Tuesday, December 28, 2004

2 + 2 = 5.

1) Paz Vega.

Did I mention she's currently my boo? No? Well, after a one-two screening of (the sublime) Talk to Her and (the average-yet-strangely-entertaining) Spanglish, she is. We're very happy, thank you.

2) Cate Blanchett in The Aviator.

Cate owns the screen every time she walks into frame. I think it might be the laugh, or the way she throws her head around. Whatever it is, I find myself hanging on her every word. (Plus, when Paz leaves me for Josh Lucas or some other asshole, Cate is my boo-in-waiting.)

3) "Against Interpretation" by Sontag.
I just re-read Ms. Sontag's essay before the holiday and... It's hard for me to imagine how bold and revolutionary it must have seemed in the '60s. That someone created our notion of "camp." Let's all observe Ms. Sontag's passing by putting on a feather boa and evaluating Hulk Hogan and Loni Anderson's chemistry in 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain.

4) The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood by David Thomson.
Having finished Thomson's overstuffed, feverish overview of Hollywood, I'm not sure that I really have a better grasp of the creation of "Hollywood." I'm not sure that I really care. I enjoyed the ride: 300some pages of Thomson randomly spewing factoids, passing broad and sweeping pronouncements (I'm working on a post about his assertion that film is not art), and his signature acidic opinions. Check out this dismissal (and remember that this is supposed to be a book about the entire history of Hollywood.)
I have nothing to say about Star Wars. To the extent that I have written about movies, it has been because I felt that there was enough of art (or attempt at it) in some films to justify the effort--to justify the excitement I had felt in the dark. But there is nothing to be said about Star Wars because there is not enough in it: the fullest response is "Wow!" or pressing the repeat button. It is, for good and ill, sensational. And I like sensations, like hot water on my back or salt on my tongue. But in recent times there are too many occasions when new films do not deserve the space or the paper it would take, let alone the effort.

As you can tell, it's a trip.
Oh and Thomson says Spielberg has never made a film that could be considered "great." Empire of the Sun is the closest thing in the canon. What about Schindler's List, you ask? "Much of that movie is impeccable and very intriguing; but crucial things in it--like the girl in the red coat--are not just disastrous, but enough to leave on believing in a schizoid chasm in the director's soul."

5) My sister's homemade Garlic/Basil/Fake Chicken Pizza.
Crust from scratch, fresh basil and garlic, topped by her hippie Chicken and lots of soy cheese (and some mozzarella too). F-ing brilliant.


At 1:57 PM, Blogger punkvanryn said...

2 +2 does not = 5!

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Ben, you should really check out punkvanryn's blog. It's insightful, witty, warm and stylistically imposing. Best entry: "i finally got a name 4 my guitar. its like a bubble gum pink stratocaster want ta b(fender is just so ficken expencive) im callen it sterling cauze i was lookin round on the net and found a list of unisex names and sterling was on ther and it ment special and lives in a yellow house and my house has some yellow on the outside and i and my guitar is very special so i dubed it sterling."

Also, she is going to break up with her boyfriend. I hope she tells him before he reads it on the blog.

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