Marginal Stromateis

•   I’ve lived in several locations with low railroad overpasses (Evanston, and I believe I recall having encountered overpass problems when I was driving a furniture installation truck in Maine), but I was particularly delighted to see Durham foregrounded as a site for unfortunate truck-overpass interactions in this YouTube clip.
•   I loved the colouring-book comic frames of Hipster Dinosaurs to which Scott McCloud pointed the other day.
•   I had a great time at Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Sunday evening at the Grosvenor. Edgar Wright couldn’t have done a much better job of communicating the experience-world of arcade/video/computer gaming in a cinematic idiom; the actors handled their roles harmoniously (I keep thinking “So-and-so was so good in the role of [Character],” but I think that for practically every character); the film used its music-culture ambiance effectively; and the very light plot managed, by not over-reaching, to makes its point more satisfactorily than most movies that take themselves more seriously (even the ones that strive to wear their seriousness with hipster irony). Michael Cera in the lead role was perhaps the least satisfactory element of the production, which I say not to deprecate Cera but to note that his being recognisably “an actor” constituted a faint blip in the imaginative world the movie conjured. (I hope his voice changes someday, too.) I kept wanting to use the word “brilliant” to describe the film, but that’s too ponderous a characterisation; “pitch-perfect” or “just right” might be more apt. If you don’t care for or about comics or gamer culture, the movie may be too slight for you — but even if you only like a finely-crafted young romance (and don’t object to the comics/gamer idiom), Scott Pilgrim is worth a date. (Or Knives. Or Ramona. Or Wallace. Or… well, you get the idea.)
•   The Arcade Fire’s “The Wilderness Downtown” performs an amazing feat with Google Maps and streaming video. Since I grew up playing in the (relatively traffic-free) street in Pittsburgh, the effect was all the more striking — but seeing my old neighbourhood integrated into the video as the Project does gave me shivers.

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