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Showing posts from January, 2015

On the Bookshelf: The Secret History

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The Secret History by Donna Tartt My rating: 3 of 5 stars About two thirds of the way through this novel, I had the following realization:  I was reading someone else’s examination of The Great Gatsby.  Unlike many, I have no attachment to that hallowed novel.  My severe dislike for its characters (in the last few years I’ve at least been able to admit that it’s, perhaps, because those characters are too well drawn by Fitzgerald) has hindered not only any attempts to revisit that novel, but also any attempt to read another Fitzgerald work.  This is unfair, as the reasonable part of my brain is capable of arguing but my heart keeps inquiring “do you really need to slog through Daisy again?” A question that if only Gatsby had asked himself more seriously, we all may have been spared.
But what I can admit freely is that The Great Gatsby made the reader feel something.  Fitzgerald wrote about terrible, cold, base people with the kind of urgency and prose that engenders a passion.  These w…

2014 in Film

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2014 was a weird year, in my estimation.  It wasn't good, it wasn't bad, it just was.  There were some moments of beauty (probably, I can't really think of any off the top of my head) there were moments of ugliness (racism is still alive and well in the US, along with the as yet to be fully handled Ebola crisis) and there were plenty of W-T-F moments (seriously, why were people acting like it was the first year people ever had heard of, or seen, butts.  Didn't Sir-Mix-A-Lot kick down that door like 20 years ago?) but I digress.  For the purposes of this post, I'll just concern myself with, as the title states, the year in film.

Much like 2014 itself though, the year in film was kind of a grab bag, made all the more convoluted by the confused distribution model of the studios.  Now terrified to put out anything less than blockbusters, studios defer to early international releases and video-on-demand methods to test the waters for films that they're not certain …