Archive for category Film
Becky at One Literature Nut has done a fabulous job with this Read Along.
Here are the final questions for Ch. 7 through the end of the novel:
What do you think happened to Daisy after the “accident” with Myrtle? What conversation do you think happened between she and Tom?
Was the laser-point focus of Gatsby his own sick fault, or did he ever have a real chance with Daisy? Could they have ever had a life?
What is it about the past that we somehow can never escape it or relive it? Or can we actually relive parts of it, and so that gives us some sick hope?
What most stood out to you in these final chapters?
What do you most look forward to seeing in the film?
Gatsby couldn’t escape the fact that he’d been poor and someone else in the society he now entertained. Daisy would never date James Gatz. She’s now settled in her rich life with Tom and even if she’s unhappy with Tom’s dalliances, she’s not going to be with someone who reinvented himself. As cool as Gatsby now is, Daisy cannot accept him. What can’t we often escape about the past? Or former selves. Our regrets. As far as we get. As well as we go, there’s always someone from the past who wants to remind us from whence we came and who wants to take us down.
“He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was . . .” [pg. 110]
love this line:
“Human sympathy had its limits, and we were content to let all their tragic arguments fade with the city lights behind. Thirty–the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning briefcase of enthusiasm, thinning hair.” [p. 135]
You have to feel some empathy for Gatsby and his lack of pedigree in competing for Daisy’s affections with the likes of Tom Buchanan. Maybe things might have worked out for the two of them but Daisy doesn’t seem the type to stick with a guy through thick and thin. She’s about the glitz and glamor. She’s not in it for the long haul, the bad times, merely the good. “he let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as herself–that he was fully able to take care of her. As a matter of fact, he had no such facilities–he had not comfortable family standing behind him, and he was liable at the whim of an impersonal government to be blown anywhere about the world.” [p. 149]
Can’t believe that Nick turns out to be as bad as the rest of them. He tells Gatsby: “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” He then says: “It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end.” [p. 154] They seemed to become good friends but I guess we knew Nick wasn’t extremely fond of Gatsby’s ways and he certainly didn’t fawn over him like many others.
Haven’t had a chance to see the film yet. Will see it on Tuesday. Looking forward to the costumes, the party scenes, Leo DiCaprio and Tobey MacGuire and like Baz Luhrman. Not wild about Carey Mulligan.
notable items I read, watched, listened to this month
Ginger & Rosa– Elle Fanning is amazing as Ginger, a British teenager during the Cuban Missile Crisis. She’s becoming politically active while developing her independence. It’s a moving film about friendship, family and being a young woman during turbulent times.
The Place Beyond the Pines– enthralling and devastating film about fathers and sons. choices. Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes outstanding.
What I watched and highly recommend
Central Park Five
–upsetting, intense examination of the faults in our judicial system as five teens wrongly convicted for rape in 1989
In heavy rotation on iTunes
Super Water Sympathy—upbeat pop
How to Destroy Angels—techno with female vocals, Trent Reznor’s new band
What’s on my DVR
Project Runway: Michelle wins!
“I should stop trying to slit my wrists. give up on a literary career, hope, ambition, independence, self-respect. I should just get married and have children.”
“Nothing wrong with living with your parents. It’s how most of the world lives. It’s just us Westerners who are fucked up about it.”
Laura Dern directed “Grace” one of the five short films which comprise CALL ME CRAZY: A Five Film. It airs on Lifetime Saturday April 18 at 8 p.m. This is the second film that Dern’s directed [her first film was a short back in the 90s]. She said she’s been contemplating directing for quite some time. Some of Dern’s films include Citizen Ruth, We Don’t Live Here Any More, Jurassic Park, Blue Velvet, Rambling Rose and October Sky. Most recently Dern starred in the fantastic series Enlightened on HBO.
Amy Steele: Hi Laura.
Laura Dern: Hey.
Amy Steele: I loved Enlightened by the way.
Laura Dern: Thank you Amy. That’s hilarious. Not that I’m saying there are any similarities, but every time I meet an Amy now I feel so close to them because I love the name so much because I love that character.
Amy Steele: So how did you prepare to direct?
Laura Dern: You know, I mentioned earlier it was really run and gun. We actually were finishing Enlightened in the middle of this, so it was a really insane time for me. It was literally a matter of days.
I got the call and they needed to start immediately. Mine was the first one up. So it was literally a matter of –I think– five days between, “hey can we send a script over” and needing to be on a set with a cast, a crew and a vision. So good news and bad news is I think I didn’t have time to even figure out what I needed to know. I just had to go for it.
I love working with actors. I’ve done it my whole life. I’ve been raised by them so I don’t have a lot of fear about that. It feels quite natural to me, I guess. I felt surprised by my awareness of where the camera should be. That seemed natural too oddly and luckily for me I had the brilliant DP, Gail Tattersall, who came and shot it. He and I were in sync about the vision as he supported me immensely.
The part that I think was hardest was just, you know, scheduling the day (time management), making sure actors had the time in something this emotional and shifting locations and all of that. Just the real producerial managing of getting your work done in a very, very short window is probably the area I learned the most from and had the most to learn about.
Amy Steele: There’s a clear difference between the manic and depressive scenes. Darker when she’s having depressive episodes and real quick scenes, brighter colors during her manic scenes when she takes the girls shopping and everything. What approach did you take for the different scenes?
Laura Dern: You know, relying on a totally brilliant actor like Melissa Leo. Really spending time talking through it before we started and spending time speaking to specialists and someone I know who has the disorder. Making sure that Melissa felt comfortable with really understanding the highs, the lows, and the in-between. You know, the medicated version which was important to me that when we did the un-medicated version, it’s not healed.
It’s all about degrees with the disorder and really trying to stay true to that, when someone comes off a manic episode like how they come down off of it. So in a very short time, there were scenes which dealt with every single one of those things, so I think it was more spending time with Melissa and making sure we knew exactly what that was and hoping to capture that in at least one take in each area so that people could really feel the differentiation.
TV show based on Tom Perrotta’s novel The Leftovers
Peter Berg will direct and executive produce an HBO show based on the Tom Perrotta’s best-selling 2011 novel The Leftovers. LOST co-creator Damon Lindelof will co-author the script with Perrotta as part of his three-year deal with Warner Bros. Television. If the show moves past development stage, Lindelof will serve as showrunner. The Leftovers centers on a group of people left behind after a mysterious world-wide disappearance. I interviewed Tom Perrotta about The Leftovers for The L Magazine in 2011.
Casting for This is Where I Leave You
Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll and Adam Driver [GIRLS] will play siblings in This is Where I Leave You based on Jonathan Tropper’s 2010 novel about four siblings who spend a week sitting Shiva at their childhood home. Jane Fonda plays their widowed mother. Connie Britton [Nashville, Friday Night Lights] has been cast as his girlfriend.
Timothy Olyphant [Justified] plays Fey’s character’s high school sweetheart. Kathryn Hahn has been cast as Stoll’s wife. Rose Byrne will play Bateman’s love interest and Abigail Spencer his ex-wife. Ben Schwartz, best known as Jean Ralphio on Parks and Recreation, will play the family’s non-traditional rabbi.
Shawn Levy will direct This is Where I Leave You and co-produce with Paula Weinstein. Filming is expected to begin next month.
looks like a brilliant new adaptation of The Great Gatsby directed by Baz Luhrmann [fantastic] with a Jay-Z soundtrack due out on May 10. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan.
It’s a perfect time to re-read the classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’d been talking about it on twitter with Becca from I’m Lost in Books and she told me that Becky of One Literature Nut is hosting a read-a-thon.
In college I took a Hemingway/Fitzgerald class my senior year and that’s the last time I read The Great Gatsby but I recall it vividly. I enjoyed the classic 1974 film version with Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby and Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan but definitely look forward to this update.
Here’s the schedule:
4/10 to 4/17 Chapters 1-2 (40 pages)
4/17 to 4/24 Chapters 3-4 (47 pages)
4/24 to 5/1 Chapters 5-6 (34 pages)
5/1 to 5/8 Chapters 7-End (72 pages)
5/10 –Go see the movie!
Rachel Weisz stars in Oz the Great and Powerful [in theaters March 8]
on her more indie roles: “Some of the material I’m attracted to is not… it’s just not commercial. Which means it’s really f**king interesting, you know? It’s off-centre. It doesn’t fit in a genre.”
“Jack White is how I’d like to act,” says Weisz. “You can tell he isn’t faking it and that the band really don’t know what they’re going to play next. It’s abandon. He just lets himself go. Abandon plus skill plus technique. That’s a great cocktail.”
She’s one of my favorite actresses.
also see her in:
The Deep Blue Sea 
The Brothers Bloom 
The Constant Gardener
The Fountain 
The Shape of Things 
Black Butterflies 
Director: Paula van der Oest
Starring: Carice van Houten, Liam Cunningham, Rutger Hauer
–about the volatile life of South African poet Ingrid Jonker
Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Craig
Director: Christine Jeffs
–focuses on relationship between poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes
Starring: Judi Densch, Jim Broadbent, Kate Winslet
Director: Richard Eyre
–lifelong romance between novelist Iris Murdoch and her husband John Bayley from their days as students through her battle with Alzheimer’s disease
Becoming Jane 
Starring: Anne Hathaway
Director: Julian Jarrold
–pre-fame Jane Austen and her romance with a young Irishman
Miss Potter 
Starring: Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Emily Watson
Director: Chris Noonan
–Beatrix Potter, the author of the beloved and best-selling children’s book, “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”
The Children of the Century 
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Benoit Magimel
Director: Diane Kurys
–love affair between novelist George Sand and author Alfred de Musset
Mrs. Parker and the Viscous Circle 
Starring: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cambell Scott, Peter Gallagher
Director: Alan Rudolph
–Dorothy Parker and her heyday with the Algonquin Round Table circle of friends
Starring: Judy Davis, Hugh Grant, Mandy Patinkin
Director: James Lapine
–writer George Sand pursues pianist/composer Frederic Chopin in 1830s France
An Angel at My Table 
Starring: Kerry Fox, Alexia Keogh, Karen Fergusson
Director: Jane Campion
–Janet Frame grows up with lots of brothers and sisters in a poor family in 1920s and 1930s New Zealand. She always feels different from others. After getting education as a teacher, she’s sent to a mental institution for eight years. She gains success when she begins writing novels.
Erin Brockovich 
starring: Julia Roberts, Aaron
directed by: Steven Soderbergh
–Brockovich fought against the US West Coast energy corporation Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) which knew it had been contaminating a small town’s water supply with with hexavalent chromium leading to cancer
The Whistleblower 
starring: Rachel Weisz
directed by: Larysa Kondracki
–a Nebraska cop, serving as a U.N. peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia, outs the U.N. for covering up a sex scandal.
Dangerous Minds 
starring: Michelle Pfeiffer
–an ex-Marine starts teaching at at an inner-city school and ends up changing her students’ lives forever
starring: Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Minnie Driver
director: Tony Goldwyn
writer: Pamela Gray
–a single mom puts herself through law school in order to represent her brother who’s been wrongfully convicted of murder
Gorillas in the Mist 
starring: Sigourney Weaver, Bryan Brown, Julie Harris
director: Michael Apted
–story of Dian Fossey, a scientist who came to Africa to study the vanishing mountain gorillas, and later fought to protect them