We can thank Larry David and the writers of Curb Your Enthusiasm for setting the faux pas slash awkward moment bar so high it is near impossible to have a socially unacceptable incident these days without referring back to an episode in the series. Coming dangerously close to replicating Larry David’s comedic genius are two Danish comedians Frank Hvam and Caspar Christensen, who, with director Mikkel Nørgaard, create an atmosphere of awkwardom in Klown, the most successful Danish film of 2010.
Frank (Frank Hvam) discovers that his girlfriend Mia (Mia Lyhne) has a secret. Mia is pregnant, and although all of their friends already know, Mia has failed to share this important information with her partner for one sole reason. She is unsure if Frank is fit for fatherhood. Frank, of course disagrees, and upon hearing the wise words of encouragement from a taxi driver, Frank sets out to prove to Mia that he has some serious paternal skills and that he is selfless enough to care for a child. His case for defense is met with mild consideration as Frank blunders his way through an embarrassing (sexual) mistake with Mia’s mother, and his failure to protect Mia’s pre-teen nephew from night burglars. Frank’s logical solution to quell Mia’s uncertainty is to up ‘the paternal’ ante.
Most people under the duress of a potential break-up (because they are thought to be selfish and immature) might become more cautious in their decision making if it meant saving the relationship. Not Frank, however, who follows through with his bright idea to kidnap Mia’s nephew so that she can show her how caring he is. Frank’s hope for a wholesome ‘father-son’ bonding experience where he can test his Daddy-ness is dashed by previous plans for an adult’s only canoe trip with his buddy Caspar (Caspar Christensen). Caspar has the opposite expectation for their boy’s only trip.
What ensues is a hilarious set of confrontations from illicit under-age sexual rendez-vouz to a visit to a private gentlemen’s club, a very uncomfortable threesome, and drug related debaucheries that end with some serious confusion. The comedic graces of Hvam and Christensen are matched by the layer upon layer of bad luck they seem to attract to their already crumbling situation.
Most surprising about Klown is its connection to infamous Danish director Lars von Trier, a name not usually associated with comedy. Klown was produced by Zentropa, the production company founded by Von Trier in 1992 with the Dogme 95 movement in mind. Lars von Trier also wrote episode 6 in season 2 of Klovn, the original TV Series that Klown the movie is based on.
Klown is available to download through Drafthouse Films. It is also available on iTunes and Netflix.
The garden is quite large, covering some thirty acres outside Jencks’ home near the border of Scotland and England. The video above is about 20 minutes, has some pretty amazing title graphics (and background music) but for the most part is Charles talking about how his designs for the garden reflect his understanding of science and the cosmos. He discusses how the garden started as a swimming pond and the significance of various features in the garden. Some things surprised me. Did everyone know that Charles’ late wife Maggie is the Maggie’s Centre Maggie? He also talks about spaghettification and DNA mutations; at one point he even says that “the universe may be a black hole.” Saddest of all, the garden is only open to the public for five hours each year.
Telling you that this is a video of Swedish singer Victoria Bergsman (aka Taken by Trees) hanging out in a beautiful wooden house should really be enough to encourage you to check it out, but in case you need to know a little more about it, I’ll do my best!
It was filmed by Nicholas Haggard as a promo for Creatures of Comfort’s Spring/Summer collection for 2013, and Haggard really does a fantastic job of creating the look of a lifestyle you’d just love to have. The track in the video is from Taken by Trees’ new album and it’s called Only You. Beautiful stuff!
Sunday morning Kyle and I will be flying up to Portland for a few days to hang out, so we’re looking for some fun things to do. Have a cool work space we should visit? Know the best place to grab beers? We’d love to hear from you. It’s been a couple years since I was last in Portland so I’m sure that there must be some new things to see. Our window of time is currently Sunday morning to Tuesday night, so please keep that in mind.
I remember clearly the first time I read The Hobbit. I was on a snowy vacation with my best friend and his family somewhere around Lake Tahoe. In between bouts of snow fights and epic hours spent building amazing snow forts I would dive nose deep into a world of fantasy. I read the book within a week, it’s pages filling my mind with craggily old dwarves, creepy spider battles, and a massive dragon with a nearly imperceptible weakness.
The Hobbit film will soon be upon us as well, so I felt the timing was right to build off of that momentum and get another Re-Covered Books contest going. I think for this contest, with such a unique book, that the goal will be to create something that is handmade. Or at least seems handmade. Nothing too modern but nothing too old and stodgy. This should be about craft, about creating a cover that feels well loved. A cover for a book who’s tale is timeless. Failure to adhere to these general guidelines means you probably won’t win, got it?
• Save your images as JPGs at 800px wide, 72 DPI, RGB mode – this is super important! There are no height restrictions (within reason). Feel free to play with the dimensions and have fun with what you make. Submitting a front and back cover will certainly help your chances, but is not required. You can enter up to 5 times.
• Label your files “Firstname-Lastname-Hobbit.jpg”
• Send all entries to [email protected] with the subject “Re-Covered Books: The Hobbit“. Cut and paste what I wrote there, it’s super easy and it helps me keep track of your entry.
• All entries are due Saturday, December 15, 2012 by Midnight PST.
If there are any other questions feel free to leave them in the comments. I look forward to seeing what you come up with and be sure to tell your friends/classmates/pets to participate as well. Good luck and have fun!