2017 Movies: Call Me By Your Name and Get Out

Hello! It looks as though 93 (!!) people visited my post on Lady Bird and Downsizing, while a smaller amount visited the one about The Disaster Artist and I, Tonya, which is a shame since that one is the one I liked better of the two I wrote so far. Alas. These are super informal, though, so anyone reading them is slightly thrilling for me in away. Here's two more:

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (contains spoilers)
I knew little about this movie before watching it, except that a few people I know had seen it and enjoyed it, and that it made them cry, or that they had read or were reading the book it was based on. I knew it was about gay characters and set in the recent past. Ian Carlos Crawford pointed out to me prior to my seeing it that it's hard to imagine a happy ending when you have LGBT characters in an earlier time period. This adds a certain sort of tension to a film like this, which is otherwise understated in a beautiful way. Set in the Italian countryside, focused on a profes…

2017 Movies: The Disaster Artist and I, Tonya

I didn't initially pair these two together because they were both based on true stories, but now I'm glad I did. I guess a lot of movies these days that aren't documentaries are based on true stories--there's something interesting about that for me in terms of genre, but that's for another day.

 James Franco--I have some qualms with him for various reasons, though I did read an interview in The Believer with him once that made me be like, "okay you're alright," but then that time he hosted the Oscars with Anne Hathaway was a disaster and I'm still mad about that? Anyway, Geoff and I watched an interview with him on Jimmy Fallon that made me want to see The Disaster Artist, despite having never seen The Room, the movie that made the main character of Franco's film, Tommy Wiseau, famous. You definitely don't have to have seen or be a fan of "the best worst movie ever made" to  enjoy this film. In a completely di…

2017 Movies: Lady Bird and Downsizing

I've been on a mission to watch as many movies that came out in 2017 as possible, and I decided earlier to create a series of blog posts within which I review two that I've seen. So far I have seen 7, so there will be some catching up. I'll be rating them using my own made up system of pluses, minuses, & other marks of punctuation, including but not limited to exclamation points, parentheses, exponents, & more.

LADY BIRD (contains spoilers)
There is little to dislike about this coming-of-age film set in the early 2000s in California. Lady Bird is well-written, well-acted, and features extremely sympathetic and at times relatable (esp. if you grew up during the birth of the internet and came of age during the heydays of AIM) characters, Lady Bird/Christine herself and her friend Julia being the two I rooted for the most. Lady Bird, however, despite her self-inflicted oddness and ownership of it at the Catholic High School she seemingly happily attends, does have som…

if i said "it's been so long" every time

every post would be titled that.

here is a poem that i've always loved from Denis Johnson, who's recently passed.


Here in the electric dusk your naked lover
tips the glass high and the ice cubes fall against her teeth.
It’s beautiful Susan, her hair sticky with gin,
Our Lady of Wet Glass-Rings on the Album Cover,
streaming with hatred in the heat
as the record falls and the snake-band chords begin
to break like terrible news from the Rolling Stones,
and such a last light—full of spheres and zones.
             you’re just an erotic hallucination,
just so much feverishly produced kazoo music,
are you serious?—this large oven impersonating night,
this exhaustion mutilated to resemble passion,
 the bogus moon of tenderness and magic
you hold out to each prisoner like a cup of light?

Books Read :: February-April 2016

I made the mistake this semester of taking three classes and auditing one. Even though I didn't have to do the coursework for the one I audited, just the reading/participation, it was still too much. I didn't have time to do things that I normally like to do, that are important to me--let alone things that I do generally because I do them. Such as.... writing about the books I read.

HERE are all the books I read from February-April during this semester, excluding re-reads, with brief snippets of thoughts after them...

Caligula by Albert Camus
The Visit by Friedrich D├╝rrenmatt
For my drama class, we read these two plays the same week. I preferred the D├╝rrenmatt because the characters were more interesting to me, particularly Claire, the cruel/eccentric/wealthy woman who returns to her hometown for revenge. Caligula was interesting to me in terms of it as an existential retelling of an old story, but the characters blended more easily.

Snow White by Donald Barthelme
This w…

Books Read :: January 2016

This concluded my "winter break" reads & dove into the beginning of the semester! These books were a great way to start the year. I feel like I read pretty diversely this past month? What a read spanned over time--most of it in the 20th century, but then some Plato. I read men and women, I read American and non-American writers, I read things in translation as well as things written originally in English. I read plays, novels, poetry, philosophy. I didn't really think, when I was doing this reading, about how wide of a scope I was covering compared to past months, but now that I look at, it's interesting to note.
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines This was a book I checked out from the Breaux Bridge Library, but now will, for sure, have to acquire a copy. Ernest J. Gaines is a Louisiana-born writer, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has a center named after him that houses resources about him and his work. He's UL's writer-in-residence Em…

Books Read :: November-December 2015

I actually read a lot in these two months, despite it being the end of of my first semester as a PhD student and then the holidays, and I'm glad I did so. Here's what I read to finish out 2015:

A True History of the Captivation, Transport to Strange Lands, & Deliverance of Hannah Guttentag by Josh Russell
This was a text we read for one of my classes since it's "about" a grad student. It was good; it had its flaws, some of which we discussed in class. I liked the characters I was supposed to like; I didn't like the characters I wasn't supposed to like. I was surprised where I was supposed to be surprised. I definitely enjoyed reading it, but I can't help but read "like an editor" at times, and there were things, had I been on the other side of this book, that I would have liked to ask the writer to reconsider. Sometimes I wonder if the things I dislike are things an editor had a hand in moving in the direction that they wound up in--like …