish TV company a lot of money. This … Continue reading BTLVII 1975: The Magic Flute

BTLVI 1974: The Misanthrope

(February 24, 2018)

The Misanthrope (Misantropen). Ingmar Bergman. 1974. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This is a TV recording of a Danish theatre production of Moliere’s The Misanthrope directed by Bergman. It’s quite fun, and Ghita Nørby as Célimène is a blast to watch. I don’t think anyone would quite have guessed that it was a Bergman production if they hadn’t known, … Continue reading BTLVI 1974: The Misanthrope

BTLV 1973: Scenes from a Marriage

(February 23, 2018)

Scenes from a Marriage (Scener ur ett äktenskap). Ingmar Bergman. 1973. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. I’ve seen the TV series before, so I thought it might be fun to see the cinema version, too. I vaguely remember the TV series as being a very involving soap opera. The cinema version is apparently just an edited-down version (they lopped … Continue reading BTLV 1973: Scenes from a Marriage

BTLIV 1970: The Lie

(February 23, 2018)

The Lie. Alan Bridges. 1970. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This is the British version of The Lie, which I saw the Swedish version of last weekend. So we’re skipping back from 1973, way back to the misty days of 1970, when a bunch of European countries all recorded their own versions of the same Bergman script. I’m not … Continue reading BTLIV 1970: The Lie

BTLIII 1973: The Ghost Sonata

(February 23, 2018)

The Ghost Sonata (Spöksonaten). Ingmar Bergman. 1973. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. What a strange artefact. This is from the collection of the Bergman bootlegger, and it’s a video recording from 1973 of Bergman’s production of Strindberg’s The Ghost Sonata from a single camera placed on the balcony, apparently. There’s a lot of video ghosting whenever anybody moves, which … Continue reading BTLIII 1973: The Ghost Sonata

BTLII 1972: Cries & Whispers

(February 17, 2018)

Cries & Whispers (Viskningar och rop). Ingmar Bergman. 1972. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Unless I misremember the following films, Cries & Whispers is sort of the end of an era: It’s the last of the classic 60s films (even if we’re now in the 70s). After this, it all becomes a bit confusing, with TV productions (sometimes cut … Continue reading BTLII 1972: Cries & Whispers

Useful Consumer Review

(February 17, 2018)

You know when you’re measuring out things for baking? So you put a mixing bowl on the kitchen scale and then measure out 300g of sugar, and then you tare it back to zero, and then you’re going to pour 500g flour into the bowl, but after pouring some flour, the flour bag is empty, … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

BTLI 1970: The Lie

(February 17, 2018)

The Lie (Reservatet). Jan Molander. 1970. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This TV play (directed by Jan Molander from a script by Bergman) had its origin in the work with The Passion of Anna film: The script for that film apparently started off as this script, but then evolved into something very different, so Bergman gave the original script … Continue reading BTLI 1970: The Lie


(February 17, 2018)

I got a letter with this insert: “Received damaged from abroad”. Destruction! From Australia! Or… Was it pre-destroyed? Hm… Hm!

BTL 1971: The Touch

(February 14, 2018)

The Touch (Beröringen). Ingmar Bergman. 1971. ⭐⭐★★★★. The intention was to shoot The Touch in both English and Swedish. In an original version that doesn’t seem to exist anymore, English was spoken by those who were English-speaking and Swedish by those who were Swedes. I belive that it just possibly was slightly less unbearable than … Continue reading BTL 1971: The Touch

BTXLIX 1969: The Passion of Anna

(February 14, 2018)

The Passion of Anna (En passion). Ingmar Bergman. 1969. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Whaa? This film is not in 4:3? It’s more like… 16:11? At least the DVD is. And it’s in colour, too, but Bergman’s already done that. You kinda think of Bergman as being extremely distinctive and set in his own ways, but viewing his films … Continue reading BTXLIX 1969: The Passion of Anna

New Music

(February 12, 2018)

Music I’ve bought this month.

BTXLVIII 1969: The Rite

(February 10, 2018)

The Rite (Riten). Ingmar Bergman. 1969. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Bergman had done a handful of things for TV before, but up until this one, they had all been theatre plays adapted for TV. This is his first “real” film for TV, and he apparently made it because he was fed up with how much time and effort … Continue reading BTXLVIII 1969: The Rite

BTXLVII 1968: Shame

(February 10, 2018)

Shame (Skammen). Ingmar Bergman. 1968. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Bergman goes political. It’s an incredible film, but Bergman was dissatisfied himself: In other words, we are talking about poorly constructed manuscript. The first half of the film is really nothing more than an endlessly drawn-out prologue that ought to have been over and done within ten minutes. What … Continue reading BTXLVII 1968: Shame

BTXLVI 2004: Hour of the Wolf: The Search for Sanity

(February 10, 2018)

Hour of the Wolf: The Search for Sanity. Greg Carson. 2004. ⭐⭐★★★★. This is the first Bergman film that was sold to distributors in the US before it was filmed, and as such the rights for the DVD are somehow in American hands. But that means that there’s a documentary featurette in English, edited together … Continue reading BTXLVI 2004: Hour of the Wolf: The Search for Sanity

BTXLV 1968: Hour of the Wolf

(February 9, 2018)

Hour of the Wolf (Vargtimmen). Ingmar Bergman. 1968. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. After the Tour de France of Persona, Hour of the Wolf is a bit of a let-down. The scenes seem to carry no weight. Instead of the shots being filled to the brim with (possible) meaning, they’re kinda just… there… here. But it’s a hard act … Continue reading BTXLV 1968: Hour of the Wolf

BTXLIV 1967: Stimulantia

(February 9, 2018)

Stimulantia (“Daniel” section). Ingmar Bergman. 1967. ⭐⭐★★★★. The mid-60s wasn’t Bergman’s busiest period, film-wise. All These Women in 64, Persona in 66, and Hour of the Wolf in 68. Well, OK, for anybody else, that’s a quite impressive schedule, but Bergman had basically done about two films per year until now, so… Anyway! This is … Continue reading BTXLIV 1967: Stimulantia

BTXLIII 1966: Persona

(February 9, 2018)

Persona. Ingmar Bergman. 1966. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Of all of Bergman’s films, this is probably the one that has launched the most doctoral theses. So I’m going to refrain from my usual trivial nattering and just say: It’s kinda good, innit? This post is part of the 87 Bergman Things series.

BTXLII 1964: All These Women

(February 4, 2018)

All These Women (För inte tala om alla dessa kvinnor). Ingmar Bergman. 1964. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This is Bergman’s directorial colour film debut. Weirdly enough, it’s his second colour film script, and both of them are co-written with Erland Josephson. It’s like they got together to write scripts for colour adaptation… This is also Bergman’s final comedy. … Continue reading BTXLII 1964: All These Women

BTXLI 1963: The Silence

(February 4, 2018)

The Silence (Tystnaden). Ingmar Bergman. 1963. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Bergman thought that this would be another box office disaster (like Winter Light), but instead it became the producer’s (Svensk Filmindustri) biggest movie so far. And it’s not difficult to agree with Bergman (it’s about two women and a boy in a hotel in a country where they’re … Continue reading BTXLI 1963: The Silence

BTXL 1963: Wood Painting

(February 3, 2018)

Trämålning. Lennart Olsson. 1963. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This is a rather weird one. It’s a short-ish TV movie (directed by Lennart Olsson) based on the old one-act play that Bergman earlier had developed into The Seventh Seal. (Yes. Very confusing.) The actors are variable, but Ulla Akselson (as the witch) is great. I got a copy of … Continue reading BTXL 1963: Wood Painting

BTXXXIX 1963: A Dream Play

(February 3, 2018)

A Dream Play (Ett drömspel). Ingmar Bergman. 1963. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Boo! Uno Herring is back in this TV play. I still can’t really understand what he’s saying: His diction is so … strange. Some sounds are half-swallowed, and there’s the occasional extra syllable that shouldn’t really be in that word. So it’s subtitle time again, which … Continue reading BTXXXIX 1963: A Dream Play

BTXXXVIII 1961: Behind Winter Light

(February 2, 2018)

Behind Winter Light (Bakomfilm Nattvärdsgästerna). Ingmar Bergman. 1961. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. I’m really starting to enjoy the commentaries by whoever that is on these “behind the scenes” shorts. They’re terse, but to the point. This is 3x longer than any of the previous films, though, and perhaps it would have been an idea to give her somebody … Continue reading BTXXXVIII 1961: Behind Winter Light

BTXXXVII 1963: Winter Light

(February 2, 2018)

Winter Light (Nattvardsgästarna). Ingmar Bergman. 1963. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. 1963 was a particularly busy year for Bergman: I’ve got five things from that year scheduled here. There’s nothing in 1962, though, so perhaps there were just a lot of stuff percolating… Bergman turned down a 24x pay raise from MGM and stayed in Sweden. Watching this straight … Continue reading BTXXXVII 1963: Winter Light

BTXXXVI 1961: The Pleasure Garden

(February 2, 2018)

The Pleasure Garden (Lustgården). Alf Kjellin. 1961. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. Bergman thought it was about time that Svensk Filmindustri did a proper colour film, but he didn’t have time to do it himself. So he co-wrote the screenplay (with a pseudonymous credit) and left Alf Kjellin to direct it. It was pretty much universally panned at the … Continue reading BTXXXVI 1961: The Pleasure Garden


(January 31, 2018)

I ordered a couple of mini-comics from Quimby’s Bookstore, and I got an amusingly large stack of … stuff. At least I think all this was from Quimby’s; I unpacked a lot of stuff at the same time. I can’t think of where else this would come from. First of all, the two comics I … Continue reading Cornucopia

BTXXXV 1961: Through a Glass Darkly

(January 27, 2018)

Through a Glass Darkly (Såsom i en spegel). Ingmar Bergman. 1961. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Harriet Andersson is back! After the relationship with Bergman ended (and Bergman started one with her sister), she’d been gone from Bergman’s films for some years. Along with Gunnar Björnstrand and Max von Sydow, this little film has an extremely solid cast. Even … Continue reading BTXXXV 1961: Through a Glass Darkly

BTXXXIV 1960: The Devil’s Eye

(January 27, 2018)

The Devil’s Eye (Djävulens öga). Ingmar Bergman. 1960. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. The studio had bought the rigths to a dusty Danish comedy called The Return of Don Juan. Dymling and I entered into a shameful agreement. I wanted to direct The Virgin Spring, which he detested. He wanted me to direct The Devil’s Eye which I detested. … Continue reading BTXXXIV 1960: The Devil’s Eye

BTXXXIII 1960: Storm Weather

(January 27, 2018)

Storm Weather (Oväder). Ingmar Bergman. 1960. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This is a TV play shown on the occasion of Strindberg’s 111th birthday or something equally spurious. It features nobody from Bergman’s usual coterie of actors, so perhaps they’re all taken from Bergman’s theatre ensemble? As theatre actors most of them deliver their lines very crisply and precisely, … Continue reading BTXXXIII 1960: Storm Weather

BTXXXII 1960: The Virgin Spring

(January 26, 2018)

The Virgin Spring (Jungfrukällan). Ingmar Bergman. 1960. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This is Bergman’s first Oscar win? It’s not difficult to guess why (spoiler warning: God turns out to be real; i.e., instant US appeal). Even so, it’s rather good. Sven Nykvist is back as the cinematographer, and that really shows. Every scene is a perfect little tableau. … Continue reading BTXXXII 1960: The Virgin Spring

BTXXXI 1958: Behind The Magician

(January 26, 2018)

Behind The Magician (Bakomfilm Ansiktet). Ingmar Bergman. 1958. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Same narrator as the previous “behind” featurettes. This one’s quite informative. This post is part of the 87 Bergman Things series.

BTXXX 1958: The Magician

(January 26, 2018)

The Magician (Ansiktet). Ingmar Bergman. 1958. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. We’ve now reached the point where a Bergman film can be immediately identified by just looking at any random frame from his movies, so I guess we’ve gone past the “early” bit of his career. It’s all so programmatically present in this one: All the characters being metaphors … Continue reading BTXXX 1958: The Magician

BTXXIX 1958: Brink of Life

(January 26, 2018)

Brink of Life (Nära livet). Ingmar Bergman. 1958. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. At a time when very few men had ever been present at an actual birth, Brink of Life came as a shock for many viewers. The newspapers reported people fainting (the record being set in Bergen in Norway, where eight people passed out during the same … Continue reading BTXXIX 1958: Brink of Life

The Best Countries

(January 24, 2018)

A while back, I watched a film and drank a cocktail from each country on Earth, but it occurred to me just now that I had never done any visualisation of where on Earth the good movies and drinks are. Since I had the data semi-readible available, I whipped up some charts. Here’s the film … Continue reading The Best Countries

The Complete Crumb Comics

(January 23, 2018)

Robert Crumb is one of the most highly regarded American comics creators, but the past few years has seen both a backlash against his perceived sexism and downright revulsion towards his comics by younger people, as well as a free-floating discussion over teh comix blogs about how Crumb isn’t seen as a major influence over … Continue reading The Complete Crumb Comics

BTXXVIII 1958: The Venetian Woman

(January 21, 2018)

The Venetian Woman (Venetianskan). Ingmar Bergman. 1958. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. Bergman was so productive these years that establishing a chronology isn’t trivial. But this TV production seems to have been released before his next feature film, but I have no idea which one was made first. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Anyway, it’s Bergman’s second TV production. It was apparently shown … Continue reading BTXXVIII 1958: The Venetian Woman

BTXXVII 1957: Mr. Sleeman is Coming

(January 21, 2018)

Mr. Sleeman is Coming (Herr Sleeman kommer). Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This is Bergman’s first TV movie. It doesn’t seem to have gotten an official release, so I had to get it from teh torrenz. It’s a play filmed for TV (with multiple cameras, I think). Bergman’s usual cohort of actors (Bibi Andersson, Max von … Continue reading BTXXVII 1957: Mr. Sleeman is Coming

BTXXVI 1957: Nattens ljus

(January 20, 2018)

Nattens ljus. Lars-Eric Kjellgren. 1957. ⭐⭐★★★★. I got this one from the Bergman Pirate. It’s not officially a Bergman film: He worked on the script, but is uncredited. Is this the only non-Bergman-directed film I’ve seen Gunnar Björnstrand in? And… he’s not as good here as I had come to expect. The entire film is … Continue reading BTXXVI 1957: Nattens ljus

BTXXV 1957: Behind Wild Strawberries

(January 20, 2018)

The narrator says “There’s me”. And if she’s the script girl, then that’s Katinka Faragó, according to imdb. Narrator identified! Possibly! Behind Wild Strawberries (Bakomfilm Smultronstället). Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. I still don’t know who’s doing the voice-over on these documentaries, but she seems fun. You don’t really get much information beyond what the actors’ … Continue reading BTXXV 1957: Behind Wild Strawberries

BTXXIV 1957: Wild Strawberries

(January 20, 2018)

Wild Strawberries (Smultronstället). Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Is this Bergman’s greatest commercial success, perhaps? It’s probably second to The Seventh Seal as “The Bergman Film”, though. It’s such a lovely and surprising film. It has a road movie structure where people fade in and out of the proceedings in a very pleasing manner. This post … Continue reading BTXXIV 1957: Wild Strawberries

BTXXIII 1956: Behind The Seventh Seal

(January 20, 2018)

Behind The Seventh Seal (Bakomfilm Det sjunde inseglet). Ingmar Bergman. 1956. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. The narrator on this short is the same as on the previous one, but I still don’t know who it is. Perhaps the script supervisor? The narration is very seat-of-the-pants: The narrator has obviously never seen the footage before, so she’s commenting on … Continue reading BTXXIII 1956: Behind The Seventh Seal

BTXXII 1957: The Seventh Seal

(January 20, 2018)

The Seventh Seal (Det sjunde inseglet). Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. This is probably the one film everybody thinks of when you mention Ingmar Bergman, right? Very serious, filled with symbolism and religious anguish. As pop-culture penetration of art film goes, nothing beats Death on the beach playing chess. And Max von Sydow, for the first … Continue reading BTXXII 1957: The Seventh Seal

All Ears 2018

(January 19, 2018)

Joëlle Léandre, Kazehito Seki @ All Ears 2018Watch this video on YouTube Watch this video on YouTube Arma Agharta @ All Ears 2018Watch this video on YouTube Watch this video on YouTube

BTXXI 1955: Smiles of a Summer Night

(January 19, 2018)

Smiles of a Summer Night (Sommarnattens leende). Ingmar Bergman. 1955. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. “A romantic comedy by Ingmar Bergman.” Bergman was depressed but needed money, so he made this little masterpiece, which was also his international break-through, I think. It won prizes in Cannes and everything. Gunnar Björnstrand’s glued-on comedy beard is rather disturbing, though. “The last … Continue reading BTXXI 1955: Smiles of a Summer Night

BTXX 1947: Woman Without a Face

(January 19, 2018)

Princess!? Such lighting. Woman Without a Face (Kvinna utan ansikte). Gustaf Molander. 1947. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. We’re diverging from the chronological Bergman thing again and skipping back from 1956 to 1947: To this Bergman-scripted, but Gustaf Molander-directed thing. It’s weird being back in this period again after the 1955-56 streak of mature-ish Bergman films. It’s all artifice … Continue reading BTXX 1947: Woman Without a Face

Further Trends in Packaging

(January 16, 2018)

I got a package today that had this mysterious item… Epic unpackaging: It’s a cassette! Inside a cardboard thingie! It’s the latest thing.

BTXIX 1954: Behind Dreams

(January 14, 2018)

Behind Dreams (Bakomfilm Kvinnodröm). Ingmar Bergman. 1954. ⭐⭐★★★★. This is the behind the scenes documentary for Dreams: The first one of these that were created for Bergman films. We get reminiscences by an unnamed female voice that says things like “that’s a lot of blurry images; I think those should be edited out”. It’s hard … Continue reading BTXIX 1954: Behind Dreams

BTXVIII 1955: Dreams

(January 13, 2018)

Dreams (Kvinnodröm). Ingmar Bergman. 1955. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. After the success of A Lesson in Love, you’d think that making the follow-up (with basically the same cast and crew) would be easy enough. But it just doesn’t have the same sparkle. While it isn’t as effortlessly brilliant as the previous movie, it does demonstrate that Bergman the … Continue reading BTXVIII 1955: Dreams

BTXVII 1954: A Lesson in Love

(January 13, 2018)

A Lesson in Love (En lektion i kärlek). Ingmar Bergman. 1954. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Yay. Eva Dahlbeck and Gunnar Björnstrand (Sweden’s Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant) are back in this delicious comedy (which is Bergman’s first real comedy). Harriet Andersson does a wonderful performance as a tomboy 15-year-old, too. It’s a thoroughly entertaining film. This post is … Continue reading BTXVII 1954: A Lesson in Love

New Music

(January 11, 2018)

Music I’ve bought this month.

BTXVI 1953: Sawdust and Tinsel

(January 10, 2018)

Sawdust and Tinsel (Gycklarnas afton). Ingmar Bergman. 1953. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Finally cinematographer Sven Nykvist is on board (for part of the film). Unfortunately, he doesn’t return to the fold until 1960, I think… This film perhaps marks the beginning of the end of the end of the “Early Bergman” stretch of films? You’ve got Harriet Andersson … Continue reading BTXVI 1953: Sawdust and Tinsel

BTXV 1948: Eva

(January 10, 2018)

Eva. Gustaf Molander. 1948. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This film didn’t arrive in time for its rightful place in this blog series. Shame! Shame! So cast your mind back from 1953 to the long gone past of 1948… This one is not directed by Bergman, but the script is by him and it’s based on one of his … Continue reading BTXV 1948: Eva


(January 9, 2018)

I was reading the Fantagraphics collection of Zanardi by Andrea Pazienza tonight (it’s not very good; it’s like the stuff you’d stumble upon in European underground magazines in the 80s and be amused by for a couple of pages before you’d get annoyed by the incoherence and bored by the boorish humour and skimmed the … Continue reading Footnotes*

BTXIV 1953: Summer with Monika

(January 8, 2018)

Summer with Monika (Sommaren med Monika). Ingmar Bergman. 1953. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Another box office smash for Bergman, although this one was critically panned at the time. (And the American “version” (edited down and with added nudist camp shots) led to a trial: “Reporting on the case against the distributor, the Los Angeles Examiner quoted Judge Byron … Continue reading BTXIV 1953: Summer with Monika

BTXIII 1952: Secrets of Women

(January 8, 2018)

Secrets of Women (Kvinnors väntan). Ingmar Bergman. 1952. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. After an enforced break after the horrible This Can’t Happen Here, Bergman is back writing and directing this one, designed to be a people-pleasing comedy, because Bergman just couldn’t afford another box office bomb. I think it’s the first kinda real pure Bergman film. The dialogue … Continue reading BTXIII 1952: Secrets of Women

BTXII 1951: Breeze Ads

(January 8, 2018)

Breeze Ads (Reklamfilmer för Bris). Ingmar Bergman. 1951. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. I got these ads as part of a haul from a Bergman bootlegger, but the quality is really bad. You can find much better quality footage here, for instance. This DVD looks like it has been through seven generations of RealVideo compression. These are pretty weird … Continue reading BTXII 1951: Breeze Ads

Watch Repair Guy

(January 7, 2018)

In my 20s, I bought a bunch of cheap but fun watches. While tidying up the other month, I came across the watch cache, and I thought it might be fun to start wearing them again. The batteries had all expired decades ago, of course, and taking them all to the watchmaker sounded kinda silly, … Continue reading Watch Repair Guy

BTXI 1951: Summer Interlude

(January 6, 2018)

Summer Interlude (Sommarlek). Ingmar Bergman. 1951. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Oh, right. This film was done before the horrible This Can’t Happen Here, but wasn’t released until a year after due to a strike and economic problems with the film studio. They’re extremely different films: While This Can’t Happen Here is probably the worst film Bergman ever did … Continue reading BTXI 1951: Summer Interlude

BTX 1950: This Can’t Happen Here

(January 6, 2018)

This Can’t Happen Here (Sånt händer inte här). Ingmar Bergman. 1950. ⭐★★★★★. This is a movie that apparently has never gotten a DVD release? I had to source it from teh torrentz, and it looks like it has its origin in a VHS copy. Perhaps it was shown on TV at one point? It’s a … Continue reading BTX 1950: This Can’t Happen Here

BTIX 1950: To Joy

(January 6, 2018)

To Joy (Till glädje). Ingmar Bergman. 1950. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This is Bergman’s second writer/director credit, and it couldn’t be more different from his first one, Prison. As the title suggests, it’s basically a happy and nostalgic film, where the protagonist is an obvious and hapless stand-in for Bergman himself. It’s pretty funny. Bergman is pretty savage … Continue reading BTIX 1950: To Joy

BTVIII 1949: Thirst

(January 5, 2018)

Thirst (Törst). Ingmar Bergman. 1949. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. After the brilliant Prison completely bombed at the box office, Bergman is back to directing another movie written by somebody else. A bundle of actors from his previous film reappears here, though. It’s a surprisingly vigorous and amusing film: Bergman isn’t sulking after the less than stellar reception of … Continue reading BTVIII 1949: Thirst

BTVII 1949: Prison

(January 5, 2018)

Prison (Fängelse). Ingmar Bergman. 1949. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Finally! A real Bergman film. This is the first of his films that’s both written (not based on a book/play) and directed by Bergman, and we basically get all his obsessions on a plate: Religion, injustice, evil, making movies, symbolism, Fraudianism, watching old movies. It’s the first of these … Continue reading BTVII 1949: Prison

BTVI 1948: Port of Call

(January 5, 2018)

Port of Call (Hamnstad). Ingmar Bergman. 1948. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Oh, it’s Bergman’s 100th birthday this year, so there’s supposed to be a bunch of retrospectives, re-releases and documentaries this year. I had no idea when I embarked upon my Bergmania… Anyway, this is a very strangely edited film. It’s like if the editor is off by … Continue reading BTVI 1948: Port of Call

Electric Cars

(January 1, 2018)

(Carl Barks, 1955.)

BTV 1948: Music in Darkness

(December 31, 2017)

Music in Darkness (Musik i mörker). Ingmar Bergman. 1948. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Once again, Birger Malmsten stars, and like Lorens Marmstedt allegedly adviced Bergman two movies ago, “You have to remember that Birger Malmsten is no Jean Gabin”. He still isn’t, but he’s perfectly nice if somewhat uninspiring. (I just had a peek at Bergmans filmography, and … Continue reading BTV 1948: Music in Darkness

BTIV 1947: A Ship Bound For India

(December 31, 2017)

A Ship Bound For India (Skepp till India land). Ingmar Bergman. 1947. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. You can say many things about this film, but you can’t really claim that the DVD transfer is very satisfactory. It’s grainy and uneven as fuck, but perhaps that just reflects the unrestored original film… As would come to be common in … Continue reading BTIV 1947: A Ship Bound For India

BTIII 1946: It Rains On Our Love

(December 30, 2017)

It Rains On Our Love (Det regnar på vår kärlek). Ingmar Bergman. 1946. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Now we’re getting somewhere. This in a different league from the two previous films. It’s based on a play written by a Norwegian guy, but, still, it’s a pretty good story. Very time-appropriate. It’s got a nice flow, and Gunnar Björnstrand … Continue reading BTIII 1946: It Rains On Our Love

BTII 1946: Crisis

(December 30, 2017)

Crisis (Kris). Ingmar Bergman. 1946. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. Bergman’s directorial debut (if you don’t count the last scene of the previous film). The introductory voice-over presents the film as “an everyday play… almost a comedy”. According to Swedish Wikipedia, the production was almost shut down, but the studio head gave Bergman a second chance and restarted the … Continue reading BTII 1946: Crisis

BTI 1944: Torment

(December 29, 2017)

Torment (Hets). Alf Sjöberg. 1944. ⭐⭐★★★★. This is very much a young man’s film: It’s all about a sadistic Latin teacher and his hapless pupils. I’m just guessing, but I assume that it’s Bergman’s revenge on a specific teacher. This isn’t directed by Bergman, but Bergman wrote the script. It still looks a lot like … Continue reading BTI 1944: Torment

87 Bergman Things

(December 29, 2017)

Ingmar Bergman. There’s nobody more jolly, so I’ve long wanted to (re-)watch all his films. But every time I’ve poked around to find a convenient way to do that, I’ve been discouraged by the spotty way his filmography has been made available: One film here; three films on this box set; five on this (with … Continue reading 87 Bergman Things

My New Concert Blog

(December 20, 2017)

The Best Albums of 2017

(December 19, 2017)

This has been a kinda weird year of music for me. I’ve spent quite a lot of time resampling old vinyl and sampling old tapes, so I’ve listened to a lot less new music than usual. Nevertheless, here’s the list of the best music of 2017, determined by how many times I’ve listened to each … Continue reading The Best Albums of 2017

The Curious Case of Neon Lit

(December 18, 2017)

Cast your mind back to the early 90s: *biff* *bang* *pow* Comics aren’t for kids any more! After the amazing success (both commercially and critically) of Art Spiegelman’s first Maus volume, many publishers wanted to get in on the action. Literary power houses like Pantheon Books (a part of the Knopf/Doubleday/Random House publishing behemoth), Penguin … Continue reading The Curious Case of Neon Lit

A Carpenter Winter Redux

(December 17, 2017)

Compared to some of his peers (say, David Cronenberg or John Waters), John Carpenter doesn’t have a very distinct point of view. You can usually spot at Cronenberg or a Waters film from a mile away, while Carpenter is less distinctive. There are some technical things that Carpenter does have a hang-up on, though: He … Continue reading A Carpenter Winter Redux

ACW2010: The Ward

(December 17, 2017)

John Carpenter. The Ward. 2010. This is likely to be John Carpenter’s final movie: He’s said that he has no interest in doing any more of them because he’s retired. It would be fun to say that he went out on a major success, but, as usual, it bombed at the box office. It’s got … Continue reading ACW2010: The Ward

ACW2006: Pro-Life

(December 17, 2017)

John Carpenter. Pro-Life. 2006. This is the other Carpenter episode from the Masters of Horror Showtime TV series. It’s a lot, er, more TV-ey than the Cigarette Burns episode, but it’s still way grislier than there’s any point in being. I had to skip past some of the scenes. But I’m a wimp. The way … Continue reading ACW2006: Pro-Life

ACW2005: Cigarette Burns

(December 16, 2017)

John Carpenter. Cigarette Burns. 2005. This is an episode from the Showtime TV series “Masters of Horror”, which was an anthology horror series that received quite a lot of acclaim at the time. This episode isn’t super-Carpenterish: A lot of faffing about in Europe (with European actors) (or is it Canada?). It’s about a film … Continue reading ACW2005: Cigarette Burns

ACW2001: Ghosts of Mars

(December 15, 2017)

John Carpenter. Ghosts of Mars. 2001. Somehow Carpenter got decent funding for yet another movie after so many of them not making any back (except perhaps 20 years after on DVD). And this time it’s a sci-fi movie! Yay! And Carpenter managed to hire some pretty entertaining actors (Pam Grier, Natasha Henstridge, Clea DuVall, Joanna … Continue reading ACW2001: Ghosts of Mars

ACW1998: Vampires

(December 15, 2017)

“My vampires are savage creatures. There isn’t a second of brooding loneliness in their existence. They’re too busy ripping and tearing humans apart.” Right… John Carpenter. Vampires. 1998. Ah! A vampire film where the vampires are the bad guys! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one of those… This is the goriest Carpenter … Continue reading ACW1998: Vampires

The Best Comics of 2017

(December 14, 2017)

Geez! December again. Anyway, I thought that this had been a pretty weak year for comics, but look at how many comics ended up in my “hm; that was pretty interesting” lil bookcaselet. And as an innovation this year: I also found room for comics that has a larger form factor! So much innovation. Let’s … Continue reading The Best Comics of 2017

ACW1996: Escape from LA

(December 13, 2017)

Debra Hill is back. John Carpenter. Escape from LA. 1996. Wow! Debra Hill is back as a producer! John Carpenter is known as a genre director, but this is the only sequel he’s done. He didn’t even direct any of the Halloween sequels. The highest-rated review on imdb says that it’s a misunderstood masterpieve but … Continue reading ACW1996: Escape from LA

New Music

(December 11, 2017)

Music I’ve bought this month. The end of the Grand Sampling (of bootleg and rare tapes from the 90s).  It’s been fun revisiting the tapes, but it’s also nice that I can go back to listening to newer music again.

Useful Consumer Review

(December 11, 2017)

I’ve got most of the rooms in the apt. wired up for sound, but I’ve never managed to work up enough stamina to get the bathroom wired. So I’ve been using this Creative wireless blaster thingie for years and years, and it works OK. It sounds fine and it usually works. But it’s… kinda a … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

ACW1995: Village of the Damned

(December 10, 2017)

John Carpenter. Village of the Damned. 1995. Well, this isn’t a good movie, but it’s still got a kind of charm going. I’m not quite sure what that charm is, though. Carpenter isn’t an overtly distinctive director, but it’s obvious that he’s got… something… Even if it’s not really on display here much. This post … Continue reading ACW1995: Village of the Damned

ACW1994: In the Mouth of Madness

(December 9, 2017)

I might be slightly mad here, me. John Carpenter. In the Mouth of Madness. 1994. I have no idea whether this was a studio film or not. It has a mid-level budget (more than twice of any of Carpenter’s indie films), but it’s wild and wacky. It’s not really all that scary, but it keeps … Continue reading ACW1994: In the Mouth of Madness

ACW1993: Body Bags

(December 9, 2017)

John Carpenter. Body Bags. 1993. After the horrible (but high-budgeted) Memories of an Invisible Man, Carpenter retreated to TV (Showtime) and made this fun anthology horror show. He directed two of the bits himself (and acted as the “Crypt Keeper” like host for the show) and left the third for Tobe Hooper. This is the … Continue reading ACW1993: Body Bags

ACW1992: Memories of an Invisible Man

(December 9, 2017)

Oops. I seem to have the German bluray… But there’s an English soundtrack on there, too, so never mind. This looks like an incredibly 80s film. Yup. Even though it’s from 1992. Oh, well. He’s more 90s. John Carpenter. Memories of an Invisible Man. 1992. Oh, dead. Carpenter’s back making a studio film after two … Continue reading ACW1992: Memories of an Invisible Man

ACW1988: They Live

(December 8, 2017)

John Carpenter. They Live. 1988. It was a dystopia back when Carpenter made it, but it seems like a pretty romantic and optimistic future now. Anyway, there’s so much to like about this film. The unfathomably stupid protagonist and the wildly corny “pithy sayings” he comes up with; the drag-out professional wrestling match in that … Continue reading ACW1988: They Live

ACW1987: Prince of Darkness

(December 8, 2017)

John Carpenter. Prince of Darkness. 1987. After the unpleasant experience with releasing Big Trouble in Little China (the studio wanted Indiana Jones, which that film definitely wasn’t, so they made him recut the film a couple of times before spiking the release), Carpenter swore off studios. (Or perhaps it was the other way around, because … Continue reading ACW1987: Prince of Darkness

ACW1986: Big Trouble in Little China

(December 8, 2017)

John Carpenter. Big Trouble in Little China. 1986. I really thought I had seen this before, but absolutely nothing looks familiar. I do remember this film getting really bad reviews at the time, and I can see why. It’s a zany comedy/action film; a very popular genre in the 80s. But Carpenter seems to have … Continue reading ACW1986: Big Trouble in Little China

Quiz Time

(December 6, 2017)

Guess what this is! . . . If your guess was “smoked eel marzipan”, then you were correct. Mmm… marzipan… Those wacky Germans… A bit disappointing that it’s neither smoky nor fishy, though.

Tangled Lettering

(December 3, 2017)

I was reading Pride of the Decent Man by T. J. Kirsch, published by NBM. It’s OK, but I found myself sort of vaguely annoyed by the diary/letter parts. They look like this: And then I started really staring at the diary (and letter) snippets. And then it hit me: There’s really no other way … Continue reading Tangled Lettering

4AD Bootleg Tapes

(December 3, 2017)

During the 90s, I was involved with a lot of tape swapping related to the British record company 4AD. These tapes have since languished in a box in the basement, but this autumn I went on a I Must Tidy Things! jag and carried the box up to the apt. and digitised all the tapes. … Continue reading 4AD Bootleg Tapes

ACW1984: Starman

(December 2, 2017)

What a pretty baby! What is friend? What happened! They’re both in focus at the same time!!! And now the backgrounds are in focus at the same time as the people!? WHAAA. Is this even a Carpenter movie!? John Carpenter. Starman. 1984. By this time in his career, Carpenter had abandoned everybody from his stable … Continue reading ACW1984: Starman

ACW1983: Christine

(December 2, 2017)

Uh-oh. Nasty boys. You can tell that he’s evil by his leather vest. John Carpenter. Christine. 1983. The only thing I remember about this film is 1) I thought it was a bit meh, and 2) I had several friends that thought this was the greatest film ever. Or something. I’m excited to determine who … Continue reading ACW1983: Christine

ACW1982: The Thing

(December 2, 2017)

John Carpenter. The Thing. 1982. Carpenter’s first major studio movie. It’s very different from all his preceding films: Instead of a cheery amateurishness, we’re into Standard 80s Sci-Fi territory. “Competent” US actors that emote in the normal American mainstream film way, and a “professional” film score that tells us how to feel at any given … Continue reading ACW1982: The Thing

ACW1981: Escape from New York

(December 1, 2017)

That’s pretty much how cell phones looked in 1997. John Carpenter. Escape from New York. 1981. It’s fun watching these Carpenter films chronologically. You see how Carpenter’s cast of regulars develop. Adrienne Barbeau (who first popped up in that TV horror film) reappears, and the star is, of course, Elvis. This is another one of … Continue reading ACW1981: Escape from New York

ACW1980: The Fog

(December 1, 2017)

That looks so much like a real house and where you would park your car! John Carpenter. The Fog. 1980. The explanation for the multiple beers (or “beers”): I’ve been having this weird problem the last few weeks with some ripped Blurays. Most of them play just fine, but a handful have sound that’s 10% … Continue reading ACW1980: The Fog

Of Interest to 4AD Fans of Olden Times

(November 28, 2017)

Back in the late 80s/early 90s, I was a huge 4AD fan and did many fannish things, like running VHS tape chains of 4AD-related video clips and the like. It’s a bit difficult to remember at this remove just what was so important about watching video clips and interviews with these bands now, but this … Continue reading Of Interest to 4AD Fans of Olden Times

ACW1979: Elvis

(November 26, 2017)

Apparently Fritz the Cat was huge in Tupelo in the 40s. Elvis. 1979. I didn’t know what to expect. John Carpenter doing a TV documentary about Elvis? Presley? Starring Kurt Russell!? But John Carpenter is no David Cronenberg. I had somehow gotten them slightly confused in my brain: They’re both people starting in the 70s … Continue reading ACW1979: Elvis

ACW1978: Someone’s Watching Me!

(November 26, 2017)

Someone’s Watching Me!. 1978. This film was made before Halloween, but released after it, apparently. I thought it kinda strange that Carpenter would go from a smash hit like Halloween to making films for TV (it was shown on NBC), but that chronology makes more sense. The version I watched is in 16:9, which is … Continue reading ACW1978: Someone’s Watching Me!

ACW1978: Halloween

(November 25, 2017)

Halloween. 1978. As with most of these films, I’ve only seen them on VHS before. Man, the blu-ray transfers look fine. (And all of John Carpenter’s films seem to be available on blu-ray, which is pretty impressive (commercially) for a director.) The movie may have had a small budget, but Carpenter didn’t skimp on the … Continue reading ACW1978: Halloween

ACW1976: Assault on Precinct 13

(November 24, 2017)

Assault on Precinct 13. 1976. John Carpenter’s music is a definite draw. It’s kinda raw and has a vitality to it. Anyway, I thought I had seen this before, but I think I must have been confusing this film with The Warriors or Fort Apache, The Bronx or something. Some of the scenes are very … Continue reading ACW1976: Assault on Precinct 13

Let It Snow

(November 24, 2017)

I wanted to make the Carpenter series of posts look ridiculously romantic, so I got the swashiest font I could find.  But it’s not enough: I wanted to make it snow, too. Now, this blog is on WordPress.com, which adds limitations to what is easy or even possible to do.  I wanted a CSS-only snowing … Continue reading Let It Snow

ACW1974: Dark Star

(November 24, 2017)

Dark Star. 1974. Hey! It’s movie time again! I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this before, but it’s a long long time ago. The context now is very different, because it seems like every other line in the film is familiar from samples in music. I think Meat Beat Manifesto has most of the dialogue on … Continue reading ACW1974: Dark Star

A Carpenter Winter

(November 24, 2017)

I had planned on re-watching all of Ingmar Bergman’s films starting about right now (we all need cheering up when winter arrives, right?), but the Bergman box set has had its release pushed back two week, so I’m here without any Bergman movies to watch. So I got all of John Carpenter’s films instead, because … Continue reading A Carpenter Winter

My New Concert Blog

(November 22, 2017)

Le Guess Who

(November 21, 2017)

I went to Le Guess Who in Utrecht, and it was very good. Here’s a festival report. The festival is spread out all over Utrecht, like here in front of a church where Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares performed. (The doors closed mysteriously before the huddled throng and nobody let us know what was happening, … Continue reading Le Guess Who

New Music

(November 20, 2017)

Music I’ve bought this month. (Well, mostly recorded from old tapes.)


(November 15, 2017)

Space Age

(November 10, 2017)

If only there were some kind of wild space age technology that would allow you to update a schedule on a web page instead of having an annoying permanent overlay notifying you that the schedule may be out of date. But that’s science fiction.

Black Metal

(November 9, 2017)


(November 8, 2017)


(November 7, 2017)

Fonts, Swashes, Linux, Problems

(November 1, 2017)

I recently bought a font called Jolie Romantique (for a future, er, project), and it worked without any problems: I plopped the .ttf file into ~/.fonts, created an SVG file with some text in it, ran it through ImageMagick “convert” and got this: Of special interest here is that end-of-word swash.  (That’s apparently the technical … Continue reading Fonts, Swashes, Linux, Problems

Neil the Horse and the Big Banana

(October 30, 2017)

While tidying the basement, I found these tapes: It’s an old radio show featuring Neil the Horse, originally broadcast on Canadian radio around 1982. So I was like 14 at the time, and I was a major fan of the Neil the Horse comic book series by Arn Saba. I think there was an ad … Continue reading Neil the Horse and the Big Banana

VHS, Linux, Problems

(October 29, 2017)

I’ve been trying to tidy up the storage locker in the loft this autumn, getting rid of old junk (so that I can put more, slightly newer junk up there). I happened unto this box: A nice stack of VHS tapes. If I remember correctly, the reason I kept these was that during the 80s … Continue reading VHS, Linux, Problems

Possibly the Greatest Underground Comix Ever

(October 24, 2017)

I’ve been somewhat disillusioned by underground comix lately, but when my ebay search alert for “mark beyer” dinged the other week, I bought this: Lemme Outa Here! is published by Print Mint, and you don’t get more underground than that. I knew nothing else about this when I bought it (other than it having a … Continue reading Possibly the Greatest Underground Comix Ever

World of Films and Cocktails Redux

(October 21, 2017)

It’s over! I was dared to do a “one film from every country” blog series, and I upped that by adding “yeah, sure, and I’ll do a cocktail from every country, too”.  Because I’m stupid. The cocktail bit turned out to be more of a problem than the film bit. Even though it’s a silly … Continue reading World of Films and Cocktails Redux

WFC Swaziland: Fool in a Bubble

(October 20, 2017)

*gasp* This is the last film in this blog series, and it’s from Swaziland, apparently. But mostly South Africa? Durban’s in South Africa, isn’t it? Anyway, it’s a documentary about a musician called Syd Kitchen, and the premise is apparently that if only it hadn’t been for the anti-apartheid boycott, he’d like be world famous. … Continue reading WFC Swaziland: Fool in a Bubble

meme x giffy

(October 15, 2017)

The other week I was tinkering with editing GIF animations in Emacs, and then I started wondering: Can this be any more ridiculous? Yes. So it’s a mashup of the Emacs meme mode and the new GIF animation code.  I spent most of the time on this wondering whether I could somehow make one or … Continue reading meme x giffy

WFC Togo: Ashakara

(October 13, 2017)

It’s a pretty grainy transfer, but it kinda suits the film, because it’s kinda odd. It’s about an African scientist discovering the cure for a mysterious disease (AIDS isn’t mentioned) in a jungle plant, and people trying to exploit this cure. Which involves a satellite uplink that’s being run by an AI? For some reason? … Continue reading WFC Togo: Ashakara

New Music

(October 11, 2017)

Music I’ve bought or found this month. I’ve been rooting through boxes and boxes of old stuff.  A seemingly unlimited supply of things to throw away.  But one box was full of old tapes, a fair number of which are bootlegs and mixtapes of rarities I got in the mail in the 90s.  I couldn’t … Continue reading New Music

My New Concert Blog

(October 11, 2017)

Of course you should be able to make animated GIFs in Emacs

(October 8, 2017)

I was wondering what a convenient production process for GIFs from movies would be like, so I hacked my hacked version of mplayer a bit more.  Nothing major, since it already has all the functionality, but it doesn’t group continuous screenshots by name, which makes picking out the animations afterwards awkward. There’s probably a gazillion … Continue reading Of course you should be able to make animated GIFs in Emacs

WFC Luxembourg: Elles

(October 6, 2017)

This isn’t a very Luxembourgian (that a word) film. It’s a Belgian/French/Luxembourgassian/Portuguese/Spanish/Swiss coproduction, but it was stil lthe Luxembourg submission for the Oscars that year. That it’s a European copro-duction is usually not a good sign: You often get a neutered lowest common demoninator sausage from that factory, but I kinda had hopes for this … Continue reading WFC Luxembourg: Elles

An Image from a Superhero Comic Presented Without Comment

(October 3, 2017)

The Next Standard in Pink Slips

(October 1, 2017)

From Paywall by Joseph P. Kelly on Landfill Editions. Read the review. Buy.

Surprise Twin Peaks Crossover

(October 1, 2017)

Did anybody wonder how Phillip Jeffries in Twin Peaks s3 ended up as a tea kettle? |(From Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson and Bill Walsh, 1952.)

Perhaps I Should Have Done Some Weeding This Summer

(September 25, 2017)

War, Comics, Commerce

(September 25, 2017)

“Literary” comics are sometimes more faddy than “genre” comics. Whenever there’s a comic that breaks through to the general public and becomes a hit, it seems like all the major publishers call all available agents and put in an order of whatever genre somebody else had a hit with. After Fun Home (by Alison Bechdel) … Continue reading War, Comics, Commerce

WFC Samoa: O le tulafale

(September 23, 2017)

I thought I had only physical films left, but here’s another Amazon video find. The other three remaining films are still stuck in the mail somewhere. Bordelinx seems to have possibly lost a bunch of my packages, and aren’t responsing to any queries. *sigh* I must admit that I found this film rather befuddling. There’s … Continue reading WFC Samoa: O le tulafale

WFC Greenland: Inuk

(September 22, 2017)

Gah! This DVD only has German subtitles. Two of them! Some of the dialogue is in Danish, though, and I can kinda sorta almost read German, so I decided to go for it anyway. I’m shocked at how much German I’m able to parse. Movies from Greenland have a tendency to focus on the more … Continue reading WFC Greenland: Inuk

WFC Andorra: Devil Kiss

(September 22, 2017)

There are apparently several films that are from Andorra (and not Spanish films with an Andorran co-production credit), but this is not one of them. Because they’re impossible to find. This is one of those 70s Spanish horror/sex films, probably made for the