Be kind to your librarian, send a telegram, and sue Lady Gaga: Bookishness for June 24, 2013


How not to be a dick to a librarian “Don’t tell us you can ‘just Google it’ or find everything you need to know on the Interwebs. We hate that.” Still alive STOP The telegram industry is – well, maybe not booming, but certainly still kicking. (Image via.) Not born that way? French artist Orlan sues Lady Gaga. Poets at the movies “My favorite scene from a movie...

Eudora Welty, Veronica Mars, and ghostwriting Sweet Valley High: Bookishness for Mar. 18, 2013


Ghostwriting “Imagine, superimposed on the gray-and-grainy screen of a floundering, slightly depressed twenty-something, the shimmery outlines of an idealized adolescent world. All drawn—I just had to color it in. I could pick any colors, as long as they were pastel!” On ghostwriting Sweet Valley High. “At least I want to see a ‘Veronica Mars’ movie — I can’t say the...

Forgoing truth for drama: Kathryn Bigelow’s not-so-true story Zero Dark Thirty


Reviewed in this essay: Zero Dark Thirty, written by Mark Boal. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Starring Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, and Kyle Chandler. Running Time: 157 minutes. Opening in Toronto Jan. 11. Kathryn Bigelow’s Academy Award-winning The Hurt Locker (2009) succeeded as a straightforward study of military bomb disarmers. Although the film was set during the second Iraq War, Bigelow...

Racism or condescension: The Wachowskis’ Cloud Atlas problem


Race has been at the centre of some debate surrounding the Wachowski Starship’s latest cinematic offering, Cloud Atlas. Assigning their ensemble cast to a variety of characters each, across six different storylines, Lana and Andy Wachowski use facial prosthetics and post-production touch ups to transform the racial and sexual orientations of their actors. The result has elicited charges of...

Confoundingly Wonderful: Martin McDonagh’s “Seven Psychopaths”


Reviewed in this essay: Seven Psychopaths, written and directed by Martin McDonagh. Starring Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, and Woody Harrelson. Running time: 110 minutes. The trailers for Irish playwright Martin McDonagh’s third film, Seven Psychopaths, are wonderfully misleading: they present the film as a quirky gangster comedy about a dog kidnapping gone wrong. They are so upbeat...