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avril 2008

Actionné par LiveJournal.com
cute little dead girl


In 100 words or less, some of what my brain's been absorbing recently:


Half Nelson: I've watched this movie twice in 24 hours, it was that good. The kind of film that you don't want to end, because you become completely consumed by the people within it. I don't think I would change a thing about Half Nelson-- the writing, the soundtrack (by the always incredible Broken Social Scene), and most importantly, the performances were all flawless. It's a film that refuses to go where you expect, that flirts with cliche, and then takes a hard left. And now, of course, I'm totally in love with Ryan Gosling. Can you blame me?

Volver: I didn't expect to enjoy this one as much as I did, mainly because the reviews were so middling, and I'm normally pretty lukewarm when it comes to La Cruz (who is wonderful in this). But of course, because it's Almodovar, Volver was fantastic. Funny, odd, dark and beautifully shot. And few people write women as vibrantly as Pedro does-- there are almost no men in this movie, and you don't miss their presence at all. It's not my favorite of his work that I've seen (that would probably go to Talk to Her, with Bad Education a close second), but it's a lovely film and well worth seeing.


McSweeneys Issue 21: I can't recommend McSweeneys enough, and not just because my future husband, Dave Eggers, is the editor. I really started appreciating short fiction once I started taking writing workshops, and now I think there's nothing like the perfect short story. Done right, it's as satisfying as an epic novel-- for me, there's a bolt of pure pleasure when I finish a story that I realize has been perfectly constructed, that doesn't leave me wanting more, that knows where it's going and accomplishes what it set out to do in the first paragraph. There are always at least five such stories in any issue of McSweeneys-- in this one I fell for Roddy Doyle's "The Pram," and "Majesty" by Miranda July. The first is a modern ghost story of sorts, with a bit of Nanny Diaries and social politics thrown in. It gave me goosbumps while reading on the subway. The second is a typically kooky excerpt from the live of an earthquake expert who has erotic dreams about Prince William-- the kookiness wasn't surprising coming from July (of Me and You and Everyone We Know fame), but it's surprisingly, wonderfully depressing, and made me rethink my opinion on the author.

Catcher in the Rye: I hadn't read this since English class my freshman year of high school, and half the pleasure was reading my 15 year-old "analysis" in the margins. I know a lot of people say this one doesn't hold up once you get out of adolescence, but I really enjoyed it (although maybe this means I'm still in a teenage state of mind. Which is...somewhat true.). A bit dated yes, but such a brilliant study of such a distinctive character, upon which all pretentious teens (real and imaginary) are unfortunately based. I wrote a story in college, based on a kid I knew in high school whose brother had died, and made a passing, ironic reference to him obsessively reading Catcher. The thing is though, there are such similarities between Holden and this boy, which speaks of Salinger's ability to capture that pure grief that both of them experienced, and the fucked up ways we express it. Worth a re-read.


The Crane Wife -The Decemberists: Love, love, love this album. No clue why I didn't pick it up sooner. There are some bands you love because they evolve over time, and some bands you love because they stay pretty much the same. The Decemberists fall into the latter category for the most part. There's an old-fashioned tone to their music, folky, orchestral amazingly-catchy tunes always bettered by Colin Melloy's idiosyncratic voice and bizarre, narrative lyrics. I love that these guys are always singing about pirates and boats and going off to war, and how even when they're not singing about any of these things, it still feels that way.

Ys- Joanna Newsom: I don't know why it took me so long to get into Joanna Newsom. I almost bought her first album, The Milk-Eyed Mender,  a few weeks ago, but then decided against it. But then I went home and downloaded it, and she's slowly grown on me since. I like Ys even better than her first LP-- like Rufus Wainwright, I feel like she's grown into her somewhat odd voice, which on the first album can be a little hard to take. I keep thinking that she's the female equivalent of Bob Dylan or Devendra Banhart, and that more female singers should be allowed to have strange vocal sounds like hers. I really respect her ability to be truly distinctive-- you will never mistake Newsom for anyone else. Plus, she's fucking ace at the harp.


oh man, i love joanna newsom. i finally couldnt deal with my downloaded, shitty quality "mender" the other day and bought it on disc. yay! it only look me two years. the new one is good? ive only heard one or two tracks...

miss you!
ive only heard one or two tracks...
Then you've heard like, half the album :) But, yes it's great. I will burn it for you and send it? What, pray tell, is your mailing address?

I'm also realizing you were the person who tried to get me into Joanna Newsom *years* ago...I was typically slow to catch on.

I miss you too!


I saw the decemberists 2 nights ago. they were great! and brought along a whale friend who ate the lead singer... who miraculously survived. hee.
- radha