Saturday, April 28, 2007
P.S. Looks like the Kavalier movie is off again.
Friday, April 27, 2007
I am hoping you can help. I seriously need book on tape/audiobook suggestions for a long solo road trip. I think your readers seem to like many of the things I like and maybe they would have some good suggestions?
- You won't have to wait for DVD to watch the remaining episodes of Studio 60, which NBC will air at least one of, giving it ER's Thursday at 10 slot the day after May sweeps ends. Of course, that's arguably where it should have been in the first place.
- Sorkin alum Melissa Fitzgerald (aka Carol, CJ's assistant) is apparently contemplating a run for Congress in Pennsylvania. No word on if Jed Bartlet plans to stump for her or if Josh Lyman or Will Bailey will manage her campaign.
And in honor of No. 1 on the list ("I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.' "), I suggest you download the new single from Feist, "1, 2, 3, 4," (careful, the song starts up as soon as the site loads), perhaps my favorite counting song this side of Tom Robinson's "2-4-6-8 Motorway."
Although, heh, it goes on to include "or publishes by card, circular, sign, newspaper or other means that he can predict future events"? Arrest Brian Tierney.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
There are lots of great sad songs, and lots of emotional songs, but very few that can actually draw tears from me. Those are two.
Okay, there's a reason why I'm not the usual recapper, but Kim's on assignment, Isaac hasn't watched it yet and we needed a thread. Go to it.
“A TIMELY PAUSE, A KIND OF A STRATEGIC SILENCE”:
A scene in Eddie and the Cruisers illuminates the concept. During a rehearsal, Eddie (Michael Paré), the lead singer of the band, is having an argument with the bass player Sal (Matthew Laurance) because Sal is playing the song too fast for anyone to be able to understand the meaning of the lyrics. Eddie then seeks the opinion of Frank (Tom Berenger), the most cerebral member of the band (the movie suggests obliquely that Frank is a graduate of
My favorite example of a caesura in pop music occurs in the song “Midnight Train to
While overall I enjoyed the film “Little Children”, I thought that the heavy use of the voiceover narration detracted significantly from the film. Had the director Todd Fields simply chosen to let the events speak for themselves, the film might have been vastly more effective. I found this problem especially disappointing because Fields had used silence in such a profound manner in his film “In the Bedroom.”
Among actors, I think Gene Hackman has had an uncanny way of allowing silence (and a seemingly calm facial expression) to convey inner depth. His work in a supporting role in “Another Woman” is especially good in that regard.
Finally, I think one reason that Friday Night Lights has become such an extraordinary television show is that, unlike the vast majority of other shows, it uses caesuras to great effect. Think back to many of the scenes of dialog. Not uncommonly, the scene would give a character a moment or two of silence. Those moments conveyed way more than they might have had the characters filled the empty space. Similarly, the show’s frequent use of musical montage is an effective means of allowing the audience to dwell on the meaning of what has transpired. Although musical montage is obviously not silence, it does break up the dramatic action.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
While you're watching (or after), liveblog here, and if you need an antidote to some of the sincerity and Sanjaya, Ricky Gervais' trip to Kenya for Red Nose Day should suffice.
e.t.a.: You know how Fametracker does those audits to determine who a star is as famous as, and who s/he should be as famous as? Shouldn't Annie Lennox be at closer to Celine Dion-level fame and fortune? Her voice tonight was, as always, a gift. Beyond that, I rather liked Carrie Underwood's "I'll Stand By You," Jack Black's performance and the return of Verdine "Sexual Chocolate!" White. All this, and a discussion of the results, in Comments.
Then I heard on the radio today that they're actually bringing Serra's sculptures in. Wow, what a pain in the ass. And in the end, I'm still skeptical that this exhibition can work. I think Serra is the most site-dependent of the sculptors whose work I know (admittedly not a huge pool). Where Calder's works aim to dominate a site and Moore's site-specific works tend to frame or complement it, Serra's pieces are designed to control the site, altering the space itself and the way that users experience it. Tilted Arc bifurcated Federal Plaza, to the dismay of the workers there and to the delight of the litigators. I think I would have liked Tilted Arc, though, just like I loved my first experience with Serra, his Stacks in the old Yale Art Gallery. Stacks in one sense is just two large almost-square welded steel bookends a good 50 or so feet apart in an 80-foot sculpture gallery, but the real focus of the work is the space in between the bookends, which takes on a physical presence -- sort of like a high-pressure ridge -- that dominates the room. It's a piece that can only work in a room exactly that size, with exactly that same orientation, maybe even in exactly that same place.
That's why I'm skeptical of the MOMA exhibit. I don't know how Serra's works can have the same meaning and the same effect transported to a different, neutral gallery that they weren't built to control. If any of the New Yorkers here are going to see this, I'd love to hear how it works.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Also, they're selling "Everybody Lies" t-shirts to raise money for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, though the only pop culture hospital shirt I'm wearing these days is this one from St. Mungo's.
In some order, LaKisha, Chris and Phil are the next three to go, then either Blake or Melinda gets to lose to Jordin in the finals. Calling it right now.
What else happened? LaKisha proved she's no Fantasia, just being unable to sell "I Believe" like the original; the three guys were all competent and sincere, with
Okay, folks, how good was Jordin Sparks?
On Heroes, while I might quibble with some of the clunky plot devices (if you're going to spend a zillion dollars on a secure underground facility, perhaps you should kick in the extra couple hundred to make sure your ductile iron pipes aren't detatchable in 3-foot lengths? Or are you going with the orbiting space-station-trash-chute model?), there were a couple of things I found pretty cool. Namely, the fact that the worst bad guy in the whole world has that power -- which must frustrate him to no end; the whole idea of a Mama Petrelli-Claire Facts of Life Goes to Paris; and that Sylar more or less painted Nathan (or was it Sylar himself?) into Van Gogh's blue room, an appropriately schizophrenic response to Mendez's Oval Office painting. And while looking for that last image, I found the web site for Linderman's Corinthian Hotel and Casino. I can't quite find the Easter Eggs there -- maybe you have to win in the online games to get access to the secret stuff.
Meanwhile, equally dastardly doings are afoot in the slightly realer world, as The Bachelor's mail-order-bride applicants crank up the whispering campaigns, Andy admits to a visibly disappointed Tina that he is not rich enough to afford the Lamborghini or the yacht (but fails to mention that he is an animatronic puppet stitched together from shoe leather and goat wool and running on an AI program loaded onto an 1990 Amiga cpu), and Tessa confides that she is not the kind of girl to fall ass over teakettle in WE Network Love of a Lifetime in fewer days than it takes to order shoes online, unlike her braying cohorts. Will Doctor Officer Andytron 5000 reward or punish the negative campaigning? Can a normal gal from the People's Republic of San Francisco find love with a machine originally programmed by Rumsfeld Labs? Tune in, I guess.
Obvs, Rhymin' Simon is an eminently worthy selection, and y'all are free, of course, to highlight examples of such excellence in the Comments. My other question, though, is this: who else should win this award over the next decade?
Monday, April 23, 2007
Folks interested in the topic ought to locate the late Marlon Riggs' 1987 documentary Ethnic Notions, a snippet of which is available on YouTube here.
Having proven he could make more money with a hit than with a flop, Mel Brooks' musical adaptation of Young Frankenstein will open at the same theater this fall. Currently booked are Megan Mullally in the Madeline Kahn role, Sutton Foster in Teri Garr's, and Shuler Hensley as The Monster. Under consideration: Eric McCormack (also of W&G) as Dr. Frankenstein, Roger Bart as Igor, and Andrea Martin as Frau Blücher.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
It was an hour that made one as uncomfortable as the high rocking of the See Vous Play anchored somewhere off the South Florida coast -- another darkly comic take of an empire in its last days. but this week, a bit too uncomfortably dark. Just stick with your own entrée at dinner if you know what's good for you, take your meds, and don't call Hesh unless you really need some help.
(FYI, a reminder as to who Beansie Gaeta is.)
Our TARstars answer all, tonight. Yikes, that was a tense ending.