ceebeegee: (Default)
 ...there's something strange about this timeline, specifically Stacy's pregnancy. Stacy and Mark have their one date in late December (when he leaves the house and looks back, the house is covered with Christmas decorations). A week or so later (Damone says "you fall on the horse, you gotta get back on," or something like that referencing their one date) , Mark and Damone come over to swim in Stacy's pool (the scene where Brad fantasizes about Linda). Then they show Damone getting Stacy's locker open, which helps solidify her crush on him. So, the earliest they could've slept together would've been sometime in January but more likely early-mid February. But it could've been even later--when they're on her house they talk about how the school annuals (yearbooks) are coming out soon, typically an end-of-the-year occurrence. So let's say late February? I'm thinking at least 6-8 weeks before she figures out she's pregnant and books the appointment at the clinic so now we're in mid-late April. That leaves just a month (finals are the beginning of June, per Mr. Hand's note on the blackboard) for the fight between Damone and Mark, the visit to the ME's office which leads to the gradual softening between Mark and Stacy...I don't know, it just all seems a little fast.

Also January is when Spicoli and Jefferson's little brother crash the car and they make it look as though the Lincoln football team deliberately trashed the car, which leads to Jefferson destroying the Lincoln football team in the game. But--in January?  What high school has regular season football games in January? Is that a Southern California thing?

Also--why are Spicoli, Stacy and Brad's girlfriend all in the same history class? Stacy is a freshman--who knows how many times Spicoli has flunked but the girlfriend at least should be a junior.
ceebeegee: (Viola in the water)
Winter soccer starts tomorrow! I are excited, although I'm NOOOOTTTTTT happy about the time--our games are between 9-12 in the morning. UGH. We all know how much of a morning person I am and I flat out told Zachary "expect me to sleep through at least one game," as always happens when we play in the morning. But still, even early morning soccer is better than no soccer!

We have a free agent on our team for the first time (and I'm happy about that, we need new blood!). We met him last night at the kickoff party--he is this adorable skinny ginger Brit who's been in the country for less than a month. I talked about London to him last night and I brought up the '90s movie Sliding Doors, which was on cable last weekend. [The movie came out in '98, a year when Gwyneth Paltrow was the Jennifer Lawrence of the day--she was in EVERYTHING that year, I think at least 4 movies? Sliding Doors, Great Expectations, the remake of the Hitchcock movie with Michael Douglas, and of course my beloved Shakespeare in Love.] Anyway I said to the guy that Sliding Doors is kind of cool, in that it gives us Americans a glimpse of everyday, undramatic, ordinary life in London, lived by Londoners. We see everyday life in, say, NYC or LA all the time in American movies but usually when London is in a film, it's specifically chosen as the setting for something huge and dramatic, or it's historical or something. It's cool to see how life is in another international city. (And oh God, that beautiful clean subway! Jesus wept. HOMESICK FOR LONDON NOW THANKS OBAMA.)

I've actually been toying with the idea of traveling there or somewhere in Europe maybe this year--nah, I don't think it's in the cards. For one thing I have several trips already planned--my college and high school reunions are this year. (My HS is so small we do all-class reunions, which is why it's in an off year. I like it that way, I get to see friends from other years. But it does amount to having to plan for both reunions in the same year.) I'm also toying with the idea of going to Pittsburgh in August to see WAG Nationals. None of these trips are terribly expensive as these things go, but it adds up. Besides I still have to save for my trip to Oslo--I think I've mentioned this already but my brother got posted there so I have to make the trip at some point and see the monsters.
ceebeegee: (Helen of Troy)
So last night I was working out and put on Lifetime on the TV (Pretty Woman was playing). And while I was there I was LUCKY enough to see several airings of the latest trailer for the Lifetime adaptation of Flowers in the Attic, which is airing next month (YAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY). I hung out with Lori last week and we discussed this AT LENGTH--I am a huge fan of the series and know this book pretty much by heart. It is one of my treasured guilty pleasures from my teens and college years. For those who have never read it, it's about a beautiful family called the Dollangangers who go to live with the mother's parents in Virginia when the father dies. When they get there the mother, Corrine, tells the kids (a son of 14, Christopher, a daughter of 12, Cathy, and twins Cory and Carrie who are 5) that they will have to be hidden "for a little while" up in the attic until they break the news to the grandfather that the prodigal daughter has returned (she eloped with her now-dead husband who was in fact her half-uncle). The "little while" stretches on and on into years--and meanwhile the grandmother, who hates the children as products of an incestuous marriage, is violently abusive. She whips them, she puts tar into Cathy's hair as punishment for what she deems vanity, she starves them. Eventually it becomes clear that Corrine just doesn't care about them anymore, certainly not in comparison to the enormous inheritance that awaits her if she can win back her father, and they start to plan an escape. All this while Chris and Cathy are growing up, entering puberty, and the only person of the opposite sex they see is each other...

The book is usually dismissed as teenage trash, and sometimes compared to Twilight. Look, I love me some Twilight but FitA is far, FAR superior. For one thing there is actual character development--Corrine, Cathy and Chris change and grow (or devolve in Corrine's case) very much throughout the book. Chris and Cathy are scarred and changed by the end of the book--in fact Cathy reenacts the events in the attic, relives these issues again and again throughout the rest of the series. [SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT: The grandmother starts poisoning them with donuts--Cory, the sickly one, ends up dying [Corrine and the grandmother's callousness is truly horrific in this scene] and Chris rapes Cathy but she forgives him. The three left alive escape at the end of the book after finding out the grandfather has been dead for a long time--therefore there was no need to keep them locked up other than to protect Corrine's inheritance.] Chris is in some ways even harder hit because he truly cannot love anyone else after they leave the attic--Cathy is the ONLY one he can love. Similarly Carrie is terribly scarred and ends up killing herself with a bite from a poisoned donut, so she can die the same way her beloved twin did. There is a tragic quality to the saga that is ignored I think because of its core audience (teenage girls) and because the narrative voice is so girly and colloquial. It's also fascinating to read how carefully Andrews charts Chris and Cathy's growing attraction to each other--it is very, very subtly done. At first they are play-parents to the twins and he is her knight in shining armor. And very, very gradually he starts to notice her and she him--because there is no one else. There's a scene after they are both whipped--Cathy passes out from the pain and she wakes up in his arms. They cuddle together and he caresses her, starts to kiss her and she stops him.

That night I went to sleep after thinking of his kiss, and not the whipping or the blows from the brush. Swelling up in both of us was a turmoil of whirling emotions. Something sleeping deep inside of me had awakened, quickened, just as Aurora until the Prince came to put on her quiet lips a long lover's kiss.

That was the way of all fairy tales--ending with the kiss, and the happy-ever-after. There had to be some other prince for me to bring about a happy ending.


I was telling Lori how my sophomore year in college we had an extended period of snow--we even had a snow day which was rare for that area. So I was stuck inside quite a bit and feeling *extremely* claustrophobic. Sweet Briar, my alma mater, is in a rural section of Virginia (LIKE FOXWORTH HALL), in the piedmont area, and there is a train nearby which I used to hear at night (LIKE CHRIS AND CATHY USED TO HEAR). One day I was so sick of snow and ice that I drew flowers--roses and tulips and so forth--onto paper and then outlined them with colored yarn and put that up on my dorm walls (JUST LIKE HOW CHRIS, CATHY AND THE TWINS DECORATED THEIR ATTIC WITH PAPER FLOWERS). It hit me--I'm in Virginia, in the country, there's a train nearby, I HAVE LONG BLONDE HAIR AND MY NAME BEGINS WITH C OH MY GOOOOOODDDDDDDDD....So yeah, I had a great affection for Catherine and her messed-up story.

Here is an hilarious take on my beloved book:

He Ain't Sexy, He's My Brother

Okay, back to Lifetime. Now by and large I am happy with the casting--Heather Graham seems dead-on for Corrine, Ellen Burstyn is gonna knock it out of the park as the grandmother and the kid who's playing Chris looks good as well. I am a little concerned about Kiernan Shipka as Cathy though. Shipka, while a fine young actor, is a *character* actor--at least that's how she comes off to me. You need a young leading lady type for Cathy--you need that grace and coltish elegance because she is very much a younger version of her mother (this point is made many times in the book). Think young Natalie Portman (but blonde of course). Or Amanda Seyfried, if she can pull of the fiestiness (Cathy is the only one of the four who calls Corrine on her shit, Chris is far too busy working out his Oedipus complex).



And it is ESSENTIAL that Cathy have LONG BLONDE HAIR--Chris loves her hair, and when the grandmother puts tar on it, he slaves for a day to get the tar off. That's part of how they become closer! And later on they have a conversation about her hair, about how beautiful it is, how he thinks she might have on her head the most beautiful hair in the world--it's as much a character in the book as Janie's in Their Eyes Were Watching God! The four siblings look exactly alike, perfect, fair and blonde--like Dresden dolls, as they're called by the neighbors (and of course the fact that they're inbred contributes to that).



And there's a scene where Cathy sneaks into their mother's bedroom to steal money for their escape and stumbles upon their new stepfather who is dozing. She gazes upon him and then kisses him--and it transpires later that he was only half-asleep, remembered the kiss and thought he was dreaming. [And if you're going to stay faithful to the book you *have* to have this scene as it leads directly to Chris flipping out from jealousy and raping Cathy.] The stepfather remembers her as a kind of princess, looking longingly at him and from the footage I've seen, Shipka has short, light brown hair. She's adorable as Sally in Mad Men but I don't see her as Cathy--YET. I will absolutely keep an open mind because I really want this version to be great. [We're all still recovering from the 1987 debacle--that movie was so terrible, I literally forgot about huge chunks of it after seeing it. Oh GOD was it terrible.]
ceebeegee: (Helen of Troy)
The Exorcist has been playing on TV that past few weeks so I've had a chance to check it out again. Still one of the most terrifying movies of all time, in my opinion. Peter and I talked about it once--it's kind of stunning that movie only won two Academy Awards. Two! It was nominated for a bunch but only won for adapted screenplay and sound mixing. Peter said that when Ellen Burstyn won the following year for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, it was just kind of understood that it was REALLY for The Exorcist, that the Academy was making it right. Okay, so good. But let's look at Linda Blair's performance, which was also nominated for Supporting Actress. This was the year that really showed up what a sausagefest Hollywood was (and is)--there were so few decent roles for women, they had to nominate two little girls to fill out the slate for Supporting Actress.* Another nominee, Candy Clark, was given the nod for her role in American Graffiti--now I happen to love that movie but it's not exactly Long Day's Journey Into Night! Candy Clark's role was kind of insubstantial and fluffy (she was great, don't get me wrong, but not Oscar-bait, IMO). Now looking at the performances of the two little girls. Tatum O'Neal won for Paper Moon, becoming the youngest Oscar winner in history (and smoking out her dad, who wasn't nominated at all for PM! Good, Ryan O'Neal's a tool. A hot tool, but a tool nonetheless). If you watch Paper Moon, Tatum is not exactly a supporting actor--she CARRIES the film from start to finish. I think she's in every scene! And she was nine AND it was her first film. An amazing accomplishment. That said--again, Addie isn't the most difficult role. Tatum was essentially playing herself. So why did Tatum win?

Well, when The Exorcist premiered, everyone was blown away by Linda Blair's performance. This sweet little girl, turning into THAT? (Stephen King's discourse on American horror media, Danse Macabre, talks a lot about this movie, it's very interesting. He connects the surge in "demon child" movies in the mid-'70s [eg., The Omen, It's Alive, etc.] to the lingering fears of the youthquake of the late '60s.) And the voices were a big part of the reaction--the voices are viscerally terrifying. I can't even type out some of those lines, they creep me out so much. Oscar noms came out and Linda Blair got one for Supporting Actress and seemed well on her way to a victory. Then la scandale emerged--Linda hadn't done all of the voice work. A longtime actress, Mercedes McCambridge (I saw her in Giant, James Dean's last film) did much of the voice work and was never credited--Linda's performance was seen as tarnished and the Academy reactively gave it to Tatum. But rewatching it this week--it really sucks that she got caught up in that crap, because she gave an amazing performance even beyond the voice. She literally became another person--she played a fucking demon, for God's sake! She was strapped into that disgusting bed for weeks on end in that freezing room and had to spew pea soup all over everyone! What's really interesting is that she's better (that is, her performance is more compelling and real) when she's possessed than when she's plain old Regan--when she's essentially playing herself. It's just too bad that her career didn't really go anywhere after that so she couldn't get a "makeup Oscar" the way Ellen Burstyn did.

*See also 1976, when Jodi Foster was nominated for Taxi Driver, and Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie were nominated for a genre film--horror, no less!--with Carrie. The Exorcist doesn't really count as a genre film, it goes deeper than that, delving into religion and psychology as well as horror--certainly it's deeper than Carrie. See also: Quinn Cummings, another little girl, nominated for The Goodbye Girl. (She was SO CUTE in that movie--love her!) Also see also: Leslie Browne nominated for her painfully terrible performance in The Turning Point. Oscar had to fill out the slate somehow!

Annie

Nov. 19th, 2012 07:03 pm
ceebeegee: (Vera Ellen)
So I saw the revival of Annie last week with Michael--I thought it was pretty good, although it wasn't quite a home-run.  Annie and the other girls were good, although I had a hard time understanding some of the orphans.  Daddy Warbucks was terrific, as was Rooster. Grace seemed a little grim, frankly!  And Kate Finneran...really didn't do such a good job as Miss Hannigan, sadly--I'm not sure what she was going for but it was kind of a mess.  The show in general was smaller, more scaled-down--one area where that did not quite work was "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile."  The choreography for that number was much more naturalistic than in the original--the girls were playing dress-up with various Miss Hannigan items of clothing (basically an extended joke about being "dressed").  Okay, not a bad idea in theory, and I sympathize with the struggle against such iconic staging--it can be frustrating when you're up against that kind of legacy.  But Smile isn't about naturalism, or character growth/exploration--it just isn't that kind of number.  It's just not.  It's a showstopper--it is designed to showcase the kids and bring a smile to YOUR face as you watch them.  Watch the original number (you can YouTube it, they performed it for the 1977 Tonys)--the audience breaks into applause at LEAST 3 times during the number.  Molly alone gets at least two applause breaks!  They are complete bosses, absolute professionals and the number is just....they're amazing, I literally get chills down my spine watching it because they're SO GOOD, every one of them.  You can't really scale down those kinds of expectations with some kind of naturalistic character piece when we hardly get any time with the orphans as it is, and they don't really stand out to us.  Dude, why fight it?  Don't think too much, just serve up some moppet shtick and and let 'em have their moment ;)

I don't really dislike the movie but I was VERY disappointed that they cut all my favorite songs!  Herbert Hoover, New Deal for Christmas?  Waaaaah!!!!  I love the sarcasm of HH, and New Deal is just so darn cute.  "The snowflakes are frightened of falling/And oh, what a fix! No peppermint sticks!"  SO CUTE.  And my absolute favorite, NYC--what the hell were they thinking, to cut that?  Come on, guys--any director should WANT to stage that number.  It's a crackerjack, with that lilting, bouncy beat and the key changes.  And those lyrics!  My favorite:  "You make 'em all postcards!"  Such a great song!  The other night I was walking uptown to visit Lori and I was playing that on my phone--I started staging it in my head.  So I'm already one up on John Huston ;)  Also--why on EARTH did they cut TOMORROW??  What were they thinking?  You swapped out Tomorrow for such gems as We Got Annie and Dumb Dog? *shaking my head*

I will say about the movie--I think it's disgusting that a bunch of loser fanboys decided to crap on a little kid by "awarding" her a Razzie for that movie.  Does it make you feel better about your pathetic lives that you picked on a 10-year-old girl?
ceebeegee: (Viola in the water)
I've been telling the cast they really should watch The Pirate Movie (and we're planning a viewing party! Thanks to Chris, I own the DVD :) I checked out the imdb entry--you have to love a message board posting whose subject reads ARE YOU PEOPLE HIGH??? (Clearly I'm not the only fan!) I also checked out the "external reviews" section and found this hilarious entry on the site cinemademerde.com.

In the dream we’re back in the 1880s and Kristy is the rich daughter of the major general. The pirates lurk just offshore, a dancin’ and a singin’ like pirates apparently do. This movie was shot at the time, 1982, where if you needed pirates for your movie you just put a flyer up at the local gym, which turns out to yield unexpected benefits for viewers of my persuasion. Yes, the pirates are all muscle guys with mustaches and developed arms and chests, wearing shirts open to their waists, if they wear a shirt at all. This led to a great deal of pause-button use on my DVD remote, all of which was amply rewarded. This is all accompanied by a mildly homo vibe [pirates, hello], and lots of attention to male crotches, noticeable in the bejeweled codpiece of the pirate king.

Ah, the Pirate King's codpiece. I'm getting all happy just thinking about that silliness again. And Fredric's diaper/loincloth...

If you're treadin' water and romance is on the line
Don't you know you have to swallow
Something' more than water
It's your pride!

Ah ha, a-huff and puff
Just to keep love goin'
Ah ha, I've had enough
Of pumpin' and a-blowin'...
ceebeegee: (Vera Ellen)
As I mentioned last month, TTC is remounting The Pirates of Penzance--we're doing it waterside at Frank Sinatra Park. We had auditions right after Memorial Day and are now in the full swing of rehearsals. Interestingly, even though we had fewer people come out this time, the cast is stronger. Our Frederic is TERRIFIC--although not *quite* as strong an actor as Marvin (though still great), he has an amazing voice, absolutely lovely. I cast the same Mabel as before, Jen Connor, who is terrific as always--gorgeous voice and marvelous comic instincts. Dave and I had decided we would open up all the roles (i.e., not automatically offer people their old role)--there were a couple of reasons for this. Mainly because when Dave first wanted to remount it last summer, he got a brushoff vibe--and then when he did a little research, apparently there was annoying backstage drama with some cast members. So whatever, we had open auditions and Jen was 1 of 4 potential Mabels--we had a lot of strong Mabels come out, more than last time. Jen probably had a slight edge since she knew what kind of Mabel I wanted, but still I gave a detailed breakdown of the kind of comedy I was doing, and what I was looking for, and she was definitely the strongest actress. So good for her, she rewon her role! But even better, we have FIVE, count 'em, FIVE pirates, including Paul (who was Rocky in The Rocky Horror Show last fall, total sweetie) and Dylan, (who did tech in Christmas Carol).

Dave is the music director and he ran the early rehearsals; the cast sounds pretty good so far, and of course Dave is so much better than that terrible MD we had last time (he taught them almost nothing--half the cast hardly knew the score after a week). Now we are blocking and teaching dance. Rehearsals are going VERY WELL--we staged "Pour O Pour" and "O Better Far" and they are going to look GREAT. I'm using a lot of the same staging as last time but improving it since I now have much more space and more performers. It is a lot of fun "building" a show with actors--you pre-stage as much of it as you can, but then you have to be open to new possibilites and suggestions. One of our pirates, a guy named Mike Wolff, wants to do a random Russian accent--I immediately said YES and you must also sing in the accent. I said the one person in the audience who will be close enough to pick you out will find that hilarious.

I've been leading the cast in the Pirates mantra--We are not proud. We will throw anything against the wall to see what sticks. As before, I talked to the cast about the two tone-inspirations for my version--Airplane! and The Pirate Movie. About the latter, I said yeah, it's definitely a guilty pleasures--I mean come on, the movie has a song about BLOW JOBS. But still, they will throw anything out there to make you laugh. Crotch jokes? Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark references? A food fight? Whatever works, man. I have to admire that kind of sunny willingness to debase oneself in the service of comedy!

Working with the daughters tonight--they're learning "Climbing Over Rocky Mountain" and "O Is There Not One Maiden Breast?" I just love this score so much. I really have to do my all-female version so I can sing the Pirate King!

Miscellany

Apr. 27th, 2012 04:58 pm
ceebeegee: (coach)
To Rachel (whom I know loves her) and Paula and everybody:

What. The. Fuck?  Noooooooo!  There's a BJ store near where I did my kid's show on the Upper East Side and I used to splurge on one of her pretty little sweaters every spring--the yellow polka-dotted sweater I wore to Rachel's shebang a few years ago was hers.  Nooooo!  I love her stuff!

I have to get a fashion icon.  Well, my Coach icon will do for now.

Read The Hunger Games this week--wicked!  Great story, great execution.  Although I didn't forsee how it would end--I thought something else would happen.  And does anyone else totally get a Slytherin vibe from the Careers?  Katniss is obviously a Gryffindor (fire, chivalrous) and Peeta is a Hufflepuff.  The boy from District 3 who's good with explosives is a Ravenclaw.  I'm going to try to catch the movie this weekend.

I saw Titanic 3-D.  The 3-D is *excellent,* well worth the extra $.  The scene on the water in the aftermath, when they're waiting for the lifeboats to come back, is especially great with the effects--you really feel as though you're there.  Still think Cal has hottter chemistry with Rose, although I believed Rose and Jack as a couple a little bit more.  Mainly because they're both such good actors.  It's kind of...awful, BTW, that Rose lets her mother think she's dead.  I can see why she felt she had to do it, because it's the only way she could have her life, but still...her mother isn't THAT bad, she's just stuck in a terrible situation and sincerely believes that's the only way out, and frankly she's not a horrible mother for thinking that way.  Most mothers would've done the same thing, especially since I doubt Cal shows his abusive side around the mother.  I hope at some point Rose wrote her a postcard or something, letting her know she lived.

But oh my Lord, you have to feel for the actors who play Jack's friends.  At least the Irish guy gets to be snarky--the Italian guy just has the absolute SUCKIEST lines.  "I-uh see the statue-uh of Liberty!"  All he's missing is a pizza in his hands as he dances around singing Abbondanza!

I REALLY want that beautiful green comb that Rose wears.  (Not that it would stay in my stick-straight hair!  But it's so beautiful...)

HATE the obnoxious guy with the beard--his part is just soooo terribly written and he is terrible in the role.  Yes, people like that exist, insensitive people, treasure hunters, etc. but really, after his "fine forensic analysis" NO ONE said anything reprovingly to him?  No one shot him a "hey jerk, STFU, this actually happened to her, it's not 'cool'" look?  Cameron's script TRIES TOO HARD.  The bad guys are too obviously bad and the good...well, Rose and Jack are pretty nuanced but the steerage passengers are all grimily noble.

People need to shut it about the damn door.  There was room but no bouyancy--it wouldn't have held both of them, that's established that when they both try to climb on and it flips over.

I loooove that scene, that endless delineation, when she is dying and hears the lifeboat.  She hears it--and I love how it's muted and changed because she is that close to death.  Slowly, slowly she realizes, and there's that heart-breaking moment where she doesn't get it, that Jack is now dead.  And when did that happen?  Surely he was dying when he told her not to give up.  She finally realizes and then it seems she gives up--she's just going to lie there and give in to despair and go with him.  But then, no--slowly, she forces herself to keep her promise.  It's a great sequence--something about that process, that here's where she makes that decision, here's where it could go either way, is fascinating to me.

Still love that ending.
ceebeegee: (soccer)
Are these people crazy? JAWS, obviously! That movie defined the summer blockbuster! (And I have a personal love for it, since we had a house on the Vineyard and I saw many of the filming locations personally. I also looooove the novel--I read it at way too young an age (10) and just devoured it, extra-marital sex and all.)

Soccer was fun last night. I was one of the co-captains of my team and a girl named Blair, whom I've gottten to know a bit (I've seen her at other pickup soccer games and ran into her and her BF last weekend on the subway platform--she is a *terrific* forward, handles the ball very well and scores a lot) was on my team. This is sort of unusual, two females on one team--usually the organizer, Dale, spreads them out. The other team members--we chatted a bit before the games started--seemed chill.

We smoked the first two games--6-3 and 3-0. (In this format, we have six teams and play 3 30-minute games.) I was playing left wing as usual, and was setting up some decent shots (I had two assists) and getting off some good ones, but nothing went in. My knee locked badly during the first game and one of our opponents very sweetly carried me to the sideline. Somewhat embarrassing but very chivalrous! I went back in after it stopped hurting. Second game much the same (although no knee pain)--lots of shots but nothing went in. It became a thing after awhile, my team was like "you *are* going to score!" Third game we played a pretty good team and there were some kind of annoying remarks about the "females" and the "girls" and I think they thought they were joking but that gets old pretty quickly. A LOT of them were international, that might have something to do with it. At any rate, at one point a shot of mine went wide and went behind the pitch. As I ran after it, I was annoyed at myself and kicked it very hard into the (unused) net that's also behind the pitch (i.e., not the goal itself). One of the opponents said "ha ha, an angry female, we don't like angry females." I took a breath, smiled, and said "I don't care what you like." He actually took that pretty well and laughed.

HOWEVER. One of my teammates gave me a good pass and I took a shot from somewhat far out and it. went. in. My whole team was cheering--one of the guys grabbed me and said "we won!" hilariously. So cute! Then a few minutes later I scored another one!

I scored TWO goals in one game!

So, so happy! Even better that it happened against a team of male chauvinists :)

There was a bench with a few spectators at our end of the field and after the game one of them, a young Mexican guy (no older than early 20s) chatted me up, talking about the game and females playing and all. He seemed very admiring--I couldn't quite read the vibe but it was sweet. He was thinking about joining up with the pickup league and we talked about the different fields throughout the city--I told him that Inwood Hill Park had only one, crappy, pitch, but the baseball fields were pristine! (This is because Inwood is primarily Dominican--he was like "yep, the Dominicans are more into baseball.") As I was leaving to rejoin my team he said "okay girl, go and do your thing." So cute!

Titanic

Apr. 13th, 2012 01:29 pm
ceebeegee: (Beyond Poetry)
I'm writing up a Clio entry on the Titanic and just had to share this thought--Rose had MUCH more chemistry with Cal than she ever did with Jack. The whole scene where she and Jack are getting to know each other, when they're strolling on the deck and she's looking at his pictures? Cringe-inducing. THIS is supposed to lay the groundwork for her life-changing decision to throw in with him? HE'S TEACHING HER TO HOCK LUGIES. Nothing says sexy like seeing phlegm fly out of your beloved's mouth! The drawing scene when he's sketching is hot, but mainly because of Old!Rose's voiceover--i.e., we get inside Rose's head. The big problem is that she seems so much more mature than he does--Rose dresses older, she looks older, she looks bigger, she talks like a woman. He looks and sounds like a boy, she comes off as a woman.

Now Rose with Cal? HOTTT. (I love it when he says "Rose is displeased...what to do?"). I definitely think she could have schooled him on his disdain for Picasso and the like. He was crazy about her, even if he was a psychotic abusive prick. So don't marry him, Rose--but don't kick him out of bed ;) I think Rose and Cal would've worked better 100 years hence, when he didn't have quite so much male privilege on his side, and she would have more options.

I think finding a starlet from old Hollywood was a cool idea, but Gloria Stuart really looked nothing like Kate Winslet, and I don't think she was much of an actor. (Frankly I thought the Supporting Actress nom should've gone to the woman who played Rose's mother. SHE was great.) There's a way to deliver some of those awful lines like "you mean, did we 'do it'?" (*shudder*) You have to say it impishly--it's Rose stooping to conquer, Rose having fun with her aristocratic background and demeanor. You can't say that line flatly and informationally or it just dies because it is really a terirble line!

I do love that final scene--very sweet, her seeing all the rest of them in her dream (or maybe rejoining them, if she actually dies then).

Miscellany

Feb. 9th, 2012 03:57 pm
ceebeegee: (soccer)

This makes me ridiculously happy.  I don't even LIKE McDonald's (unless I'm in Spain for nine months--I frequently indulged in a McChicken during my cruise ship contract) and I almost never go in there.  But Shamrock Shakes!  They make me happy because they taste good and they're about St. Patrick's Day!

Bart called me this morning--he has tickets for Merrily We Roll Along for this Saturday afternoon, but sadly I can't go with him.  VERY sad, I love that show!  What a fantastic, inventive score--I LOVE "Our Time" and the lead-in to the reprise of "The Hills of Tomorrow":

It is the obligation we have been given.
It is to NOT turn out the same.
It is to grow, to accomplish--
To change the world.


Bart told me that 1) his partner Walter knows Lonnie Price (the original Charlie Kringas) and 2) Lonnie Price was the obnoxious hotel heir in Dirty Dancing!  "He said 'What does he have that I don't have?' And she said 'Two hotels.'"

I went to the doctor Tuesday and they referred me to a cardiologist.  They didn't seem too worried, though--guess I'm not about to have a heart attack!  The nurse was taking my information--I filled one of these out when I first started going there but I guess they were updating everyone's info.  All the questions about cancer, thyroid, etc.  I was like no, no, no.  Heart disease?  Oh yes.  Ohhhhhhh yes--my father's side of the family is riddled with heart disease.  My grandfather (heart attack, then later died of a coronary), my uncle (several heart attacks), my father (angioplasty), my brother had some kind of scare, a couple of my aunts.  OH yes.  So it's--weird to feel my heart beating, a little sobering.

I have put the Meetup soccer games on the back burner for now for a couple of reasons.  No. 1), they're hard to get to, 2) the style of play is VERY intense.  3 30 minute games with NO substitutions is a lot for me--I'm just not in that kind of shape.  But I want to be and I will--those games are something to work towards.  So I researched and found another league, the New York Social Sports Club.  The style of play is less intense (2-18 minute halves WITH substitutions) and they emphasize the social aspect quite a bit.  The league sets up a relationship with a nearby bar and we're encouraged to hang out there after the game, we get discounts on pitchers, etc.  In theory this is a cute idea.  But this bar's set up kind of blows.  Instead of hanging out on the bottom floor which has cute small bar tables and dim lighting, they open up the 2nd floor which has super-bright flourescent lights and tacky long plastic tables.  And the discounted pitchers?  For BUD.  And BUD LITE.  Guh-ross.  Not worth the calories!  Still though, the other people on the team are cool.

 



How adorbs are we!  This was after our first game which we lost--but we won the next two.  The kids on it are a fun group but they are KIDS--I am Grandma next to them!  It is frustrating too that my skills haven't come back yet--I seem to have lost the ability to kick left-footed.  I'm doing okay but have not scored a goal yet.  We have practices on Saturdays but now that rehearsals for The Vagina Monologues have started, it's difficult for me to attend. 

Yes, I'm directing The Vagina Monologues for TTC.  We're nearly a week into rehearsals; it's going pretty well so far, although there has been DRAMMER.  I can't talk about it, obviously.  Let's just say doing a show with this many amateurs has its challenges!

Start Trek

Nov. 21st, 2011 06:47 pm
ceebeegee: (Massachusetts foliage)
I watched Star Trek again last week and something occurred to me.

That opening sequence, when Kirk's father is trapped on the ship as the others are escaping and as his time is running out, he hears his son being born and is able to say "I love you so much--" one last time? Whether or not Abrams and the writer intended it, the sequence is an echo of 9/11. That is exactly what so many of the victims experienced.
ceebeegee: (Harry Potter)
So, Ashley and I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 Friday night.

LOVED it. Here Be Spoilers )

There was a family in front of us on line with two adorable girlnerds (one had the lightning scar, the other had spectacles). They had only seen the movies, hadn't read the books, so they had no idea what was going to happen. Afterwards we ran into them again and I had to explain why Snape and Lily stopped being friends.

Hogwarts' Rate Your Professors page!

Friday

Jul. 11th, 2011 07:30 pm
ceebeegee: (Harry Potter)
I got my TICK-ets
For Harry POT-ter
La la la LA la [/childish singsong of celebration]

The Wiz

Jun. 17th, 2011 12:59 pm
ceebeegee: (oz)
So I Netflixed The Wiz and watched it this week for the first time since I was a kid. WHOAH. Very, very strange movie--I've never seen the original stage version but Duncan said it was very different...and I guess it's set in Kansas? Which is sort of weird as well--Kansas is pretty white, isn't it? I will say, I like that they reset it in NYC, and there's a lot to explore there. But why make it so freakishly terrifying? That subway sequence, AAAAHHHH! Good Lord, it is terrifying! Creepy homeless peddler guy with his puppets that get bigger...and bigger...and then start CHASING them, Jesus! And then the trash cans and even the pillars start attacking them! Why in the hell would they make this for kids? That's actually my biggest criticism of the movie--it is not appropriate or interesting for kids (a very cold-feeling movie), and I don't get the G-rating. There are way too many long, boring stretches--what was in the LA water in the late '70s, Star Trek: The Motion Picture has the same problem.

But I don't think it's horrible, and I think its imdb rating (4.7) is way too low. It's got a definite adult sensibility--the part when they reach the Emerald City, with those gyrating disco dancers, is wild! Oz goes to Studio 54. I also liked the reinterpretation of the poppy scene, crack hos seducing them with heroin. (Again, this is for kids?!) The cabs--one of the "external reviews" listed in imdb said something about how this was a joke on how you can never find a cab when you need one in NYC. Uh, I thought it was about how specifically black people have a hard time getting cabs to stop, not that they're never around. (Which is also very clever.) Michael Jackson is fantastic as the Scarecrow--in fact the Tinman and Lion are also terrific. (Sadly, Diana Ross is deadly dull as Dorothy and far too old. Stephanie Mills would've been cute as hell.) Some of the numbers are great--I especially loved the Munchkin number with all those cheering, tumbling moppets. (Although when the first Munchkin reveals how they were "imprisoned"--they were caught tagging the playground and turned into graffiti--I had a sneaking sympathy for Evermeane. Little shits, stop vandalizing public property!)
ceebeegee: (Beyond Poetry)
Also, last week for class we read Henry V and watched bits of it in class, both the Olivier and the Branagh. Haven't seen the Branagh since it first came out in '89--it's quite good! I definitely prefer it to my Olivier--I have very mixed feelings about the quality of Olivier's films (perhaps I should say their success--as I emailed to my professor:

Olivier's Shakespeare adaptations have always tried to bestride both theater and film--NOT always successfully! ("To be or not to be" CANNOT be a voiceover, what was he thinking? Shakespeare's lines are too theatrical to be believable as thought, they *must* be spoken aloud. Declaimed, as it were!)

And the 1944 H5 is sooo cheesy, with its forced humor during the Salic law scene, and that Globe framework. Just doesn't work for me, although I do like Olivier's Richard III--hottt! I like how he split up the wooing scene, makes it *infinitely* more believable that Anne finally succumbs. Only Olivier could make Humpback Dick hot!

Anyway we looked at it specifically WRT Laws of War--since the 1944 was meant as British propaganda, they left out the Harfleur speech and the speech where Henry has the French prisoners executed. Branagh's version, which of course is much darker (they called it "the post-Falklands Henry V"), has both scenes (I believe--I know he has the Harfleur scene, he chews up the scenery, masticates it within an inch of its life, and spits it out again). We compared the Agincourt speech, even though it doesn't address Laws of War, just because it's so good. (Hilariously, Olivier's Agincourt is all sunny--uh, the rain and the mud is WHY the English won, guys! The French cavalry got stuck in the mud and the English archers finished 'em off.) The professor compared the long shots in the Olivier to the closeups in the Branagh, saying this is why Olivier is the better actor. I emailed him:

Do you really see the tight camera closeup on Henry in the St. Crispin Day speech as bad acting? That speaks to more Branagh's directing than his acting--and really, that's just a different style....Branagh's Henry V shots and editing are more cinematic. I also think his take on the text is more a look at Henry the man--his development from Prince Hal the carouser to a King in every sense of the word, whereas Olivier's movie had a wider focus.

He replied:

I make that point about Olivier simply for the sake of an audience that has probably never seen him and is likely to be wowed by Branagh's eyes (a student last year practically swooned) and stirring
music and the reaction shots of Brian Blessed.


As I said, I hadn't seen it since it first came out, but I really liked what I saw (again) so I watched some more last night on YouTube. OH MY GOD. The wooing scene. The wooing scene. Kenneth, marry me now. NOW. When he walks around the table saying "Oh Kate, nice customs curtsy to great kings..." I...I cooed out loud. So, so cute. O anonymous student from last year, I am RIGHT there with you!

And on a fairly random note, I *love* how little English names have changed in 600 years. We STILL are naming our princes and princesses Catherine and Henry. And Edward and Margaret and Elizabeth and William...
ceebeegee: (St. Patrick's Day)
St. Patrick's Day coming up soon, yay! I am looking up Irish knitting patterns in honor of the season--I bought two Aran sweaters back in Dublin but you can never have too many Irish sweaters. I like this one.

Just finished (re)watching 2005's Kingdom of Heaven. Okay, the history is sort of crap--it really, really wasn't just Frankistani = bad, Musselmen = good. Very simplistic view of the Crusades, although it does get you interested in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. And holy crap, Reynald de Chatillon! Pretty much WAS that bad. Saladin didn't suffer fools gladly. The leprosy stuff, though--leprosy wasn't genetic, even then they knew that. It was contagious, that's why lepers were quarantined. I love the bitchslapping Baldwin IV gives Reynald.

But the best parts were the battles! Especially the siege of Jersualem--I'm starting to think I should've gone to the Naval Academy after all (I did consider this for a time in high school, my dad's uncle is friends with Bush Sr. and Daddy told me he would be able to get me the appointment). Battle tactics are very interesting--they never change. It's all the same principles. The cinematography in the siege of Jerusalem was GREAT, especially when they start shelling the walls with FIREBALLS. From trebuchets! You see it from the defenders' POV at first, and you just see this glowing orbs approaching and then they hit and you realize what just entered the walls. And THEN they pan over to these glorious, towering trebuchets, these precise, elegant machines of war and death, swaying back and forth and snapping these fireballs over the walls. Trebuchets were *very* accurate because you could make the counterweight larger or smaller.

The only real change I can think of in battle tactics in the last 3000 years would have to be the introduction of air attacks, which combine artillery and cavalry (you can shell and you can use your plane as an intrument of blunt force although although only as a suicide maneuver). Which makes me wonder how the hell Leningrad held off for two and a half years. Against the Wehrmacht *and* ground troops? Supposedly defense is the inherently stronger position in war but not when your fortifications are THAT porous! It's pretty incredible.

I'm on a couple of history listserves at Columbia, and they're having an event next week--an inaugural event for a group called Quadrivium, which explores medieval history along with other disciplines. My professor from last semester who taught Medieval Intellectual Life, will be one of the panelists.
ceebeegee: (Southwest cactus)
It assigns a movie for each state (although skipping DC). Some of them make you go hmmm:

Florida: Scarface? I would've gone with Wild Things.

Georgia: Deliverance? Unh-unh, the little-known gem (but guilty pleasure) The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia. Yes, they made a movie out of it, starring Kristy McNichol, Dennis Quaid and Mark Hamill. No, it has really nothing to do with the song, except that both have shootin' and good ol' boys.

Missouri: REALLY unfair to stick them with Jesus Camp, especially if you reuse JC for another state. Should've gone with Meet Me in St. Louis.

Washington State: First Blood??? I thought that took place in upstate New York?

Vermont: What the hell is Super Troopers? How about--HELLO--White Christmas? "This is Vermont, New England's winter playground?"

Louisian: Never even heard of Southern Comfort. I'm going with The Big Easy.

South Carolina: Glory? Hmmm. I would've gone with one of the movies based on Pat Conroy's books, like The Great Santini or The Prince of Tides.
ceebeegee: (Vera Ellen)
So I saw Black Swan a few weeks ago. WOW. Highly, highly recommended for anyone who loves dance and over unafraid drama. Black Swan takes its tone from the genre it depicts--ballet is like opera, rich stories that wallow in pure emotion. It's about a young soloist at some NYC company (either ABT or City Ballet) who is cast in the double role of Odile/Odette in the upcoming production of Swan Lake--the director isn't quite convinced, as Natalie Portman's character is pretty uptight (perfect for Odette, the goody-goody White Swan--not so much for Odile, the evil Black Swan. In the course of trying to embrace her inner black Swan, Natalie undergoes a transformation and basically goes mad. It's gloriously imaginative and high-strung and very, very disturbing in places. At one point NP's character has a hangnail and she pulls at it, just pulls it right off--I had to look away, it looked so painful. There are some other thoroughly creepy scenes as well, some fantastic in nature, and others all too believable. There are a couple of times where the movie takes some real out-there risks but they pay off--one shot in particular* (scroll down for spoiler) during her performance just blew me away.

It draws on several influences including Showgirls (yes, really...) and The Red Shoes (brilliantly)--I love seeing all these movies that actually examine what it is to be an artists (Shakespeare in Love is another one), what we do for art, what defines the artist. One of my favorite exchanges in TRS: Lermontov asks Vicky "why do you want to dance?" She asks him in return "Why do you want to live?" He replies "I suppose because I must." She says--"that's my answer too." Similarly Nina says to her director "I want to be perfect." Unafraid, overt, passionate--I love the complete lack of irony, the sincerity, the passion.


















*That panning shot showing her transforming into the Black Swan during Act 3--you see her walking around with this dreamy look on her face and the gooseflesh on her arms becoming pronounced. GOD, what a shot!

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