You are what you watch.

TV, Movies, Web, Books, and other extraneous things, and why some are worth your time and money - mostly

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Birthday Gift Run down (with Commentary)

In an unprecedented (pun intended) break with tradition, I actually got great birthday presents this year.  I won’t go into my past traumas but suffice it to say I came close not opting not to celebrate my birthday, like my father does.  If you’re wondering whether there is any content in this or if it’s just vanity, there is going to be content, actually.

From my parents I got two cool books, 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and The Film Encyclopedia and the DVD of La Dolce Vita (which they admitted to having picked somewhat at random from 1001 Movies).  I haven’t had a chance to see Dolce yet, but I’m very excited to.  The Film Encyclopedia seems like it’s basically a print copy of IMDB, except slightly more authoritative. But I’ve spent hours reading 1001 movies.   I’d estimate I’ve seen maybe 50 of the movies in it, so it seems like I’ve got my work cut out to me, especially when it comes to old movies.  I had a few critiques of their selection, mostly things that could have to do with time frame.  The most recent movie in the bunch was Million Dollar Baby, so obviously anything after that is out, but still, they have Kill Bill 1 but not Kill Bill 2, and Being John Malkovich but not Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  Hopefully a future addition, when they’ve had more time to think about what recent movies they will include, will make these corrections as well as ideally removing the insipid Meet the Parents and correcting the fairly obvious errors in they’re Return of the King entry.  I love to criticize, but it’s mostly a wonderful book, full of interesting if brief commentary on great films.

From my sister I got an equally quirky book, When I Knew, a collection of stories nominally about people realizing they were gay.  More of the stories are actually comical anecdotes about how gay the contributors were as children (feinting when Judy Garland died, subscribing to Women’s Wear Daily at Choate, etc) or coming out stories (“When I told [my grandmother] that I was a Lesbian, she said, ‘No you’re not, you’re Romanian.  On your father’s side.’”)  It’s accompanied by bright pictures and colors, lots of them, that only occasionally water down the content.  It’s not exactly deep, the moving, serious stories are a little tedious, but it’s fun to read on the John.


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