Friday, July 10, 2009

French and Furry!

In honor of tonight’s Bardot a Go Go and the ongoing Tour du France, this week’s Grumpy Guy is all in French!

Also, Wonkette recently posted about Anderson Cooper’s fascination with Furries, which directed me to this crazy Vanity Fair article about them. Tres bizarre. (But maybe not as bizarre as “crushies” or the fact that Congress actually banned crushie porn a few years back.) Remind me to tell you about the local musician who gets a chubbie every time he sees a girl with a stuffed animal.

Somehow, this all seems to go well with a night of French music that features the songwriter behind "Lemon Incest," especially since the video has him rolling around in bed with his own daughter.

Just so you know: I neither condone nor participate in either of the aforementioned activities.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Whatever Works

She's back! Lorrie Moore is back!

I was trying to think of my five favorite authors of all time, fiction or non-fiction, and she's got to be on that list (along with Nick Hornby, Pauline Kael, Roger Angell, and jeez picking a fifth is hard, maybe Hendrik Hertzberg or Tobias Wolff or Andre Dubus or Robert Christgau or John Irving or Richard Price). "You're Ugly Too" is easily one of my favorite short stories ever, and I even wrote my own version of it, back in 2005. I just love her way with language -- some people think she's too clever, too white suburban, but I love its playfulness, its tartness. And now she's got a new short story in the New Yorker. Unlike with most of their stories, I don't feel that this one is incomplete. Another reason she stands taller than the pack!

I recently came across this video for Mayer Hawthorne. He's a 29-year-old white dude from Detroit making music that sounds like the Chi-Lites and Persuasions. Sweet smooth soul music, '70s style. And his first single was actually released on red, heart-shaped vinyl! Here he is walking around with it.

Recently, Entertainment Weekly ranked all the Woody Allen-directed movies, from 1 to 40. So, naturally, I decided to do the same, without looking at their list first. It wasn't exactly easy, since it's hard to remember some of them (the late '80s somber period is especially blurry). And I haven't watched the slapstick stuff for ages, so I'm not sure exactly how I would feel about it. So this list is how I generally think they rank (I've started rewatching some, just to see. A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy was exactly like I recalled -- good concept that peters out at the end).

1. Annie Hall -- I used to think 1/2 should be flipped, but recently the creepiness of the age gap in Manhattan has gotten more disturbing.
2. Manhattan -- Still, a classic.
3. Hannah and Her Sisters -- Funny and serious, brilliant.
4. Zelig -- A sleeper (but not Sleeper). A faux-documentary before they were cool.
5. Crimes and Misdemeanors -- Evil Alan Alda!
6. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)
7. Love and Death -- only Woody could get laughs from Russian literature
8. Match Point -- 20 minutes too long and a couple frames too short (you know which scene I mean)
9. Sleeper -- ah, the orgasmatron.
10. Take the Money and Run -- drop the soap takes on new meaning.
11. Bananas -- slapstick goes south of the border.
12. Radio Days -- adorable!
13. The Purple Rose of Cairo -- news reels, Jeff Daniels, hooray.
14. Broadway Danny Rose -- Woody really has done more to fetishize the old times.
15. Alice -- William Hurt was born to play philandering husbands.
16. Husbands and Wives -- so hard to watch, and not just for the nauseating camera movements.
17. Stardust Memories -- Manhattan Lite, but still entertaining.
18. A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy -- Shakespeare, in love. In lust.
19. Manhattan Murder Mystery -- What it would've been like if he'd stayed w/ Diane Keaton.
20. Bullets Over Broadway -- "Don't speak."
21. Mighty Aphrodite -- The last time Woody's old guy/young girl thing was palatable.
22. Scoop -- bumped up because Woody wasn't Scarlet's love interest.
23. Vicky Cristina Barcelona -- bumped down because it feels like elderly guy Landmark Theater porn.
24. Everyone Says I Love You -- a piffle, but Tim Roth steals the movie.
25. Shadows and Fog -- a bunch of stars sitting around, excited to be in a Woody movie.
26. Sweet and Lowdown -- just a piffle.
27. Melinda and Melinda -- half a decent movie
28. Deconstructing Harry -- Judy Davis deserves better.
29. The Curse of the Jade Scorpion -- so not funny, and Helen Hunt to boot!
30. Cassandra's Dream -- somber, grey, this truly is England.
31. Celebrity -- argh, gouge out my eyes!
32. Anything Else -- oof, is this what Woody thinks young people are like? Maybe he should date more of them.

New York Stories -- liked his part best, wish it was a full movie.

I can't remember anything about these:
Small Time Crooks

I didn't see these:
Another Woman
Hollywood Ending
What’s Up, Tiger Lily?

The new one!
Whatever Works