john grimonprez on hijackings

Ah, the good old days — when people who hijacked planes were romantic heroes fighting the evils of colonialism! John Grimonprez’ “DIAL H-I-S-T-O-R-Y” is a documentary of the revolutionary impulse and how television covered it in the ’60s and ’70s. Check out the trailer — the last segment is priceless.
From the same company: I’ve been meaning for years to track down a copy of The Rainbow Man/John 3:16, the doc about Rollen Stewart, the guy who used to wear a rainbow wig and hold up those “John 3:16” signs at football games in the ’80s. He didn’t turn out well. Trailer here.
Actually, if you’ve got the bandwidth, check out all the DVDs from Other Cinema. They’re great — I love this one.

oc rape mistrial

Remember that Orange County gang rape trial I’ve been writing about? (Here, here, and here.) The one where the defense attorney seemed to be relying on the most gruesome tactics imaginable, claiming an unconscious (possibly drugged) 16-year-old girl was such a big slut that she basically deserved to be raped by three asshole boys?
Well, the sickening defense efforts appear to have worked. The jury has deadlocked and the judge has declared a mistrial. According a juror, the panel was leaning towards not guilty. All this despite the boys’ videotaping themselves in the act. Amazing.
If you want to know what sort of Boy Scouts we’re talking about here, check out this video of the rapists. (Oops, make that “alleged” rapists. Old journalism habits die hard.) I guess that’s the way they do it in the O.C.

six-year-old decemberists fan

I haven’t the slightest idea who Thad Povey is, but he’s a cool dad. He:
(a) turned his six-year-old daughter Isabel on to the Decemberists;
(b) took her to their show in San Francisco last night; and
(c) made a music video, starring Isabel, for the carnival-themed Part IV of The Tain, their recent Celtic epic.
Someday, I’m going to turn my kids into little indie rockers, too.
Update: Actually, a quick Googling lets you know that Thad Povey is an experimental filmmaker. Among his techniques: Finding random snippets of film and handpainting or otherwise doctoring each frame individually. Here’s an example. Here’s an interview.

music page

Have you been keeping yourself up nights wondering: “I wish I knew what music Josh has been listening to recently”? Caught yourself thinking: “Man, I love that, but I just wish Josh could make it a bit more self-involved”? Is a window into my recent musical forays the only thing standing between you and true self-actualization?
I present to you this page, which reports the last 20 songs I’ve listened to on iTunes. Since I typically keep iTunes on random, it should be a pretty good sampling of my collection. The page is courtesy of iTunes Watcher, an app by Michael Simmons. If all goes well, I may soon be able to flow all that song info onto this page.
Speaking of my MP3 collection, it’s approaching the 19,000-song mark. I’ve been ripping old CDs like mad these last few days, and I should hit 20,000 shortly. I’ve finally reached the “M”s in my collection, working backward — halfway home!
Speaking of shortly, a redesign — the first in this site’s nearly-three-year history — should be popping up on your screens in the very near future.

dana stevens interview

Kelly points out this interview at Gothamist with “Liz Penn,” a.k.a. Dana Stevens.
Liz/Dana is the proprietor of The High Sign, this site’s preferred independent movie-crit site. She was also the subject of a massive two-part investigation (here and here) by yours truly into her real name. She finally explains the name switcheroo in the Gothamist piece, even advancing an argument that makes a degree of sense. (She confirms this site’s findings that she’s a Dana in “Liz” clothing, not the other way around.)
Anyway, that winning Liz personality shines through in the interview. She reveals herself as a shy, cheap, geeky homebody — in other words, my perfect match! Plus, we get more visual confirmation that she’s cute cute cute. Dana, call me!

mary kate and ashley

You know, with all the hubbub about the Olsen twins of late (their crappy movie, their turning 18), a few business pubs have written about the marketing challenge the twins face as they try to shift their fan base from 8-year-olds to adults. One of the biggest problems: Getting people to differentiate between them, since people have thought of them as a unified MaryKateandAshley unit for so long. Much was made of the fact that, in their movie, one of them was supposed to be the “wild,” irreponsible one and the other was supposed to be practical and collected. (Which was which? Hell if I know.)
So then it comes out that Mary Kate is anorexic and canceling some public events to seek treatment. And the first thing I think of is: I wonder if this is part of her people’s attempts to differentiate the two of them. Instead of MaryKateandAshley, people will now think of “Mary Kate, the anorexic one” and “Ashley, the…other one.”
And hell, maybe they’ve got some new identity baking for Ashley. “Ashley, the one who only dates Latino men.” “Ashley, the one with an interest in Moroccan food.” “Ashley, the one with psoriasis.”
The fact that my mind went immediately to such cynical thoughts means I am a very bad person.
In related news, bad person and Friend of Jane is selling these eminently tasteful t-shirts.

charlotte’s airport

An interesting piece on how the newest team in the NBA, the Charlotte Bobcats, selected their team name and built their brand.
The most disturbing part of the article comes when writer Darren Rovell discusses why focus groups liked one of the other naming options the team considered, the Charlotte Flight:
Another favorite on the list was the Charlotte Flight. When asked about the sources of local pride, interview participants often mentioned the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
So let me get this straight: One of the biggest sources of local pride in Charlotte is the airport? If you ask residents what’s so great about Charlotte, they actually respond: “We’ve got a nice airport — it makes it so easy to leave”?
How pathetic must a city be if the highlight of a trip there is picking up your bags at the luggage carousel?