Sunday, November 29, 2009

Editing Papa Grice, Movie Marathon Needed in 6 Hours, "The Natural"

Papa Grice, a man not too often featured here on this old Bloggle, recently sent me a piece he's submitting to some Southern magazines; he asked me to edit it.

The charming daughter that I am (ha, ahem... ahem), I opened the .doc file and went to work; we have had our differences, many -- plenty -- but, he's still my Pops.

I'm not one to turn something like that down.

Well, my Dear Old Dad sent me something great. It was a great editorial piece - something that I'd have kissed the sweet e-mail gods for sending me a few years back, had it been submitted by an old Crimson writer.

It involves a memory he has from when he was 16 - he was at a family get-together in Louisiana, and part of his family shuns another part. He was put in-between everyone, and made to take sides.

I've thought of old Papa G as a rationalist, much like myself, forever. And, I realized that he is kind of -- deep down -- sort of a silly irrationalist. At least, that's what's conveyed in his writing.

I don't think he reads this Bloggle, but I wish he did sometimes. My writings so clearly come from his influence.

The above YouTube is something he'd love -- a movie he made me watch a bazillion times, and I was all the better for it. "The Natural."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Second Chapter of Morgan Chronicles, Etc.

Here's a bit more on the Morgan Chronicles -- Chapter Two can be read here. What can I say? Nothing - nothing that'll not make her hate me later in life. I don't think she will ... I try to be mindful of her, thoughtful in not making her an antagonist.

She's a brilliant little girl -- I hope the documenting of her life - a very vulnerable-making thing - is received well when she's older. I have many years to wait.

Movie List! (The Start), Informant, Inglourious, September, Bright Star ... Etc.

I've finally got the energy to post the Movie List. I've finished four chapters of The Morgan Stories, I've beaten down the swine flu (or, its relative), and the Band of Horses song ("The Funeral") has been removed from my YouTube playlist. It had to be done if I was going to stop staring at the wall and letting myself get adrift in my head. God, that song has awful effects.

"The Informant!"

I saw this one twice -- once with a friend in Houston, once with Mama G at the good old Dollar Cinema. I really liked this movie. I loved the whimsical music and his (Matt Damon's) narration mostly involving the production of corn syrup in the Midwest. It had a feel of "Stranger than Fiction," mixed with "The Hoax" and "Catch Me if You Can." Not a lot of folks saw "The Hoax" (Richard Gere, Alfred Molina), but I'd dare say they should've. One of the FBI Special Agents in the movie is Joel McHale, who's now one of the leads in "Community," a show I could take or leave -- but he's rather dreamy, and has an impressive range.

"Inglourious Basterds"

I had to see this one twice, too, as I'd fallen asleep during the first viewing. I'm an unabashed, cliched Tarantino-lover, so I was likely going to like it no matter what. But, I really did enjoy it on many levels. Its fabrication of this faux-group of Nazi killers was good in its concoction of characters that would have believable motive to go and skin the skulls of some Nazis ... it was steeped, of course, in Tarantino's bizarro world of comically extreme characters, but -- it was great. Femme Fatale-ish, revenge-strewn, etc. I wouldn't hope it wins many Oscars (a little too long, a little too Tarantino-living-out-his-comic-book-dreams), but I'll watch it plenty, plenty of times.

"The September Issue"

Lordy me, I haven't thought about my viewing of this at the River Oaks theater in Houston in quite a while -- it's a hoity-toity place that I only visited because of circumstance. It's a documentary on Anna Wintour, the lady that makes Vogue en vogue. It was well done - nothing to write home about (hello, Mama G!), but good nonetheless. It made me reminiscent of my old days in the fashion world - a place I'd never, ever go back to, but reminiscent nonetheless.

"Bright Star"

I briefly mentioned this movie before, but it deserves a second mention. This was a fantastic film -- about John Keats and his magical love for Fanny Brawne ... I might've cried a little in this one. It's beautifully shot, the story is great - and makes you a hopeless romantic for a while, until you slap some sense into yourself. I really loved this movie ... and I was on such a movie kick that day that I drove (DROVE!) over to another theater to see ...

"The Boys Are Back"

Clive Owen, that be-whiskered face, those eyes, stars in this one. No one saw it, save for me and some old ladies, I suppose. It's based on a true story -- he's a journalist, married to a lovely, lovely lady. Right early on in the movie, she keels over and dies -- after sharing some nice, slight glances at each other at a dinner party. Boom, she's gone. He has to assume responsibility of his family, and is bequeathed another young soul to look after as well. My good gods, that movie made me feel like "The Constant Gardener" was child's play, in terms of jerking my feelings around. I like to think I have none! And, these movies ... they make me pinch myself.

I can't write about the rest just yet. There are too many -- I should've been more judicious in my time.

Little Morgan, Movies, First Chapter

I've spent the good part of my last week talking to Little Morgan all day on G-chat. She's 10 years old, and I'm able to relate to her on a remarkable level; she's at an age where she's no longer as malleable as aluminum foil, but still lovably naive and sweet. And very, very smart.

That I can relate so well to a 10 year old is ... well, telling.

Over the summer, I was her effective caregiver during daytime hours -- Mama G and Brother G were at work all day, while I was "working" at home on the computer. When Morgan The Little would get bored of ABC Family or building her dream doll house, she'd quietly come peek around the corner from the hallway to see what I was up to. I'd always pretend that I didn't see her nosy eyes, but then I'd get up from my chair, saunter over, slowly, to my purse and fetch out the keys. I'd jingle them a bit and say, "Let's go, kid."

If I were feeling rich that day, we'd go to the regular theaters; more often, I'd take her to the second-run Dollar Cinema (now $1.50, those jerks). We did this nearly every single day for three months.

I miss her.

I've been working on a "book" about her -- the first chapter can be read here, for anyone interested.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Precious, Popular Science, Happy Thanksgiving

I strode on over to the Loews in Kips Bay today, pivoting my penny-loafers (I placed the pennies there myself) eastwards from the steps of my new office at Popular Science. I was en route to see "Precious: Based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire."

I'd already heard things about the movie, sure, but I hadn't really read much on it. My old best lady friend from home, who's now a social worker in Houston, had told me how she and her co-workers had made a field trip out of the movie; on a planned group-outing, they'd opted to see this movie instead of growing merry at some Happy Hour -- and given her affinity for making me and others watch educational videos on the importance of psych therapy this summer (something I tend to find as rationally-acceptable as voo-doo dolls), I knew what I was getting into, sort of.

I walked into the theater a few minutes before showtime, and it was empty. I had my popcorn and Diet Coke in hand (go hard, or go home), and seated myself. In the next ten minutes before the movie began, only three bespectacled old women -- alone -- sauntered in and took seat before the big screen.

It's the day before Thanksgiving, I'm in a theater with three little old ladies who gave me quiet smiles as they passed me, about to see the most depressing (questionable) movie in a good long while. I was comforted by what my future holds.

The movie stars newcomer Gaburey 'Gabby' Sidibe (who's roughly my age, yet plays a 16-year-old) as a horribly neglected, abused, yet innately bright youth, Precious. At the film's start, we find she's about to have her second child -- by her own father. Her mother (played by Mo'Nique) routinely throws pans or glass projectiles at Precious's head or generally demeans her to an inhumanely degree (Mama G, take note!) She, Precious, is tremendously overweight, has hallucinations about being a lithe, light-skinned woman, and is just generally one of the most tragic figures of film in (my) recent memory.

Stylistically, I'm not sure if I loved the choppiness, the intermingling of flashbacks with blurred-in fascinations of what-could-be -- but, overall, it was a great tale to tell. I shed some tears into my popcorn, perhaps.

However, given my transient nature of late: Texas, NY, back to Texas, back to NY, new job, etc., I've been shedding tears like never before when I'm accompanied by my screens, silver or small.

When I was sick lately, I watched 34 episodes of Friday Night Lights; there wasn't one where I didn't have to sit up (weakly) and utter: "Grice, do not cry, you big baby. Do not."

I'm going to post my list of ... Lord, 20+ movies that I've seen lately, tomorrow. I'll just do stars-value. These old fingers can't type out all the thoughts!

Happy Thanksgiving!