Friday, January 30, 2004

Subcurrent Festival
Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow
12-14th February 2004

CCA Glasgow throws open its doors to the 1's and the 0's for the Subcurrent Festival bringing some of the most exciting musicians on the new and electronic music scene to Glasgow. In this, the first year, Subcurrent have teased the hidden wiring out of place and exposed some musicians who bridge the gap between the new wave and the experimental, pitching the electronic punk upstarts of today against there own founding fathers.

Taking place in CCA:5, the three-day festival pass allows you to see
all the weekend's events ensuring you don't miss a thing. Drink, eat, listen,
absorb, discuss.

Thursday 12 February, 8pm

Brings his own brand of eclectic to the stage in CCA:5. The music of Japan's
Nobukazu Takemura is entirely original and personal. In the wake of his series
of collaborations with Eye of mantric Japanese rock group Boredoms under the
umbrella of Audio Sports, Takemura has hooked up with everyone from Steve
Reich and DJ Spooky through Yo La Tengo and Tortoise. Tonight's show features two sets, the first an all-improvised laptop performance using sound sources that include electronic speech generated via programs developed to aid the physically handicapped. The second set sees Takemura in virtual big band mode, playing keyboard and guitar and introducing vocals from Aki Tsyuoko, bass from Matt Lux (Isotope 217), keyboards and guitar from Michael Jorgenson (Wilco), Jun Nagami on drums and Anna Mizoguchi on vibes, marimba and keyboard.

'The most accessible yet baffling electronic auteur since Aphex Twin'
A Contemporary Music Network Tour, produced by the Concert Clinic

Friday 13 February, 8pm

Norbert Moslang first brought his 'cracked everyday electronics' to bear on
Jim Sauter's deliriously manipulated saxophone when Moslang's group Voice
Crack went head-to-head with Sauter's reprobate 'snuff jazz' trio, Borbetomagus, across a series of uniquely form-destroying sides. Both players have much in common, sharing a determination to push well beyond the limits of their chosen 'instruments', as well as a commitment to forging a new improvisatory syntax based around Ur-grunts, white noise and the dying squeals of exploded circuitry. This is their first UK show together.

Psychedelic noise rocker Maso Yamazaki is best known as Masonna, an artist
whose shows are configured around an explosive combination of punk performance
art and electronics that impact like shrapnel. Due to the physically demanding
nature of his performances, Maso limits himself to a handful of solo performances across the year and tonight - his first ever Scottish show - is a rare opportunity to catch him in full nosedive. Alongside Merzbow, Incapacitants, Solmania and Hijokaidan, Masonna is revered as one of the prime movers in the ferociously inventive Japanese noise scene. Expect the obliterating.

Saturday 14th February, 7pm

With Space Machine, Maso Yamazaki of Masonna takes the experiments in analog
electronics of first wave cosmonauts like Joe Byrd's United States Of America,
Silver Apples, Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream and strips them of any
remnants of framing rock structure, setting up cracked internal dialogues
using nothing but a clutch of day-glo patch leads and a wall of vintage
electronics. Manhandling some of the most beautifully designed and unpredictably responsive analog inventions, Yamazaki draws wails and oscillating gulps from his equipment, creating great tactile splats of sound that flash and collide in mid-air like so much trance inspired ectoplasm. This is Space Machine's first ever UK performance.

Double Leopards (USA) were birthed from two experimental ensembles, with
members of punk-primitive Siltbreeze recording artists joining forces with
Chris Gray of destructo-rockers Wicked Finger to cut their first self-
released album, The Axe Helve in late 98/early 99. Double Leopards were
birthed from two experimental ensembles, with members of punk-primitive Siltbreeze
recording artists Un (who at one time also included Tara Burke who now plays
as Fursaxa) joining forces with Chris Gray of destructo-rockers Wicked Finger
to cut their first self-released album, The Axe Helve in late 98/early 99.
Since then the group have secreted themselves deep within the sub-
underground, loosing swarms of alien electronics via a couple of limited CD-Rs,
two LPs on Eclipse and a split vinyl with the Son Of Earth-Flesh On Bone Trio,
an alliance that has also given birth to an amalgam known as Shackamaxon.
Working with almost static forms in a similar way to Japanese Fluxus
operatives Taj Mahal Travelers, Double Leopards drop in elliptical melodies
and rainbow electronics that flare just beyond the horizon, briefly illuminated by auroral bursts of tone that strafe the sky. Like Coil, Throbbing Gristle or Mirror, there is so much detail to the group's conceptions that they feel inhabited, so much eerie, subliminal action that their instrumentals seem to be undeniably about something, a hunch given further credence by darkly evocative titles like "The Forest Outlaws" and "The Secret Correspondence". This is their first ever UK performance.

Kontakt der Jü nlinge is a collaboration between two titanic German sound
artists, Thomas Kö ner and Asmus Tietchens. Between them they span two
generations of uncompromisingly inventive electronic sound. Tietchens
has been active since the Sixties, morphing found sound and primitive
electronics into cobwebs of wrought iron in the company of everyone from Cluster & Eno through Nurse With Wound and Hirsche Nicht Aufs Sofa, while Kö ner came to
prominence in the Nineties with some beautifully bleak minimalist recordings
under his own name and more rhythmic experiments via his Porter Ricks disguise.
With Kontakt der Jü nglinge (named in tribute to two pieces by avant composer
Karlheinz Stockhausen, "Kontakt" and "Gesang Der Jü nglinge") the sound of
harsh, degenerated electronics dominates, with throbbing sub-bass cementing
monolithic walls of fibrous, fluctuating drone. This is the duo's
first ever UK performance.

Saturday 14th February, 4pm. CCA:4.
£2 (free accompanying event on purchase of any performance ticket)

All performances take place in CCA:5 on the first floor of the
building. Tickets Tickets for all concerts are £10 (£8 in advance on the day of
the concert) and £6 concession. Concessions are senior citizens, under 18s, students, registered disabled and those in receipt of Job Seekers allowance. Please remember to bring proof of eligibility with you when paying for tickets or picking up pre-paid tickets. Festival Pass Buy a ticket for the whole weekend and access all of the concerts as well as the panel discussion for a reduced price.
Festival passes are £24 and £15 concession

Ticket Hotline 0141 352 4900
Centre For Contemporary Arts, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3JD

cremaster 4 and 1
i suspect that introducing myself to the cremaster series with parts 4 and 1 was a mistake. however, it was a very spur of the moment decision, the fact that i happened to be in the cinema seeing the film before the cremaster showing being the main factor. i did quite well though, it was minutes before the end of the second of the two before i completely lost the will to live.

reading the summaries of the 5 films it sounds like if i had been at any of the other showings i would have had more to find interesting. instead these were filled with symbolism and imagery with no dialogue or clear structure. the fact that the showings were in the token gesture cinema of the art center in glasgow didn't help of course, especially given that i had already sat through a showing of a chinese film prior to these two. sitting on planks of wood with token padding doesn't really encourage a pleasant outing.

anyway. cremaster - verdicts seem to be of the love/hate variety. based on 4 and 1? ugh!

Monday, January 26, 2004

Other Voices - Orphx - Other Voices is the second 12" to come from the Living Tissue material. Surface was a preview of the material, while Other Voices follows the CD with more interpretations and tracks. The first piece is Noontide, a pulsing sequence somehow wet and tunnel like. Laid back rhythms tapping their way through the cycle, periodic sweeps providing sound washes, that suggest the road sounds and passing vehicles. This is followed by the cardiac pulse of Biorhythm II, a more upbeat version of the track from Living tissue. Bass pulses passing through as the beats start to layer in a pattering manner. Blips come up in a form that compliments the beats, so that the whole has a pulsing impression.

The second side starts with the throbbing rhythms of Accelerator Rmx, the metronome stroke of turn signals is rapid, as are the accelerated passage of other cars on a wet road. Bass line and wavering strokes filter up from below, adding to the atmosphere. City Limits sounds like it's name. The sound of city traffic, echo through buildings, distant sirens. Through the field recorded elements a low drone starts up. Filtered chatter reverbing, and on the whole more subdued than the tracks to this point. Germinal continues with the low drones, but is joined by more organic sounds in the form of rustling strokes. Glistening sounds reflect amongst the insectile motion and hum, buzzing motions flitting around the extended, repeating strokes. Strangely through all this we get a processed vocal, a low growl of French, which allows for a more stripped section. Other Voices starts at a diffused level, working more on the suggestion of presence. Low drones rising, with the allowance for the initial pattering of beats, which are joined by more regular strokes. Other Voices builds up an atmospheric and rhythmic structure, with cut up words filtered in the mix.

As a 12" this is another of Hands 33/45 mixed speed releases, one of those things they tend to do with these kind of editions. Like Surface before it Other Voices is probably more accessible than the album Living Tissue. Living Tissue had a few tracks on it which were pretty straight forward, tying them back to their earlier material, but as the album developed it was more about the concepts of the field recordings coming alive. Which isn't to everyone's taste, as much as I did enjoy it, so I can see that a release like this could hold more general appeal, and there are certainly some nice pieces here.

Children Of Asmodeus/The Infant Cycle - Children of Asmodeus and The Infant Cycle offer a couple of tracks each on this split 10" from the Italian Moloko + label. The first piece by Children of Asmodeus is a rough, gristled noise, mixed with snapping and pounding beats. There are period of manic mechanisms, with filtered gun shot beats, becoming an over driven whir. The whole is actually pretty controlled, with the expression of patterns and developing sequences, and a clear bass line woven in slow note work. The second track is more reminiscent of parent project Delphium, with the elements of drum and bass that mix with the squall of signal pulse and grind. The elements overlaying into a mish-mash of chaotic influences. On the other side the Infant cycle starts with stutters of abrasive strokes in a loop. While a low drone note builds in the background. The scrape has a certain rhythmic texture, and for the most part is deeply repetitive. While the drone is more varied than the beats, mixing with melodic elements as the piece goes on. The second piece works in an echoing tunnel of sound, emphasising the presence of removed sounds, creating on the whole a swirling atmosphere.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Interference - Orphx/The Infant Cycle

Interference is a 4 track EP from the Hands label, coming in one of those interwoven, folded card sleeves, that all their recent EPs have employed. The tracks are presented by the two Canadian bands Orphx and The Infant Cycle - each providing an original track of their own, followed by a remix of the original by the other band.

Orphx provide the track Saturation, a buzzing of electrics, bass heavy and filled with a solid, sparking beat work. Stray voices and tuning radio signals add to the crackling density that is the result. A result which has something particularly typical of Orphx in the rhythm, increasingly abrasive past the 7 minute mark. Wrong Speed has a sparser feel, clank of loose, metal percussion offered up by The Infant Cycle. Long wavering notes forming a sequence that glues the plodding beats together, the beats a constant, repetitive action. While the notes become more sonorous, pronounced, with progression.

The remix of Saturation starts in a more subdued fashion, low, with the buzz, a wave form that allows for a rising impression. The beats remain a background space of electronics. Past 4 minutes there is a kind of micro influenced rattle, which indicates the first real percussion and acts as a trigger to an increased sensation, before stripping down. There are impressions of spectral voices, squalling at some background level in the beginnings of Wrong Speed remixed. Again this is a more subdued version, making more emphasis of the atmospheres within the track than the upfront rhythms present in the original. Though the beats are allowed to come in eventually, thick with a hint of reverb and grit, to contrast the wave forms.

Chalice - Orphx

Chalice is a 10" record, part of a tourism series on Aufwabgen, an exploration of Elgaland and Vargaland. The first track is the title piece, Chalice, which crackles and pops it's way into existence, undercurrents of bass rumble up into the mix, along with distant notes. A particulate soundscape coalescing with the addition of slow pad and hit percussion. Something vaguely dubby suggested by the formulation then defined by the quick stabs that create a sequence rhythm. Chalice remains alive, filled with the motions of details, twangs and chimes.

Side 2 starts with the repeating, rapid tick, strokes of Vibration One. A charged metronomic motion, joined by the low pulse of bass notes and a more filtered shadow. Building into a definite orphxian rhythm, thick with an edge of distortion. Flowing into that hypnotic tunnel effect. Wreck Up is a more experimental interface - two threads weaving, one filtered and strained sound signals, with bursts of periodic flooding, contrasted by muffled clutter of drums and the odd vocal or bass line, as though some detuned dub track on the radio. The final track, 67:03, is a slow build, a wave of pronounced detail, followed by dips. Squelching seesaw patterns, that create a certain splashing impression - a wet rhythm.

As a release Chalice perhaps is more pop orientated than some of Orphx's recent work. Though with that the components and composition are still generated from the field recordings and experimentation those works have been built from.

Title: The Addiction
Cast: Lili Taylor, Christopher Walken, Annabella Sciorra, Edie Falco
Director:Abel Ferrara

The Addiction is a film which couples vampirism with philosophy in an arty black and white fashion. Lili Taylor plays a philosophy student who is dragged off the street one night by a woman, and bitten. With the result that she spends the rest of the film spouting forth in an affected manner about the nature of evil and how the individual can commit evil acts. With this she is wracked by a hunger, a newfound addiction to blood. So she goes from big questions to brutally attacking people. On the whole The Addiction is very wordy, and with that conscientiously contrived, so that it is clear that this is more of a concept art film than anything else. Perhaps I wasn't in the right mood, but without the philosophic background/inclination The Addiction came across as being quite tedious.

Title: The Abortion
Author: Richard Brautigan

The Abortion is the second book by Richard Brautigan that I have read, and manages to convey the quirk and eccentricity that appealed to me with Sombrero Fallout. The narrator is a librarian, but in a special library - one which accepts books written by anyone, rather than lending. The way this works is that he never leaves the building because he always has to be there to welcome new work. However one day an incredibly beautiful young woman comes into the library, with a book about how much she hates her body and the reaction it generates. These two strange characters surprise themselves by starting a relationship. However as the title suggests, the girl gets pregnant, and they decide that they aren't ready yet. So they head down to Mexico to have an abortion.

Despite the fact that this is a book about an abortion could be grim reading, Brautigan is a humorous writer. The first section filled with the oddities that are dear to the individual, those things that people end up writing about even through they are of interest only to themselves. While the third section covers the librarian's re-emergence into the world after three years, along with which he gains his first appreciation of what his girlfriend has endured by being beautiful.

The Abortion like most of Brautigan's work is a short book, under 200 pages. But in these pages he has so much going on, as well as the humour aspect, he expresses the relationship between the two with an endearing charm, which is emphasised by the flow of dialogue throughout. Writing in the 60-70's Brautigan's work is only slightly dated, and he has much stylistically which fits with what I am currently enjoying, especially the characteristics of comparable writers like Murakami and Hoban.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Title: Girl with a Pearl Earring
Cast: Colin Firth, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Wilkinson, Judy Parfitt, Cillian Murphy, Essie Davis, Joanna Scanlan, Alakina Mann
Director: Peter Webber

judging by the film version of tracey chevalier's novel, her exploration of the painting by vermeer which shows a girl with a pearl has less of a lovecraftian influence than the most recent novel by russell hoban that i read - the medusa frequency has a couple of references to vermeer's painting, including the protagonist going off in search of the actual item. in fact previous editions of the medusa frequency actually pictured the painting itself as a cover. this was just one of the recent references i was conscious of while watching this film adaptation of a novel which speculates on the history of a painting and painter, which apparently little is known.

the film is set in the dutch city of delft, in the year 1665, the titular girl is played by scarlett johansen. a young protestant girl from a family fallen on hard times, such that she is forced to become a maid to a well off catholic family. the religious tensions are fairly understated, as is the political status of the netherlands of the time. however that time period puts it not too long before the events in the first volume of neal stephenson's quicksilver - which includes a section set in the netherlands - so to hold the images from the film as interpretation of that period is an interesting thing to do. as is to recall the fact that the netherlands were at war seemingly constantly with france or britain.

another aspect of a girl with a pearl earring which draws parallel's with quicksilver, is the way vermeer is depicted as practically a practicing chemist in the way that he has to mix all his own paints. this draws a slight parallel with waterhouse and his experiences with the natural philosophers, and the thin line between scientist and alchemist. while at the same time there is the idea that artists like vermeer would have been not that different from the members of the royal society - both needing patrons willing to fund their explorative endeavours.

another recent parallel that struck me while watching this film, was the discussion on indian yellow, how it was derived from the urine of cows fed exclusively on mango - a fact which also came up in chuck palahniuk's diary. the main character in that novel was a former painting, and as part of her diary she refers to how classical painters would have mixed their paints, and the side effects the chemicals inherent in that process would have affected them. which gave another insight into the character of vermeer, his moods and sudden temper could be explained by ingestion of a whole range of pharmaceuticals as a side effect of his art.

a last connection for this film for now was the action of it as a scarlett johansen double bill. a girl with a pearl earring was advertised extensively in trailer form, accompanied by the trailer for lost in translation. a film which i saw at last the night before catching this film. johansen is fairly central in both, though her ability is more evident perhaps in a pearl earring than translation, the quivering uncertainty and trepidation of a young girl who finds herself at the bottom rung of a household. though perhaps the better performances are not delivered by johansen and colin firth who plays vermeer, but rather the actress who plays vermeer's wife (filled with jealousy and hurt), his daughter (a spiteful brat, continually glancing daggers in johansen's direction), and the mother-in-law (severe and uptight).

ant-zen update - new releases from pal, orphx, individual, etc...

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Title: Diary
Author: Chuck Palahniuk

This girl, her latest "work" was stuffing a teddy bear with dog shit... in her studio, she had the little teddy bear already gutted out, its fake fur spread open autopsy-style, ready to turn into art.
-chuck palahniuk

diary is the sixth novel by chuck palahniuk, which like his previous novel lullaby sees him slip more subtle weirdness into his regular style. undoubtedly this reads like palahniuk, featuring most of his regular tricks and mannerisms. written as a coma diary by misty wilmot - keeping track of events since her husband's attempted suicide. through the pages of her diary we learn how the couple met, and go through the disintegration of her life past this suicide attempt. caught up in the flagging fortunes of a once rich island community misty is an alcoholic waitress, trying to bring up their daughter. while at the same time the state of mind of her husband becomes clear from rooms he has hidden in houses he was redecorating - filled with scrawled vitriol. between these things palahniuk does what he does best - speaks with his unique voice, expressing a vicious view on life, with which he practically creates his own narrative tense. but in the subtext, in the glances and statements that bypass misty it becomes clear there is something more going on. the slow revelation of conspiracy acting against misty. in amongst that there is the suggestion of something weird, the combination of warnings and what is really behind the plot. the culmination of lullaby was the first place palahniuk really went into this kind of territory, but on reflection he perhaps overstepped the mark, losing some of the subtlety he manages to retain in diary. with the result that diary is perhaps palahniuk's best work since the film of his fight club novel raised his profile to a new level.

Title: Monster
Cast: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern
Director: Patty Jenkins

the film monster is based on the story of aileen wuornos, a street prostitute, who killed 7 men, becoming hailed as america's first female serial killer, before being executed a couple of years ago. charlize theron takes on the role of aileen, and she does so in a pretty serious fashion - putting on weight, holding her face in a permanent grimace that effects her appearance and voice. from the one picture i've seen of wuoronos, theron is pretty convincing in the part, such that one could easily forget that it was this actress at all - especially given that one of the trailers before this showing was for another film with theron as she normally looks.

the film provides some suggestion of aileen's past - abuse at home and school, and how from that she became a prostitute. however the narrative centres on aileen at her lowest point. a couple of drinks short of killing herself, aileen goes into a gay bar, with interest only in those last few drinks. however it is here that she meets shelby, played by christina ricci, a somewhat butch and faltering young lesbian. despite everything the two women take to each other, finding an unexpected hope.

however the next night aileen goes out to make some money she is beaten and raped, with the result that she kills the man to escape. the combination of the hope offered by shelby and the fatal despair of murder throw aileen entirely - going from suicidal to all over the place. the narrative provides a certain sympathy for aileen and a certain explanation for how events escalated. in amongst this the motivations of aileen and shelby, and the pressures they exert on each other retain a certain ambiguity, perhaps revealing a naivety and vulnerability behind it all.

this is another quirky role for ricci, who continues to avoid being pinned down to dull roles like so many other actresses. however this seems to be a significant departure for theron, who's commitment extends to being co-producer on top of her physical/mental contribution, undoubtedly the result that is monster must have paid off for the actress.

Title: American Splendor
Cast: Paul Giamatti, Harvey Pekar, Shari Springer Berman, Larry John Meyers, Vivienne Benesch, Danny Hoch, James Urbaniak
Director: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini

the plays the thing! the play within the play! or at least the play within the film within the comic within the film? um. yeah. american splendor is the film of the life of harvey pekar, a file clerk who started doing an underground comic about his life called american splendor. somewhere along the way pekar seems to have gained a strange kind of fame - with a play of his comic having been done before, and regular appearances on letterman.

despondent after his second divorce and inspired by the work of his friend robert crumb, pekar starts to write a warts and all comic. through this he meets his current wife, and she becomes part of his life, and part of his comic. so that when he got cancer they coped by writing a comic about the whole experience.

as a film there is a somwhat experimental approach to the narrative. G playing pekar and D playing joyce, while pekar himself narrates the film him and his wife appear for interview sections. with this we see events unfold, become transcribed as comic, and in the case of the play re-enacted by a second set of actors.

american splendor has a definite sense of humour, but its an observational grittiness that is as much about how fucked up life is. a fact that at times outweighs the humour, so that we are much more aware of the tragic. in the end though it is about the balance between the two, which is achieved.

Title: Quicksilver
Author: Neal Stephenson
Publisher:William Heinemann

quicksilver is an interpretation of the history of europe and science by neal stephenson. the first of his baroque cycle, a trilogy of books which act as a prequel to his previous novel cryptonomicon. this first volume, like cryptonomicon before it, is a good 900 pages, and it is likely that the remaining 2 volumes - which are intended to follow at 6 monthly intervals - will be similar.

the connection to the present as represented by cryptonomicon is made by extending the waterhouse and shaftoe families to britain in the time period of 1650 to 1720. this book is subdivided into three sections, the first covering the life of daniel waterhouse. charting his life as the son of a prominent puritan, through his education and embrace of the natural philosophy that became modern science and his inevitable immigration to america. the second section features the fortunes of the shaftoe brothers, jack and bob. street urchins raised to the level of mercenaries before their fates diverged. one to become a legend across europe as a vagabond king, the other the right hand man of one of the king's advisors. this section also introduces a slave girl called eliza, who with jack's help manages to become free of the turks, and infiltrate the intrigues of european courts. the third part takes the threads of the first two and at last starts to do some mixing of the narratives, though this is also where we are most conscious of the novel's weaknesses.

all the action takes place against a period of particular upheaval. king charles II has deposed cromwell, who was responsible for a civil war and his father's death, during his reign we have the black plague, the great fire as well as shifting alliances with king louis the sun king of france against or with the dutch. caught up in all this is the likes of robert hooke, christopher wren and isaac newton - all prominent scientists exploring a range of matters from optics, through gravity, to the mathematics behind it all. all of this has a certain interest of it's own, in much the same was as umberto eco's historic interpretation provided by foucault's pendulum does.

there is a lot of reading here though, and the charisma of the characters, and impact of these events, can get us through so much of it. but in the end it is would perhaps have been better to mix the storylines more - as perhaps demonstrated by the whole pirate episode as an attempt to make waterhouse's section more action packed. as the book progresses it becomes more of a slog, the lack of a clear plot undermines some of the momentum, even as events seem to speed up around the main characters.

at this point it isn't clear where stephenson is going with his baroque trilogy. there are recurring characters who have false significance here, which one has to assume they will become more prominent in future volumes. the start of the book sees waterhouse set out to return to britain after some years in america, with the rest of the book being a flash back from there, so again one has to reckon on that featuring in later work. while quicksilver feels at times over written, it does still have stephenson's touch to it, so only time can tell what the final verdict on this work will be.

Title: Needle In The Groove
Author: Jeff Noon
Publisher:Black Swan

inside, it's like a graveyard club
the hush of the machines, all turned to standby
all the lights, turned to darkness
walk through, slowly
every single line of force concentrated, right to the dance floor, exact centre
where the night seems darkest, alive with secret rhythms

-needle in the groove
-jeff noon.

prompted by my enjoyment of noon's most recent novel, falling out of cars, i decided to fill the gap in my noon collection that is needle in the groove. to date noon has five novels and a collection of short stories, but along with those he has also published a proposed writing system - an experimental mix fiction system called cobralingus. his intent was to challenge writer's and the structures they use in writing, falling this up it is clear from the notes of the first pages that needle in the groove has been written implementing this cobralingus system. with the result that it is has a very definite style and rhythm, equating the ideas of DJs mixing themes and threads together only in a verbal sense.

elliot is a bass player, playing for a number of pub bands, when is approached by a singer to help with something new. elliot has nearly made it big in the past, but isn't really interested in trying that again. but still when he meets jodie, 2spot along with the singer donna he is introduced to something special. not just the start of dance music in manchester when he is coming from a rock background, but also the technology of liquid music, spheres that provide instant remixes. driven by the DJ jodie they hone their work until they are ready to release their first single. however the history of manchester and its music is inextricably linked to that of the band, and just as they are ready to go 2spot's part in events brings everything crashing down.

noon has a particularly lyrical delivery with this foray into remix fiction, spinning the threaded sequences round and round. creating bass heavy imagery with a dose of humour, and a head spinning bpm. a liquid fiction, which is at once entirely contemporary - manchester and music - but topping the scales into noon territory with the extreme referential manner of all the music themed street name, and the undertones of alternative technology and experimental writing.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

...where "noise" is the name given to any kind of interference affecting a message as it passes along a medium. Static on a telephone line is a common example. I had a vision of a world in which the levels of noise rise alarmingly, becoming a sickness. Even speaking to another person would be next to impossible. Perhaps this could be a new kind of disaster novel for the information age?

-jeff noon talks about the process involved in writing his novel falling out of cars

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Title: Dead End
Cast: Ray Wise, Lin Shaye, Mick Cain, Alexandra Holden, Billy Asher, Amber Smith
Director: Jean-Baptiste Andrea, Fabrice Canepa

dead end is a low budget horror/slasher film, one of those ones where the bodies pile up as the film goes on. but by being low budget it actually comes off better than some of it's glossier rivals. as it has to make more of what it has got - which leads to better dialogue and character interaction. with no special effects there is no tension lost by the revelation of a duff monster, and no attempt to shock with a shitty gore factor. rather the focus is on the reaction the characters have to finding a dead body, and the steadily growing horror they experience.

every year the family travel down to the woman's mother's for christmas day. with his wife and kids asleep the guy decides to take a different route for the first time in 20 years of making the journey. however when they stop to help a young woman things start going wrong, and with a seemingly endless road through an endless dark forest it increasingly seems unlikely that any of them will survive...

Title: Tattoo
Cast: August Diehl, Christian Redl, Nadeshda Brennicke, Johan Leysen, Fatih Cevikkollu, Monika Bleibtreu, Ilknur Bahadir, Joe Bausch
Director: Robert Schwentke

posters appeared round the city for a new film, boldly claiming comparisons to seven. with a name like tattoo and an ad campaign like that, one expects just another hollywood thriller. instead tattoo is a german film, only the second german film in the last year to get this kind of promotion in the UK. while tattoo is no goodbye lenin, it is decent enough for what it is - a thriller with some nice ideas, coming from a different background than we are used to.

there are some problems with the film, particularly in it's excesses. the opening scene is frankly moronic - apparently having a naked woman stumbling along the road to be hit by a bus wasn't enough, so there is the addition of a surplus explosion. something which is pure excess, rather like the laugh out loud gratuitousness of the scene in the rain. along with those there are parts of the plot which are pretty obvious.

the plot revolves around the woman who is killed at the start and the investigation by the police. Schrader has just graduated from the police academy, and is looking for an easy life with a desk job. however an accidental run in with chief inspector Minks sees him becoming partner to the notorious officer, taking one of the coveted positions in homicide in the process. thus he finds himself involved with what looks like a serial killing, part of a sequence where all the victims had elaborate tattoos...

Title: Voyage To The End Of The Room
Author: Tibor Fischer
Publisher:Chatto and Windus

i came across fischer's latest novel on one of my explorations of publisher's pages, unfortunately there wasn't an extract of this book for me to read, but the idea seemed like it had some potential. reviews were mixed but not off putting to a great degree, so i was still interested. oceane has become rich by accident, not stinking rich, but enough to get by - enough that she owns two flats in a building in london. when she asked for dancing lessons as a child her father insisted that she took something "useful" at the same time. the result was that when her career as a dancer failed her she had her design qualifications to fall back on, and with those she was in the right place at the right time. this has allowed her to come to the decision that she doesn't like going out very much, so she pretends that she is travelling with an elaborate set up in the flat downstairs - tourists are delivered to her along with food from their country and they pretend she is visiting her country. however when she starts receiving letters from an ex-boyfriend, who died ten years ago, she feels the need to investigate.

voyage to the end of the room is written in several parts, narrated by oceane in a reasonably chatty/readable manner that keeps the narrative light hearted and humourous. overall the plot might wander some, so that it comes across as random observations at times, but for me it works well enough anyway. the first section introduces oceane and her altered reality, with the provision of some idea of how she got there. this also introduces the debt collector audley, who she uses as a remote investigator, joining him through an internet connection and mobile rig to investigate the mysterious letters. the other sections deal with a track back to time spent by oceane in barcelona as a sex worker, the revelations of audley's time in yugoslavia and the attempts to solve the mystery of the letters. all providing us with an insight into the curious mind of oceane, her observations of the world, and attempts to escape from it.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Title: The Savage Girl
Author: Alex Shakar

ursula van urden was a struggling artist, but when her model wannabe sister ivy has a breakdown, ursula finds herself in middle city trying to help and understand. as a result she takes on a job as a trendspotter with tomorrow inc, the company run by ivy's boyfriend. in the meantime ivy reveals that the trendspotters are evil, and the only thing that can save the world is her becoming famous. the result for shakar's novel is a mixture of commentary on modern culture, and how marketing and trends fit into that, contrasted by ideas of paranoia and corruption that seem to result from that. while the savage girl is particularly contemporary on that front, it is perhaps also a little retro, in that there is something about the paranoia and madness which comes across as being something which could have come from the pages of the likes of philip k. dick or kurt vonnegut.

Title: Falling Out Of Cars
Author: Jeff Noon
Publisher:Black Swan

falling out of cars is the sixth novel by jeff noon, and is somewhat different from the others of his that i have read - which would mainly be made up of the vurt trilogy and automated alice. as usual noon puts his work in a distorted version of the UK, in the case of falling out of cars we have a near future where some sickness has spread across the world. through the noise and corruption of information marlene moore travels around in her car looking for fragments of a mirror along with a couple who have joined her because they think there may be money involved.

marlene is an ex-journalist and is trying her best to document/to keep track of what is going on, even if it is just so she can work it out for herself. the book is made up of the journal entries, ranging from half page notes to several page accounts. in this way the story unfolds, though in the process the deterioration of words and of marlene become clear. so that noon presents something which initially seems to make a certain amount of sense quickly become disorientating. spinning us in circles of hallucinogenic distortion and data rot. for some people this form will become irritating, falling out of cars will probably stop making any sense what so ever, however for others its a hypnotic descent. personally i read the book in big chunks, which probably helps in terms of enjoyment, allowing me to get more involved and rattling along.

after initial doubts about some of noon's work i find that i get more from each new book that i read. falling out of cars continues to increase my appreciation of his work, enough that with the realisation that i've never read needle in the groove i've just picked that last of his novels up to fill in the gap.

Detritus/Suspicion Breeds Confidence/Jeye/LAN Formatique
13th Note Cafe, King Street, Glasgow
16th January 2004. 8.30pm

Detritus (Ad Noiseam)
Precision broken beats overlayed with emotional cinematics and

Suspicion Breeds Confidence (Frozen Empire Media)
Kraut concrete electronics from Frankfurt

Jeye (Zaftig Research)
Expansive soundscapes blending with melancholic electronica

LAN Formatique (Re:mote Core)
Dub-injected, circuit bent electronics in a refined manner

-this will be the first UK gig by the welsh artist detritus who did his first couple of gigs in germany last year; frankurt's suspicion breeds confidence has done several UK gigs in the past, though this will be his first in scotland; both jeye and lan formatique have material coming out on the re:mote core records label in the future, with this being the first gig by jeye in sometime as well as the debut gig by relative new comer lan formatique.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

welcome to electric shadows

-apparently electic shadows is the literal translation of the chinese word for cinema, and electric shadows is the second year of "glasgow's overseas chinese film festival" - running from 23rd january to 5th february. the two most obvious inclusions would be "in the mood for love" and "balzac and the little chinese seamstress", but there is a whole selection of stuff which hasn't been shown in the UK before:

What's On At 'Electric Shadows'
Fri 23 Jan, 9.00pm, GFT
Mon 26 Jan, 6.30pm, GFT

Directed by Lin Cheng-Sheng
Starring: Leon Dai, Yang Kuei Muei
Taiwan 2003. 90 mins. Mandarin with English subtitles
Cert: 12A. Official Selection, Cannes 2003

Rapturously received by international critics at Cannes this year, ROBINSON'S CRUSOE has been described as a companion piece to Edward Yang's magisterial A ONE AND A TWO (Yi Yi). Partly autobiographical, this bittersweet urban drama is the 6th feature by 44-year-old Lin Cheng Sheng, the director of MURMUR OF YOUTH.

Robinson sells luxury homes, complete lifestyles for those who can afford it. Robinson's own life is not so settled; he secretly lives in a hotel having recently returned to Taiwan from the US, can't resolve issues with his girlfriend and dreams of running away to start a new life. He's found the ideal place on the Internet - Crusoe Island in the Caribbean. Surrounded by colleagues with ever deepening romantic crises, Robinson starts to make plans to get away from it all forever.

'There's a wit and warmth here that makes Robinson very much a flesh and blood creation, engaging enough to earn our sympathy as well as our interest.' - Geoff Andrew, Time Out

Sat 24 Jan, 1pm, CCA

Directed by Allen Fong
Starring: Shek Lui, Lee Yu Tin
Hong Kong 1981. 96 mins. Cantonese with English subtitles
Cert: PG

In a small shanty town in Hong Kong, a young boy is entranced by the magic of cinema and dreams of making films. But his family is poor and the boy constantly clashes with his authoritarian father who wants him to find a more realistic path in life.

One of the first Hong Kong new wave films of the 1980s to gain international recognition, Allen Fong's autobiographical tale remains a warm, funny and deeply moving take on Chinese family values.

Sat 24 Jan, 5.30pm, GFT + On-stage interview with director Clara Law

Directed by Clara Law
Starring: Rose Byrne, Rikiya Kurokawa.
Australia 2000. 118 mins
Cert: 15

The starting point for Clara's Law's highly stylised and wholly unpredictable film is the Goddess of the title - not a deity but a car, the shapely Citroen DS so desired by car cultists. A young Japanese man searches the Internet looking for this dream car. He finds one for sale in Australia and travels there to buy it, only to find, on his arrival, that the seller is dead. Unable to speak English, he's drawn to a 17 year-old blind girl who tells him she can take him to the real owner.

Law's film then turns into an odyssey across the arid Australian desert, populated by abandoned mining towns - a desolate land and a dark haunting past. Before long, their separate quests become one: a shared desire to transcend the past and find redemption, achieved under the benevolent eye of the Goddess.

By turns erotic, strange and dangerous, Law's film succeeds in breathing new life into the road movie.

Sun 25 Jan, 3.00pm, CCA

IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (Huayang Nianhua)
Directed by Wong Kar Wai
Starring: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Maggie Cheung
Hong Kong 2000. 97mins. Mandarin and Cantonese with English subtitles
Cert: PG

Wong Kar Wai's sensuous tale of repressed desire.

Hong Kong 1962. Mr Chan and Mrs Chow are neighbours who discover that their respective spouses are having an affair. The come together in mutual consolation. He finds more excuses to see her. They start to fall in love, then hold back their feelings.

Wong's beautiful compositions, breathtaking production design and a memorable soundtrack capture the ecstasy of falling in love and the agony of unfulfilled passion.

Tue 27 Jan, 1.30pm, GFT
Thu 29 Jan, 8.15pm, GFT + Q&A with novelist & director Dai Sijie (in English)

BALZAC AND THE LITTLE CHINESE SEAMSTRESS (Balzac et la Petite Tailleuse Chinoise)
Directed by Dai Sijie
Starring: Zhou Xun, Kun Chen, Liu Ye
France-China 2001. Mandarin with English subtitles
Cert: 12A

Based on his own semi-autobiographical best-selling novel, Dai Sijie's sensitive tale charts the friendship between two students during their banishment to a remote mountain village for re-education during the Cultural Revolution.

The students both fall for the seamstress daughter of the village tailor, and encourage her burgeoning interest in western (decadent) arts of classical music and European literature. Years later, the two students meet up again and reflect on the impact of the seamstress, and of the period on their present day lives.

Tue 27 Jan, 1 evening show, UGC

Directed by Fruit Chan
Starring: Yiu Yuet-Ming, Mak Wai-Fan
Hong Kong 1999. 115 mins. Cantonese with English subtitles
Cert: 12A

With MADE IN HONG KONG, Fruit Chan established himself at the forefront of Hong Kong's new independent filmmaking, post 1997. His films are vivid portraits of Hong Kong, shot through with authenticity, drawing together non-professional actors and naturalistic stories taken from the teeming streets of the territory.

LITTLE CHEUNG is the compassionate story of a streetwise 9-year old boy who helps out in the family restaurant in the bustling working class Mongkok district just before the reunification with China. His parents are always working at their restaurant, so Little Cheung becomes much closer to his grandmother and her Filipino maid Armi. He befriends Fan, a girl his age who is an illegal immigrant from China. He splits his tips with her when she helps him deliver take-outs for his father. Against his father's will, Little Cheung starts searching for his older brother, whom his father disowned because he became a gangster.

Wed 28 Jan, 6.15pm, CCA + On-stage interview with Yu Lik Wai
Fri 30 Jan, 6.00pm, CCA + Q&A with Yu Lik Wai

Directed by Yu Lik Wai
Starring: Yong Won Cho, Yinan Diao
China/France 2003. 96 mins. Mandarin with English subtitles
Cert: 18. Official Selection. Cannes 2003

In the post-apocalyptic 21st century, an authoritarian sect rules continental Asia. It aims to engineer a new society by confining misfits to re-education camps. Zhuai and his brother Mian are captured and sent to one such camp called Prosperity. They soon discover that life there is more than just propaganda. Some time later, the sect collapses. Suddenly granted freedom, the inmates wonder what to do with it.

It's easy to draw the parallels between Yu Lik Wai's audacious drama and modern Chinese history. ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES is partly a sly commentary on shifts in China's culture over the last 3 decades. But it's also a dystopian vision of the future, convincingly formed by Yu (the noted cinematographer of realist Chinese films such as Xiao Wu) in high definition digital formats that give the film an unprecedented futuristic look.

'At once intimate and enigmatic... and very beautiful.' - Tony Rayns, Vancouver Film Festival 2003

Directed by Suki Chan and Dinu Li
UK 2003. 8 mins

A Chinese folksong recedes into the distance. Shadows of the original song reappear alongside the goddesses of nature and nurture.

A dazzling experimental video in which ancient myths and cultures collide with new technology and chaos theory.

Fri 30 Jan, 8.30pm, CCA
Sat 31 Jan, 6.00pm, CCA + INTRO by Gary Needham

A CITY OF SADNESS (Beiqing Chengshi)
Directed by Hou Hsiao Hsien
Starring: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Xin Xu Fen
Taiwan 1989. 157 mins. Mandarin and Japanese with English subtitles
Cert: 15

Hou Hsiao Hsien's now landmark film follows the fortunes and affairs of one family through a tumultuous period of Taiwan's history, the four years after WWII, which ended with the retreat of Chiang Kai Shek's Nationalists to the island.

An intimate epic, Hou is primarily concerned with the effect of wider politics on the lives of his main characters - an old widower, his three sons and their wives - as they follow different paths through the underworld of a developing society.

'…a masterpiece of small gestures and massive resonance…' - Tony Rayns, Time Out

Sat 31 Jan, 9.00pm, CCA
Sun 1 Feb, 3.00pm, CCA

Directed by Hou Hsiao Hsien
Starring: Shu Qi, Jack Kao
Taiwan/France 2001. 157 mins. Mandarin with English subtitles
Cert: 15
A rare UK screening of Hou Hsiao Hsien's most recent film. A millennial tango of torn romance underscored by an insistent techno score.

The youthful Vicky (Shu Qi) is torn between two men, Hao-Hao and Jack. At night she works as a PR person at a nightclub to support both of them. Hao-Hao is ultra-possessive, keeping watch over her all the time, on or off the job. He checks her bank accounts, telephone bills - everything, in an attempt to track Vicky's activities. She's decided to leave him when her savings run out and has drifted into the arms of Jack. He treats her well but has shady business dealings. When he has a sudden money crisis, he disappears to Japan.

'An exciting demonstration of cinema magic.' - Libération

Sun 1 Feb, 1.00pm, CCA

CRAZY ENGLISH (Fengkuang Yingyu)
Directed by Zhang Yuan
China 1999. 92 mins. Mandarin with English subtitles.
Cert: PG

In 1988, Li Yang was an under-achieving engineering student when he came up with a self-help plan and turned it into a successful business empire. He now tours China, exhorting stadium-sized crowds to learn English by shouting it at the tops of their voices. He charges admission to his mass evangelical teach-ins.

A jaw-dropping documentary from Zhang Yuan, the leading light of China's 'Sixth Generation'. CRAZY ENGLISH simply follows Li Yang in the course of his business, connecting his success to China's open-arms approach to the new enterprise culture.

Mon 2 Feb, 6.45pm, GFT
Tue 3 Feb, 2.00pm, GFT

Directed by Royston Tan
Starring: Melvin Chen, Shaun Tan
Singapore 2003. 94 mins. English, Mandarin and Fujian dialect with English subtitles
Cert: 18. Official Selection, Venice Film Festival 2003

A punky portrait of the Singapore's problem boys, teenage dropouts who hang out in gangs, smuggle drugs, listen to rap and indulge in body piercing, much as we see teenagers everywhere - except Singapore.

Ace short filmmaker Royston Tan has created shockwaves around the world with his debut feature SHIWU, not least in his home territory of Singapore, the world's most renowned nanny state. Tan is just 26 years old, so it's no surprise that his film looks, sounds and feels exactly like a facsimile of teenage experience with its choppy edits, slogans and self-possessed cast.

'I only wanted to make a film of their lives, but in shooting it I've reconnected with a part of myself that I'd forgotten.' - Royston Tan

Directed by David Cheung
UK 2003. 10 mins
Thanks to David Cheung and the London College of Printing

The extraordinary true story of Chang and Eng, the original Siamese Twins. Born in Siam in 1811, the Twins became an international cause célèbre, fascinating the medical profession and gaining success in spite of the prejudices of Victorian society.

David Cheung's film is an elaborately produced series of thumbnail sketches featuring the key moments of the Twins' lives.

Tue 3 Feb, 1 evening show, UGC

DURIAN DURIAN (Liulian Piaopiao)
Directed by Fruit Chan
Starring: Qin Hailu, Mak Wai-Fan
Hong Kong 2000. Cantonese with English subtitles
Cert: 15

A companion piece to LITTLE CHEUNG.

A little girl from Shenzhen in mainland China named Fan recounts her father's early dawn ritual of dressing in complete darkness, preparing his meal, and rolling his portable cart to the train station, as he makes his daily commute to Hong Kong to buy and sell cigarettes. It is a difficult life of prolonged separation, and Fan waits in eager anticipation for the return of Hong Kong to China, when the family can freely immigrate to Hong Kong to start a new life under better economic conditions.

In the meantime, her parents have decided to take up temporary residence in the poor, working class district of Mongkok. There, everyday, as Fan and her mother wash dishes in the street, she observes a beautiful, well-dressed young prostitute named Yan accompanied by her street tough pimp. The film then shifts focus to follow Yan as she eats a meal, collects a set of towels from a cheap hotel, encourages her client to take a shower and cajoles him into giving her a big tip.

With DURIAN DURIAN, Fruit Chan creates an affectionate, contemplative, and sensitively realized film on disillusionment, economic survival, and nostalgia for a lost Chinese soul.

Wed 4 Feb, 6.45pm, GFT

Directed by Wayne Wang
Starring: Spencer Nakasako, Chan Kin Wan, Victor Wong
US 1989. 88 mins. Cantonese with English subtitles
Cert: 18.

Somewhere between the charming successes of DIM SUM and THE JOY LUCK CLUB, US-based director Wayne Wang made this in turns shocking, hilarious, surreal, foul-mouthed, hyper-kinetic thriller, an unforgettable postcard from Hong Kong.

The protagonist is a self-styled urban cowboy hired by a group of people he believes to be gangsters to escort a briefcase from America to Hong Kong. When he arrives, however, his contact is nowhere to be found. With no further instructions, he decides to take in the sights of Hong Kong, all whilst wearing the briefcase handcuffed to his arm.

Semi-documentary material is occasionally inserted, giving LIFE IS CHEAP… an intriguing texture. Memorable for possibly the longest foot chase sequence in the history of movies, ending in the infamous and now demolished Walled City near the former Kai Tak Airport.

Wed 4 Feb, 8.30pm, CCA

With thanks to the National Film and Television School and to Jane Wong, we are delighted to present a programme of three shorts by Chinese filmmakers in the UK.

Directed by Xiaolu Guo
UK 2002. 22 mins. Mandarin and English with English subtitles

Leaving her country for the first time, a young Chinese writer wanders on a wild mountain in Wales. Through the beautiful, empty landscape and the people she meets, she enters a dreamlike world where memories of her life in a rapidly developing Beijing and a childhood in a poor fishing village return to her.

Xiaolu Guo was a novelist and screenwriter in China, before enrolling on to the Advanced Programme at the National Film and Television School. She has published many books and her latest novel, 'Village of Stone', will be published in English by Random House this year and also in France by Editions Philippe Picquier.

Directed by Xu Shujun
UK 2003. 27 mins. Mandarin with English subtitles.

The film reveals how a former Red Guard deals with the shift from revolutionary musician to manual worker in London and his search for a new wife in China.

Xu Shujun has worked on many Western films shot in mainland China over the past ten years. She enrolled on to the National Film and Television School's Advanced Programme to complete this film.

Directed by Jane Wong
UK 2001. 38 mins. Cantonese with English subtitles.

Liverpool, England, in a Chinese grocery, three Chinese women sit making dumplings. As they chat about traditions, family and men, we discover that although distinctly Chinese, their subjects are universal concerns to which we can all relate.

From the grocery to the cityscape of Liverpool, the women's everyday struggles, and acceptance of fate is revealed through humorous observations.

Thu 5 Feb, 9.00pm, GFT

Directed by Tsai Ming Liang
Starring: Li Kang Sheng, Miao Tan
Taiwan. 2003. 82 mins. Mandarin with English subtitles
Cert: U. Winner of the Fipresci Award, Venice Film Festival 2003

An old cinema is screening King Hu's martial arts classic, Dragon Inn. Even with the rain, the audience is thin on the ground and some of those who have turned up are less interested in the movie than in the possibility of meeting a stranger in the dark. This cinema is dying, the roof leaks. Just two people, the box-office girl and the projectionist run it. She has a gammy foot and a crush on the projectionist. He makes a point of avoiding her. Oh, and the place is haunted.

Tsai Ming Liang's latest is a funny and moving elegy to a cinema of the past. At times almost wordless, Tsai's images beautifully depict a fading way of life.

'Tsai Ming-Liang has fashioned what may be his most brilliant metaphor yet: a lament for the death of feelings framed as a valediction to an entire era of Chinese cinema and an obituary to film-going in general. Needless to say, it's cruelly, astringently funny.' - Tony Rayns, London Film Festival 2003

Directed by Pamela So
UK 1950s, 6 mins
Cert PG

A Chinese family enjoys a day out by the banks of Loch Lomond in the 1950s, when there were only five Chinese families living in Glasgow. The scenes are captured in elegant Super 8 but a soundtrack of a political demonstration hints that all is not so perfect for these families far from home.

dim sum - this programme was found on this site, which is covering/sponsoring this festival.

city of glass - paul auster - city of glass is one of the parts of the new york trilogy by paul auster, i finished it last night. as an introduction to auster's work it perhaps is not promising, given that it took me about 70 of the 130 odd pages before i was starting to get into it. the story is about identity and as it becomes clear language. daniel quinn was a poet, who lost his wife and son, after that he started writing detective novels as william watson, about a character called max work (is that an almost simpsons reference?). he has been doing it for long enough now that he feels that he is something of all three identities. but with a phone call one night looking for someone else altogether he finds himself taking on a fourth identity along with a real case as a private detective.

falling out of cars - jeff noon - with the lack of excitement generated by paul auster, i started falling out of cars, the latest by british writer jeff noon, the paper back having just come out over here in november. i had read an extract from it before and it seemed interesting, i am already 60 pages in and i am enjoying it. though i am struck by the coincidental similarities between it and city of glass, in city of glass the character starts to write down everything in a journal, and the man he is following is obssessed with language and the concepts of babel, while in falling out of cars the sections are journal entries by the narrator, trying to keep track of things in a book as language and everything around her loses its meaning....

just seen these two things posted elsewhere -
la perdita - jessica abel - the complete first issue of her four part series about a young american woman moving to mexico, apparently it is entirely sold out and is now online. no doubt there will be a collection at some point, and i'll need to make sure i haven't missed the fourth part. i have the first three issues sitting for me to re-read in one go.

quicksilver annotations - apparently contains some annotations to neal stephenson's quicksilver, which i finished the other week, i still need to write more about it, but i think on the whole i was perhaps disappointed by it. it was reasonably readable, but i think in the end overwritten given the seeming lack of an overall plot, at least in a specific manner.

Friday, January 02, 2004

russel hoban - just found this page for hoban, i've done a few searches before and not really found much, but this seems to be official fan page with reviews, quotes, and news with mailing list on yahoo as support called "the-kraken".

reman mythology - decent online fantasy graphic novel in progress, at times the pacing seems a little slow, but there is enough there to catch up on as a starting point, and i like the quality of art work. young girl always has her nose in a fantasy book, until she bumps into a mysterious stranger, she follows him after she spots him doing something odd, and ends up finding herself stuck on an alien planet, filled with spirts, gods, and bio-bots from a dying planet who intend to invade.

metanoia - just reading through this online GN, which was just posted on webcomics , 40 pages up so far, revolving around a couple of gay guys working the streets when they hear about a guy who is buying souls...

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