Listening is a very active awareness of the coming together of at least two lives. Listening, as far as I’m concerned, is certainly a prerequisite of love. One of the most essential ways of saying “I love you” is being a receptive listener. – Fred Rogers
I didn’t see any this year that I would call a great – or even very good. Below is a list of the ones I did see (that I remember), roughly in the order of “goodness”.
- Marriage Story. I didn’t expect to like this one. Noah Bauckman, I suspected, specialized in upper-middle-class navel-gazing. And I suppose this movie has some of that, but I thought it was overall a very intelligent look at marriage/divorce.
- Rocketman. Elton John bio-picture. The only movie this year that I felt showed some decent imagination.
- A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Fred Rodgers bio. Tom Hanks made a good Mr. Rodgers. Not sure how it was not nominated for an Academy Award.
- Richard Jewel. Clint Eastwood picture about the bombing at the 1996 Olympic games. Paul Hauser deserved a nomination as well. The movie was highly criticized for its right-wing politics – unfair – and for its portrayal of the journalist from the Atlanta Constitution as a whore, which was very fair criticism. Entertaining movie though.
- Ford vs. Ferrari. The story of the rivalry between the two companies to win the race at Le Mans. The real story is much more interesting than the movie, which was a bit stupid. But entertaining.
- Dolimite is My Name. Biopic of Rudy Ray Moore. Entertaining, Eddie Murphy is always good.
- Uncut Gems. Adam Sandler is fine in this Sardie brothers film. The story is preposterous, and not all that engaging. Overrated. But good effort.
- Irishman. Scorsese’s mob movie. Eh.
Written by the daughter of Kenny Shopsin, the founder of the famously quirky restaurant which carries his surname.
Written in a quirky style, with funky typography. Primarily short antidotes about her family and the restaurant. It starts off kind of slow but becomes a lot of fun about halfway through.
The title refers to her father’s philosophy. Nothing really matters, but dedicating oneself to something actually makes it matter. (I may be wildly mispresenting his thoughts.)
An analysis of the rise of Hilter. Many parallels to the rise of Trumpism, albeit on a much larger scale.
Really something of a boring book. Probably important for future historians, but too much detail for the average reader.
by Emily Dickinson
An autobiography of John Callahan, who was a well-known cartoonist. His work is pretty edgy, some would call insensitive (I wouldn’t).
He was a raging alcoholic from an early age. He describes in harrowing detail – and humor – his journey through the hell of alcoholism, which ended up with his being in terrible drunken car accident, which led to his struggle with being a quadriplegic, and eventually salvation through cartooning.
Highly entertaining book.
Didn’t take notes on this one.
What a great, great man. His life is an inspiration.
The movie is credited for paving the way for the Iranian New Wave. The subject is a leper colony in Iran. Tragic. Her poetry accompanies the video. Very effective.
documentary on her life:
Very beautiful movie, liked it a great deal. Plot a clear ripoff of Casablanca (and probably many other films). Doesn’t matter. The camera work is very fine. The director keeps it moving just perfectly. The story, despite a lot of gaps, is compelling. Two thumbs up. Probably watch again someday.
Pretty much the same story as all the others.
To boil it down to one paragraph. Reagan’s “great” insight was that the presidency was just another performance, very similar to his movie roles. He focused on his and his staff’s presentation and frequently ignored the real job. Kind of brilliant, and also sad.
Bush’s father was a senator from Connecticut. And executive at steel company. Ann Richards said he was born with a silver foot in his mouth
by Eileen Myles
Fun dairy style book from Jim Fixx, author of the bestseller “The Complete Book of Running”. Discusses how the book came about, the the life changing result – both the good and bad. Fun read.
Bourne was a friend/colleague of Carter. I thought that might be a problem, but it seemed to give a reasonably balanced view of Carter. It was much more detailed than I needed. Bit slow.
On the one hand, lot of rambling drivel. On the other, lots and lots of wit; parts of it were really fun.
I also felt something of a kinship with him, which is odd, since I’m so normal, and he was well, not.
Many quotable quotes. I should have written them down as I went.
by Sara Teasdale
by Sara Teasdale
by Sara Teasdale
by Robert Lowell
Very, very strange comic book-style biography of Edvard Munch. It used mostly books, diary entries, and Munch’s paintings to tell the story. Plus soem comic book style dialog between the author and his buddy discussing Munch.
I new most of the biographical material before, but a good review. A fun read, very original (at least to me) concept.
by Zoe Leonard
The total number of sessions : 000301
The total number of minutes : 014046
The total number of sessions – tennis: 000023
The total number of minutes – tennis: 002310
The total number of sessions – spinning: 000035
The total number of minutes – spinning: 001730
The total number of sessions – strength: 000078
The total number of minutes – strength: 002735
The total number of sessions – running: 000165
The total number of minutes – running: 007271
The total number of miles – running: 000663
The total number of sessions – rowing: 000000
The total number of minutes – rowing: 000000
The total number of meters – rowing: 000000