Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Walk the Line

marjorie says...

I finally saw Walk the Line last night, and was very pleased by the performances. Both Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon were really great. I’m amazed that they are the ones doing the singing-truly incredible performances.

This movie is very much about the personal life of Johnny Cash--it’s a great love story actually and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

But at the same time I guess I’m a little disappointed. Music was very prominent in the movie, of course, because both Johnny and June were performers to the core. But in terms of the music being the point, of looking at how Johnny’s music evolved, the movie was pretty silent. It also did not show how deep his relationship was with all the Carters, or, for that matter, really get across how phenomenal that family is. If you really love what I guess we could call roots country music, I think this movie teases you a little.

Nonetheless, I was very entertained. In particular I loved that the film showed the early touring through North East Texas. I’m from right in the middle of Texarkana and Tyler, and grew up listening to my dad tell a story about seeing Elvis on the same type of touring act seen in this show. I believe it was the show in this list on September 26, 1955. He and his friend took a short cut through the back of gym on their way out and ran into Elvis sitting in a chair with his head immersed in a bucket of ice water. He looked up at them as they came through and commented on how hot it was. Yes, it goes without saying that it was very hot in there!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Soul movies

Maggie says:
Movies are more than movies these days. They're feeding my soul. And I've only seen a quarter of those on my list! Here's what my soul's been getting lately:
  • Capote. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I cannot underestimate the performances of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, and Chris Cooper. I adore these three actors and could not have been more impressed by what they did with their roles. I'm a huge fan of internal performances, and each of these are very much that. Keener is absolutely breathtaking. As Harper Lee, there's a shot of her by a window with the light illuminating her face that will just level you with her beauty and strength. She's not meant to be a beautiful character - she's strong, she's smart (and we can't be beautiful, right?) - but her wisdom is elevated in the way the camera highlights the lines of her face. The story here - we all know the story - is very well done, especially when it comes to portraying the era and the absolute shock these murders instilled in everyone, and in how Capote's initial curiosity becomes a morbid obsession and something of a vanity project. I love that the movie didn't try and show the community viewpoint of the Kansans in the town of the murders, which would inevitably be full of stereotypes and "let's watch how backward Kansas citizens are" moments. The movie didn't need to go there, didn't draw sweeping conclusions that would have been as backward as the supposed reactions of the residents. See this one. See it to know the story, to appreciate these performances, and to marvel at how the conscience of the movie becomes the woman who's technically not part of the story at all. Oscars all over this one.
  • Good Night and Good Luck. I already wrote briefly about this movie on m-pyre, but here it is: this movie will stand as a great testament to a moment Americans need to remember. It's a testament to the power of the media and a time when the media was willing to take a stand, to make a difference. The acting's great; the casting is superb; this movie is just plain excellent.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I saw this with not one but three dates - my favorite NC girls. Sophie was beaming at the dance scenes, Sally was laughing at the silly moments, and Zoe was breathlessly clapping every time her crush Cedric came on the screen. Then we all tried not to cry at the end, and talked about how ready we are for the next movie. Not to mention the next book, which of course these three are anxiously awaiting along with me. There's nothing like driving your three little cousins home while they're blowing kisses to the guy in the car next to you after the movie because, you know, he looks just like Victor Krum.
  • Shopgirl. I'm hoping Mikaela will write more about this one (she's seen it twice now). M3 saw it last night and we just loved it. Two older couples walked out during the first quarter of this movie, but we couldn't stop laughing and being touched all the way through. The movie's very subtle, and it very delicately balances two seemingly opposite men and the young woman caught between them. The Nation is right: Claire Danes is phenomenal. Her face perfectly shows us her doubt, her insecurity, her uneasy happiness, her fears, her tentativeness, then finally, her true happiness. The line that floored me went something like this (with apologies to Steve Martin for undoubtedly messing it up): "He realized that only loving part of her, instead of loving all of her, had hurt them both." This was a movie that touched me by the sweetness of one character versus the elegance of another, its portrayal of being loved by the last person you'd ever guess to be, and the notion that happiness can find us when we least expect it to, via someone we'd never have guessed.
So what's next? Walk the Line (still waiting for a chance to see this one with someone who'll be into it as much as me), Syriana, Brokeback Mountain (what I'm most anxious to see), All the King's Men (absolutely loved this book), Memoirs of a Geisha (enjoyed this book, although I didn't love it), and The Family Stone (can't resist this cast).

Are there more? Probably. In other words, you can find me in the theaters until Valentine's Day.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Weight of Poetry

"Let us remember...that in the end we go to poetry for one reason, so that we might more fully inhabit our lives and the world in which we live them, and that if we more fully inhabit these things, we might be less apt to destroy both."

Christian Wiman, Editor of Poetry Magazine.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Afghan Woman Poet Killed for Writing

Mikaela says:
Of course the American papers had nothing on this important cultural item. A rising poet star in Afghanistan, Nadia Anjuman, just 25 years old was allegedly murdered by her husband, according to the London Times.

She had a 6-month old baby. She attended a "sewing school" 3 days a week, where a renegade professor flaunted the edict not to educate women and taught them to read the classics and write poetry.

Her first book of verse, Gule Dudi — Dark Flower, won international critical acclaim. She was working on her second book when she died. Her family was disgraced to have such a daughter and outraged at her defiance to continue writing. Her husband claims her death was a suicide.

Her poetry alluded to an acute sense of confinement. “I am caged in this corner, full of melancholy and sorrow,” she wrote in one “ghazal”, or lyrical poem, adding: “My wings are closed and I cannot fly.” It concludes: “I am an Afghan woman and must wail.”
Let us remember here in the land of the free and sometimes brave that every act of cultural creation is radical.

I read a poem the other night to a public audience for the first time in almost ten years. I was one of two women who signed up.

We must remember some of us are more empowered to speak -- even in America -- and that is the duty of all of us to make room for the least-heard voices. For those of us who write but are too modest or too scared to share, speak up! Speak up! Speak up! Add your voice to the revolution.

We need to hear before we are all silenced.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Movie list

Mikaela says:
There's so much I don't have time to see! And the list just keeps growing. Here to remind me of what I will not see anytime soon (roughly in order of urgency):
  • Harry Potter -- saw it alone, which took some of the punch out of the movie, but still dark and good.
  • Shop Girl -- saw it alone, which I think added to the experience. I will see this again. And again. And learn from it.
  • Wallace & Gromit -- soon to go to the dollar movie, so will wait til then
  • Corpse Bride -- saw it AT the dollar movie, thank god. Sucked ass.
  • Pride and Prejudice -- saw it last night...ROCKED!
  • March of the Penguins -- soon to leave the dollar movie, so I gotta hurry
  • In Her Shoes
  • Elizabethtown
  • Good Night, Good Luck
  • Just Like Heaven -- only makes the list because it's at the dollar movie
  • The Weatherman
  • Capote
There are others, but they've already come and gone from the theatres, so I must hope to recognize them on the video shelves.

In a few months, when I can go rent videos for fun...

Sniff, sniff, sniff.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Jonesing for a little Word Play?

Mikaela says:
Come on, I know you are! NPS left you wanting more. NEEDING more.

Here to give it to you this week at MAS Poetry housed by m-pyre's favorite coffee shop features one of my favorite poets and all-around hilarious guy, Eirean Bradley.

(I won't give his nickname airtime because it has to be the worst handle EVER, and I can say that only because I told him that point-blank.)


That said: Come to Culture!

MASPoetry slam and open-mic
with featured poet EIREAN BRADLEY

111 Harvard SE
(across from UNM)

7 pm

I'll save you a seat. See you there.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

New Month, New Communion with the Starts... Stars .... I mean stars!

(March 20-April 19)
We're in the thick of Mars in Taurus retrograde, and I wonder what you're thinking. Mars allegedly hates to be retrograde, but in light of the human development project that has emerged since the days of ancient Greece, old astrological views need to be rethought and revised. This rare transit is giving you an opportunity to do just that with your values and deepest beliefs, particularly the ever-sensitive matter of how you feel about yourself. Yes, you're an Aries -- you have the ability to go forward no matter what. And you are human; all humans doubt themselves. Events, developments and your introspective journey during this phase, which goes through Dec. 11 but unfolds for at least a month beyond, will help you get to the bottom of those doubts, and to find some genuine treasures within. There's an added benefit: what you learn about yourself now will provide valuable experience for a leadership opportunity that manifests early next year.

(June 21-July 22)
Few people can relate to others on the intuitive level that's so natural to you. In the most sensitive affairs of life -- sex, creativity and communication -- most of the world goes for pre-packaged, with sugar and salt being the first two ingredients. True to your sign, you are the homemade type in all that you do. There is a significant shift developing in your environment, allowing you to open and expand your energy in a way that you and others will feel and notice. What you may also notice is a shift away from the distinctly cautious approach you've taken to life for so long, perhaps with good reason, probably with some frustration. Saturn leaving your sign started the process; Jupiter and the Sun entering your sympathetic sign Scorpio are a definite continuation in the right direction. Sensuality may not be your main purpose in life, but you are now free to drink from that well.

(Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
I'm not big on recommending spiritual solutions; too often, they are evasions. But you have a lot to gain from looking at your situation from any angle that's different than the one from which you're now looking at it. There's a particular way the past is weighing heavily on you, so if the tides of existence pull you in the direction of inquiring in that territory, I suggest you go with the flow and not worry that you're dwelling on what you should have got over long ago. But the future is calling just as vividly -- that future being a way of understanding yourself now that helps you notice clearly what affects you in this moment, and what does not. Once again, the issue surrounds noticing under what conditions you feel safe, and actually documenting the threatening influences that are lingering like so much radioactivity from ancient history. But you have to find it to clean it up.

Catch your own stars at Planet Waves.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

What a compliment

Maggie says:
From The Nation, in its review of Shopgirl, regarding Claire Danes:
Watching her, you think other actresses look half-alive at best. You even forget for a while that other actresses exist.
Our girl's come a long way since "My So-Called Life." Or maybe, finally living up to its promise?

Man did I have a thing for Jordan Catalano. Me and every other girl.

PS since I'm talking movies: Stay tuned for my Capote review. After the thesis, I have so much to say. Absolutely amazing.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Downtown about to get a whole lot hotter

Mikaela says:
That's right! Bikram Yoga is moving to the hood!

Never heard of Bikram Yoga? That's okay, it's still pretty new. You're still cool.

Bikram's a dude from ... oh, shit ... safe to say Calcutta who studied yoga forever and then met with all the gurus then a bunch of doctors to figure out how to work every muscle, major organ, and tendon in the body through a series of 26 traditional yoga postures you do in a room heated up to 105 degrees.

Woo-hoo! Sounds like fun, no?

Well it is. Damn hard work and sometimes nearly kills you, yes. But fun. And it WRINGS YOU OUT LIKE YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE.

I, for one, cannot WAIT for the new studio to be done and open for business.

Right now, the only Bikram studio in Albuquerque is near Juan Tabo and Indian School, which is fine if you live near the Heights, but for those of us Campus Kids, that's just too damn far, not to mention that the class takes 1.5 hours, and you have to be there at least 10 minutes early and to shower 10 minutes after (trust me -- you HAVE to shower after this class!), so your little workout actually takes 2.5 hours what with commute time added in. That's TOO hardcore for this hardcore gal. Maybe not for you, rude boy.

So now I can bike from work to yoga and sweat my little heart out (hmmm... mixed metaphor, anyone?)

Come with me in December! Drink lots of water first, okay? And sit down if you feel dizzy, nauseous, or if the room starts going black.