Donna Haraway is right. “The boundary between science fiction and social reality is an optical illusion.” Consider how scientists have recently reprogrammed bacteria to use a new amino acid. That is to say, they have not only introduced a 21st amino acid into the bacterium’s environment–in addition to the naturally existing twenty–but also reprogrammed the bacteria’s DNA to code for this new amino acid, so that the organism has genetic instructions for adding the acid to its proteins….
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Adrian Tomine’s latest collection, Summer Blonde, contains four 32-page stories from his comic Optic Nerve. They are beautiful stories, naturalistic in setting, and all about depressed and socially awkward teens and twenty-somethings…
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25th Hour, Spike Lee’s latest film, is actually pretty good–despite the rumors of Lee’s decline as a filmmaker, and despite the fact that this is one of his films with a largely white cast, that doesn’t deal at all with African American issues (which is not to say that it ignores race)… (Warning: spoilers to follow)
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Jane Jacobs is best known for The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which revolutionized thought about urban planning in the 1960s. But in her 80s she is still very much alive, and intellectually vigorous. Her latest book, The Nature of Economies, is surprisingly fresh and provocative, if also deeply problematic….
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One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2003 was to write more in this blog than I did last year–even if the entries are less polished (& hence less good).
I’ll start by talking about Abel Ferrara’s R-Xmas–which I think is the greatest Christmas movie, ever….
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Hal Hartley’s No Such Thing got almost no favorable notice when it came out in 2001. But I found it deep and compelling, one of Hartley’s best films. It’s sort of his version of Beauty and the Beast, or maybe Songs of Innocence and Experience…
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As a great admirer of the films of Kathryn Bigelow, I went this weekend to see her new movie, K19:The Widowmaker“, starring Harrison Ford. While it is far from my favorite of her films, I wasn’t disappointed…
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I saw a number of fine films at the just-ended Seattle International Film Festival, but the one that has stuck in my mind the most, indeed haunted me, was Shunji Iwai’s All About Lily Chou-Chou….
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It’s hard to comment on Jean-Luc Godard’s 2001 film Eloge de l’amour(In Praise of Love) after only having seen it once (earlier today at the Seattle International Film Festival). But I’ll try…
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The Deep End, by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, is one of the finer independent films of 2001. Crossing noir and melodrama, the film is a fairly close remake of the last of Max Ophuls’ three Hollywood films, The Reckless Moment (1949).
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