Posts posted by Nevsky
This is a random request, but does anyone know any good books on film history? Specifically French New Wave, but I'd be down for anything, really. My only caveat is that I don't want anything that is too broad (e.g. a general history of Hollywood).
Popular or academic?
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls is the major crossover work of film history. It tells the story of the New Hollywood Generation as a sort of modern-day epic. It's a bit soapy, but a great read.
Also, randomly from my bookshelf - The Undeclared War by David (Lord) Puttnam. A history of the rivalry between Europe and USA for control over the cinematic medium, and how Hollywood won out.
Same here, which reminds me to recommend Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples! It is a new series that is described as Romeo & Juliet meets Star Wars meets Game of Thrones. I don't know if you really need to know any more than that, but frankly the author alone makes this worth trying anyway. I absolutely adored Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina, and so far Saga isn't disappointing either (though it's building fairly slowly).
Massive, resounding ditto on the Saga front. My favourite comic of the moment. Guess the first trade should be out pretty soon, too!
Edit: Is Persepolis worth picking up? I really like the look of it.
Yes! The film's also great, too.
Comics for new readers? Depends what angle they're coming from. The comics-journalism work of Guy DeLisle is accessible, yet engrossing, tackling massive political topics with a delicate touch. His new book, Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City, has just come out. I've just had a whale of a time reading through the most recent 30 issues of The Walking Dead, but it's a serial / soap opera at heart, so don't expect any resolution whatsoever, even after 100 issues - just pure, unrelenting misery. Well-written misery, though.
For literary, geeky types there's always the work of Adrian Tomine, who mostly works in shorter comic fiction, but his Shortcomings novel is as bitter, scathing and navel gazing as the best mid-80s Woody Allen films. For more fantasy-literary types, there's always Sandman, which is Neil Gaiman's sprawling masterwork.
If crime is more of your thing, check out anything by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. They've collaborated on a bunch of series that take noir conventions and shake them up. There are six volumes of Criminal, which are (sort of) standalone stories with a crime fiction flavour, and they've just finished the first book of Fatale, which is a mix of film noir, pulp and Lovecraftian horror.
And so much more.
Also, yes, Phonogram. Especially the second series, which has little relation to the first, and is better in every regard. Good shout, Subbes!
One of the things I did until January this year was organise a conference for indie developers. A bunch of them have been asking if I'd do another since I went freelance, and the answer is yes!
I've been thinking about it for months, settled on some ideas I'm happy with, and found a good artist too:
It's in London on the 3rd of February next year, and the early bird tickets are going about a million times faster than I expected them to.
Looks really interesting, Nachimir! Hopefully I'll get to go!
Sure, we could have been more on-the-nose. There's definitely the intention in there to skewer both the superficial mainstream view of games, and how new GTAs can only be so different. I think the other writer just enjoys being silly, too, so we ping-pong a lot - and get quite a varied response as a result!
The next few sketches are much less pointed (apart from the news-room pastiche), and much more silly. More driven by the collision of video games and broadcast journalism. We'll see how they work out!
Nice work, Miffy! Unfortunately, I had computer problems all last week, so missed out on this completely.
I have one thing to plug, though, and that's VIGIDEN, the new webseries I've been developing with the same guys who did Behind The Bytes over summer. It's both a broadening of the scope and a honing of the form. BTB was a mockumentary series about the scandalous lives of video game characters, VIGIDEN is a sketch show based around a video game news network.
The first sketch went live on Friday. Here it is.
It's a very silly series.
(The video is probably a million years old and I'm just watching it now.)
Actually it only aired on September 13th. I had no idea there was a new Looney Tunes series on air. Wow.
I just saw the very first English language screening of "Les Aventures Extraordinaires D'Adele Blanc-Sec" (The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec). If you haven't heard of it, it's because the movie has only been released in French up til now. First in Europe, and then in Quebec. The Calgary International Film Fest really wanted to show the film, and contacted the producers to make a subtitled version. (...) Hopefully now that a translation exists it will get a wider release somehow. I haven't seen a movie that is so purely fun in a long time. It's goddamned joyous. Check it out.
That's weird, there was an English-language release over here back in April, and the DVD/Blu-ray came out in August. I missed out on seeing it, sadly, but heard it was good from critic pals. Were CIFF touting it as an English language premiere?
Ooh, but they're showing Kill List, too. That's a good one.
The Company of Heroes games are also 80% off on Steam, and the Gold pack is £2.99. Sounds like a deal to me.
Edit: Actually, here's an interesting quirk. The 'Complete Pack' for CoH - which gets you the main game and the two expansions - is slashed to £5.39, which is 2p dearer than buying the three games individually, and, weirdly, 39p more expensive than getting the Gold Pack + Tales of Valor.
Pennies! Although Tales of Valo(u)r doesn't seem to be rated that well, so I might drop that and throw in Alpha Protocol instead.
I'm currently in the middle of writing 15,000 words on fansubbing. Watching Azumanga Daioh (or, failing that, watchingover and over) is all that's saving me from complete mental meltdown*.
*Some would say that watching the Azumanga Daioh opening credits over and over is a symptom of a complete mental meltdown.
I've resisted spamming you all with the episodes of Behind The Bytes as we've been releasing them, but here's the finale, where we, er... go off our rockers a little. Basically, we break every rule of the series. This is less of a talking head mockumentary, and more of an absurd thriller - all about Nintendo's shady doings.
Have a look.
So what are they planning for the sequel? I'm eager to know.
I interviewed the director last week. This is what he said about his ideas for the sequel:There’s so much we could do. I’m speculating when I tell you all this, because I don’t know yet. The ideas that I’ve had... all sorts for this. Full Metal Jacket with apes. I think you could start this story again eight years from where we left off, and that’s the next generation of apes perhaps going into a conflict with humans, and showing real fear, the same way that young soldiers are going into battle in this day and age.
Telling their story. And how apes are taking over cities, and being moved into human environments, and having to interact and deal with things that are part of our culture, and understand and evolve through them. And humans maybe existing underground because that’s the way that they can avoid the virus, and coming up aboveground in order to fight wearing gas masks, which is what dehumanises them.
Emphasis on the word 'ideas', as I don't think there are any plans in place yet anyway.
I'm at a meal on Sunday evening, but if I'm back in time, I'll definitely be up for it.
I'm intrigued by today's offer of the Tomb Raider games for cheap. I've already played ...& The Guardian of Light, but I've heard that the more traditional Crystal Dynamics games are worth getting, too?
Is there much that separates the three of them, apart from Anniversary being a remake? The reviews seem to be consistent across the series.
Oh, I've got my new bank card now. Gulp.
An odd one, this, but Warren Ellis has just worked on a new comic with D'Israeli and a design consultancy / mad scientist firm from London called BERG. It's called SVK. Here's a blurb from the site:An experimental publication, SVK comprises the SVK object and a comic book.
Comics break the rules of storytelling, invent new ones, and break them again – more often than almost any other medium. This graphic novella is about looking – an investigation into perception, storytelling and optical experimentation that inherits some of the curiosities behind the previous work of BERG.
Litho printed on 115gsm silk paper in tones of black and blue, SVK uses a third ink invisible without the SVK object. The object is a UV light source which unlocks hidden layers woven throughout the comic book. Reading SVK becomes a unique and strange experience as you see the story unfold through the eyes of Thomas Woodwind.
First and foremost SVK is a modern detective story, one that Ellis describes as “Franz Kafka’s Bourne Identity”.
It’s a story about cities, technology and surveillance, mixed with human themes of the power, corruption and lies that lurk in the data-smog of our near-future.
Sounds pretty fascinating. The price is a little steep for what is one issue, but that's one hell of a gimmick. And I've heard from the precious few that saw BERG's test copy that it's quite special.
I loved that one session of L4D2 I played with Thumbs. More, I say!
So far I've bought the two Bit.trip games. Luckily (I guess), I've lost my wallet, and had to cancel all my cards, so I'll miss out on the majority of the sale.
Although that didn't stop me asking a friend to gift me Fallout: New Vegas yesterday...
That really is fantastic. Thanks for sharing, Hermie!
Surprising! That's the only track I skipped because I found it rather obnoxious. I'm partial to much of the rest though, it's pretty good and hope they release vol.2 quickly. More testing needs be done!
Well, I particularly like noisy, rhythmic, slightly industrial electronic music. And I loved the sonic character they gave to the faith plates themselves. So it's quite an obvious one for me.
I really, really like.
...Research and Development...
For a moment I thought you meant Science & Industry, and got all excited. Damn, that was a fun mod.
But R&D looks very interesting. I think I'll check it out, too!
Bought. Read through half of it over Easter on my dad's iPad, so I'm glad to throw my own cash at it for the other half.
Has this (ie an app based around reading a text article) been done on Steam before? If it does well, it could be a good avenue for someone like Kill Screen.
Liv Ullmann? She's great... when she does Swedish films...
(Interesting discussion topic, though. Why have the Swedish and Danish film industries pumped out more internationally-renowned films/actors/filmmakers than the other Nordic countries?)
If you ever have a chance to watch Lapland Odyssey (Napapiirin Sankarit), I heartily recommend you to do so. If only because I want to know what non-Finnish people think of the movie.
I saw a trailer for that when I was in Finland last year. It looked to me like an Apatow rip-off, so I'm intrigued to hear it's good. Hopefully it'll be picked up for international distribution!
Comics Extravaganza - Pow Bang Smash!
So... I thought I'd share some horrifically cheap Halloween deals on digital comics:
1) The latest Humble Book Bundle is a horror special, including amongst other things the first volume of Joe Hill / Gabriel Rodriguez's Locke & Key (which completely passed me by, but I've heard some strong recommendations for it recently), the first two issues of Afterlife With Archie and the first omnibus of Dark Horse's Buffy comics, all for $15 with more to come - https://www.humblebundle.com/books
2) Speaking of Afterlife WIth Archie, the first volume is currently only £1.49 on the Kindle UK store and, by the looks of it, $2.40 on the Kindle US store.
...which should give you plenty to read on Friday night if you're that way inclined.