Fantastic Fest 2016

  1. The Handmaiden – A masterpiece by Park Chan-wook.
  2. A Dark Song – A study in building atmosphere and suspense.
  3. A Monster Calls – An ent teaches a young boy about fairness and healing.
  4. Colossal – Two childhood friends hash out their differences. There are also giant monsters.
  5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – X-Men First Class with churlish British kids.
  6. Science Fiction Volume One: The Osiris Child – Extremely confident indie sci-fi with an unnecessarily precise title.
  7. Raw – Girl tries meat for the first time. Likes it a lot.
  8. The Autopsy of Jane Doe – Wait,  don’t cut open that corpse! Too late.
  9. My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea – Wes Anderson-y animated high school drama.
  10. Assassination Classroom: Graduation – Students are conflicted about whether or not to assassinate their teacher.
  11. Arrival – Scientists try to crack an alien language before the rest of the world does what it always does when aliens appear.
  12. Don’t Kill It – It Follows, but with guns.
  13. Age of Shadows – A police drama about shifting loyalties.
  14. Buster’s Mal Heart – Rami Malek marginally expands his acting range, which is still awesome.
  15. We are the Flesh – The Gom Jabbar and Voight-Kampff tests in one convenient package.
  16. Shin Godzilla – Neon Genesis Evangellion without the EVAs.
  17. The Void – Who let this Shoggoth into the hospital?
  18. Aloys – A portrait of loneliness.
  19. Salt and Fire – Michael Shannon talks crazy using a measured, reassuring tone.
  20. Re: Born – Metal Gear Solid fan film.
  21. The Girl with all the Gifts – The Last of Us the movie, but without Joel.
  22. Nova Seed – Heavy Metal-inspired animated sci-fi created by one dude over a span of four years.
  23. High Frontier – Father takes two sons to remote winter cabin for a bonding experience.
  24. Zoology – Woman grows a tail. Some people notice.
  25. Fashionista – British filmmaker tells Austin all about how it has changed in the last ten years.
  26. Sweet Sweet Lonely Girl – There’s a really hot girl in this one.
  27. The Red Turtle – Guy gets stranded on island. Finds red turtle. Decides to stay. The End.

Fantastic Fest 2015

  1. The Brand New Testament
  2. Love and Peace
  3. Too Late
  4. Anomalisa
  5. Liza the Fox Fairy
  6. April and the Extraordinary World
  7. High-Rise
  8. The Martian
  9. Crimson Peak
  10. Klovn Forever
  11. Men and Chicken
  12. The Devil’s Candy
  13. The Keeping Room
  14. The Club
  15. The Wave
  16. Assassination Classroom
  17. Zoom
  18. Green Room
  19. Lovemilla
  20. Bone Tomahawk
  21. The Witch
  22. Coz ov Moni 2: Fokn Revenge
  23. Doug Benson Movie Interruption: Roar
  24. Dangerous Men
  25. Victoria
  26. Tale of Tales
  27. Demon
  28. Camino
  29. Sensoria
  30. Belladonna of Sadness
  31. Gridlocked
  32. In Search of the Ultra-Sex

Fantastic Fest 2014

  1. Horns
  2. Free Fall
  3. It Follows
  4. Jacky in the Kingdom of Women
  5. Nightcrawler
  6. Horsehead
  7. John Wick
  8. Housebound
  9. Tale of The Princess Kaguya
  10. Duke of Burgundy
  11. Open Windows
  12. The Incident
  13. Goodnight, Mommy
  14. The Hive
  15. Babadook
  16. I Am Here
  17. V/H/S Viral
  18. Force Majeure
  19. Everly
  20. The Absent One
  21. Let Us Prey
  22. The Editor
  23. Redeemer
  24. Tusk
  25. The Town that Dreaded Sundown
  26. Realiti
  27. Wastelander Panda
  28. From the Dark
  29. Tokyo Tribe
  30. The Stranger
  31. Darkness by Day
  32. Norway
  33. Local God
  34. Tombville

Fantastic Fest 2013

Here’s what I saw at Fantastic Fest 2013, in order of how much I enjoyed the films. I really only disliked “Fatal.”

  1. Mood Indigo
  2. Coherence
  3. Afflicted
  4. The Dirties
  5. Machete Kills
  6. LFO
  7. A Field in England
  8. Why Don’t You Play in Hell
  9. Hentai Kamen
  10. Rigor Mortis
  11. Eega
  12. Proxy
  13. O’Apostolo
  14. Zero Theorem
  15. Borgman
  16. R100
  17. Witching & Bitching
  18. The Congress
  19. She Wolf
  20. Ragnarok
  21. Nothing Bad Can Happen
  22. The Fake
  23. Man of Tai Chi
  24. Grand Piano
  25. Nightbreed – The Cabal Cut
  26. Detective Downs
  27. Patrick
  28. Almost Human
  29. The Resurrection of a Bastard
  30. Gatchaman
  31. The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
  32. We Gotta Get Out of this Place
  33. Fatal

Fantastic Fest 2012

  1. Cloud Atlas
  2. Holy Motors
  3. Antiviral
  4. American Mary
  5. Tower Block
  6. Wrong
  7. Black Out
  8. Aftershock
  9. Lee’s Adventure
  10. Flicker
  11. Bring Me the Head of Machine Gun Woman
  12. The ABC’s of Death
  13. Fuck Up
  14. Outrage Beyond
  15. Tai Chi 0
  16. The Warped Forest
  17. Come Out and Play

Life Update

It seems that the most exciting news in my life lately is Bess-related. Bess has moved in with me and it has been wonderful having her here all the time in a more “official” capacity. Being with her simply feels right and everything ” just works” (like our relationship was designed by Apple!). Our plan is to save up and buy a house in a year, which is really exciting for both of us.

Bess has decided to sell her car and take up riding a motorcycle instead, a prospect which is at the same time thrilling and terrifying. I like the idea of having a biker babe girlfriend, but now I have something new to be anxious about.

Keeping with the thrilling/terrifying theme, Bess and I are training for the Warrior Dash, which is a 3 mile race filled with dangerous obstacles such as barbed wire fences and objects traditionally not on fire. We’ve been going to the gym six days a week to do an hour of cardio and strength training. I went from being winded by 15 minutes of exercise to being able to go an hour on the elliptical machine without passing out. By November I will be like a lithe jungle animal, leaping from tree to tree.

So that’s what’s up, folks.

The Global Supermind

We fantasize and fear a post-human future where people are augmented by cybernetics and bionics. Machine intelligences wake, break free of their shackles to save humanity or wage war on it. We speculate on the long-term impact of technology and whatever we are labeling “new media,” making forecasts for the next fifty years. It is always the humans of the future that are the subject of these visions, dwelling in shiny/grungy Tomorrowland/dystopias.

I submit that humanity was transformed long ago and our willing participation in a vast organism has made us oblivious.

The moment a human recorded information outside of their brain, the moment a stick traced a line in the dirt, they stopped being Human 1.0. At that point they joined the augmented state and began participating in the Internet.

The Internet is not a network of computers. The Internet is the Earth’s information prosthetic, a planet-wide system composed of both organic and inorganic modules. Information on the Internet is created, transmitted, stored, and curated by a human and non-human symbiosis. Data is transmitted via machine to machine, human to human, human to machine, and machine to human interfaces.

One cannot disconnect from the Internet by turning off a device or looking away from a screen. The data absorbed from one’s participation with the Internet still exists in a person’s brain where it is refreshed, modified, corrupted, re-transmitted or erased. If a person dies, only the subtle permutations of their dataset are lost, the original information being preserved by the massive redundancy of the rest of the Internet. Only the obliteration of the universe can end the Internet, for waves of its data still travel to distant stars.

Zoom out. Zoom way, way out. Stop being so human. Encounter the planet for the first time. Recognize individuality only so far as cells or atoms are individual. Nothing lives “on” Earth; it is a massive singular organism. Notice the planet-wide energy field, dense with information.  The planet’s memory is a persistent atmosphere where all thoughts are instantly accessible. Tap into it. A million thoughts per second, a cacophony,  impossible to parse in its gestalt unless you are also a planetary intelligence or a god. Narrow the bandwidth and you get the decades-long ruminations of a hive mind, entire histories distilled to memes.

On this scale, the Singularity is just a software upgrade and the version number on “Human” goes up a tick.

You are participating in all of this right now. You never really had a choice not to.

At the closing of the year

This will be my last weekly post for the One a Day project. While I veered off course during the last few months, I think the important thing is that I followed through to the end. Finishing something after making a commitment is important to me. I haven’t completed the Dune game yet. In the coming year I need to figure out how to partition off time for creative projects in my post-single life. I think I will actually make new year’s resolutions for 2012. I want to lose some weight, figure out some other life stuff, and re-prioritize.

This was a great year for me. I want 2012 to be a year where I shape and focus the potential energy from 2011.

Bye for now.

Happy Birthday 2011

I love my birthday. For me, it has lost that quality of a milestone that comes around to prompt reflection on the past year. Those milestones are happening throughout the year. My birthday is MY day. I get to do whatever I want, no matter how ridiculous. Usually this involves a party. This time around I had some folks over early in the afternoon to play the board game Talisman with almost all of the expansions. Later on, more people arrived to play Rock Band and enjoy beverages. My house was partitioned into the Rock Band Room, the Board Game Room, the Chill Out Room, and the Smoker’s Back Porch. While I did enjoy myself a great deal, I wish I could have had more time to hang out in each area.

Close to 30 people showed up, and that isn’t even all of my Austin friends. For me there is no fame, no heaven, no children, no inheritance, no stock options. There’s just my friends. They are my only reward in this life. Having a house full of them for just a few hours is the only metric I need to assess how I did this past year.

Thanks, guys.

Albuquerque Visit 2011

Every year my company flies me back in to Albuquerque for the annual company Christmas party. I usually stay at a nearby motel and work at the main office for a week. This year was wonderfully different as Bess accompanied me. It was great to see her at lunch and have her pick me up at work instead of returning to a lonely motel room.

As usual, there were a few new faces at work, people who I had only interacted with online. Though I got some things done, I always feel like I get less accomplished when I am in the office than when I am working from home.

When I wasn’t at work, Bess and I visited some of my old friends, went out to eat, and caught a movie (The Thing) at the dollar theater. The Christmas party was lovely, culminating in the epic gift exchange. Bess picked out a luchador mask and a bobblehead art toy as our contributions. We scored $20 and a remote controlled truck which we donated to a charity (though I kind of wanted to keep the truck).

The travel portion that bookended the trip was a bit taxing, filled with delays and personal discomfort. We were glad to get home.