Birdman

So the short form: Critics who praised it didn’t praise it enough – literally it is better than I expected even with the praise.

So basically, you’ve heard the story: Michael Keaton plays a former superhero actor trying to revive his career by doing an adaption of a Raymond Chandler story, and it’s a bit of a dark comedy/character piece. That honestly doesn’t do it justice as it’s far more complicated, deep, heartfelt, and clever.

The film is extremely well-crafted, and doesn’t use the standard three act structure – it uses a single camera view (the directing and editing is exceptional) to tell the story with occasional “sped time” or “scenery-as-wipe” transitions, which makes it even more powerful. The film in an amusing way limits itself from using many Hollywood tropes. Which is sort of the point.

Mildest of spoilers, the film’s themes include but aren’t limited to:

  • Madness and embracing madness.
  • A critique of Hollywood.
  • A critique of theater.
  • A celebration of theater.
  • A critique of AUDIENCES.
  • A critique of critics (in an exceptional scene).
  • A celebrating of the power of actors.
  • Pretty much noting actors aren’t gods.
  • The need for love.
  • The need for identity.
  • Some Buddhism on top of this.

Plus there’s a variety of self-referential and foreshadowing elements elements that put me in mind of both “Fuse: Memories of a Huntress” only the references are thematic not causal. it also reminded me of the storytelling work in “Laura.”

The performances are great and the film remains grounded in its humanity, in all its flawed and human characters.

It’s the kind of film that made me believe in films again. Often I leave my intellectual stimulation to text and use visual entertainment for less intellectual pursuits except for documentaries. This is making me rethink my habits.

Only warning? See it with someone. You need someone to discuss the film when it’s done.

I will see this again. I will probably buy it. It probably will become a regularly-viewed cult film.

- Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.

Steve’s Update 11/9/2014

I hope this finds everyone well.  Let me know how you’re doing – and remember my newsletter comes out soon!  Sign up!

What’s going on?  Well beyond getting tired of Borderlands The Pre-Sequel, and being weirdly interested in Overwatch . . .

  • MuseHack is going to see some changes coming, a bit of a re-focusing so stay tuned.  I think you’ll like what’s coming.
  • Also on the subject of MuseHack, the Geek Catalog is trundling along.  I also expect to have a few more things coming in that regard in the weeks to come, so stay tuned.
  • Seventh Sanctum has been getting more attention due to NaNoWriMo – and enough I think any new generators may not be worth introducing right now.  I’ve also penned the draft of the 52nd column on the Way With Worlds rewrite.  Can you believe it’s been that long?  Now I’m still doing rewrites so as you may guess it’s gonna be larger than the original run.

 

That’s it for me.  What about you?

 

- Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.

Steve’s Update 11/2/2014

Hello everyone, and how’s it going?

Well you’re probably doing NaNoWriMo – and for the first year I had a NaNoWriMo surge over at Seventh Sanctum.  I think either my user demographic changed or I got a lot of newcomers as most NaNoWriMers were well aware of it and used it.

Muse Hack is going to go through some changes in the next two months.  Based on feedback from people who’ve worked with it and me the goal is to work on making me a central, promotional voice – an Ed Sullivan finding new Beatles as it were.  I feel good on that – and it’ll let me cut loose and get a bit crazy.

Also the Geek Catalog is shaping up – and some surprises are in store . . .

- Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.

Things My Friends and I Called Benedict Cumberbatch Today

Things my friends and I called Benedict Cumberbatch today

  • Benzine Charizard
  • Bandersnatch Cummerbund
  • Bumblebee Canadagoose
  • Benedictine Camerastand
  • Bandicoot Crabapple
  • Barrelknocker Crunchlist
  • Benghazi Corbomite
  • Beezelbub Cocacola
  • Boomstick Curtaincall
  • Bubblegum Casablanca.

- Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.

Why Archie Is Hip

http://www.salon.com/2014/10/25/how_archie_went_from_dull_to_daring_the_worlds_tamest_comic_series_is_now_our_most_groundbreaking/

Best summary I heard “In Riverdale Anything Can Happen.”

I think there’s something to that. Archie in concept is tethered to certain ideas and characters who are archetypical. This in some ways is limiting, but as the characters are about very human situations, it is a human tether.  Archie’s situations are human ones – love, school, life, death, food (especially in the case of Jughead).

But because Archie has this tether, you can then go hog wild with it in a way. It always has a ground, so go nuts.  Team Archie up with the Punisher, have him fight Predator, explore alternate timelines, create the Legion of Archie.  Whatever works – Archie and company are still themselves.

In turn the series own limited focus – wholesome teams in their rather nice town – provides a limitation.  In some ways the best thing to do is go a bit nuts – and you can, as you have themes to work with and return to.

Finally the human-humorous grounding gives you fertile ground to experiment. The message of Riverdale is “Everyone belongs,” as we’ve seen with the groundbreaking Kevin Keller.  Everyone is a pretty wide berth to experiment with.

Glad to meet the new Archie, same as the old Archie, a difference we can all be glad is the same.

 

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.

Skin In The Game

Trust requires sacrifice.  Someone has to be willing to give something up to be trusted. It’s a mixture of vulnerability, giving, economics, and communication.

Society is built around people making some sacrifices for the greater good – essentially as you cooperate you get more than you give.  Everyone builds trust by putting “Skin In The Game.”

But there’s always that desire to have no ties, no obligation, to be outside of the system.  It’s that dream – always unattainable, of being “separate.”  It never comes true, but people will build walls and castles and countries just to hope to have a bit of it.

When you want to be separate, you don’t want to put skin in the game.  Escaping that need is the very goal.  When you do that, how can you be trusted?

 
– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.

Steve’s Update 10/20/2014

Hello everyone, hope you’re doing well!

Not too much to update on here.  But . . .

Cooking-wise I’ve got an update coming on Depression Cake as I’ve found a way to make it FAR healtheir.  I’m also experimenting with vegetable smoothies.  I’ve got some ideas on how to post this and more, so stay tuned.

Borderlands The Pre-Sequel came out.  So if there’s any delays . . . well that’s one thing to blame.
– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.

Steve’s Update 10/13/2014

Hello gang, hope all is well!

First of all, my next Newsletter goes out this week – be sure to sign up!  It updates you on all my projects and has some monthly thoughts.

The latest Seventh Sanctum generator is out – the Creature Feature Generator.  It’s based on cheese modern monster films, so if you liked “Sharknado,” this is for you.

I’ve got another update to the Geek Catalog at Muse Hack.  Be sure to swing by for this ever-growing resource of getting Geek Involved – and some more special stuff may be coming.  Working on this has really taught me a lot about what we can do to make changes.

 

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.

Those People Aren’t The Problem

You know the story.  Someone blames “Those People.”  Those people are lazy, those people are messing everything up, those people are the problem.

I have many friends who are troubled by people who are lazy, who are messing everything up,who cause problems.  Who is doing this?  Friends, family, partners, people they elected – anyone but “Those People.”

As long as we rail against “Those People” we ignore all the people causing us problems – those who affect our lives, those who really are involved in what we do, they have the power to create problems for us.

If we stop blaming “Those People” we’ll discover who we have to blame.

It may even be us.
Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.