Saturday, April 19, 2008
I've been away at an academic conference in Louisville this week, which, aside from the overall intellectually stimulating sessions and enticing cultural mix of cosmopolitanism and southern hospitality, was noteworthy for my first direct experience with an earthquake. Following that unexpected wake-up call, the rest of the conference went smoothly. It's fun and refreshing to get away not only from home but from the computer, movies and TV for a few days, yet I still managed to catch the newest South Park episode, which hilariously updated the The Grapes of Wrath to a postmodern world-without-the-Internet dystopia. I also enjoyed the return of Liz's ne'er-do-well boyfriend on 30 Rock, and surprisingly quite a bit of the original Elizabeth. Hadn't seen it in a few years, but I liked Blanchett's performance (and I can pinpoint exactly the moment it starts working: when she learns to charm a hostile court on the spot) and even admired its Godfather finale -- the umpteenth rip-off of that film's climax and the only one that seems to work. I'll probably check out The Golden Age on DVD now, despite the critical drubbing. And seeing Muhammad Ali Blvd in Louisville made me want to catch When We Were Kings again. Has another sports figure ever sent out more shock waves?
Regular blogging will be returning soon. Meanwhile, I encourage you to check out this fine tribute to Teri Garr. It's the first time I've read a mash note to her performance in Tootsie that didn't feel the need to slam Jessica Lange's Oscar-winning turn in the process. William Goldman once complained that the latter was nothing more than "a little cameo." Sure, Bill -- and the shit-monster in your adaptation of Dreamcatcher gave a performance that rivaled Strasberg.