TMF,TML drew my attention to the sucking black hole that is this piece by David Mamet in the Guardian. I honestly thought some screwy virus had imported the title of one article into the template with the text from at least two, unedited others mashed together.
Then I got to wondering why David is in such an obscurantist [accent on the "rant"] lather. What's he working on these days? And I've figured it out. He's in a swivet because his next flick is in danger of being overshadowed by movies starring this winsome lass and this one, too. Not to mention an entire plot arc on The West Wing.
Hey, David: A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing.
A note from a pal startled me. He asked, "So, are you thinking about having a baby? I just read your blog ... lots of baby talk (kind of)." Yikes, no. Merely being surrounded by breeders is more than enough right now, as the cinetrix is a firm believer that pregnancy requires at least one parent who doesn't have the academic or publishing equivalent of a migrant farmer job. But it did remind me...
A few years ago, when the cinetrix had much shorter hair and a skinny smoker's unhealthy physique, she was Rosemary Woodhouse for Halloween. Dying one's hair blonde simply for a costume is far less daunting when there's only a few inches of it to worry about, even if the coiffure in question was not a $5,000 Vidal Sassoon creation. With a thrift-store shift and dark circles under my eyes that suggested that I hadn't slept in, oh, centuries, all I needed was a balloon bump and two "Hello, My Name Is" nametags["Rosemary" for me; "Satan" for the babe], and I was good to go.
Perhaps the most terrifying aspect of my appearance came from afar, when well-meaning Cantabridgians spotted what looked like a teen in trouble drawing deeply on a Marlboro Red.
But what makes Rosemary's Baby so chilling goes back further than tobacco. The history of monstrous birth stories in this country dates back to one Anne Hutchinson, the sassiest girl in early America, who had the temerity to flout the Pilgrim fathers. She was tried and banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony because she'd developed her own religious following. Although Hutchinson was never accused outright of being a witch, the delivery of a deformed, stillborn infant to one of her female associates in 1638 was interpreted by the Puritan fathers as the Devil’s work. John Winthrop, upon viewing the exhumed corpse, described it as a "monster with horns, claws and scales." [Fun fact: History rehabilitated Ms. Hutchinson. Hers is one of two statues of women on the grounds of the Massachusetts State House.]
Which brings me back to the Dakota, the hellmouth of Manhattan in this lovely tale. Our young Rosemary is married to venal actor Guy and neighbor to the meddling Castavets. She gets pregnant and experiences a more difficult time bringing her child to term than most, what with the anemia, strange potions, and disturbing dreams plaguing her. What happens next you either already know, or should waste no time finding out. You'll never think of Ruth Gordon the same way again, that's for damn sure.
Sometimes it seems that the only thing that scares some male directors more than reproduction is promiscuity. Which is why I am also recommending Rebecca this Halloween. For my money, you can't get much scarier than Mrs. Danvers showing the unnamed second Mrs. DeWinter [Joan Fontaine] the undergarments made in France by nuns for the wicked Rebecca. Also, if you watch the opening sequence without the voiceover audio ["Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again"], it could be the beginning of any classic monster flick.
A girl in trouble is a serious [and spooky] thing.
Captain Louis Renault: That makes Rick a citizen of the world.
One of the things I've enjoyed most so far about having a blog is puzzling over the referral information indicating what brings you nice people here.
Captain Louis Renault: What in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?
Rick Blaine: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
From domestic Google:
massachusetts, cambridge, deaths, O
club babyhead pictures "pictures"
"maud newton" "chris baker"
Wellesley Mai-ling Soong
film noir "the big lebowski" vs. "the big sleep%
the shining movie theme ringtone
photos of assia wevill
three hit by lightning "the passion"
i wanna be your dog guitar
buckaroo banzai ringtone
From Google around the world:
This is not 'Nam, this is bowling. There are rules
"This is not 'Nam, this is bowling. There are rules."
This is not nam, this is bowling [UK]
cartoon + wallpaper + The Piaf [France]
And this one via Earthlink:
thirteen kissing scene
Hope you found what you were looking for.
Captain Louis Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[A croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Louis Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
Captain Louis Renault: Everybody out at once!
After reading this article about the viewing habits of mere zygotes, the cinetrix apologizes for suggesting you pick out a nice video to watch while she did her work. In general, as the cinetrix observes the mini-Palms and laptops that pass as toys for her friends' children, she becomes ever more committed to extending her Luddite genes into the next generation.
Back in the day, I devoted a fair amount of time to investigating the notions of female spectatorship [i.e., who do the ladies identify with on the screen when it's generally menfolk who star in the action?] Some once argued that women were little more than children, passive subjects with no agency or critical faculty of their own, or that female viewers had to undertake a sort of transvestite metamorphosis to watch a movie. Of course, this is, as they say, the bunk. But now it seems that grown-up men and women alike should aspire to the viewing savvy of tiny tykes.
Yeah, yeah, yeah--it's great for little babies to ask for Mozart by name. Here's an idea--put on a CD! Don't turn on the TV. Or, if you must, set them in front of the Looney Tunes. That's where the cinetrix learned all about classical music. And gravity.
This is just wrong.
On a typical day, the study found, 59 percent of children 6 months to 2 years watch television, and 42 percent watch a videotape or a DVD. The median time they spend watching some form of media or another on the screen is slightly more than two hours.
And this woman should listen to her spouse:
"It's like a treat for Eli," said Joanna Grand of South Hadley, Mass., whose 9-month-old son is allowed to watch "Baby Mozart," which he got as a baby present, only about once a week. "He gets very quiet, and he can't take his eyes off it, so it gives us a little time to make dinner. My husband hates the idea of it. He sees the baby staring at the TV like that, and it freaks him out."
Please understand, the cinetrix used to read the Globe's TV Week listings for fun when she was a kid. This same cinetrix was nurtured on Clif Garboden's Hot Dots and even today harbors a very real crush on Entertainment Weekly television critic Dalton Ross. But this is just crap that appeals to parents' own cluelessness, anxiety, and competitive natures. Of course, your child is a genius. Turn off the Baby Einstein already!
I found this in an article from today's Times Circuits section [already, an admission I never thought I'd make], in which "eleven prominent men and women, few of them technologists, suggested a technology or gadget they would like to see invented."
I look at 19th-century novels and it seems people were in better touch then than they are now. It seems as if every time someone in Dickens wants to reach someone, they are able to right away. Of course, they had 15-year-old boys they could dispatch to go find someone.
Imagine! And, they could keep my tambourine attendant company.
The cinetrix would like to apologize for shirking her celluloid duties this week. You see, not only have I had crates of work to do, but the "Fesser and I have experienced something of a nightlife renaissance. Tuesday we headed to a listening party for the latest superspendy Soul Jazz Records release: 600% Dynamite. We were hoping for some swag, but no dice.
Last night, I meant to be dutiful and take in Dorothy Arzner's Craig's Wife, with Rosalind Russell, after work, but I was tired, and then there was the solar flare and... Well, we ended up seeing Ted Leo + the Pharmacists, and I'm still grinning. You see, Ted Leo is a hyperliterate angry young musician who in both songs and appearance is a unironic, uncalculated throwback to the era that the Strokes and all those other retrophiliac bands have been strip-mining for the past couple of years. Basically, he sounds like then if then happened now. The 'Fesser put it nicely when he said that TL+P could have come from 1976, or 1978, but not 1977.
As a performer, Leo's one of those skinny boy rockers--all sproingy Ritalin, up-on-tiptoes action as he sings and plays guitar. A guitar, I might add, that is tethered to his amp by the loveliest red, telephone-cord-spiral cord since Elvis Costello burst onto the scene. Sporting a magnificent white-boy 'fro and splendid brown poly togs, thundering bassist David Lerner was nothing short of a savant, channeling Graham Maby of the Joe Jackson band from way back when. Plus, he wore the sort of light, orangey-brown, pointy leather shoes that Al Pacino would have worn in the seventies. You may have gleaned by now, I had a great time.
Also, I rarely get to see that many baby hipsters in captivity any more. You could tell they were all planning on moving to Williamsburg the moment they graduated. Lotsa earnest grampa cardigans and shag haircuts. I just wanted to put them all in a terrarium and feed them Camel Lights and udon noodles.
Some highlights: the dancing tambourine guy, who stood at the back of the stage next to the drum kit and totally rocked out on one song, working his shoulders and leaving me longing for my own personal tambourine attendant, who would follow a few steps behind me and just shake-shake-shake. Also, the world's most polite stagediver, who clambered onto the stage during "Hearts of Oak," caught Leo's eye, mimed his intention, then jumped onto the crowd with only marginal success. And, strangely enough, the intro and extro music on the PA system before the set: James White and the Blacks' "Contort Yourself," followed by Afrika Bambaataa, and then Prince's "Controversy." And on the other side, a song by Sister Nancy that sent us out into the night on a slow rollicking reggae groove.
The 'Fesser, who likens my blog to the ducks Marge's husband paints in Fargo, came up with one of his patented sinister musings this morning. To wit: What if filmmakers deliberately and cruelly miscast whole movies? He suggested Macbeth starring Seann William "Stiffler" Scott, with Devon Aoki as Lady Macbeth.
I suspect you-all could come up with some real-life examples--outside Demi Moore's oeuvre--if you tried.
Be sure to blow George Plimpton a kiss from the cinetrix if you do. And, if you can, pair it with the excellent Simpsonsepisode that includes mention of the Secretariat-Tyson fight: The Slaughter on the Water. "They were so drunk!"