Monday, February 07, 2005

What have you been reading, watching, listening to?

Mark recommends School of Rock (on DVD now!); Doug concurs!

The Vicious Circle of Confidence
I'm thinking about Sideways again as I am reading that Paul Giamatti, and his character, are the subject of a current feud about which group identifies with his trademark portrayal of insecure loserdom more completely: the (drunken) critics who love the film? Or the academy voters for whom it all hits so close to home they had to deny him an acting nomination. I bring it up not because I care, but because in that light, Miles/Paul reminds me of a passage in "Talking it Over," (a great book which recently got a kind of disappointing sequel) by Julian Barnes, one of my favorite authors:
I don't have what is referred to as an outgoing personality. When I meet people I like, instead of saying more and showing I like them and asking questions, I sort of clam up, as if I don't expect them to like me, or as if I'm not interesting enough for them. And then - fair enough - they don't find me interesting enough for them. And the next time it happens I remember this, but instead of making me determined to do better, I freeze again. Half the world seems to have confidence and half the world doesn't, and I don't know how you make the jump from one half to the other. In order to have confidence you have to be confident already: it's a vicious circle.
That truth is one of the reasons movies like that are so difficult to pull off (I do really like Sideways though), and why I recoiled at the montage when I first saw it--because it seemed to gloss right over that improbable leap. Either way, I'm skeptical about coming-out-of-their-shell movies. It takes confidence to make confidence. I simply am not a big believer in the ability of personalities to fundamentally change, even if the promise of love and redemption is staring them right in the face. And, invariably, it is.

Test your knowledge
Filmbrain's Screen Capture Quiz. Email him your guesses. Or I'm sure he won't mind if we speculate out loud here. Answer will come next week. I have no clue what it is.

Bad DVD Watch
Bill Wyman hated The Village more than I did; I thought it was fair. And his critique left me unable/unwilling to offer a defense of the film. He's probably right. I didn't think it was great, but apparently I'm a sucker for suspense and a big twist here and there, no matter how foolish. Wyman reports that the new DVD offers no salvation for the movie. Warning: his review is a complete spoiler! If you haven't seen The Village yet, and might, don't follow this link.

Executive Reading List

I've hardly had a chance to read anything lately, but President Bush has an interesting recommendation, after the Bible that is: Tom Wolfe's I am Charlotte Simmons. I would like to think this is the kind of excerpt that riveted our leader's attention: could once again hear students drunk on youth and beer being funny or at least loud as they stood before the urinals.

Two of them were finding it amusing to move their hands back and forth in front of the electric eyes to make the urinals keep flushing. One exclaimed to the other, "Whattaya mean, a slut? She told me she's been re-virginated!" They both broke up over that.

"She actually said that? ‘Re-virginated'?"

"Yeah! ‘Re-virginated' or ‘born-again virgin,' something like that!"

"Maybe she thinks that's what morning-after pills do!" They both broke up again. They had reached that stage in a college boy's evening at which all comments seem more devastatingly funny if shouted.

Urinals kept flushing, boys kept disintegrating over each other's wit, and somewhere in the long row of toilet stalls somebody was vomiting.
Maybe he would like Lynne Cheney's fiction as well? What are you reading?

Weekend Box Office
1. Boogeyman
2. The Wedding Date
3. Are We There Yet?
4. Hide and Seek
5. Million Dollar Baby

Aviator is the best pic nominee with the most bucks now, but Clint's movie is moving up. Anyone seen the Deniro movie? Are we ever going to see him in a serious dramatic role again? After all the Fockers and Analyzing this and that, now a big budget suspense/thriller...

SAG Awards
Were given out Saturday night. Jamie Foxx and Hillary Swank look to be Oscar locks. Not too bad a thing, except for Swank's acceptance speeches. Ugh. Sideways winning the ensemble cast over Aviator and Million Dollar Baby may throw the Best Picture Oscar back up in the air. Not just between those 2 anymore. A split could give Sideways a path. Full list of winners here.

Yes, this means I had nothing better to do on Saturday night.

No comments: