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fear & loathing

Just to prove it's all true in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, here's a photo i found of the real Hunter S. Thompson and his attorney Oscar Acosta (portrayed in the film by Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro).

Thompson & his attorney

More on the late Hunter S. Thompson @ www.gonzo.org, including an insightful interview with Johnny Depp.

photo proof of climate change

For a project i'm currently involved in (New Values Tradegrounds), i've been following the ongoing debate over climate change fairly closely. It's quite shocking to find out that some of the 'evidence' against climate change is being paid for by Exxon Mobil, who sum up their strategy in an internal memo like this:

"Victory will be achieved when uncertainties in climate science become part of the conventional wisdom" for "average citizens" and "the media."

(Quoted in article by Environmentaldefense.org.)

Meanwhile, the evidence for climate change is piling up high. Perhaps the most convincing proof is a set of photographs from Gary Braasch (www.worldviewofglobalwarming.org), published by the BBC, that are quite hard to argue with...

Climate Change

are you now or were you ever...?

Searching for a worthy quote in memoriam of Arthur Miller, the American playwright ("Death of a Salesman", "The Crucible", "After the Fall", etc.) who died last week, i stumbled on this article by him from 2000: "Are you now or were you ever...?"

The McCarthy era's anti-communist trials destroyed lives and friendships. Arthur Miller describes the paranoia that swept America - and the moment his then wife Marilyn Monroe became a bargaining chip in his own prosecution.

Worth a read, and a good reason to (re)read "The Crucible" and some of his other plays...

hurlyburly in dutch

When a group of young Dutch actors decides to do David Rabe's play Hurlyburly, comparisons are inevitable to the film adaptation which starred such names as Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey and Anna Paquin, to name a few.

Hurlyburly

It shows the Dutch cast are fans of the film. They are perhaps a bit young for the patheticness and depravity they portray, but they perform it with verve and manage to get the underlying angst across.

The translation might in places be too literal, causing some of the intended wordiness to be awkward rather than heartfelt, but the drift of it is still true, and it makes the more intimate moments become all the more powerful.

In short, whatever there's to say about it in comparison, this is still a damn good play with fresh, intense performances all around!

More info & tour dates @ www.hurlyburly.nl.

iffr: terry riley

Closing event of the Rotterdam Film Festival's Exploding Cinema -- otherwise of, ehm, varied quality this year -- was a rare European concert by the 69 year old founding father of minimal music Terry Riley.

Accompanied by grainy 8mm images of New York, Riley played almost 90 minutes of sweeping, virtuoso piano, and in one composition even sang, or rather chanted, in what he himself described as "a wake intended for the war victims in Iraq." Very impressive.

(More info on Terry Riley @ allmusic.com)

iffr: illumination

"Illumination" is the impressive debut of Pascale Breton, awarded a critic's prize in Rotterdam. Set in the wild and forbidding landscape of Bretagne, it tells the story of Ildut, a young man on the border of psychosis who tries to get 'normal' again for love of Christina, his grandmother's nurse.

Illumination

Perhaps slightly too long, the film nevertheless remains interesting to the end, carried by the lead actor's great performance, and stays with you long after.

iffr: innocence

Okay, a film festival like Rotterdam is a gamble. For every pearl there's a swine (or something). But does it have to be this bad? The French "Innocence" is, pffh... "Snow White" without the apple or the dwarves, "Virgin Suicides" without any Air, "Lolita" without Humbert Humbert, wanna-be Lynch without any sort of sting -- is, in short, so boring you're left wondering what it cost and who came up with the money. And why...

I just can't think of an excuse for this film, sorry.