Mar. 7th, 2006 10:56 pm
myblackeyedfire: (Durrell face)
This is one of the only things I'll still turn the TV on for. Hooray for my favorite books being adapted to media. First The Wee Free Men and now My Family and Other Animals. So anyone who wants to have something to do on the 9th of April on a Sunday evening, this should be it. Why? I can't speak for the actual film but the book itself is a sun-drenched honey-dipped strawberry of a treat.

You can read the beginning of the novel here (scroll down past the birds): http://www.shoarns.com/MyFamilyandOtherAnimals.htm It's been a favorite of mine for seven years and I've read and reread it too many times to count.

“How long did it take six men to build a wall if three of them took a week? I recall that we spent almost as much time on this problem as the men spent on the wall.”
myblackeyedfire: (seduce my mind to have my body)
Books bought at the library for a total of $2.75
Tom Stoppard - Arcadia
James Herriot - All Things Wise and Wonderful
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - Bhagavad-Gita As It Is
Roy Porter - English Society in the Eighteenth Century
Elizabeth D. Squire - Heroes of Journalism (impulse buy)
Michel de Montaigne - Essays
Katrin Behrend, Monika Wegler - The Complete Book of Cat Care
Patrick F. McManus - A Fine and Pleasant Misery
Rolfe Humphries (translator) - The Aeneid of Virgil
Robert L. Heilbroner - [Fifth Edition] The Making of Economic Society (still don't understand why I bought this one)

Books borrowed from a family friend
Chaim Potok - The Chosen
Robert A. Heinlein - Citizen of the Galaxy

Books bought from Barnes and Nobels yesterday
Stephen Chobsky - The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Francine Prose - Blue Angel
Ayn Rand - The Fountainhead

Books I'm almost finished reading
Kurt Vonnegut - Cat's Cradle
Ovid - Metamorphoses
David McCullough - John Adams

Books I really want but can't obtain yet
Humphrey Carpenter - The Brideshead Generation (I *need* it)
Anything by P.G. Wodehouse
Tom Stoppard - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Hermann Hesse - Steppenwolf
Daniel Quinn - The Story of B
Mark Behr - Embrace
Martin Green - Children of the Sun
Thomas More - Utopia
Jamie O'Neill - At Swim, Two Boys
Jack Kerouac - On the Road
Michael Cunningham - The Hours
Orson Scott Card - Ender's Game
Augusten Burroughs - Running with Scissors: A Memoir
Euripides - Medea
A.N. Roquelaure - The Sleeping Beauty Series
Albert Camus - The Stranger
Terry Pratchett - Maskerade
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
Maria McCann - As Meat Loves Salt

There are many other titles scribbled on torn pieces of paper and stuffed into my desk at odd intervals that I haven't found yet. To remedy this oversight I'm going to clean out my desk, arrange all of the papers into corresponding stacks and try to cultivate some order before college starts. Really.
myblackeyedfire: (My sin - my soul. Lo-lee-ta.)
My mind can't help it. Every time I see a movie I immediately have to give it a grander connection beyond it's existence as an individual work. It's like a subconscious love of circles and continuity and patterns, but made nerdy.

I saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory twice. After lusting over the creaky purple rubber gloves Willy Wonka wears I really concentrated on how much Existentialism there was in the film. It felt like I was watching something from Western Civ, especially with the monolith/candy bar connection to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Wonka's introduction to the five winners felt like hearing "starshine" in The Wall and back to the Space Cadets from 2001. The uncertainty, and the embrace of the uncertainty was also similar to the attitude of Bud's stepmom in Pleasantville toward the end. Connections everywhere, gah! Though they were not included, I think these lyrics truly should have gone into Mr. Nuccio's Western Civ. CD mix: If you want to view paradise simply look around and view it. Anything you want to - do it. Want to change the world? There's nothing to it. There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there you'll be free if you truly wish to be. That, again, brought me back to The Wall by Sartre. There is no escape. [livejournal.com profile] catchyerdreams and I fangirled leik woah over this in the theatre, poking each other whenever something was particularly obvious. What started as a joke about Civ being everywhere turned into an incr*edible* experience for both of us. My one fangirl moment came out during Willy Wonka's haircut, though, mostly because within the first few seconds he really looked like Snape.

The problem became obvious once again when I saw Animal House with [livejournal.com profile] _mik3_ today. It should have been a brainless romp through college adventures. It wasn't. I began to compare Bluto to Bacchus, especially the one from The Bacchai by Euripides. Bluto's love for alcohol, nay, his dependence on it was similar to Bacchus's dependence on it not only as a means of controlling his followers, but his powers. He was the god of the vine, after all. The extreme anarchy Bacchus represents in the play is similar to the sort Bluto is used to at the Delta house. His response to being expelled, to strike back with utter chaos, is similar to the havoc Bacchus sets loose when he wasn't acknowledged and worshiped. It can't be normal to think about these links when watching a National Lampoon movie.

The only time I can't do this is with art. Paintings and sculpture enrapture the part of me that goes, "Oooh, pretty!" I'm a little bit embarrassed that I can't analyze or critique art as I can, say, a book. There are no exact lines save for those that are painted. My appreciation is purely aesthetic, a split-second response to painstaking shading and contours and lines and such lush colors and compositions. I'm internally kicking myself for spending so little time in the Hermitage.

So, guys, how exactly am I supposed to look at art? What is the key to understanding it, or the artist's intent? This is true doubly so for photography.
myblackeyedfire: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] gbiscuit507, [livejournal.com profile] selestria and I went to see Phantom on Broadway yesterday. I hope they had a good a time as I did. We ate garlic bread and pizza with mushrooms at John's Pizzeria and I had a good talk with [livejournal.com profile] gbiscuit507 about all the things you're not supposed to mention in polite conversation: politics, religious beliefs, and Xena. It felt wonderful to have an expression of ideas without arguments or conflict; we just tried to understand our thoughts and beliefs better. After, we wandered around for a little bit and I noticed the interesting combination of a joke/gag gifts shop next to at porn store that happened to sell gags (as well as all sorts of videos and, er, toys).

Phantom was incredible. Aside from Beauty and the Beast it was the only other musical I've seen on Broadway and I had the same exuberantly pleased reaction. Hugh Panaro played Erik and did it very convincingly. He seemed to slink around on stage and his voice was angelic. The most appealing quality to his performance was that he managed to appear both dangerous and sensitive at the same time. The sensitive part could also be taken as whiny, but I'm not complaining. The only other actor to really intrigue me was Madame Giry. The Victorian outfit, black and proper, along with her cane and hair reminded me of the Ukranian Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko in a good way. From my seat, third row mezzanine wot wot!, she looked like my version of Snape had he been female. It was the stiff but elegant way she carried herself and commanded the ballerinas.

Being me, I couldn't help but start to analyze the show, asking But what does it *mean*?. I had only a rudimentary knowledge of what PotO was about going in so my conclusions may or may not have been valid. I saw Erik as the primal, chtonic side of human nature that is entirely animalistic. No morals guide it, it would kill for the sake of art, and the use of immoral tactics to get the desired result stir no pangs in the conscience. Raoul was the opposite, representing innocence and purity, having met Christine while they were but kids. He is idealism and shining happy love to the core, which is why I couldn't stand him. He seemed spineless, with no edge or fleck of dirt on his character to make the audience relate to him. Christine had both forces in her, was capable of either (Everywoman?) but her own good nature pulled her toward Raoul.

This bothers me. I liked Eric from the moment he crept up on stage. He was clearly intelligent, insanely so, and had a voice Raoul couldn't hope to match. He knew how to make a cloak swoosh and was just so much more *sexual* than Raoul. He kept making references in the songs to how much he desires Christine. "All I Ask of You" sounds childish compared to "The Point of No Return." The second song nearly made me melt when I heard it. I still can't comprehend how Christine could choose to go with Raoul over Erik but that's probably just a transference of my feelings onto her character.

I want to rent the 2004 movie tomorrow and watch that. Consider me hooked. I'm currently reading Susan Kay's Phantom and having more love for Erik after every page.
myblackeyedfire: (Default)
I'm going to NY once again for a week and this time am expected to read a 600+page book, do a report on subject of said book, answer several questions on the subject, and critique the book. No fecking way in hell. I started yesterday and got to page 36 before quitting for the night.

Heh, I was in NY when the blackout happened. The lady next door invited me over around the time my dad came to take my grandfather and me home and instead, spend about half an hour to find me. On the way home we saw many shirtless people, guys directing traffic, tons of closed stores, flashlights and bags of produce everywhere, shirtless people, and this massive swarm of New Yorkers. Naturally, we got stuck in traffic but I got to see how well everyone got on and as I was laying in the car, I could actually see the stars! I told my mom I wouldn't be surprised if someone made "I Survived The Blackout" shirts and sure enough, I saw a photo of a guy selling them in the paper. It was actually a bit fun but I really hope it never happens again and there are investigations into how the grid could be made stronger.


myblackeyedfire: (Default)

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