Can’t Wait Movie List 2008

Australia -Baz Luhrmann

Be Kind Rewind -Michel Gondry

Blindness -Fernando Meirelles

Burn After Reading -Coen Brothers

Cloverfield -Matt Reeves

The Dark Knight Returns -Christopher Nolan

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull -Steven Spielberg

The International -Tom Tykwer

Wall-E -Andrew Stanton

Continue reading “Can’t Wait Movie List 2008”


NYT Movie of the Year List

This is the list of A.O. Scott. There’s quite a few surprises.

His number one film 4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days looks absolutely chilling.

Ratatouille is a brilliant choice for number two. Brad Bird certainly has it out for bland equality and mediocrity. The scene in which Anton takes his first bite of ratatouille ranks as one of my favorites of the year.

I’m a little surprised that he ranked Sweeney Todd up there with PTA’s “There Will be Blood”. Tim Burton has a penchant for going schlocky. Also I’m surprised that “No Country for Old Men” was not coupled with TWbB.

Glad “Das Leben der Anderen” (The Lives of Others) made this list. Bold choice in putting “Knocked Up” in there. I keep hearing good things about “Into the Wild”; it continues to strike me as a little Brother Bear. “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” doesn’t grab me, but I approve of Explosions in the Sky in the soundtrack. I will put it on the Two or Three Witness list. I can’t find the trailer to “12:08 East of Bucharest” or “Live-in Maid”. Anyone know where I can? Excited for “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” and will watch “Charlie Wilson’s War” only because of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

This is the list of Manohla Dargis.

She puts “There Will be Blood” at the top (alongside Zodiac). I can’t wait to see this film. There will be blood if There Will be Blood doesn’t come to Monroe.

Three things you might not know about me

The purpose of this post is to supplement my rather thin “About” page.

1. If you ask me how to spell a word I will jump to the difficult portion and spell that.

2. I currently subscribe to three magazines: Poetry Magazine, Sporting News, Wired. I only pay 25 bucks annually for the three of them.

3. I have a super-human sense smell when it comes to my hands; on a bad day I wash my hands 30+ times.

Batman Begun

Yesterday I rewatched Batman Begins with my boys and while it suffers some from repeat viewing there’s still some things that are gratifying about it. The primary thing is its persistent denial that the person deep down inside is the real person. Rachel Dawes (Kate Holmes ) says to Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) that it doesn’t matter “who he is” inside, but what he does that defines him.

In the face of such insipid irresponsibility that Hollywood gorges on it’s nice to see something that bucks this modern tenet.

Christopher Nolan (also The Prestige, Memento) is a very competent storyteller and he’s set up some nice elements to pursue in the next Batman movie (2008).


There is also this. 

A Story

Three people Reginald, Donald, and Floyd are all present in the same room. Reginald is speaking to Floyd face to face. Donald has decided to use a cell phone to talk to Floyd. It’s a little funny to have a finger in one ear and to be crouched over in the corner to talk to Floyd when he’s really in the room, but Reginald doesn’t say anything.

Then Donald accuses Reginald of Gnosticism because he doesn’t use something physical, like a cell phone, to speak to Floyd. Reginald is content to use words.


The new cups at Starbucks are made from 10% “post-consumer” products. The word “recycled” is passe’.

Another trendy term is Environmental Footprint. You can find out your impact on the environment here. I like how this site doesn’t even attempt to be accurate.

My score is 14, meaning that if everyone lived like me we would need 3.1 planets. I played a second time lying a fair bit and still ended up needing 2.2 earths.

A Poem for Christmas

from spiralling ecstatically this

proud nowhere of earth’s most prodigious night
blossoms a newborn babe: around him, eyes
-gifted with every keener appetite
than mere unmiracle can quite appease-
humbly in their imagined bodies kneel
(over time space doom dream while floats the whole

perhapsless mystery of paradise)

mind without soul may blast some universe
to might have been, and stop ten thousand stars
but not one heartbeat of this child; nor shall
even prevail a million questionings
against the silence of his mother’s smile

-whose only secret all creation sings

To people -still clinging to the dialectic stage- with the tendency to squawk “prove it” after every indicative sentence poetry, is like Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, Xanadu, and the Jackalope all rolled up into one. Very little in poetry is scientifically provable. I say this now because in the poem there might seem to be some stretched observations that can only be answered with future readings and further attention paid to the composition.

By starting with the subclause Cummings makes the “this” the object, tapping into the is-ness of verbs, this being is “spiralling ecstatically”. Rearranged the opening lines read: This proud nowhere of earth’s most prodigious night blossoms a newborn babe from spiraling ecstatically. Also note the extra “l” in “spiralling” drawing out “all”.

The “proud nowhere” is Bethlehem. The “most prodigious night” is, in Christian lore, December 25th (prodigious draws on both enormous and prodigy). The “spiralling ecstatically” echoes Dante’s spherical heaven and endless joy. I am always reminded of Robert Lax (1915-2000) admired by Cummings (though I haven’t the chronology to know whether this was written to invoke Lax’s passage) who wrote:

And in the beginning was love. Love made a sphere:
all things grew within it; the sphere then encompassed
beginnings and endings, beginning and end. Love
had a compass whose whirling dance traced out a
sphere of love in the void: in the center thereof
rose a fountain.

The following lines “around him, eyes…humbly in their imagined bodies kneel” are about the animals surrounding Christ’s manger who are “gifted with every keener appitite/ than mere unmiracle can quite appease”. These animals have an appetite that “unmiracle” or shall we say the mundane cannot appease and this appetite is a gift.

The parenthetical comment: “over time space doom dream while floats the whole/ perhapsless mystery of paradise” expands upon what the animals kneel over: time, space, doom (judgement), and dream (reward), but again Cummings has worked in another grammatical double entendre so that the “mystery of paradise” -or the mystery of salvation- floats over time, space, doom, and dream. Perhapsless is a neologism indicating that a sovereign God uses no subjunctives; perhapsless means that there is no question about it.

The big finale mentions Herod and the Principalities and Powers: “mind without soul” (reason without spirit/love) “may blast some universe/ to might have been” (destroy the universe making it a “perhaps” or an “if”) “and stop ten thousand stars” (ten thousand is the classic number indicating everything, stars in the Bible represent leaders) “but not one heartbeat of this child” (this is the dragon trying to consume the virgin with child) “nor shall/ even prevail a million questionings/ against the silence of his mother’s smile” (doubt is contrasted with faith (a million questionings) whose quiet and defeating answer is a smile):

“-whose only secret all creation sings”