Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a movie buff as well as a Superfast Reader. So, in honor of today’s work read, I’m posting an entry in the Close-Up Blogathon, hosted by my friends over at The House Next Door. Matt Seitz has already posted a fabulous article on one of the final images in Raising Arizona. I’m also dedicating this post to the closing images in Into the Wild–a man’s face intercut with a man’s memories, confession, repentance, and salvation all on a face beyond words. (I was bawling like a baby. See this movie.)
The title of this post, “Too Many Notes,” comes from a standout scene in Milos Forman’s Amadeus. The emperor tells Mozart that his opera has too many notes. Mozart asks the emperor which His Majesty would have removed. Ha! This small scene reminds me of Kristin Thompson‘s seminal essay “The Concept of Cinematic Excess” found in the anthology Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology. Simply put, excess refers to images that bleed out from the screen, refusing to be contained by the superficial meanings found in the text of the film. Sometimes excess yields subtext; other times, excess offers a critique. The musical, being the most performance-dependent of all film genres, gives us excess at every turn. And it’s this excess that reminds us what movies do that books cannot.
So, in celebration of the power of the image, I’m offering up four of my favorite examples of cinematic excess in the musical. I didn’t adhere to the rules of the blog-a-thon exactly, because these aren’t close-ups of faces, but each is a moment that highlights performance, and the actor’s body, above all else.
Pictures & videos after the jump. Continue reading
I participated in the recent Daily Blog Tips writing project, contributing a post on Crafting Effective Criticism, in the hopes of winning a prize. All of the participants are posting their favorite posts, and the posts with the most mentions are eligible to win.
So, here are my five favorite posts from the contest. None of them have anything to do with reading, but there’s more to life than books, right? (Oh, who am I kidding…?)
Top 7 Tips for Brand New WordPress Blogs – Because I like WordPress.
Tips and Tricks for a Beautiful Blogging Life – Because I like life.
Tips for Using Film Critics – Because I like film.
A Couple of Coffee Tips and Tricks – Because I like coffee.
Basic Cleaning Tips and Tricks – Because I hate to clean.
I read a book for work this morning that absolutely sickened me. I think it’s the only time I’ve actually used the word “evil” in my comments.
After the jump, some link love for all the participants: Continue reading
I hate, hate, hate summer, and the last few days here in NYC have been August at its worst: super humidity, subway-killing flooding from the thunderstorms, and general heat-induced crankiness from my fellow citizens. Now is always when I want to hibernate, and it’s in that spirit that I suggested the theme for this round of the Bookworms Carnival.
Thanks to all who participated! I’ve enjoyed checking out your posts as they’ve come in, and I’m excited to share them now.
Chicago Pop presents Proust’s Dad posted at Daddy Dialectic. “This mundane little story about a boy anxious over his broken routine, his coping mechanisms as he frets alone in his bedroom, his desperation and increasingly bold plans to obtain his good-night kiss against the wishes of his father, all of it not only introduces a new style of literature, a new method of weaving together a narration drawn from various states of consciousness, but raises issues about the emotional life of children and the ways adults attempt to suppress it. Specifically, how fathers police the emotional life of sons.”
Leticia Velasquez presents Nothing makes a homeschool mom happier than a box of books! posted at cause of our joy.
Kate Baggott presents My Summer Reading Includes People Who Are Not Like Me posted at Babylune. She believes in expanding her reading horizons, and it’s really working out for her.
Dew presents Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie posted at Hidden Side of a Leaf. “Before reading this, I knew very little about the Biafran War/Nigerian Civil War/Nigeria-Biafra War (whichever name you prefer –Adichie seems to prefer the latter). I kept setting aside the book, both to look up information about the war and to process what was happening in the narrative.”
David Gross reviews Moral Courage posted at The Picket Line, saying “Rushworth Kidder tries to define and develop moral courage in his book on the subject, “Moral Courage”, but a whiff of sycophancy comes off the pages and spoils the project.” Not the lightest of summer reads, but to each his own.
Laura Young presents Powerful Story of Survival: Thirty-one Years and Still Standing posted at Dragon Slayer’s Guide to Life. She says, “He’s a member of the National Speakers Association, a therapist, a coach, an author… and quadriplegic. Michael Schwass was the first quadriplegic ever to walk again without the aid of braces. I encourage you to read his compelling autobiography, Don’t Blame the Game, for details of his personal journey.” Inspirational stories definitely make it hard to complain about a little sweat.
Becky at Becky’s Book Reviews read Eclipse, the third book in Stephanie Meyer’s trilogy.
Peggy Payne recommends anything by Peggy Payne’s Boldness Blog: Lionel Shriver: One Gutsy Writer posted at Peggy Payne’s Boldness Blog. She also notes, “My novel Sister India (A New York Times Notable Book) is set in a place so hot that it will make your own temp feel blissfully cool.”
Therapydoc presents 2 choices. The first: How to Talk to a Widower–Grieving and Drugging. “This one’s light and easy, but the message cuts deep for this therapydoc.” The second:TherapyDoc presents Holding On and Letting Go, saying “Psych self help usually turns me off, but this is fantastic.” Both are posted at Everyone Needs Therapy.
Suzanne presents an excerpt from Beowulf – Seamus Heaney translation posted at :: adventures in daily living ::. It’s absolutely gorgeous. She’s also got a review of the glass castle: a memoir, a great memoir I also highly recommend.
Mctiller reviews The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film. A book review. posted at MCT Images. He says it’s “a summer book about a great Summer movie!”
Jon Swift says, “Harry Potter is a terrible role model. He is a petulant, self-pitying brat who routinely breaks rules that he believes don’t apply to him.” Read the rest at Harry Potter Is a Brat posted at Jon Swift.
GrrlScientist has some bones to pick with JK Rowling in My Thoughts About Harry Potter [Review, More Spoilers] posted at Living the Scientific Life, which is “a fairly detailed treatment of the last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
Karl Staib gives a behind-the-scenes look at his new e-book, The Making of 92 Things To Do Besides Suicide posted at Karl Staib and the Pursuit of Happiness. The book will be available on September 2nd.
Anne-Marie presents Go “Barefoot” through “The Blood of Flowers” (A Book Giveaway Contest) posted at A Mama’s Rant. She says, “The contest is over but the books are worth picking up at the library or bookstore.”
Debbie is in suspense about the new Stephanie Meyer book. Read all about it at My Reading Spot: Eclipse.
Last night’s work read made The Time Traveler’s Wife look like chick lit.
Here are the rest of the posts I’ve enjoyed from the Problogger Group Writing Project. You can find the complete list here.
5 Worst Things They Do in Movie Sequels
Very good insights. My favorite:
Some movies just shouldn’t have a sequel at all, really, whether or not the audience clamors for one. Sometimes it’s better to just leave it to the imagination. Sometimes that’s what makes an awesome movie be more awesome.