Wordy Wednesday July 30th

I watched "Katy Perry: The Movie Part of Me" this week.  Um, yeah, the thing about Katie Perry is that I think she's entirely 'movie'.  She looks more like the glamouous movie star on a movie set than a musician.  Her concerts are massive performances with elaborate stage set-ups, hundreds of various costumes and men and women dancing in choreography around her.  She's kind of the Michael Bay of singers.  (Or I think, anyway, since I have yet to see a MB movie).

So much is emphatized about her having four #1 hits on one album, which beats out Madonna and The Beattles; and puts her on par with Michael Jackson.


Marc Maron Must-See Video

Marc Maron live at Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater in Los Angeles, August 19, 2009

Yeah, so I commented on this video awhile back, but thought that it deserved it's own post, since it's great on so many levels.  Not only is the stand-up great--very, very 'Marc-y' with the Twitter comments, the i'm-so-fat rhetoric, the intellectual ramblings--but at its delivery, Marc was just on the cusp of creating WTF, and, as we know from what he's said on the podcast, at an all-time low; recently divorced, suicidal, bankrupt, ready to give up entirely on his career as a comic.

Just enjoy watching it for that reason, mostly; to see what a bright future he had, just over the horizon.  (Maybe an artist who sticks with it really DOES get that break).


Tweet of the Week


Wordy Wednesday July 23rd

This week I watched "In the Heat of the Night."

Rod Steiger's character as the Gillespie, the chief of police is the most interesting.  His attitude toward Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) keeps shifting; initially thinking Tibbs was a criminal, to obligatory respect when he learns he's a police officer, to neediness, when he wants Tibbs to stay in Sparta and help him solve the murder mystery, and throughout it all some sort of racism.  Although it's hard to tell how much he's overtly racist.

And the scene of Tibbs at Gillespie's house one evening really casts a light on the entirety of his character; he tells Tibbs that he's unmarried, has never been close to it and in a town of people who don't like him; paints him as a pretty empty man.


Recenty I've discovered this blog Jumping in Puddles and the author has some interesting articles about single (not-sexually active) women using natural family planning.  Her rationale is that it helps a woman be aware of her body and hormones, and also prepares her for her (possible) upcoming marriage.


Terry  Gross had a great interview with Richard Linklater this past week on Fresh Air.

In response to her comment that his new movie "Boyhood" doesn't have the drama that you'd expect from a movie, he says,  "You see how much we're conditioned in our, you know plot-based storytelling to have to set these things up and pay them off and you realize just how fake that is to life."

I love, love this quote.  Once I watched an episode of the Simpsons with a friend and he kept predicting what was going to happen later in the episode based on what was currently happening.  And he was right.  There really is a recipe to plot-based storytelling.

Kind of a stretch here?  But I wonder how deep this plot-based conditioning really runs.  People talk about the news being conditioned to entertain us; with headlines that try to scintillate us into reading the full article; do we (are we conditioned to) look for sensationalized entertainment in real life, which serves to totally distract us from what is really going on?  9-11 comes to mind--how is it that so many can believe the fantastical yet thrilling box-cutters explanation?

Linklater seems like a real artist in that he's going for something else, filming movies that are more true to life.  I loved Bernie, too, which he directed.  Amazing to hear the end of the real-life Bernie story; due to Linklater's movie, a lawyer gets Bernie out of his lifetime prison sentence, and he's now living in Linklater's garage, working as a paralegal.

Like this guy Linklater.  Gonna have to see Dazed and Confused.  Want to see Boyhood, except that I have SUCH a hard time sitting through a movie that's longer than 1.5 hours.   And Boyhood is well over 2.  ooooh......


Snow in Madrid by Joy Davidman

Snow in Madrid
by Joy Davidman

Softly, so casual,
Lovely, so light, so light,
The cruel sky lets fall
Something one does not fight.
How tenderly to crown
The brutal year
The clouds send something down
That one need not fear.
Men before perishing
See with unwounded eye
For once a gentle thing
Fall from the sky.


Tweet of the Week


Wordy Wednesday July 16

Saw "Whatever Works" this weekend, the Woody Allen '09 movie starring Larry David.  Sweet little story.

However, W.A. is so exhausting in that he does the exact same thing in so many of his movies; creates caricatures and juxtaposes them with other caricatures.  In this movie it's Larry David, the erudite 200- IQ-physicist juxtaposed with Evan Rachel Wood, the southern dimwit who calls her father daddy.  In Annie Hall, it was Annie Hall, the wholesome mid-west girl with Alvey Singer, a NYC Jew.  And not only has he done it before, it's an oversimplification to begin with.  Real people are more complex these cultural-sterotypes that he's created.


The Circle by Dave Eggers

The Circle read like a 500 page homily from a myopic and opinionated priest. Eggers singular agenda is to tell us that using technology to create a transparent, open-information society is bad; very very bad. Oh, and about every 55 pages he includes a lite-porn scene to wake the reader up.

 So yeah, with that you probably get the general gist. But just to flesh it out a little more specifically, the chronology of the book goes something like this;


Tweet of the Week


Wordy Wednesday July 9th

Finished watching the first season of Luther.  The characters & plot twists in this show are great.    A central theme; something about the difference between right and wrong and good and evil.  Is Luther evil even though he's broken all of the rules?   We're supposed to think not.  And what about that chic who murdered her parents; are we on her side?  These television shows are so manipulative, telling us how we have to think about characters and behaviors.  Stop telling me how I have to think goddamnit!  But no, outside of the grotesque violence (which is the reason I'm debating whether or not to watch the 2nd season), it's a gripping show.

Listened to Marc Marons 500th episode yesterday, all 103 minutes of it.  He calls his dad and apologizes in this episode.  It was so sweet.


Obvious Child

Today I saw the comedy Obvious Child.  Yeah, um, was this a funny movie?  If you don't care that writer/director Gillian Robespierre made abortion out to be an innocuous procedure that barely effects the women who has it and improves her relationship with the man who impregnated her, with no mention of the unborn child, then yeah, it actually was pretty funny.  Actress Jenny Slate is (maybe slightly annoyingly) cute and funny as the main character, Donna, and her penchant for making fart and poop jokes (these were in fact so frequent that they became a theme throughout the movie) made her quirky and likable.  David Cross has a small role, and he's just so cool he can almost make anything good.

Once you take into consideration these gross superficialities, however, the movie becomes ridden with canards and sick.


Wordy Wednesday July 2nd

Marc Guggenheim brought up some interesting points about Michael Bay in a conversation on Comedy Film Nerds this past week.  Marc thinks that MB has a good movie in him, and that Transformers: Age of Extinction might be a good summer getaway; into the air conditioning for awhile.  His points made me finally see MB as a three-dimensional person.  Until now, I've only heard him caricatured as the biggest joke in the movie industry, kind of a 2nd Ed Wood.  I also realized that I've never actually seen a MB movie, and so my low opinion of him is based solely on other people's low opinions.  Not a good foundation.  Think that it's time for me to see a MB movie for myself.  And so I tentatively intend to see Transformers: Age of Extinction this summer; it's 2 hours and 45 minutes.  What if it really IS horrible?  Am I really willing to spend over $10 on this?