Archive for February, 2008

a touch of grey

Peeking in at the red carpet, my only thought among a sea of pretty blah fashion (with the exception of gorgeous French actress Marion Cottillard), is this: how unfair it is that men look so damned good with some grey streaking through their hair (see George Clooney and Daniel Day Lewis). One of life’s little fuckovers, sez the woman whose first silver thread sprouted at the tender age of 21.

anti awards

I used to host parties for the Oscars with my pals….at one time in my life, these were a big deal, until I found films and performances that were so much better than those recognized by Oscar. Actually, I think it ended when Julia Roberts won for Erin Brokovitch (poor Ellen Burstyn and Bjork!).

But in keeping with the subject of movies, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites here:

The Deer Hunter: Great acting all around; I especially enjoyed a young Meryl Streep, as girlish and sweet as she’d ever be onscreen, John Cazale in his last role (did he ever make a bad film in such a short career?), Robert DeNiro, and of course, Christopher Walken’s heart wreching performance as Nicky, who pushes his lost and self destructive nature all the way to the end.

Being There Such a gem. Funny and sweet. Peter Sellers is understated and brilliant. This movie is still relevant almost 30 years later. For me it has everything; innocence, farce, irony, and a touch of a mystical ending. This is a good time to watch it during an election year.

Bringing Up Baby One has to be in the mood and headache free to watch this. God, that sounds like sex, doesn’t it? Actually, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn are sexy and sparkling in this laugh-a-minute screwball comedy. Katharine in particular is beautiful in this; much more feminine and coy than she was in her other films, and deliciously madcap and conniving. Cary Grant is Cary Grant; and that’s always good. But if you’re not in the mood for its screamingly fast pace of dialogue to keep up with, wait.

Closer I think this one was received in divisive fashion; you either loved it or hated it. It doesn’t end happily, which is a strike against it. It’s four characters, who all hurt each other, are hardly sympathetic or likable (though I do like Natalie Portman’s Alice, who’s the biggest liar but probably more emotionally honest than any of them). But it’s an interesting examination of truth and lies, and the way truth is manipulated in order to hurt and exploit, and the way lies protect or even tell a greater or deeper truth.

Before Night Falls it’s only Julian Schnabel’s second film, and it’s vivid, beautiful, sensitive, and sensual. The cinematography alone is reason enough to watch it; like a lush painting. But it’s also a beautiful portrait of an angry, voracious artist whose sexuality and art rebel against a repressive atmosphere and government.

Night of the Hunter I love this for Robert Mitchum’s performance as the preacher, and for its camera work. The imagery is dense and sometimes beautiful and enchanting, and there’s always an eerie edge of suspense and terror in a seemingly ordinary country setting. I fell under its spell the moment I laid eyes on it.


Others: The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Kill Bill2, Three Kings, Life is Beautiful, The Insider, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and of course, Harold and Maude.

eats…

It always seems to come down to food in this house. Even Harold has come to recognize the little blue cylinder shake-shake as time for din-din. He swims up to the surface furiously and plucks his flakes rather savagely, as though he hasn’t eaten for months. My cats care less about kibble and more about their milk. Both of them. I mutter under my breath that this time is the last time, every single time (it has a  terrible effect on their bowel movements that has me dry heaving at the litter box), but because they charm me and my resolve is the consistency of oatmeal, I always cave. The kiddo, she’s just happy with anything I put in front of her…whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, sweet potato based chicken curry, carrot-raisin oatmeal cookies (she insists on the carrots, really she does!), and of course her coleslaw. T got me the Deceptively Delicious cookbook, and I’m excited about it, though no  deceiving is required with this kid.

When I think of this kind of cooking, I always think of my grandfather (again). My father didn’t like to eat at chez Russell because one never knew what one would find in their spaghetti….sliced zuchinni, shredded summer squash; eggplant. My father was not down with that sort of thing. But I get the feeling that my grandpa, above anyone else, would surely have appreciated my black bean brownies. Yes.

the beef recall

the same company whose product has been recalled massively is also under investigation for animal cruelty. Warning: Graphic video content.

So disturbing.

I am shamed

We did spend all day painting yesterday, and had so much fun. The kiddo is amazing. When I paint, especially when there’s colors all over the drop cloth on the table, I miss my grandfather, in his white splattered painter’s overalls. He was a painter and a painter. I spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s and have come to remember my mom’s side of the family in recent years as nice, but a bit uptight about little things. Like cleaning. Not him. The kitchen, the garage/studio and the garden were a veritable riot of experimentation and wonder under his tutelage. He trusted me. And never, ever worried about the mess. Not once.

I myself have been attempting to impress–gently– upon the kiddo the need to pick up after herself/ourselves, particularly with regard to clothes and toys everywhere on the floor. After a late night session of yoga and collage work, the teacher left a rat’s nest of papers all over the floor. The student pounced on them this morning, and the floor was spic and span in no time flat. I didn’t see that coming.

We have to keep clean, Mama!

cues

For the second night in a row, the kiddo slept in her own bed. My bed never seemed so big. This time, she decided on her own to retire to her own room instead of mine. Her only condition was that the chimes, those crazy ones on my clock that I’d mentioned before, were played. Her first words this morning were “the chimes aren’t on, Mama.” Nothing gets by this kid.

I’ll admit to wondering, in moments of exhaustion,  if I’d ever have my bed to myself again after five years of this. At the same time, I truly believe in child led development, which includes educational pursuits as well. My sense of trust and my own experience long ago informs that. To hell with anyone else’s schedule.

She’s out sledding right now, right outside where I can see her. The snow is hard and crunchy, perfectly slick for sledding. Our only plans after this is to paint and glue stuff all day.

Happy Saturday.

“children guessed, but only a few, and down they forgot as up they grew.”

-e.e. cummings.

No particular reason for posting, except for admiration of an intuitive, special wisdom only children seem to possess. And, usually, lose.