Tracy Holsinger was kind enough to invite me for a rehearsal of Paraya, a play that’s opening this Wednesday the 18th. Where is the interesting part, it’s at the former Hotel Rio, a bombed out ruin next to the current Rio Cinema. The Rio we all know and drive by is an active soft porn theatre (currently screening Virgin Hunter, or Vergin Hunter, as they spell it outside). The Rio Hotel has been closed forever and it’s a post-apocalyptic wonderland, as is the play. For the performance you get to wander around the space and follow characters as you choose, which makes for a very interesting experience.
Archive for the 'Art' Category
This is the closest I’ve seen to a Sri Lankan viral video. A la Rebecca Black. It’s kinda amazing, in that ironic sense. I have no idea what this girl is saying. There are some English words in there. And I think it’s about Edward or werewolves or something, Twilight? Seriously though, transcendentally bad.
The BMICH recently shut down a French Film Festival for features ‘Flying Fish’, a story about the war. The film has gotten some play in international film festivals and reviews in places like the New York Times, which said: “Perhaps it’s mean-spirited to say that a movie based on the director’s personal experience of a brutal 26-year civil war is unpleasant. But that’s the word that comes to mind” The Sri Lankan government, however, thought that it was something more like unpatriotic and shut down the whole festival.
World War Z is much worse than the book (no connection really) but as a suspenseful thriller it’s quite entertaining. The book is a brilliant, global perspective on a zombie apocalypse, the breakdown of society and how it rebuilds itself – told from multiple perspectives. It would be an excellent TV series but probably too much for film. The movie is basically just Brad Pitt running away from zombies.
Ever since I saw this video I’ve been thinking of stuff I could spray it on. This is NeverWet, a coating which completely repels water and oils. The stuff never touches the surface, so you can dunk a coated iPhone in water, and coated clothing is impervious to spills. I have often wondered how something as simple as water can destroy so much we hold dear. A digital citizen can’t get properly rained on or dunked in a pool without a lot of personal property damage. Personally, I’d like to coat everything I own in this stuff, from IDs to phone to clothes to whatever. Go nanotech.
The TV show the Sopranos taught me a lot about Sri Lankan politics. I was very sad to hear that the lead actor James Gandolfini passed away recently, in Rome. He created a deeply compelling and complex character in Tony Soprano, one which had you alternately rooting for and disgusted by him. Tony Soprano was like a big, angry, somewhat psychotic child, communicated mostly through the eyes, facial expressions, and extremely loud breathing. By all accounts Gandolfini was both a brilliant actor and a kind and interesting man.
I met an old-timer who said they used to drop acid and sleep atop Sigiriya, but the place has taken on a more commercial and quasi-spiritual role now. It was built by a king as a sort of retreat and used as a monastery. Now it’s a prime tourist and cultural destination. Hence it’s a bit odd to see a Japanese beer commercial shot up there. There’s a bunch of people eating, um, deep fried cream filled coconuts and then drinking some bracing beer. I hear the whole thing cost Rs. 25,000 (I’m presuming they used stock images).
3D, at least at the Majestic Theatre in Colombo, kinda sucks. Just watched Iron Man 3 – a very good rebuild on the franchise – but it was made actively worse by being in 3D. First off, I think it got 3D post-production, which is lame. The only real effect is blurring one character in talking scenes, giving a weak depth of field. In exchange, you get an extremely dark screen with completely washed out colors. The images is so bad that things like sets and scenery disappear, you can just barely follow the plot. It’s such a rip.
Two of this years ‘best’ movies are films I don’t really want to watch. Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. Both feature a fictionalized focus on the American military and I just don’t feel like the protagonists are really the good guys. The ‘War On Terror’ is a fundamentally abusive war and canonizing little victories therein just doesn’t ring true, especially from here. Having the Argo award presented by Michelle Obama (otherwise an excellent dancer) is just weird. As film (and film profits) get more and more global, this type of jingoism is more and more out of place.
This sweet video shows Mr. Sugathapala, security guard at the New Monis, on the Galle Road just before Beruwela. I think I’ve seen him, energetically directing traffic. In this touching video, it shows him just smiling and enjoying his day. Most security guards aren’t so nice, but some of them really are. It’s sweet to see this gentlemen featured online, and his words of advice are really quite sincere and relevant to us all.