On Listing Movies
Because it's good to know what you're doing, I make lists of movies I see and books I read. In case you might find this useful or interesting, the recent entries on these lists are in the left-hand column of this page.
- If more people kept these lists and shared them, we could build interesting aggregators that would be better (and much smarter) than best seller lists.
- Sharing your reading or viewing might seem vain: who would care? Your family might be interested -- your parents or your Aunt Ethel or your great niece in Tokyo. Lots of people won't care that you saw Elizabethtown on the plane from LAX to JFK, but that's OK: the handful of bits you're using won't cause a shortage. For more, see cheese sandwiches.
Speaking of Elizabethtown, David Mamet describes a malady of the third act he calls the 11pm speech, otherwise known as "the death of my kitten" -- the deeply significant lecture a playwright inserts to add gravity to a third act in trouble. Even the great playwrights resort to death of my kitten: alas, poor Yorick. And this movie is all death of my kitten, entirely montage and monologue. It does have two terrific speeches: a Susan Sarandon funeral standup and a long, long travelogue voiceover that must run 20 minutes and is never far from idiocy but that manages to get boy and girl together while not calling our attention to the fact that he's a blinking idiot and she's a force of nature and a drama that needs this much help to get the lovers together is not much of a drama.