A Movie Log

A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What I'm Watching

Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Did Woody Allen find something new in himself by getting out of New York City? I haven't been a Woodyphile for many years, but this struck me as fresh and funny work. (I haven't seen the films he made in England.) Admittedly, it's the same old neuroses -- though incorporated in Rebecca Hall's Vicky instead an aging male worrywart. And there's nothing particularly new in playing off uptight Americans against volatile Europeans. But the handling of actors is masterly, especially Penélope Cruz, who deserved her Oscar. It's the best work by her I've seen outside of Almodóvar's films.

Noise of the Day

Frank Rich on the real danger posed by Glenn Beck.
Beck is not, as many liberals assume, merely the latest incarnation of Rush Limbaugh. He is something different. That’s why he is gaining on his antecedents — and gaining traction in the country’s angrier precincts.

Steven Berlin Johnson on the digital lifestyle.
The kind of deep, immersive understanding that one gets from spending three hundred pages occupying another person’s consciousness is undeniably powerful and essential. And no medium rivals the book for that particular kind of thinking. But it should also be said that this kind of thinking has not simply gone away; people still read books and magazines in vast numbers.