Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Power of Editing

Here's a well-crafted video essay explaining how Star Wars' editors transformed a deeply flawed original cut into the blockbuster we remember. The section on the revised finale is particularly fascinating. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Black Mirror Season 4.5

Last night, I dreamed I was the involuntary viewer/protagonist of seven episodes of Black Mirror. An elevator served as the dream's framing device; I rode it up and down to different floors, and when I stepped onto a floor, its respective episode would begin.

I only remember two; one began with the elevator car suddenly losing its ceiling and walls, revealing pitch darkness all around. I dropped prone and clung to the remaining floor as the elevator plunged sideways and down, eventually flinging me into an ornate bedroom where it was revealed that my bride (not Sylvia) wasn't human; she peeled all her skin off and revealed a faceless mannequin beneath, the suddenly-revealed backstory revealing the ironic twist: my character had complained about robots dehumanizing marriage.

In the other episode I recall, I was joined in the elevator by an old colleague named Judy, back from my days at the Official Opposition. We chatted for a moment, and when the elevator doors opened, she vanished and I stepped out to meet at least a dozen Kevin Tafts (or would that be Kevins Taft?). Each Kevin had a different costume and role, and we appeared to be attending a very classy fundraiser for the Alberta Liberals, held in a swank hotel gilt in gold and diamond. Kevin welcomed me "back," (whatever that meant), and encouraged me to climb a makeshift ladder to the ceiling of the ballroom, a ladder made of sofas, love seats, and recliners stacked atop one another.

"Watch it--precarious," he warned. I begged off and retreated down a dark, candlelit corridor, which turned out to be a strangely-designed restaurant. I thought I saw some of my old caucus friends there, but the Black Mirror dead channel static ended the episode. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Letterboxd Crew Stat

I just discovered that Letterboxd has added a new category to user stats: Crew.
Just as it inventories your most-watched directors, stars, decades and so on, Letterboxd now reveals how many movies you've seen by producers, writers, editors and more. My all-time list is above. Pretty cool! 

Monday, March 19, 2018

A Glitch in the Matrix

Earlier today, over lunch, I was writing an email to Mike, Scott, and Sean. In the midst of composing my message, the Gmail client, as it is wont to do, revealed that there was a new message from Sean in the thread. I knew that Sean's reply might impact what I would have said, but for whatever reason I pressed forward, finished the email, and sent it...

...only to discover, after reading the refreshed thread, that Sean's reply was to the email I'd just composed. That is, he somehow answered my email before I'd sent it.

As a scientific materialist, I know of course that there's a rational explanation. Perhaps I'd sent a draft without realizing it, or perhaps I had a minor hallucination. Even so, it was a startling moment.