Idiot Savant Online

John Lichman's third attempt at a personal blog and online savanting idiotic.

Dead Darlings: The Prometheus and Your Technology essay

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This was an essay on Prometheus‘ treatment of technology and how, in science fiction, we’ve transitioned from needing blunt futuristic images into a more organic shell.  After a few edits, we were all sort of stilled on it but the core of the idea is what fascinates me so much about Prometheus. It works better as an ideal than calling it a prequel.

In a weird way, Ridley Scott rebooted the Alien universe.  Anyway, a whirlwind of words follow.

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Dead Darlings: Paul Weitz edition

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Interviewed Paul Weitz for Being Flynn over at The Playlist. Like any talk, a lot of stuff is brought up and cut in editing for space or because you’re the only diehard American Dreamz fan. Like this exchange:

To go completely off track: “American Dreamz” was awesome and underrated. But Bobcat Goldthwait has “God Bless America” coming out, not sure if you know anything about it.

No.

Guy has terminal cancer and decides to start killing people from reality shows and folks who generally destroy our culture.

[Laughs]

I was wondering, “American Dreamz” is under-appreciated, years go by and now we have the progression of “God Bless America” which is killing these people because it’s gotten so bad. Do you take a little pride in that?

Oh, he seems to dance to his own drum. I really think he does interesting work that I take no–I doubt he’s seen “American Dreamz,” most people haven’t. That sounds good. I think at some point there’s an interest at trying to take an X-Ray at what’s going on with the culture. Which usually means you’re going to make a marginal film. And using satire as a pick at things. But that sounds great.

I had a pretty funny experience with “American Dreamz.” I went out with Dennis Quaid on the weekend that it opens to see different people reacting to it. And we went to a theater where Sam Golzari, who plays the terrorist in it, all of his relatives had gone to this one theater and packed it. Cheering and screaming and stuff when Sam came on. Dennis was like, “Man this is going to be a massive hit, Paul! This is incredible!” However I had already gotten a call saying that basically in the middle of the country no one had gone to see it. So I knew it was a bomb. It was just a funny evening of hanging out with Dennis and bite my tongue.

Written by john lichman

March 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm

The Down and Out of D.C. Metro Vs. Proper

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It’s easy to say you grew up in Washington, D.C. It connotes you served time in a city that used to be rough, despite being the central hub of power for the United States. Maybe you lived in the posh Northwest, venturing every so often into Adams Morgan for a night of drunken debauchery and running from panhandlers to catch the last train at midnight. Maybe you were from Northeast, not as nice but filled with charm and proof you were probably working for the government. Or maybe you lived in Southeast/Southwest You probably didn’t, but let’s move on.

If you want to be sure the person you’re talking to grew up inside the 4×4 confines of actual D.C., there’s a simple thing to ask: “Proper or Metro?”

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Written by john lichman

January 16, 2012 at 12:02 pm

An Idiot’s Best of 2011

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Boiling an entire year down into a numerical list is something akin to masturbation of the highest caliber. Think about it: hundreds of films released, and a majority of critics–depending on location–only consider those which played for a week in a dingy spot at the Laemmle 5 or Quad Cinema to be valid. Honorable Mentions:

Battle Royale

This 2000 adaptation of Koushun Takami’s novelistic ode to wrestling’s battles royal never saw a proper US release until this year at theCinefamily in Los Angeles. It’s amazing that a film with the cult status it has–inspiring two manga sequels, a (lacking) film follow-up, the entire plot of The Hunger Games–never got a seven-day run in New York, despite selling out at the New York Asian Film Festival when screened.

The Man From Nowhere

When we had Grady Hendrix come visit Grassroots Tavern, we asked him to describe the recent trend of Korean revenge films. His answer: “Karenge.” If that doesn’t sum up The Man from Nowhere, I’m not sure what else would. Though not nearly as dark as I Saw The Devil, from savage bon mots (“How many gold teeth do you have? I’m a pawn shop owner and I want to know which to rip from your mouth”) to bathroom knife fights and a bittersweet ending, this sums up exactly what the Karenge genre boils down to: you can take revenge and kill everyone, but ultimately it will kill you.

A Seperation

Not optional.

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The Rest Of The Best 2011

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Let’s make this  short and sweet. Consider this an Idiot’s version of the Skandies if the Skandies had a brow lower than the common denominator.

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You say Politico, I say Poly-tico…

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For folks who don’t know the difference between Beltway Politics and Inner/Outer Loops, it really is an easy mistake. Especially if you’re supposed to be covering entertainment news with a political tint for a major national magazine known for its political coverage.

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Waiting for the Dead of the World

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If nothing says “post-apocalypse” better than an undead monkey’s uncle, then dagnabbit there’s something there to this whole zombies metaphor. Especially when it comes to the explosion of the theme in gaming over the last decade, from the sandbox comic-horror of the Dead Rising franchise to the survival-horror that evolved into Bruckheimer-horror of Resident Evil.

And then came the teaser for Dead Island:

So, why is The Last of Us so gosh-darn different?
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Written by john lichman

December 17, 2011 at 11:25 pm