Oh come on, Angelina Jolie repeating "I want my son back!" over and over like some terrifying string-pull doll was more deserving than Sally Hawkins?
President Obama's inauguration was marred, of course, by our worries over the continuing health troubles — dating back to revelations late last year — of a longtime political leader, heir to a dynasty and inspiration to many.
Well, a load off all of our minds: Kim Jong Il still lives!
The L Magazine's Literary Upstart, an annual competitive reading series, pits the creative underclass against itself in a short fiction Thunderdome, and we want your stories.
Lit Up is, for us, a way of celebrating our love for quality up-and-coming writers by delivering them to an audience, and getting boozed-up and rowdy at the readings. Like a real literary community!
Our American Idol-style live readings, wherein selected submitters read in front of a panel of judges (led as always by the New Yorker's Ben Greenman), competing for their affections, cash, and a place in the L's annual Summer Fiction Issue, will be held beginning in April, and we're ready to accept stories. Click on through for a more official announcement, and our official-seeming Call for Submissions.
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, a movie everybody should see, even if only once, gets a new 35mm print and a weeklong Film Forum run starting today, which is I think surely the most projector time the movie (completely unrentable) has received since its 1983 U.S. bow. Made when its writer-director, Chantal Akerman, was 25 (in the above-linked piece, Dennis Lim points out that this is also how old Orson Welles was when he made Citizen Kane; I think he's doing this just to depress me), it's some kinda masterpiece — controlled, formally daring, intellectually daunting.
I review it in the current issue: "Less a test of stamina than of faith, Jeanne Dielman is three hours and twenty minutes of cinema uncluttered by content." And so on.
As you can tell from our tireless coverage of it here at thelmagazine.com, we've been closely following Caroline Kennedy's bid for a senatorial appointment. (Couldn't she just get appointed Ambassador to some insignificant stable temperate country with good food, like Portugal*, the way most well-connected rich people do?) Here comes the Times, with a pretty interesting minute-by-minute account of her decision, last night, to withdraw from consideration. The Times report is, however, as of right now pretty vague on why she dropped out, beyond problems that "surfaced during the vetting" process. Something to do with "taxes and a household employee". You know, like Tim Geithner, who had to withdraw from consideration for Treasury Secretary for exactly the same reasons. Which begs the question: did the Times just make up the illegal Mexican housekeeper and tax dodges because they figure that's generally a fair bet, for rich people? Probably.
* Wow, what a good job U.S. Ambassador to Portugal must be. Iberian beauty, old-world culture, easy rail access to all of Europe, you get invited to all the good parties because you're the U.S. Ambassador, but you never have to do anything, because what the fuck happens in Portugal? (The current U.S. Ambassador to Portugal is Thomas F. Stephenson, a venture capitalist, active Harvard alum and Republican doner, who really looks like some random white-haired square-jawed pinstriped suit-wearing American dude.) Caroline, think about it.**
** But I digress.
Oscars post. Instead, I asked Craig Rowin to present the L's guide to the Oscar nominations. His words follow.
Why should the glory of Oscar night belong solely to Hollywood hunks and divas? Just because they appeared in a movie this year, and acted their hearts out, doesn't mean that we, the viewers, shouldn't be able to share some of that sweet sweet Academy Award action. The nominations just came out, so it's too late to get nominated (unless you have a time machine and some acting chops), so your only chance to win is dominating your Oscar betting pool. Predicting the winners is tough, so below are some surefire tips that will help you be a true winner on Oscar night.
Does that cover strike you as kind of fawning and embarrassing? Anyway.
So Aravind Adiga is an Indian-born, globe-trotting author who won the Booker for his first novel The White Tiger. Which I'm guessing was better than this story. I mean, how could it not be?
Every January, magazines — all magazines, it's in the contract — put out Gym Issues, to have some service-y new year's resolution-y content during a slow news (culture, life) month. So this year's Gym Ish (how we talk, in journalism) was going to come out on January 21st. So there was only one thing to do: The L Magazine's First-Ever Presidential Gym Issue, featuring such brilliant tie-ins as Cigarettes and Tricep Presses, or, what our new, hot president can teach you about Changing your body; and The Dead Presidents Guide to Fitness, in which we provide new workout plans for every type. Are you a TR? An LBJ? A Taft? Let us help you.
All this, plus British pub food to make you fat in the restaurant review and sneakers too expensive to work out in in Fashionville; Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion reviewed in Musicology and The Class reviewed in the film section; and more and more. Oh, right, sex tapes. Also. Pick an issue up, it's good exercise.
Today's your last day to catch Film Forum's new print (in fact, the New York premiere theatrical run) of the rarest movie of Godard's cometlike early period, Made in U.S.A. (This Rialto rerelease will likely precede a long-delayed DVD release, allowing the movie to take a more permanent place in the 60s firmament.) An 80-minute noir lark — set within the self-immolating Left, with a purposefully incoherent plot — it was shot concurrently with 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, in longish scenes in interior or otherwise self-contained locations. The movie seems at times like a repository for all the gags, philosophical tangents and low-culture references Godard couldn't work into that more rigorous work.
Predicting the Oscar winners is a fool's game, so I'm thinking that predicting Oscar nominations is some kind of fool's world series. I am a fool, so it works out pretty well. Here's what I think might happen tomorrow morning and why, plus the people I'd throw away my votes to honor.
Common Ground, to apply for food stamps, and returned to Common Ground, where they told her the next step was for J. to have (another) TB test.
It's not even a room, it's true. It's a cubicle just large enough for a single bed and a small bedside table. The walls, which don't extend all the way to the ceiling, are thin. But there is a lock on the door.
The Prince Safe Haven on the Bowery used to be a flophouse. The tiny wainscoted cubicles are now painted a fresh and cheery yellow. Whatever the reputation of flophouses on the Bowery, this place is safe and clean. Its purpose is to provide a transitional residence for chronically homeless men.
Since I started going to the movies in New York City, I've had a handful of ticket-scrambling situations. I remember going to buy Borat tickets online the afternoon of its opening, only to find that 11:05PM was the earliest possible showing; I remember prime Harry Potter tickets disappearing a week ahead of time; and I certainly recall the entire first weekend of Dark Knight in IMAX selling out a month ahead of time. But those were all online ticketing mishaps; I don't recall ever physically racing around town looking for tickets for a show sooner than seven or eight hours later.
Yet I found myself doing just that on Friday in order to see the remake of My Bloody Valentine in 3-D. I figured dropping by the theater four five hours early would be sufficient, but no: by 5:30PM, the Union Square Regal had no 3-D showings available until quarter of one. I zipped up to Times Square and even with an extra 3-D screen, the situation was scarcely any better: nothing until midnight. Finally, I threw a hail Mary, and the only other theater showing it in 3-D, the 84th St. AMC-Loews, caught it. (Notorious was the big attraction there; yeah, Upper West Side!)
This probably speaks more to the relative paucity of 3-D-equipped screens in Manhattan (or Brooklyn — apparently that theater in Park Slope was the only one in my home borough) than to specific excitement over My Bloody Valentine 3-D, which only made slightly more money than The Unborn in its first three days, and with the advantage of higher 3-D ticket prices. But for a few hours, MBV3D felt like an event worthy of a stupid acronym.
Had I done a liveblog, these things would likely have been in it:
10something a.m.: Cheney is cripple, having run out of the purifying life-extending blood of virgins.
11something a.m.: I think I speak for all of us here at The L Magazine when I say: Dr. Jill Biden. Yowza.
Bidengetsswornin o'clock: John Paul Stevens! I'm so happy you lived to not be replaced on the Supreme Court by a Bush appointment, who would probably screw up the Oath of Office, like noted smug racist John Roberts. (Ok that technically came later, this is not a very live liveblog.)
Afterthat a.m.: I have faith that Aretha Franklin's hat will solve all our nation's problems.
Christianoutreach a.m. and also p.m. as I am not really adhering to the running diary format: Rick Warren wrote a whole book? Lots of quotations in that book, I am guessing. Although I hope you stuck around for the benediction (after the poem) (nice try, poet, incidentally), from the ancient, tired-looking, spunky Joseph Lowery, who makes Rick Warren look like even more like a real estate agent than he already does, got the crowd going in some rolling "amens" at the end, and even worked in some wealth-redistribution stuff.
12something p.m.: Wait, Obama's black?
12something p.m.: Ok, the speech. He was playing to a lot of constituencies, it seemed. No obvious taglines, but at least a certain rhetorical rhythm. (And awesome work by CNN cutting to Bush during the civil liberties bit.) Man, all this talk about ancestors who toiled in factories and died for us in Vietnam. If I'm understanding our new president correctly, we're basically a nation of ungrateful layabouts, eating Lays on George Washington's couch in the same sweatpants we've been wearing for a week. This seems pretty incontrovertible. Sorry you inherited such a doofy country, Barry.
Anyway. Happy new frontier, everyone.
Our long national nightmare of everything going really badly on the watch of a guy we really like is just beginning.
Here at The L Magazine HQ, we acquired an advance copy of Obama's inaugural address (his administration understands the importance of new media like no prior political organization). Obvs we can't leak it, but, you know, whatever your expectations were, double them. I've read it, it's like Shakespeare fucking the Bible while Abe Lincoln watches, it's that good.
Watch it with someone you love (drinking with, at work). I will probably write about it after I watch it, assuming I still have a job and you haven't sold you computer yet.
, the other day, in which I realized that pretty much the entirety of my real life has happened while George W. Bush was president. We are all a lot older, now.
All things considered, it's been a pretty good eight years. I mean, for me, anyway.
So long, Dubya. May you, like Hoover, live long enough to know that if history was going to prove you right it would have happened by now.
America, you never cease to correspond almost mathematically to my expectations: