So Apogaea 2009 finally has tix for sale! I’m getting excited for the festival, though I still have a long way to go on the sculpture. Still waiting on permits from Boulder County—if we have it at the new location, it’ll be much more convenient, but would be fine with having it at H.A.R. down in Park County, even though that’s two hours’ drive rather than one. Either way, should be fun.
If anyone doesn’t know:
Apogaea is Colorado’s regional Burning Man event. It follows BM principles, such as radical self expression, radical self reliance, leave no trace, no commodification, etc.. There’s art and music and costumes and performance and humor and gifting. And bacon…much bacon (Hopefully, Bobalicious will be making the “Bacon Explosion,” which is a roll of crispy bacon in sausage, wrapped in woven net of more bacon, rolled up, covered in BBQ sauce, and smoked…). Music tends towards the thumpa-thumpa variety, though there’s a bit of everything. Population is probably around 700. Hopefully there won’t be a fire ban—or we can get a variance—for our burn barrels, fire artwork, fire performance, and the burning of the volcano that is the centerpiece this year.
Yes, it’s nowhere near the amazingness of BM itself—there you have incredible, huge art in a totally unique setting, with 50,000 other people around you building a whole freakin’ city. But you get the same feeling of community at Apo—the sharing, the friendliness, the joy, and the free offering of gifts/succor/food/drink/art/creativity. It’s fun seeing what people bring. And since it’s primarily the Colorado BM family attending, it’s neat being around so many people you know.
Skills Like This - Another Denver-based film—much more Denver-centric than Ink. Yay to seeing locations I know and love (The Bug, Senor Burrito’s, etc.). Script was pretty good; not sure where it ended up going, but I liked it. Four stars.
Interview (2007) - About what I expected. Steve Buscemi (political journalist)interviews Sienna Miller (soap opera actress); starts off poorly, they fight a lot but also bond; ends with a predictable twist. Three stars.
Clerks 2 (2006) - Okay, I guess, but doesn’t match the joy of the original Clerks. It seems like Smith is trying too hard to recreate the fast, witty banter and raunchy comments (saw that in Chasing Amy, too). Eh. Three stars.
After Hours (1985) - Saw this ’cause it was Scorsese directing, but it was just okay. Guy trying to get home but has no money… Um, it’s the same city, you know? You walk for a while? Dopey. Two stars.
Hitman (2007) - I’m a sucker for the previews on the Netflix DVDs. Preview in general, too, I guess. “Ooh, that looks good, I have to put that on my queue!” (And this is why my queue is at the maximum 500 movies…). Two stars.
Stopped by the studio for a few hours last night; in 2 1/2 hours I got the vertical torso pieces trimmed and cut out two more of the torso cross-pieces. Next is to cut the slots in the last torso cross-piece, and then the torso should be done! Maybe I can start on a limb this weekend, so the torso actually starts to look like a body rather than just some giant pieces of plywood slotted together…
Spent ten straight hours working on the Man on Saturday. Three and a half pieces of the torso are built, the three being the massive vertical pieces. Those are the largest pieces of the whole thing, so it’s nice to have those cut. Now everything else just has to fit onto it. Hopefully over the next few days I can get the cross pieces in the torso and have it done; also get the last four head pieces cut out on the band saw at work so I can have that section completed. Then on to the limbs, which I hope will be easier, since they’re more narrow and thus easier to haul around and work with. Photos once the torso’s more complete and thus there’s something to look at.
Spent the first night working in the studio, cutting on the first pieces of the actual sculpture! It’s good to finally be starting on the piece, especially since I’ve got just six weeks or so to get it finished.
Working with the plywood wasn’t as difficult as I’d thought it might be; it splintered along the edge a tiny bit but not as much as it could have. I can probably smooth the edges with a power sander, or for the smaller pieces, bring them in to the woodshop here at work and do it on the big belt sander. Kinda wondering if I should just cut a lot of the smaller pieces on the big band saw here…it’d be a pain to haul them back and forth, but the band saw wouldn’t be as much work as setting up and constantly adjusting the sawhorses, switching extension cords between tools, and holding up the Sawzall for hours at a time. Yes, that sounds like a good idea. I just have to get the wood into smaller, more manageable pieces.
The slots are a bit more difficult. I really want the pieces to hold together, so I don’t want to make them too loose, but if they’re too tight, it’ll be a pain to get in there to fix them. Possibly some judicious work with a jigsaw.
I must remember to stop obsessing over tiny little mistakes or variances. I’m all measuring stuff down to the millimeter, and then I realize that this is going to be a huge sculpture, and what I’m focusing on is going to be ten feet up in the air and probably unseen by someone on the ground, anyway.
Head’s about half done. Head is eight pieces; four are done. Total sculpture is 76 pieces, so…72 to go!
“Twitter seems to be, first and foremost, an online haven where teenagers making drugs can telegraph secret code words to arrange gang fights and orgies. It also functions as a vehicle for teasing peers until they commit suicide.”—
Next Friday, a Flavor-Tripping party here in Denver. You eat the “Miracle Berry” and a special protein in it temporarily re-wires your tastebuds so that very sour things (lemons, pickles, etc.) taste wonderfully sweet. I’ve read about this for years, now, so it will be interesting to try it out. Party starts at 9:00 p.m., cost is $15 (includes the berry and the taster food). Location is the Sugar House at 1395 W. Alameda.
Okay, so the last stage of this massive art project begins. The quarter-scale working model’s pretty much finished (photos soon). Borrowed some serious tools to cut the wood. I’ve worked out a sub-lease of some space in my friend’s studio up on 40th and Wynkoop, and got my list of stuff I need to bring up there. I have reservations for tomorrow morning to rent a van and I’ll go buy the couple-dozen sheets of 4’x8’ plywood that I need, then bring them up there and perhaps as early as tomorrow, I can start cutting. Have to hope that 3/4” plywood works the same way that 1/4” MDF works; that the tools work the way I hope; and that I have enough time to get the whole thing done. I’m already a month or more behind schedule, but I really hope that with the working model as an exact template, I’ll be able to just draw and cut and fit, with little of the experimentation that took so long on the working model. Anyway. Update next week will hopefully be full of good news re: the studio and the progress. Photos of the working model should be uploaded then, too. Yay!
Sleep Dealer (2008) - Loved this Mexican film that showed as part of the Xican Indie Film Festival! Cinematography was great, the story was really interesting, and the tech was realistic and believeable. Loved how they subtly referred to many of today’s issues in Mexico and between Mexico and the USA: water rights and privatization, militarization, closed borders, globalism, reality TV, and even the EZLN (here re-branded as “aquaterrorists”). Five stars.
Ink (2009) - Denver represent! Fun seeing our own city on the big screen like that; trying to identify exactly where a camera angle is or what building that might be. Film’s story was really interesting, and the music was great, and the fight scenes and costumes were terrific. Cinematography was good—I almost think the filmmaker was going all-out with the tricks, and at times the freneticism of the film was tiring, but that’s probably a style choice by the director. I loved the The only criticisms I had were that he seemed to be cramming too many storylines (redemption story, chase story, Incubus/Storyteller mythology) all into one film; and I’m not a big fan of the radical changes in personality of one of the characters (witty, funny husband; a great father, but then turns into a complete asshole after his wife dies). Still, it was a really great film. Kudos to the director, Jamin Winans, whose short film Spin is still one of my favorite short films ever (themes and music from Spin recur in Ink). Five stars.
Monsters and Aliens (2009) Well-done, good story and humor and I love the 3D effects. Four stars.
Long time since I’ve listed what I’ve watched, and keeping a list of what I’ve seen so at the end of the year I can remember my favorites was kind of the main catalyst for starting a Tumbleblog. So…
Scary Movie 3 and 4: Eh. Almost better when we watched them in Spanish on TV in a Mexican restaurant in San Cristobal. Three stars, both. [Netflix]
Planet of the Apes (Charlton Heston version): Wow. For such an important sci-fi film, this was sure bad. Two stars. [Mile High Sci Fi]
The Onion Movie: Some funny skits, but not sustained. Still, love The Onion. Three stars [Netflix]
The Last Castle: Three stars for a predictable action movie. [Netflix]
Quantum of Solace: I had a coupon for a free rental at Redbox, the robot/jukebox/DVD rental machines, so I tried it out. Pretty cool! For just a dollar, you get a movie, all automated and everything. Cheaper than Netflix,* though I’m sure I’d like only a handful of films in each box. *Only a dollar—per day. So you have to watch it that night and return it the next day before 9:00, or you pay another dollar. So it looks like something that might take some planning… Anyway, four stars for being a good action movie, and I like Daniel Craig as Bond. Also, I like him ‘cause he’s actually younger than I am, yet looks much older, so yeah, I feel good about that.
Jack of All Trades: Actually a TV show, but I’ll include it. Bruce Campbell is a super-capable, rough-and-ready American spy on a South Pacific island in the year 1801. Silly, lots of anachronisms and puns, but fun. I guess it’s kind of in the same vein as Xena Warrior Princess, though I never saw that. Love Bruce Campbell, though. Four stars for what it is. Was. Whatever.
Finally getting all these old photos loaded onto Flickr…sweet! This set is Rocky and my trip to the Yucatan back in 2007. Lots of ruins photos (Chichen Itza, Labna, Kabah, Sayil). Finally, my FlickrPro membership is paying off!