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#554: The Disillusionist

January 27, 2011

Notes from the Manager

Related Strips: #546: Natural Born Blogger; #547: Shallow Focus

Most of you have probably heard of The Illusionist already, but it was nominated — along with How to Train Your Dragon and Toy Story 3 — for a Best Animated Feature Academy Award. I haven't seen it yet (the Blogger's opinions here are based on the "universal acclaim" it has been receiving from other critics).

The film is by Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville), based on a script by Jacques Tati, a French filmmaker who had a very singular approach to comedy: it's gentle physical comedy (not exactly "slapstick"), with a heavy dose of social commentary. Many of his films are available on Criterion Collection discs (and via Netflix Streaming), including Playtime, which is widely considered to be his masterpiece. Personally, I would not recommend starting there with his movies; it seemed to me like all of Tati's ideas distilled into one movie.

And yes, for those of you in the Chicago area, it is actually playing at the Music Box Theatre, one of my favorite moviehouses in the city, and one that is long overdue for Jason and Devi to visit… I will definitely be catching it there as soon as possible.

UPDATE: I was interviewed by MTV Geek not that long ago, and it looks like they've posted it. Checkitout!


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Leonard Nimoy (1931–2015)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I was never a huge Star Trek fan, exactly. I love some of the early episodes, and I think Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time. I enjoyed Star Trek III and IV, too, for what they were. I read a bunch of the DC Comics Star Trek stuff at that time, because my brother bought them. And I watched a bit of the Next Generation and then fell off the wagon. Kirk and Spock were my Star Trek, and the Star Trek 2–4 “era” was its peak for me, warts and all, because that’s the “era” that really hooked me. And really, for me, it was all about Wrath of Khan.

In addition to playing Mr. Spock, of course, Leonard Nimoy did a lot of other things. He was on Mission: Impossible. He directed a few movies (Three Men and a Baby!). He was a photographer. He was the voice of Civilization IV. But one thing I really loved of his was Standby: Lights, Camera, Action, on Nickelodeon from 1982–1987, which provided a behind the scenes look at movies like Star Trek III, Return of the Jedi, 2010, and more. Nimoy hosted and occasionally interviewed guests like George Lucas. As a budding film nerd in the pre-Internet Dark Ages, behind the scenes specials like Standby: Lights, Camera, Action were hard to come by. I ate that show up.

Anyway, as you’re undoubtedly aware by now, Leonard Nimoy passed away on the 27th. As cartoonists do when they’re sad about these kinds of things, I drew a picture:

Leonard_Nimoy

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