Full Length Record on a Full Length Flight

November 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Greetings from San Francisco! We are heading off to wine country in a bit, but I wanted to mention something I rediscovered on the flight out: the joys of listening to a record straight through while doing nothing else.

After watching everything I brought with me on the flight, I decided to just close my eyes and listen to some music. I started with an oldie but a goodie, Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark.

I thought I had given up my Joni Days, but listening to this record brought me right back to my twenties. While I would not want to relive them, I was left feeling appreciative of that time in my life and of the place I am in now. A feeling not easy to come by while skipping around from song to song while doing whatever. I recommend.


Nobody Knows the Movies I’ve Seen…

November 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

With the office closed and Mr. H and I totally neighborhood bound, Amazon’s Instant Video service did some serious business with me this week. While the best movie I’ve seen in some time has to be Moonrise Kingdom (just watch it…it is wonderful), here are some of the things I’ve covered so that you don’t necessarily have to:

Overall, a mix-up of Four Weddings & a Funeral with Bridesmaids. You will need to make your own decision as to whether that seems like a good idea, but a late-night viewing of it is totally worth it for the brilliant Kristen Dunst. Her performance, from beginning to end, is a marvelous study of repressed anger and annoying competence, that makes up for what the story itself kind of lacks.

Lola Versus
I must confess, I am a newly converted Greta Gerwig fan. (Please don’t miss Whit Stillman’s latest, Damsels in Distress for that reason. She makes the movie.) So, I will watch anything she is in, including this Breakup/Rebirth film. Somewhat predictable, but nicely diverting. And Ms. Gerwig is, once again, very charming — even when her character is kind of awful.

We Need to Talk About Kevin
This is not a happy film, but I think it is worth seeing for the performances. Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller create a hostile and symbiotic relationship that can’t quite be described, but it is potent on screen. True, Tilda Swinton is a wonderful actress and her portrayal of a proud, adventurous and accomplished woman undone and made an outcast, is something to behold in its smaller moments. (Also, her clothes are perfect and, I think, and integral part of the story unfolding. Do pay close attention to that — her costumes completely support the narritive.) Still, if you are feeling “on the edge”, watch Funny Face or something of that ilk instead.

Starring Anna Paquin, this movie was made four years or so before its release. It is l o n g but captures the odd mix of teenage intensity and total aloofness quite beautifully. Complicated story line, except to say that Lisa (Paquin) is wading her way through the aftermath of a horrible event that is something only a really well-adjusted adult could manage, with therapy. It is also one of the few films of late that captures New York’s beauty without being at all glitzy. In the way that I liked The Ice Storm, I liked this one.

Margin Call
I had seen this movie on a plane when it first came out and thought the reviews complementing it on its even-handedness were kind of crap. I still think so — but it does remind the viewer that these people are not as in control of their jobs (and lives) as we may imagine them to be. Also, Demi Moore looks really beautiful — youthful, but her age. I approve.

Sex and the City, 2
Oh, god. I can’t believe that I watched this AGAIN! (I saw it in the theaters when it first came out and needed a movie chaser after.) Is is BAD, but I simply can’t resist Carrie and Big on screen, ever. Those two really have chemistry. And their apartment was awfully nice. So, I just fast forwarded through the scenes that I didn’t care to relive and focused on the the excellent Robsjohn Gibbings chairs, amazing window treatments and the closet. Very nice.

Capturing the Friedmans
Why would anyone want to participate in this documentary?? It is engrossing, but ultimately, I can’t recommend it. You are left to your own conclusions, but clearly the director wants you to side with the family. And I just don’t know.

And I think that was it. I did have work to do, after all. But while we are on the topic, here are a few others I’ve seen recently that I highly recommend:

Bill Cunningham New York 
One of my fair city’s treasures and one of the very first “street style” photographers. Tinged with a bit of melancholy, but a wonderful opportunity to see how it is done.

Damsels in Distress
Mentioned above. Keep in mind that is is a Whit Stillman film (Metropolitan, Barcelona, The Last Days of Disco), so it isn’t for everyone. But I found it to be pretty hilarious. All Greta Gerwig, but still.

Smash His Camera
The story of the paparazzo Ron Galella, who is probably best known for his pictures of Jackie Onassis in the seventies and eighties, including the iconic one of her smiling, hair blowing in her face, as she crosses a Manhattan street. This is an interesting one, especially when you need to decide whether what he does for a living sits well with you. (And don’t miss the “Billy Squier” sections of Galella’s archives, nestled in between Liz Taylor with and without Richard Burton. Mr. Squier was white hot for a few years there and I am always amazed to see photos from the late seventies and early eighties with him and say, Basquiat. Amazing. And I hear that he is a pretty nice guy. Too bad about that “Rock Me Tonight” video.)

And that is all I have for now. Happy watching!


Mixed Signals

November 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

Do you remember the week after finals in college when your body decided that it was ok to be sick? I think Mr. H I have been going through that this week.

His: A never-ending cold. Hers: I don’t know what…except that it isn’t food poisoning.

We are certainly exhausted from the stress of the storm and all the regular things that are brewing in our lives, but I couldn’t help but notice that at the exact time that we are forced to be home, our bodies kind of gave out. The thing is, WE STILL HAVE STUFF TO DO! (Like avoid working on our 2013 budget by writing this post.) But here we are, nonetheless, feeling unwell and trying to eek out a little more productivity before the week is over.

In theory, we will have power back in most of the city by tomorrow. And in theory, public transportation will be almost fully restored once the power is restored. So, in theory, Monday can be a regular day, after a week of highly irregular days. And I guess in the meantime, we’ll muddle along and try to have a little bit of fun this weekend.

However your week has been, I suggest you try same.


(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

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