January 26, 2008
Hey, look what I got in the mail yesterday... "hot off the press," a month before the bookstores'll have it. This moment is always pretty darn exciting.
January 20, 2008
Decade, So Far
The list led me to wonder: what are MY favorite American-made films since 2000 began? Answering this turned out to be tough--I soon realized that nearly ALL my favorites from the last 8 years have been foreign-made (some examples: The Color of Paradise; The Return; Bad Education; The Devil's Backbone; Nobody Knows; Y Tu Mama Tambien; Audition; The Lives of Others; Oldboy). Also, I couldn't list favorites like Waiting For Guffman, Happiness, The Ice Storm, or Todd Haynes' genius Safe, because they were released in the years prior to 2000.
So. I've left MSkin off the list, even though I'm admittedly partial to it. But here's my list of American films released since 1/1/2000 that I managed to compile. (I didn't quite do it like Mr. Farr did; I couldn't limit myself to one-for-each-year.) Note movie #4: R.I.P., Brad Renfro.
Also, I'd love to hear yours, too, if you get the chance....
(1) Spellbound (2002)
(2) Mulholland Dr. (2001)
(3) No Country For Old Men (2007)
(4) Bully (2001)
(5) You Can Count On Me (2000)
(6) Sideways (2004)
(7) Lost In Translation (2003)
(8) Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)
(9) Best In Show (2000)
(10) Grizzly Man (2005)
(Some Honorable Mentions: Far From Heaven; Requiem For a Dream; Kill Bill vol. 1 and vol. 2; Southern Comfort; My Flesh and Blood; Punch-Drunk Love; Elephant; Ken Park; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. But I have a feeling I'll look at this list tomorrow and reconsider.)
January 15, 2008
Happy Birthday, Andrea Martin
I don't think I've ever laughed as hard as I used to when watching old episodes of SCTV. Many months ago I wrote an entry about two of the best and funniest cast members, the two women, Catherine O'Hara and Andrea Martin. Since this past Tuesday was the latter's birthday, I thought it would be fitting to pay tribute once again. Below are some of the most hilarious Andrea Martin clips I could find on YouTube. (For some reason, a lot of the good ones don't allow embedding, so I'm posting what I can--but the non-embedded ones here are really great, as well as the trailer to a cheesy horror film she made with Eugene Levy in 1973, Cannibal Girls.
As Edith Prickley:
As Barbra Streisand in "Rich and Jealous":
As Babs again, this time playing Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf":
(Here's one with embedding disabled, but DEFINITELY worth watching:
Andrea as non-English-speaking Perini Schleroso.)
As one of Perry Como's back-up singers:
As Edna Boil:
(Here, when you click on the link, you'll find a brief word from our sponsor:
an old clip of Andrea in a commercial for Glad Kitchen Catchers.)
As Dr. Cheryl Kinsey, sex therapist:
As the dumbfounded wife of Hi-Q contestant Gijs Von Vaes:
(Another worth seeing, but again, no embedding:
Andrea as "moose with sinus problems" Brenda Vaccaro.)
As Libby Wolfson:
As two characters--the lesbian daughter of Yolanda DeBilvis, and a member of the Queen Haters:
January 12, 2008
Seven Favorite Songs of 2007
Every January I make a huge list of my favorite albums from the previous year, as some of you who've been on the burned-CD-receiving end of these lists will know. I'll do that again shortly, but in the meantime, here are seven individual songs that meant the most to me in 2007--all of which, spiffily enough, have YouTube LIVE-version videos to accompany them.
(1) Radiohead, "All I Need"
My favorite track from the not-a-single-clunker-in-the-bunch In Rainbows. Below is the gorgeous "Scotch Mist Version" of the song, which, after you wade through the lead-in and get to the music, reminds me oddly of one of my all-time favorite songs EVER, and also really showcases the cathartic ending.
(2) The National, "Mistaken For Strangers"
A beautiful stripped-down live version from AOL's sessions. A song for walking through the streets drunk. The promo video for the song is pretty cool too. Oh, and this one has my favorite lyric of the year: "So you swear you just saw a feathery woman / Carry a blindfolded man through the trees"
(3) Band of Horses, "No One's Gonna Love You"
Performed live at a Seattle record store. Thanks to its lyrics, one of the songs I will put on Michael's iPod when he goes away to Brazil in February and leaves me alone and lonely for two months.
(4) Blonde Redhead, "Silently"
Hard to pick a favorite from their excellent 23, but this was the one I kept replaying and replaying. The chorus to this song is total heaven.
(5) Apparat, "Arcadia"
Proof that mostly electronic music can still sound great live. And again, the promo video for the song is terrific.
(6) The Twilight Sad, "That Summer, At Home, I Had Become the Invisible Boy"
Not the best live recording, but cool nonetheless. As with the other four on this list, I recommend you to get the original studio versions if you haven't already.
(7) Sigur Rós, "Hljomalind"
Okay, so this isn't a live video, but it's amazing visually.
January 10, 2008
Happy new year. I'm hoping to post a little 2007 rundown in a few days or so, hopefully complete with some pictures I'd meant to include in past entries (I kept promising to blog about my Galapagos trip, for instance, but I never really did that justice. I also totally forgot to blog about the scavenger hunt from this past summer).
A little news: if you're reading this and you're anywhere near Chicago this weekend, go hear my #1 Michael Lowenthal be part of Writers On the Record. Or hear the interview on the radio. Or, if you aren't near Chicago, hit that link anyway to listen to Michael's interview when it's eventually posted (or catch past interviews with greats like Mary Gaitskill, Sue Miller, Bret Easton Ellis, and so on).
Over at the Olive Reader, the HarperPerennial blog, there's a recent list I did in answer to a sort of "new year's resolution" question they asked their authors. Watch that space, and this space too, for information about my book tour with the dates/cities... I'll post that when everything is finalized.
If you happen to subscribe to Boston Spirit magazine, the current issue has a pretty cool photo of, and interview with, Michael and me as part of a "Boston same-sex power couples" article. I have a feeling that moniker is going to invite some awful teasing from my friends here in Boston, but oh well.
Wow--an actual post without YouTube links.