Tag: things that look like other things

Things That Look Like Other Things VII: Ricochet Delay

by on Jun.26, 2011, under Movies

X-Men: First Class — Sebastian Shaw is surrounded by armed G-Men on a balcony who shoot round after round into his body on the floor below.

But because his power allows him to absorb and control limitless energy, he easily shoots their firepower back at them.

Time Bandits: Evil is surrounded by the time cavalry: cowboys, hoplites, the odd space cannon. They give him everything they’ve got…

…and back it comes.

I think it’s a deliberate quote.

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Things That Look Like Other Things VI

by on Feb.18, 2011, under Uncategorized


The upturned edges of the eagle’s wings actually make the SSA logo look like a proper handlebar mustache. However, handlebar aficionados in their classicism seem loath to grow the accompanying thick soul patch that would match the logo exactly.

Cross-posted at Alyssa Rosenberg.

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Things That Look Like Other Things V (Thinking Problem)

by on Dec.21, 2010, under Books

Philosophical Sweep: To understand the fiction of David Foster Wallace, it helps to have a little Wittgenstein by James Ryerson in Slate.com:

In an interview with the literary critic Larry McCaffery published in 1993, Wallace explained that as a philosophy student he had been “chasing a special sort of buzz,” a flash of feeling whose nature he didn’t comprehend at first. [...] It was really an experience of what I think Yeats called ‘the click of a well-made box.’ The word I always think of it as is ‘click.’ ”

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams:

Brick: Somethin’ hasn’t happened yet.
Big Daddy: What’s that?
Brick: A click in my head.
Big Daddy: Did you say “click”?
Brick: Yes sir, the click in my head that makes me feel peaceful.
Big Daddy: Boy, sometimes you worry me.
Brick: It’s like a switch, clickin’ off in my head. Turns the hot light off and the cool one on, and all of a sudden there’s peace.
Big Daddy: Boy, you’re, you’re a real alcoholic!
Brick: That is the truth. Yes, sir, I am an alcoholic. So if you’d just excuse me…
Big Daddy: [grabbing him] No, I won’t excuse you.
Brick: Now I’m waitin’ for that click and I don’t get it. Listen, I’m all alone. I’m talkin’ to no one where there’s absolute quiet.
Big Daddy: You’ll hear plenty of that in the grave soon enough.

Wallace’s writing about drug and alcohol addiction forms the moral core of Infinite Jest, using addiction as a lens through which to view tennis and visual entertainment as well. Years before his suicide, he checked into rehab and asked to be put on suicide watch. It’s no surprise that he would approach thought itself as a desperate search for ‘a special sort of buzz’ or ‘the click’.

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Things That Look Like Other Things IV-1

by on May.16, 2010, under Movies, television

On Glee a few episodes back, Rachel produces a revival of 70’s story-song “Run Joey Run” as part of a plot to vamp up her reputation. What Puck (or any other participant) doesn’t know is that she’s not just casting him alone as the love object, but instead has enlisted all three of her male attractors. The final video shows Rachel in a doomed romance with a boy played alternately by Puck, Finn and Jesse.

Since Rachel introduced her project with a suggestion that her audience might not have all the necessary film vocabulary to appreciate her project, I was prepared for some kind of winking acknowledgement of That Obscure Object of Desire (previously here). But instead, Rachel’s advanced film knowledge was just a jokey reference to her use of bad iMovie effects, and everybody got mad at her for showing how many boys she had revolving around her.

I thought it was cool. Buñuel vs Lea Michele! ¿Quien es mas macho?

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Things That Look Like Other Things IV

by on Dec.25, 2009, under Movies, Travel

Earlier this week, with the assistance of the gentleman from the last post, HJ and I rode into the Grand Canyon on the backs of mules. It’s neither entirely wrong nor entirely right to call it more luxurious than hiking the canyon, but relieved of watching your footfalls, you certainly have a much better chance to watch the landscape change than do the hikers.

South End of Indian Gardens

And change it does. From the piñon forest at the top, you descend through full-on deserts and semi-arid scrub.The Colorado River at the canyon’s bottom leads through varied environments, from red rocks naked and Martian to lush riparian habitats. The uncanny effect of moving vertically through these zones*, finding them nested one right atop the other, put me in mind of Gus van Sant’s 2002 film Gerry, in which Casey Affleck and Matt Damon do little else but go for a walk, get lost, and nearly both die. One of the most unsettling elements of the film is that though the two men remain on foot the entire time, the location shifts dramatically over the course of their hundred minutes, from sand dunes to salt flats, from Utah to Jordan to Argentina. The shifts aren’t subtle, visually, but they go unremarked upon; the effect amplifies the characters’ dangerous inattention to their path,  and heightens the feeling that they’ve come unmoored from their world and their lives.

the landscape......changes

the landscape changes

This, in turn, put me in mind of another movie in which a critical element changes without comment (save, perhaps, the film’s title):

Luis Bunuel’s That Obscure Object of Desire gives us a sexual battle between a couple that is really a triangle: Mathieu must content with the temperamental nature of his elusive Conchita, made more so by her portrayal by the Betty-and-Veronica pairing of Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina. As with the landscape in Gerry, the character of Conchita appears played by two different actresses with neither comment nor easily comprehensible logic.

This episode of Things That Look Like Other Things has been brought to you by things that do not look like themselves.

Extra credit, Gerry: “Nothing Happens To No One, The Death Trilogy of Gus Van Sant” by Holly Myers at n+1

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Things That Look Like Other Things III

by on Nov.02, 2009, under music

Actually, this will be a thing that sounds like a thing.

Thank you for joining us for Lady Gaga day on Joshua Malbin dot com.

Download a Philip Glass sampler for free on Amazon.

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Things That Look Like Other Things II

by on Sep.24, 2009, under Uncategorized

Photo on 2009-09-24 at 10.06

Not quite as uncanny as the last one. I just read it as this:

Enough evidence to convict, I rather think.

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Things That Look Like Other Things I

by on Sep.23, 2009, under Uncategorized

Soundsuit, Nic Cave (source); Iranian snipers march in ghillie suits (source)

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