Category Archives: surveillance

Wagon of Sorrow: Theater of War at SILVERDOCS

John Walter’s brilliant documentary, reviewed for DCist.

UPDATE 6/26/08: I got a nice e-mail about the review from Theatre of War director/editor John Walter, who reports that he is shopping the film around for a distributor. Best of luck to you, John! It’s a great documentary, and it deserves as wide a release as it can get.

John also sent this cool one-sheet image:

I guess Spinal Tap will have to reissue Smell the Glove now.

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Because as Rick Weiss reveals in today’s Washington Post reported today, black is now about 30 times blacker than it used to be.

“The material, made of hollow fibers, is a Roach Motel for photons — light checks in, but it never checks out,” he reports.

Awesome. There are all kinds of mind-bending potential applications for this light-bending technology.  (Harry Potter-esque invisibility cloaks get a fair amount of play in Weiss’s front-page story).  But of course all I thought about was the scene from This Is Spinal Tap where Nigel Tufnel (I think) is trying to convince his bandmates that the censored cover to their album Smell the Glove — a pure black field of inky nothingness — is better than original, blatantly misogynistic cover:

“It’s like, ‘How much blacker can it get?’ The answer is, ‘none. None more blacker!'”

(Forgive my para-quoting. Somebody borrowed my DVD a few years ago and I haven’t seen it since.)

My Girlfriend Was a Jailhouse Witch!

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It’s true! Yesterday afternoon, the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company brought their production of the Bard’s best and only occult-tinged Scottish tragedy, MacBeth, to the Patuxent Institution, an 800-inmate, maximum security prison in Jessup, MD. Miss Crooks plays Witch #2, barely visible in the background at left in the photo.

The Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun both ran stories today; I’ve linked to both. The Post’s coverage, in particular, looks great in today’s Metro section, with lots of big, bold photos. William Wan’s story isn’t too shabby, either.

It’s all a little reminicsent of “Act V,” Jack Hitt’s superb This American Life story from 2002 about a production of Hamlet at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center, rehearsed and staged by the inmates. Though I guess this is more like Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, or even better, Johnny Cash at San Quentin.

CSC is a solid company whose productions have been growing steadily in quality and ambition for several years now. The other venues on their current mini-tour of MacBeth have been tony private schools; here’s hoping the publicity from the prison show will help them get to perform in front of kids who don’t already have plenty of opportunities to experience Shakespeare.

Tickets for performances of CSC’s MacBeth at the Howard County Arts Center are available here.

Dig, If You Will, the Picture

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INT. – 1999 TOYOTA COROLLA – DAY

The two young loves roll merrily along, en route to meet his parents to celebrate his birthday. On the stereo is “Guitar,” the stratospherically awesome first single from Prince’s decent-but-unexceptional new album, Planet Earth.

PRINCE: I love you, Baby. But not like I love my guitar! (Grabs guitar. Shreds, Edge-style.)

MISS CROOKS: Are you trying to tell me something?

ME: I don’t own a guitar.

MISS CROOKS: That just makes it worse.