Or rather, illusions, as tricks are what whores do for money. Or candy. Neil Patrick Harris pulls some super sweet magic on a New York Times reporter--but you must read the entire piece to get what it is. Now, that's a good interview subject.
Caught "Ordinary People" on TV late the other night, and the poor quality of the transfer prompted me to send a note to the Criterion Collection folks about doing a remastered DVD with a new transfer. The film looks muddy and flat now, especially in low light scenes, and in spots it looks like a bad 70s TV movie. That's not my memory of seeing it in the theater, although that was 27 years ago. But to me it was luminous and even the dark stuff, like the sequences in the therapist's office were rich, and the low lighting seemed to hum. Of course the performances were unusually immediate.
Even though the print was bad, the distortion from shooting a digital image from the film on a TV screen makes something kind of nice and actually very evocative of that look that I remember.
Happy to see that Junot Diaz nabbed the Pulitzer for "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao". He was a tremendous presence at this year's Key West Literary Seminar, generous with his time and endlessly friendly to the women and men-but mostly women-who mobbed him, like Judy Blume here on the right who is sweating him hard. Just kidding. Helluva lot of charisma though, and a great guy. I actually think that reading "Wao" could jog one out of a non-reading lull that I think so many of us (myself included) are afflicted with in our shortened attention span era. The book is so full of energy and raw, often brutal life, and it's very disciplined and tight. Check out a podcast of Junot reading from the book here.
At a KWLS party Billy Collins was asking Junot about all the fanboy literature, comics and films referenced in "Wao", as a kind of follow-up to Billy's conversation about "extra-literary" inspirations, and weaving those into your work. Someone came up at this moment and pulled me away to deal with some crisis, and let me tell you I regret not overhearing this exchange.
Vladimir Cosma's score for "Diva" hits a high note with this tentatively romantic interlude, as does the film. On a rainy cold day in New York somehow the rain in Paris looks-and sounds-more desirable. The clip is a bit dark, but you get the drift.
This week at DIFFA's Dinner By Design two dozen or so design firms and schools presented dining environments in booths at Skylight Studios and raised money for HIV/Aids care and research. Most of the tableaux demonstrated that their designer's chief ability to shop, and shop a lot, for opulent, intricate place settings. But a couple stood out in their concept and production. The Rockwell Group created this dining table that was all hand knit, a welcome contrast to the rococo Long Island settings elsewhere. A lovely young woman named Mary was still at the table knitting.
Mary had knit the hanging lights "fixtures", each one of which had taken 5 hours to create.