1.Why TV Is Better Than the Movies. Hey, is it February and/or March and therefore kind of a wasteland at the theaters? That means its time for Marshall Fine of Hollywood and Fine (who used to work for the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, S.D., which got me addicted to newspapers as a young-un, way back in the day) to re-ignite a debate that's been going on since at least the early '90s. Take your side in comments! I'll say, "Both!"
["A number of years ago, a colleague and I debated in print about the relative merits of TV vs. movies. At the time, I was a movie chauvinist and believed that anything TV did well, it did accidentally. But, after splitting my time during the last five years between reviewing movies and TV, I've undergone a conversion."]
["Jim Danforth - twice nominated for an Oscar - was the powerhouse matte painter and animator called in by Hammer Films when Ray Harryhausen was too busy with The Valley Of Gwangi (1969) to take part in the studio's sequel to One Million Years BC (1966). Though not as quick as Harryhausen, Danforth - pre-empting 'go-motion' - experimented with motion blur and got better results out of his flying pterodactyls than the master himself. However, that's not why this shot is in here. What's exceptional about the dinosaur's pursuit of Victoria Vetri is how optical wiz Les Bowie has really inserted him into the environment, whereas so much stop-motion animation of the 1960s was clearly divided between freeze-framed background/foreground plates and the animator's work. It's a challenging piece of matting, particularly on one of Hammer's notoriously penny-pinching budgets."]
3.Mike Leigh's Oscar diary. Last Oscar link, I swear, peaches. But Mike Leigh's inside commentary on the surreality of the process is one of the better I've read.
["What a strange, surreal experience it is. A tremendous honour to be nominated - but then you trek across the planet, you squeeze into your tux, you squeeze into a stretch limo, you squeeze through the security tent on to the jam-packed, chaotic red carpet, and then you sit through a very long show (which turns out this year to be far less tacky and schmaltzy than usual). At one, weird moment, some strange force suddenly convinces you that you're about to win, while you affect to look benign and generous for the camera that's suddenly in your face; then you don't win, and you spend the rest of the night trying to be grown-up and sporting. You even try to enjoy yourself."]
["Tamil Nadu has always been one crazy state as far as film watching is concerned. Tamil Nadu, along with Andhra Pradesh, contributes to a large fraction of the total film output of the country every year. But like in the rest of the world, cinema had immediately been reduced to a way of telling stories almost as soon as it arrived to the state. To assess the role of the director as the author of the movie, one has to travel as far as the 60s. This is because till the 60s cinema had always been a medium of either recording theatre or promoting political activism during the pre-independence period. Particularly, one has to come till the films of K. Balachander to measure the extent to which the director has dictated the film and how much it bears his personal stamp."]
5. It's time for HND to jump on the latest silly Internet meme, don't you think? Go to Wikipedia and click on random. That's the name of your band. Now, go to Quotations Page's Random Quotations feature. The last four or five words of the last quote on the page shall be your album title. Finally, go to Flickr's exploration of interesting photos from the last seven days. The third photo there is your album cover. You can make your album cover (as I did) or just post the album title and band name in comments with a link to the photo via TinyURL. Have fun. (h/t: The AV Club)
["Peleg Wadsworth's "It Always Has to End" combines the sound of psychadelic guitar playing with the hardcore glockenspiel of group leader/musical dynamo Todd VanDerWerff. Buoyed by lead-off single "The Trees, They Are Shouting at Me," Peleg Wadsworth looks poised to rocket to the top of the charts with their heavy-metal influenced hillbilly funk, inspired by such diverse groups as Husker Du and The Dixie Chicks."]
Quote of the Day:
"The reward of one duty is the power to fulfill another." —George Eliot
Image of the Day (click to enlarge): The Internet is truly a wondrous place when a site like this can take off. (I'd say the link is NSFW, but I'm pretty sure no one would have ANY IDEA what you were looking at.)
Clip of the Day: This music video for the band Chairlift will most likely hurt your brain.
"Links for the Day": A selection of Links that will hopefully spark discussion. Comments encouraged. Suggestions for links are also welcome. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.