Thursday, January 04, 2007

incoherant and idiosyncratic thoughts on the dec 11 issue

Did I mention that I liked William Finnegan's "Letter from Maine, New in Town, Somali refugees find a home." I think I did. I liked how small the topic was and I don't mean that in a bad way. Do I mean local? Specific? I don't know. It gave more texture to the voices and perspectives used in the piece and kept the folks from becoming too Representative, if you know what I mean.

I also read Tad Friend on the US The Office. And then I watched about 5 minutes of the show myself, what with the hotel room cable TV I had access to. But frankly it didn't do it for me. I know the show isn't actually on cable, but here at home we don't get any kind of TV reception at all. Seriously. I can't even watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is about the only time it's come up. Maybe there was a World Series I wanted to see too, somewhere in the last 5 years.

Speaking of television viewing, you know how I was watching all that well-meaning middle-brow TV? It was all leading up to one event, that is, watching The Constant Gardener. Or, Friends with Money go to Africa and Lose the Irony.

The Constant Gardener
came at a bad time too, because I'd been recently getting all antsy about how restricted the color palettes and textures are of big arty movies. It's like every movie now is an over-designed period film in which no stray nothing - face, hand, surface, space, sound - can jar us aesthetically out of a kind of absolute OCD dream. Is all of Kenya really organized into orange and blue-green? It's like everyone has taken Martha Stewart too much to heart.

While this kind of control isn't new (at all, I mean) it's present manifestations are getting on my nerves.

So it was quite refreshing to see, also via cable TV, the intentional opulent-matchy-match-ugliness of War of the Roses and Laura Dern, in Jurassic Park, wearing a pair of long shorts made hideous by the passing of time. I'd never seen Jurassic Park before and I was impressed by the amount of danger the kids were in while inside an SUV. Prescient.

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