Monday, January 07, 2008


Over here.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Les films français = depravity, smoking, crotch shots.

Just a quick hello, how are things?, blah blah blah. I started a new job that isn't very conducive to blogging, hence the silence. Working on a post on seeing Inland Empire for the second time. In the mean time, feast upon my favorite piece of film crit in ages, courtesy of one Gina DeFalco, Netflix commentator. Of Francois Ozon's See the Sea:
Key elements to a french movie - slow as thick snot in January - moral
depravity - infidelity - boobs are shown, sometimes crotch - people smoking
This film has all of those elements, but even with the extra leeway, knowing
it is French, this movie blows choda! Only recommended if you enjoy activities like sewing your head to the carpet, or get off looking at
someones green apple splatters.

Thank you, Gina. Thank you.

Monday, December 11, 2006

This is a battle, a war, and the casualties could be your hearts and souls. (Barf.)

When watching The History Boys it's impossible not to (at least passingly) think of Peter Weir's oppressive Dead Poet's Society. While far from perfect, The History Boys is a far better film; it at least is smart and charming and has actually says something about how poetry and art and education intersect with one's life.

Anyway. That's not the point of this post.
No, I just wanted to remind you of the fact that motherfucking DPS won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1990. I know, I know... the Oscars mean nothing, they don't actually award actual talent, Kane was ignored, etc.
But just look--LOOK!--at its competition that year. (And just ignore the Ephron nom. It's fine and all, but it totally weakens my argument.)

* Tom Schulman for Dead Poets Society - Winner
* Woody Allen for Crimes and Misdemeanors - Nominated
* Spike Lee for Do the Right Thing - Nominated
* Steven Soderbergh for Sex, Lies, and Videotape - Nominated
* Nora Ephron for When Harry Met Sally... - Nominated

And just as a cherry on top: Schulman didn't have a great writing career after the majesty that is DPS. He went on to write Medicine Man, Holy Man, and Welcome to Mooseport. Karma's a bitch, huh?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

This year, to save me from tears / I'll give it to someone special.

Well hello there. I've been ITless since Wednesday (thanks Time Warner!), hence the silence. Anyway, just a quick Sunday hello and a link to a website totally devoted to covers of Wham!'s "Last Christmas". You know you want to hear Erlend Øye, Travis, and/or Crazy Frog covering the third greatest modern Christmas standard*. Get over there and take your stand against the war on Christmas.

* The best modern Christmas standard ever is obviously Macca's "Wonderful Christmastime" followed by the Michael Penn/Jon Brion composition "Christmastime" (as sung by Aimee Mann).

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A peak at the Empire.

A taste of what I babbled about:

Elsewhere, 'Nohla nails it:
“Inland Empire” isn’t a film to love. It is a work to admire, to puzzle through, to wrestle with. Its pleasures are fugitive, even frustrating. The first time I saw it, I was repulsed by the shivers of Lynchian sadism, a feeling doubtless informed by my adoration of the far more approachable, humanistic “Mulholland Drive.” On second viewing, though, “Inland Empire” seemed funnier, more playful and somehow heartfelt. Certainly, there is nothing but love in Ms. Dern’s performance, which is as much a gift to us as to the director who has given this actress her greatest roles. It’s easy to get lost in a David Lynch film, but Ms. Dern and her amazing rubber-band mouth, which laughs like the sun and cries us a river, proves a magnificent guide.

A friendly reminder.

Today is the day, kids.
Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist--one of the greatest pieces of narrative cinema in existence--is finally available on DVD. If you haven't seen it yet, bump it to the top of your queue, buy it, track it down, whatever. See it. It's an absolute essential.

If you're interested, I rambled about it last year.

You need a steak and a vitamin.

Amy Sedaris was on Conan last week and that appearance alone got me to netflix Strangers With Candy: The Movie. The film is... well, it's OK. But I laughed harder at these nine minutes than anything in the movie*. Enjoy:

*= OK, that might not be totally true. I laughed really hard when Colbert, as the science teacher, yells at his class "Eyes to the back of the room!" and then has a total ugly-crying meltdown. Ugly-crying meltdowns are the best.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


"The one thing I'll give it: it made a compelling case for death."

--Morgan, after a screening of The Fountain.

Friday, December 01, 2006

You're kinda layin' a mindfuck on me.

47, 9:45 (or is it midnight?), Axxon--->, "Black Tambourine," Bucky Jay, bunny rabbits, circus, cursed films, dancing whores, dark hallways, dead child, DV, "good with animals," High On Blue Tomorrows, Hollywood & Vine, industrial hum, ketchup, lamp shades, laugh track, lightbulb mouth, "Locomotion," mindfuck, Polish folk tales, red curtains, screwdriver, strobe, "tell me if you recognize me from somewhere," tits & ass, trains in the distance, "yes, she's here..."

(I need to see it again.)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thank you, Rob Thomas.

Fear not, no spoilers here.

I've mentioned my nerdy obsession with Veronica Mars before, but not lately. Here's a little explanation. I'm insanely in love with the first season: the characters and their relationships are vivid and perfectly acted, the writing is uniformly smart and witty and warm, and the central mystery is expanded and resolved in such a thoroughly satisfying manner that it adds up to, in my mind, one of the finest blocks of television I've ever seen.

Season Two is patchy. Things get off on the right foot (that first episode back is one of the best VMs ever), but gets a little wonky by the midpoint. There are so many threads and subplots muddling the new "big mystery" that it turns into a confusing and frustrating ride. It's still compelling, sure, but by the time the big revelations occur, it's a massive letdown. (Am I alone in thinking Season Two's greatest moments are always set to perfectly selected pop songs? My three favorite Season Two moments: Dead body washes ashore [The Pixies' "Where Is My Mind?"], Veronica and Logan run from crazy child abusers [Air's "Run"], Prom [M. Doughty's "I Hear the Bells"].)

Rob Thomas and co. tried to remedy this situation in Season Three by creating an initial "big mystery" arc of nine episodes, then two mini-arcs to round-out the season. (At least that was the initial plan. Now it looks like Mr. Thomas might tweak the formula again by finishing the second arc, then running a series of stand alone episodes.) This season hasn't been without its growing pains (really, what was all that bidness with Logan in Mexico? Laura San Giacomo? Really?), but it's been a sturdy run that absolutely killed with the most recent episode. Tuesday's show, which saw the saga of the Hearst Rapist concluded and the introduction of the next mystery, was so twisty-turny-watching-through-your-fingers-brilliant, with a legitimately rewarding payoff, it felt like Season One all over.* Here's hoping it keeps up the momentum. The show's going on hiatus until mid-January, but the first nine episodes will be running in order over the holidays. If you've missed them, fire up that Tivo and get busy. Or add the first two seasons to your Netflix queue. Or use the ITs to catch-up. I dunno. Just don't let this series escape you.

Perhaps my favorite summation of the episode came in an e-mail from Nayiri:
Re: VMars, Keith [her husband] comes home from class in the middle of it, and usually I don't talk to him (aside from maybe saying hello) until it's a commercial break, but Tuesday night I was scampering around the middle room and clutching pillows to my bosoms and yelling at the TV. And then he came in, and then I started frantically telling him everything that he missed (the whole season) and hopping from one foot to the other like I was holding a lot of pee.

Yup. Sounds about right. And one more picture, 'cause the t-shirt is too goood not to: