When it comes to houseguestiquette, the etiquette of having and being a houseguest, it is best to do as I say, not as I do. Not only am I a conscientious pull-out couch resister, but, as both a host and houseguest, Ive always been too punk rock to be Martha Stewart.
I am not the natural heir to the etiquette throne, God knows. I come from a family so uncouth that my former shrink once unblinkingly labeled them a "pack of wolves." I grew up in Greater Boston, one of this countrys coldest regions in both weather and temperament, and I emigrated to Brooklyn, not Manhattan, more than 10 years ago not for opera at the Met, dinner at the Four Seasons, and "Talk of the Town," but for rock-the-mike block parties, West Indian take-out, and stoop-snooping.
Exes are not just deal-breakers in the game of Scrabble, nor consonants that proliferate embarrassingly pleasurable science fiction. Nay, exes are also the term for what most accurately, if unkindly, can be referred to as romantic detritus.
Whats most intriguing about director Lone Scherfigs first post-Dogme 95 feature, the admittedly appealing Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, is where and how it falls short.
Discovering a Francis Ford Coppola movie youve never seen is a little like that New York City dream in which you stumble upon a whole room youve never noticed before in your apartment.
Before I present the second annual Dubious Honors movie awards, Ive decided to come out of the closet. Every year at awards time I launch into long tirades about the hypocrisies of Hollywood and other film institutions, but the truth is that Im as biased as the next person. Its time I owned up to my own potential dealbreaker.
Theres a reason comedic actors generally dont win Oscars and its not just because the Oscars are pure mishegos. A lot of comedic actors are funny at the expense of truly inhabiting a part. And when they do try to "act seriously," they take on a forced quality, a knitted browà la Jim Carey or Robin Williamsthat signals "I am actor, hear me roar." (Although, sadly, Williams did win an Oscar for his "serious" role as the shrink with the crap Boston accent in Good Will Hunting).
I want to like John Sayles movies. Time was when I couldnt resist them, though it may have been Sayless long muscles clad in jeans fairly bulging with a social conscience that I really couldnt resist.
I dont have one of those fathers who dispenses pellets of wisdom like Pez, but he does have one choice saying: "Theres no shame in any job, so long as you do it well."
Metamovies ruined my party. Recently I hosted a crafts night, as we Brooklyn girls are known for our craftiness. There we were, all knitting, crocheting, baking cookies, when someone brought up Adaptation, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonzes latest, much-publicized collaboration. The movie is about making a movie, or, rather, Kaufmans struggle to adapt Susan Orleans real-life novel The Orchid Thief into a passable Hollywood screenplay. In other words, the movie is, as my friend Jocelyn described it, "meta meta meta meta."
Pallid affairs aesthetically, LaButes triumvirate shares a stiltedness with his two other films, the bracing comedy Nurse Betty (2000) and last years Possession, a bloodless adaptation of A.S. Byatts terrific novel.
All laurels eventually become resting grounds, and with Coffee and Cigarettes, Jim Jarmusch rides his own coattails, with none of the panache that defined his earlier work.
Heres a dilemma. Say you always complain that filmmakers need to be more socially responsible, that they need tonot to put too fine a point on itget off their cinematic asses and make filmsno, movies that reflect that, aside from Michael Jordan, Mohammed, or Jesus Christ, nobody plays a greater hand in forming how and what people today believe and do than filmmakers.
Mel Gibson suffers from crucifixation, which would be fine if he were just another masochist calling 900 numbers when his wife was out of town.
When Tolstoy wrote that "happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way," he didnt know to add that unhappy families who relentlessly document themselves belong to a category unto itself.