Are You Ready For This? Vanity Fair’s 10 Best Movies of 2015

And self has only seen three of them.

Time was when self had seen all. All of the movies nominated for 10 Best.

Self is kinda shocked that three of the movies she really liked this year are nowhere: Pawn Sacrifice and Bridge of Spies. And Mockingjay 2!

Starting in reverse order (10th to 1st):

10.  The Martian: YAY for Matt Damon! Absolutely!

9.  Steve Jobs: God, NO! But if you want to see Steve Jobs’s life transformed into a Lifetime movie, complete with angst-ridden assistant played by Kate Winslet in her most painfully sappy performance to date, then this is the movie for you!

8.  Eden: Self has yet to see. YAY that it’s directed by a woman, though. Triple-YAY.

7.  The End of the Tour: Self has yet to see. She’d see it for Jesse Eisenberg alone.

6.  Tangerine: Self has yet to see. A movie about “pimps, johns, donut shops, and laundromats.” (Sounds like a Mary Gaitskill short story. The part about donut shops and laundromats sounds also like self’s current life) Shot entirely on iPhone. YAY for technology!

5.  Ex Machina: Everyone, but EVERYONE says self has to see this. And self loves Alicia Vikander. So, yes.

4.  Carol: Self has yet to see. But — Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett? The twins of serious acting? Will it be boring?

3.  Spotlight: Self has yet to see. One thing she’s never understood about the Church sex-abuse scandal is, she remembers a wave of sex-abuse Church scandals at least 20 years ago. The Archbishop of Boston was forced to resign. Remember him? Bernardin? Do we never learn? 20 years from now, will there be another Church sex-abuse scandal? Judging from the present: YES!

2.  Clouds of Sils Maria: Self has yet to see. But Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart, the twins of really serious acting without being obvious about it. Yes!

1. Mad Max: Fury Road: God, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Tom Hardy playing Max. Charlize playing Imperator Furiosa. Five pretty girls in white dresses. Nicholas Hoult saying Oh what a day. What a lovely daaaaay!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Also Reading: The New Yorker, 8 September 2015

Self is reading Patrick Radden Keefe’s New Yorker article “The Avenger,” about the brother of a man killed in Lockerbie.

Lockerbie.

Self read in the Stanford Alumni Magazine, not too long ago, that the father of yet another victim, a lawyer, had died of cancer. The man was tireless in aiding the hunt for his daughter’s killers, even putting up reward money. As self would do too, if she were in his shoes.

Three years ago, self was in Hawthornden Writers Retreat, only 40 minutes by bus from Edinburgh. Every time she took the bus back, she saw the sign for Lockerbie.

Lockerbie, Lockerbie.

The New Yorker article is about Ken Dorstein, a sophomore at Brown whose brother David had been on the plane.

This is what he did:

He traveled to Scotland and spent several weeks in Lockerbie interviewing investigators and walking through the pastures where the plane had gone down. He read the transcript of the Scottish Fatal Accident Inquiry, which exceeded fifteen-thousand pages, and he located the patch of grass where David’s body had landed.

Dorstein tells The New Yorker: “I had found a less painful way to miss my brother, by not missing him at all, just trying to document what happened to his body.”

He also married his brother’s ex-girlfriend. When he told his wife that he wanted to go to Libya to confront the “culprits who were still alive,” he invoked what they call in their marriage “the Lockerbie dispensation.” She could not refuse him.

Dorstein showed the New Yorker reporter a large map of Lockerbie, “with hundreds of colored pushpins indicating where the bodies had fallen.” In death, as in life, there were divisions: first-class passengers clustered in one place, economy passengers in another (But isn’t it interesting that they all ended up in the same place anyway: which is to say, dead)

Shhh, now.

Self has to finish reading the article.

Stay tuned.

Mary Gaitskill: Story # 3 in BAD BEHAVIOR

Self is finishing out her reading year strong. Because of Gaitskill, of course. Never mind that Bad Behavior was published almost 30 years ago. The verve and the skewed perspective speak to self.

Gaitskill has a new book out, a novel.

Self doesn’t feel an inclination to read it, she just wants to stick to Gaitskill’s short stories.

Story # 3 is about a veterinarian who sees prostitutes when his wife is out of town. He lies about his profession because he wants to impress. He tells the prostitutes that he is a lawyer, then has a hard time thinking of good stories to tell them about his work and wishes he had just told the truth because he is a walking treasure trove of unique cat and dog stories.

On the day his wife returns, the man (who has seen the same prostitute every night, for almost a week) drives into Manhattan.

It was already dark when he reached the city. He drove slowly through Times Square, fascinated by the night’s ugliness. He stopped at a red light and looked up at a movie marquee towering on the corner, its dead white face advertising The Spanking of Cindy.

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Park Avenue, last night

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Notes to Self

Brrr, brrr, brrr.

It is cold in New York City.

Christmas lights down the avenues.

Self met up with nephew Chris and he told her that he and his sister just invested in their first piece of New York real estate.

Self was astounded, simply astounded. How is it that these kids can afford to buy and assume their first mortgage and they’re still in their 20s? While self is still meandering in her usual thickets of she-doesn’t-know-what.

Anyhoo, just for fun, self began combing through her archives and found these photos she had taken in AWP Seattle, 2014.

DSCN4232

Oh, fan fiction. Yesterday she started writing a drabble about a Cheating Peeta. As in: Peeta cheats on Katniss. Yeah. And he lives in San Francisco. And his mistress is Delly. Who loves wearing pink.

Must be all those Mary Gaitskill stories she’s been reading.

DSCN4233

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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