Tuesday, April 7, 2015


No Apologies!

While I wish I had a better publishing schedule for LERNER INTERNATIONAL, I don’t.
Graduate school keeps a body very busy, and sacrifices must be made.
Busy doesn’t come close to describing the situation. Punch-drunk and dizzy is more like it.
But I’m learning so much and getting so much experience.
I’m aiming at becoming a teacher of writing and composition to adult learners, and have been doing more than just schoolwork: I’m tutoring students at the writing center, and occasionally being a TA for a class of freshman.

That said, I haven’t been doing any reading for fun, and movie watching is few and far between.
I think I saw more films in one week in January (during the break) than I have in the last two months (and these were some of the worst times of the winter; stuck indoors—perfect movie viewing weather—if you don’t have a gazillion pages of linguistic theory to read and annotate…).
List and brief descriptions below the break…
[Images accompanying this post are just some of the “neat stuff” that winds up collecting on my desktop…]

February 2015
The Century of the Self (2002; Adam Curtis) Fuck Ken Burns and his middle-of-the-road nostalgia. Adam Curtis is the real deal as far as documentarians go, and this film is a great critique/examination of the control methods foisted on an unknowing public.

Yojimbo (The Bodyguard) (1961; Akira Kurosawa) Classic Kurosawa/Mifune, riffing on Dashiell Hammett’s classic Red Harvest—and setting the stage for the entrance of Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name…

Sanjuro (1962; Akira Kurosawa) The incomparable sequel to the above film, with some incredible action pieces—all done in incredibly long takes. I love this flick, probably more than Yojimbo.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014; Matt Reeves) Okay, not essential. Post apocalyptic monkey with guns fun. Actually quote forgettable.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (February 21, 2015, at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre; a play written by Simon Stephens, based on  the novel by Mark Haddon, directed by Marianne Elliott) Incredible adaptation of the fascinating and moving book; cost a pretty penny, but so worth it! Brilliant and incredibly uplifting, as well as simulating to the intelligence.

Sons of Anarchy: Season One, Episodes 1-8 (2008; Created by Kurt Sutter) Post-hangover binge viewing

Southern Comfort (1981; Walter Hill) Incredible compositions in this superbly crafted thriller. Sure, it’s The Warriors remade in the Louisiana swamps as a Vietnam metaphor, but it’s still great stuff. One of Hill’s best. And available HERE!

BOOKS Read In February
The Literacy Review, volume 5, Spring 2007; editor: Phoebe Fox (read for school)

Introduction to Developmental Psychology and Lifespan Development by Kerry L. Mulherin (2014) (read for school)

Brief Guide for Teaching Adult Learners by Cheryl Torok Fleming and J. Bradley Garner (2009) (read for school)

The MacKintosh Man (1973; John Huston; script by Walter Hill (and William Fairchild, uncredited), based on the novel The Freedom Trap by Desmond Bagley) Underrated and overlooked spy noir, that’s a tad more cynical, intense and existential than the rest of that genre from the time.
Good double-feature with The Three Days of the Condor or Funeral in Berlin

The Victors (1963; produced, directed and written for the screen by Carl Foreman; based on the novel The Human Kind by Alexander Baron) Whew! Incredible, underrated, almost-lost flick that really packs a punch. Made far too ahead of its time to be successful, but in FeelgoodLand, a flick like this will always flop.
A real fave of mine that still holds up almost 30 years since I last saw it.
Watched at BAM during their B&W Cinemascope series (although The Victors was filmed in Panavision).

The LEGO Movie (2014; Phil Lord & Christopher Miller) I watched this on a laptop, should have seen it on a big screen…Great subversive stuff, even if it is all about corporate synergies.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979; John Irvin; six part BBC miniseries) I prefer the 2011 film, honestly—this miniseries meanders and frankly wastes time (or pads it out). Meanwhile, it just seems so damn cheap. 

Do the Right Thing (1989; written, produced & directed by Spike Lee) An American Classic that still holds up! 

Muppets Most Wanted (2014; James Bobin) Wonderful, funny stuff! Just damn brilliant. 

Dear White People (2014; Justin Simien) This flick is more Stanley Kubrick (cool, detached, somewhat ironic, bleak yet hopeful, focused) than Spike Lee (volatile, brash, unpredictable, all over the place). 

BOOKS read in March
Lots of reading for school, no specific books finished…

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