Quote of the Day: Yes, You Know It

From Matt Zoller Seitz’s review of “Love & Friendship,” Whit Stillman’s new movie, on rogerebert.com, which is self’s current go-to site for reviews of new movies:

(NOTE: Parenthetical comments are self’s adds)

(Lady) Susan is distinguished by her audacity, not just in her wants and desires but in the way she talks to other people (not least of whom is her own daughter, a most woeful waif named Frederica), 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.

Yes, in Stillman’s movie, social cruelty is played completely straight by Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny and also by Xavier Samuel. Beckinsale’s Lady Susan utters lines like “Facts are horrid” with such sweetness you don’t even know if that’s what she really said so you go “Facts are WHAT?”

Great job with directing this sly and absolutely wicked Jane Austen work, Whit Stillman!

Stay tuned.

Lynn Barber for The Guardian: Self Dies

Paul Theroux, 19 February 2000:

. . .  he didn’t look remotely like the Paul Theroux I met 15 years ago at a dinner party in London. That Theroux was urbane and elegant — this one is wearing shorts and has a string of dolphins tattooed around his ankle. Oh, please! You cannot be a serious writer and have dolphins tattooed around your ankle — I am sorry, it would take too long to explain, but you just can’t.

She is hilarious. Self first made her acquaintance (via The Irish Times) at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre (or TGC), spring 2014. She was instantly smitten.

Then forgot about her. Until just now.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Peeta, Male Escort

God, everything today is so, so. Terrible. And depressing.

Now, self needs massive doses of Everlark. And potato chips. Everlark and potato chips and poetry.

Elena Ferrante is absolutely no help. Elena Ferrante writes sentences like: “I grew fond of Antonio almost without realizing it.” Woman, we are only 20 pages from the end and your protagonist hasn’t yet HAD SEX! Not even a little bit! OMG, amazing! Self thought the protagonist was in love with Antonio 50 pages ago! Instead, Ferrante has her protagonist musing with pride that “The stationer was extremely satisfied with the way I had taken care of the children . . . ”

Anyhoo, on to the

Everlark Conversation of the Day!

KA-BOOM! That’s what self’s talking about, baby!

Katniss is maid-of-honor for her younger sister’s wedding. In this Hunger Games AU, that sister is Delly. Delly might have slept with Katniss’s fiancée (Thom). Thom, overcome with guilt over having betrayed Katniss with her sister, breaks off their engagement. Now, Katniss needs to find a date to her sister’s wedding, pronto! She of course cannot show up solo because everyone will throw pitying glances her way. So she cashes in her IRA and hires male escort Peeta Mellark for the weekend. Which is an excellent decision. Really, the best.

The wedding is in Seattle (Why? Just because). Katniss and Peeta meet on the flight. Peeta apologizes, saying: “I’m usually much more prompt.” Katniss waves off the apology.

“Work must be killer,” she says.

Peeta takes it in stride, though his impossibly blue eyes widen.

LOL LOL LOL

Stay tuned.

X-Men: Apocalypse and the Egyptian Mummies in the British Museum

Self took this post down for a while but then she decided to put it back up because she just went and saw X-Men: Apocalypse for the second time and — Evan Peters, hell yeah!

BTW, the movie improves on repeat viewing. But why Mystique keeps carrying a torch for Magneto is really, really frustrating. Every time she talks about him, with tears in her eyes — aaargh! That’s why it was such a breath of fresh air to have Quicksilver around: imagine, a man who feels no subliminal attraction for any of the female characters, whatsoever!

Below, her original post:

_____________________________

About a week ago, in London, self walked all the way to Shaftesbury Avenue after spending three hours in the Egyptian galleries of the British Museum just to watch X-Men: Apocalypse in the Odeon in Covent Garden.

She also thought it would be a good excuse to check out the Covent Garden area. See? Like killing two birds with one stone.

That turned out to be an excellent idea. Because the movie began with — ancient Egypt! Some dude was harnessing the power of the sacred pyramids — or something — to give himself eternal life! Of course, self had no idea that Egyptian leatherface was actually the beautiful Oscar Isaac.

Anyhoo, watching the movie was like entering a zone, where everything happening had a connection to ancient Egypt (mind-blowing, right?). Of course, it also reminded her — when all the Egyptian stuff was done — that there was an actor named Evan Peters who plays Quicksilver.

Honest-to-God, how could she have forgotten this guy? She loved his scene from the earlier X-men movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, so much. But there were just so many X-Men crowding her thoughts, not to mention James McAvoy. In almost every scene. James McAvoy. And there was Nightcrawler. And the Archangel. And Jean Grey (looking exactly like Sansa Stark; self almost expected Littlefinger or Ramsay Bolton to put in an appearance). Not to mention Fassbender emoting and singing to his daughter. And J-Law being very capricious about when she wanted to be blue or not. So, finally. EVAN PETERS! She nearly jumped out of her seat. She was so happy to see him again.

Anyhoo, the point of all this. The point of all this is that she also has a short story that involves Egyptian hieroglyphics. It appeared in a fabulous magazine called Isotope, and was edited by Chris Cokinos. Isotope was a magazine that featured both science writing and  creative writing. Self’s essay, “The Lost Language,” appeared in Isotope in 2007. A year or two later, it went defunct. And now, nobody can read that story anymore! WAAAAH! (She does have extra copies of the particular issue with her essay. It’s back in her house in Redwood City, CA. Which is a long way away — across an ocean, in fact. Across a continent, even — from where self is currently: Oxford, UK. But if anyone wants to get a copy, she can promise that, as soon as she arrives back in California, she will get her hands on those issues and mail it to whoever wants one. Because it seems such a terrible waste to keep those issues mouldering in her closet, taking up space and being useless)

Here’s how it begins:

Filipinos once had an ancient written language. If I were to show you what the marks look like on a piece of paper, they would look like a series of waves. Or like Egyptian hieroglyphics. Like the eye of the Pharaoh I saw in my old high school history books.

The rest of the essay is very digressive and is actually pretty funny. There was a time when all of self’s short stories were so filled with angst and pain that she actually rejoiced when she wrote “The Lost Language.” At last! She was capable of showing a little more range!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Anjelica Huston in Oaxaca

After the awfulness that was Jack Nicholson’s baby-drama, Huston marries sculptor Bob Graham and has a wedding to die for. Sweet! The honeymoon is in Oaxaca. Among many romantic memories, Huston shares this:

We went to an outdoor restaurant by a lake that served red ants and iguana, which tasted reptilian.

We visited Monte Alban in the scorching sun, thirteen hundred feet above the valley floor of Oaxaca, built in 500 B.C. by the Zapotec Indians, who actually practiced dentistry, as evidenced by some impressive stone carvings of primitive warriors having their teeth extracted.

LOL!

There’s that trademark Huston poker-face (wink wink)

Stay tuned.

The Addams Family: Morticia

More hilarity from Anjelia Huston. In Watch Me, she describes what she had to undergo while getting ready to play Morticia in The Addams Family:

  • There were to be several variations on Morticia’s ubiquitous black dress, some with subtle additions of lace and beading. Ruth Myers was the costume designer, and she was a zealot when it came to foundation garments. In keeping with my theory that a witch is a witch because all witches are in torture, the corset was so tight that for the first few days of filming, until the boning broke in to some degree and became more pliable, I literally could not sit down and had to be transported to set from my dressing room recumbent in the back of a station wagon.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

The Dryness

There is something self is seriously loving about Anjelica Huston, and it’s her sense of humor. It is so tongue-in-cheek. Not that she mugs her way through this book. But there’s a lot of slyness going on there.

She only wishes Huston’s editor had made her restrain all the angst regarding Jack Nicholson, especially in the book’s first 50 or so pages. It does this great actress such a disservice, made self dread reading the rest of the book.

But, anyhoo, here’s Huston on her first movie with Woody Allen (who clearly was not attracted to her at all — self thinks that was why he cast her in Crimes and Misdemeanors. P.S. Another actress who Woody was not in love with was Naomi Watts. And he didn’t give her a good role, either).

There’s a lot of subtext going on here. Huston’s character is named Dolores:

. . .  he had chosen a seriously ugly argyle sweater for Dolores, and although I felt it was a deeply unflattering shape and pattern, I kept my mouth shut. I had heard that Woody had fired a famous actress when she refused to wear a jacket of his choice, so I was determined to love my wardrobe.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Acting Class

Once Anjelica Huston stops writing so much about Jack Nicholson (which she does in the first 50 or so pages of her memoir), self actually finds Watch Me to be hugely entertaining.

At the age of 28, after a bad car accident (She wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, her nose was “broken in eight places” — self never knew a nose could be broken in that many places! Self is so impressed by that detail that she immediately writes an Everlark something about Katniss having her nose broken during a torture session in the heinous Capitol), Huston decides that life’s too short and decides to go after her dream of being an actress.

Her father, the venerable director John Huston, helpful as always, says “Dear, aren’t you a little old to try something like that?”

But Anjelica is undeterred.

After a few less than fulfilling acting jobs, her friend Carol Kane suggests ACTING CLASS!

Prior to this, Huston had been acting purely on instinct. But she dutifully decides to give acting class a whirl. And this is what it’s like:

  • There was some neck rolling, loud yawns and sighs, and stretching on the floor. A few improvisations followed . . .

LOL!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Marlon Brando, In a Petticoat

This book. THIS book. Although the incidents are strung together in extremely random fashion, there are gems. For example:

Jack Nicholson is shooting a movie (The Missouri Breaks) in Montana. Marlon Brando plays the bad guy and dresses in a petticoat, which he keeps on even when the film is not shooting. It’s called: “staying in character.”

Harry Dean Stanton is in the movie as well. Just before Stanton’s climactic death scene , he is “taut with tension” (because he is a “Method actor”?). His character is wounded and staggers to a riverbank, where Marlon Brando’s mercenary is to deliver the coup de grace. The director of the movie, Arthur Penn, yells “Action.” Shooting begins. “Marlon dismounted from his mule, wagging, skipping, inventing snatches of dialogue, mugging through the death scene, which was meandering on. He was obviously having a whale of a time. Suddenly, Stanton . . . lurched to his feet in the muddy river and lunged at Marlon, bringing him facedown in the water. A brief skirmish followed, a lot of white water, kicking and petticoats, and finally” Stanton and Brando emerge, “soaked from bonnet to boots, laughing hysterically.”

“Seriously, he was taking too long,” Harry Dean explained.

OMG! Self did not stop laughing for at least 10 minutes.

No mention of the director’s reaction.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Reading Addict

Honestly, yesterday was a killer.

Moving from Annaghmakerrig to Cork, with bags of books dangling from each arm. What was she thinking?

By the time she got to Café Paradiso, she was like, dead. D-E-A-D.

Anyhoo, it’s been a very blissful day, spent doing absolutely nothing. Holed up in The Red Room, reading. Listened to a classical music station. Wrote a further chapter of her Everlark WIP, which she warned her readers (five chapters ago) would take as much as a year between updates, because for some reason she feels she must be in Ireland to continue, and she won’t be back in Ireland until next year.

But she keeps saying that in the notes to each and every chapter, and right after she writes that, she ends up writing another chapter.

Her last chapter ends with this image of Katniss:

  • She hears a sound and whirls, snatching her bow and nocking an arrow in one swift movement.
DSCN9828

Reading in Cork

What a tease she is.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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