["The Kanye video is primarily a homage to a sequence where Tetsuo is subjected to a series of tests by the government, then locked in a hospital, and busts out, destroying an entire line of armed guards...It all works conceptually, invoking Akira...The character of Tetsuo is apt because it suggests Kanye's mix of blind, righteous indignation and unblinking self-awareness. Tetsuo is the antagonist of Akira, slowly overtaken by his powers and the hubris newfound power entails, but he is also undeniably the main attraction, in part, because of his out-of-control-ness; he's the most complex and engaging character. I think Kanye understands these kinds of contradictions in himself."]
2. "Know Thyself." At Exploding Kinetoscope, Chris Stangl compares the blockbuster Scream and the indie horror film There's Nothing Out There, which some say is Wes Craven's unacknowledged inspiration.
["'Horror,' Stephen King used to be fond of telling interviewers, 'Is as conservative as a three-piece suit.'"]
["Life or age or something has mellowed Mr. Willis. He no longer enters a movie like God's gift, as he did almost two decades ago in the first Die Hard, lips pursed as if he alone were in on the joke—which, given the fat salary he was earning, perhaps he was. In Live Free or Die Hard he enters swinging, fist smashing through hard glass and sinking into soft flesh. He's making a point and so is the movie, namely that McClane (and Mr. Willis) is ready to earn our love again by performing the same lovably violent, meathead tricks as before. And look, he's not laughing, not exactly, even if the film ends up a goof."]
["How about the camerawork in this shot from 'The Boho Dance' (from 'The Hissing of Summer Lawns'):
A camera pans the cocktail hour Behind a blind of potted palms And finds a lady in a Paris dress With runs in her nylons
I see this as a horizontal dolly shot more than a 'pan.' And not too much zeroing in on the legs. Maybe a tilt down as the lady drops an hors d'oeuvre, just so you have a chance to notice. Or maybe somebody seated in the foreground spots the flawed stockings from across the room and there's a bit of rack focus to the lady's gams. Maybe we just see her in a full shot, with her back to us, standing in a cluster of other people who can't see the runs that are turned toward the camera. Or, if she's seated, perhaps she crosses or uncrosses her stems briefly, allowing us a glimpse of the telltale hosiery. There are lots of ways to shoot it, but Mitchell tells you what the shot needs to convey so you can come up with the specific compositions yourself."]
[" Though it's unclear whether the forthcoming contract expirations of the entertainment industry's writers, actors and directors will lead to a work stoppage over the next year, Hollywood is nonetheless frantically hedging its bets. Producers, executives, agents and filmmakers are aware that even a hard-working star can most likely squeeze in no more than two movies before June 30 of next year, when the last of the deals end. After that date no studio wants to be caught with filming on its schedule, especially under expensive "pay or play" deals. (Such arrangements require companies to pay actors or others even if the movie isn't made.) And that has turned moviedom's midsummer months into an unusually tense season."]
Clip of the Day: "That that that that that don't kill me/Can only make me stronger."
_____________________________________________________ "Links for the Day": Each morning, the House editors post a series of weblinks that we think will spark discussion. Comments encouraged.