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Friday, November 02, 2018

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (November 2018)

Before she arrived on the Vancouver set of Deadpool 2 in mid-August 2017, Joi Harris had never performed a stunt. She’d never been anywhere near a movie or TV set, for that matter. Producers and studio 20th Century Fox wanted an African-American double for Zazie Beetz, who’d been cast in the role of Domino. They hired Harris, 40, who had done some motorcycle racing, and flew her in a couple of days before the shoot. The sequence was pretty straightforward. It called for a rider, sitting astride a powerful Ducati 939 Hyperstrada motorcycle, to coast down a set of planks that had been laid over a few stairs. Harris would be traveling about 5 miles an hour, though onscreen it would be made to look as if she were going much faster.

As the day approached, several experienced stunt performers who had been training Harris all weekend say they told producers and the stunt coordinator they believed Harris wasn’t ready. They warned the production that racing on a track was very different from performing in front of cameras and an audience. Producers stuck to the plan. Canada’s workplace safety agency, WorkSafeBC, hasn’t released its final report on what happened next, but three people familiar with that day’s shoot say they watched in horror as Harris, on the first live take, lost control of the bike. She hung on as it sped across a street at high speed before hitting a planter, which sent her hurtling headfirst through a plate glass window. She wasn’t wearing a helmet. It was 9:30 in the morning, and her very first stunt would also be her last.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: November 02, 2018 at 04:50 PM | 1213 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   1. phredbird Posted: November 02, 2018 at 06:29 PM (#5781434)
moved from october:

Can you elaborate on the Knausgaard? I like it too but I have a difficult time articulating why.



for one thing, the tone of the book(s) is conversational. he uses a style that reads like he's typing into a daily journal. therefore, it is on the whole an easy read.

this tone is consistent throughout all 6 books. he wrote it nonstop over about a year's time, 10 to 20 pages a day, according to reports. you can pick up any one of them and open to a page anywhere and it feels like you have turned the sound back on for a movie you've left running with the sound off while you talked to someone on the phone or something. i can't speak for whether that's necessarily an exercise in virtuosity or not, but it is mesmerizing.

but then there's the parts where he goes off on a meditative tangent. there's generally no break, his thoughts suddenly flow into these intellectual rambles without any warning. so it feels like you are very much in his head. since you are the reader, and the words are what you are looking at and internalizing, it has the feel of the kind of free flow that your own thoughts operate under. so you experience an empathy that puts you in his shoes during the events he describes. the digressions themselves are highly erudite, and often a bit abstract to the point of incomprehensibility, but not so much that you think he's faking it or something. they are supple, sharp, broadminded without getting preachy or superior.

the sections in book 6 where he analyzes 'the straitening' by paul celan, which flows into a long, long, commentary on hitler and 'mein kampf' are dense, almost impenetrable but they explore the thesis at the heart of knausgaard's endeavor. in my opinion, k. sees 'mein kampf' as something deeply dishonest, a book that is a bald attempt by a poser to give himself a veneer of importance in order to validate his banal worldview, a world view born out of a complete lack of critical thinking. it's a 'modern' book in the worst sense. this intellectual dissection is a comparatively small part of the overall 3,600 pages of knausgaard's 'my struggle'. what's wrapped around it is, in knausgaard's own words, a 'ludicrous' life, but it is a life, and he does not feel like any kind of self promotion is necessary, in fact he needs to be utterly merciless in revealing himself to himself and his potential readership. he's tortured by the idea of ever setting himself above anyone and anything, even hitler. but by this incisive exploration of 'mein kampf', paired with his thousands of words of self laceration he does what a great writer does — he shows, instead of tells.

of course, it doesn't hurt my empathic experience to be reading about a guy who was awkward with girls, had extreme self-image issues, read a lot of books, drank too much, feared his father's presence, etc. ... he intersects with me on a number of levels, so his viewpoint and his evaluations of events coincide a lot with mine ... i have a feeling women reading his book might have a different take on it. that's for someone wiser than me to take on.
   2. phredbird Posted: November 02, 2018 at 06:34 PM (#5781439)

i'll shut up about karl ove for a while now, but this review is one of the best articles i've read on 'my struggle' and encapsulates a lot of my feelings ...
   3. Hysterical & Useless Posted: November 02, 2018 at 08:09 PM (#5781476)
Good god that excerpt at top is a horror story. I'd say it's unbelievable the risks some people are willing for OTHERS to take, except that it's all too believable. Good stunt performers make incredibly dangerous stuff look easy to do, so people who aren't intimately involved in the process assume that it IS easy.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: November 02, 2018 at 08:15 PM (#5781479)
Thanks for your answer phredbird. I've read the first three volumes. The one section that really, really sticks out for me is the second half of the first volume, where he deals with his father's funeral and discovers that his grandmother is living in squalor. Most of the rest I'd describe as sort of modest and strangely compelling. I also feel him easy to identify with, I think that almost any smart urban Westerner could. I haven't regretted a page of it but now I'm considering skipping ahead to volume 6, because the Celan/Hitler section is intriguing to me, and jeeze, it's just so many pages.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: November 02, 2018 at 08:17 PM (#5781481)
Not having seen the 3 minute clip, my only suggestion would be to watch the entire movie. The restaurant scene probably takes up around 10 minutes, and I'm sure it'll come off better than in does in a highly edited form.

Thanks Andy. If it was highly edited, that may well have ruined the experience. I'll keep an open mind.
   6. AndrewJ Posted: November 02, 2018 at 08:19 PM (#5781482)
Looking forward to THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND this weekend on Netflix (plus the accompanying Welles documentary)...
   7. PreservedFish Posted: November 02, 2018 at 08:37 PM (#5781486)
10 Books I Love:

In Patagonia, Bruce Chatwin
Uncommon Carriers, John McPhee
The Siege of Krishnapur, JG Farrell
Moby Dick, Melville
Arctic Dreams, Barry Lopez
Ball Four, Bouton
A Cook's Tour, Bourdain
Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, LeCarre
Guns, Germs & Steel, Jared Diamond
   8. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 02, 2018 at 09:28 PM (#5781507)
FTR, Can You Ever Forgive Me? is worth every bit of its review hype,** including Melissa McCarthy in the featured role. My wife and I just got back from seeing it, and we were both blown away by her performance.

** 98% positive in Rotten Tomatoes
   9. phredbird Posted: November 03, 2018 at 12:18 AM (#5781536)
I haven't regretted a page of it but now I'm considering skipping ahead to volume 6, because the Celan/Hitler section is intriguing to me, and jeeze, it's just so many pages.


i wouldn't. it's worth the effort. go ahead and read out of order if you wish, but i would not let any of it go unread. do yourself a favor and read the link i copied in post 2.
   10. BDC Posted: November 03, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5781598)
Good god that excerpt at top is a horror story


I hadn't looked at the intro, so I assumed you were talking about phredbird's experience of reading Knausgård.
   11. PreservedFish Posted: November 03, 2018 at 12:30 PM (#5781603)
Says the guy who re-reads Proust.
   12. BDC Posted: November 03, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5781606)
Several books people have already mentioned would be among my all-time favorites, too: Madame Bovary, David Copperfield, Moby-Dick, In Patagonia.

Ten others in no particular order, all relatively short novels, which is really my favorite kind of book to read:

Pnin (Vladimir Nabokov)
The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman (Andrzej Szczypiorski)
A Month in the Country (JL Carr)
The Miracle Hater (Shulamith Hareven)
Pereira Maintains (Antonio Tabucchi)
Ravel (Jean Echenoz)
The Maltese Falcon (Dashiell Hammett)
Petits Suicides Entre Amis (Arto Paasilinna)
La Scomparsa di Patò (Andrea Camilleri)
Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Gabriel García Márquez)

Arto Paasilinna, who died about three weeks ago, was the greatest Finnish novelist of … ever, I suppose. Only two of his books are in English (The Year of the Hare and The Howling Miller); all the others I've read in French translation – he is very popular in France and Germany. Kind of like Jack London meets Kurt Vonnegut.


   13. BDC Posted: November 03, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5781607)
Says the guy who re-reads Proust


And Proust, I love Proust, but the experience is completely different. Nobody ever wrote less like a guy conversing with his daily journal.

The typical Proust-reading experience is starting a sentence, and then two minutes later your partner says something ordinary like "when should we have lunch?" With an ordinary book this is a matter of looking up from a sentence like "I see, Inspector"; but with Proust you realize you will have to go back to the beginning and read those two minutes' worth over again because you are still waiting for the main verb of the sentence.

   14. BDC Posted: November 03, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5781611)
And I should note that I am poking fun at myself, so if you don't know the background, no harm intended, phredbird. I have proven a complete inept failure in my attempts to read Knausgård, David Foster Wallace, and other verbose postmodernists. Mostly lack of Sitzfleisch on my part. At this point in my life I could not even undertake Proust, who I adore, except in the tinest of daily doses.
   15. Morty Causa Posted: November 03, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5781616)
Knausgård. Does he write in English? If not, do you read him in the original?
   16. PreservedFish Posted: November 03, 2018 at 01:45 PM (#5781628)
I don't even know the Norwegian for "smorgasbord."
   17. phredbird Posted: November 03, 2018 at 02:20 PM (#5781644)

I have proven a complete inept failure in my attempts to read Knausgård, David Foster Wallace, and other verbose postmodernists. Mostly lack of Sitzfleisch on my part.


i have enjoyed DFW's essays. his fiction, not so much. a matter of taste or something, i suppose.

Knausgård. Does he write in English? If not, do you read him in the original?


my struggle has been translated into english, mostly by don bartlett. all the volumes are available at bookstores, online, etc. ... i can't speak to whether he writes in english, though he has written articles for the nytimes magazine. i don't know if he submits them in norwegian and someone translates them, i haven't checked.
   18. phredbird Posted: November 03, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5781650)

i should also say i don't read knausgaard because i 'like' it per se. my sense is he's important culturally, and worth reading. i've read lots of books i wish i had not spent the time on, but they feel necessary.

naturally, there are times i enjoy my reading choices immensely. but i don't make that a requirement.

i stumbled on knausgaard after reading a review, probably in the new yorker. once i bought the first volume and read it, i felt like there was no way i was just going to stop.
   19. phredbird Posted: November 04, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5781915)

sorry, i did not mean to break the thread ...

switching to more accessible topics, last night i watched 'valmont' on TCM and was struck by how much more frothy it was than 'dangerous liaisons'.

moviegoers will remember that they came out within a year of each other, and since glenn close and john malkovich and michelle pfieffer (stars of 'dangerous liaisons) had more juice in those days than annette bening and colin firth and meg tilly, 'valmont' was kind of pushed into the shade ...

comparing the two, i found malkovich much too dour to have actually been a great seducer, and glenn close is just plain scary. colin firth and annette bening were more fun to watch.

but both movies have their charms, so ... à chacun son goût
   20. PreservedFish Posted: November 04, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5781931)
At this point in my life I could not even undertake Proust, who I adore, except in the tinest of daily doses.


How tiny? Maybe I should break it up into an effort of exactly one year. What a good idea for a blog. I bet it's been done before.

edit > found a guy that did it in 182 days.

edit edit > found a guy that did it in exactly a year. Curses!
   21. BDC Posted: November 04, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5781934)
The edition of Proust that I own has almost exactly 3,600 pages, so ten pages a day will do it. I've been doing pretty well for about three weeks now and am about halfway through the first of the seven volumes.



   22. BDC Posted: November 04, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5781937)
Last night's film: Closely Watched Trains, another Czechoslovak classic from the 1960s, about the second world war. This is a black-and-white film, and quite artistically designed, though I don't think it's very remote or highbrow. It's about these horny idiots who man a train station far from the front in the final days of WW2 (when Bohemia had been absorbed into the Reich and was one of its few remaining strongholds). It's a weird movie and slow-moving at times, but I think it will stay with me. It's by turns funny and upsetting.
   23. Tin Angel Posted: November 04, 2018 at 04:49 PM (#5781938)
Recent films I liked a lot: Leave No Trace, Hostiles, and to a lesser extent, Mandy.
   24. McCoy Posted: November 05, 2018 at 08:04 AM (#5782046)
Saw Mandy and it is the kind of film that Cage needs to make every once in awhile to justify still paying him to be in movies. It was right up his alley and his style of acting was what was called for in that film. I don't know if another working actor in Hollywood could have pulled that character off without being seriously laughed at. That being said it reminded me of those Corman like movies of the 70's and 80's (and I think that is what they were going for) but it just looks so weird nowadays when the production levels of even low budget films are just so slick.
   25. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: November 05, 2018 at 02:16 PM (#5782356)
I’m preparing for the demise of FilmStruck by making my way through their John Cassavetes movies before they go away; I watched SHADOWS, FACES, and A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE over the weekend.

So many of the mumblecore directors I love have cited Cassavetes as a huge influence, which altered my expectations a bit; a friend of mine shared this bit to help me out after an especially rough viewing of FACES:
cassavetes was definitely a realist of sorts, but i think his notions of what constitutes "realism" are far removed from that of, say, the neo-realists. instead of utilising detached naturalism, he goes the other way and magnifies the artificial, performative aspects of human identity and interaction, along with the needs and vulnerabilities they're built on. personally, i've always found this approach more honest and more human than traditional realism (which i've always distrusted).

And then it wound up not mattering because WOMAN is just perfect, by any measure. My God!
   26. Hysterical & Useless Posted: November 05, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5782368)
Says the guy who re-reads Proust.


Don't everybody?
   27. Hysterical & Useless Posted: November 05, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5782376)
The first time I read Proust it took me two or three years to get through; I was in college, reading it for my own pleasure, so there would be stretches of months that would go by when I didn't even open it. But whenever I did, I'd just reread the last sentence (or the last half of the last sentence) I'd read, and it would all come rushing back (like a hot kiss at the end of a wet fist).

Subsequent readings, when I was more or less an adult and had time for frivolous reading, have usually taken between two and three months.

[This is of course in translation, not in French, alas. Je suis Americain.]
   28. PreservedFish Posted: November 05, 2018 at 04:18 PM (#5782478)
The only Proust I've ever read is the excerpt with the stupid magical memory cookie.

That said, most of the times I've climbed one of these great mountains of literature, I've been pretty happy about it. War and Peace, Ulysses, Don Quixote, Moby Dick... all really entertaining and rewarding experiences.
   29. Lassus Posted: November 05, 2018 at 05:36 PM (#5782541)
War and Peace, Ulysses, Don Quixote, Moby Dick... all really entertaining and rewarding experiences.

I read War and Peace (sadly not in the original Klingon, er, Russian) while riding the Transmongolian railroad from Beijing to Moscow and I was... unimpressed. My one-sentence review was: "Rich people go to war, are sad." It was so soap-opera-like that I was pretty bummed about it. YMMV, obviously.
   30. Tin Angel Posted: November 05, 2018 at 06:43 PM (#5782592)
That being said it reminded me of those Corman like movies of the 70's and 80's (and I think that is what they were going for) but it just looks so weird nowadays when the production levels of even low budget films are just so slick.


Well, I think it was going for the Hammer or Italian Giallo film look which were low budget and looked great, so it makes sense. My favorite scene was Cage in his underwear chugging vodka in the bathroom. So good.
   31. PreservedFish Posted: November 05, 2018 at 07:02 PM (#5782597)
I read War and Peace (sadly not in the original Klingon, er, Russian) while riding the Transmongolian railroad from Beijing to Moscow

Badass.

and I was... unimpressed. My one-sentence review was: "Rich people go to war, are sad." It was so soap-opera-like that I was pretty bummed about it. YMMV, obviously.

It is soap-opera-like. Like much literature of the time. He's like Dickens in that he can spend too much time with the boring aristocracy, but when he concentrates on the poor and downtrodden, the writing is electric. And he's such a marvelous writer. I think Tolstoy is the world leader in that thing great writers do where they notice some minor phenomenon of human behavior and then describe it perfectly. I also found his editorializing and philosophizing fascinting. But it is not quite as formally daring as the other books I listed, no.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2018 at 09:23 AM (#5782757)
I watched Yellow Submarine last night with my kids. They loved it.

I hadn't listened to the album in 20+ years. I had ghettoized it in my mind as some frothy unnecessary kid stuff, which I think was a grave error. There's only four unique songs. One of them ("All Together Now") is childish filler but I love the other three. Two wonderful psych jams from George Harrison, "Only a Northern Song" and "It's All Too Much," and Lennon's "Hey Bulldog," which has that tight psychedelic groove that was perfected on Revolver songs like "She Said She Said" and "Taxman." Ok, so it's only three songs, but they're terrific.
   33. Lassus Posted: November 06, 2018 at 09:28 AM (#5782763)
Got to see Yellow Submarine in the Castro Theater years ago. Great fun.


He's like Dickens in that he can spend too much time with the boring aristocracy, but when he concentrates on the poor and downtrodden, the writing is electric. And he's such a marvelous writer.

I have tried to make a sad yet seemingly necessary sacrifice of not reading classics in original languages I cannot read. Which, of course, is every language other than English. It always seems wrong. I am endlessly distracted wondering what the actual words were, the actual rhythm of sentences. I relent on occasion, as with War and Peace. But ultimately it's unsatisfying.
   34. BDC Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:28 AM (#5782831)
Two of my language-professor colleagues have been trying to get me to read Doctor Zhivago, which they say is a great book. But apparently there is a huge controversy about which translation to read it in. There was a translation in the 1950s, the one everybody read for a long time, and it is said to be very readable and exciting, but it can be pretty remote from the original at times. There is a much newer translation, from about ten years ago, evidently brilliantly accurate but really terrible in terms of English style. Between the two choices I have ended up never starting Doctor Zhivago … I guess I have to put that on my list with The Magic Mountain, Infinite Jest, and Knausgård.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5782843)
10 Books I Love:

In Patagonia, Bruce Chatwin
Uncommon Carriers, John McPhee
The Siege of Krishnapur, JG Farrell
Moby Dick, Melville
Arctic Dreams, Barry Lopez
Ball Four, Bouton
A Cook's Tour, Bourdain
Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, LeCarre
Guns, Germs & Steel, Jared Diamond


PF, you like "The Spy who Came in from the Cold" better than "Tinker, Tailor..."?

Two of my language-professor colleagues have been trying to get me to read Doctor Zhivago, which they say is a great book.

I saw the movie, but have no desire to read the book. Have no sympathy for Zhivago. Can't see why anyone would like the character.
   36. Zonk Can't Hide his Disdain or Disgust Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5782853)
It is soap-opera-like. Like much literature of the time. He's like Dickens in that he can spend too much time with the boring aristocracy, but when he concentrates on the poor and downtrodden, the writing is electric. And he's such a marvelous writer. I think Tolstoy is the world leader in that thing great writers do where they notice some minor phenomenon of human behavior and then describe it perfectly. I also found his editorializing and philosophizing fascinting. But it is not quite as formally daring as the other books I listed, no.


This.

I was very fortunate to read War & Peace - the first time - for a course where it was the only title on the syllabus (quarters system). The professor who taught the class is also pretty highly regarded - so the reading pace was perfect to truly savor it and the prof was excellent - ensuring that by a few weeks in, you were attuned to catch a lot that might have otherwise slipped past you.

I am less a fan of Dickens. With some exceptions - Bleak House, Little Dorrit - I just find his characters too cardboard and his plots to be decidedly deus ex machina. I'm by no means a literary snob -- the usual suspects; Copperfield, Great Expectations, Twist - are perfectly fine novels, good to great even. I'm just saying that they feel like summer beach reading in Victorian England... if people took a book to the beach in Victorian England.
   37. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:46 AM (#5782857)
Well, The Spy Who of course is snappier and has more action, but I like both of them, and I think I liked Smiley's People just as much as either.
   38. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5782861)
The problem with Dickens is that the side characters are better than the main characters.
   39. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5782864)
Well, The Spy Who of course is snappier and has more action, but I like both of them, and I think I liked Smiley's People just as much as either.

I really like the Smiley character. Have you seen the British TV version with Alec Guinness? Really top notch. Much better than the Gary Oldman movie, which I thought was weak.
   40. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: November 06, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5782870)
Speaking of translations, my Dad gifted me a copy of his study Bible, which is in almost all respects lovely—detailed notes and maps, discussion questions, reading plans, etc. Except....except it’s the NIV, which I had never read before. And oh dear is it ghastly. A sampling:

Acts 15:3 (KJV): And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.

Acts 15:3 (NIV): The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad.

Acts 17:5 (KJV): But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

Acts 17:5 (NIV): But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.

Acts 18:14-15 (KJV): And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you: But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters.

Acts 18:14-15 (NIV): Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to them, “If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law—settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.”
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 06, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5782874)
Speaking of translations, my Dad gifted me a copy of his study Bible, which is in almost all respects lovely—detailed notes and maps, discussion questions, reading plans, etc. Except....except it’s the NIV, which I had never read before. And oh dear is it ghastly. A sampling:

Douay Rheims all the way!
   42. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 06, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5782885)
The problem with Dickens is that the side characters are better than the main characters.

Dickens and The Simpsons.
   43. Zonk Can't Hide his Disdain or Disgust Posted: November 06, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5782901)
10 books I love in no particular order... limiting myself to one title per author.

The Brothers K - David James Duncan. A slightly tamer update of the Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov because the dad isn't an ass, but hitting the same themes. Plus, baseball.

White Noise - Don DeLillo. Flipped a coin between this and Underworld - but probably glad it came up heads. There's more of a loose, jaunty feel to WN - to the extent a post-modern novel about death can be such. Plus, Underworld felt a wee bit overlong.

A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole. Ignatius and Myrna pretty much spoiled romance for me for most of my 20s.

Nostromo
- Joseph Conrad. Conrad is my favorite 'literary' author - and I think Nostromo is far and away his strongest novel. Beyond really hitting most of Conrad's high points, I think it's also a pretty damn exciting and adventurous read.

Dolores Claiborne - Stephen King. King is what he is a - a wonderful storyteller, but a bit light on character development. Not in this book, though - I truly think it's one that will find its way onto college syllabi in a century or so. The way her perfectly captures the vernacular of the narrator he paints alone is worth the read.

War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy. As discussed. I think it's a great book. Always worth the re-read.

The Road - Cormac McCarthy. Certainly not the most popular McCarthy selection, I'm sure... but I love the sparseness. The most depressing novel I've ever enjoyed.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain. Twain's finest, which says a lot (certainly my favorite American writer).

Boss - Mike Royko. THE quintessential book on American politics... and perhaps - with a nod towards his buddy Studs, critical to understanding mid to late 20th century urban life.

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller Jr. Pretty much the bar by which I judge all post-apocalyptic novels (you might note I have two of them... and I might also include the Stand if I didn't think Dolores Claiborne was just a better book).

   44. Lassus Posted: November 06, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5782944)
White Noise - Don DeLillo. Flipped a coin between this and Underworld - but probably glad it came up heads. There's more of a loose, jaunty feel to WN - to the extent a post-modern novel about death can be such. Plus, Underworld felt a wee bit overlong.

Meh. The writing is better in Underworld, and neither are as good as Libra.
   45. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 06, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5782957)
Picking some (random order):

Fussell: Thank God for the Atomic Bomb

Heller: Catch-22

Sledge: With the Old Breed

Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings

Adams: Watership Down

Camus: The Fall

O'Rourke: Holidays in Hell

Jeffers: Collected Poems

Buchheim: Das Boot

Sajer: The Forgotten Soldier

   46. jmurph Posted: November 06, 2018 at 02:33 PM (#5783052)
I want to participate but don't even know where to start! Trying and mostly failing to avoid hardcore recency bias:

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson
Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do It, Geoff Dyer
Tinkers, Paul Harding
Lolita, Nabokov
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz
Flood, Robert Penn Warren
Paris to the Moon, Adam Gopnik
Netherland, Joseph O'Neill
   47. Hysterical & Useless Posted: November 06, 2018 at 02:34 PM (#5783055)
He's like Dickens in that he can spend too much time with the boring aristocracy,


??

I can't think of any "aristocrats" in Dickens. He writes almost exclusively about the middle class, or characters such as Pip and Oliver Twist who are of working class origin but getting lifted into the middle class. And then there are the Micawbers, who are originally of the middle class but actually live in poverty (because a gentleman--the status to which all middle class Victorians aspired--does not work, except in one of the professions).

There's more than a bit of truth to the notion that Dickens' supporting casts are more interesting than some of the main characters--David Copperfield is more than a bit cardboard-y; Micawber, Mr Dick, and Uriah Heep are all much more interesting--but when he's on his game he's one of the most powerful writers the English language has ever seen. There's a propulsive, headlong quality which just seems to drive me (the ideal reader, doncha know) onward. But then you run smack into Esther Summerson or Little Nell. Ah well, as Joe E Brown said, nobody's perfect.

As always, YMMV.
   48. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: November 06, 2018 at 02:54 PM (#5783068)
10 books I love but not the only ones!

Demons-Dostoevsky
Already Dead-Denis Johnson
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter-Carson McCullers
The Collected Stories of Ernest Hemingway
The Counterlife-Philip Roth
The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas
The Collected Stories of William Trevor (I like short story collections. Sue me!)
Moby Dick-Melville
Against the Day-Pynchon
Bats out of Hell-Barry Hannah

I could probably make another list every day for a month.

   49. Lassus Posted: November 06, 2018 at 03:31 PM (#5783096)
Against the Day-Pynchon

Great minds!

I was somewhat shocked to find out how low this booked ranked among other Pynchon fans, and in general. I think it's among the greatest narratives I've ever read.
   50. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: November 06, 2018 at 03:34 PM (#5783100)
I was somewhat shocked to find out how low this booked ranked among other Pynchon fans, and in general. I think it's among the greatest narratives I've ever read.

Yeah, I think it's his best but I wonder how many people read it. It's definitely his most provocative. I'm assuming not a lot of people read it because there was no outcry about his making the terrorists the good guys.
   51. Baldrick Posted: November 06, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5783128)
Like many folks here, my list of personal favorites is mostly white guys, so I'll limit myself to some inner circle ones that don't fall into that category, just to even the scales a bit.

Borderlands – Gloria Anzaldua
Beirut Fragments – Jean Said Makdisi
Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
My Antonia - Willa Cather
The Dispossessed – Ursula K. Le Guin

And I know it's not high literature or anything but I adore Anne of Green Gables.
   52. Rennie's Tenet Posted: November 06, 2018 at 04:45 PM (#5783154)
I'll probably never be thin enough again to take an extended backpack, but I always wanted to do one with only Anne of Green Gables, Tom Sawyer, and The Call of the Wild for company.
   53. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: November 06, 2018 at 04:55 PM (#5783160)
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz


This is a fantastic book. Maybe the most mind-blowing book I've read in the past decade.

   54. Zonk Can't Hide his Disdain or Disgust Posted: November 06, 2018 at 05:24 PM (#5783187)
Like many folks here, my list of personal favorites is mostly white guys, so I'll limit myself to some inner circle ones that don't fall into that category, just to even the scales a bit.

Borderlands – Gloria Anzaldua
Beirut Fragments – Jean Said Makdisi
Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
My Antonia - Willa Cather
The Dispossessed – Ursula K. Le Guin


I considered that same issue - and there are a couple that would probably make my next 10 (My Antonia among them), but I couldn't knock any of my top 10 out.

I also considered a couple of Virginia Woolf titles - Mrs Dalloway in particular is one I really like; it would probably be #11. Edith Wharton would get a strong look - definitely Mirth over The Age of Innocence.

I would have also considered Beloved in honor of he who shall not be named, but while I like the book, it's probably somewhere in closer to the 3rd or 4th 10.

Ellison would probably be somewhere in the next 2-3 lists, as well. Malcolm X's autobiography is probably the best autobiography I've ever read, but that's not saying much as I generally don't read many autobios.

Oh, also - in the more contemporary realm - shout out to Margaret Atwood. Love the Oryx and Crake series - and the Blind Assassin is also excellent.
   55. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2018 at 06:44 PM (#5783219)
??

I can't think of any "aristocrats" in Dickens. He writes almost exclusively about the middle class, or characters such as Pip and Oliver Twist who are of working class origin but getting lifted into the middle class.


You are right. I wasn't really thinking properly.
   56. phredbird Posted: November 06, 2018 at 08:39 PM (#5783277)

i endorse #44.

also, i did not find The Fall nearly as good as The Stranger.
   57. BDC Posted: November 06, 2018 at 09:15 PM (#5783308)
The Collected Stories of William Trevor


Our class is reading "Death in Jerusalem" next week. Our main textbook this semester has been Trevor's Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories, which is wonderful.
   58. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: November 06, 2018 at 09:38 PM (#5783321)
O'Rourke: Holidays in Hell


O'Rourke: Halfway to a Threeway

Flood, Robert Penn Warren


Flood, They Might Be Giants

Sledge: With the Old Breed


Sledge: When a Man Loves a Woman

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller Jr.


I loved this book.
   59. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: November 07, 2018 at 08:29 AM (#5783520)
Invisible Man is a remarkable book and would definitely make one of my top 10 lists if I kept up with it. If you guys want to check out a non-whitey man writer, then treat yourself to some Jay Wright poetry. The man is a towering genius.
   60. Lassus Posted: November 07, 2018 at 08:32 AM (#5783521)
Invisible Man is a remarkable book and would definitely make one of my top 10 lists if I kept up with it.

This is how I feel about multiple William T. Vollmann novels.
   61. BDC Posted: November 07, 2018 at 09:10 AM (#5783537)
Popular reading: I finished the first of Rennie Airth's series of crime novels featuring Inspector John Madden: River of Darkness (1999). This one is very well done. Set in England just after the first world war, and dealing with psychoanalysis, PTSD, serial-killing and profiling, and other interesting mixes of historical and contemporary themes. It's a long-running series and I will try to embark on the rest soon.
   62. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: November 07, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5783701)
Prayer for Owen Meany (Irving)
Illusions (Bach)
Cryptonomicon (Stephenson)
Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
LOTR (Tolkien)

I only have five; too busy playing Candy Crush these days.

Edited - Because "Richard Bachman" wrote Running Man and Long Walk, not Illusions :)
   63. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 07, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5783817)
I tend to gravitate to NYRB Classics books because they have such a high hit rate and I'm lazy. Ten books currently in print in the NYRB Classics series that I love:

The Anatomy of Melancholy - Robert Burton
A Month in the Country - JL Carr
English, August - Upamanyu Chatterjee
The Ten Thousand Things - Maria Dermout
Party Going - Henry Green
The Summer Book - Tove Janson
Names on the Land - George R. Stewart
selections from the Journals - Henry Thoreau (ed. Damion Searls)
An Ermine in Czernopol - Gregor von Rezzori
Lolly Willowes - Sylvia Townsend Warner

If you know me in real life, I've probably given you Lolly Willows for Christmas and The Summer Book for your birthday.
   64. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2018 at 03:26 PM (#5783826)
I tend to gravitate to NYRB Classics books


Me too, they look so damn good, I can't stop buying them. In fact, I just ordered A Month in the Country.
   65. BDC Posted: November 07, 2018 at 03:31 PM (#5783829)
Have you NYRB fans read Stoner, by John Williams? About the only realistic novel about the life of an English professor; all the rest are satires. About 3-4 years ago, Stoner was one of the most popular books in Europe. It was suddenly translated into nearly every possible language, it seemed all at once.
   66. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: November 07, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5783832)
Reading Charles C. Alexander's Breaking the Slump: Baseball in the Depression Era. I remember liking his bios of John McGraw & Rogers Hornsby, but I'm wondering if he absorbed some sort of damaging blow to the head in the interim. Unless I'm wrong & Stan Hack is a Hall of Famer, as he asserts, & Shemp Howard (who appeared in a short subject with Dizzy & Paul Dean) subsequently gained fame as Moe Howard, as he also asserts.

(I've learned over the years to assume that actual book editors no longer exist. There's no reason to believe that Columbia University Press' staff, if they even had one, would've been an exception circa 2002, when the book came out.)
   67. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5783833)
I haven't read Stoner, but I've read the same author's Butcher's Crossing, a modest little Western about a city slicker that tries to prove his mettle by joining the buffalo hunt. Terrific novel. Stoner does seem prominent on bookstore shelves, and I've picked it up and considered it many times.
   68. Rennie's Tenet Posted: November 07, 2018 at 03:43 PM (#5783837)
9 books and a series that end up in my bathroom a lot:

The Most of PG Wodehouse
The Thurber Carnival
The Confederacy of Dunces - Toole
The Godfather - Puzo
Lonesome Dove - McMurtry
Aubrey-Maturin series - O'Brian
Bleak House - Dickens
Lincoln's Virtues - Miller
The Improbable Irish - Bryan
'Round Ireland with a Fridge - Hawks
   69. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: November 07, 2018 at 03:44 PM (#5783838)
The Thurber Carnival

Definitely a finalist for my own list.
   70. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: November 07, 2018 at 03:48 PM (#5783843)
Have you NYRB fans read Stoner, by John Williams? About the only realistic novel about the life of an English professor; all the rest are satires. About 3-4 years ago, Stoner was one of the most popular books in Europe. It was suddenly translated into nearly every possible language, it seemed all at once.

Yep, I have. Very good book.
   71. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 07, 2018 at 06:21 PM (#5783980)
I liked Stoner a lot, but it doesn't make my list of loves because of some things extrinsic to the book. I like its quietness and how undramatic it was, even in the dramatic bits.

Ms McGunnigle, who in a former life was an Early Modernist, speaks very highly Williams' collection of English Renaissance poetry, now also on NYRB. She claims that it's the most (for lack of a better word) poetic of such collections.
   72. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 07, 2018 at 07:43 PM (#5784006)
Here's a book that I'm just starting, and I'll be lucky if I can finish it in a month, since it's not a book to be skimmed. It's hardly literary, but it might go a long way to explain our current political situation:

Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics
   73. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 07, 2018 at 09:55 PM (#5784035)
While we're discussing books, can anyone recommend a history of the Negro Leagues that tries to stick to facts rather than mythologizing a la The Glory of Their Times? I don't want to read any more stories of Satchel Paige ordering all his fielders off the field and then striking out 27 men in a row.
   74. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2018 at 10:52 PM (#5784057)
I watched that movie Free Solo tonight. Holy ####, that guy is incredible, and crazy. The feat of athleticism is extraordinary, but his fearlessness is superhuman. Beautiful camera work, well worth watching, and don't worry, no innocent bystanders were endangered during his climb.
   75. Howie Menckel Posted: November 08, 2018 at 12:01 AM (#5784071)
While we're discussing books, can anyone recommend a history of the Negro Leagues that tries to stick to facts rather than mythologizing a la The Glory of Their Times?

some of the HOM guys are stone-cold experts on that; I think even if you find a recent Negro Leagues post there (and there have been some) and ask that question, I'd think they would be eager to help
   76. The Run Fairy Posted: November 08, 2018 at 12:25 AM (#5784078)
While we're discussing books, can anyone recommend a history of the Negro Leagues that tries to stick to facts rather than mythologizing a la The Glory of Their Times? I don't want to read any more stories of Satchel Paige ordering all his fielders off the field and then striking out 27 men in a row.


It's been a while since I've read it, but Negro League Baseball: The Rise and Ruin of a Black Institution by Neil Lanctot was a really interesting look into the business side of the Negro Leagues. It's got mixed reviews on goodreads (3.7 or so), so you might want to flip through the google books preview before you commit to it.

I also remember Only the Ball Was White as being good, but it's been even longer since I've read that one so I can't speak to its historical character.

Whatever you do, don't read Buck Leonard's autobiography by James Riley.
   77. jmurph Posted: November 08, 2018 at 09:13 AM (#5784126)
I also remember Only the Ball Was White as being good, but it's been even longer since I've read that one so I can't speak to its historical character.

Same all around- read it a few years ago and enjoyed it. I don't remember issues with mythologizing but could be forgetting.
   78. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: November 08, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5784160)
Mark Ribowsky is the writer you want if you're looking for non-romanticized biographies of Paige and Gibson.
   79. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: November 08, 2018 at 09:50 AM (#5784170)
The new SUSPIRIA remake is great, though it assumed a familiarity with the Baader-Meinhof Group that I did not possess.
   80. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: November 08, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5784230)
The new SUSPIRIA remake is great, though it assumed a familiarity with the Baader-Meinhof Group that I did not possess


Right up two of my alleys, then.
   81. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: November 08, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5784234)

Mark Ribowsky is the writer you want if you're looking for non-romanticized biographies of Paige and Gibson.


I read his Gibson bio back when it was new, some 22 years ago. He cast a fair amount of doubt, IIRC, on the prevailing image of Gibson as having hit eleventy-billion home runs every season.
   82. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: November 09, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5785099)
Think I'm seeing Suspiria tomorrow with my persnickety-with-remakes horror fanatic girlfriend - it's her #2 movie of the year (she saw it a week or so back; #1 was Black Panther).
---

I loved Only The Ball Was White - I don't know how many times I checked that out of the library as a kid - and ought to read it again. To that end - on the book tip - I think we did the name a few books that are meaningful to you and why idea a few years ago and I weighed in then. Still, here's four things I probably didn't mention at the time, stuff that meant a lot to me at one point or another in my life, picking from five year intervals and impressionable ages:

(age 10) The World Almanac: my dad worked in a drug store and would bring home countless paperbacks (with the covers ripped off) that they've otherwise chucked in a dumpster. I read everything, especially these texts that seemed to have a little bit of everything in them.

(age 15) Leonard Maltin Movie Guides: another book that overviews things. I grew up in an iffy neighborhood, away from my best friends. So, I played basketball with the guys where I lived but otherwise spent a lot of time as an indoor kid, reading and watching movies. (I wouldn't discover music until college.) These helped me figure out films to check out, connect dots on the relationships between genres, and to be pithier in my critiques.

(age 20) The Gulag Archipelago: I found a paperback of one of these volumes on the floor of the student union I night managed. It went in the lost and found, except when I was reading it and except for after the semester ended when I kept it. I bought (no small feat - I was poor and cheaper than I was poor) and read the rest thereafter. This was while I worked on an econ grad degree and was one plank of how I put the formulas and theories I was learning in a broader historical (or quasi-historical) context. (I found a paperback of Catch 22 a few years later under similar circumstances that held my attention for a long time as well.)

(age 25) Elvis Costello - God's Comic: a not particularly well-known or well-regarded book on Elvis Costello. I'm no musician, but used to find myself singing on stage a lot back when I did improv eleventy billion years ago. This book, of all things, is where I went for ideas about song structure - how I could use things like thematic punning to elevate my mediocre voice and the simplified backing tracks I was working with to produce something a little less terrible on the fly. Honorable mention for this period to my rhyming dictionaries.

{I see that Invisible Man and Guns, Germs, and Steel were both mentioned upthread - think I've discussed both in previous threads.}
   83. phredbird Posted: November 09, 2018 at 04:54 PM (#5785117)
I watched that movie Free Solo tonight. Holy ####, that guy is incredible, and crazy. The feat of athleticism is extraordinary, but his fearlessness is superhuman. Beautiful camera work, well worth watching, and don't worry, no innocent bystanders were endangered during his climb.


i watched the nytimes video about it, where the filmmakers discussed the ethics of filming the climb — what if he falls?, etc. ... i couldn't even watch the little bits they showed without my palms sweating uncontrollably and having to eventually curl into a ball and close my eyes. i'm not sure i could watch the movie.

which is weird, because i really liked man on a wire. watching petit you just felt like there was no way this guy could fall. but that climber. jesus. it was too much.
   84. PreservedFish Posted: November 09, 2018 at 07:55 PM (#5785238)
The climber, Honnold, argues that his free solo climbing is in fact low risk - even if a single mistake would lead to his death. Given that he's done 1,000 free solo climbs without any major injuries, he might generally be correct. If the average climb had a 1% chance of failure, he'd have been dead long ago.

But the climb of El Capitan is something else. It sounds like he's probably the only man on earth that would consider doing this climb. One of the cameramen (himself an experienced climber) can't even watch the attempt, he keeps his back to the cliff as much as he can.

He's an interesting fellow. Seems spectrumy but they also explain that he had essentially zero affection from his parents as a child - not only is he fearless, but he has a cold and unemotional way of looking at death. It seems like the deaths of other climbers don't bother him, because it's a known risk, and he thinks that his own death would ultimately be fairly meaningless, because life goes on, and all his friends would get over it.
   85. PreservedFish Posted: November 09, 2018 at 07:58 PM (#5785240)
I think that the act of the tightrope walk is so unreal that it's difficult to imagine yourself in Petit's shoes. To walk on a wire across the clouds with the big balance thingy, it's otherworldly. But rock climbing? We've all scrambled up rocks. It's easy to see yourself in the same situation and of course failing.
   86. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 09, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5785245)
While we're discussing books, can anyone recommend a history of the Negro Leagues that tries to stick to facts rather than mythologizing a la The Glory of Their Times? I don't want to read any more stories of Satchel Paige ordering all his fielders off the field and then striking out 27 men in a row.

Didn't see this question until just now, but here are three strong recommendations:

---- John Holway's The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues: The Other Half of Baseball History. Noteworthy for its thorough accounts of games between black and white teams. Unfortunately its relatively short print run and critical acclaim means that it's gotten prohibitively expensive over the past few years.

---- Neil Lanctot's Negro League Baseball: The Rise and Ruin of a Black Institution. This is probably the best overall NeL history, being based on an examination of virtually every black newspaper in the country, interviews with former players, and an examination of the leagues' court, financial and federal records. And used copies are dirt cheap on Amazon.

---- Brad Snyder's Beyond The Shadow of the Senators: The Untold Story of the Homestead Grays and the Integration of Baseball. Snyder later wrote a book on the Curt Flood case, but IMO this book on the Grays and their interaction with Clark Griffith is the best thing he's written. It's also insanely cheap on Amazon.

One other book worth mentioning is Chris Lamb's Conspiracy of Silence: Sportswriters and the Long Campaign to Desegregate Baseball. The author contrasts the diametrically opposite ways that the fight to integrate the Majors was covered in the white press and the black press. Terrific read, and like the last two mentioned above, you can get it on Amazon for practically nothing. Used hardback books are among the great bargains of the 21st century.

   87. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 09, 2018 at 09:33 PM (#5785267)
Bareknuckle boxing tonight, three former UFC guys on the card. Second show for this promotion and they landed 3 former UFC midcarders plus Bas Rutten on commentary.

Based on the first event the boxing itself will be pretty bad, but as a spectacle of violence it's pretty captivating.
   88. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 09, 2018 at 09:41 PM (#5785274)
Great, thanks so much for the suggestions, everyone.
   89. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: November 12, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5786063)
THE MOST POPULAR MOVIES OF 2018, BASED ON THE 222 FRIENDS I FOLLOW ON LETTERBOXD

1. Black Panther 131
2. Annihilation 128
3. Hereditary 117
4. Isle of Dogs 115
5. Unsane 113

6. The Killing of a Sacred Deer 113
7. You Were Never Really Here 113
8. BlacKkKlansman 113
9. A Quiet Place 107
10. Ready Player One 106

11. Game Night 101
12. Mission: Impossible - Fallout 100
13. Sorry to Bother You 94
14. Avengers: Infinity War 94
15. Incredibles 2 87

16. The Death of Stalin 85
17. Eighth Grade 85
18. Mandy 82
19. Paddington 2 82
20. A Star Is Born 82

21. The Commuter 81
22. Thoroughbreds 77
23. Solo: A Star Wars Story 77
24. First Man 76
25. Support the Girls 71

26. Burning 66
27. Madeline's Madeline 65
28. Wind River 65
29. Deadpool 2 65
30. The Cloverfield Paradox 63

31. Ocean's Eight 63
32. Tully 62
33. The Rider 62
34. Leave No Trace 62
35. Ant-Man and the Wasp 61

36. Suspiria 59
37. Halloween 57
38. Let the Corpses Tan 54
39. The 15:17 to Paris 54
40. A Wrinkle in Time 53

41. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 53
42. Upgrade 52
43. Blockers 52
44. Crazy Rich Asians 52
45. Love, Simon 52

46. Won't You Be My Neighbor 51
47. The Other Side of the Wind 49
48. Happy End 48
49. Unfriended: Dark Web 47
50. Tomb Raider 45
   90. BDC Posted: November 12, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5786094)
Last weekend, live in HD from the Metropolitan Opera, I saw Nico Muhly's Marnie. This is a new opera (premiered in London last year) based not so much on the Hitchcock film as on the original novel by Winston Graham. Come to find he was also the author of Poldark … that's just odd, that the same guy wrote Marnie and Poldark; it's like finding out that the same guy wrote The Bridge on the River Kwai and Planet of the Apes.

I thought that the opera Marnie was a very good afternoon in the theater. It did not get good reviews, or rather, the reviews liked the acting, singing, stagecraft, and orchestra, but found fault with the score for not being exciting enough. Opera critics seem duty-bound to find something to dislike. Taken as a whole, the opera was consistently intriguing. I didn't develop great sympathy with any of the characters, but the same is true of the Hitchcock film as I remember it. It's kind of cold and unpleasant material, but striking all the same.
   91. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: November 12, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5786124)
RIP Stan Lee, dead at 95.
   92. Lassus Posted: November 12, 2018 at 02:48 PM (#5786134)
It's rare that I say or think this about anyone, but I'm pretty sure that Lee's characters are going to last as long as humanity. That man has made a mark. If you had to choose between the historical, cultural longevity of, say, Stephen King vs. Stan Lee, I'm pretty sure I'd have to take Lee.
   93. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: November 12, 2018 at 02:54 PM (#5786140)
I'm pretty sure that Lee's characters are going to last as long as humanity.
For those unfamiliar with Stan Lee's enthusiasm (and prognostication skills, see 16:20), here's an interview with Larry King.
   94. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 12, 2018 at 03:03 PM (#5786147)
If you had to choose between the historical, cultural longevity of, say, Stephen King vs. Stan Lee, I'm pretty sure I'd have to take Lee.


Maybe if King ripped off a few more people for his ideas he'd be more memorable.
   95. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: November 12, 2018 at 03:10 PM (#5786151)
Not sure if "ripped off" is the correct phrase (though lord knows any number of fans would agree with it), but yeah -- with King at least there's presumably no problem with skeptics parsing how much of his legacy is actually due to the creative genius of the likes of Kirby & Ditko.

Clearly (at least to me), Lee without those guys was somewhat lacking in comparison to what he created with them, & so was their own output (probably to a much greater extent) without Lee.
   96. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: November 12, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5786160)
I like what the main overseer at the Classic Horror Film Board (formerly a top editor at USA Today, but I forgive him for that) had to say earlier this afternoon --

I rank him up there with Disney and Harryhausen and Lucas as a guiding force for a universe of imagination, surrounded by the titanic talents he assembled.
   97. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: November 12, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5786203)
I have made a new Letterboxd list:

My Favorite Movie Of Each Year For The Last 100 Years
   98. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 12, 2018 at 05:44 PM (#5786237)
I have made a new Letterboxd list:

My Favorite Movie Of Each Year For The Last 100 Years


Davo, that's one ####### impressive list. I love seeing The Crowd and Diary of a Lost Girl back-to-back. Two of the greatest movies ever, although you could have easily put that second one in a tie with Pandora's Box for 1929's best. I also like seeing such lesser known gems as Whirlpool, Nothing But a Man, and The Blue Kite.

I think I've got just about every one of those pre-1970 movies on DVD (thanks, TCM) and more than a few of the rest of them, and I can hardly see a cough in your entire carload.

Fun fact: At one point Louise Brooks was the mistress of the original Redskins' owner, the notorious racist George Preston Marshall, only this was when he was just a laundry magnate and before he introduced the Boston Braves (later Redskins) into the NFL.
   99. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: November 12, 2018 at 05:59 PM (#5786242)
Pandora's Box for 1929's best.


Which I really need to see, dammit. (I picked up the VHS well over a decade ago when a video chain -- also the source of my first DVD player, a Daewoo -- I can no longer remember the name of was getting rid of its stock.) The excerpts in this music video are very winning.
   100. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 12, 2018 at 07:12 PM (#5786268)
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