A few things I’ve been listening to, watching, and reading in recent days:
- Something’s Gotta Give: A much better, more nuanced film than the previews indicate. The film makes the older male-younger female romance appear rather absurd, and the scene of Jack stumbling onto Diane Keaton’s character naked is taken out of context in the preview (he’s just met her that morning and is shielding his eyes out of embarassment, not distaste). The film isn’t perfect–it more or less drops Frances McDormand’s women’s studies professor–but it actually does as much to challenge the Michael Douglas Syndrome as any mainstream film I’ve seen recently.
- The Cooler: I was somewhat dissapointed in this film, and I’m not sure why. The cast was enjoyable all around, but I think the Vegas film genre may be overdone at this point. Something about the romance between William H. Macy and Maria Bello didn’t really work for me, but I don’t want to give anything away for people who haven’t seen the film.
- Coldplay, A Rush of Blood to the Head: I’m always about a year or two behind everyone else when it comes to music. I’m trying to get better. Really.
- The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow: Not sure how long this CD has been out, but it has recently been on heavy rotation on Georgia State University’s radio station, and I’ve really enjoyed listening to it.
- Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen, Film Theory and Criticism: A good introduction to film theory and criticism, both historical and recent. I’ve been reviewing the 5th edition (which came out in 1998) to think about how I’d teach a film theory course. I’d likely supplement their anthology with some essays on digital media (Manovich) and some material by Dziga Vertov, but overall, I like the anthology quite a bit.
- What I’d like to be reading: Chuck Palahniuk, Diary.
I’d also like to address the ongoing discussion between “Winston” and the Wordherders (who as George illustrates are far from a group of “incestuous Marxists“), in part because I feel like the issues that have been raised (regarding conversations between conservative and liberal and/or leftist academics) are important and deserve my full attention, but MLA is a more pressing concern right now.