Consumables #42

Movies!

Marwencol
This is one of those movies where explaining what it’s about just would seem to take away from seeing it. I had sort of avoided seeing it for a while because I just kept hearing about it and hearing about it and sometimes when I hear about something so much, what people have said about it is more in my head than what I am actually seeing. So I waited, and I’m glad I did. It was beautiful and pretty awesome.

The September Issue
Every time I see Anna Wintour, I want to say “watch out, your face is going to stay like that” but it is way too late. That lady has cornered the market on having the most consistent stankface of all times. I am shocked that she has parlayed this ability into an entire career. Watching beautiful clothes being paraded in front of you all day long and making a poopoo face at all of them is apparently a jillion dollar job.

Thomas Jefferson
I watched the Ken Burns documentary on Tommy J, and for some reason my Netflix instant queue kept telling me that it was starring Gwyneth Paltrow which it most definitely does not. She does do some voiceover, reading from sources by Jefferson’s graddaughter, but it’s not even noticeable. Ossie Davis is totally the narrator for 98% of the thing, but Netflix doesn’t care about that.

Easy A
I sort of loved this movie. Don’t hate me.

Picasso and Braque Go to the Movies
The relationship between film and cubism. You will either find this riveting or the world’s biggest snoozefest.

Books!

Kneebone Boy, by Ellen Potter
Potter once again does a great job of creating a world that does not contain magic or fantasy elements at all, but yet has all the weirdness and imagination that one could hope for. Two brothers and a sister, the Hardscrabble siblings, go to visit their nutty aunt who lives in a life-size play castle next to a real castle in which, legend has it, a sort of feral boy once lived, and maybe still does.

Revolver, by Marcus Sedgwick
A sort of Cormac McCarthy book for teens, the story begins somewhere near the Arctic Circle in the early 1900s. Teenage Sig finds his father frozen on the ice outside their cabin. He brings the body inside and sends his stepmother and sister to get help. As he waits, a gruff stranger knocks on the door and demands to know where Sig’s father has hidden some gold that he is owed. Sig doesn’t know where the gold is, but he does know where his father kept his revolver. Suspenseful and spare.

Hound Dog True, by Linda Urban
Mattie idolizes her favorite uncle, who everyone calls Uncle Potluck. Uncle Potluck is the custodian at Mattie’s new school, and she decides to be his apprentice. I loved the characters in this book, especially the adults, who are less-than-perfect but very loving and who do the best they can with what they have. Not many books out there about working class families who are functional, and I appreciated it for that alone, although that’s not the only good thing about it.

Everybody Sees the Ants, by A.S. King
In order to escape from a dad who is distant, a mom who is ineffectual, the memory of a beloved grandma who has died, and a kid at school who has terrorized him since he was in elementary school, Lucky escapes each night in dreams. When he sleeps, he travels to Vietnam where his MIA/POW grandfather has been since 1972 and Lucky tries to rescue him, night after night. Another novel where realism is never compromised but the imagined world feels just as real, this one was pretty brutal in its depiction of bullying. No after-school-special-ish-ness here.

Have a great weekend, peoples!

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