Surely you bought your pint cup…
…and surely I bought mine.
My wife and I both imbibed in cups of kindness after spending Christmas day with my family; they did not drive us to drink, but rather we drove to Niagara-on-the-Lake and spent a few days — an appropriate amount of time to enjoy NotL — taking in the quaint city and visiting many of its wineries. We bought a few bottles of wine and cider, a vinyl elephant ottoman, and Ketchup flavored and All-Dressed flavored potato chips. We had good weather every day except the day we drove home, when it rained most of the drive. A nice time was had by all.
The few days between then and now were spent on…
Frank Herbert’s Dune
My old friend, James, and I were able to grab a drink and catch up a few weeks back. As was stated previously, I just could not get into Dune, which I bring up because he said it’s one of his favorites (and he’s not the first to tell me as much). I trust James, so I begrudgingly threw myself back into the novel.
There really was, for me, a hump in the first half of the first third (so, the first sixth) where I didn’t care at all about Paul, the Duke, Jessica, or anyone else, but what it was was that I hadn’t yet gotten to the part where the fan got hit with shit. Now that it has, I’m on board, and I’m about half-way done (so, about 50%).
Hulu’s Into the Dark Series
I mentioned watching Pilgrim around Thanksgiving, which is part of Hulu’s horror-themed holiday anthology series, Into the Dark. They also have New Years inspired movies (episodes? I don’t know/care.): New Year, New You; and Midnight Kiss. I’m not going to devote a whole section to each, but will quickly state that New Year was only okay but Midnight Kiss was fairly enjoyable (and not just because of all the butts)!
Martin Scorsese has inadvertently been stirring the pot a bit recently. First, with remarks about how comic book movies aren’t cinema (I’m fine with the overall theme of his sentiment), then with how little his latest film gives the female characters to say or do. I’m neither a Scorsese fanboy nor an apologist, but I think both are cases were the Internet is just being the internet and I agree with the likes of film critic, Priscilla Page (a Twitter thread), and actress-in-the-film, Katherine Narducci.
Internet “controversies” aside (or removed completely because c’mon), I really loved The Irishman. It’s long, yes (3.5 hours), and it’s slow but with purpose. To me, it was riveting; while I was in a position of comfort on the couch in my living room, I felt as though a different seating arrangement would probably better provide an edge for me to sit upon instead.
This is cinema.
Little Women (1994)
Thanks to public domain and my Kobo’s beta web browsing capabilities, I was able to obtain a copy of Louisa May Alcott’s classic, Little Women (via Standard Ebooks), but have not yet had a chance to read it (see: Dune), so in preparation to see Little Women (2019), my wife and I watched Little Women (1994).
Of the ‘94 version, I said elsewhere online that the story is timeless and wonderfully depicted, and I stand by this statement. All the women, little or otherwise, did a terrific job and the film feels like a fine adaptation of the source material.
With that said…
Little Women (2019)
…is masterful. Greta Gerwig takes the classic, keeps its timelessness, and makes it feel modern, fresh, and relevant in a way that previous adaptations either didn’t or couldn’t (or maybe wouldn’t have dared?). Each character is given little moments that more fully flesh out and develop their individual stories, and the way Gerwig flashes forward and back…*chef’s kiss*
This, too, is cinema.
Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History
I started listening to a new (to me) podcast (it’s four seasons long at this point) a few weeks ago, Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History. I’m in the middle of season two right now, and I’ve enjoyed the podcast quite a bit, but it’s this one episode in the first season, Hallelujah, that really got me.
To use Malcolm’s words, the episode is about “the role that time and iteration play in the production of genius, and how some of the most memorable works of art had modest and undistinguished births.” It starts by talking about an Elvis Costello song, but dives deepest into what time and iteration have done to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and I found the whole trip fascinating. Maybe you will too.
With what little time I invest into this and how each post is a weekly iteration of itself, I promise that whatever I write here will remain anywhere from slightly imperfect to deeply flawed.
Auld lang syne, my jo!