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Archive for the ‘film’ Category

Buster Keaton, one of the iconic comics of olde brought into new life in Vanity Fairs shoot. In the Aprill 2009 issue, a similar portrait is shot wit Jason Segel.

Buster Keaton, one of the iconic comics of "olde" brought into new life in Vanity Fair's shoot. In the Aprill 2009 issue, a similar portrait is shot with Jason Segel.

I’m not normally that big of a Vanity Fair person. I don’t have anything against it in particular, it’s just not my glossy of choice. Nevertheless, when my fiance emailed me this Huffington Post article about the new Vanity Fair Legends of Comedy, I responded with, “Can we PLEASE buy this and FRAME IT?!”

Needless to say, it’s pretty awesome. I think the folks over at VF do have the edge when it comes to creative photography. And I really love the guys they’re spotlighting in this feature too.

During the past couple of months I have become hooked on CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother,” which was almost directly preceded by my unexpected enjoyment of Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I will even admit to liking Superbad at least a little.

And although it’s outside of the Judd Apatow arsenal, I have to say I am REALLY excited about the upcoming I Love You, Man, featuring my two favorite VF funny men.

So check out the awesome video about the photo shoot, and if you want to hear a great story about Judd Apatow and how he’s sticking around for a while, check out this bit from NPR’s All Things Considered last April. Enjoy.

And I wanted to run an image from Vanity Fair’s April photo shoot highlighting today’s great comics in yesterday’s awesome poses. But clearly I don’t want to take anyone’s work and call it my own, so just check out the totally kickass slideshow on VF.com.

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Peace and Warmth

I didn’t have a title in mind for this post, until I found the photo. The title is taken from it. And I think it best describes what I’m looking for right now, and what the waiting of Advent is about.

Life is crazy, with good news and bad news, with frustrations and new adventures. But it’s somehow always crazier at this time of the year. I just got a job, a real-life, grown-up job, at Montreat. And I’m thrilled, and so excited to be learning new things and going out there and getting things done. It brings up its own set of questions and stresses, but it’s still good. (I apologize for being vague here… sometimes typing “out loud” even in vague terms can be useful.)

On a more concrete note, I was watching Mary Poppins last night on ABC Family (their 25 Days of Christmas ranks high on my marathon list, up there with the Bond one that Spike usually runs around New Years), and it occurred to me how much of that movie was stamped into my memory. The songs, the words, the tone of voice, the images especially. (Which also makes me a little frightened to wonder what we are stamping into children’s minds these days.) But I remembered all of it, and also recognized that I had never fully understood much of it before. Even though I am no longer a child, this story holds a certain magical quality, and was a perfect thing to watch before bedtime.

A few of my friends are carrying on quite wonderful blogs these days, and I am inspired by their insight. Check out Kara’s blog and Bruce’s blog (he’s not a real friend yet, but he is the moderator of the PCUSA and quite an awesome presence on the Web).

Peace. And warmth. And please send some my way, too, if you will.

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I figured out how to turn on the air conditioning in my suite. Today it got up to about 94, and with the thermal properties of a city comprising who-knows-how-many square miles of concrete, I’m sure it felt much hotter. I spent much of the afternoon in my room, much too hot to walk anywhere and definitely too hot to go down to the subway platform. Somewhere in the back of my mind I remember thinking that these rooms were supposed to have AC, but I probably dismissed it in part because I’ve lived in non-ACed houses for the past three summers, and I just feel like the sticky hotness is the way summer living is.

Not anymore, thanks to my finding a really grimy switch in the “off” position, on the equally grimy AC unit hidden behind something once used as a whiteboard, as evidenced through the unerasable beer pong tallies on the front, left courtesy of the previous (male) tenants.

Anyway, the past couple of days have been good ones, and full ones. Highlights include an absolutely enthralling (no sarcasm, it really was amazing) presentation by David Granger, the editor of Esquire magazine, one by the creative director at Gourmet and another by the ad sales director at Condé Nast’s Portfolio. I also got to tour the Good Housekeeping Research Institute and pitch a magazine idea (along with a group) for a publication that I truly would love to see get made. The roomie and I have been continuing our evening strolls around the neighborhood, and last night some new friends and I went to the Rodeo restaurant and bar, where there was great food and drink and an excellent band.

Twice this week I’ve gone to a little pan-Asian restaurant on 8th St. called Cafetasia. I found out about it in the Time Out New York student issue, and it’s perfect because it has a great trendy, fancy ambience, but the prices are incredibly reasonable. The food was great both times, and it made me feel like I was having a really upscale restaurant experience without the price tag.

Tonight, after the second visit to Cafetasia, I went to go see War, Inc., the new film starring John Cusack (and Joan Cusack by default) as well as Marisa Tomei and Hillary Duff, with some smaller appearances by Dan Ackroyd and Sir Ben Kingsley. It was playing at a little place in Soho called the Angelika Film Center, which has a full coffee shop with ice cream upstairs, and six theaters and a concession stand downstairs. The theaters were tiny, but it meant they could show lots of independent films at a time. Of course the price was high ($12 a ticket), but it was overall a good experience.

The movie got kinda lukewarm reviews, and although I really liked it, I can kinda see why. John Cusack plays an assassin (again) who is hired by a Halliburton-like company to kill an oil magnate in Turaqistan, with the premise that the war at hand there has been entirely financed and planned by big business. The over-the-top nature of the metaphor earns some laughs as tanks fitted with Financial Times billboards roll past piles of rubble and Cusack has a therapy-session conversation with his personal navigation system, GodStar. But the film probably could have earned some points with subtlety or depth, but its in-your-face tactics will probably draw some attention. Duff and Tomei both have good performances, and overall I think it was a good film.

John Cusack is a great actor because of the films he chooses, but I have to say I feel that he hasn’t chosen the best ones lately. Martian Child was good, but it was no High Fidelity (my favorite movie ever, pretty much) or Say Anything. Must Love Dogs had the perfect part for him, and the perfect part for Diane Lane, but the two together just did not make a believable couple. It would have been two good separate movies. “Is it in fact unfair to criticize a formerly great artist for his latter day sins, is it better to burn out or fade away?”

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A new look, a new life

I got engaged about a month ago… to be exact it was 41 days ago, minus about 5 hours. And it was fantastic. So needless to say I’m looking at some pretty big changes in my life, with graduating and finding a real job and getting married. I’m hoping for a geographical change too, even though right now I’m not sure if that will be toward NYC for publishing, toward Asheville for a hippe-esque life of mountainous bliss, or toward the West Coast for a lifestyle transformation I can’t possibly imagine. Who knows?

This Lent season I gave up television, which I realize now was a fantastic decision. I read a lot during those six and a half weeks, and since Easter I’ve spent much too much time watching CSI and the like. I enjoy them because they’re interesting and yet not too engaging. So I turn them on for background noise and end up watching for several hours. I’m hoping this will stop now that my roommate has taken the futon out of my room. I’ve also discovered that when I feel like watching TV I would really much rather listen to NPR. Yep, I’ve become one of those people that begins every sentence with, “So I heard this thing on NPR…” Instant plus in the dorkdom department.

I’ve also been watching a lot of movies this semester. I’ve been taking a class about identity in European cinema and have watched I-don’t-even-know-how-many films for that. Plus I’ve been writing film reviews for The Daily Tar Heel, so that adds another one or two films each week. You learn a lot, watching so many films and reading so many books — not that that’s any sort of profound statement, I have just come to appreciate my rediscovery of it all.

This week I discovered (without the ‘re,’ because I’m being honest) the music of Joe Strummer and The Clash with the film Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten. For a full review you’ll have to wait until Thursday’s issue of the DTH. But I will say that the film was fantastic and quite eye opening, and I just bought the whole soundtrack. Like the film, the soundtrack is arranged in a sort of radio-show style, using recordings from Strummer’s New Hour show.

This month has been about learning to appreciate what’s out there, and learning how much there is left to discover.

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