Thursday, January 14, 2010

2009 movie roundup

Remember last year?

That was awesome.

OK, glob fans. It's time (a little late, actually) for the long-promised and much-postponed list of movies I saw and liked in 2009, followed by a few that I hated and some that I'll have to catch later. Feel free to discuss, mock, berate, scold, judge, etc. I'm probably forgetting some, but it's a start.

Here we go:

2009 Movies Seen & Liked (vaguely in order, at least the first half, based on today's mood and subject to change):
The Fantastic Mr Fox
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
It Might Get Loud
The Young Victoria
Public Enemies
Star Trek
(500) Days of Summer
The Road
District 9
Drag Me to Hell
Coco Before Chanel
Red Cliff
The Men Who Stare at Goats
Up in the Air
Dead Snow

Angels & Demons (seen under duress in Stockholm)
The Proposal
Friday the 13th Remake (seen out of desperation in Panama)
To Catch Later:
Ninja Assassin!
House of the Devil
In the Loop
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Sherlock Holmes
The Informant!
Where the Wild Things Are
Black Dynamite
Me and Orson Welles
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
Bright Star
Broken Embraces
Summer Hours
The Hangover

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

'...a certain vanished grandeur...'

Yet another reason I love Katie Roiphe (read the full essay in the Jan 3 NYT book review for many more reasons) -- here she's talking about guys like Dave Eggers and Benjamin Kunkel, in contrast with the old rogues, Updike and Bellow and Mailer and Roth:
The younger writers are so self-­conscious, so steeped in a certain kind of liberal education, that their characters can’t condone even their own sexual impulses; they are, in short, too cool for sex. Even the mildest display of male aggression is a sign of being overly hopeful, overly earnest or politically un­toward. For a character to feel himself, even fleetingly, a conquering hero is somehow passé. More precisely, for a character to attach too much importance to sex, or aspiration to it, to believe that it might be a force that could change things, and possibly for the better, would be hopelessly retrograde. Passivity, a paralyzed sweetness, a deep ambivalence about sexual appetite, are somehow taken as signs of a complex and admirable inner life.