February 8th, 2007

10-S, 10-D

Ten random things:

Ten authors mentioned in songs:

  1. Lester Bangs ("It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)" by R.E.M.)
  2. Honoré de Balzac ("Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little" from The Music Man, words and music by Meredith Willson)
  3. Ernest Hemingway ("Don't Laugh I Love You" by Ween)
  4. Boris Pasternak ("We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel)
  5. Bruce Catton ("Civil War Buff" by Richard X. Heyman)
  6. Leo Tolstoy ("You're Nothing Without Me" from City of Angels, music and lyrics by Cy Coleman and David Zippel)
  7. Raymond Chandler ("Three Sisters" by Jim Carroll)
  8. Eugene O'Neill ("You're the Top" from Anything Goes, words and music by Cole Porter)
  9. Vladimir Nabokov ("Don't Stand So Close To Me" by The Police)
  10. Allen Ginsburg ("Give Peace a Chance" by John Lennon)

Bonus multimeda content! Richard X. Heyman, "Civil War Buff" (MP3, 2.5 Mb)

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movies, oscars

(no subject)

I forgot to mention that I saw The Departed on Monday, so I have now seen all five of this year's Best Picture nominees. Go me.

I liked The Departed very much. I'm still kind of stunned by the scene of Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio on the phone with one another but not saying anything -- it was easily the most suspenseful part of the movie, even though there was quite literally nothing at all happening on screen. Good stuff. I was impressed by both Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio, but less so by the supporting actors. Nicholson was Nicholson; he's fine in his role, but I think he's is always a lot better when he tones down the outrageous persona he's developed over the years (like in About Schmidt, or Reds). And I'm not sure I fully understand what the Academy voters saw in Mark Wahlberg's performance. Again, it wasn't a bad performance, but I thought Alec Baldwin's was better.

So, having now seen all five Best Picture nominees, what's my verdict? Well, here it is: I dunno. Scorsese is a mortal lock for Best Director, and in hindsight it's a good thing that he didn't win for Gangs of New York or The Aviator, because The Departed is a far better film than either one, so no one will be able to say that his win this year was a consolation prize for not having won before. So does that mean The Departed will win Best Picture? Hard to say. Back in the day, I would have said yes, but in recent years the trend seems to be toward giving Best Picture and Best Director to different films. The Departed is awfully violent, and I can see that turning off some older Academy voters. On the other hand, I would have said the same about The Silence of the Lambs, so it doesn't require a stretch of the imagination to see The Departed winning Best Picture. That said, my gut says Babel will win Best Picture.
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    White Stripes - Fell In Love With A Girl