Thursday, July 23, 2015

Micro Reviews

ANT-MAN was fleet footed and charming, and made good use of the gags inherent in the premise. That said it was rather silly the effort the film made to keep Evangeline Lilly from just being the co-star superhero alongside Rudd.

HOW AWFUL ABOUT ALAN is Aaron Spelling’s contribution of the 1970s boom of solid made for TV horror movies. Anthony Perkins and Julie Harris are a pair of neurotic siblings unhappily sharing a house after their father’s death. Well made, if not in the top tier of small screen spookers like GARGOYLES and DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK it’s a nice snap of autumn in the July heat and humidity.

THE GHOST SHIP (1943), a nifty Heart of Darkness riff and stealth little anti Fascist parable. Terrific atmosphere, especially in the use of close ups on Skleton Knaggs’ wonderful face. He plays the near mystic mute sailor of the crew, his interior monologues serving as Greek Chorus as the coils of madness and authoritarianism, revealed to be comfortable traveling companions, spool ever more out of control.

City Tales

What a difference a hair cut could make. She transcribed a panic attack on the back of a menu in a sushi restaurant. She felt she was about to vibrate out her skin her molecules smashing the glasses and worse embarrassing her so she couldn't go back there. And then there was the clean wooden floors and track lighting of the salon. The swoosh of the water close to her scalp and the near sacred pleasure of having someone else shampoo your hair. The clean sent of her hair nearly intoxicated her as she sat on the bench reading. It was an autobiography by a famous actress, discussing her discovery of New Age beliefs. She was delighting in reading about cocktail parties and gala fundraisers next to descriptions of UFOs over Peru and Mayan temples. It reminded her of studying to be an anthropologist one or two failed college attempts ago. And the primary lesson of being respectful to belief systems not your own. She was finding it easier to think of her aborted academic career without her skin starting to buckle from shame. But maybe that was due to the hair cut. The breeze tickled the back of her neck, November seemed far away. 

80s Jukebox

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Mars Journals

My name is Grace, daughter of Cole. I write this down, - actually write this my hand feels strange on the pen awkwardly scratching across the paper - so that there may be some record of what I saw...but on such an impermanent, insignificant sketchbook am I secretly hoping this too will be lost? I've lost too many things already. But it has also been a time of great wonders and happiness. I guess that's what this record is, my attempt to make sense of a very eventful eighteen months. Maria would know what to say, but Maria is gone. Marcus would lie, but Marcus is gone. I cannot talk to Omri, at least not yet. And Chloe is off being a secret agent. So I'm afraid dear reader, you're stuck with me.

Lookbook: Get Your Ass To Mars

City Tales

She spent her first night in her new apartment. She moved her things in on the thirteenth. It was a summer of milestones. The day before was the fortieth anniversary of humans walking across the moon. Their heavy feet stirring up streamers of dust. She was saying goodbye to things. Her room at the house didn't feel like hers any more. It hadn't for a long time. She would miss waking up to the smell of fresh cut grass but the apartment was a good first step. A first step to getting out of Pickton, getting out of North Carolina. It was a beautiful day, clear with a breeze gentle and warm like a friend. There were still some necessities to get for the apartment but until she lived with a large group of people its spartan furnishings and decor would suit her fine. She was terribly lonely. She was going through the time of being unable to sleep, and dreams being bony fingers raked across her sense of safety. She was excited about the new place but sad. But it was a gentle sadness, she was grateful for that.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Friday Scramble

"...that saved a wretch like me..."

"'s up to you New York, New York..."

"I think we are born into this world and inherit all the grudges and rivalries and hatreds and sins of the past..."

" don't understand this is not my kitten, this is god's child..."

Summer flowers for summer nights.

There is nothing healthy about this cake, because it's cake, delicious, buttery cake.

Snaps from the Eastern Bloc coven.

"and the tide's gonna turn and it's all gonna roll your way..."

I wrote about a few of my favorite James Horner scores.

Friday Jukebox, It's Fourth of July weekend, hope you enjoy your independence however you celebrate it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Macro Reading List #1

The next best thing to snooping someone's bookshelves is a reading list they publish. I wanted to do one of my own, and I wanted to do a big, macro one, everything from picture books to ancient epics. These are the books from all stages of my life so far, and instead of leaning away from personal preference and make a list of titles I "should" suggest I went with what I know. These are books I like, books I love, books that left an impression, books that started a conversation in me that still continues. It is by no means intended to be an authoritative or exhaustive list but it's a start. I think being "well read" means different things to different people, I'm only interested in shining some light on novels, essays, plays and poems I think deserve further attention.

Why Mosquitos Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema, pictures by Leo and Diane Dillon 

Letter to my Daughter by Maya Angelou

The Epic of Gilgamesh by Anonymous

The Politics by Aristotle 

Dover Beach and Other Poems by Matthew Arnold 

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin 

Weaveworld by Clive Barker 

Ways of Seeing by John Berger

The Complete Poems by William Blake 
Girl Goddess #9 by Francesca Lia Block

Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 

Lulu in Hollywood by Louise Brooks 

Selected Poems by Robert Browning

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson 

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler 

Byron: Complete Poetical Works by Lord Byron 

Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll 

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler 

The Complete Poems by Samuel Taylor Coleridge 

Mathilda by Roald Dahl 

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens 

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

An American Childhood by Annie Dillard

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco 

Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

The Road Not Taken and Other Poems by Robert Frost

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg  

Hamilton’s Mythology by Edith Hamilton

Big Questions from Little People/Does My Goldfish Know... edited by Gemma Elwin Harris 

Cotton Comes to Harlem by Chester Himes

On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes by Alexandra Horowitz 

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. by Washington Irving

The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait by Frida Kahlo 

The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman

Optimism by Hellen Keller

The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling 

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle

The Accidental Universe by Alan Lightman

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

The Poems of Richard Lovelace by Richard Lovelace

Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory

The Oxford Book of American Verse chosen and with an Introduction by F.O. Matthiessen

Paradise Lost by John Milton

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

The Best Poems of Thomas Moore by Thomas Moore 

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison [and everything else]

Twenty Love Songs and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda [and everything else]

The Things they Carried by Tim O’Brien

Children of the Salmon and Other Irish Folktales by Eileen O’Faolain

The Collected Poems of Frank O’Hara by Frank O’Hara 

The Metamorphoses by Ovid

Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe

The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke by Rainer Maria Rilke

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke  

Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Lisa Randall 

Varieties of Scientific Experience by Carl Sagan

Catalog of Cool/Too Cool edited by Gene Sculatti

We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy by Maurice Sendak

Complete Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare 

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare 

Henry IV by William Shakespeare 

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Shelley: Poems by Percy Shelley

The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth by Andrew Smith  

Letters to a Young Artist by Anna Deavere Smith

Just Kids by Patti Smith 

Finishing the Hat/Look I Made a Hat by Stephen Sondheim

On Photography by Susan Sontag

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Freedom From Fear: And Other Writings by Aung San Suu Kyi

View With a Grain of Sand by Wislawa Szymborska

Idylls of the King by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Working by Studs Terkel

The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Aeneid by Virgil  

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Here is New York by E.B. White

The Best of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams 

The Waves by Virginia Woolf

The Collected Poems of William Wordsworth by William Wordsworth

The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats by W.B. Yeats 

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

Friday, June 26, 2015