One of my coworkers has been after me to see Black Swan for months now because she wanted my opinion on the dance double controversy. After finally getting around to watching it with SB this past week, I …kind of don’t see why it was such a big deal? The dance sequences in this movie are second only to Anne Bancroft’s in The Turning Point in terms of editing around the limitations of the actor, and none of the choreography we actually see is that difficult anyway. During the famous fouette sequence in the Black Swan coda, shots of Portman never show her supporting foot and upper body at the same time, which makes me think she may have been doing most of them on half-pointe (and this wouldn’t have been the first ballet movie to splice together a string of fouette turns anyway, Center Stage). Portman clearly worked very hard and is completely believable doing what she’s asked to do, but she’s not really asked to do that much. I can understand Sarah Lane being irked that her work was pretty much ignored, but one might have thought Portman was claiming to be firing off entire variations in a single take, when truthfully there’s no dance sequence in any part of the film that lasts longer than 30 seconds except for the barre exercise (during which no one dancer is a focus for more than 5 seconds at a time). Portman made me believe in Nina’s transcendent final performance almost solely with her eyes and body language, which is why the controversy is so beside the point in the first place.
We’ve reached the point of springtime where I spend most of the day in a pollen induced fog, only to wake up after the sun goes down and the air quality improves. As a result I’ve been going to bed later and later, which just makes me more sleepy during the day, and so on. So I’m determined to be in bed before midnight tonight.
I think I may have helped myself with this goal by watching a few episodes of Cheers on Netflix. I remember virtually none of the Shelly Long seasons; Thursday nights at our house in the 1980s meant we had to get ready for bed as soon as Family Ties was over. In those pre-VCR days, however, my parents usually left the TV on as they supervised our tooth brushing and pajama finding. We lived in a small house and the sound carried pretty well; I wasn’t usually paying enough attention to make out the dialogue, but I knew the title song and end credits music by heart. Hearing it again tonight, I was back in that little house, kissing my father’s cheek with its whisper of stubble, feeling the nubby pile of the carpet under my feet as I walked up the hall, finally launching myself into my bed as the headboard’s cupboard doors admonished me with their rattling. A general overall feeling of well-being and peace: it’s a nice place on which to end a Monday.
When Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere hit Netflix, I’ll have a similar reaction. What part of that reaction is based in pure nostalgia, and what part is the gentle pace of those three particular themes, I’m not sure. I could see children in 2011 having a similar reaction to The Office theme, perhaps, but not the frantic pace of 30 Rock or the moody non-melody of something like Bones or Fringe. Then again, parents of 2011 probably just DVR all their TV shows and play them after the kids are in bed. I would advise those parents that, if you hang pictures in your hallway, your 10 year old may try to use the reflection in the glass to “watch” TV just out of your sight when she is supposed to be in bed. Watch out for that.
The fact that Jeremy Lamb’s dad as part of VCU, once beat a Calhoun coached team in the NCAA tournament is not in any way a “paradox.” I believe the word you are looking for is “coincidence.”
Also a coincidence: the fact that UConn and Butler played the first two rounds of this tournament at the same regional site and stayed in the same hotel. You used “oddity” which is closer, but still makes me wonder if you have some sort of mental block against the word that literally means “the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection.”
That said, I am amused by how you and your announcing partners gave up pretending both these offenses didn’t suck tonight before the first half was even over.
P.S. Would you please consider letting Gus Johnson have your Final Four slot next year? Just think — you could go down to Augusta early, and not be hoarse and half-deaf during the practice rounds.
P.P.S. Dog puns? Really? You were going to use the same lines for the Butler Bulldogs, weren’t you?
Because my family has gotten so spread out geographically of late, I set up a private group on ESPN to run our annual bracket. My parents are currently on vacation and not near a computer regularly, so this morning I had to pester them to send me their picks so I could set up brackets for them. I can clearly remember being about 8 years old and Dad calling me while I was sleeping over at my grandmother’s house to get my picks. (Yes, my family has had its own NCAA bracket pool since I was 8. What?) I can’t decide whether I’m more amused by the role reversal or the fact that my dad sent his picks by text message, while my mom used the Gmail app on her phone. I don’t think it’s even been a year yet since they got the Droids.
Continuing in the technology vein, how is it that CBS is lagging behind when it comes to making their regular shows available on the internet, but has such well-functioning and elaborate interfaces for live sports? I don’t have that much bandwidth in my apartment, but with the new computer I’ve had very little problems watching any game I want. I did notice that whoever designed CBS’s system this year made all the controls lock up every time they cut to commercial so you can’t just flip to another game every break — but since I’ve been watching two games at once all evening (one on the laptop and one on CBS on the TV) it’s not that bad of a trade off.
The only tiny complaint I have is that the live scoreboard that displays over the video if you watch the game on the web is actually live — which means if your video starts running behind (which mine occasionally did), the scoreboard can give away what’s about to happen. At the end of the Vanderbilt-Richmond game, I resorted to making the video full screen so I could hide the scoreboard, but I could only do that if I didn’t want to talk to Radio Brother or SB over GChat. Still, it’s a very tiny complaint that is vastly outweighed by my delight in watching the cable channel games online with no restrictions — something I can’t do with ESPN3 or during the MLB playoffs.
Now, if you’ll excuse me Michigan State has pulled within 4 and I actually have an interesting game to watch.
I wrote up my trip to the Knicks-Hornets game (which almost didn’t happen) for Ladies… this week. Apologies to those of you who are already Facebook fans/readers of Ladies… and thus are seeing this link for the second time. I’m not planning on cross-posting every week, just if it seems particularly relevant.
Sainted Boyfriend had a moment of pop culture prescience in January, and as a result we’ve wound up with tickets to two of what are shaping up to be the hottest tickets in town. Next Thursday we have Knicks-Hornets tickets (which means I’ll be interrupting my Knicks cheering to scream “CHRIS PAUL!!!!!” every so often); this past Thursday, we were sitting in the second row for the first official preview performance of The Book of Mormon, otherwise known as “the musical written by the South Park guys.”
I should note, I’m at best indifferent on the subject of South Park. I’ve seen only a handful of episodes in their entirety — most of what I know about the series actually comes from the Behind the Music (I think? It was about ten years ago) episode focused on Parker and Stone. So I am pretty well qualified to say that you can enjoy this show without being a South Park fan, because I definitely did.
I went over to the old blog to post the official moving notice, and flipped through some of my very first posts. This one really brought home how long ago I started blogging (please bear in mind that I was 20 and suffering from new-toy-overeagerness and about a week from graduating from OU before you laugh at my enthusiasm and clumsy writing)
This is Albert Pujols, my new favorite Cardinal (although I love them all, of course). He is only 20 years old, but you woudn’t know it from the way he’s played so far this season. It’s been great to have his offense since Mac’s knee is still so shaky. Pujols and Rick Ankiel are the first Cardinals that seem more like my peers than my father’s
I got a new computer on Friday. It’s a laptop — I keep thinking of it as my very first laptop, but my first ever computer was also a laptop: it just weighed about 10 pounds more, had a 9 inch screen, and a 386 processor. So I guess this is my “first laptop powerful enough to not require supplementary support from the desktops in the campus computer lab,” but that’s a bit awkward to say every time. Continue reading
The first two seasons of Murder, She Wrote are streaming on Netflix Instant right now and it’s become my go-to mindless after work viewing over the last month. (Heh: in a strange coincidence, the podcast I’m listening to at the moment just played a snippet of the MSW theme song.) Retro recaps of this show really could make one of those pop culture blogs that you can’t help reading, a la The Dairi Burger. If I were to write such a blog, it would include such regular features as:
- The Angela Lansbury Acting Challenge. Jessica Fletcher is something of a Mary Sue, character-wise, so about halfway through the first season, either Lansbury or the writers must have gotten bored and decided to start throwing in plot points that would allow Angela to demonstrate her considerable talent for comedy, whether it’s having Jessica pretend to be drunk to lure a murderer into revealing himself or writing her a double role as her own identical cousin, a saucy old-time music hall performer in England. Continue reading