In the time since I’ve last posted, I’ve finished off exam week (three exams in one day, woo!), finished off graduate school in Paris, and moved out of France. I’m now in the middle of visiting family in Spain. That is, until Friday (it’s Wednesday evening now), when I will be taking the plane back home to the Greater Boston area. Where I will be for a week (a week coinciding with the spring break of one of my best friends!) before moving back to Manhattan to begin a second internship/trial period at IFF as a fine fragrance evaluator.
I’m very exhausted and I’m not sure how often I’ll be posting as all this gets gearing up (despite having so many ideas- recommended links! my dreams for the future! movies that have already come out that I want to see! things I’m looking forward to at home! things I’m going to miss in Paris!) but I would like to slide in a few amendments to previous posts.
The first amendment: An addition to my favorite films of 2019.
I cut off my list of favorite 2019 films at 8, but since then I was lucky enough to see the French submission to the Oscars for best foreign film, Les Miserables. There is a lovely group in Paris that shows French and other international films with English subtitles- they’re called Lost in Frenchlation. If you’re in the Paris area you should definitely check them out.
So Les Miserables. Not an adaptation of the classic novel, but a film that takes places in the same area of Paris, Les Bosquets, and looks at the tense relationship between the police and the largely North African and Muslim neighborhood they patrol over the span of a few days. It’s very powerful and I very much recommend it.
The second amendment: Three additions to my anticipated films of 2020:
Minari: A family drama seen through the eyes of a seven-year-old Korean-American boy whose father moves the family from California to rural Arkansas to learn to farm and make a better life.
Respect: A biopic profiling legendary singer-songwriter Aretha Franklin.
The teaser trailer was stunning and Jennifer Hudson deserves a break, post-Cats.
Passing: Two white-presenting black women are forced to confront their own choices, and each other, after they reunite to learn one is living as a white woman and the other as black.
I feel like I’ve seen and liked another Nella Larsen adaptation, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was.
I watched the remake of 3:10 to Yuma last weekend and really enjoyed it much more than I was expecting to (insert horrible pun about eating crow/Crowe here). And it made me realize that Russell Crowe is actually a pretty good actor? And one that I kind of enjoy watching?
So I took a trip through his IMDb page to take a quick account of the films he’s done, what I’ve seen, and my final plus/minus sheet.
Watched and enjoyed:
- 3:10 to Yuma: Don’t get me wrong, this film is NOT as good as the original. And they change the ending. But it’s a good film, a good modern Western (and there are so few) (GUYS I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE HOSTILES), and the fact that he plays outlaw Ben Wade with a capability even approaching that of the legendary Glenn Ford… good on you Russ.
- A Beautiful Mind: Math O.O
- Gladiator: “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!” Reader, I was.
- LA Confidential: Yep, sure.
Watched and didn’t enjoy so much:
- The Nice Guys: Like LA Confidential, but irritating and worse.
- Les Miserables: Les Miserables is a great book. Les Miserables is a great film (1998, Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush). Les Miserables is a great musical. Les Miserables should not be a book turned into a musical turned into a film. It’s not sustainable. Hefty and overdone, tbh.
- The Insider: This was too ‘manly’ for me, honestly. Kind of like Se7en. That should be a separate list. I need to think about what it means to me when I call a film ‘too manly’. Because that’s not a helpful description, but maybe you get me?
Spring boarding off my post of yesterday, I decided to write a post about the longest books that I have read. At least the longest books that I’ve read and would recommend. It’s a list that makes me feel accomplished (I read so many words!) and kind of nervous, because maybe I’ve already finished all of the best long books… It’s hard to know whether you’re going to die before you finish reading everything you want to, or whether you’re eventually going to find a place where you’ve found and read all of the things that appeal to you most. Both strike terror into my heart.
I once again cut off the list at 800 pages, with the lengths given according to Amazon.com. Some books I real (Moby Dick, The Woman in White, etc.) felt like they should be in here but are apparently not so long as I imagined. Or perhaps Amazon is selling them as large-paged books with tiny fonts? Anyway, they must be omitted, no matter how exquisite and verbose they seemed. Continue reading “Intimidating and Read”
Let’s wrap this one up! I have something like eight authors to go through on this round (and eight is my favorite number) so let’s get started.
Namely, her hazy and suspenseful fiction. You may have read The Lottery, an excellent short story. You may have been introduced to her, as I was, through We Have Always Lived in the Castle. There’s a cat in that one. And a character named Connie (more people should be named Connie). Funnily enough, a friend who actually asks for and heeds my book recommendations tells me that the Connie in this book reminds him a lot of me. And I’m flattered- which says something about the character but possibly more about me because (spoiler) she’s quite possibly poisoned her family. Also a girl whose nickname is Merricat, which is kind of freaking awesome. The Haunting of Hillhouse is also really really good. And the movie is good but diverges from the book regarding some important plot/character developments- but both are enjoyable and gorgeously atmospheric. I have to admit that I like her nonfiction less (Raising Demons and Life Among the Savages are about her family life and I think her husband and children sound impossible to live with (and she does too, tbh)) (But also I’m a misanthrope so maybe don’t take my word for it?) If you’ve disentangled my convoluted parentheses, points to you! Continue reading “My Favorite Authors: An Added Addendum”