Steven Universe   June 19th, 2015

I’ve been enjoying the animated show Steven Universe. It starts slow and has a slow burn, but thanks to friends’s insistences I stuck with it and it’s been worth it.

It starts out quirky and silly. Anyone who appreciates the odd quirkiness of other shows like Adventure Time, The Regular Show, or Gravity Falls would probably enjoy Steven Universe. What’s nice is that there is an underlying story arc which is revealed which has a darker and more compelling narrative. I’m just starting to see that in the middle of Volume 2 and I’m impressed and getting hooked.

The other nice thing about the show is that it’s obviously meant for kids as a coming of age story. There are allegories for things kids might have to deal with like losing parents due to a divorce or death, all handled very thoughtfully and subtly as the emerging narrative. It has some very nice emotional character scenes which do “give me feels.”

The writing is skillfully done to offer things too all age levels; there are things that kids, teenagers and adults will all see differently. The show has allusions to gender, attraction, relationships (romantic and family), all done in a very family-friendly way.

The episode “Alone Together” has what is the best allegory of going through the strangeness of adolescence I’ve seen. The sly reveal that both Sadie and Lars from the donut show were crushing on Stevonnie was absolutely adorable.

The titular character, Steven, can be annoying at times, but I also realized he’s a good portrayal of how kids actually think and act and the silly, dumb stuff they can do. He is also the every-man character, our window into the magical universe, as well as the novice on his way to training.

I’m about halfway through the episodes that are out there now and I’m very much enjoying them. Thanks for the recommendations, friends!

The local movie theater is showing some retro films this summer. Last night I caught Pulp Fiction. I know it’s a movie I could watch on video, but it was nice seeing it on the big screen again after 21 years. It brought me back to the time when I was just discovering movies as art, so it was nice to reconnect with it.

It was fun seeing Quentin Tarantino’s style emerge in his sophomore film, and the narrative structure still held up very well. Rather than being just an artifice, I liked how the non-linear story worked in the individual vignettes to show the arcs of the various characters.

I could see some of Tarantino’s self-indulgence in dwelling on minutia which was frustrating in Death Proof. In this things worked well though and while a couple of scenes ran long, there was nothing egregious. Plus now as then, I loved the fondness for Americana pop culture and it made a wonderful cinematic time capsule; Buddy Holly’s not a very good waiter.

It was fun revisiting the mystery of what’s in the briefcase. I can believe it’s just supposed to be a MacGuffin. However, given the themes of grace amongst the chaos and redemption, the fan theory of it being Marsellus Wallace’s soul is very fitting. I’ve heard proof on both fronts, and figure personal interpretation is more meaningful.

Make Art   June 19th, 2015

It’s been awhile since I’ve written or posted anything here. I should really change that…

Make art, create, don’t just think about it, do it.

Don’t worry if it’s not good or if anyone will like it. Remember that both Death Bed and The Room were films that got made and shown in real theaters.

Granted the latter was a self-funded vanity project, but that doesn’t change the fact that making something is the key, even if it’s only ever seen or enjoyed by a select audience.

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2014 Daily Video Montage   January 27th, 2015

I’ve been continuing to use and enjoy the wonderful 1 Second Everyday app to make a daily video montage. Here’s the video from 2014.

There is a lot of pet and movie footage, but I know what I like.

2014 Daily Montage from Will Sanborn on Vimeo.

And finally, here are a couple of politically-minded video projects I did back in college. The first was railing against Politically Correctness. It was a pretentious reaction to the administration taking umbrage to satirical banner some friends had put up lampooning the student elections.

“War Games” is the piece I’m most proud of. It wasn’t a statement against the first Gulf War itself, instead a commentary of the media saturation and the way it was being marketed.


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