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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2009-03-19 - 2:33 p.m.

Do you like your '70s Swedish music with African influences? Yes, me too. That's why I endorse Kebnekajse

I am so glad that Lady Sovereign no longer appears to be a flash in the pan. I like the tracks I've heard from her new album, and she seems like a cool person.

OK, a week ago I was about to launch into my reaction to Watchmen, and it's telling that neither my enthusiasm or criticisms of the film seem very urgent anymore. I guess the movie did not stick to my ribs...

I hadn't read the graphic novel--I'd only just seen a few single issues of the comic when I worked here--so I didn't go in with too many pre-cooked attachments to character or plot.

I thought the casting and performances were mostly great--and I love movies with real-life people (Nixon! Bowie!) interspersed with fictional characters, especially when they are portrayed cartoonishly as they are here.

The look of the movie is the main draw--gorgeous colors, costumes, special effects, big dangly blue radioactive dinguses, etc.

And I was impressed that a 2.75 hour film could hold my attention so well.

Not so cool was the soundtrack--every time they cranked a Bob Dylan song to signal The Sixties, or used the music to make some other ridiculously direct commentary on the action, I was taken right outta the moment.

I was also a little disappointed that the director didn't seem committed to creating a mid-'80s musical soundscape. (The story, aside from flashbacks, is set in '85 NYC)

I'm not suggesting synth-pop for every scene, but there was a lot going on in punk and hip-hop at the time and the film didn't evoke any of that....

I guess my overall criticism of it--and this reaches past the movie and gets at what I always found indigestible about the comic world in general--is the heavy-handedness of it all--as if the writers aren't capable of conjuring real emotions, so they lay on the noir to create a sort of dark bubble of blurry angst that substitutes for the more subtle, everyday angst of the average person.

I love that graphic novels tend to be intelligent and imaginative, but they also seem to have held on to the overly-serious vibe of their predecessors.

Then again, my favorite comics were always Neil the Horse, Reid Fleming, and Flaming Carrot, so that's where my head's at, 'mic-wise.

But one more thing!

About two years ago, I made mention of Art Garfunkel's online reading list. I just checked in and it looks like he stopped making note of his reading. Should we be worried??

thoughts? (3 comments so far)

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