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April 16, 2008
I just read a pretty decent interview with Richard Linklater, conducted by Kevin John Bozelka, that was published in the latest issue of The Velvet Light Trap (it's a subscription journal - but Warwick library has a subscription for all students and staff if you're based in these parts). As always, Linklater is enlightening about the subject of getting movies made in the contemporary era (the interview is not about the aesthetics of film, but rather about the economics of filmmaking) - his work in several different paradigms of moviemaking (sequels, adaptations, remakes etc) mean that he is well-versed in many modes of procedure. There's also at least one quotation that will function as a wonderful epigraph for some part of my project.
Just wanted to quote him here on the subject of human nature, and the phenomenon of 'it was better in the old days'. Linklater is very well-read, and is eloquent on these type of issues. This plugs into something that I think about often, and gives me hope that not everybody is obsessively fixated on the negative.
You know that's the joke about Austin. I use a song in Slacker, the last song, the Ed Hall song, and the line in it was "things were so much better before you were here." Whenever you showed up in Austin, pick a year, whenever you got here, you just missed it. This club just closed and this just happened. It's all behind us. You run into someone who is a certain age and it's "it all died with the Armadillo [World Headquarters]." You run into certain people who say it all died when the Beach closed or when Liberty Lunch closed. Usually it's music venues. It takes a kind of gene we all share about being perpetually dissatisfied. But around 2000 I got to know the city government at the time because we were getting the Film Society to take over the old airport and make a studio out of a few hangars there. And I appreciated the government leadership. [Mayor] Kirk Watson was a good leader at that moment, so the ship didn't totally go in the wrong direction. There was a lot of smart urban planning and thought that went into it. It could be a lot worse, is what I'm saying, had there been no oversight. I think there was some good leadership at some crucial moments that kept us from going completely off the rails. But that's completely unappreciated. (Velvet Light Trap 61 (2008), pp. 55-56, my emphasis).
What a hero.
Ollie Johnston, who was one of the principal animators in Disney's classic era of feature pictures, died on Monday. I read a lot about him when I was writing about American animation for my MA, so this is sad to hear. Cartoon Brew have collected a brilliant amount of tributes and obituaries - do read some if you get the chance, as they are a glimpse into a fascinating period of filmmaking.
I couldn't sleep last night so I watched the first six innings or so of the Marlins. They won 4-0, with another really great performance by Scott Olsen (who has become the most reliable starting pitcher they have - the other contender to that throne, Mark Hendricksen, starts tonight). I just found this excellent article, 'Marlins look good, but attendance doesn't' by Greg Cote - which is worth a read if you want to get interested in baseball with me.
And if you haven't seen the new Bjork video yet, you really should because it's amazing.