Archives: July 2010

This is the archive page for [July 2010]; below you should see headlines and summaries of all entries posted here that month. Click the appropriate link at each to read the entire entry.

Personal essay: Is "Inception" actually a film about filmmaking? | July 30, 2010
A recent viewing of the film, plus a pair of essays at CHUD.com and The Awl, has had me thinking today about an intriguing question: Is Christopher Nolan's mindbending new sci-fi movie "Inception" actually an "8 1/2" style autobiographical story about the art of filmmaking itself? Click through for lots of thoughts on the matter. | Read entire entry

Metapost: I'm hosting an artistic potluck dinner tomorrow night | July 29, 2010
This is a non-CCLaP post about an artistic potluck dinner I've been asked to host tomorrow night, down at the "ad-hoc cultural center" The Op Shop in Hyde Park, which will feature the premiere of a new piece by conceptual sound artist Kiku Hibino, which all of you are invited to. Click through for all the details. | Read entire entry

Book review: "The Cry of the Sloth," by Sam Savage | July 29, 2010
Today's book: Sam Savage's wickedly funny "anti-villain" look at a whiny lit-journal editor much better at self-promotion than at actually producing, the surprisingly dark "epistolary" (all letters) novel "The Cry of the Sloth." | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Lower Wacker Dr.," by Marsin Iskra | July 29, 2010
Today's photo: "Lower Wacker Dr.," by Chicagoan Marsin Iskra. | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 28 July 2010 | July 28, 2010
Today, short reviews of three books recently read: The silly but useful "lifestyle management" guide "The 4-Hour Workweek;" the profoundly disappointing "Roadside Bodhisattva" by Paul Di Filippo; and a collection of two screenplays by David Mamet, "The Spanish Prisoner" and "The Winslow Boy." | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "aberration," by Hilary Sol Allen | July 28, 2010
Today's photo: "aberration," by Phoenix photographer Hilary Sol Allen. | Read entire entry

Book review: "The Butt," by Will Self | July 27, 2010
Today's book: 2008's bizarro satire on the Bush misadventures in the Middle East, "The Butt" by Will Self (aka "The British Chuck Palahniuk"). | Read entire entry

The CCLaP 100: "Ivanhoe," by Sir Walter Scott | July 26, 2010
Today in the CCLaP 100 essay series on literary classics: Sir Walter Scott's 1820 "Ivanhoe," not just one of the first books of the Romantic Era to reignite public interest in the Middle Ages, but which also established many of the modern tropes of the Robin Hood legend. Classic or not? Click through for my opinion! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "* * *," by kirill | July 26, 2010
Today's photo: "* * *," by Russian Flickr member kirill. | Read entire entry

An interview with Ian McDonald | July 23, 2010
It's Ian McDonald Week here at CCLaP; and to cap things off here on Friday, I thought I would publish my recent text-based interview with him, done from his home in Northern Ireland via Google Chat, a wide-ranging discussion that touches on hard versus soft science-fiction, the developing world, Star Trek novels and more. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by Sara Karlstad | July 23, 2010
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Massachusetts photographer Sara Karlstad. | Read entire entry

Book review: "The Dervish House," by Ian McDonald | July 22, 2010
It's "Ian McDonald Week" here at CCLaP; and in honor of that, today is my review of his brand-new "The Dervish House," the latest of his so-called "third-world day-after-tomorrow" tales and probably his most mainstream-friendly book yet, set just 17 years from now in a newly EU-ified Turkey. | Read entire entry

Photography mini-feature: Jonathan Parker | July 22, 2010
Today, a special mini-feature on Chicago photographer Jonathan Parker. | Read entire entry

Book review: "Ares Express," by Ian McDonald | July 21, 2010
It's day three of "Ian McDonald Week" here at CCLaP; so in honor of this, today I'm publishing for the first time my review of his 2001 terraformed-Mars fever-dream "Ares Express," a "companion volume" of sorts to his 1988 "Desolation Road," also being reviewed here today. | Read entire entry

Book review: "Desolation Road," by Ian McDonald (reprint) | July 21, 2010
It's day three of "Ian McDonald Week" here at CCLaP; so in honor of that, today I'm reprinting my older review of his 1988 terraformed-Mars fever-dream "Desolation Road," now a companion volume of sorts to his 2001 "Ares Express" (also being reviewed today). | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Dead Advice | July 21, 2010
Today's obsession: The Chicago-based artistic experiment "Dead Advice," in which people pen letters on life lessons learned only after their theoretical death. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by sea kay | July 21, 2010
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Brooklyn Flickr member "sea kay." | Read entire entry

Book review: "Brasyl," by Ian McDonald (reprint) | July 20, 2010
It's day two of "Ian McDonald Week" here at CCLaP; so in honor of that, today I'm reprinting my review of his 2008 day-after-tomorrow science-fiction tale "Brasyl," part of his "New World Order" series of speculative novels concerning developing nations. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "the mist," by Mark Hungsberg | July 20, 2010
Today's photo: "the mist," by Milwaukee photographer Mark Hungsberg. | Read entire entry

It's Ian McDonald Week at CCLaP! | July 19, 2010
One of my favorite living writers on the planet, British science-fiction author Ian McDonald, has not just one but two new books out here in the US this month; that's inspired me to dedicate the entire week here at CCLaP to him and his work, including not just reviews of his new books but reprinted reviews of four older titles, and a brand-new text-based interview with McDonald I recently conducted. Click through for more, and links to everything just mentioned. | Read entire entry

Book review: "River of Gods" and "Cyberabad Days," by Ian McDonald (reprint) | July 19, 2010
Today, as the kickoff to "Ian McDonald Week" here at CCLaP, I'm happy to reprint my old review of his monumental 2004 India-set day-after-tomorrow tale "River of Gods," along with its newer companion volume "Cyberabad Days." More McDonald reviews coming every day this week! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Nietzsche Tree," by "Atom #28" | July 19, 2010
Today's photo: "Nietzsche Tree," by Spokane student "Atom #28." | Read entire entry

Book review: "The City & The City," by China MiƩville | July 15, 2010
Today's book: China MiƩville's "New Weird" novel "The City & The City," a speculative metaphorical tale about post-9/11 global politics that is a favorite to win this year's prestigious Hugo Award in science-fiction, but that you certainly don't have to be a fanboy to passionately love. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Cristina," by Francesco Luciani | July 15, 2010
Today's photo: "Cristina," by Italian in Paris Francesco Luciani. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: An Education | July 14, 2010
Today's movie: The thoroughly charming surprise hit of last year's Oscar season, "An Education," based on a true story by British journalist Lynn Barber (with adapted screenplay by Nick Hornby) about her blossom into womanhood in early-'60s London under the tutelage of an attractive but mysterious older man. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "gate to the hell," by Jenson Lee | July 14, 2010
Photo of the day: "gate to the hell," by Hong Kong photographer Jenson Lee. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Patton | July 13, 2010
Today's movie: 1970's Oscar-winning World War Two epic "Patton," a superb biopic about the strategically brilliant but hotheaded military commander, and how it was his own inability to get along with others that self-sabotaged his career, based on an early hit screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Dreams are for Real," by Jordi V. Pou | July 13, 2010
Today's photo: "Dreams are for Real," by Spanish photographer Jordi V. Pou. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: Romance | July 12, 2010
Today in CCLaP's "Naughty Netflix" series concerning mainstream films with unsimulated sex: It's 1999's notorious "Romance," the second film of this series by brilliant pro-kinky radical feminist Catherine Breillat, a fascinating portrait of a middle-aged trainwreck which features some of the most intense sex scenes to ever appear in mainstream cinema. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "142.365 (legs)," by John | July 12, 2010
Today's photo: "142.365 (legs)" by John, owner of San Francisco's Blowback Photography. | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 9 July 2010 | July 9, 2010
Today, short reviews of three books recently read: The disappointing "cyberpunk" novel "Brain Thief" by Alexander Jablokov; the equally disappointing nonfiction book "The Last Duel" by James Landale; and Susan Wise Bauer's "The History of the Ancient World," just as good as her history of the medieval world reviewed earlier in the year. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untited," by Kevin Dickert | July 9, 2010
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Chicago commercial photographer Kevin Dickert. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Mary and Max | July 8, 2010
Today's movie: 2009 claymation festival favorite "Mary and Max," with visuals that are impressive enough, I suppose, but sadly done in support of an overly cutesy-wootsy, silly-willy, extremely slow-moving script, a common problem among animators who care more about images than story. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "In Need Of Salvation.," by Rob | July 8, 2010
Today's photo: "In Need Of Salvation.," by British Flickr member Rob. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Shutter Island | July 7, 2010
Today's movie: Martin Scorsese's latest, 2010's supernatural/psychological thriller "Shutter Island," nothing spectacular but a good solid genre exercise, a rare example of a film being literally elevated from a so-so "Memento"-style story by excessive visual flair. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "KGB Soccer Ground," by Andreas | July 7, 2010
Today's photo: "KGB Soccer Ground," by Berlin photographer Andreas. | Read entire entry

The CCLaP 100: The Canterbury Tales | July 6, 2010
Today in the "CCLaP 100" essay series on literary classics: Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales," the surprisingly sophisticated and bawdy "Middle English" experiment that helped move Western society from the Late Medieval Age of the 1300s to the Early Renaissance of the 1400s. Classic or not? Click through for my opinion! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by Brian Soko | July 6, 2010
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Chicago photographer Brian Soko. | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 58: Summer 2010 Electronica Special | July 5, 2010
Today on the CCLaP Podcast: It's a special all-electronica show, one of only two I allow myself to do each year, with songs mixed together by beat like you would hear in a danceclub. Today's episode features 16 songs and lasts almost exactly one hour. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "The Wall B&W," by Hugo Urizar Rebollo | July 5, 2010
Today's photo: "The Wall B&W," by Spanish photographer Hugo Urizar Rebollo. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Crazy Heart | July 2, 2010
Today's movie: 2009's dismal Oscar-bait fest "Crazy Heart," proving once again that Hollywood executives literally can't get enough of hideous white-trash losers and the hot thirty-something single moms who inexplicably fall in love with them. | Read entire entry

CCLaP's books are now available on the iPhone! | July 2, 2010
Just wanted to remind everyone that, now that Apple's iOS4 allows for iPhones and iPod Touches to run their new "iBooks" app, CCLaP's own electronic books can now run on those devices as well. Click through for plenty of photos of the books in action. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Milestone 2," by Tim Green | July 2, 2010
Today's photo: "Milestone 2," by British photographer Tim Green. | Read entire entry