A Stone's Throw

practice your aim. you never know when you'll spy 2 birds at once.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Another Birth

In the arts, the creation of something new is often a long series of work days interspersed with moments of joy. The hands develop pains you never knew you had, your spine becomes permanently bent like a musical clef, eyes fluctuate between the redness of an addict to the owlishness loss of pupils. You eat too much, you eat too little. You ignore things that would drive anyone crazy, and are instantly irritated by things sane people find perfectly acceptable.

But in between all of that are the times when the brush stroke lights perfectly on the canvas, when the word you've been laboring over for days appears in spam email causing much rejoicing, when the fingers caress the piano keys with the exact tempo after practicing a piece a thousand times. These are the moments of grace that keep the artist working.

I don't know that anyone can say with any certainty why artists do what they do, why they are pushed to their craft. But what they are doing is taking something from within them and recreating portions of themselves in the world. It is, in its own unique way, giving life.

Today I have finished a new project that took a great deal of energy. I've had this idea running around like a pestering child in my head for the past 5-odd years. After the successes of 2007, I decided to finally put the child out of my mind and onto the page. Thus, I welcome into the world my newest novel, 'November's Lord', a dark tale set in a dystopian future where perfection is only a credit card away, but freedom is not for sale.

Light a cigar, its a book!

- C

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Flick Thoughts

I've been seeing a lot of films lately and decided to post my thoughts on some of them. If interested, read away:

The Departed

Whatever the fetish that Scorsese has with Leonardo DiCaprio, is beyond me. It is as if they told Leo, ‘hey, you can look like a grown up actor if you just furrow your brow a lot and pretend to have an attitude.’ This film is the case of too many names. It’s like watching a red carpet award show. Individually some of them were great: Wahlberg was a true Southie, Matt Damon, stalwart as always, Martin Sheen revived with a great deal of money and smelling salts to come up with a good performance, and Nicholson playing himself as the perfect gangster. But when your film turns into Ocean’s 11-turned gangster style, the parade of stars is too distracting. And when a Baldwin brother shows up in a film, warning flags should go off.



A very fine film that makes certain to make you feel worse when you leave the theatre. I’m not sure that’s a healthy thing to take in all the time, but a sad film can still be a good one. The acting was great, the visuals - intriguing, and the mix of storylines - compelling. This is the final film of a trilogy of films that began with Amores Perros, and 21 Grams. Director Alejandro Inarritu has created a sweeping look at human choices, finding peace and redemption, and family.

What was especially fantastic was the music. From the sweeping Spanish guitar, performed by Gustavo Santaolalla, to the trance mix of a Tokyo nightclub, it brings you along for a beautiful musical ride.

Pan’s Labyrinth

If you can remember being a child and the world would change with the flip of a coin - the tree outside your window led to a magical city, a garage to an unexplored underground kingdom, a trapdoor to where the monsters lived – then this film will resonate strongly with you.

Set in the middle of the Spanish Civil War, a young girl battles her fears when she discovers the entrance to another world. There she meets a creaky, disturbing satyr that sets her on a quest to perform three tasks in order to become the queen of that world.

Yet this is not a children’s movie, despite its premise. Nor is it a movie for the faint-hearted. This is a true dark fantasy. But it is absolutely amazing, in themes, live-action animation, Cgi, and performances.

Not just the best foreign film of the year, but the best film of the year. Bar none.

A bent wooden arm extends toward you and beckons you to enter a world of horror and mystery and wonder…