Entertainment recommendations, 9/5/96.

I Find Karma (adam@cs.caltech.edu)
Thu, 5 Sep 96 02:44:44 PDT

Invoking the official FoRK categorization system for entertainment

I. ART/BOOK RECOMMENDATION: _Absolut Book_ by Richard W. Lewis,
Journey Editions, 1996. This book is a wonderful compendium of good
design: specifically, it contains ALL of the Absolut magazine
advertisements of the last 15 years (a/k/a infinity in the advertising
world), and describes the story behind the chameleon-like Vodka bottle
from Sweden. There are some truly astounding pieces of artwork in this
book, and it's fully annotated. Definitely a keeper.

II. MUSIC RECOMMENDATION: "New Adventures in Hi-Fi" by REM (officially
out Sept 10, I got a used copy early). If you don't like REM, you might
like this album. If you like REM, you'll love this album. It's their
tenth album, and IMHO, it's their best. (Yes, I do own all 10 albums.)
Loose and spirited, its 14 songs blend all aspects of R.E.M.'s '90s
output -- the hard rocking sensibility of "Monster", the brooding
ambience of "Automatic for the People", the acoustic chime of "Out of
Time", and the obscure lyrics that stand up to repeat listens. This is
a band that keeps getting better and better.

III. MOVIE RECOMMENDATION: "Synthetic Pleasures" directed by Iara Lee
(came out in 1995, but currently in art house theaters). Bored with
those interminable trailers for Hackers? Then perhaps it's time to check
out first-time documentarian Iara Lee's Synthetic Pleasures, whose focus
gaily runs the gamut from email to cyberporn, sampling (and synopsizing)
every thrill our increasingly computer-oriented world can possibly wring
from brain-to-brain contact. Whether showing off the self-contained
tropical paradise of Japan's OceanDome (complete with motor-generated
waves and fake sand!) or various multiple-question sex scenes one can
upload off the Net, Lee is fascinated both by the general human urge to
assuage our "itch that can't be scratched" with technology -- to stave
off mortality, loneliness, boredom -- and how it makes us choose fake
over real a good nine times out of 10 (hey Rohit, notice this is your
Baudrillardian lifestyle in all its cinematic glory). A little dry, but
definitely fascinating. Sink your senses into a sample of this
documentary that takes a high-speed trip through natural landscapes,
cultivated landscapes, simulated theme park jungles, indoor beaches and
ski slopes. The ambient techno soundtrack really adds to the whole

Cool review supplements:
I. http://www.absolutvodka.com/
II, http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/5978/newalbum.html
III. http://www.b.shuttle.de/forum-ifb/film040e.htm



Art is a moral passion married to entertainment. Moral passion without entertainment is propaganda, and entertainment without moral passion is television. -- Rita Mae Brown