The universe holds a special place in its starry heart for comedians. And at the core of its deepest heart, you will find Jacques Tati. Read on, Reader!
I have been pacing the floor for a year, entangled in this theory that Bob Fosse— dancer, choreographer, filmmaker— is at the heart of the American subconscious. Read on, Reader!
I went through puberty in the mid-to-late 1980s, which to this day still feels like a rarefied hell of impossible tight dresses and supermodels with large teeth and big strange hair at odds with gravity. Read on, Reader!
I am trying to keep hold of my sense of humor with both of my sweaty strong little hands. To do that with alacrity, I need to reach into my secret arsenal of books and movies and stories told with the curtains closed and the fans going strong and the dogs panting. Read on, Reader!
Writer Elizabeth Gilbert used to be known as a “man’s writer” until her memoir “Eat, Pray, Love” became a runaway success and pushed her off into the chick lit ghetto. Let me tell you just why Gilbert is one of the contemporary greats and a real writer’s writer. Read on, Reader!
I am sprawled across the tomato bisque colored couch listening to the soundtrack to Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums.
One song slides into another, creating a flawless, cool-hearted, melancholy mood— the handiwork of Mark Mothersbaugh (of Devo who has become a composer and film arranger in a big way in the last 25 years).
There’s very little crash or bang in the soundtracks that Mothersbaugh created for Anderson, which makes them ideal for writing.
They build a solid mood. You can slide forward with them. And they will go along with you, anywhere.
Wes Anderson’s films, notably Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, are three touchstones that I return to again and again when I am trying to figure out some intangible in my own work.
Anderson’s films inspire a really strong reaction in most people.
Folks either lovelovelove his flicks or they hatehatehate them.
One trait shared by the fans and dissenters alike is being LOUD about their feelings about the Anderson oeuvre.
I’m one of the lovelovelove folks, so please forgive me my adoration.
And now, before you commence with your …. Read on, Reader!
Sylvia Plath’s work polarizes people, and violent arguments have been known to break out in college lecture halls over the meaning of her work. Fistfights. Read on, Reader!
I came late to television watching as a pastime. Very, very late.
In fact, I didn’t own a working television set until my mid 20s, and I really didn’t watch that television set with any serious intent for at least three years after its— and my husband’s— arrival in my life.
Before you get weirded out by my limited television upbringing, keep in mind the following facts that are germane to this discussion: I grew up in the 80s and 90s, a time when TV provided such scintillating offerings as Full House and Charles In Charge. I was raised during the end of the era where television went off the air after a certain hour and every TV set sported a spiffy pair of rabbit ears.
Frankly, TV is not that interesting when there are only four channels available and three of them have sitcoms where the lead actor is wearing suspenders and the fourth has the Murfnerp-Larrer Newsing Hour for two hours each evening.
Despite these soft-serve shows, …. Read on, Reader!
That warm musty gold light of a Los Angeles sunset flamed and flared over the dingbat apartments through my useless picture window. Read on, Reader!
Back to my apologies in fake beat-poet form: “Ernie Kovacs! You are the king! Of modern television, both comedy and technology! We owe! A great debt! To your freewheeling genius! And I’m sorry! That! I just! Found out! About youuuuuu!” Read on, Reader!
Women writers are given a lot of dumb advice, but the worst advice ever is this: You cannot be a great writer and have children. (Of course you can. Men do it all the time. ) Writer Shirley Jackson broke this mold for the best of us. Read on, Reader!
Lynda Barry is one of those writers/artists that makes me want to be a better person. And a better writer. Her work also makes me want to shout “OH WOW!” about every three minutes. Lynda Barry is magical. Read on, Reader!
Read Sei Shōnagon and you’ll never again see the act of list-keeping as purely lowly or routine. I learned from Shōnagon that a list—any list—can be a thing of sublime beauty. Read on, Reader!