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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for February, 2009

Preemptive strike

February 24, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies 4 Comments →

Oh great I’ve just ruined practically any chance I have of enjoying the Watchmen movie by reading the graphic novel. For years, decades, I’ve been hearing that Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s book is brilliant, complex, groundbreaking, a masterwork of ruthless psychological realism. Fanboys, I sniggered and rolled my eyeballs—secretly, because I don’t want to come home to my apartment to find that a truck has been assembled in my living room.

Years pass, the ownership issues are sorted out by competing studios, the movie opens soon, and the portents are not good: the director’s previous movie is the abdominal workout fantasy 300, and Alan Moore has already dismissed the film adaptation. And then I have to go and read the graphic novel, which turns out to be brilliant, complex, groundbreaking, a masterwork of ruthless psychological realism. Blast, screwed my own movie viewing.

Still, the filmmakers might spring a surprise—what are we movie lovers if not optimists with an endless capacity for rationalization. I enjoyed Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead—most of it anyway, until the humans stupidly decided to leave the mall. Or was that a different zombie movie. Billy Crudup’s in Watchmen, naked, except that he’s blue (Dr. Manhattan). Matthew Goode is Ozymandias: I hope he’s awake this time, because in the Brideshead Revisited movie his role could’ve been played with more verve by a two-by-four. (Who cast Ben Whishaw as Sebastian?!!) The only signs of life in that flatliner were Emma Thompson and Michael Gambon, and even they looked bored.

I’m looking at imdb and…there’s going to be a sequel to 300? What, they rise from the dead?

Magical unrealism

February 24, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Movies 3 Comments →

Salman Rushdie is not a fan of Slumdog Millionaire.

“The movie piles impossibility on impossibility,” the famous novelist said in a lecture Sunday evening at Emory University.

Uhh. . .like Midnight’s Children? Which you wrote?

In a particularly timely talk about “adaptations” —- books made into movies, and other translations —- Rushdie lambasted the “feel-good movie” and the book “Slumdog Millionaire” was based on. His complaints ran the gamut from how characters acquire a gun in India to how they mysteriously wind up at the Taj Mahal, 1,000 miles from the previous scene.

That may be surprising coming from an author whose writing is known for a limited adhesion to reality. His narratives can veer into magical developments at the drop of the hat. But one of this movie’s problems, Rushdie said, is one it shares with other films. “Again, the problem with this adaptation begins with the work being adapted,” he said. Rushdie’s novels haven’t been made into movies yet, but he’s working on that now, including one of his much-honored book, “Midnight’s Children.”

A car crash, millisecond by millisecond

February 24, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Technology 4 Comments →

From The Age: Anatomy of a car crash.

This is a reconstruction of a crash involving a stationary Ford Falcon XT sedan being struck in the driver’s door by another vehicle travelling at 50 km/h. One millisecond equals 1/1000th of a second.

0 milliseconds – An external object touches the driver’s door.

1 ms – The car’s door pressure sensor detects a pressure wave.

2 ms – An acceleration sensor in the C-pillar behind the rear door also detects a crash event.

2.5 ms – A sensor in the car’s centre detects crash vibrations.

5 ms – Car’s crash computer checks for insignificant crash events, such as a shopping trolley impact or incidental contact. It is still working out the severity of the crash. Door intrusion structure begins to absorb energy…

It takes 150-300 milliseconds for the human brain to register that it’s been in a car crash. The crash is usually over by the time the occupant of the car realizes he’s in one.

Reading The Reader

February 23, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies 3 Comments →

My gay Superbowl event (watching Oscars with friends) was cancelled at 3am and I didn’t have the stamina to watch the telecast alone even with the inviting prospect of Hugh Jackman’s pants tearing during a musical number. Michael just texted me that Meryl Streep had lost. Ah.

Here are nine ways to read The Reader, the vehicle of Kate Winslet’s victory (though the voters may have been thinking of her performance in Revolutionary Road).


Photo: Hell by Jake and Dinos Chapman

1. The Nazi concentration camp guard who regularly chose people to be killed and let 300 people burn to death in a church wasn’t evil, she was just illiterate.

2. The Nazi concentration camp guard who regularly chose people to be killed and let 300 people burn to death in a church wouldn’t have done those bad things if she knew how to read.

3. The Nazi concentration camp guard who regularly chose people to be killed and let 300 people burn to death in a church was not aware that she was participating in genocide. The average Germans were anti-Hitler. Yeah, like the average French were in the Resistance. Riiight.

4. The Nazi concentration camp guard who regularly chose people to be killed and let 300 people burn to death in a church never felt remorse for her deeds, but she taught herself how to read! Wow!

5. The Nazi concentration camp guard who regularly chose people to be killed and let 300 people burn to death in a church spent 20 years in prison listening to and reading books. And that’s punishment enough, cause reading is, like, boring.

6. The Nazi concentration camp guard who regularly chose people to be killed and let 300 people burn to death in a church and then taught herself to read proves that you can do anything as long as you put your mind to it.

7. The Nazi concentration camp guard who regularly chose people to be killed and let 300 people burn to death in a church then taught herself to read while in prison didn’t have Elie Wiesel, Simone Weil, or Primo Levi on her reading list so she couldn’t understand her part in the Holocaust.

8. The Nazi concentration camp guard who regularly chose people to be killed and let 300 people burn to death in a church was illiterate and working class while her victims were overeducated and live on Park Avenue so it was a class thing.

9. The Nazi concentration camp guard who regularly chose people to be killed and let 300 people burn to death in a church had sex with a 15-year-old boy then learned to read, so let’s give Kate Winslet an Oscar because we should’ve given her one years ago.

P.S. Sean Penn! Thank you, commie homo-loving sons of guns. Now I return to cramming Watchmen in time for the movie.

Sweeten your food shots

February 23, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Food No Comments →


Photo from www.juliehhh.com

These days you can’t sit down to a meal anymore without at least two people at the table producing cameras and taking pictures of the food you are about to consume. I speak as an occasional offender and mediocre photographer. As long as you’re prolonging the buildup of my stomach acids, you might as well take a food shot that doesn’t look like the ten million other food shots on the web. The menu site Julie hhh has some suggestions.

Palindrome!

February 22, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Language 1 Comment →

“Dammit I’m Mad”
by Demetri Martin

Dammit I’m mad.
Evil is a deed as I live.
God, am I reviled? I rise, my bed on a sun, I melt.
To be not one man emanating is sad. I piss.
Alas, it is so late. Who stops to help?
Man, it is hot. I’m in it. I tell.
I am not a devil. I level “Mad Dog”.
Ah, say burning is, as a deified gulp,
In my halo of a mired rum tin…