Film Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri written and directed by Martin McDonagh (Blueprint Pictures, Film 4, Fox Searchlight Pictures, R, 115 min) Starring Frances McDormand, Caleb Landry Jones, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, and Peter Dinklage. On Magnetism The term magnetic paints an evocative picture about a personality. From a young age, magnetism draws puerile fascination. Magnets make scientists out of us all. We place them farther and farther apart hoping to see where the magical pull finally loses its sway. We change dimension, trying to understand how a magnet can pull against gravity as an equal and opposite force. We add velocity to magnets, hoping to understand whether inertia holds more influence than the force clamping the magnets together…. Read More →

Book Review: Conversational Design

Conversational Design by Erika Hall

Conversational Design by Erika Hall (New York: A Book Apart, 2018. 134 pp) Erika Hall has been working in web design and development since the late twentieth century. In 2001, she cofounded Mule Design Studio, where she leads the strategy consulting practice. Her enthusiasm for evidence-based decision-making led her to write Just Enough Research. She speaks frequently to international audiences on topics ranging from collaboration and design research to effective interface language. Her current talks explore the limits of using quantitative data to make design decisions. Computer Talk It feels like a couple of years ago society hit a fulcrum, and conversation shifted dramatically. Where communication between people often occurred verbally, communication with machines happened largely through code or writing…. Read More →

Film Review: Icarus

Icarus

Icarus written by Bryan Fogel and Jon Bertain and directed by Bryan Fogel (Netflix, Alex Productions, Chicago Media Project, Diamond Docs, TV-MA, 121 min) Starring Bryan Fogel and Grigory Rodchenkov. Let the Story Lead You An old adage in writing is to let the story takes you where it takes you. When you write “hot” as Ray Bradbury famously states, the story leads you, not the other way around. Such an approach makes the creative process exceedingly messy. Work operates in a non-linear fashion, one idea here, another idea there. Some ideas wither, a fragment unconnected like a comet hurtling through space. Other ideas come out of nowhere, hijack the outline of what was to come, making the story something… Read More →

Film Review: The Florida Project

The Florida Project

The Florida Project written by Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch and directed by Sean Baker (A24, Cre Film, Freestyle Picture Company, June Pictures, R, 111 min) Starring Brooklynn Prince, Christopher Rivera, Aiden Milk, Josie Olivio, Valeria Cotto, Bria Vinaite, Willem Dafoe, and Mela Murder. The Innocence of Childhood vs. The Horrors of Being Poor I think my son gets bored some weekends. Whether it’s too hot or too cold, raining, or what-not, we don’t always make it outside, or even if we do, not to the extent my son might wish. In these times of boredom, his imagination runs wild, which can be fun to watch. But I bet he’d likely want to do something more interesting. Between safety and… Read More →

Book Review: There There

There There by Tommy Orange

There There: A Novel by Tommy Orange (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2018. 300 pp) Tommy Orange is a recent graduate from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is a 2014 MacDowell Fellow and a 2016 Writing By Writers Fellow. An enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, he was born and raised in Oakland, California, and currently lives in Angels Camp, California. Birthday Expeditions Recently on a birthday expedition, my wife and I played tourist for a day and ventured to the Seattle waterfront. A changing city, the waterfront operates at the front edges of its own transformation, a tunnel underneath burrowing to replace the dangers of a viaduct highway. A… Read More →