ifeelbetter: (Inception - falling)
I totally make myself believe that I'm about to be kicked out of the program every couple of months and then my adviser is surprisingly wonderful (despite having actually kicked a good friend of mine out of the program just last year) and talks me down. It actually goes down with a lot more professionalism than all that sounded like....but it's still a crazy loop that I am stuck in.

ANYWAY. Long story short--I got plastered last night after figuring out that (a) I'M STILL HERE and (b) I HAVE MORE TIME TO DO ACTUAL THINGS AND SO THEY WON'T BE BAD. OR AS BAD. (THEY MIGHT STILL BE BAD.) And I watched alllll of Psych that I missed in the past couple of months. And now I'm watching Inception. Yeah, that's right. I'm watching it right now.

You wish you were watching Inception right now.


And then I stopped keeping track of my thoughts and just shouted at the TV. God, I LOVE this film.
ifeelbetter: (Default)
Not exactly a bad day, just frustrating students....

...therefore, this.

This happened because Youtube had Moses Supposes as a recommended video on the side bar for Beyonce. I don't get it either.
ifeelbetter: (Default)
Yay! Done with the latest batch of grading!

My roommates this year are awesome enough that we can actually host events here in chez nous. We did for Halloween and last night we did a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving dinner (the kind without the family). It went brilliantly despite the fact that none of know anything at all about turkeys, roasting, or carving.

Photos under the cut.... )

And there are so many films I am excited about coming out in the next few months.

Further proof that I am best suited to be a film reviewer, not an English grad student, under the cut... )

In other news: after fixing the toilet for the umpteenth time, I have decided I have a future in plumbing if this whole English professor deal falls through.

TV thoughts

Nov. 4th, 2011 04:15 pm
ifeelbetter: (Default)
Here's my thoughts on TV....

Downton Abbey, Once Upon A Time, and Grimm spoiler warning )


I totally missed this movie while it was out in theaters. I will make up for it by watching it THOUSANDS OF TIMES now.
ifeelbetter: (Default)
I have had a tumultuous week. That sort of week makes me make lists:

1. My laptop died. This is always a tragic occurrence but
2. it is made even worse when you are in the crunch time before your prospectus is due.
3. Which makes me twitchy with nerves.
4. Especially when I couldn't actually work on it till the new laptop arrived.
5. So I took up multiple short-lived and intense hobbies.
6. Like making cheese. And jam. And yogurt. And knishes.
7. Until the new laptop finally arrived and I could get back to panicking about the prospectus.
8. Which is a giant mess.
9. And Borders is closing. Which is tragic because I live in the town where the first Borders was from.
10. But it's awesome because they're having tremendous sales.
11. But it's awful. A true tragedy for the romance of buying and browsing books.
12. But I got a super cheap DVD of Anne of Green Gables.
13. And Fern Gully.
14. But it's suuuuper sad.
15. And the prospectus. Ohgodohgodohgod the prospectus.
16. So I got my hair dyed blonde.
17. And now I'm watching allll of Anne of Green Gables as a blonde.
18. It's mostly the same, it seems, for blondes as brunettes.
19. Ohgodohgodohgod prospectus.

The end.
ifeelbetter: (Default)
I saw two films today. Because I am no longer a teenager, I did not theater-hop. I paid for both. I think this justifies my upcoming rant tangent digression.

I will just start by saying that my hopes were moderately high for one and abysmally low for the other. Both surprised me greatly.

....suuuuspense.... )

In other news, I'm almost done with my syllabus for next semester. Highlights include: Exit Through the Gift Shop, My Fair Lady, George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television," and an article from Vanity Fair. Yes, my reading lists are eclectic. They are definitely that.

Plus, I'm trying to draft a proposal for a course for Comp Lit in the winter more geared towards my actual area of expertise, 19th century Japan-related texts. I'm thinking I might propose a course based on travel narratives on the far east, a sort of "orientalism" in practice sort of thing. That's still in the works.

Last note: did anyone see this week's So You Think You Can Dance? If you didn't, check this shiz-nit out:

Did you see that jump at 1:17? Did you see that??
ifeelbetter: (Dr Who - I Will Survive -- this regenera)
So I was on tumblr--because it turns out that, despite my earlier protestations that scrolling through images couldn't be that interesting or significantly different from lj, I'm completely hooked, like total-junkie-hooked---and I had an incredibly pathetic moment of personal tragedy.

I saw this. I'm not so much "in the know" or whatever about memes....so I conveniently missed all the information that this is not in fact a real thing. I missed that vital piece of information because I had fallen out of my chair and was convulsing with glee around the room. (I say "convulsing with glee" because I have been informed by numerous roommates that my Celebration Dance is not-so-much-with-the-dancing-per-se.)

To be more clear: there's been a meme floating around tumblr where you get four actors/actresses names and a random song from your iTunes on shuffle and make a movie premise out of the results. This particular instance (that comes with a kickass, unreasonably-realistic promo poster) is for a film called It's Not Necessarily the Truth starring Ellie Kamper, Adam Scott, Maya Rudolph, and Jesse Eisenberg. Here's the summary:

It’s Not Necessarily the Truth (2012) — Lilly Calvin (Ellie Kemper) is a compulsive liar. After being fired from her plush job at the New York Times for making up quotes, sources, and entire interviews (shades of Shattered Glass), she moves to Washington D.C. to start over as a novelist and embrace the side of herself that needs to make up stories. Problem is, she still needs to live, work, and eat. Pressed for cash, she takes a job as a live-in nanny for White House speechwriter Wesley Reynolds (Adam Scott) and his unbelievably chic, put-together lobbyist wife Sloan (Maya Rudolph). Their daughter Madeleine (some adorable kid actor yet to be discovered, or… Pearl Anderson? Come on, you know Maya and Paul’s kids would be at least as adorable as the Apatow girls if you put ‘em in movies) is disarmingly smart, articulate, and knows more about her nanny’s sordid past than Lilly would care to have come out. Madeleine has Lilly over a barrel, and is reaping the rewards in the form of extra fruit roll-ups and later bedtimes — that is, until Lilly figures out that the Reynolds family is completely dysfunctional. Both Wesley and Sloan are having affairs with wealthy Republican senators, and neither want it to come out. As Lilly gets more and more tangled up in the Reynolds’ lives, she also finds herself in a messy almost-relationship with Ryan (Jesse Eisenberg), a disgraced Georgetown grad student who was kicked out of school weeks away from his master’s degree after being found guilty of major plagiarism. Let’s just say that little white lies have never been so complicated.

....the future needs this film. I'm just saying.

I literally spent forty minutes trying to convince myself that the fact I could find no mention of this film anywhere on the entire internet didn't mean it wasn't really going to happen. And then another hour (mostly skimming the hot mess that is Jaime Pressly's autobiography of the same name) trying to convince myself that it was a real book and so could someday be made into a real movie by those same four actors.

My feelings summed up:
ifeelbetter: (Default)
(1) I have issues with technology. So, to be clear: I am on my ten-year-old computer because my four-year-old one, the one that works....doesn't work. Not right now. And this one? It's a bit...sensitive. And prejudiced against new stuff like YouTube and sending e-mails. It actually turned itself off when I told my roommate that I missed the newer one.

(2) Doctor Who stole my heart, dipped it in rainbows and essence-of-adorbs, squashed it under a unicorn hoof, and gave it back to me.
Learn more about my smushed heart under the cut )

(3) Hawaii Five-0, we need to have some words about that finale.
As Jon Stewart would say, meet me at Camera 3. )

(4) I have seen. so. many. films. in the past week.
Super brief run-down:
Hesher: JGL and Rainn Wilson are some sort of magic. I'm also not a Natalie Portman fan by nature--I am by practice, not nature--and she was fantastic also. I loved especially the way cliches of sentiment were raised and then twisted. If you watch the film, you'll see what I mean.
Everything Must Go: If you've seen one of the (thousaaaaands) of trailers on TV recently or read the short story, you don't need to bother with the film. The film is good but uninspiring. It's a fine way to spend an afternoon but nothing to feel compelled to see.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams: Honest to god, this is the best use I have ever seen for 3-D technology. It's like the damn thing has been suffering through children's films and schlock action movies for the past half-dozen years just to refine it for this purpose. That being said, I could have done with a lot less sentimental philosophizing. These are the images of a prehistoric civilization inventing art: it doesn't need sentimentalizing or philosophizing. It just is.
Something Borrowed: Ginnifer Goodwin seems to have made a career of smiling through her tears. I am Not A Fan of victimhood-as-virtue for women, guys...or the assumption that women who think they are physically attractive or worth other people's time and respect are whores and villains. Not so fond of that either. I will say this for this film, though: unlike Sex and the City 2, which was so fundamentally badly constructed that it insulted the intelligence of us all, this movie was at least constructed. It had plot. It had characters. It had arch. It had no fart jokes.
Thor: I LOVED IT. It is so nice to watch an action movie that passes to Bechdel test, for one thing. And Loki was doing a lot of acting. I love to see theater actors tear up a film like that--it was so apparent that Tom Hiddleston was an all-or-nothing kind of actor. No middle gears for that guy--and Hollywood doesn't always have room for actors like that. (Also--my sister said my younger-sibling issues were showing.)

I'm going to see Bridesmaids within the next couple of days. Feministing has declared that it is every good feminist's responsibility to prove to Hollywood that clever, mature, independent women exist and are legion and we will be the market for films if you just give us the credit we deserve. I can't give my two cents until I've seen it.

(5) Another year, another novel. :)
So I haven't been at liberty for the past two Novembers--grad school, my love, you do eat me up during the school year--so I have organized a small group of people to do our own Nanowrimo (or "Lo"nowrimo for "Local") in June. We did it last year--weeelll, I say "we." Only I finished. But we're trying again this year. If anyone wants to join, let me know!

That's all for me! My ancient computer hasn't shut down on me for a whole thirty minutes now, so I feel lucky. Peace!

le sigh

Apr. 10th, 2011 06:28 pm
ifeelbetter: (Default)
Can I just say--the sky is completely clear, the weather has not been finer in a coon's age, and YET my flight is canceled. There aren't even clouds in the sky and my flight is canceled.

Not that being stranded in New Jersey is a bad thing. It is, in point of fact, my absolute favorite place to be stranded seeing as it is my home. But I really do need to get back to school. So now I am all finger-gnawing and nervous-tapping. And if I'd known I would be stuck here and unable to go to class tomorrow morning, I would have gone somewhere fun like the Natural History Museum or...somewhere less geeky. What do un-geeky people do in the NYC area?

In the meantime, I watched The Squid and the Whale. Watching it was a lot like how Jesse Walt describes his childhood experience with the titular exhibit in the Natural History Museum. I couldn't watch it a lot of the time--I literally had to watch it from between my fingers at some point. It struck awfully close to home--every fault in every character rang true (and felt somewhat accusatory and/or damning) in some way.

Though I am super-thrilled to be able to say my two PhD-in-lit parents raised me and my siblings to have earnest enthusiasm and not disdain. And they would never have allowed me to not read Tale of Two Cities because it wasn't the so-called "best" Dickens. And I would have been grounded for a lifetime if I tried to pawn off my failures on teachers.

But that movie still struck veeeerrrry close to home.

Also: that exhibit in the Natural History Museum. In fact--that whole room. I think I can remember every single visit--and there were sooooo many visits--in extreme detail. I think it may be the best room in any museum I've ever been in. You've got the blue whale hanging over your head, you've got the battle in darkness in one of the corners, and you've just generally go the awesomeness of all the world in dioramas around you. What more could you want from life?
ifeelbetter: (Default)
GUYS GUYS GUYS. I don't know if this has been documented here, but the love of my life (in a much more permanent sense than I will ever use this phrase to describe my feelings about anyone/thing else) is tots The History Boys. I'm not even exaggerating when I say I have Google Alerts for just about the entire cast. I have huge swathes of that play memorized. My TV is named Posner and my DVD player is named Scripps, I'm not even lying. In fact, the only thing that approaches that level of devotion in me is my adoration of anything Tom Stoppard has come near with a pen.

SO you can imagine my facial expression when I just read that Samuel Barnett and Jamie Parker are going to be starring in a Trevor Nunn-directed production of Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead. I used many facial muscles, let me tell you.

This may, in fact, be the happiest I can be. I may have maxed out.
ifeelbetter: (Default)

I've had my students watch the 1939 film The Women for tomorrowtoday. I did a lot of prep work before hand--I had them read an essay about how to watch these old female friendship films from the 30s and 40s "against the grain" as well as "with the grain" to try to preemptively defeat sexism. I always have a voluntary screening when I assign a film--just to be fair--and the two boys who have been a roller coaster of almost-sexist thought throughout the semester came. It's usually a very small group, maybe four or five students. So it was the two of them and two girls I have developed pretty particular relationships--especially one who I had to have a quasi-intervention with to try to give her more confidence in speaking in class and thinking of her own opinions as worthwhile.

I suppose I should also note here that my teaching style fits easily with the kind of clever female student who's been quiet in other classes because she felt weird AND, paradoxically, boyish boys who like to show off. I don't know how this happens but it really is a pattern. So the two boys are problems but they have both made some significant intellectual strides in the class and occasionally quite surprise me by being suddenly (temporarily) open-minded. So.

But during the screening of this film...honestly, I think the best lesson I could possibly do would be if I could have recorded them watching and then de-constructed their comments (read "shred to pieces") in front of the class tomorrow. Today. Whatever. But I can't quite do that, I think. It would be (a) mean and (b) impractical. But, guys, they literally left like this:
Guy A: I have to go watch an action film after this.
Guy B: Yeah, we should watch the scene from [fill in random action movie] where [whoever] blows up the [whatever]--
And so on as they walked out the door. Trying to get rid of the girly germs basically.

I'm thinking I'll begin the class tomorrow by doing a list on the board of qualities in "manly" films and "chick" films. And I'll bet that there will be some de-valuing of overly complex plots, of women placing too much importance on gossip and things that will be classed as "silly," of fashion in general. And I will make the case that the same happens in the "manly" films--because it does, obviously, no one is more concerned with clothes than Ah-nold in Terminator--and they will walk away staunch feminists. All of them.

But, yeah. This class tomorrowtoday could either go really well or really badly.
ifeelbetter: (Default)
★ Stumble Upon sent me to this random picture. I don't know the context of, you know, anything specific at all....but this girl child is everything I have ever wanted to be.

I am assuming there are some legit hordes right off camera that she is leading into battle via swing. I mean. I'm just working off common sense here. That or, like the positive affirmations girl, this kid just has figured out the meaning of life.

★ In other news: there will be a movie called Bonnie & Clyde vs. Dracula.

I think my favorite think about this trailer is the claim that it was inspired by true events. Oh, yes? What events were those? Oooooh, you're talking about that time Bonnie & Clyde killed some vampires. How could I forget? So silly of me!

★ Also. I want the t-shirt that says this:
ifeelbetter: (Default)
So me and my ukulele, Buttercup, have been making progress. I stopped playing for a bit because my little brother made fun of us over Christmas break...but I have recently come to the conclusion that Buttercup and I simply do not care if we are not proper musicians. Lots of lovely people are not proper musicians.

Me and my ukulele...and the Tennessee Waltz. )
Suck on that, bro!

ALSO. Has everyone seen the short film starring Andrew Garfield? YOU MUST. GO NOW.

☆ I think this may be one of the best short films I've ever seen. I was totally fooled by the saccharine-sweet romance at the beginning. I almost closed the browser when it suddenly became so very fascinating. I don't know if I would call this a tragedy, a love story, or a comedy. It could be any of those and about a million other options all at the same time.

The rest of my waffle about this film contains spoilers. Sorry. I couldn't help it. )

It's on Youtube in three parts too. Here's the first one:

PLEASE let me know what you think of this film--I'm endlessly intrigued by it. And Andrew Garfield is, of course, brilliant in it.
ifeelbetter: (Default)
So I am in this trend of incredibly soul-crushingly sad films. It started with the NTLive production of King Lear....then Another Year....then, yesterday, Blue Valentine. Guys, this was supposed to be my Spring Break. I've been told people find Spring Breaks to be fun and whimsical....this has not been the case for me.

Some thoughts on the films I've been seeing... )
I have, of course, been solemn and a tad melancholy since this onslaught of sad films began. I didn't intend it originally. It just sort of happened that Blue Valentine showed up at the same time as Another Year at local indie arthouse cinemas.

It does mean the couple of friends who I shanghaied into watching Another Year and King Lear resolutely refused to join me for Blue Valentine and have sworn an oath to always check the summaries of films I suggest before agreeing to anything in the future.

On top of all this, I just finished reading Hard Times. I ration my Dickens out carefully....the day I finish the last one will be a truly sad day for me. I love my Dickens. So it was sad to tick another one off the list anyway but....DON'T KEEP READING IF YOU WANT AN UNSPOILED PLOT WHEN YOU READ THE BOOK EVENTUALLY WHICH YOU OBVIOUSLY SHOULD DO....there's a killer couple of chapters near the end of the third book. And. Yeah. I'm a Victorianist, right, so I'm no stranger to crying into my books. (God, when I read Ruth the first time I was actually in a cafe and I had to run to a bathroom for a good cry.) So. Book 3, Chapter 6. Be warned. And keep your tissues nearby.

MY POINT. I HAVE A POINT. My point is that I need cheering up. GUESS WHO I LOOKED TO FOR HAPPINESS?

ifeelbetter: (Default)

I didn't know that happened until just now. I have lost all functionability in English because of it--you can tell by the way I'm throwing around madeup words like "functionability" and dropping the hyphen in "made-up"--because, GUYS.

So maybe it's got something to do with the fact that this film just happened to occur the in the same couple of months that I've been obsessing about bromances for my course anyway. Or maybe it's because, hello, my obsession with new technologies is not a new thing. Or that, as completely socially constipated individual, friendship has always been a fascinating and often mystifying topic for me to ponder. I don't know why, is what I'm saying. But this movie....I loved it so.

Like, I love it maybe this much:


Sep. 12th, 2010 08:56 pm
ifeelbetter: (Default)

Just saw the new (original) version with the extra 25 minutes. Can I just say that Brigitte Helm has to most STUNNING eyes ever? And that the hero of the film manages to be incredibly endearing in his equestrian-balloon-pants and floppy hair?

But for serious. Brigitte Helm.

Brigitte. Fucking. Helm. )

That's really all I have to say on the matter.


ifeelbetter: (Default)

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