Matt Zoller Seitz Reviews “Love & Friendship” (Another of Self’s Favorite Movies of 2016)

Really nice review. Read it in http://www.rogerebert.com.

Kudos to Director Whit Stillman, lead Kate Beckinsale, and Xavier Samuel, who plays the man Beckinsale’s character sets her sights on.

  • “Love & Friendship feels like it was inevitable. The director Whit Stillman adapting Jane Austen is one of those ideas that sounds like it’s made up because it’s so perfect, like Wes Anderson announcing that he’s going to make an animated film about foxes based on a book by Roald Dahl.”
  • “Stillman’s films are comedies of manners . . .  the more brazen or ambitious characters run roughshod over people who have, well, manners.”
  • The main character, Susan, “is distinguished by her audacity, not just in her wants and desires but in the way she talks to other people, turning subtext into text in a way most people would not do unless the person they were talking about was in another room, or another state. But they’re standing right there! And they can’t get their minds around how staggeringly rude and entitled Susan is — most of all Reginald, who’s played with great precision by Samuel as a decent man who is so stunned by Susan’s nerve that he can barely bring himself to reprimand her: he’s too busy marveling at her existence.”

In addition, self is looking forward to seeing the following films, hopefully in the next few weeks:

  • Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson
  • Paul Verhoeven’s Elle
  • Denzel Washington’s adaptation of August Wilson’s Fences
  • Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea
  • Disney’s Moana

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

2016: Books That Rocked Self’s World

  • March 2016 (read in Mendocino & Fort Bragg): The Forever War, by Dexter Filkins
  • May 2016 (read in London): Watch Me, by Anjelica Huston
  • June 2016 (read in California, various stops on the central coast): The Girl On the Train, by Paula Hawkins
  • August 2016 (read in San Francisco): The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Matsuo Basho
  • December 2016 (read in San Francisco): In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote

The Economist Books of the Year 2015

Yes, self is a year behind in her reading of The Economist. So pathetic.

Anyhoo, here are the books self picked to add to her reading list: four histories, three works of fiction, one book on Culture, Society and Travel.

HISTORIES

  • Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War, by Susan Southard — “a searing account of five teenage survivors of the bombing of Nagasaki”
  • Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles, by Bernard Cornwell — “a great and terrible story of a battle . . . fought 200 years ago, told with energy and clarity”
  • The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East — “how a multinational Muslim empire was destroyed by the first World War”
  • SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, by Mary Beard — “about Rome from its myth-shrouded origins to the early third century”

CULTURE, SOCIETY AND TRAVEL

  • Plucked: A History of Hair Removal, by Rebecca Herzig — “a curious account of hair-erasing, and why people have tried clamshell razors, lasers, lye depilatories, tweezers, waxes, threading and electrolysis to try and free themselves from hairiness”

FICTION

  • Seiobo There Below, by Laszlo Krasznahorkai — Seventeen stories, “a fitting winner of the 2005 Man Booker International Prize”
  • Submission, by Michael Houellebecq — “France under Muslim rule,” 2022
  • An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It, by Jessie Greengrass — a “spectacularly accomplished, chilly debut collection of short stories about thwarted lives and opportunities missed”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Names From Around WordPress

Browsing WordPress for posts on this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge, NAMES.

Here are some that intrigued:

Enjoy!

Stay tuned.

More Paths

Halfway through the year, I’ve found myself in a new home, adapting to things on a daily basis, and realizing how important it is to slow down and recognize (and enjoy) the winding path I’m on.

— Cheri Lucas Rowlands, The Daily Post

“Slow down” — what a wonderful sentiment for the day after Christmas.

Below, three versions of PATH:

A corridor in the new San Francisco Museum of Modern Art:

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The New San Francisco MOMA

The approach to the City from 101:

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Approaching San Francisco on the 101 North

Stairs leading to the second level of the British Museum:

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British Museum, Great Russell Street, London

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Anticipation 3: Because You Can Never Have Too Much

ANTICIPATION: A looking forward to.

Below are a couple of things self looks forward to. Because you can never, in self’s humble opinion, ever have too much of them:

Christmas:

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A beautiful sunset:

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Relaxing on a beach in December:

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

IN COLD BLOOD: Discovery

Capote shows us the events leading to the murders, and then the aftermath of the murders, but not the deed itself (which is just fine with self, which is the only reason she has gotten this far).

About the discovery:

  • Two girls enter the house, find Nancy first; the one girl starts screaming, the other insists Nancy only has “a nosebleed.”
  • The first adult to call the police speaks thus: “There is something radically wrong at the Clutter place.” Since this is rural Kansas, in 1959, self is impressed by the use of such an elegant word as radically.
  • The sheriff finds two dead bodies and all he can say is: Where the devil can Herb be? As if Herb ought to present himself willingly, not make them look for him. Or maybe Herb was hiding.
  • A neighbor sees a collie that belonged to the youngest child, Kenyon. The dog stands right in the middle of the lane, scared. Has its tail between its legs. Doesn’t bark or move. It’s the sight of the dog that rouses the neighbor from his state of dazed shock.  As the neighbor puts it: “Seeing the dog made me feel again.” He could “feel the full viciousness of the crime . . .  You had to believe it, because it was true.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Everlark: Once, in a Cabin Deep in a Forest . . .

. . . there lived a widowed coal miner with 12 children. And these twelve children were:

  • Gloss
  • Darius
  • Finnick
  • Thom
  • Marvel
  • Cato
  • Johanna
  • Glimmer
  • Delly
  • Madge
  • Primrose
  • Katniss

Gloss, Cato, Glimmer, Delly, Madge and Primrose were “fair-haired with cerulean eyes and porcelain, milk-colored skin . . .  Darius and Finnick were the handsome gingers” and Thom, Marvel, Johanna and Katniss were “dark-haired” and “olive-toned.”

One day, the miner is informed that his in-laws have bequeathed him an apothecary but he must travel in person to District Four to claim it.

So the miner took leave of his 12 children and promised to bring them back gifts from Four, and the children asked for:

  • jewels
  • shoes
  • dresses
  • fancy shields

But Katniss asked only for a single white rose.

The miner did not yet know that to get this rose, he would have to go to an “enchanted castle” where “a hijacked prince” held on to the rose for dear life.

How self loves Everlarkian fairy tales. This one’s by author PeetasandHerondales.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

What Self Learned in 2016

Since self has been laid up with a bug for the last three days, she has plenty of time to ruminate on the year soon ending. And these are her darkest thoughts:

A lot of women (mostly older women) disliked Hillary.

A woman can run for President, she can be the smartest woman in America, and the other candidate can still slam her on her looks. (Thinly veiled: “She just doesn’t look Presidential.” Self recalls that a long time ago, when Desperate Housewives was a hit, The President-Elect pronounced Eva Longoria just “a 7 out of 10.” Thank God he did not go that low this time)

Women are hard on a woman who wears pantsuits all the time.

Self heard this during the latest election season: Melania knows how to dress and Hillary is “ugly.” Post-election: Michelle Obama is an ape in heels.

American animosities that had been frayed open by eight years under an African American man came to tortuous conclusion when a woman ran to succeed him. It was just too much. For most of America. A return to sanity was sorely needed. And that is why we are here now.

Stay tuned.

The Guardian’s Top 50 (U.S. Released) Films of 2016 — Up to No. 9

They have a separate list for UK films, and right now self doesn’t have time to compare the two. So here are the Guardian’s Top 50 U.S. Released Films of 2016 (Up to No. 9, “The Handmaiden.” The entire list gets posted on Dec. 16).

Self is posting the list in reverse order: meaning, #50 first.

She put asterisks next to the movies she’s seen.

She walked out of “Nocturnal Animals.” She could probably have watched Armie Hammer’s turn as an ultra-detached husband, forever. But the violence, especially in those Texas scenes, was too much, even for self’s normally iron-clad stomach. Not only was it too much, it was predictable. From the moment the bored daughter gives a car of yahoos the finger, she knew what was going to happen. First of all, the father (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) reminded her of a type. The middle-class clueless type. Which impression was only reinforced with every passing second of the unfolding scene.

As for “Fantastic Beasts” — Eddie Redmayne seemed to be channeling Stephen Hawking, but this time with the use of all limbs. Sorry. There was no charisma. Which self cannot believe she just said. About Eddie Redmayne. Who is usually so damn cute.

There are several documentaries in the below list. Which self will have to hunt up on Netflix.

  • Deepwater Horizon
  • The Neon Demon
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane *
  • Fences
  • The Clan
  • The Jungle Book
  • The Eagle Huntress
  • Hail, Caesar!
  • Wiener Dog
  • The Witch
  • I, Daniel Blake
  • High-Rise
  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople
  • Cemetery of Splendour
  • From Afar
  • Everybody Wants Some!
  • The Light Between Oceans
  • Embrace of Serpent
  • Zootopia
  • Sing Street
  • Chronic
  • The Childhood of a Leader
  • Dheepan
  • Green Room
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them*
  • Tale of Tales
  • Deadpool*
  • Things To Come
  • 20th Century Women
  • American Honey
  • Doctor Strange*
  • Hell Or High Water*
  • The Lobster*
  • Paterson
  • Our Little Sister
  • The Club
  • Loving
  • Nocturnal Animals*
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Sausage Party
  • Weiner
  • The Handmaiden

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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