Monday, March 21, 2005

Additional dialogue: W. Shakespeare.

Pop-cultural Polaroids from my weekend:

  • When I started Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, he tricked me into thinking he wasn't one of those McSweeney assholes. I think it's because he managed to create a sympathetic narrator with a unique voice (not exactly a trait of Eggers and co.) and then he dropped the typographical stunts and the TV stills and the chapter that has red proof-reading marks all over it. It's turning into a chore to finish the thing.

  • My Own Private Idaho: perhaps the greatest adaptation of Henry IV ever set in the modern Pacific Northwest with a narcoleptic man-whore as its hero. Glibness aside, it's brilliant. Gus Van Sant is at his absolute best/fearless as he recklessly interweaves docudrama confessionals, Shakespearian bombast, grainy 8mm movies, and abstract images into an aching puzzle of longing and identity and home.

  • Sad realization: hoverboards or no, Back to the Future Part II sucks. I was actually kind of excited to watch it, as it's been years and years since I'd last seen the thing. I remember loving all the little futuristic details, zany hijinks, etc. Yeah, well, not so much anymore. It's a leaden, arrhythmic, dead-behind-the-eyes piece of cinematic product placement. It still kind of stings.

  • Maybe it's Shane MacGowan's tragic issues d'orthodonture, but I can't keep a straight face when I listen to The Pogues. Even when they're singing about whoredom.


At 11:25 PM, Blogger Joshua said...

Dale Peck and JSF are like totally best friends. I think Dale would be super pissed at you lumping the writer of "one of the best novels I've ever been fortunate enough to hold in [his] hands" with the McSweeney's Ass Brigade.

At 11:28 PM, Blogger Joshua said...

Shit, my bracketing was all fucked up and inconsistent in that quote. I am a fuck job.

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Tommy said...

I’m half way through Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and am loving every minute of it. I’ve loved crazy use of paragraphing ever since reading Marabou Stoke Nightmares by Irvine Welsh. I find this to be the most touching post 9-11 work to date. (I can't figure out how to italicize)

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Josh: I don't understand Mr. Peck. At all.
Tom: I think almost everything told from Oskar's POV is excellent. It's the alternating chapters--and those gimmicks--that are wearing me down.

At 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

huh. it figures you would read Jonathan Safran Foer. a narrator with a unique voice? are you forgetting Holden Caufield?

obviously you didn't read a review of the book... or bother to flip through it before buying it. you get what you pay for.

At 9:32 AM, Blogger Tommy said...

Wow, that Anonymous person (above) is really pissed. What'd you do to them off?

I do agree that those other chapters are a bit too much. I find myself kinda skimming over them to get back to Oskar. I do however love the gimmicks. I can totaly see why someone would find them annoying, but for me they offer a little rest for my brain while reading. I love those single sentence pages in those strange chapters. (Mostly because I can read like ten pages in 15 seconds and that makes me feel like a robot. )


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