Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Over the winter, i started growing two avocados (sticking the pits halfway in a cup of water), and both grew very nicely. One grew to over two feet tall! So at the end of March, Larry decided to plant it: he got a pot, he got some potting soil, and he planted the tall avocado. And then he decided to put it outside. Well: since January, New York City has had one of the worst winters on record. January almost set some sort of record: there wasn't a single day when the temperature went above freezing. And February continued the cold. And then it went into March! Well, the avocado spent a few days outside when one night the temperature went below freezing (again) and the plant immediately died.

Well, i'm like that avocado. The last month, my body has revolted against the cold and... i haven't been able to go out. All sorts of problems. It's just horrible. Finally, the last few days have been seasonable (not freezing) and today i actually started feeling much better.

Be that as it may, i did see a bunch of movies, i've also watched TV. Over the weekend, a friend asked me about art criticism on the web, and i mentioned Walter Robinson (ArtNet) and John Perrault and Jeff Weinstein (the ArtsJournal weblog). And it was funny because it made me look at the stuff on ArtNet and on Artopia (Perreault) and Out There (Weinstein). I was glad to see that Jeff Weinstein has been enjoying "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" as much as i have.

But it's like usually i follow various film blogs, such as Flickgrrl (Carrie Rickey), Thompson on Hollywood (Anne Thompson), Film Journey (Doug Cummings), The Passionate Moviegoer (Joe Baltake), Cine-Journal (George Robinson), Popsurfing (Michael Giltz), and Dave Kehr. And (of course) there's Facebook, which is like a world unto itself!

When i was watching the HBO movie "Grey Gardens", i was struck by the problem of tone: so much of the social scene that was depicted in the 1950s just seemed off. (The film was better when it concentrated on the pair alone in the house; the airlessness, the lack of social perspective and the enclosed timelessness seemed appropriate, but when other people were around, it was hard to tell exactly what they were supposed to be. That is: they didn't seem to be New Yorkers of the 1950s. In fact, it wrecked havoc on my memory, because it didn't resemble anything like New York in the 1950s, and i grew up there.) And it reminded me of the problems i had when i was watching Scorsese's "The Age of Innocence": it was the kind of movie where every superficial detail was just-about-perfect, yet every nuance, every social/cultural/political context just seemed ever-so-slightly off. Just as an example: Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder just sounded wrong. Their accents were not upper-class New York. Yet no one seems to notice these things. And Joanne Woodward was exactly the wrong person to get as the narrator: though she has a trained actor's voice, she's Southern, and that keeps slipping through.

And i've been reading so much online film criticism (or what passes for film criticism) and i'm just appalled. These people seem to have no knowledge of... anything! Except movies. And somehow, movies aren't enough.

But i'm hoping i start feeling better and i really want to start going out again!


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