“Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory.”

werner herzog bearWerner Herzog is one of my favorite filmmakers. Happy People, his movie about life in Siberia, with all its hardships and stark, hard beauty, is one of my all-time, desert-island favorites.

Today I stumbled across this gem from back in the day: “24 pieces of advice from Werner Herzog for filmmakers.” I don’t agree with every single one—”take revenge if need be,” for example—but I adore his badass worldview. Here are a few of my favorite bits:

  • Always take the initiative.
  • Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.
  • Learn to live with your mistakes.
  • Carry bolt cutters everywhere.
  • Learn to read the inner essence of a landscape.
  • Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory.
  • Don’t be fearful of rejection.
  • Thwart institutional cowardice.
  • Get used to the bear behind you.

Read the whole list here.

Two Nice Things.

1. Fall is my favorite season, but these paintings by artist Samantha French are making me miss summer. French’s work is inspired by her memories of summers in Michigan. The images are sun-drenched and full of color. All I want to do is dive into a lake!

2. I don’t usually get excited about movies, but “The Loneliest Planet” looks amazing. It’s about a young couple backpacking around Georgia (the country, not the state) when their love is tested by one tiny moment. Reviews have been really positive so far, and almost all of them mention the lush shots of the European wilderness. It looks beautiful AND creepy, two things I really value in a film.

Yesterday, I got a bit bored and decided to make an Etsy treasury. I have never done this before, but it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. It reminds me of how I used to fill up online shopping carts with everything I ever wanted before clicking out of the window, which let me feel like I was getting new things even though I really couldn’t afford them. Fantasy shopping!

Anyway, this fantasy trip was inspired by this post on Wet Hot American Summer, which is only the greatest comedy ever (next to Empire Records, of course). It’s all summer camp, outdoor-themed things, and while I just said I won’t be buying anything, I’m actually really considering that fish hook necklace.

Did you know once I got a fishhook embedded in my scalp? It was my brother’s fault. Also, once he hit me in the forehead with an oar while we were playing a made-up game called (creatively) oar-ball. It was an accident.

Injuries aside, I think my “Treasure” is pretty great. Annnnnd here it is.

Life Imitates Animation

Yesterday morning, March 5 at dawn, National Geographic Channel and a team of scientists, engineers, and two world-class balloon pilots successfully launched a 16′ X 16′ house 18′ tall with 300 8′ colored weather balloons from a private airfield east of Los Angeles, and set a new world record for the largest balloon cluster flight ever attempted. The entire experimental aircraft was more than 10 stories high, reached an altitude of over 10,000 feet, and flew for approximately one hour.

I love it when scientists are playful. More pictures (the colors!) and information here.


Here’s something kind of cool: I shot a video on Tuesday with the guy who manages midnite movies at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. Though I’m obviously still pretty new to video editing, I think it came out well, considering.

It was also one of the most fun videos I have done so far. As anyone who knows me is well aware, I’m pretty obsessed with horror movies. Partially because I like the constant stimulation, but partially because they are, in their weird way, really lady-friendly. There is so much space in horror for revenge and power grabs and subversion. Much like camp, horror is a space where weird things can happen; the element of parody is practically built in to the structure, which makes it a virtual breeding ground for under-the-radar messages and unsaid meanings. There’s space for slippage and play and movement and all of those Derrida-ian post-structuralist things. (Okay, I admit it, I’m getting nostalgic for Lit Theory 101).

Oh, and in case this gets lost: it’s also really, incredibly fun. Horror movies are such a social experience—I like watching them with people and making bets on the order of deaths.

Finally, my last word on the subject for now: I’ve been watching two good post-apocalyptic series, ‘The Walking Dead’ on AMC and ‘Survivors,’ which was a British show about a group of—you guessed it—survivors. Though ‘Walking Dead’ is getting all kinds of attention lately, I’m actually way more into ‘Survivors.’ The characters are better, there is more action, and the overall effect is much, much scarier. But out of patriotism, I trudge on.