brothercyst: December 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011

HOLLYWOOD ON FIRE

So last night some pyro or pyros set NINETEEN FIRES in Hollywood and West Hollywood.  Police presence was beefed up because of fears they'd strike again tonight.  And so it seems they have.  This is happening like right now.  From the Hollywood Hills, awake at 4:30 am, I can hear sirens going apeshit and helicopters are buzzing over the hills, close enough that I can feel the house vibrate slightly.  Fucking crazy.  This time it's North Hollywood, apparently.  Switching it up.

Friday, December 23, 2011

1Q84

I asked a friend a while back if he intended to read 1Q84He said, "It's not my fault that Haruki Murakami is still alive and writing books."  I kind of felt the same way.  I did buy it though.  And I cracked it open today and ended up reading the first 125 pages (ie ~ 1/9th of the book) straight through.  So far, it's actually really great.  I'm surprised, somehow, although I don't know why I should be.  The last new-ish book I tried to read was The Night Circus, which completely bored me, although lots of people seem to love it.


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Posted a few words about Sleeping Beauty on HTMLGIANT.  You'll never find it in a theater but it's still on demand and downloadable on Amazon.  See it!  I'm curious what other people think.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

DICK MOMENT

This Charles Platt piece about Philip K Dick's posthumously published notes reminded me of this fantastic, fascinating Philip K Dick speech which I've probably linked to before, perhaps several times, but that's ok, because I like to reread it every now and then.  It is a look at genius touched by madness.

Some books I read since this summer that I haven't written about:
Art of Fielding (pretty good, think Wonder Boys era Chabon with baseball)
You Deserve Nothing (awesome, feels like Salter mixed with Francine Prose)
House of the Scorpion (I liked this, Liz Hand recommended it to me, quite gripping YA)
The Last Werewolf (had its moments)
Lost in Cat Brain Land (insane stories.  "I am Meat, I am in Daycare" was excellent.  I like stories that give me ideas for other stories, and a lot of these did)

Been reclusive, reading, watching movies.  I saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo last week.  My god, was it boring.  Fincher's worst movie, by far.  I was seriously suffering.  I just watched Predators on TV.  That was pretty good.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

"INTERVIEW" AT COLLAGIST

The Collagist did an "interview" with me where the questions are answered via quotes from Fires.  The republished Fires!  Which, like, go buy it.

Today I had a good meeting.  Before that I wrote a little.  I rewatched some of Sleeping Beauty.  Tonight I saw Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.  I have never, never in my life seen a movie whose trailer was so much better than the movie.  The trailer looked just beyond fucking awesome...like the best spy movie ever made.  The movie is a hard, rough, incomprehensible trudge.

I didn't like Shame all that much when I left the theater.  Some of it felt silly, although there are lots of very familiar, recognizable moments (I loved it when the subway train stopped and the doors didn't open).  If it was supposed to be a descent into hell...it wasn't.  It also isn't disturbing or shocking, as advance word had indicated that it would be.  My friend Nic called it "just a hair away from being called Single Man with a Job in NYC."  But I realized I did think about it a lot in the two days since seeing it.

However, Sleeping Beauty is much better.  In fact the more I think about it, the more I think it's extraordinary.  And I think Emily Browning should be getting the same critical praise that Michael Fassbender is (deservedly) getting for Shame.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

GREAT MOVIES I SAW IN 2011

In rough order.

1. Sleeping Beauty

I just saw this.  (It's available on demand even though IFC either just released it in theaters or is about to.)  Fucking mesmerizing...hypnotic.  Like a dream.  Not for everyone.  Most reviewers are mixed or negative.  I loved it, loved it.  


2. Margin Call

Mamet-level writing.  Far-superior-to-Mamet-level filmmaking.  Stellar performances.


3. Take Shelter

Atmospheric, beautiful, scary.  Really upset me.


4. Warrior

Genuinely touching. Hits all the familiar buttons but hits them expertly. Total commitment performances all around. Tom Hardy is a beast.


5. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rupert Wyatt, who I thought disappeared after his amazing debut The Escapist from a few years ago, comes through with a massive-scale blockbuster that has a stand-up-and-cheer/down-with-humans finale.


6. X-Men: First Class
The scene with the quarter was great.  Fassbender was great.  The teeth ripping out of the mouth... the knife flying from his hand in the bar...

7. Win Win
Just a pleasure to sit through.

8. Insidious
Surprised by some genuine scares.  A well-structured script.

9. Bridesmaids
I laughed.

10. Attack the Block
"They're my neighbors.  They protected me."

11. Drive
On here for the opening scene alone.

Haven't yet seen, but might be great:
Shame [update, saw it, strong but it wasn't great] 
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [update, saw it, torture]
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  [update, so fucking boring!] 
The Descendants  [too much narration but Shailene Woodley is good] 
Martha Marcy May Marlene [update, saw it, beautifully shot but I hated all the characters and wanted to shake some sense into them; also it ends without a climax] 
Melancholia [beautiful, somewhat tedious]

Young Adult  [update, saw it, kind of great although a few false notes brought it down] 
Carnage 
Rampart  [very good movie until it just ends with no ending, just like MMMM]

Tyrannosaur
The Skin I Live In