August 17, 2009




I feel really spoiled having seen both a Pixar flick and a Ghibli flick in the same summer. Laura and I went to see Ponyo on Saturday and had a great time; the theater was filled with kids and we sat next to two old ladies who loved Miyazaki. The story was something of a mix between Hans Christian Anderson’s Little Mermaid and Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. It had beautiful (if unexpectedly rough) animation, adult characters who were realistic and genuinely caring, child characters who were surprisingly mature but still childlike, complex environmental themes, a great mom who was also a crazy driver, a love of ham, and lots of Devonian fish.


A Place of My Own

I just finished this book by Michael Pollan, an author who is best known by his writings of food. Because of this I was surprised to find his name as I was browsing our firm’s library; what is a food writer doing in an architecture library? However this book is not about food but his thoughts as he builds a writing shack back in the woods on his property. He offers great insights into the world of architecture and construction from an outsider’s point of view. His usual mix clear thinking and wandering reflections are in full force here, and my only complaint was that the book needed more drawings (but that is my usual complaint no matter what the subject matter).


Butchers, Dragons, Gods, and Skeletons

The Kimbell’s current exhibition is a bit unusual but utterly fantastic. A good portion of their permanent exhibition is on display. I will pause a moment to say just how amazing their collection is. They have everything from Ancient Greek vases to Bernini’s terra cotta studies to a fun Caravaggio to a great Asian collection to impressionist masters. Interspersed through the collection are five films by Philip Haas, each based off a painting in the collection. These films are very interactive and give you a glimpse into the making of, the larger context, and the details of each painting. Best of all, it is entirely free.

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