Sunday, March 23, 2008

easter sunday

good morning, good afternoon!

i've been sufficiently bad at maintaining posts this week, partially because i left to beautiful, nature-ific pennsylvania for easter weekend. i've also been bad at keeping up with my other favorite blogs, like the one run by ms. amy ross. i just found the following images and incredible, simple poem by israeli poet yehuda amichai posted on her blog. happy easter!



Stewardess by Yehuda Amichai found on Nature Morph:

A stewardess told us to extinguish all smoking materials
And did not detail, cigarette, cigar, or pipe.
I answered her in my heart: You have beautiful love material,
And I did not detail either.
And she told me to buckle up, bind myself
To the chair, and I answered her:
I want all the buckles in my life to have the shape of your mouth.
And she said: You want coffee now or later,
Or never. And she passed by me
Tall to the sky.
The small scar at the top of her arm
Testified that she will never be touched by smallpox
And her eyes testified that she’ll never fall in love again:
She belongs to the conservative party
Of lovers of one great love in their life.

Monday, March 17, 2008

the red balloon

the red balloon

i'm excited to see the flight of the red balloon, starring la binoche and directed by hou hsiao-hsien. the film, which opened the un certain regard leg of last year's cannes film festival, will be opening at the ifc center on april 4th.

the film was inspired by one of my new favorite films, albert lamorisse's the red balloon.


i just re-watched the above video for the pharcyde's drop directed by spike jonze, because delicious vinyl just posted jonze's original treatment for the video. check it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

return of glavin

as promised, here is the awesome irish story featuring a mermaid that was published in today's ny times sunday magazine. it's written by bryan patrick miller, who is a student in nyu's graduate creative writing program.

My pilgrimage to my mother’s ancestral home in Ireland began with the wrong bus, to the wrong village. Not that the delay mattered much in the scheme of things — no one in my immediate family had set foot in Goleen in more than a hundred years. I learned when I was growing up that my Catholic great-great-grandfather and his brothers left Ireland in a big hurry under dubious circumstances, but none of my relatives knew more than a few details. The bits of lore were vague and portentous, something to do with a widow and her starving children. My mother always said that someday one of us would have to go back and find out what happened. Then a few years ago, while she was struggling with what proved to be a terminal illness, she asked that I make the trip. “Go to Ireland,” she said, “and tell me everything.”

I did finally arrive in Goleen, a tiny cluster of stucco homes with farmland on one side and the Atlantic Coast on the other. It’s literally a one-horse town; a gray mare stood tied to a post outside the pub. I figured my best option was to walk into the only store, which doubled as the post office, and ask the clerk to point me to the church, so I could look in the town records.

“The name’s Glavin,” I said, smiling. She recoiled, backing away with a hand to her face, and wouldn’t say another word.

By the time I made it to Goleen’s dimly lighted pub, word seemed to have spread that a Glavin was back. Gnarled farmers glowered at me over their Guinnesses. No one spoke to me. I swallowed my pint fast and walked out. After an uneasy night at a bed-and-breakfast on the edge of town, the next morning I met Jimmy, the fruit-stand owner, a friendly old man who not only spoke to me but also led me to the home of Richard Hawkes, a Brit who co-wrote a book of history and folklore that, Jimmy said, included a chapter on the Glavins.

Hawkes, a lanky, bespectacled man, told me my family was hated all over southwest Ireland: we were tax collectors for the British since the 1500s. The lore had it that the Glavins terrorized and evicted their neighbors for their own gain, and it elaborated on some of the things I’d heard; supposedly the Glavin men once roughed up a widow for stealing potatoes from their trash, and as a result her children later starved.

And then Hawkes and Jimmy proceeded with a local legend: the last patriarch of the Irish Glavins was hiking one day along the Mizen Head, a peninsula of rocky cliffs jutting into the Atlantic, when he heard a woman shout. He discovered a mermaid thrown onto the rocks by the tide. They say she begged him to carry her back to the sea, but instead he snatched away her mermaid’s bridle, preventing her from returning. He held her hostage until she grudgingly agreed to become a woman and marry him.

Apparently, my great-great-great-grandfather and the mermaid had a pack of Irish children. The years passed. Then one day one of these offspring found the mermaid’s bridle in an outhouse and took it to his mother. Upon receiving it, she wept, hugged her children goodbye and hurried back to her home in the sea. John Glavin gave chase, but when he reached the cliff, she was already changed. He shouted as she swam on past the breakers, where she rose from the waves and, so the tale goes, laid a curse on my family. Soon after, the Glavins hit a string of bad luck and left Ireland.

Hawkes told me all this with a twinkle in his eye, but Jimmy the fruit seller, ageless in his navy peacoat, holding his hand-rolled cigarette, wore a serious face throughout. His knowing looks implied as much about my family’s past as anything Hawkes said.

Kidnapping a mermaid, roughing up a widow — I’d come looking for family history for my mother, and I’d found a countryside full of people with a 500-year-old grudge against us. I don’t know what I should have felt, but I was fairly exhilarated. It was as if I’d stumbled through a secret doorway to a mythical realm. My ancestors might really have been villains — the people in Goleen clearly thought so — but maybe the story was still alive.

Later that evening, Hawkes took me to the Glavin homestead high on the hill overlooking the Mizen Head, walking the same dirt my ancestors had. Scoundrels or not, my family wandered this land for hundreds of years. We tramped into the field behind the old house, where I dug a hole, and then read a blessing I scribbled down in my notebook in the town church a few hours before. I asked forgiveness from the land and its people — and any mermaids who might be listening. Feeling a little foolish, I threw in a handful of Irish coins. Hawkes, also the town’s historian, copied the blessing and put it in the town record, the next chapter in the Glavin story.

On the bus out of town, I wrote my mother everything.

sunday reading

here are some suggestions for worthwhile sunday perusing in the new york times:

laura linney is awesome.

women's colleges: students who enter one sex and leave another...

the lovely louis garrel!

scathing review of the mini-series, john adams.

back to back theater reviews: conversations in tusculum and the seagull.

more later... (including a true story involving a mermaid!)

p.s. if the scary login page pops up, fear not!--it's free to sign up and reading the online edition of the times, so proceed with the information on the left of the screen and register.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


jack kerouac by john cohen

today, during my long stroll down fifth avenue, i stumbled upon the kerouac exhibit, beatific soul at the beautiful new york public library. realizing that i had nowhere urgent to be, i let myself wander up the stairs and through the doors of what was to be a very extensive, detailed exhibition on the life of jack kerouac. i later found out, thanks to the trusty times, that the exhibit opened in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of on the road. it also just came to my attention that it is to close this weekend on march 16th. how lucky i was!

if you can clear your schedule to visit the library, please do. bring your reading glasses--there is a lot of exciting information to devour, along with great photographs taken within kerouac's circle of friends.

my favorite quote from an early journal of jack's:

to be in a state of beatitude, like st. francis, trying to love all life, trying to be utterly sincere with everyone, practicing endurance, kindness, cultivating joy of heart.

desert solitude

In solitude of desert hermitage nourish a still and peaceful heart.
- Aśvaghoṣa, Life of Buddah

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

him and she


what do we think of this new song? i was turned on to it by the lovely lauren cerand. it's by two people you know who are now known as she & him...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

reminds me of brioche


according to imdb, today is the birthday of la binoche--my favorite actress.

Friday, March 7, 2008


my new favorite song: gila by beach house.

makes me think of pigeons

i found these photos of edouard plongeon's last week i think, somewhere here.



the first one somehow reminds me of this series of mitch epstein's that i saw once at moma. the photos were of these long blond-haired hippie women, sitting around in a similar environment...and i think one of them was holding a baby? i'm having trouble remembering exactly, but i loved that photo.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

another best of list

um, i kind of like this guy. who is he? i stumbled on this post of his through 15 minutes to live. in it he lists the best films of the 90s (as well as a few from this decade thus far) and he's pretty much on point. he even lists david lynch's pilot episode of twin peaks in there. um--amazing!


watch as the arcade fire covers sam cooke's "a change is gonna come":

mourning after

click here and watch kyle mcnally's beautiful, quiet short melodrama, mourning after.

food + music

the music playlist at los angeles' fraiche, according to frank bruni:

Galaxy 500, “Ceremony”
Air, “Afternoon Sister”
Arcade Fire, “Haiti”
Azure Ray, “Fever”
Bjork, “Unravel”
Blonde Redhead, “Top Ranking”
Broken Social Scene, “Cranley’s Gonna Make It”
Morcheeba, “Coi”
Chungking, “Angel Eyes”
Zero 7, “Distractions”
Guru, “The Traveler”
Massive Attack, “Three”
Her Space Holliday, “Hassle Free Harmony”
Martina Topley Bird, “Sandpaper Kisses”
Innocence Mission, “Every Hour Girl”
Jane’s Addiction, “Classic Girl”
Morrissey, “Every Day is Like Sunday”
Modest Mouse, “Blame it on the Tetons”
Pixies, “Wave of Mutilation” (UK Surf Mix)
Sigur Ros, “Hoppiolla”
The Smiths, “Half a Person”
The Sundays, “Can’t Be Sure”
Let’s Go Sailing, “Icicles”
Sinead O’Conner, “Petit Poulet”
Astrud Gilberto, “Gentle Rain”
Elliott Smith, “Baby Britain”

Sunday, March 2, 2008

chadwick tyler

stumbled upon these photographs that i like very much by photographer chadwick tyler...







4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days


I saw the most incredible film yesterday at the brilliant IFC Center: 4 months, 3 weeks, and 2 days, directed by Cristian Mungiu, and winner of the highest prize at the Cannes film festival in 2007, the Palm D'Or.

i had sort been avoiding the film for awhile. i had read much about the difficult content (it's about a university student who helps her roommate attain an illegal abortion in 1987 Ceauşescu-run Communist Romania), plus heard horror stories about people having to leave the theater, my mom included. I am incredibly over-sensitive when it comes to films--I get way too engrossed in the action and tears often well up in my eyes as the characters undergo the slightest amount of pain or injury. And yet, I am a cinematic masochist--I love watching difficult movies, despite the horrendous mood they put me in afterward.

Anyway, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 weeks was a challenge for me to sit through. It's incredible tense, with the camera movement (or unnerving stillness) constantly matching the building drama in the story. Manohla Dargis says brilliantly notes that the film "doesn't follow the action, it expresses consciousness itself." It's impossible for me to match her keen perceptive just, please, read hers.



Also, be sure to check out Mungui's director's notes on the film's official website.