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Jon Bastian (Hollywood, CA)

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Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting; A step-by-step guide from concept to finished script
Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting; A step-by-step guide from concept to finished script
by Syd Field
Edition: Paperback
71 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ..., April 29 2002
Quite simply, the book that ruined Hollywood movies. If you want to know how NOT to do it, then read this guide and file it under useless. Read Aristotle's Poetics instead. He got it right. Field, who doesn't have a single film credit to his name, does not.

Bright Red
Bright Red
Offered by Polar Bear Store
Price: CDN$ 19.05
17 used & new from CDN$ 11.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Laurie Anderson Has No Equal, April 29 2002
This review is from: Bright Red (Audio CD)
Quite possibly one of the most innovative musical/performance artists around, Laurie Anderson never disappoints, and Bright Red is no exception. Sonically amazing, that's just window dressing to the incredible lyrics through which Anderson weaves amazing stories. Listen carefully, for hers is a land in which meanings shift subtly with repetition or revelation. Whether she's telling us of a shawl owned by her grandmother or a dream involving her ex-boyfriends, their new girlfriends and a water-logged ferris wheel, every number here is full of new surprises on each listening. If you're an Anderson fan, this CD is a must-add to your collection. If you have no idea who she is, this is a good place to start before moving on to her more intricate works, such as "O, Superman" and "USA Parts I-IV."
Way back in the day, friends and I used to enjoy watching Anderson's "Home of the Brave" concert tape while... um... under the influence, but it's a true tribute to her talent that you require no chemical enhancements in order to enter an alternate reality while experiencing her work. Rarely do words and music mesh in such a transcendent way, but with Anderson they always do, and this CD is no exception. She truly is a goddess of art.

How Long Has This Been Going On
How Long Has This Been Going On
by Ethan Mordden
Edition: Paperback
21 used & new from CDN$ 4.86

5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Gay History, c. 1950-Now, March 16 2001
When I first finished reading this book, my reaction was simply, "Wow." Ethan Mordden manages to take five very different decades of gay history and distill them into a compelling story that shows where we've been, where we're going, and how we've changed over the years. The cast of characters is ever-changing yet constant, and his finale, in which his original 50's twink drag artiste is now the old man comforting the modern-day victim of a fag bashing is both encouraging and devastating at the same time.
"How Long Has This Been Going On" is that rare epic that manages to be very intimate and yet sweeping, and Mordden's keen eye for detail combined with his ability to create believeable characters makes this a real page-turner. Whether you're an old queen who grew up in the severely closeted days, a former clone from the 70's, a Cha-Cha boy who got smacked in the face with the reality of AIDS early on or a 90's always Out and Proud ACT-UPper, this book has something for you. But, beyond that, if you're straight and interested in modern gay history, this novel is the education you need. Mordden presents a panoply of diverse faces of a community, sometimes touching, sometimes pathetic, often hopeful.
How long has this been going on? Forever -- and yet the stories Mordden present here are timeless. This novel is definitely a don't miss read.

The Prisoner - Set 1: Arrival/ Free For All/ Dance of the Dead
The Prisoner - Set 1: Arrival/ Free For All/ Dance of the Dead
DVD ~ Patrick McGoohan
Price: CDN$ 59.99
12 used & new from CDN$ 24.83

5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Original and Thought-Provoking TV Series -- Ever, March 11 2001
I first saw The Prisoner as a small child, and happened to tune in during "Checkmate," the episode where people are used as chess pieces. "Wow, cool," I thought, and watched every other episode at the time, although it went way over my head. Subsequently, I caught it at various times in my life as it reran, finding more and more in this very enigmatic, weird, witty allegory. Not only was the entire series phenomenal, it has one of the strongest and most memorable finales ever created -- and it ultimately does answer the question, "Who is Number One?"
Now, finally, the series is available on DVD, which is the ideal format for it. Not only is the picture quality in this transfer excellent, but you now have the opportunity to pause and study some of the more interesting production details. Why are there no number sevens on the Village information board? Do the Greek letters on that doctor's machinery hide a secret message? Does the first episode really have *two* characters who are number 66?
If there's a flaw to the first two sets of DVD's, it's that the extra material is a little on the light side. Sure, set one has the complete alternate version of "The Chimes of Big Ben," and there are TV teaser commercials (which just demonstrate that the networks had no idea what to make of it), trivia quizzes and production stills -- but where is the audio commentary? Where are the interviews? Where's Patrick McGoohan? Maybe that will come in the final set, and I see that set three does have a behind the scenes interview. On the other hand, the "interactive" map of the Village really isn't, and if you want an excercise in boredom, watch the entire "Foreign File Cabinet" footage on Set One.
But... all of that said, this DVD series is a must-have for fans of the show, and a good addition to the collection of any fan of science fiction, mystery, philosophy, history or what have you. "The Prisoner" is absolutely unique in television. The only other thing that ever came even halfway close was "Twin Peaks," nearly twenty years later, but the issues raised in "The Prisoner" are still relevant today, perhaps even moreso with the rise of both technology and PC groupthink. The Village, after all, is all around us.
Be seeing you...

The 12th Planet (Book I)
The 12th Planet (Book I)
by Zecharia Sitchin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 22.55
31 used & new from CDN$ 19.67

1.0 out of 5 stars For Non-Critical Thinkers Everywhere..., Jan. 28 2000
Sitchin's whole series of books on the 12th Planet/Ancient Aliens idea is a perfect example of someone who comes up with an outrageous theory, then works backwards to make the facts fit. Particularly amusing are the moments when he falls into the "if it looks like a space helmet, it must be a space helmet" trap (the Chariots of the Gods delusion) and Sitchin does it constantly.
Many of the fans of the book who've raved about it here have used phrases like "if you have an open mind." Well, being open minded is one thing. Being utterly gullible is another. Sitchin is aiming at the gullible, with whom he seems to be hitting bullseyes.
I would recommend this book, however, as a good study in learning critical thinking -- that is, read it carefully, asking yourself every step of the way: Has Sitchin proven his theory here? Where is his logic faulty and where has he made enormous logical leaps without the evidence to back them up? And, how does he discount or distort evidence that doesn't fit or contradicts his pre-proven theory? This is the proper use of the book; that, or as a doorstop; but if you thought you'd get anything resembling science, scholarship, insight or truth here, you'd be sadly mistaken. All you'll get is the usual "ET Lives" line of BS that gets swallowed whole by far too many people. Yes, there probably is alien life out there, but if they did or do ever arrive, we'd know it.

Coincidance: A Head Test
Coincidance: A Head Test
by Robert Anton Wilson
Edition: Paperback
9 used & new from CDN$ 44.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Finnegan's Wake explained... among other things, May 28 1998
A caveat: while this book, like most of Wilson's works, rates a 10 (with me), this probably belongs in the advanced course, and might be beyond people who've never read Wilson before. If you don't know his style, his philosophies and his history, you might get lost in the muck. But, if you've at least made it through his "Illuminatus!" and "Prometheus Rising," then give it a shot. (Reading "Finnegan's Wake" also helps, but you won't have to in order to follow his analyses.)
Describable as one of Wilson's more straightforward exegises, "Coincidance" deals directly with concepts of quantum physics, Joycean symbolism and the "reality is what you can get away with" school of thought.
Bonus points, Wilson wrote this book entirely in "E-Prime," a variation of English with one subtle but significant difference. (In fact, I've written this entire review in "E-Prime" as well. The only exception appears in the quote above, a repeat of the title of one of Wilson's fictional works. Perhaps, if you figure out what makes "E-Prime" different, you might be ready to read "Coincidance" right now...)

Prometheus Rising
Prometheus Rising
by Robert Anton Wilson
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 34.96
16 used & new from CDN$ 22.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential owner's manual for the brain, May 28 1998
This review is from: Prometheus Rising (Paperback)
"Prometheus Rising" is the second essential piece of reading in the Wilson opus, after the "Illuminatus!" trilogy and, if you read no more of his work, this book will tell you all you need to know. Where "Illuminatus!" is a version of his philosophy disguised as a novel, "Prometheus" is the distillation of model agnosticism in plain old black and white. Given with humor and wit, this is one book that will shake you right out of your preconceptions and get you looking at everything in very different ways.
And, as another reviewer mentioned, you WILL find lots of quarters, making this one purchase that's essentially free. Think we're kidding? Read the book, and you'll learn otherwise...

The Illuminatus! Trilogy: The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple, Leviathan
The Illuminatus! Trilogy: The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple, Leviathan
by Robert Shea
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 20.05
44 used & new from CDN$ 2.32

5.0 out of 5 stars THE seminal philosophy of the century, disguised as a novel, May 28 1998
Illuminatus! is more than a novel; it's a head trip, a philosophy course, a mirror, a funhouse; a work that should be read at least five times, because every journey through is a different trip. Equal parts mock conspiracy story, detective novel, science fiction epic and hidden treatise, what you get out of it tells you more about yourself than about the authors. On top of all that, it's just plain old damn funny. Keep your eyes open for the parodies of James Joyce, Ayn Rand and Edgar Rice Burroughs, and avoid the fnords at all costs.
Whether you're nostalgic for the 60s or lost in the compassless haze of the 90s, you need to read this book, and get to know the philosophies of its authors. There's more education between these covers than between the start and finish of any university, but it's all achieved painlessly and, by the end, you'll look at the world and yourself in a different way.
Finally, this is one of those rare books that has become less satire and more prediction in the twenty-three years since its publication. What was once cynical wit is now sad documentary, and authors Wilson and Shea have nailed it. Approach with an open mind, abandon all preconceptions ye who enter here -- and then read it again and be surprised all over as you realize it's a different book the second time around. And the third. And the fourth. And the... well, you know...

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