Posts tagged “Brite Futures”

Friday, 4 November 2011

“Of the Month” November 2011

Link of the Month:
Retro Game Master on Kotaku
My new favorite thing on the internet, Retro Game Master (GameCenter CX as it is originally known in Japan) is a show about watching a man, Arino “The Kacho,” play video games. That’s it. At the beginning of the episode he’s given a video game he’s never played before, and he tries his damnedest to beat it. You wouldn’t think watching that for an hour would be at all entertaining, but you’d be so very wrong. Here’s the thing: Arino is not very good at video games. He’s not really an expert. So it’s fascinating to watch him struggle and figure out how to do things. Secondly, Arino is the very definition of affable. He is just so easily charismatic and likeable that you get drawn into his struggle and each small victory on the way to beating a game becomes your small victory, and each defeat becomes your defeat. Arino also is so good-natured about the whole affair; he never gets angry when things don’t go his way, he just makes a little self-effacing jokes and little sighs. No matter how bad things get for him, he never allows it to bring him down. And that’s what in the end is worth watching.

Album of the Month:
Brite Futures: Dark Past
Brite Futures used to be known as “Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head.” They changed their name for obvious reasons. This is their second album, and it seems like a straight-ahead extension of their first, Glistening Pleasure. And I mean that in a good way. This album is just pure, giddy fun. It’s excellently-crafted disco-pop-synth-rock straight out of the ’70s and ’80s. But all of the songs are from a slightly skewed point of view or are about subject matters that are just slightly… off. They’re funny, but they’re sung with such earnestness that the tongue is planted firmly in the cheek, like Flight of the Concords, Jonathan Coulton, and Tenacious D. I love it.

Movie of the Month:
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
A fascinating documentary portrait of a man who is so driven to make people have a good time that he just cannot stop. At all. And it’s so frikkin’ hilarious. It’s like Conan is a man who knows his purpose in life, and every instant wherein he is not fulfilling his purpose to his utmost feels wasted to him. Throughout the course of this film he routinely wrings himself dry onstage to the point of utter exhaustion, then goes backstage and greets fans and fellow celebrities with just as much (if not more) gusto. It’s like a never-ending fountain of manic entertainment. He periodically complains about it, but he never actually intentionally snubs anyone (even in one terribly awkward exchange with a racist young man). You get the sense that Conan O’Brien is the kind of man who would run across no-man’s land in WWI just to get to a soldier on the other side and make him laugh. It’s a good thing he’s so funny.

Categories: Of the Month.