• Bradbury Building

  • The Broad

  • iOS Calendar — Prevents scheduling events during missing Daylight Saving hour at 2am.

  • 20 of 24 on my Oscar predications ballot while managing to see all the Best Picture nominations beforehand. Glad to see Roger Deakins finally win after 14 nominations.

  • Just opened source a tiny polyfill library we’re using at GitHub, form-data-entries. It’s a standardized version of jQuery’s serializeArray. I love when packages have such a well-defined scope—even better if it’s planned obsolescence.

  • Email is your electronic memory:

    The email in your mailbox is your copy of what was said, and nobody else can change it or make it go away.

  • I’d highly recommend the Elgato Eve products. All work over Bluetooth instead of WiFi and have no direct internet access. Therefore can’t phone home or become part of an IoT botnet. HomeKit setup is simple, no apps to install or web accounts to create.

  • The House That Spied on Me:

    Kashmir wanted to know what it would be like to live in a smart home and I wanted to find out what the digital emissions from that home would reveal about her.

  • I like that the HomePod shows up in the Home app without another app. If only the AppleTV would too and allow you to turn on and off the TV via HDMI-CEC. I could get rid of my custom Samsung TV HomeKit service.

  • HomePod unboxing and setup is so pleasant. Nothing to fiddle with, no new apps to install.

  • selector-observer

    I finally got around to open sourcing a foundational JavaScript library we’ve been using at GitHub in production since 2013. selector-observer allows you to monitor DOM elements that match a CSS selector. It provides a more robust pattern to initialize scripts on page load or changes.

    The modern version is written as an ES module and doesn’t have any framework dependencies. However, I thought it would be fun to dig up the original implementation I wrote back in October of 2013. Back then, most GitHub scripts were written in CoffeeScript and jQuery.

  • iA Web Trend Map 2018:

    If you are one of those old or young bloggers, please join in. Drop Facebook, drop Twitter and drop Medium for original thought. Own your traffic. You can use them to engage in discussion. But don’t get lost in there. Write daily. Publish as often as you have something to say. Link to other blogs.

  • Feed Reading

    Robin Rendle on How to Read the Internet:

    So instead of being just another way to get posts from blogs that you were interested in, RSS fostered countless communities and friendships across oceans, across networks. And because of that I now think of RSS as a window into a room with the smartest, kindest people — and sometimes, on the rarest of occasions, they would open up the window and wave back.

    This reminded me of how much the early web design blogging community got me into web development back in 2005.

    There are two services that I’ve fallen in love with over the years: Feedbin (a service that saves all my subscriptions and keeps everything in sync) and Reeder (a macOS and iOS app that lets me read those subscriptions).

    I recently signed up for Feedbin to get back into Feeds. It’s well designed, independently run, and has an honest business model.

  • 🎥 Brawl in Cell Block 99

    I finally got around to seeing Brawl in Cell Block 99 after noticing it’s available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. This is director S. Craig Zahler’s follow-up to Bone Tomahawk. I was expecting the same level of extreme violence in this film after seeing the cannibal showdown at the end of Bone Tomahawk, Cell Block 99 lives up to it. Bone Tomahawk is more of a horror film where the heroes are the ones being picked off. Cell Block 99 flips the situation and turns it into something more enjoyable. The sequences play out similar to films like John Wick or Equalizer where we follow an unstoppable hero.

    The film stars Vince Vaughn as a stone-faced boxer turned criminal. It echoes back to his performance in True Detective season 2—but with a much better script. His character has a ruthlessly efficient method of disabling anyone who comes in his way. It often results in someone’s head getting smashed in while they’re on the floor. It reminded me a bit of the Drive head smashing sequence—which was supposedly influenced by Gaspar Noe.

    I’ll be looking out for Vince Vaughn’s return in Zahler’s next cop film—Dragged Across Concrete—sometime in 2018. I’d imagine there’s going to be some kind of American History X curb stomp.

  • 🎥 American Animals

    American Animals tells the true story of “Transylvania Book Heist.” The fact that most people are unfamiliar with this story helps sell one of the themes of the film: fact vs. fiction. This was a central theme of the filmmaker—Bart Layton—previous film, The Imposter.

    As with any heist film, it walks step by step of the crew planning the operation. But this film isn’t about Danny Ocean and a team of professionals. It’s about a group of young college kids who have watched Ocean’s Eleven and given each other Reservoir Dogs codenames as inspiration for their job.

    In addition to being a heist film, it in a way a documentary. The real-life men—now in their 30s—are interviewed about the events often giving inconsistent perspectives about what happened. These interviews are woven back into the dramatized version of the story. The unreliable narrator aspect is reinforced throughout the film. Voiceover of one character describing a situation while the character onscreen does something else. Another scene is a hybrid of two points of view at once. The film continually questions what point of view is true and why some characters even choose to believe a narrative that might not be.

    — Sundance 2018

  • 🎥 Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot

    Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot tells the story of cartoonist, John Callahan, who struggled with alcoholism and was left quadriplegic after a car accident. The film is structured nonlinearly, jumping to events before the crash and after when Callahan was in AA.

    It stars Joaquin Phoenix as Callahan, but after hearing this movie was originally a project of Robbin Williams playing the role, I couldn’t help but imagine how his personality would have been a wonderful fit. Callahan’s AA sponsor is played by Jonah Hill, though you likely won’t recognize it’s him until he speaks.

    — Sundance 2018

  • 🎥 Arizona

    Arizona is another film under the Sundance Midnight program which primarily features horror and violent thrillers. It stars Rosemarie DeWitt and Danny McBride in a dark comedy that’s violent but not as graphic as many other films in the Midnight lineup. While the film has a few moments where it subverts the genre for laughs, the plot is a very predictable escalation of events. It just doesn’t deliver much new in this space.

    — Sundance 2018

  • 🎥 Hal

    Hal is a documentary that covers the life Hal Ashby films over the 70s and 80s. I’ve only seen a few of Hal Ashby’s feel, so I wasn’t very familiar with his life story going into the film.

    Director and editor, Amy Scott, does a beautiful job composing the film. I loved this little voiceover by Ben Foster reading old letters Hal wrote. But the film is primarily a celebration of his life and strays from any negative criticism.

    Hal is most known for his films in the 70s such as Harold and Maude, The Last Detail, and Being There. The 80s brought along studio corporate consolidation shift which made it difficult for Hal to make the kinds of films he wanted. This all feels too familiar with the media consolidation we see today.

    — Sundance 2018

  • 🎥 Piercing

    I initially took note of Piercing as it was produced by a group of filmmakers I’ve been following: Sean Durkin, Antonio Campos and Josh Mond of Borderline Films. It’s directed by Nicolas Pesce, whose horror film—The Eyes of My Mother—premiered at Sundance a few years ago. Traditional horror films aren’t usually my thing so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this film going into it.

    The film was inspired by Japanese Horror films like those of Takashi Miike. The novel Piercing is based on is by author Ryū Murakami who also wrote Audition which was adapted into a Takashi Miike film. That’s the connection between this director wanting to direct this source material. I wouldn’t say the film goes as far as “torture porn,” but it was violent and uncomfortable to watch.

    In the start, the film establishes some dark comedy aspects. There is an excellent scene of Christopher Abbott’s character hesitantly miming out his murder plan by himself while sound effects of his actual actions ground the scene. The set design also has this interesting quirky, thin, and feel intentionally fake style similar to a Wes Anderson film.

    While I thought this was an interesting movie, it’s not something I plan to revisit. I have similar thoughts about the film Only God Forgives which is by another director I follow closely. Both are just too violent and discomforting.

    — Sundance 2018

  • 🎥 Sorry to Bother You

    Sorry to Bother You is the first film by an Oakland musician, Boots Riley. It’s a dark comedy satire premised on a black telemarketer—Cash play by Lakeith Stanfield—who uses his “David Cross white voice” to excel at his new gig. This alone works a pretty hysterical premise for the plot—but then escalates the further into some wilder fantasy aspects.

    The visual style felt influenced by other music video directors like Spike Jones and Michel Gondry. When Cash makes a call, his desk is transported into the house of the other person making for a better visual effect than a split shot of two people on the phone.

    The film takes on another crazy direction as Armie Hammer’s character is introduced as a corporate tech CEO “world savior”. It’s not worth even trying to describe what happens next. Go see the film!

    — Sundance 2018

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