Sunday, September 13, 2009

grow and change

canned some tomatoes with amie yesterday. maybe there'll be some photo documentation on her site in the not too distant future (hint, hint). brunch this morning featured a fairly incredible 3-layered peach and nectarine pavlova with sour whipped cream courtesy of zoe, a friend/co-worker of laurel and amie.

also watched synecdoche, new york and cold souls this weekend. i do not generally recommend the former unless you're into semi-incoherent david-lynch-type films. it's ambitious in terms of its thematic scope, but it really lost me in the middle when it veered away from linear narrative. i'm sure there was some meaning in it, but i could not figure out what it was exactly. it re-congealed toward the end, when the main character's grandiose macarthur-genius-award-funded theatrical work takes on a life of its own. the actor he hires to play himself begins a romance with his assistant, while the main character has a run-in with the woman playing the assistant. it becomes mind-bending in the fun way that kaufman's other stuff (eternal sunshine, adaptation, being john malkovich) is. the result of the love, loss, jealousy, and existential crises is ultimately depressing, emotionally draining, and confusing.

cold souls was easier to wrap my head around. alternately darkly humorous and completely ridiculous, it's paul giamatti at his best and probably most likable role (dude plays a lotta losers and curmudgeons). there's less to it than synecdoche, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. focusing more squarely on the question of identity and existence, it still tackles love, loss, and jealousy, but by using one frame of reference it creates a more coherent story. and you get to see paul giamatti do a pretty good impression of a bad william shatner performance in a chekhov play. the ending lacks much of a resolution though, which is pretty unsatisfying.

also: glee. watched the season opener. generally enjoyable. they seem to be blowing their sexual tension load a little early regarding the football player–nerdy singer. also, the lip synching is a little over the top and distracting. i'd rather the performances feel more live, less produced. the whole kanye west interlude was, frankly, awful—too cheesy even for a show that is steeped in a variety of dairy. the extent to which all of the characters are fairly gross stereotypes is somewhat bothersome. that said, it's only the first episode (well, second, if you include the pilot), and there's plenty of room to grow and change.

1 comment:

dad said...

Flushy Haven't seen the Giamatti movie but it's on the list. Thanks for the review. Generally have heard good things about it. Also, on Glee -- I'm less likely to deconstruct it and would rather just enjoy it. But I especially felt like you that there are too many high production value performance scenes. I like the small group in context scenes better. But I really enjoy the show. I've never forgotten what it is like to be in high school and it's been a lot of years since then.