Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Warning: cute kid story ahead.
My friend took her precocious five-year-old boy out for Chinese food today. At the end of the meal, she read their cookie-enclosed fortunes aloud to him.
Her son's fortune read: "You are thoughtful and considerate with a big heart that always thinks of others."
Her son replied, "Oh. What does yours say, Mommy?"
His mom's fortune read: "Use your charm and personality to obtain your wishes."
Her kiddo's reply to that?
"Wow. Talk about pressure."
When I asked his mom if I could post this story, she said sure. Then she informed her son that his quip would appear online.
Her kiddo's reply?
"I always knew I was famous!"
Monday, February 26, 2007
Gosh darnit, if this year's Academy Awards show wasn't the most polite ever. Her nominated-by-proxy Royal Highness, the Queen of England, seemed to have set the tone for the ceremony in a civilized trickle-down fashion. Even the dresses were demure. Nicole Kidman was neatly tucked inside a red bow, Cameron Diaz was hiding behind a Jetson-like outcropping and J-Lo was postively dowager-esque.
Ellen's monologue was as disarmingly squirmy and sweetly obliging as a serving of Jello brand gelatin. About the meanest she got was accusing Dame Judi Dench of getting "work done." But that was balanced out by Jack Black and Will Farrell singing about Helen Mirren's hotness (no menopausal joke intended). Speaking of heat, the future of the globe was even given a heart-warming Oscar nod.
Respect was shown to elders like Arkin and Scorsese. Children were allowed to be seen and heard, and, even-handedly enough, their presenter banter was just as poorly written as their adult counterparts'. Even the awards were spread out with egalitarian practicality--no greedy sweep in sight.
What happened to the moral cesspool? The liberal posturing? The plunging necklines? Geez, Hollywood. You've gone soft on us. Give me a "P." Give me a "G." Hooray for Dullywood?!
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Welcome to the newest edition in my continuing series of "Great Movies You've Probably Never Seen." The film being added to the cinematic compendium: River of Grass by the same exquisitely talented director/co-writer, Kelly Reichardt, of the critically lauded, quietly brilliant 2006 release by the name of Old Joy.
Reichardt is a genius when it comes to capturing little moments--the kind of moments other filmmakers might throw away like spare pennies that have been rattling around in a car's glove compartment too long. Funny thing is, it's mostly these kind of unnoticed moments that make up a life. That's what makes her movies like homemade lemonade--what you're drawing in is refreshing, comforting and familiar, but not without a bite of acid.
I happened to rent River of Grass just because my favorite film critic MD'A mentioned it in passing when Old Joy was released. Wow, I've never been so happy about a random mention.
The deadpan humor in River of Grass sneaks up on you in such a subversively refreshing way. Images are gorgeously framed. Nothing fancy, but beautiful in their simplicity. The film's music is made up of either buzzing indie tunes or crackling jazz, but it always underlines whatever is unfolding onscreen perfectly.
This is the first time I've wanted to rewatch a movie three times in 24 hours and found new things to appreciate each time. It's not for everyone, mind you. Only you types who dig wry, offbeat, real and wonderful things.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
A lot of people think Valentine's Day is a bullshit holiday fueled by commercialism. I disagree wholeheartedly. I think we need a day to officially celebrate love. Hell, yeah, we do.
Even though today was a pressure cooker for me at work, it brought a smile to my face to see a businessman awkwardly carrying a cellophane wrapper full of grocery store flowers across the parking lot. And to see two high schoolers holding hands, solemnly walking lockstep, with the girl clutching a gift bag wallpapered with hearts.
Sure, the holiday can suck for single people or the recently dumped by shining a glaring light on their solo status, but unattached does not equal unloved. Romantic adoration is not the end all, be all.
Perhaps Valentine's only appears to be a bullshit holiday to those who see the saccharin side of romance or resent the pressure to jump through hoops like paying $100 for a dozen roses or waiting an hour for a table at P.F. Changs. So dehoop the holiday and do it your way. Have a box of wine and watch The Notebook on your Pier 1 knockoff couch for Gosling's sake.
I just remember the joy of getting cheap drugstore Valentine's cards in my handmade desk "mailbox" in second grade and would hate to think anyone could call bullshit on that. Valentine's Day gives everyone a chance to take a stand for love, to celebrate affection and human connections. I choo-choo-choose you, Valentine's! Viva la amor.
Monday, February 12, 2007
This weekend I was entertaining my baby nephew Will while my sister was in the kitchen. I was bouncing him on my knee and felt an accompanying song would be apropos. Since I don't know many kiddie songs, I reached into my 80s archives and whipped this little number out:
"You can dance if you want to
you can leave your friends behind
because your friends can't dance
and if they can't dance
they're no friends of mine."
I knew I had a hit on my hands when I got to the spelling part of the song and my nephew's wide-eyed look was joined by a smile that got wider with each letter.
"S-S-S-S, A-A-A-A, F-F-F-F, E-E-E-E..."
Before I could even finish spelling the first word, my sister felt it necessary to jump in with this wryly delivered disclaimer:
"Will, your Aunt Nictate is reaaaaaalllllllly old."
Friday, February 09, 2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
I don't want to turn into a You Tube clearing house, really I don't. And as much as I adore said site, I think their embedded link blurry freeze frame with the big arrow on top default image is undeniably unattractive. Nonetheless, here is another clip I couldn't resist posting. It's a very funny trailer for what looks to be an indie British film called Goodbye to the Normals. The little boy is brill.