October 10, 2013 |
Anyone who has visited the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City will recognize in "The Institute" a similar compendium of arbitrarily cherished objects, the transformation of everyday words into indecipherable jargon, and a heartfelt striving to reach humanity's full potential. In Spencer McCall's documentary, the key to unlocking that potential is an algorithm that will eradicate "human conflict, violence and heartbreak. " Easy-peasy. In 2008, McCall began editing "informative" videos for the Jejune Institute, a Scientology-like self-development program in San Francisco that promised "divine nonchalance," or very good luck.
January 18, 2013 |
Apparently, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. In response to a wave of civic activism or, in some cases, cynicism, the White House announced this week that it's upping the threshold required for petitioners to receive a response from the government. As Andrew Khouri reported Wednesday, no longer will petitions that reach 25,000 online signatures trigger a response from the government. It's now 100,000 in 30 days. Thanks a lot, all 50 states. Though White House Director of Digital Strategy Macon Phillips didn't say it in his blog outlining the new policy, the more-difficult-to-reach threshold looks to be a response to a number of petitions the White House has received since President Obama was elected.
October 18, 2012 |
"How cool would it be if we made a movie that looked like recovered footage from some kind of expedition gone wrong? Nobody's seen that before!" Only that sort of willful ignorance could have inspired "Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes. " There's simply no other explanation as to how filmmakers could seem so blissfully unaware of the entire cycle/glut of films that present themselves as "found footage. " "Bigfoot" wanders straight into every tired trope and trap of the conceit. By the time a character actually says, "No matter what happens, don't stop filming" the movie has long-since toppled over into some kind of mad self-parody, lost in its own hall of mirrors of awfulness.
March 27, 2012 |
Imagine a hulking, growling, 8-foot-tall woodland creature so elusive that professional trackers can't find it, scientists can only speculate about it and believers can't prove -- definitively -- that it exists. Hiding deep in the forest may be your modus operandi, Bigfoot, but Hollywood and Madison Avenue are pushing you -- however reluctantly -- into the spotlight. A slew of documentary, TV and film projects including Animal Planet's current hit "Finding Bigfoot," and a Sasquatch film trilogy from "Blair Witch Project" director Eduardo Sanchez are poised to get past the old grainy images of yesterday and give the hairy 800-pound biped a high-def close-up.
December 4, 2011
Abarat Absolute Midnight Clive Barker Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins, $24.99, ages 13 and up In the third installment of this lavish series, a teen girl is menaced by a powerful sorceress in a mystical fantasy world. The Annotated Peter Pan J.M. Barrie, edited with an introduction by Maria Tatar W.W. Norton, $39.95, all ages The tale of a forever youthful boy and his friends in a handsome edition edited by an authority on classic fairy tales.
June 26, 2011 |
Full disclosure: I am no Bigfoot junkie. In fact, before strapping my mom, my 3-year-old and myself in the car and traveling north on U.S. 101 to Arcata, Calif., then swinging east on California 299 to the blink-and-you'll-miss-it town of Willow Creek, I believed all things Sasquatch were laughable at best. I knew that lots of honest folks did believe that Bigfoot or Sasquatch or, as crypto-zoologists call him, Gigantopithecus , not only exists but also thrives in Klamath River country between the Humboldt County coast and the Shasta Cascade.