News you need: I made the foie gras Timbit appetizer from the Hannibal TV show and it was completely off the hook? Via a couple of trials, the best approach is to slice an Old-Fashioned Glazed, add a slab of fois gras au torchon, then add a wedge of Spanish quince jelly (dulce de membrillo), for a shape that looks vaguely like a round-bottomed pyramid. Old-Fashioned Glazed has a cinnamon-vanilla quality to it that calls out to the candied fruit. This probably also works with pâtés that are not foie gras but don’t skimp on the savoury layer in any case. It’s the richest appetizer I’ve ever put in my mouth and I will shake your hand if you can manage to eat more than three.
Ambushed by unexpected nostalgia(tm): watched the first two movies as they came out (don’t remember if I saw Tokyo Drift or not, which seems about right), and the story seems to have picked up without a nod to the intervening decade. The characters and plot stakes inherited from 2001 feel intimate for a 2010s serial box office juggernaut: a fuel truck heist here, a drug-running sting there, and nary a devastated sci-fi cityscape in sight. (In fact, F&F’s LA looks more like what I expect LA to look like than any other recent movie I’ve watched, by virtue of the fact that it seems to contain the right proportion of non-white people. I am looking at you, Spike Jonze.)
The car action is sleek, of course, structured around agility, reflex, and wit; this wouldn’t require specific remark if I hadn’t watched this right before Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which adopted a demolition derby approach — the way to stop a getaway car is to ram it with another car from the back, then ram it from the front, then ram it from either side. And then shoot it. The latter approach felt intentional, I suspect to serve as a sort of thematic anchor: the character-based action falling on a cyborg continuum between human (agility, reflex, and wit) and machine (raw strength, goal-oriented, goes through obstacles rather than around them).
HUMAN—> Widow -> Batroc -> Falcon -> Crossbones -> Cap -> Winter Soldier —> MACHINE
(As a note to this: Falcon is a more technologically augmented character than Crossbones, but Sam is more human — and his wings behave naturalistically rather than like a fancy jetpack. The Winter Soldier ripping off his wing gave me a full-body wince, even though it didn’t physically damage Sam himself; it felt like watching someone tear the wing off a bird.)
Excellent! I’ve been looking forward to what you’ll have to say about the fragements of a 70s spy thriller and the weird post-Soviet Soviets.
Well, I haven’t actually seen the 70s thrillers everyone is referencing? Except for All The President’s Men, if that counts. My formative eras for conspiracy theory were the 80s Satanic child abuse moral panic and 90s alien abduction narratives — all very apolitical.
The Soviet stuff, I think, betrays a third or fourth rewrite where people just never went back and fixed the finer details, though said details don’t hold up the movie. An exercise for the tie-in comics… I’m peeved that they excised Natasha’s back story with the Winter Soldier, but considering no one’s memory is actually reliable, that can be fanwanked or retconned at will (if they ever do that Black Widow movie XD;;).
Okay class sit down and shut up because this is fucking adorable. The big tree on the left is Tāne Mahuta, Lord of the Forest, the largest kauri tree in the world, quite possibly older than Jesus Christ. It lives in New Zealand not far from Dargaville in the North Island. We love it a lot.
The big tree on the right is Jōmon Sugi, a great big yakusugi tree from Yakushima Island in Japan, and it may be up to seven thousand years old. So by comparison Tāne Mahuta is just a little sprout, which is adorable and appropriate because while, in Maori, Tāne is the name of the god of the forests, in Japanese ‘tane’ means the sprout of a plant.
And the two trees are partners. Isn’t that lovely? In the first arrangement of its kind, like ever, in 2009, they were, well, kind of married. Given their age difference I’m not quite sure I see the partnership as a marriage, though. Perhaps it’s more like the bond between mentor and pupil. Jōmon-sensei and Tāne-chan.
This seems like the kind of post that gets reblogged on your dash 6 months later with anthropomorphic anime fan arts attached.
Contemporary Art Week!
The Daughter of Dawn, an 80-minute feature film, was shot in July of 1920 in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, southwest Oklahoma. It was unique in the annals of silent film (or talkies, for that matter) for having a cast of 300 Comanches and Kiowas who brought their own clothes, horses, tipis, everyday props and who told their story without a single reference to the United States Cavalry. It was a love story, a four-person star-crossed romance that ends with the two main characters together happily ever after. There are two buffalo hunt sequences with actual herds of buffalo being chased down by hunters on bareback just as they had done on the Plains 50 years earlier.
The male lead was played by White Parker; another featured female role was played by Wanada Parker. They were the son and daughter of the powerful Comanche chief Quanah Parker, the last of the free Plains Quahadi Comanche warriors. He never lost a battle to United States forces, but, his people sick and starving, he surrendered at Fort Sill in 1875. Quanah was the son of Comanche chief Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, the daughter of Euro-American settlers who had grown up in the tribe after she was kidnapped as a child by the Comanches who killed her parents. She was the model for Stands With a Fist in Dances with Wolves.
You can watch the first ten minutes of the film here. It is over 90 years old, and was produced by, directed by, and stars Native American people.