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Showing posts from June, 2005

Wednesday Movie - Cinema Paradiso

These little reviews are so much easier when I hate the movie. All About Eve was a cakewalk and took me about half an hour, whereas I’ve only just started this and I know it’ll take my all damn day. What do you say about a movie that’s extremely good, that was given due praise and accolades upon its release, and that hasn’t yet fallen off the radar? I guess you say this:

Cinema Paradiso could have been a melodrama. It could easily have been the type of film you catch on the Hallmark Channel (for those of you without benefit of black market satellite: yes, there is such a thing.) There’s tragedy and thwarted love, a beloved character dies, and a son is reunited with his mother after thirteen years—but no one wallows in despair; I don’t think that any of the leads actually cry.

In the town of Giancaldo shortly after the end of the Second World War, the Cinema Paradiso is the only real form of entertainment. A young boy named Salvatore (or Toto) befriends the cinema’s projectionist,…

Rich, Famous, and Beautiful -- 1.3

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Wherein the author starts throwing in whole chunks of Shakespeare to fill up pages. Start appropriately; gets gratuitous the farther we go.

III.
Mr. Irving had no studio.His house was a museum of thrones and robes and fake swords, so I was instructed in my own home.My father converted an old play area into a ‘learning facility,’ with a chalkboard, some desks and chairs, and portraits of Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre hung on the walls.I was terrified at first, of course.Mr. Irving was from the old school of acting and I knew that he would teach me Shakespeare.I had no use for Shakespeare.I wanted to be a movie star.We started with Romeo and Juliet, because he knew it would be fresh in my mind.He quizzed me beforehand and discovered that I’d absorbed almost none of the play.They were lovers, there was fighting, and they died.“I suppose it’s that simple,” Alistair said.We spent a week crawling through the text.When we found longer spee…

Discuss amongst yourselves - June 27th

Cruise, Lohan, Crowe, Jacko. Who's next to lose it in public and why? Feeling lazy? Just mix and match from the following:

1. Dakota Fanning - a) hooked on whippits
2. Tobey Maguire - b) has four ribs removed to attempt self fellatio
3. Ving Rhames - c) refuses to wear anything other than Fendi's new Baby Chic Diaper and Soother line
4. Steve Buscemi - d) mistakes his wife for a hat
5. Christina Ricci - e) crazy with the syph

Rich, Famous, and Beautiful -- 1.2

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II.


Father took in a play twice a year.Not because he enjoyed it, on the contrary, you’d think he was in a dentist chair instead of a theatre.He went because it looked very good.He went to premieres, mostly, hoping to get his picture in society newspapers or magazines.And he only took in classics--classics that had also been cleared by knowledgeable friends.He was petrified of taking in the wrong show, one with male nudity or any of the other scandalous behaviours he’d heard about.So, twice a year, the family would sit through The Twelfth Night or Arms and the Man, and father would remain cross-armed for three hours and then be first out the door.
I enjoyed the George Bernard Shaw plays, because I understood them.Shakespeare might as well have been in Latin for all the sense it made to me.I liked Hamlet and MacBeth because there were plenty of fights and madness that could be understood without the words.But A Midsummer Night’s Dream was a complet…

Discuss amongst yourselves - June 20th

Would you rather be the hero or the sidekick? Keep in mind that the sidekick generally: gets more play (as the hero is generally too brooding/stalwart to partake of that kind of thing,) has funnier lines, and has a longer life expectancy. If you're the hero, who is your sidekick? If you go sidekick, who is the hero?

Sarah's List -- 101 things to do in Ottawa and area (in 1001)

Sarah here...I'm once again hijacking Dave's blog, this time to publish a list of my own.

The backstory: I have been feeling like an underachiever for not having my own 1001 list, goal-oriented nerd that I am. When I realized that I would likely be doing most of Dave's tasks along with him, I changed my mind. I decided to put a slight twist on the 101 in 1001 concept; this list will certainly force us to discover our new home town.

I'm posting this here for two reasons:
a) because I have no website of my own, yet want to feel a bit of pressure to finish these tasks.
b) Dave will be involved in all of them, so it's only fair!

So...by March 15, 2008, I (well, we) aim to do the following:

41 things to do in Ottawa and area (in 113)
UPDATED: November 25, 2007

1. Visit the Canada and the World Pavillion [done 25/06/05 -- good thing, too, as it's closing in October 2005]
2. Visit the Diefenbunker [done 22/10/05 -- and it was AWESOME. Blaine (and JWo) will be our next targets…

Wednesday Movie - All About Eve

The only thing worse than subjecting myself to this movie is that I now have to write about it.Had I not left the movie-watching to the zero hour, I would have quickly tossed the tape back on the pile after the first fifteen minutes and picked something else, but it appears I’m both lazy and a whore for deadlines, so here we go.Although the film proposes to be All About Eve, it’s in fact Mostly About Margo, which is admittedly less direct but decidedly more alliterative.Bette Davis, of eye fame, plays the role of Margo Channing, grand dame of the New York theatre scene circa 1950.Talented, adored, but equally pretentious and bitchy, Margo’s gravitational pull commands a small universe of friends, lovers, and hangers-on.It also draws the worship of a young fan name Eve.Like any good stalker, Eve has been to every performance of Margo’s current play, which is well into its hundredth production at the film’s onset.Eve proves herself obsequious enough to win Margo’s favour and gain entry …

Rich, Famous, and Beautiful -- 1.1

Soldier on, folks--I think it gets better. Next week. And forgive the fomatting because I've lost the tab battle against Blogger, which seems to accept tabs in principle but not practice.From the top
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Part One I.We came from old money.How old?The seventeenth century, according to the grotesquely detailed genealogy of my family.The Wells first saw wealth through shipbuilding.James Wells, whose company constructed merchant vessels, began the family trend of gathering money without actually working for it.He ordered, or commissioned, or hired, but he never lifted, or made, or even drafted.People say that the Wells haven’t sweat in over four hundred years.Since then, the family moved to railroads, then to automobiles, and by the time Katherine Wells was born—the first female in three generations—the family dealt mostly in auto parts.As I’ve said, I was the first girl in the family in a very long time.My mother didn’t really know what to do with me; having read too much Jane A…

Rich, Famous, and Beautiful -- prologue

Back in 2000, I entered the Three Day Novel contest (run by Anvil Press at the time).It took place on Labour Day weekend and the rules were as you imagine they’d be: from Saturday at 12:01 a.m. to Monday at midnight, you’re expected to churn out a novel.You weren’t exactly expected to vomit out Middlemarch; a Great Gatsby length was more the norm.I don’t remember much of the actual weekend, other than that it was one of the hardest things I’d ever done.The result wasn’t totally awful. I tried again the next year, found it much easier, but turned out a piece of crap the second time around (so we’ll pretend that one never happened).I’m going to post my first attempt here a little bit at a time.I figure there’s no sense just letting it take up valuable hard drive space that could better be put towards pornography storage.Here it is, uncut and commercial free. As I remeber, it starts weak but gets stronger, but I'm only reading as much as I post so forgive me if it starts weak and sta…

Discuss amongst yourselves - June 6th

There was a TV show that you loved as a kid, that you watched ritualistically. After ten or fifteen years, this show has turned up again in re-runs. You've watched it now and discovered that, not only is it bad television, it's so awful that it has called into question all the TV shows, movies, and music that you loved as a kid. What is this TV show?

Because I can, basically

Why God? Why must I add my voice to the chorus of nerds discussing the new Star Wars film? Is it because I haven’t posted lately? Or because I’m the illegitimate son of Billy Dee Williams? Either way, I’m compelled. I’ll keep it brief and point-formy.

· When it’s good it’s perfect, and when it’s bad it’s awful. Conversations, in general: not so good. Every successive scene between Anakin and Padme became the worst scene in the movie for me. But the opening twenty minutes was great, and the scene after Obi-Wan defeats Anakin was, I think, the best in the series. It occurs to me that if you were to cut together the best forty-five minutes of that movie and show it to someone as a highlights reel, they would almost certainly assume the whole thing was perfect.

· Revenge of the Sith has the most unintentionally funny line of any movie I have ever seen. When Anakin said the words, “But our love can’t save your life, only my new powers can do that,” I damn neat shat laughing. Sarah’s favourit…

Wednesday Movie - Rebel Without a Cause

My first observation is that there’s a lot of Brad Pitt in James Dean, or I guess a lot of James Dean in Brad Pitt: the looks, the mannerisms, even that nutso laugh Pitt had in Fight Club.I’m thinking that something is going on with the Hollywood gene pool—not that it’s all the same pond, just that the tides overflow once in a while.My second observation is that James Dean as Jim Stark is a lot like Brando’s character in On the Waterfront.They’re both tough but sensitive, they have similar idiosyncratic mannerisms, and there’s something just a little feminine about them.And I don’t mean that in any kind of mocking way.Observation three is that I have a bit of a man-crush on James Dean—which is probably a poorly timed statement coming fresh off that feminine bit.But it’s a man crush, people, not a crush-crush.It’s a non-sexual attraction: the kind where I want to be his sidekick or a wingman (were he alive).Do you follow?I get man crushes on people like Clooney, as opposed to the crush…