A “Rock Steady” Read

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

You’ve gotta hand it to Ellen Forney : she’s got guts.

Any reader of her previous, highly personal and confessional graphic memoir, Marbles : Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, And Me would more than likely second that opinion, but it wasn’t her bravura work on that book that I had in mind when making that statement — nor, specifically, was I thinking of the contents of her just-released-by-Fantagraphics follow-up volume, Rock Steady. What the hell am I on about, then?

I’m “on about” her new book’s subtitle : Brilliant Advice From My Bipolar Life. Think about it for a second — if you were the author of a work, would you have the sheer self-confidence and spinal fortitude to put call it “brilliant” yourself? That kind of thing is usually left to the “pull-quote” blurbs the publisher slaps on the front and/or back cover, is it not? And it’s a…

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Bond Is Back!: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (United Artists 1963)

cracked rear viewer

The Cold War got really hot when James Bond returned to the screen in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, second in the film series starring Sean Connery as Ian Fleming’s Secret Agent 007. Picking up where DR. NO left off, the film is popular with Bond fans for its more realistic depiction of the spy game, though there’s still plenty of action, romance, and quick quips, along with the introduction of several elements soon to be integral to the series.

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE has Bond falling for Soviet defector Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi), who’s willing to help steal a Russian Lektor decoding machine for Her Majesty’s Secret Service. But both she and Bond are just pawns in a larger game, with the international crime cartel SPECTRE making all the moves. Their goal is to not only posses the decoder and ransom it back to the Russians, but to eliminate 007…

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Music Video of the Day: I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself by The White Stripes (2003, dir by Sofia Coppola)

Today’s music video of the day is the fourth video to be directed by Sofia Coppola.  Distinguished by the black-and-white cinematography of Lance Acord (who was also the cinematographer for Lost In Translation) and the choreography of Robin Conrad, this video may be best known for Kate Moss pole dancing but it’s atmosphere of romanticized ennui will be familiar to anyone who has seen any of Coppola’s films.

(As well, pole dancing would also be prominently featured in Coppola’s later film, Somewhere.)

As for the song, it actually has a pretty long history.  It was originally written in the early 60s by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.  It was first recorded in 1962 by Tommy Hunt but the first performer to actually find success with the song was Dusty Springfield in 1964.  It was subsequently covered by Dionne Warwick and Marcia Hines before The White Stripes released their version in 2003.


Sofia Coppola Music Videos:

  1. Elektrobank by The Chemical Brothers
  2. Shine by Walt Mink
  3. This Here Giraffe by The Flaming Lips
  4. Playground Love by AIR