[children] never spoken always heard

There are no signs, there are no stars aligned.

First of all, OMG RACHEL WHAT. It's an old photoshoot, but it's kind of insane and amazing. She looks really bored in some pictures, like she "has to take a wet shit" in others, and just crazy dominatrix in others.

Second, MOVIES. Specifically, A Single Man, The Doom Generation, and Broken Embraces. I tried to make it a Penelope Cruz double-feature today, but I could not even bring myself to theater-hop Nine. I have no intention of giving Rob Marshall any of my money either. Maybe I'll piggy-back it with An Education next week.

A Single Man is easily one of my favorite movies this year, and my reaction to it was similar to how I felt for Little Ashes and A Serious Man (has there been A Serious, Single Man mash-up? it would be so many shades of win). I found the images clearly very painterly, and I love any film that just kills me with gorgeous framing. Tom Ford wouldn't be expected to do anything less, I suppose, but I still found the imagery of the film incredibly haunting and beautiful. There were many shots that made me cry, simply as individual frames, very similar to the coffee-making shot in A Serious Man. I wish I could be intelligent and coherent about A Single Man, but I just found it to be so genuinely beautiful and affecting. There were so many specific things that I died for- not literally, of course- like the Strunk daughter in the bank, the scorpion in the glass, Charley's pink cigarettes that matched her fingernails, the shot of Jim and George sitting together on the couch.

I need to reread the novel, after bawling pretty hard during the ending while on my break at work on Christmas Eve, and probably post excerpts here. Its effect on me is very similar to how I felt about Brideshead Revisited. After reading it, I felt irrevocably changed, like someone had yanked out my intestines through my eyes and mouth, and that salty inside emptiness, coupled with my brain working overtime, just made me fall in love. Definitely going to have to see the film again soon and not just for bonus! Lee Pace, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Erin Daniels.

One thing that I love- and hate- about films is marketing, and I think that the first step toward me loving a movie is its trailer. I really cannot stop watching A Single Man's trailer. Way to go, Weinsteins:

The critics quotations are really obnoxious, but the music ("Carlos" from the yet-to-be-released soundtrack) and the editing is fabulous. The first time I saw the preview, I teared up.

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Oy vey, this post. I love trailers with distinctive sound and pretty pictures though. SHARE SOME WITH ME.
[children] never spoken always heard

There may well be others, but I still like to pretend.

the perfect heart's length away
557 words
donny donowitz/smithson utivich

post-movie, au. “It’s easier when it’s already been done once,” Donny tells him as he presses Smitty’s back up against the refrigerator, the shape of alphabet magnets spelling backwards words through the fabric of his clothes. “The same thing again, nostalgic and all.”
omg, lee and rachel & happy birthday, look_alive!
[children] never spoken always heard

Before you kiss me, you should know Papa was a rodeo.

they make me think i shouldn't be here at all
14, 2045 words
planet terror
dakota block/tammy visan

"I'll walk you out," Tammy replies. She presses her palm against the bar and shoves off it, a ship leaving harbor or a rocket blasting off to space, Dakota thinks. Dakota doesn't say anything, just turns on her heel and allows herself to be lead out the door and into the last dying gasp of the afternoon.
[children] never spoken always heard

I read the signs, I got all my stars aligned.

Nerd alert, as normal.

I'm studying for my Modern Art final tomorrow, and I just, like, really saw Van Gogh's "Le Café de nuit" for the first time.

One of the things that I love about my film class this term is that it challenges me to view films as inherently inspired by paintings and other great works of art. It's impossible for me to think of Fur without thinking about Meret Oppenheimer's "Luncheon in Fur," for the sensual expression of life through fur imposed on the mundane, or to think about Antichrist without thinking about Edvard Munch's "Ashes," for the notions of women being intrinsically connected to the natural world in a powerful, sexual way. I am not going to be able to watch Inglourious Basterds without thinking of Van Gogh, I think. The way he expresses the little restaurant feels so similar to the manner in which Tarantino portrays La Louisiane. The colors are incredibly different, but the tone feels incredibly similar.

My textbook, like Wikipedia, quotes Van Gogh on the piece:

In my picture of the Night Café I have tried to express the idea that the café is a place where one can ruin oneself, go mad or commit a crime. So I have tried to express, as it were, the powers of darkness in a low public house, by soft Louis XV green and malachite, contrasting with yellow-green and harsh blue-greens, and all this in an atmosphere like a devil's furnace, of pale sulphur. And all with an appearance of Japanese gaiety, and the good nature of Tartarin.

It's like, looking at this picture, I'm suddenly able to see the bar for what it is: this den where, under the guise of drunken happiness, the potential for violence and death is always tangible. I know a lot of people find the scene to be jarring, but to think about Van Gogh's depiction of a place where souls essentially go to die, I feel like that interaction between the Germans and the Allies is so much more meaningful. Tarantino has always played with the notion that harshness can be best expressed in unlikely places, like cheerful, neighborhood haunts and the bathrooms of gimmicky chain restaurants, but the one in Inglourious Basterds just feels like the full expression of that, where every word spoken and every sip of schnapps is a damning moment, like threads that weave into one another before the inevitable actualization of tension and violence. I think Aldo and Hicox get that (Donny, to an extent, but his actual relation to the reality is minimized by his posture when he calls it "the death trap rendezvous" because he's got his feet propped up and his hands behind his head like the lazy security guard in every heist film) and are in complete understanding of what the bar represents, and that's so incredibly chilling to me now. Because La Lousiane and Café de la Gare are the physical embodiment of that surreal dance between life and death. They function as a sort of purgatory, the waiting stop before one is cast into perdition.

I've only ever really seen one other artwork that moved me in such a profound way that I started crying because I felt like, fuck, I just get it. It's so amazing to me to see the tangible transformative power of art, of that moment of really seeing pieces for the first time even if you've physically seen them before and written about them in notebooks, or to feel like you get this mystifying bit of a film finally.

Never tell me that Tarantino is not a purposeful director because, even if he's not even aware of this painting's existence, the role of the La Lousiane scene is about so much more than dazzling us with his fanboy intelligence or the sharpness of his dialogue. Michael Fassbender is going to turn me into a big wreck every time I see him now. If that man does not get the power of the scene to cut right into a person, I resign.
[children] never spoken always heard

Battered B. J.

So...this started as a weird thing in comments on look_alive's journal, about how Eli Roth and B. J. Novak had (made-up) sex on the set of Inglourious Basterds, and then that went to Omar and B. J. having sex, which seems more likely, and there are tire irons involved. This post is most of what we wrote or texted, along with grammar_glamour, and it includes copious amounts of pictures and accompanying videos.

It's called Battered B. J..

It is definitely NSFW, as there is naked Eli Roth and filthy, filthy talk, and it starts with our "discussion" of Eli and B. J.'s Nylon photoshoot before moving onto Omar and B. J.

Disclaimer: This is not meant to accurately represent Omar Doom, B. J. Novak, or Eli Roth. It is a work of fiction. We love the actors, and we choose to express our affection in silly fangirl ways.


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Holy shit, that took forever to format, bbs.
[children] never spoken always heard

I took a pen in my own hand and wrote you a hundred tunes.

OMG, you guys, the intense discussions I have with grammar_glamour and look_alive about fandom. There's so much overthinking possibly, and a lot of it is just conjecture based on the existing fanon, but shit, it's always fascinating to try to deconstruct characters and then put them back together.

I think look_alive raised a really good question, which is: do any of the Basterds actually think they're going to make it out alive?

It sounds like we came to the conclusion that Smitty does and Omar does, at least for a while, based on their kneejerk "WTF" reactions to being intimately involved in Operation Kino, though Donny definitely doesn't. He knows he's not going to make it. I want to say I wrote that a while ago, but I can't recall where.

Also, the whole fanon concept of monogamy is really interesting to me, especially the tendency to write Donny/Smitty as something that would be continued after the war. My theory is that both of them would see it as happening, but they would never explicitly talk about it with one another. But Smitty totally rants to Gerold about it occasionally, while Gerold rolls his eyes and tries to process/repress his own feelings.

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Oh, we have thought about this so much, and I am sure there are way more hours to come in which we try to explain why they are the way they are.
[children] never spoken always heard

What would you do if it wasn't me, it was you?

As per usual when I get paid, the first day is full of extravagance. After being unable to sleep well last night- the combination of bad werewolf effects and giant coffees and the heat of romantic passion- I got up for a day of shopping, movies, and work. I started at Cameron's, where I found the most recent issue of Esquire, the July GQ (fuck, gorgeous blue-eyed boys) and J. J. Abrams's Wired. Then, Borders for the Toledo-designed copy of Wuthering Heights and gorgeous Teen Vogue and Nylon photoshoots plus the new GQ (Christoph Waltz in The Raven is to-die-for). Fox Tower for indie film with smuggled-in Flying Elephants Chinese chicken salad and Viso, and then Powell's, for dirty paperbacks. I had to hustle my ass to work after, but it was worth it for the indulgence of new money.

At Fox Tower, I saw the new Coen Brothers film, A Serious Man, and I was blown away by it. First of all, the cinematography and color scheme was phenomenal. Blues and browns have never looked so compelling. Second, it's a quintessential Coen film because it's so full of real life, pushed to extremes and without salvation. I'm sure a lot of people hated the prologue and the ending, but I love that they're consistent with the previous two Coen films in that they completely subvert the audience's expectations. Some annoying old people at the movie today shouted, "What?!" when the end credits started to roll. As pointed out in the New York Times review of the movie, it's not exactly clear what the Coens are trying to say about the nature of God, but I think I'd develop a good idea after a few more viewings. Maybe it's my own experience within my family's community, but I also loved the complete submergence in American Jewish culture. I'm not Jewish myself, but I can relate to being a part of some smaller facet of American society with its own customs and subset of the English language. I don't think you need to be Jewish to understand the Coen Brothers' films; I think you just need to be aware of the sensation of impending doom that's always pervaded Western society.

There's so much to recommend about A Serious Man- the son's honest experiences with marijuana, Richard Kind's Henry Darger-esque descent into mad uncertainty, the yes-and-no investments of the rabbis (including Simon Helberg as the junior rabbi who has an incredible passion for parking lots), the fact that Michael Stuhlbarg gives easily the best performance of the year so far- but the thing that I love the most is the fact that the whole time I watched it, I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry at just about everything. It's an obvious American retelling of Job, imposing distinctly suburban middle class tribulations onto the biblical story, but the most moving image I found in the film was of Larry Gopnik, having woken up from a nightmare, wandering into the kitchen to prepare his morning coffee, and watching him perform an action he's undoubtedly done millions of times before, but with a new heaviness that's a distinct realization of the way the world is crashing down around him. It's definitely one of the most affecting shots I've ever seen- the deep blue of early morning coming in through the curtains that briefly illuminates the kitchen- and it moved me to tears.

I really hope it gets some love come awards time. It's probably the second best film I've seen this year, and I hope to see it again before it's out of theaters. Seriously, go see it. If you need a comparison to describe it, think of Revolutionary Road, Election, and The Big Bang Theory rolled up together.