Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We Need To Talk About "Kevin"

Here's an email I recently sent to my friends Madelyn and Shirley:

Shirley and Madelyn,

Hello you two! Since I’ve talked about We Need to Talk About Kevin the most with you, I figured I’d shoot you both a missive regarding the film, which I watched last night. First things first: It’s a pretty good movie! Better than I was expecting. I was so worried about the subtleties of the story, and about the casting – and while I still think John C. Reilly was miscast (Aaron Eckhart for Franklin, anyone?), Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller both did a dynamite job as the mother-and-son tag team from hell.

So here’s the deal: the film is very, very different in terms of style and presentation. I thought I might worry about this, but then I realized – on second thought – that with a story such as this you want a director (in this case, Lynne Ramsay) who has a personal vision for the story, who puts their own stamp on things. And Ramsay does just that; you can feel her connection to these characters through her own filter. It’s now how *I* would have directed it, and I suspect you both “read” it in a similar way to me, but I respect that Ramsay gave viewers such an intimate, intense, specific way of watching things unfold. It’s a glimpse into Lionel Shriver’s mind AND Lynne Ramsay’s mind at the same time. I even watched one of the extras with Lionel Shriver, and she did encourage Ramsay to make a FILM about this story, rather than just trying to get the book up on the screen (if that makes sense). Mission accomplished.

Admittedly, I didn’t feel totally sucked in – I always felt like an outsider while watching it. And I won’t be thinking about the movie much over time, as compared to the book. Still, it was a worthwhile couple hours, and I do recommend you give the film Kevin a try….so we can talk about him/it!


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Venus Chronicle

As many of you may know, Ray Bradbury passed away last night. I found his death date somehow fitting, as yesterday also marked the transit of Venus in front of the sun. Bradbury would probably appreciate that he died around the same time as this rare phenomenon occurred -- he was fascinated with our solar system and our place in it, and he was a creative, brilliant "phenomenon" himself. Before I left work yesterday, a volunteer pulled me aside to tell me about the eclipse, which hadn't been on my radar (so to speak); he'd bought "eclipse glasses" and brought them with him for his shift, and I had the opportunity to step outside and put them on and stare up in wonder as a tiny black speck (Venus) was visible in the upper right part of the sun. Glorious and mysterious and magnificent! Like Bradbury himself.

We'll miss you, Ray. Thank you for being one of my biggest inspirations!

Monday, June 04, 2012

the perks of reading with your boyfriend

Gus and I are reading Stephen Chbosky's the perks of being a wallflower together, one of my favorite books of all time. This is maybe my fourth time through it? I've been wanting to share it with him for a while, and there's something both old-fashioned and fresh about cuddling up with your partner and taking turns reading chapters. I'm especially excited because the film -- directed by Chbosky himself -- will be released this September. Charlie, the protagonist of the book, was a freshman in high school the same year as me -- and we have the same birthday, Christmas Eve. This touching tale, written as letters to an anonymous recipient, follows Charlie during an emotional, intense first year of high school, and your heart won't be left the same after you finish the last page. Your heart will feel torn open, in a good way, as if there's all this extra room to see the world in new angles. Indeed, you'll feel infinite.