Happy V-Day, everyone. Sort of. It's an hour or so too late for me, but it's still February 14th in some parts of the world. Do you know who St Valentine was? I thought he was just a martyr ("just"), but I heard a little story about him today, and I'll write it down later. Or you can skip to the end of the post and read it now.
A few quick hits:
-I just watched Slumdog Millionaire for the first time, and I loved it. I haven't seen all of the '09-Oscar Best Picture nominees yet, but you won't hear me complaining if SD wins. Stories about overcoming large odds have been done before, but this had something more. Maybe the difference between cultures is what makes the theme seem fresh. The movie also makes me want to go to India again, despite the prospect of being robbed blind (or by the blind). I was there when I was 4, but I still have great memories of the places I saw. It's weird when I think that it's been just over 20 years since I was there. My youngest sister wasn't even born yet.
To cut the rambling short... watch this movie. Some scenes may be disturbing for viewers because of the occasional violence and third-world squalor. All the more reason to see it. (And for a real-world taste of violence, lawlessness, and the caste system, read this.)
-Coraline. Yes, I already raved about this movie, but now there's artwork for it! Please, please, please let there be a Film Art book for this film like there has been for the Burton movies. I love the artwork for stop-motion films. I love the sculpting, and the concept designs, and anything associated with the production. I wanted to do this kind of work, once upon a time. I wanted to go to art school, I put together a portfolio towards the end of high school, and I had a couple of good interviews, but in the end I decided to go with university over college, and English over Visual Arts. I wish I could have done both.
I've been rambling again. Without further ado, stolen from Neil Gaiman's blog:
and probably my favourite, http://www.burstofbeaden.com/ (For this one, click on Newer Things on the right and then Coraline.)
All the artwork is great, including the non-Coraline stuff. One fantastic sketch by Shane Prigmore had me laughing really hard, which woke up my significant other, sleeping in her bed just a few feet away. Sorry, hun. Here's the sketch:
It reminded me of how I felt after watching Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Aliens? Really? Sigh... I had to go watch Raiders just to feel better again. Which isn't a bad thing.
-I heard that St Valentine used to write to criminals. He would send them letters to keep up their spirits, and possibly to try rehabilitating them. And he would sign his letters with, "sincerely yours, Valentine." I can't swear that every word of this story is true, but it's certainly true that it is a story (50 points if you know where that's from).
Happy Valentine's Day to you.