words kill, words give life

an education

Posted in books and stories, Uncategorized by Kaitlin on March 16, 2010

lynn barber, an education, book, cover, american, us, inspiration, adaptation, memoir, nonfictionLynn Barber’s memoir is a quick read – I read it in an afternoon.  I’ll admit, the only reason I bought this was because I had heard good things about the movie, but Barber’s voice makes it a must. She is succinct, but knows when to dab an extra bit of description.

The movie, “An Education,” is based on an article published in “Granta,” which Barber later expanded into the book. Her memoir starts with her earliest memories and continues into 2009. She has led a fascinating life.

Barber worked for “Penthouse” and published the revolutionary book “How to Improve Your Man in Bed.” She also worked for “Vanity Fair” and wrote “The Heyday of Natural History” chronicling how Darwinism affected Victorian natural history books. Barber is a dryly witty Scheherazade, an incredibly versatile new journalist and all this young writer could ever hope to be. lynn barber, smoking, author, photo, writer, black and white, woman, interviewer, journalist, an education, bookGay Talese step aside, this writing major has a new idol.

i don’t care about your band

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 15, 2010

The cover of this book by Julie Klausner first caught my eye, the title made me pick it up, and the endorsement quote by the ever funny  Rachel Dratch convinced me to buy it. Like I expected, it is a humorous look at a series of failed relationships. However, I was totally unprepared for it’s detours into psychoanalysis.i don't care about your band, book cover, julie clausner, cupid, heart, arrow, swimsuit, red, pink, blue, polka dots, what i learned from indie rockers, trust funders, pornographers, felons, faux sensitive hipsters and other guys i've dated

Klausner’s funny, but I don’t need the explanation that, unlike most girls who “drift toward the more unsavory characters in the dating pool,” she and her dad had a great relationship. When she leaves the action to analyze her motives, my attention leaves too. If you don’t mind a book that is half “laugh at my life” and half “this is why I’m crying,” then this is the book for you.

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BTW, and this is probably the writing major in me talking, “I don’t care about your band” could use one more good copy edit. I’m talking multiple words that are missing a letter or misspelled, plus some awkward  phrasing that slows the read.

5 movies for martians

Posted in movies and television by Kaitlin on March 14, 2010

If aliens from Mars crash-landed in my backyard (assuming I had a backyard), I would make them watch these movies before taking them to my leader (assuming they didn’t kill me first).

“Thank You for Smoking” to show the weird way our government works.

aaron eckhart, aron, erin, eckheart, ekhart, ekheart, thank you for smoking, nick naylor, nailor, nailer, microphones, press conference, interview, lobbyist, movie, film, audrey hepburn, breakfast at tiffany's, film, movie, blake edwards, holly golightly, lula mae barnes, little black dress, lbd, givenchy, cat, crates, window, toast, heels,

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” for appreciation of glamour, love and all else that Audrey Hepburn embodies.

“Singing in the Rain” to illustrate the wonderfulness that is random breaking into song.

gene kelly, gean, jean, kelley, singing in the rain, movie, film, comedy, classic, don lockwood, dancing, hat, umbrella, puddleveronica sawyer, winona ryder, heathers, funeral, movie, film, teen, murder, suicide, kim walker, heather chandler

“Heathers” because even Martians should be afraid of teenagers.

Update: I removed “Mars Attacks” from this list after a Martian told me it was an  inaccurate and offensive depiction of the species, “We look much more like that cute little boy from ‘Martian Child’ than we look like those big-brained fiends.” My deepest apologies to any offended aliens.

movies i want to see

Posted in movies and television by Kaitlin on March 13, 2010

From repossessed organs to vampiric Shakespeare, from dark comedies to tearjerker dramas, these are the movies I’m excited to see this spring:

Repo Men March 19

The Greatest April 2

The Joneses April 16

Kick Ass April 16

The Good Heart April 30

I Love You Philip Morris April 30

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead May 21

excuses & lies

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 12, 2010

excuses & lies, knock knock, book, cover, inset, preview, urban outfitters, lines for all occasions I picked up this little gem in Urban Outfitters today. Now, I pride myself on being a pretty good liar, but even the best cons need a little help sometime. And this book may be the best assist a tired fibber could ever have.excuses & lies, knock knock, book, cover, inset, preview, urban outfitters, lines for all occasions

twitter + literature = ?

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 11, 2010

twitter, literature, twitterature, twiterature, author, writer, university of chicago, alexander aciman, alex, alexandre, alesander, aceman, acimen, acemen, akimen, akiman, akemen, akeman, emmet rensin, emmett, emett, emet resin, rensen, nineteen, college students, book, cover

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“Twitterature” is a new book by nineteen-year-old University of Chicago students Alexander Aciman (left) and Emmett Rensin (right) with the goal of reducing more than eighty pieces of literature into less than twenty tweets, “to its purest, pithiest essence.”

You may doubt the purity of its abridgments, but “Twitterature” is undeniably pithy. My only complaint is that I didn’t think of it first.

white collar – a season finale

Posted in movies and television by Kaitlin on March 10, 2010

neal caffrey, matt bomer, white collar, out of the box, hat,    turtleneck, manThe USA show ended it’s season last night with the FBI’s resident con, Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) discovering the location of a music box he can to trade to free his hostage girlfriend. No spoilers here, but I will say the last 90 seconds are a guaranteed surprise. You can catch the last episode now on hulu.

Even if you don’t regularly watch the show, this episode is a must for Matt Bomer fans (think skinny dipping and shirtless sculpting). If this episode leaves you all hot and bothered, don’t worry. “White Collar” will return this summer.

the boy who couldn’t sleep and never had to

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 8, 2010

I’m uber-excited that I got this book in the mail. Watch the author, D. C. Pierson, explain his writing tips, and you’ll want to read it too.

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academy awards

Posted in movies and television by Kaitlin on March 7, 2010

Hosted by Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, the 82nd Oscars air tonight at 8:30 on ABC. I listed the nominees for some of the categories below. The ones I think will win are underlined, and the ones I think should win are italicized.

Best Motion Picture of the Year Nominees:

Avatar (2009): James Cameron, Jon Landau

The Blind Side (2009): Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson

District 9 (2009): Peter Jackson, Carolynne Cunningham

An Education (2009): Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey

The Hurt Locker (2008): Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier, Greg Shapiro

Inglourious Basterds (2009): Lawrence Bender

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009): Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness, Gary Magness

A Serious Man (2009): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Up (2009): Jonas Rivera

Up in the Air (2009/I): Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman, Jason Reitman

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Nominees:

Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side (2009)

Helen Mirren for The Last Station (2009)

Carey Mulligan for An Education (2009)

Gabourey Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia (2009)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Nominees:

Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart (2009)

George Clooney for Up in the Air (2009/I)

Colin Firth for A Single Man (2009)

Morgan Freeman for Invictus (2009)

Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker (2008)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Nominees:

Matt Damon for Invictus (2009)

Woody Harrelson for The Messenger (2009/I)

Christopher Plummer for The Last Station (2009)

Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones (2009)

Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Nominees:

Penélope Cruz for Nine (2009)

Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air (2009/I)

Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart (2009)

Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air (2009/I)

Mo’Nique for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

Best Achievement in Directing Nominees:

Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker (2008)

James Cameron for Avatar (2009)

Lee Daniels for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

Jason Reitman for Up in the Air (2009/I)

Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Nominees:

The Hurt Locker (2008): Mark Boal

Inglourious Basterds (2009): Quentin Tarantino

The Messenger (2009/I): Alessandro Camon, Oren Moverman

A Serious Man (2009): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Up (2009): Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Thomas McCarthy

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published Nominees:

District 9 (2009): Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell

An Education (2009): Nick Hornby

In the Loop (2009): Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009): Geoffrey Fletcher

Up in the Air (2009/I): Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year Nominees:

Coraline (2009): Henry Selick

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009): Wes Anderson

The Princess and the Frog (2009): John Musker, Ron Clements

The Secret of Kells (2009): Tomm Moore

Up (2009): Pete Docter

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Nominees:

Crazy Heart (2009): T-Bone Burnett, Ryan Bingham(“The Weary Kind”)

Faubourg 36 (2008): Reinhardt Wagner, Frank Thomas(“Loin de Paname”)

Nine (2009): Maury Yeston(“Take It All”)

The Princess and the Frog (2009): Randy Newman(“Almost There”)

The Princess and the Frog (2009): Randy Newman(“Down in New Orleans”)

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

who do you think you are?

Posted in movies and television by Kaitlin on March 6, 2010

sarah jessica parker, who do you think you are, reality show, family tree, records, library, courthouse, pearls, reading, real life, history, nbc, screen shotNBC’s celebrity genealogy show premiered Friday at 8. This “Who do you think you are?” is the latest incarnation of the British original (versions  air in eight different countries).

The American pilot features “Sex in the City” alum Sarah Jessica Parker as the first of “seven of the world’s most beloved celebrities” — Brooke Shields, Emmet Smith, Susan Sarandon, Matthew Broderick, Lisa Kudrow, Spike Lee and SJP.

Not exactly my most beloved celebrities, but I can see the desire to expand the list past deep-eyed Jew boys and  manic pixie dream girls.

My favorite part of the show was SJP’s dramatic overacting. After “buckets of questions” she discovered the family she assumed were boring  German immigrants (“no way they let our ancestors on the Mayflower”) actually traced back to the gold rush (Oh, no — I’m a relative of a dreamer; I’m a relative of a fool”), Salem witch trials (“I can’t imagine the courage it would take to be accused, to have everyone around pointing at you.”) and 1630s Connecticut (“I know I have now historical roots; I have family, ancestral roots here”).

Her conclusion: “I believed in America. I believed in, you know, the things I loved about being American. But I never felt that I was really American. What I’ve learned is that I have real stock in this country and real roots. I have belonging. I have, you know, I’m an American, I’m actually an American.”

Because she wasn’t American if her family immigrated after the 1700s. As SJP said, “Oh. My. God. Un-be-lievable. It’s absolutely crazy. It’s crazy time.”