Bits and Pieces

24 Mar

No major post today, just lots of little thoughts rattling around.

  • News – Jesus, what is happening. 
  • Food – Making a chicken under the broiler tonight! I am excite.
  • Hair – Last night I tried the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil conditioning hair masque. It smelled like cookie dough and made my hair amazingly shiny and curly, which is of course ruined by my sleeping on it. I have not mastered the art of “pineappling” and upon removing my scrunchie resemble some kind of slightly flattened tumbleweed. Ah well! I am almost done with the Coconut & Hibiscus products I got, and next I am going to try Dragonsblood & Coffee Cherry, which smells amazing (I’ve been peeping it at Ulta) and is supposed to give curly hair volume.
  • Books – I am reading Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope, which I got for two dollars at the used book store. BEST EVER. I would say it’s helping me cope with the current state of politics, but really it’s helping me hold on to my fantasy that Obama and Biden are setting up a secret shadow government to save us all. It will be run from Biden’s garage, powered mostly by brewskis, and there will be 24-7 grilling in the backyard. When Michelle texts Barry that she’s coming by, there will be a scurry of activity in which bags of Doritos and nacho platters are hastily hidden from sight, and clouds of cigarette (and other!) smoke waved out.

In the meantime, please enjoy this photo of someone’s Grandfather and a goose wearing shoes.

gooseinshoes

GOOSESHOES! 

One day, Nebraska inventor and local kindly person Gene Fleming noticed a goose awkwardly hobbling around his sister-in-law’s yard. Inspection revealed the goose had been born without feet, and it was doing its best to get around on stumps, but its skin was raw and would become infected without intervention. Touched, Mr. Fleming tried to help. After a few false starts, he settled on a pair of leather baby shoes stuffed with cotton slipped over the ends of the goose’s legs. The goose was delighted, and was soon running around the yard unassisted. He was an unusually good-natured goose, and didn’t seem to mind the attention or handling. Unable to stop tinkering, Mr. Fleming continued to improve the shoes.

Andy, as the goose came to be named, enjoyed a short brush with celebrity. He appeared on the Johnny Carson Show, and Nike began sending him free baby shoes. Mr. Fleming carried him around, his head nestled in the crook of his arm, his feet dangling like a child’s on a swing.

Unfortunately Andy’s story ends sadly, so I’ll just cut it off there. Here’s a link to the whole story if you want to depress yourself.  I just focus on the good work of Mr. Fleming and all those people who were delighted by a goose in shoes.

Film Review: Under the Shadow (2016)

17 Mar
undertheshadow2

…and barely hanging on.

Longtime readers of my blog are familiar with my constant complaint that quality horror movies are few and far between. It probably makes me a snob, but the older I get the less interested I am in spending time watching something for the sake of supporting the genre. I just don’t have the patience for fountains of gore and crying teenagers in their underwear unless there is an intelligent twist on it, such as Cabin In the Woods or It Follows. 

Enter Under the Shadow. 

The UK’s entry for foreign language film for the Oscars, it was somehow not nominated. I’ve no idea why, and it’s a shame because this film isn’t just a great scare, it’s important. As I mentioned, intelligent horror films are few and far between, and one with such a riveting premise as Under the Shadow is doubly notable. It’s especially worthy of promotion as the world moves into a more xenophobic phase because it is about precisely that: superstitious thinking. 

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Busy Times – Check Back Next Week!

10 Mar

I got busy this week working on a lot of fiction writing and such, so no post today, unfortunately.

Check back next week for a review of Under the Shadow, a horror film featuring a mother and daughter trying to survive both a vengeful ghost and daily life in 1980s Tehran!

Under the Shadow Poster

See you next week!

Now In Theaters: “Get Out”

3 Mar
getout

“Wish I’d stayed home with Rod and Sid.” ~ Chris, probably

The IMDB description for Get Out is comprised of eleven hilariously understated words:

“A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate.”

Eleven words that anyone with a pulse and/or functioning intellect would understand to be incredibly complex and full of subtextual nuance, especially in the USA.

Chris, a successful photographer in New York, takes a weekend trip with his girlfriend Rose to meet her family at their estate in the country. The trip is off to a troubled start when he asks if her family knows he is black, a point she glosses over as unimportant. She just can’t believe her family would care about such things! Obviously Chris, having a little more experience with such things, has misgivings.

Yeah, he’s right.

Lots of people will go into the theater expecting a horror movie. They will get one, and walk out sated on violence, witty dialogue, and thrilling suspense. It has a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes (I feel very proud that I guessed the one bad review was by Armond White). They will also get a brilliant and subtle psychological thriller that unpacks a variety of racial tensions in the US without doing a disservice to the audience’s intelligence.

Although the action and violence are well-done, for my money the awkward social situations were where the movie really came to life, particularly the dinner scene with Rose’s prep-school/ivy league psycho brother. So did a heartbreaking and also terrifying scene with the family maid, Georgina. Overall the tone in the film is tense and foreboding, and although there are jokes, they are of the nervous laughter type and mostly come from Chris’s interactions with Rose’s vast number of elderly white relatives or Chris’s best friend Rod.

You should totally go see Get Out. Great performances and tight writing all around.  I suspect it will be a sleeper hit, and I cannot wait to see what writer/director Jordan Peele, of Key and Peele fame, does next.

And just because it’s Friday, here’s one of my favorite skits of theirs, which showcases the utterly bugnuts flavor of their comedy, if you are somehow unfamiliar.

My new life goal is to become a character actress just so I can play a creepy white person in Peele’s next movie. I think I’ve got a pretty good shot at ‘scary bar hag’ at least!

 

 

 

Guest Post – ‘Real Artists’ Review by Achariya Rezak

27 Feb

real_artists_art

Hi all! Today I’ve got something really special – my dear friend Achariya Rezak, writer for hockey site SB Nation and master of Jungian archetypes, wrote a review for sci-fi short ‘Real Artists.’ Please enjoy! She’s included a link to the original Ken Liu story, too! 

Title: Cameo Wood’s Real Artists is a Jungian romp through the politics of creation

When I read Ken Liu’s short story, I was immediately struck by his ability to translate our modern discomfort with the uncanny valley into terms of movie making. His short story is about the meta-process of filmmaking, told through the eyes of a “real artist” (“Real Artists” is the title of the film and the short story) Sophia, who has spent her whole life loving — and wanting to work for — a certain film company. Cameo Wood’s twelve-minute short based on this story adds yet another twist, layering on an additional intensity to this parable about creation.

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