Thursday, December 4, 2014
actually a stop-motion animated squirrel, owned by Jimmy Conlin. Anyway, the movie is funny and cute, and has lots of fun Durante moments. I wish we had a better print of it! Between Durante, Terry Moore, Jimmy Conlin, an animated squirrel, some dude juggling five walnuts, and other George Pal effects (check out the fire scene), there's a lot to like in this forgotten movie.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
the first edition! Okay, no, it seems like six years ago. I created the updated edition for several reasons. First, a lot of things have changed, and the book was becoming dated. I've added a lot about mobile, social, and free to play to bring the book up to date. I've also learned a lot since then -- as a result, there are two new chapters: one about the psychology of motivation, and one about venues, that is, the places that we play games. There are also 12 new lenses (okay, sort of 13 new lenses, as one of the old lenses cracked in two and I made it into separate lenses). A new deck will be coming out in January, so look for that. There are lots of other little additions I made... lots of new quotes that I've picked up along the way, and now at the end of each chapter there are suggested readings if you want to go through the same arcane source material that I enjoy. Anyway -- it's out now, I hope you like it! Oh -- we made a short video telling about it. You can see that here.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
But are not all facts dreams as soon as we put them behind us -Emily Dickinson has always fascinated me. Her poems are so bold, so straightforward, and I think, often misunderstood. There is so much power in her poetry, and what makes it all the more unusual is the fact that her poems were never published while she was alive. Which makes them hard to publish indeed, because it is unclear exactly how she would have wanted them published. Many of them were written on odd scraps of paper. In this beautiful book, for the first time, the general public gets to see those very scraps of paper. Just as understanding that E. E. Cummings was a painter as well as a poet gives insight into the nature of his poetry, there is something very intimate about seeing Emily's handwriting and strange compositional form on these odd little scraps. There is something beautiful about them, and something alien, as well. On some she seems to just dash down a random thought, or part of one. On others, she carefully places each word. On yet others, it looks like she is solving a puzzle, with multiple alternate words suggested throughout. I've spent quite a bit of time in Amherst, Massachusetts, and it always made me feel like I knew her, at least a little bit -- and this book has made me feel like I know her ever so much more.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Sunday, November 30, 2014
It has a song,
It has a sting.
Ah too, it has a wing.
It seems entirely possible that my dearest Emily wrote those lines after seeing this movie. I enjoyed this so very much. I love show business movies in general, and I love stories that are full of meta-theming, and this is both of those. The cinematography is amazing, fully using the unique power of cinema to make you question what is and is not real. This now joins my list of meta-themed films including The Wizard of Speed and Time, Adaptation, and of course, A Charlie Brown Christmas. But in many ways this dwarfs them all, with its deep commentaries on the relationship between art, entertainment, and ego. And everything in this film is so incredibly tight -- every little detail is connected to everything else in a complex web that makes me want to watch it again and again. Alejandro González Iñárritu was unknown to me before -- but I have a feeling that I will be encountering him again and again. This film will haunt my dreams for some time to come, I suspect, as I try to determine my own relationship with art and entertainment.