Sunday, January 11, 2009

Midwinter Solstice

Winter Reading

Gifts from my family of readers and writers. There have been more books coming into the house than going out. I cannot possibly read fast enough. On my shelves currently are books that will take a literal decade to read. But, read them I will. I'm not quite ready for 2666, but should begin Junot Díaz after I finish Memorial (by Bruce Wagner), which is another of his scathing, hilarious looks at fucked up L.A. denizens. Bret Lott: had heard of him for years but had never read him. The first story is surreal, which must set the tone for the other stories. Bird By Bird starts off with an excellent intro, and looks to be a great read on the craft of writing. John McDonald is a Maine humorist. First story deals with the hilarious situation of a man waking to his wife dead in bed next to him. Hmm, Maine has an interesting idea about what's funny, but I'll give Mr. McDonald another whirl one of these days.

Winter Listening

The Pavement is a gift. The other stuff I bought recently on impulse. I guess it's finally happened: my musical tastes are living in the past. Can you blame me? How can the emo/electroclash/folk/thrash ramblings of a twenty-year-old hold my interest? Been there, heard that. It's all derivative of the stuff I've been listening to for years anyway. It's just shiny new and digital. With better hair. So, I love digging into the past few decades to see what I missed or to buy stuff like this Pavement reissue or Boston's own Big Dipper anthology, Supercluster. These lovingly restored releases come with bonus tracks, live stuff, unreleased tracks, and demo versions. It's like discovering the same music all over again. The Boo Radleys disc is from 1992 and is entirely influenced by the shoegazer sound of the time. Also sounds nothing like their later very British pop releases.

Winter Watching

Wes Anderson’s first film, Bottle Rocket, is now getting the full-on double-disc Criterion treatment. Haven't watched this yet, but am excited to. I actually bought it for Liz, but under the auspices of giving it to us as a couple.
I love Anderson's The Life Aquatic and The Royal Tenenbaums, but was all kinds of disappointed by his last movie, The Darjeeling Limited.

It exhibited all of Anderson’s worst storytelling tendencies, such as dropping a tragedy into the middle of the movie as a kind of trick to make the audience feel sympathetic for rather shallow, surly characters. Also, there is no real dramatic tension. The only scene that truly comes alive (aside from the gorgeous prelude section called Hotel Chevalier) is a flashback where the three main brother characters meet in Manhattan to deal with their newly dead father's car (if I remember correctly).

Part 1 of Hotel Chevalier (FYI: rated R, ya'll):

He's in preproduction now on The Fantastic Mr. Fox. The IMDB synopsis says it's about "Angry farmers, tired of sharing their chickens with a sly fox, look to get rid of their opponent and his family."

So Bottle Rocket will help pass the time until Anderson's next flick makes it to the big screen.

Now, what media should I partake of first?...

1 comment:

Cynthia Sherrick said...

Enjoy all the fabulous reading, viewing, and listening entertainment you've got lined up! :)