Thursday, December 27, 2007
Of the sundry of human tics and tacs, what gets me most is the silence, the shuffling, and the hushed tones of independent, academia-drenched bookstores. As if raising your voice, laughing, or breathing through your nose instead of your mouth were an affront to the impenetrable tomes lining these walls, just waiting to be scooped up by someone better and above the habits of emoting and courtesy best left to the lower class.
There are few things that keep me sane in my daily drone of waiting for the customer to squirm up to the register. A favorite is wiki by free-association, usually beginning with a general review of the James McAvoy page (too sparse, in my opinion) as Wiki Prime. But since ogling the pride of the Scottish highlands probably wouldn't go over to well whilst ringing up mass quantities of Garrison Keillor, I turned to an old high school computer class standby: googling song lyrics.
Not just any song lyrics, mind. Those of Bruce Springsteen. And "miasma" sticks to Brucey like mashups to Soulja Boy.
It means an "unwholesome, poisonous, or toxic atmosphere." And when applied to Bruce, a wholly accurate description of his haunting, high-octane music. Check this random review I didn't write:
On Magic, he's outdone himself, with every song summing up the prevailing apocalyptic miasma sucking the soul out of a fractured nation, thanks to this Voldemortian White House.
And, for my next favorite phrase...
Voldemortian White House.
Monday, December 3, 2007
DO YOU WANT TO ASK JOHNNY DEPP OR TIM BURTON A QUESTION?
Do you have a specific question you've been dying to ask Johnny Depp or Tim Burton? This Wednesday, December 5th, the two will be answering fan-submitted questions at AOL Moviefone as part of their Unscripted interview series. Click here for all the info on how to submit a question!* Be sure to check back on AOL Moviefone on Wednesday, December 19th to watch UnScripted and see if they answered your question! SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET Never Forgive. Never Forget. Christmas www.SweeneyToddMovie.com
Monday, November 26, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Greys. Was. It.
It had everything. Primarily, a strong cast of interesting characters who were way too emo for their own good, but in the most entertaining and heartwrenching of ways. The show followed a pack of fresh-faced, knock-kneed surgical interns throughout their first year at Seattle Grace, a hospital known for its hardworking, A-class medical staff as much as its uncanny knack for attracting medical cases that tied in quite nicely to what that staff was going through.
The show also boasted some kick-ass female characters: reserved, resourceful, kind, passionate, capable, and at times, whiny as hell. Girls that were strong and relatable, and original in their composition. You could really see yourself in any one of them at least once throughout the run of that first year, whether you liked it or not. It was refreshing and exciting to key in so strongly to them on a campy, yes, but emotionally honest show.
Not to mention the equally kick-ass male characters.
And Patrick Dempsey: giver of The Look. Not afraid to cry or attempt risky neurological surgery. A phantasmagoria of sensitivity, and at the same time a beacon of old-timey maleness. Bullheadedness. Torch-bearing. Occasional bouts of yelling, sometimes acccompanied by throwing punches, fits, or beautiful women into walls before tearing into them with kisses.
But then something happened:
The Second Season.
Namely, Denny. Exploding Bomb Squad Guy. And overblown, overindulgent "storytelling" all around. Not to mention the soon-to-follow Isaiah Washington anti-gay revelation.
Grey's freaking burned me. I started treating it like a bad boyfriend I finally wised up to and went all Carrie Underwood on. How could Greys do this to me? I cringed at talk of new storylines detailing more Mer/Der drama, the romance blossoming between George and Callie like a most atrociously deformed garden weed, Denny worship disguised as story arcs.
But tonight, something changed. In a dizzying state of turkey-fueled goodwill, (and my own traitorous strike-breaking), I watched the newest ep of Greys... featuring surprisingly engaging writing, honest character moments, conflict, and a guy with an exposed carotid artery that bursts when he makes a freshly heartbroken intern laugh, played by...
I am so back.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I make independent films. I listen to indie rock. I'm pro-choice. I'm a left-leaner, I drink PBR. Sometimes I listen to NPR. I recycle. I “craft.” I read books. I want to effect positive change in the world around me, and I'm a girl. What's more, I LIKE being a girl, a strong one, a woman, a feminist, whatever you want to call it.
I haven't yet seen Diablo Cody's teen-pregnancy comedy “Juno”, though I have been looking forward to it.
I'm sick of the backlash the film is getting from hip, alternative, counter-culture, “progressive” mags for not portraying abortion as an alternative to dealing with unwanted pregnancy, or showing teen pregnancy in too white a light. I can't defend the movie entirely, as I haven't seen it yet, but I can defend a screenwriter's right to make a comedy about whatever subject matter she damn well pleases, utilizing whatever characters and story arc she finds it in her heart to share.
A movie is one story, one point of view, one ride in the mind of another. Taken seriously, it gives you an option to weigh. Lightly: a glimpse at a side of life or a life lesson maybe you haven't pondered. At the very least, one hugging-and-learning moment in the midst of a cool soundtrack. “Juno” looks pretty interesting, at the very least because the protagonist even jumps out of the trailers as strong, even if making a “mainstream” choice about what to do with her unwanted pregnancy. She's dealing with something beyond her maturity level, and this is her story. Not everyone's.
If the real mission of you watchdogs and tastemakers (specifically, Venus and Time-Out Chicago) is to give voice to those of us ill-represented elsewhere in media, why turn your noses up at those of us, factual or fictional, who don't fit your mold of what it means to be “alternative.”? It's alienating, and it's cheap, deeming abortion “counter-culture”, like an asymmetrical haircut. Not to mention obnoxious to read your subculturer-than-thou condemnation of Diablo Cody for writing “Juno” and not “I Got Pregnant When I was 16 And Aborted My Baby So I Could Follow My Peace Worker/Rolling Stone Writer Dreams.” Your snotty reviews make me feel bad about myself, lesser, like if I were a true child of my generation I'd be out aborting fetuses left and right, laughing at the tears of former Arrested Development cast members.
And, Venus, as for your this is what “keeps me away from contemporary American comedy” comment...Snooty snoots to you, too.
If you guys don't quit the haterade and open your eyes to the diversity of people who make up the alternative culture you claim to represent, your “progressive” opinions are really going to gel into as harsh and damaging a mold as the ones they're pushing in the current White House. And if you refuse, here's something fun for you to do: head to a theater playing Juno and Sweeney Todd simultaneously. Make sure you run really fast back and forth between the movies, maybe reading Adbusters in between, for a satisfyingly, TRULY ALTERNATIVE depiction of the life you dare to dream, and a reason to stand by American Comedy.
If you haven't seen No Country For Old Men yet, you must. I don't know if it's a movie I would ever watch again, or would need to, but for the time you're seeing it in the theater it is the only thing that exists. That, terror, and the blood pooling in your mouth because you're biting your fingers so damn hard in fear.