Aside

I’m a very manly Muppet

Saturday night, B. and I finally watched The Muppets movie. And sure, the story is cliché, but oh my, did I love it from the very first moment they broke into song. Jason Segal and Amy Adams are just perfect as Gary and Mary.

But the most awesome part is in the second half. I actually gripped B.’s arm when Jim Parsons–aka Dr. Sheldon Cooper from our favorite show–appeared. I embedded it for your viewing pleasure. (Beware of spoilers, though it’s nothing you can’t guess from the first five minutes of the movie.)

“Are you a man or a Muppet?” was a frequently-heard line around these parts this weekend. Preferably with over-dramatic hand gestures, because the only thing better than watching a cheesy movie is reenacting it, as often as the spirit leads you. (In my case, every minute or so. I’m kind of waiting for B. to tell me to stop, as he’s been amazingly patient up till now. We’ll see how long it lasts.)

end of an era (or not)

All over the internet, you can read posts about how the final Harry Potter movie spells the end of one generation’s childhood. My generation, I guess. But I don’t feel the same way, not by far. Sure, I grew up with Harry Potter, and I devoured the books. But then, I grew up with a lot of books, and although I’ve read the Harry Potter series multiple times, I never dressed up in a cape to go to the midnight screening of the newest movie. I didn’t even bother to see any Harry Potter movies until last year. And perhaps that is where the difference lies.

Last year, when the first part of the final movie came out, I did a movie marathon weekend with friends, watching them all before going to the theater. (We’re doing the same next week to usher in the final movie.) That was awesome, but I don’t mind not having watched them earlier. Books is where it’s at for me, I guess is my point.

I do, however, have very fond memories of reading the final installment. I was away at college by then, living in a dorm-type apartment complex, and me and my peers were internet-savvy enough to have pre-ordered our books weeks or months before. So the mail man came by with a great big stack of books, obviously wondering why  he was having to deliver so many identical packages to one apartment building. (For the record, when I gleefully exclaimed, “It’s the final Harry Potter!” he still looked confused. Obviously not of my generation.) I finished the book in a single afternoon, racing through the pages to get to the end. And then, the next morning, I walked to the grocery store, bought some cherries, and sat in the park rereading the book, now savoring every word, and eating my cherries, totally happy. It was one of the best days I had that summer and I remember it every time I open the book.

Of course, that could also have had something to do with the cherry stains now eternally embedded in my book..

on gran torino and valentine’s day

B. and I did Valentine’s Day a day early, since we both had things to do that Monday. (As an aside, we are probably not the only ones to claim to not celebrate Valentine’s Day yet to get together in honor of it, even if it is low-key.) We didn’t really have anything special planned – we went for a run like we often do on the weekends, came home for dinner at his place, watched a movie. The movie was Gran Torino – at first sight, not the most romantic movie. But it turned out to fit the day perfectly.

Gran Torino is a Clint Eastwood movie, and a really good one. Clint Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, one of the few Americans left in a neighborhood quickly filling up with Asians (in this case, Hmong). He is hostile towards everything and everyone, but gradually and unexpectedly strikes up a friendship with the kids next door. It’s not your typical “curmudgeonly old man is softened by kid’s presence in his life and learns to love himself and others” plot; it holds a few surprises and ends quite differently than I thought it would. And it’s really about love, the love you can hold for someone else, someone different than you, someone not of your blood but more tied to you, in the end. It’s beautiful, and funny, and sad. It almost broke my heart. And it was a perfect way to celebrate love,  and how real love  is bigger than you and makes you do things you never thought you could.

i’ve been analyzing culture for too long

Just now, Comedy Central was showing Driving Miss Daisy (from 1989). It’s a lovely movie in its own way, even to modern standards, but I couldn’t lose myself in it. Not because the acting was bad, or the plot was superficial, or the dialogue sounded scripted. But because I couldn’t get my brain to stop focusing on all kinds of themes and motifs central to the film, the most important one being the reason why it focused on the relationship between a Jewish lady and her black driver (I can offer you several reasons at first glance, the most obvious one being that Jews and blacks are both known for their outsider position in American society). I found myself reaching for an imaginary pad of paper and a pen every three minutes to jot down notes on all the symbols and otherwise significant events I could see on the screen, as if I was going to write a paper on it any day now. (As a side note, it’s too bad I’m not. This would make a wonderful counterpart to a paper I once wrote on black-Jewish relations in The Human Stain by Philip Roth for my Jewish-American Fiction class. And yes, I can remember most of the topics I wrote papers on. I’m sorry. I just really liked doing them all.)

I guess this proves I really earned my MA degree. And I wonder what I’m going to do now that I can’t channel my creative energy into academic papers. Probably make all of you sit through my every thought on American culture..

because here at EAT.SLEEP.READ.LOVE., we aim to please.

(ourselves, if no one else.)

this is genius.

You need to stop what you’re doing and watch this.

I watched it twice.

And I thought about how well I’ve been conditioned by the movie industry. Because I felt myself becoming invested in the characters, and wishing the movie had actually been made. I heard the brilliant satire and yet, and yet, I fell for it. On the bright side, this does prove that whatever my faults, I am not a snob when it comes to movies.

feminist pass

A couple of weeks ago (something like that) I did a quick post on Disney and feminism. A while later, I came across this post, in which the writer explained that a Disney movie was her first introduction to the suffrage movement. She included a scene of the movie, which I, in dashing off that earlier post, had totally forgotten about. So to balance things out, and also for your entertainment, I bring you: Mrs. Banks.

filmreview

In my Contemporary American Fiction class, we watched “No Country for Old Men” and then read Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. NCfOM is based on another McCarthy novel, so we were asked to contrast the two. Although I didn’t like Blood Meridian very much (way too postmodern for me), NCfOM did intrigue me (although 10:30 on a Friday morning is not perhaps the best time to look at scene after scene of violence. I would say senseless violence, except that, of course, the violence was meaningful for some of the characters). I’ve posted my thoughts behind the cut.

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