SVS: “Avatar: The Last Airbender”

I wasn't quite sure what I was going to recommend today. (The weeks feel like they're coming two-at-a-time of late, and I'm sort-of-tired. So, yeah. I'm a bit behind. At least emotionally, if not actually.)And then I saw this Crux article on "Avatar: The Last Airbender" from Friend-O-The-Blog Steven Greydanus: "Bending the air: Defying gravity in ‘Avatar,’ ‘Star Wars,’ Miyazaki, and more."There is a sense in which “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is for my children in part what “Star Wars” wa … [Read More...]


Shedding A Little More Light On Mr. Rube Goldberg

Remember my post from a few weeks ago where I professed my great love for All Things Goldberg? And shared a fun little Red Bull-Zach King contraption as proof?Well, this latest machine (via ThisIsColossal) might be my favorite one yet. Once again (like the King-Bull video), this one's an ad. For a high speed optical internet provider from Japan called auひかり(au HIKARI). And once again, I don't even care, because it's amazing. (The silence is an unusual and particularly nice touch. Makes it eve … [Read More...]


Parked By the Jukebox with The Pennywhistlers and “Run Come See”

What am I listening to today, you ask? "Run, Come See Jerusalem," an old Bahamian Song by (maybe?) Blind Blake Higgs, about the Great Hurricane of 1929 and the sinking of a ship named The Pretoria (if I understand the lyrics/what's going on).This one's from The Pennywhistlers, which (if Wikipedia can be trusted) were "an American singing group founded by folklorist and singer Ethel Raim and popular during the 1960s folk music revival, specializing in Eastern European choral music, sung pr … [Read More...]


SSF: “Floating In My Mind”

Another film about getting old and struggling to hold your memories close before finally realizing that passing them along to the next generation is the only way to truly keep them. (I'm not sure why I'm always drawn to these kinds of things, but I am. And the style here is very nice. Plus, I really like the symbolism of the balloons.)A film about our life, the people we meet, the memories we make ...Attribution(s): All artwork, publicity images, and stills are the property of Hélène L … [Read More...]


SVS: “Iris”

Today's film is perhaps best thumbnail-sketched as "The Legendary, Dearly -Departed Documentarian, Albert Maysles, Makes A Masterful Documentary About Edna Mode." It's a little bit of an over-simplification, because 94-year-old fashion icon Iris Apfel isn't quite as aggressively sarcastic (or as short) as Edna. But the glasses are spot-on.Yes, I'm talking about Iris, currently streaming on NETFLIX INSTANT and rentable from AMAZON INSTANT($).Albert Maysles focuses on a fashion legend, who … [Read More...]


Looking For A Mid-Week Pick-Me-Up? Here’s Bobby McFerrin Singing Bach.

Robert Keith McFerrin, Jr. + The opening movement of Bach's Concerto for Violin, String Orchestra and Continuo in A minor (BWV 1041) = Straight-Up, Toe-Tappin' Gloriousness. And I defy anyone to make that equation equal anything else.I realize that joy is not an emotion typically associated with a minor key, but Bach's keys seem like little more than a jumping-off point. And besides, McFerrin's voice always sounds lilting; so alive. So happy (regardless of key).Attribution(s):"Bobby … [Read More...]


SVS: “Mostly Martha”

Hey, look! Another film about cooking and chefs and saving one's relationships with one's children through cooking and chefs! Because last month's Chef recommendation was just the tip of the "Damaged Family Saved Through The Creation And Consumption Of Fine Cuisine" genre iceberg.OK, I made that last part up. It's pro'lly not really a genre, though the NY Times' review does call it "the latest addition -- and a quite adorable one -- to the cooking melo-comedy subgenre." Still, the fact that t … [Read More...]

MZS-Moonrise Teaser

A Quick (And Invaluable) Follow-Up To Last Week’s Streaming Suggestion, “Moonrise Kingdom”

This past Friday, I recommended Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom as the latest offering in my weekly "Streaming Video Suggestion" series. And within days, the InterWebs were positively ALIVE! with all manner of quirkily-hipsterish Moonrise Kingdom-themed pieces and paraphernalia.Truly, I do not know my own power.OK, fine. The fun flurry of MK material was mostly(entirely) the result of the Criterion Collection's much-anticipated DVD release on Tuesday. But a guy can dream, right? … [Read More...]


Rube Goldberg Meets Red Bull

Yes, you're right. This is nothing but an ad for Red Bull. (Well, nothing but an ad for Red Bull AND Zach King.)Yes, you're also right. I don't care. It's awesome regardless. (And yes, right again. Rube Goldberg machines have long been an obsession of mine. An obsession of which I am actually proud, for a change.)Attribution(s): All images and stills are the property of Red Bull and/or Zach King. … [Read More...]


A Superabundant Splash of Scarlatti Sonatas. Domenico Scarlatti, That Is.

Inspired by last year's ("evergreen," luckily) "A Surge Of Scarlatti Sonatas" piece from NPR Music's "Deceptive Cadence" blog, I've been immersing myself in the melodious seas of Domenico "Not Alessandro" Scarlatti over the past few days. It's been fun, especially as "Listen-While-You-Work" music, where a solo instrument tends to be my melodic weapon of choice. (The only thing I don't like about the piece? The fact that it's not entitled "A Surge Of Scarlatti Sonati." Or even "Surge of Scarlatti … [Read More...]