Sunday, October 08, 2006

Framing the Margins

Just a short note about format, while I prepare a longer post for tomorrow, and also start hammering out a long review for Martin Scorsese's best film since at least Bringing Out the Dead, and maybe since The Age of Innocence.

As you'll see, I've changed the link destinations for recently screened movies so that they convey you to the IMDb pages for those films, rather than those comparatively unhelpful, bare-bones pages that are all I have time to provide for movies I don't fully review. I've also decided to indicate more straightforwardly which movies I have reviewed, with links offered right alongside the titles.

Further down the sidebar, and in a bigger departure, I'm offering bite-sized write-ups of the books I am finishing. One major lifestyle change that assistant professorship has occasioned is that I am reading more quickly and more widely than I ever did in graduate school, and I'd like to share quick impressions from those readings (if only to remind myself of what I've just absorbed!). Pay particular attention—if I may so goad you—to the "Cream of the Crop" selections, since these are the "best"s among my recent reading. It's my own great fortune that two of these absolute feats—John Keene's breathtaking, poetic memoir Annotations and Patrick Somerville's laugh-out-loud funny and dexterously crafted story collection Trouble—are written by two men I'm fortunate enough to know. What I mean is: friendly acquaintance is not at all the reason for my enthusiastic response to their books, but it does make me even more excited to point you toward them and encourage you to buy them. Go ahead! Take my word for it!

(Image © Vintage International, cover design by Christopher Silas Neal)

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5 Comments:

Blogger tim r said...

Fascinated to read the Scorsese piece, admitting that the movie basically didn't work for me and frustrated as I am with bland/blind overpraise in a lot of the other reviews. Then again, I don't like The Age of Innocence all that much either and I think Casino's easily his best film of the last 15 years, so we may just be on different pages here...

5:05 PM, October 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm loving the bite-sized reviews of the books you are reading. I'm always wondering what you're thinking about all the books listed on the side bar!

7:24 PM, October 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haven't seen The Departed yet, but I am taken with your Bringing Out the Dead comment as I think that is such an underrated film. It's the last Scorsese that I made a point of seeing more than once theatrically. I think it's his best post-GoodFellas work, to use that ubiquitous benchmark.

8:08 AM, October 09, 2006  
Blogger Nick Davis said...

@Anon: I think that about Bringing Out the Dead, too—it was high on my Top Ten list in 1999, a very good year—but I only saw it once, and I've started second-guessing myself over the years. Gratifying to hear you second the motion.

9:47 AM, October 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nick,
I am a Cornell aluma who has heard you lecture on movies at Fall Creek. I'm very curious to hear your thoughts on the homophobic slurs interspersed throughout The Departed (as well as the rascism in that strange opening sequence). Of course all of this runs alongside the homosocial dynamic between Matt and Leo's characters (as an aside: the caption for this film on moviephone says: "Matt + Leo = True Love: Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio got mighty close while filming 'The Departed' -- closer than you think". . .whatever you we to make of that).

12:20 AM, October 16, 2006  

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