November 29th, 2009


Blah Blah Blah

I received an early Xmas present while I was gone over the holidays--an Eigenharp. What's an Eigenharp? It's a high tech sort of melodica that you can drum and strum as well as play by blowing into it:

I got the Pico model, but after messing with it for a few days I want the Alpha model--it's not like the little one is crap. It's pretty amazing. You can record your own sound fonts. Make it sound like anything you can hear. Program beats, make arrangements, layer sounds, etc. There's a significant difference in price between the two models, and I'm not yet prepared to shell out 6K for the Alpha--but when my ship comes in. Anyway, it's incredibly easy to play. Makes a nice gift for a precocious young musician. Or, like me, an aging ex-musician.

Really hilarious take here on the fourth and soon to be filmed Twilight movie, in which, for one thing, the vampire guy does a Ceasarian on Bella with his teeth--I knew the books were bad, but wow!

I had hopes for The Lovely Bones, since Peter Jackson once made a very good movie that nailed the overheated confusion of the relationship between two teenage girls (Heavenly Creatures). But apparently Jackson's gone too far into his spectacle-making mode to do a good little film. I caught a screening yesterday morning and it plays like a mash-up of Vincent Ward's What Dreams May Come (Robin Williams in the Afterlife) and and a spooky thriller. As I recall the book was more about grief and loss.

I wasn't all that into the book, I admit, but this placed way too much stress on the Salmon girl's glitter and rainbows and roses view of the afterlife and left the horror of her rape and murder out. No body part is found to show that a murder has occurred, as in the novel, and the rape is not even hinted at visually. And it omits as well Mrs. Salmon's (Rachel Weiz) self-destructive affair with the detective investigating the murder and underplays Mark Wahlberg's (Mr. Salmon) agony. But we do get morphing trees by Magritte and tons of pretty colors and shapeshifting skies, tra la. It's not that it's terrible. The acting, particularly that of Saoirse Ronan as Susie, is good. It's just the emphasis is misplaced and it's weighted all wrong and the substance of the novel is lost.

I'm beginning to think there should be a No Awards box on the Oscar ballot.
  • lizhand

Rob Holdstock, 1948-2009

Many of you will have heard by now that Rob Holdstock died early today, of complications from an e. coli infection. Rob was a wonderful man, warm and exuberant and generous and funny, as well as a wonderful writer — author of numerous classic books, including Mythago Wood, one of the great fantasies of the 20th century. Heartfelt condolences to his partner Sarah and their family — he will be dearly missed by many, many people, friends and readers alike.