Dressing Animated Characters: The Politics of Fashion
Yes the dad in Coraline is wearing a Michigan State sweatshirt and yes Coraline is the correct spelling. This little animated gem is about a girl who moves from Michigan to Oregon and stumbles onto an alternate fantasy world along the way.
A few people spotted the MSU sweatshirt wearing dad in the trailer for Coraline and it turns out the university wasn’t a random selection. Bill Mechanic, executive producer of the film and MSU alum 1973 made sure Coraline’s father was sporting a Spartan sweatshirt in the film. When he found out the animators had originally put him in a maize and blue Michigan top he was none too happy.
Mechanic who has a resume that includes: Titanic, Braveheart, and There’s Something About Mary told the animators, “You can't do that in a movie I'm producing," Mechanic says the fix in stop-motion animation was costly and cumbersome, but well worth it. “I think everyone thought I was kidding.”
It must be fun to have that kind of juice in Hollywood and makes us wonder what March Madness will be like this year around the offices of Mr.Bill.
This is the drum solo from the first Toby Redd reunion show in Warren Michigan. The show too place Thanksgiving weekend 2003 at Hot Rocks on Hoover road.
At the end of the solo you'll notice Chad looks around wondering why the band didn't start playing "Learning Fast" on the final downbeat of the solo.
In the Reunion DVD we fixed this mistake in the edit. However, it's fun to watch here. We didn't make the last Toby Redd Reunion show at the Emerald Theater in 2008 but we heard they rocked it once again.
There we some worthy nominations this year and some real duds that we just don’t quite understand. Since we didn’t see everything, we won’t even attempt to make all the picks. But for fun we want to go on record with the following picks from the categories where we actually watched the movies
Best Actor: Sean Penn. Mickey Rourke is great in the Wrestler too but Penn just became Milk. It also helps that Milk is a much better movie overall. In a battle of the Indies the Wrestler would be the clear winner and Rourke would take home an award. Although we love Clint in Grand Torino but are biased since it was shot in Michigan.
Best Actress: Kate Winslet. Actually, we didn’t see any of her competition. We just like Kate Winslet.
Best Movie: Slumdog Millionaire. Here is a movie that could have been a total disaster. The premise is ridiculous but somehow they pull it off. The story is very satisfying from beginning to end and runs the gamut of emotions whether frightened out of your skull for the young kids about to be exploited or laughing at the shout-out to Bollywood at the end. It’s possibly the freshest movie of the year and just a blast in its entirety. Unlike “Buttons” which had us checking our watch multiple times in spite of its masterful production.
Okay so clearly we need to get out more. But for the record, we’ve been singing the praises of Slumdog way before it became trendy.
In Santa Monica down the corner from San Vicente and 4th street in a very nice neighborhood is a steep set of stairs that has become quite the scene. It's become a place where people meet for a social as well as physical workout. It's a fashion show too. People come from all over to do "the stairs." Basically you walk, run and crawl up and down these things as many times as you can. There are about 170 steps in all. The steps are fairly steep and it can get crowded on weekend mornings.
Some of the people are very serious about their workout. They don't talk to each other and have that look that is somewhere between aloofness and constipation. On the other hand you have lots of friendly people who actually live in the neighborhood, get the joke, and find the whole thing very funny. And aside from the weekend noise that annoys the multi-million dollar home owners, it's a good workout for everyone involved.
The scene is on the first set of stairs at the end of 4th street. These are "the stairs." People often workout in the median doing sit-ups and pushups. This is also a popular location to scope out the opposite sex. You'll often find older women with personal trainers going through the paces. One regular, Sarah, told us it's become quite the pickup place but she still enjoys the location for her morning workout. Her trainer, Lafayette, indulged us and was DJ Chris' trainer for a day.
There are a second set of stairs just up the road made of wood that are wider and often less crowded. These aren't "the stairs" but I actually prefer them for working out. Usually when I do the stairs workout I start at the top of "the stairs" at the end of 4th street, make my way down to the bottom, take a right, jog about 100 yards and climb the second set of stairs back to the top of the street. Repeat. This is a killer loop that will have your legs burning in no time. Ten laps is a workout for anyone, running or walking. Plus the wooden stairs give a little and are a lot easier on the knees.
When you're done you can make your way up San Vicente or down to the water and stumble upon a variety of places to eat. Sometimes we'll take a nice long walk down to the Fig Tree in Venice. It's a nice place to grab a bite to eat on the beach.
So come on out to the stairs and enjoy yourself. You never know who you might run into. My sister still glows when she tells the story of meeting the late John F. Kennedy Jr. on the stairs. The workout's good for your heart and the people are good for your soul.