David Milch's new gig

One of many articles out in the last few weeks about the new show from David Milch, the man who brought us the glorious Deadwood.
David Milch mines his imperfect past in ‘John From Cincinnati’ – Los Angeles Times

Milch was quite a mess, according to him, for about 30 years, but then got above it. I liked this quote:

Milch got sober 8 years ago through “God’s grace,” he said. “To me, sobriety is taking the world as I find it. Trying to glorify it in its complexity, its reality, its beauty, its horror, and not try to judge it.”

It’s not just a great way to define sobriety; to me it sounds like the best definition of Faith I’ve possibly ever heard.

I’m not a fan of surfing movies or shows, I hate beaches, and “surf-noir” sounds like, I dunno, Beach Boys in a minor key? But I’m going to give “John” a chance — after all, before Deadwood, I never thought I’d watch another TV Western.

SCIFI.COM | The Lost Room


I don’t know if anyone else is watching SCIFI.COM | The Lost Room, but it’s occurring to me how much like a game experience this show is. I’ve played Silent Hill a good bit (with the help of online walkthroughs, since I have no patience for wandering these games endlessly) and there are similarities there. But in general, it has a sort of game logic — there’s someone to rescue, and in order to do so, you have to go through difficult tasks to accumulate special objects. There’s an internal logic to it all, rules to the game, that are discovered as you go. And there’s a narrative arc keeping it all tied together.

I know it’s not the first movie or tv experience to do those things to some degree, but this is the purest example I can recall that seems to have been almost completely inspired by adventure-game mechanics. It makes me wonder how much digital games are going to continue to inspire and shape traditional media and storytelling.

Space 1999 as design showcase

I ran across a link to The World Of Kane today, and it’s really cool. Lots of design examples from the 60s-70s. And lo and behold, there were a bunch of stills from my favorite show as a kid, Space 1999. The caption says this is a “Sorella lamp by Studio Technico Harvey.”

Space 1999 designer lamp

Such a jolt of deja-vu. I haven’t seen an episode of this series in years. I may have to rent them soon, now. Especially now that I realize there’s so much cool design to look at … it did something for me as a kid (of 8 or 9) though, I’ll admit. But at the time it just felt *cool*…

But then again, anything looks cool with Zienia Merton standing in front of it. (I’ll confess, I think I had a tiny crush on her even when I was 9.)

via Boing Boing

HBO: Six Feet Under – Obituary

HBO: Six Feet Under – Obituary

The last episode was one of the most heartbreaking and tender things I’ve ever seen.

Here, HBO has actual obituaries … well, don’t go looking if you haven’t seen the episode yet. But when I ran across them just now, I gasped.

It’s miraculous, when you can feel so close to fictional characters. I’m not a sap for stuff like this, really. But Alan Ball is a bloody genius.

No, more than that. It’s not just intelligence that made this show work. It was courage to map the real contours of human hearts.

Bah. That sounds cheesy. But I don’t care.

If you’re a freaky stalker type, you can take a trip to the actual address of Fisher & Sons, at least according to the obituary from a few weeks ago.

David Milch's Active Imagination

David Milch is my new hero. His incredible work on Deadwood is one of the great works of (literary? dramatic? cinematic?) art in the 21st century. And I’m not one who is normally given to such statements. Honestly, I think that extremely well-made “series” such as Six Feet Under and Sopranos that have a coherent long-term story arc over four or five years are *the* new great art form that we’ll look back on in 10 or 20 years and say “damn the 90’s and 2000’s were the golden age of that.”

Anyway, Milch is amazing. Anybody who has heard an interview with him or seen the commentaries on the Deadwood DVD’s has to either be a stone idiot or completely enthralled with the guy.

In this interview I found from 2002, I discover that he studied under Robert Penn Warren, managed to kick a heroin addiction, and was an even bigger part of the best years of NYPD Blue than I realized.

Here’s a link, and a quote I found awfully helpful in my own striving to make something literary.

David Milch’s Active Imagination

I don’t linger a lot in self-delusory exercises in control – don’t describe too much or even have to have an objective idea of what a scene is about. My only responsibility to an active imagination is to submit myself to a state of being where characters other than I move around and I try to serve that process. I just get to that – I don’t plan scenes. I don’t outline. I feel my way along because I have come to believe everything you believe about writing instead of writing is bullshit. It doesn’t apply. You can make an outline but an outline is not going to work because it doesn’t apply to what is actually written. I am content to work in uncertainty much more than I used to be – content to not know where I am going.