I watched Days of Heaven yesterday for the first time (thanks, Chris and Kase, for telling me it was on Netflix Instant!) I had actually watched The Thin Red Line earlier in the day, and so was more primed for Terrence Malick poeticism than most normal human beings. Which I think was part of the problem. Obviously this movie does things better than any other movie could image— the locust attack, Sam Shepard’s endless simmering reaction shots, those furiously spinning weather instruments on the roof— but it also feels like an embryonic version of what Malick would do later. I think I specifically feel it in the cuts, when he uses these dissolves to cut off conversation, or slams from one place to the other with no sense of flow— comparing it to The Thin Red Line, and how all these dramatically different sequences lead into each other perfectly, it’s especially jarring. It’s patently unfair to look at a filmmaker’s early work and say “Yeah, but it’s not as good as what came next.” But it’s also patently impossible to travel back to 1978 and see this without knowing about The Thin Red Line and Tree of Life

How do I see in Days of Heaven what the awestruck masses saw for two decades when they thought it might be Malick’s last film? How do I appreciate the embryo on its own terms, rather than focus on the amazing creature it will become?



A few New Years resolutions that I actually like

1) To cook more things that are fun or interesting or exciting, and not worry so much about their caloric or fat content. I learned to cook in college because I was on a diet, and as grateful as I am to be able to cook a lot of delicious and healthy things, I have a lot of great cookbooks going to waste because I won’t man up and cook with white pasta on a weeknight. 

2) Be in meaningful contact with more people, especially the far-flung ones. Twitter and Facebook are amazing and powerful, but they aren’t friendship. 

3) To write more things that matter to me. Maybe that will include actually using this thing. 



"i believe in manliness."

This is pretty outrageous, obviously. But something this insane is an outlier, while the actual misogyny that makes the movie industry run— and that affects film critics in way less obvious ways— is harder to laugh at. I’m surprised that someone is willing to put all this on the table, not that these attitudes exist. 



While we focus on Joaquin Phoenix calling awards “bullshit,” my interview with John Hawkes— who’s really, really great in The Sessions—was a nice reminder of how much an Oscar nomination can mean for a talented actor who just needs the material to prove it. 

John Hawkes: “Now I don’t get to do all the parts I want to do, but I don’t have to do parts I don’t want to do anymore.”



After reading this I went to look at who wrote it. And just as I suspected as I was reading the review, it was a female. Go watch The Notebook, you hack.



I suddenly feel like a laser beam is pointed at my forehead.

This piece looks fascinating, obviously. I plan to read it. But in the meantime, can someone skim and tell me if it’s OK or not OK for me to live in Brooklyn?



You don’t even need a silly term like “Bullshit Mountain” to point out the fallacy in believing that ANYONE receiving government support is a moocher, but hey, aren’t we glad Jon Stewart is here to do it anyway. 

I’ve been engaged with the Presidential race way, way more in the last few days, because I am very much a fairweather politics junkie— if things are going badly for my guy, I want to ignore it all and fast-forward to November. But with the wheels falling off for Romney in the last few days, I can’t get enough. This does not make me a better citizen, but it has made the last few days very, very fun. 



Uh-oh, I’m writing about the Oscars again. I know you think it’s too early, but seriously, we need to start being realistic about Zero Dark Thirty’s chances, and we need to start now. 

Uh-oh, I’m writing about the Oscars again. I know you think it’s too early, but seriously, we need to start being realistic about Zero Dark Thirty’s chances, and we need to start now. 



I haven’t sorted out feelings about The Master enough to write about it, but here’s a video blog recorded immediately after the screening that at least gets some thoughts out there. More to come!



{UnWinona}: I debated whether or not to share this story.


And then I debated whether or not to put it on Tumblr…but I decided it was important. Because in my own way, I can (unfortunately) point out exactly what is wrong with men when they don’t realize how hard it is to be a woman. How we do not have equal opportunities and freedoms in everyday life….