Monday, December 31, 2007

my favorite film of the year


my favorite film of the year, by far, is the diving bell and the butterfly (le scaphandre et le papillon). it is a tremendous feat in filmmaking wherein the camera ceaselessly becomes the eye--the sole eye of the debilitated protagonist and the eye of the viewer. it is a mastery of imagery, color, and humor despite the unpredictable challenges that make up life. there is no doubt in my mind why julian schnabel won the award for best director at cannes.

best of this and that

now that we're rapidly approaching the start of a new year, everyone seems to be compiling lists of what they liked best about 2007. a google search for "best of 2007" yielded results ranging from best websites of the year to best blogs of the year. i also stumbled upon a wonderful collection of the lists over at the list-loving website fimoculous. here are some best of lists i enjoyed:

frank bruni's 10 best new [NY] restaurants:
1. momofuku ssam bar
2. soto
3. anthos
4. insieme
5. park avenue winter/spring/summer/autumn
6. resto
7. 15 east
8. allen & delancey
9. pamplona
10. mai house

rex sorgatz's best blogs of 2007 that you (maybe) aren't reading

1. twitter and tumblr
2. ill doctrine
3. vulture--[one of my personal favorites, this is what he writes: New York Magazine is a perplexing contradiction. It is probably the best magazine on the newsstand right now (Wired is the only competition), but it also has an editorial voice that is occasionally annoying in its sense of privilege and entitlement. On its worst days, I call this attitude "Aggressively SoHo" -- as in, it surpassed believing that NYC is the center of the world by declaring the epicenter somewhere south of 14th St. and north of Chambers St. When my bestest friend Melissa (disclaimer!) said she was co-launching this blog (she has since moved onto Rolling Stone), I was worried that this voice would ring through on its cultural coverage. But the opposite has happened -- Vulture has kept the best parts of New York Mag (the nuance, the design, the clever), while leaving the Aggressive SoHo Tude at the door.]
4. smashing telly
5. jezebel
6. snowclones
7. frolix-8: philip k. dick
8. emo+beer=busted career
9. the "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks
10. a brief message
(this list actually continues on, reaching about 30 blogs, all of which i could not post here, so i leave that up to your questionable curiosity.)

slate's best movies of 2007
1. 4 months, 3 weeks, and 2 days
2. the diving bell and the butterfly
3. the host
4. killer of sheep
5. persepolis
6. ratatouille
7. there will be blood

Saturday, December 29, 2007


I did a search for something totally unrelated and came upon this poem, "Fear" by Dorianne Laux.

We were afraid of everything: earthquakes,
strangers, smoke above the canyon, the fire
that would come running and eat up our house,
the Claymore girls, big-boned, rough, razor blades
tucked in their ratted hair. We were terrified

of polio, tuberculosis, being found out, the tent
full of boys two blocks over, the kick ball, the asphalt,
the pain-filled rocks, the glass-littered canyon, the deep
cave gouged in its side, the wheelbarrow crammed
with dirty magazines, beer cans, spit-laced butts.

We were afraid of hands, screen doors slammed
by angry mothers, abandoned cars, their slumped
back seats, the chain-link fence we couldn't climb
fast enough, electrical storms, blackouts, girlfights
behind the pancake house, Original Sin, sidewalk
cracks and the corner crematorium, loose brakes
on the handlebars of our bikes. It came alive

behind our eyes: ant mounds, wasp nests, the bird
half-eaten on the scratchy grass, chained dogs,
the boggy creekbed, the sewer main that fed it,
the game where you had to hold your breath
until you passed out. We were afraid of being

poor, dumb, yelled at, ignored, invisible
as the nuclear dust we were told to wipe from lids
before we opened them in the kitchen,
the fat roll of meat that slid into the pot, sleep,
dreams, the soundless swing of the father's
ringed fist, the mother's face turned away, the wet
bed, anything red, the slow leak, the stain
on the driveway, oily gears
soaking in a shallow pan, busted chairs stuffed
in the rafters of the neighbor's garage, the Chevy's
twisted undersides jacked up on blocks, wrenches
left scattered in the dirt.

It was what we knew best, understood least,
it whipped through our bodies like fire or sleet.
We were lured by the Dumpster behind the liquor store,
fissures in the baked earth, the smell of singed hair,
the brassy hum of high-tension towers, train tracks,
buzzards over a ditch, black widows, the cat
with one eye, the red spot on the back of the skirt,
the fallout shelter's metal door hinged to the rusty
grass, the back way, the wrong path, the night's
wide back, the coiled bedsprings of the sister's
top bunk, the wheezing, the cousin in the next room
tapping on the wall, anything small.

We were afraid of clothesline, curtain rods, the worn
hairbrush, the good-for-nothings we were about to become,
reform school, the long ride to the ocean on the bus,
the man at the back of the bus, the underpass.

We were afraid of fingers of pickleweed crawling
over the embankment, the French Kiss, the profound
silence of dead fish, burning sand, rotting elastic
in the waistbands of our underpants, jellyfish, riptides,
eucalyptus bark unraveling, the pink flesh beneath,
the stink of seaweed, seagulls landing near our feet,
their hateful eyes, their orange-tipped beaks stabbing
the sand, the crumbling edge of the continent we stood on,
waiting to be saved, the endless, wind-driven waves.

infinity and eternity

Josef Sudek

While listening to the beautiful music of Spanish pianist Josu Gallestegui playing over my living room speakers, I stumbled upon this quote posted recently by my boyfriend, and I am in love--with it, with the piano, with lazy Sundays...

When I awake, curled up, coiled up in myself like a cat in winter, like a rocking-chair frame, I lift my head to find my trouser knee drenched with drool. I can be by myself because I"m never lonely, simply alone, living in my heavily populated solitude, a harum-sacrum of infinity and eternity, and Infinity and Eternity seem to take a liking to the likes of me. - Bohumil Hrabal

Saturday, December 22, 2007

mythological lovers

an image from the yale repertory's staging of sarah ruhl's eurydice

a few days ago, i read sarah ruhl's play eurydice, which is included in a new collection of her plays. the play is remarkable--the first in a long time that i could not stop reading. i am in love with the text, can't stop thinking about it, and had to post a small excerpt. (if you don't know the myth of the two lovers, catch up on orpheus and eurydice this is from the first movement of the piece.

orpheus: i made up a song for you today.
eurydice: did you?!
o: yup. it's not interesting or not interesting. it just--is.
e: will you sing it for me?
o: it has too many parts.
e: let's go in the water.
they start walking, arm in arm, on extensive unseen boardwalks, toward the water.
o: wait--remember this melody.
he hums a bar of melody.
e: i'm bad at remembering melodies. why don't you remember it?
o: i have eleven other ones in my head, making for a total of twelve. you have it?
e: yes. i think so.
o: let's hear it.
she sings the melody. she misses a few notes. she's not the best singer in the world.
o: pretty good. the rhythm's a little off. here--clap it out.
she claps. he claps the rhythmic sequence for her. she tries to imitate. she is still off.
e: is that right?
o: we'll practice.
e: i don't need to know about rhythm. i have my books.
o: don't books have rhythm?
e: kind of. let's go in the water.
o: will you remember my melody under the water?
e: yes! I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR MELODY! It will be imprinted on my heart like wax.
o: thank you.
e: you're welcome. when are you going to play me the whole song?
o: when i get twelve instruments.
e: when are you going to get twelve instruments?
o: i'm going to make each strand of your hair into an instrument. your hair will stand on end as it plays my music and become a hair orchestra. it will fly you up into the sky.
e: i don't know if i want to be an instrument.
o: why?
e: won't i fall down when the song ends?
o: that's true. but the clouds will be so moved by your music that they will fill up with water until they become heavy and you'll sit on one and fall gently down to earth. how about that?
e: okay.
they stop walking for a moment. they gaze at each other.
o: it's settled then.
e: what is?
o: your hair will be my orchestra and--i love you.


i found this image of duane michals' on shane's blog and i love it.


This photograph is my proof. There was that afternoon, when things were still good between us, and she embraced me, and we were so happy. It did happen, she did love me. Look see for yourself!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

the panic


The Panic in Needle Park is Al Pacino's second film. He is young and absolutely incredible in it. The story was also adapted for the screen by Joan Didion and her late husband, John Gregory Dunne--their first screenplay.

Monday, December 10, 2007

tarkovskian nostalgia

wow! this is my most exciting discovery in awhile! via this french blog, i stumbled upon a post telling of a book of polaroids taken by the famed russian director, andrei tarkovsky. if you haven't seen his films, you should. i'm still working my way through them, but the last one i recalling seeing was nostalgia and it was beautiful.

anyway, the book of polaroids is called instant light, and it contains polaroids taken by tarkovsky taken in russia and italy, with captions written by his son, which i found online here.

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My mother, Larissa Tarkovsky, and Dak in Myasnoye. You may find a lot of similarities of these pictures with Gorkachov's dreams in Nostalgia.

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This is me and Dak in Vorobievi Gori, a park in Moscow, where we used to walk with my father.

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This is the annual procession dedicated to San Gregorio, the patron saint of the city in Italy.

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This is in Myasnoye, Russia, where my family had a holiday home.

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My mother in the dining room of our Moscow apartment.

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This is my father's boat near our house in Myasnoye. He was greatly attached to that place, where he could isolate himself and work on his scripts - the first drafts of Stalker and The Sacrifice were written there. He used to take long walks and these pictures are the memories of those promenades.

i've already added this to my amazon wishlist.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

tête à tête

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i stumbled upon martine fougeron's tête à tête series, which she describes as "intimate portraits of two adolescent sons", via conscientious.

i can't help liking these images, even if i don't absolutely love them or find them infinitely interesting. they remind me of noah baumbach's style--his preoccupation with a new york upbringing and the hyper-maturation of these youths. (read the ny times on margot at the wedding--i felt the same way about this film as i do these images, i can't help enjoying the performances and being drawn to the characters, but the story doesn't achieve great heights.)

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i also love this image--the delicacy of the face, innocent and feminine, framed in water.

there are few others worth looking at.

Friday, December 7, 2007


bjork in the michel gondry video:

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

nude portraits

i like this photo, bjork as a elvish flower:

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cool commercial

song is "lake michigan" by rogue wave (via yellow stereo

we don't know how to say goodbye

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anna akhmatova:

we don't know how to say goodbye:
we wander on, shoulder to shoulder.
already the sun is going down;
you're moody, i am your shadow.

let's step inside a church and watch
baptisms, marriages, masses for the dead.
why are we different from the rest?
outdoors again, each of us turns his head.

or else let's sit in the graveyard
on the trampled snow, sighing to each other.
that stick in your hand is tracing mansions
in which we shall always be together.



Мы не умеем прощаться,-
Всё бродим плечо к плечу.
Уже начинает смеркаться,
Ты задумчив, а я молчу.

В церковь войдем, увидим
Отпеванье, крестины, брак,
Не взглянув друг на друга, выйдем...
Отчего всё у нас не так?

Или сядем на снег примятый
На кладбище, легко вздохнем,
И ты палкой чертишь палаты,
Где мы будем всегда вдвоем.

-Март 1917, Петербург

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007

purple journal

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just picked up the new issue of my favorite literary magazine, the purple journal.

go buy it!

broken social scene

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after re-watching half nelson, all i want to do is listen to this song: stars and sons.


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some more of the lovely amy ross for you.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

bowery's new museum opens today!

Today marks the grand opening of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in the recently dubbed Bowery Arts District (BAD). How exciting!

NYT - New Look for the New Museum

era of mercy

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era of mercy from the marat guelman gallery

Read this important and interesting article on Russian Culture in the face of the upcoming parliamentary elections in Moscow:
Putin's Last Realm to Conquer: Russian Culture