January 2010


I've had to wait for a while before I could watch this one. But it was well worth it. The movie in question is Icelandic comedy called Astropia (I refuse to call it Dorks and Damsels, which sounds way too silly). With its references to comic books, sci-fi classics and RPG gaming sessions, this book is a geek's dream come true.

The story revolves around a somewhat ditzy model called Hildur. Maybe calling her ditzy is a bit harsh but ... she has made some bad decisions regarding her life. For one thing she is dating this sleazy car salesman who is in trouble with authorities for money issues. Well, once he ends up in jail, she has to bunk in with friends and figure out what to do with her life. Now, she needs a job.

Hollywood Celebrities in Japanese Ads

I was looking for a hilarious Dutch TV ad about Commando, that over-the-top Arnold Schwarzenegger flick, when I came across these Japander ads. In case you were wondering, Japander refers to instances when well-known Hollywood folk take part in a Japanese ad, you know, for a lot of money and all that. Some of them are merely cute while others are really bad. Bad in a 'I can't believe they did this' way.

Floor Faber

If you like TV shows revolving around quirky female characters (think Ally McBeal and Samantha Who), Floor Faber will certainly interest you. The show itself is a Dutch production which was broadcast at the end of 2009. It was well received and hopefully this means that the DVDs sets will be available in other languages.

Frank Chickens: Surreal Japanese PoMo, aka The 1980's

The Internet has skewed some of our cultural perspectives, especially thanks to its tendency to foster irony and kitsch well into realms of absurdity. This includes exchanges of bizarre pop entities from foreign nations in such high volumes that they lose a lot of what makes them strange. Take, for instance, the recent development of American perceptions of Japanese culture. At its worst, ironic Japanophilia results in a series of blunt punchlines about anime, vending machines and the inability to differentiate R sounds from L sounds. Of course the whole of modern Japanese culture isn't as broad and simple as that, but the cacophony of the Internet makes us forget that sometimes. So, when an odd bit of pop detritus like "We Are Ninja", the novelty electronic dance hit produced by avant-pop group Frank Chickens in 1984, hits our screens we're quick to dismiss it as just another crazy video from the Far East. Given its time, place and creators, I'd like to argue that "We Are Ninja" is anything but.