Monday, January 29, 2007

What Would Jesus Think?

A few months back, Elias and I took our moms to see the Academy Award nominated Jesus Camp.

I was the only one to complain that the film was too critical or lacked appreciation for the spirituality the kids had. I think that the kids who seem like freaks for God will surely mellow out and might even end up like me or Anna Eng. Many will become social deviants I'm sure. (.... unlike me or Anna Eng you can be sure.) I'm not as afraid of the Christian soldiers as the film would have me be.

I thought the film pressed for an analysis that these Jesus camp kids are a new phenomenon and are likely to become suicide bombing fanatics if we don't get a handle on things. Me, I think we live in a super-secular age, and there are fewer Christian kids now than there were when I was coming up. Way fewer than in our moms' childhoods. However, it is easier than ever to make a documentary film thanks to video and the internet, and instant images make matters more urgent than the situation calls for.

Elias and the moms thought I was off the mark.

Here's a great play-by-play if you're into that sort of thing. The writer thinks the film makers were too gracious and sympathetic.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

To avoid failure and humiliation, I refrained from making New Year's Resolutions.

Had I made some resolutions, I would have been sure to promise more reading (of books) and more engagement with the arts (aside from those presented on television). If I don't want to end up like those people in Idiocracy, I really need to make some changes in my life and leisure activities. Actually, I sort of made pretend and private promises to do a lot of things. So far so good. I read one whole book this month, even though it was a quick read. Also, Elias and I have plans to see Darcy sing in a show this weekend. That should be enough high browness for January, right?

Oscar Nominations Announced Today

I shouldn't care, but I do. Also, I can't believe Xui or Rafael haven't posted the list. Here are most of the categories and nominations:

"The Departed"
"The Queen"
"Letters From Iwo Jima"
"Little Miss Sunshine"

Adriana Barraza, "Babel"
Cate Blanchett, "Notes on a Scandal"
Abigail Breslin, "Little Miss Sunshine"
Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls"
Rinko Kikuchi, "Babel"

Alan Arkin, "Little Miss Sunshine"
Eddie Murphy, "Dreamgirls"
Mark Wahlberg, "The Departed"
Djimon Hounsou, "Blood Diamond"
Jackie Earle Haley, "Little Children"

Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada"
Helen Mirren, "The Queen "
Penelope Cruz, "Volver"
Kate Winslet, "Little Children"
Judi Dench, "Notes on a Scandal"

Leonardo DiCaprio, "Blood Diamond"
Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland"
Will Smith, "The Pursuit of Happyness"
Peter O'Toole, "Venus"
Ryan Gosling, "Half Nelson"

Clint Eastwood, "Letters From Iwo Jima"
Paul Greengrass, "United 93"
Martin Scorsese, "The Departed"
Stephen Frears, "The Queen"
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, "Babel"

Guillermo Arriaga, "Babel"
Michael Arndt, "Little Miss Sunshine"
Iris Yamashita & Paul Haggis, "Letters From Iwo Jima"
Guillermo del Toro, "Pan's Labyrinth"
Peter Morgan, "The Queen"

Patrick Marber , "Notes on a Scandal"
William Monahan, "The Departed"
Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham & Dan Mazer Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Peter Baynham & Anthony Hines & Todd Phillips, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan"
Todd Field & Tom Perrotta, "Little Children"
Alfonso Cuarón & Timothy J. Sexton and David Arata and Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby, "Children of Men"

"After the Wedding" (Denmark)
"Days of Glory (Indigènes)" (Algeria)
"Lives of Others" (Germany)
"Pan's Labyrinth" (Mexico)
"Water" (Canada)

"Happy Feet"
"Monster House"

"Dreamgirls," Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
"The Good Shepherd," Art Direction: Jeannine Oppewall; Set Decoration: Gretchen Rau and Leslie E. Rollins
"Pan's Labyrinth," Art Direction: Eugenio Caballero; Set Decoration: Pilar Revuelta
"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," Art Direction: Rick Heinrichs; Set Decoration: Cheryl A. Carasik
"The Prestige," Art Direction: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Julie Ochipinti

"The Black Dahlia," Vilmos Zsigmond
"Children of Men," Emmanuel Lubezki
"The Illusionist," Dick Pope
"Pan's Labyrinth," Guillermo Navarro
"The Prestige," Wally Pfister

"Curse of the Golden Flower," Yee Chung Man
"The Devil Wears Prada," Patricia Field
"Dreamgirls," Sharen Davis
"Marie Antoinette," Milena Canonero
"The Queen," Consolata Boyle

"Deliver Us from Evil," Amy Berg and Frank Donner
"An Inconvenient Truth," Davis Guggenheim
"Iraq in Fragments," James Longley and John Sinno
"Jesus Camp," Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
"My Country, My Country," Laura Poitras and Jocelyn Glatzer

"The Blood of Yingzhou District," Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon
"Recycled Life," Leslie Iwerks and Mike Glad
"Rehearsing a Dream," Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
"Two Hands," Nathaniel Kahn and Susan Rose Behr

"Babel," Stephen Mirrione and Douglas Crise
"Blood Diamond," Steven Rosenblum
"Children of Men," Alex Rodríguez and Alfonso Cuarón
"The Departed," Thelma Schoonmaker
"United 93," Clare Douglas, Christopher Rouse and Richard Pearson

"Apocalypto," Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
"Click," Kazuhiro Tsuji and Bill Corso
"Pan's Labyrinth," David Marti and Montse Ribe

"Babel," Gustavo Santaolalla
"The Good German," Thomas Newman
"Notes on a Scandal," Philip Glass
"Pan's Labyrinth," Javier Navarrete
"The Queen," Alexandre Desplat

"I Need to Wake Up" from "An Inconvenient Truth," Music and lyric by Melissa Etheridge
"Listen" from "Dreamgirls," Music by Henry Krieger and Scott Cutler; lyric by Anne Preven
"Love You I Do" from "Dreamgirls," Music by Henry Krieger; lyric by Siedah Garrett
"Our Town" from "Cars," Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
"Patience" from "Dreamgirls," Music by Henry Krieger; lyric by Willie Reale

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Happy Birthday To York

York, my dear friend and brother in arms, is another year older today. If you live in the Los Angeles area, go see his upcoming show.

Back At It

BSG is back tonight, and it better not suck. You may recall my worries from last year.

Tonight's episode is the cliffhanger conclusion from an episode that aired in early December. I can't exactly recap since it's been so long, but as I recall Starbuck is a two-timer, and she's waiting for Apollo to save her. The cylons are scheming to get something good from the temple and nuke the human race.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Award Shows

Last night, we watched the Golden Globes. For my thoughts (as a long rambling comment), see Xui's post.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Food Shows

Check out this blogger's post for a list of best and worst tv food shows. I agree with some opinions and disagree with others.

For example, I agree that Sandra Lee is evil, and I believe her Kwanzaa cake is a hate crime. (Thanks for alerting me, Sacha.) I would prefer to fast or go on a hunger strike than to eat anything that crazy lady makes. Unlike the foodie nyc blogger, I think Paula Dean is awesome! I don't want to recreate too many of her dishes, as they are heavy on the mayonnaise and butter, but I love to watch. I also enjoy the Nigella Lawson show on the Food Network. She's so cute, and she makes stuff I want to eat.

I am in total agreement about Top Chef, a show in which chefs compete in cooking challenges, working with quick dishes, big dinner parties, strange themes, etc. It's the best cooking show on tv right now. I have a hard time watching the last 10 minutes because each show ends with an elimination. Also, the contestants tattle on each other, and it stresses me out a little. Still, it's really good. I only wish I knew when it was on; it seems like the time varies and there are always reruns and marathons.

I'm a latecomer to Anthony Bordain -- No Reservations. It's a cooking/travel show, and even though Bordain is kind an arrogant, macho man, there's some really interesting food and geography to lean about.

PBS has a couple of food shows I enjoy, but I only see them a once in a while. I'm thinking of old Julia Child and more current Daisy Martinez shows. And, of course I always enjoy Martha Stewart on tv, but I prefer the old shows to the newer talk show format with its publicity pushing segments with celebrities.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

In Case You're Wondering

Just like all my heterosexual friends (and non-hets living in Massachusettes or SF a few years ago), Mosca's getting married. She's even got a lovely sapphire engagement ring to prove it and a proposal story to wow her grandkids. Ro/Mo -- good for you and Steve and the girls. I almost cried when I read your email about how he asked. Seriously. Please invite us to the wedding.

As for me, here's my story. Elias and I would love to marry, but Elias is kind of like Brad Pitt when it comes to marriage and justice. When everyone who wants to get married can, so will he. Elias is going to wait until gays and lesbians can marry for real. After that, they're sure to ease up even further and let people marry their pets. Then he can marry Pac'a. After that, they'll allow polygamy and I can be wife # 2. Until then, we're living as domestic partners.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Recovering From New Year's Eve

Here's a photo of Elias and me on our last night in the Northwest. We were celebrating Special Mom's birthday.

We returned to the bay area on the afternoon of the 31st and immediately began celebrating the end of 2006. We were joined by Johnya (Brother John and wife, Tonya) and their kids. Anna Eng and Toome came over too.

By 8:30 p.m., I was exhausted from the dance performance my niece choreographed. I don't know if she knows who Madonna is, but she is very familiar with moves that remind me of "Like a Virgin." Elias tells me that it's not unusual for kids to dance like that, but I'm not convinced that it's appropriate. I didn't try moves like that until I was of drinking age.

I insisted that we work with other images which allowed me to call upon my one year of Butoh dancing at Evergreen. Instead of sexy six year old, we used images like waterfall, lake, funky old man, super sassy angry monster, and earthquake to arrange our piece.

Don't we look appropriate for any age?