January 07, 2008


I took a wee break from writing over the holidays, the better to enjoy quality time spent with my loved ones. Of course I still managed to consume a healthy amount of culture, so I'll do some quick snapshots here lest I forget:

Cion by Zakes Mda - An absolutely wonderful novel about a professional mourner from modern-day South Africa who finds himself in Ohio, learning the stories of the people he meets there and falling in love.

The Fast and the Furious - I like the cars that go vroom. And Michelle Rodriguez sure is hot.

Persona - The incomparable Liv Ullman plays an actress who goes to the seashore to recover her voice, tended by nurse Bibi Andersson. The women quickly spiral into a pit of narcissism and vampirism, captured in exquisite black-and-white by the master himself Ingmar Bergman.

Phil Kline's Unsilent Night - The most magical night of the year in San Francisco, on this occasion rendered even more marvelous by the company of Mo and Bosco.

The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by Ann Fessler - Fessler herself is an adoptee, and bookends the case histories she relates with her own very moving story. She also includes information about the societal pressure these women faced, and I was especially struck by how the majority of them would have kept their babies if they would have been given that option or had any voice in the whole process. Absolutely essential reading for anyone considering adoption (like myself).

The Anniversary Party - Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh play a Hollywood Hills couple who celebrate their recent reconciliation by throwing themselves a fancy fete. If anyone has done a better job of capturing the sometimes messy truth that comes tumbling out when you take ecstasy with a group of friends and acquaintances, I haven't seen it.

The Mother and the Whore - Three and a half hours of relationship drama courtesy of director Jean Eustache as only the French can do, complete with a love triangle, self-absorbed monologues, and a heck of a lot of cigarette smoking. It was the final movie in Jeff Wall's SFMOMA film series, and what a way to finish.

My typical Saturday evening - Running through tracks I want to play on my Sunday morning show to make sure they don't contain any blatant obscenities. Who needs to pay money to go out dancing when I can bop around my apartment?

Buda's Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb by Mike Davis - The Planet of Slums author takes on another cheerful topic. As a global citizen (and traveler!) I think it's undeniably important to understand why car bombs have become such an ubiquitous weapon of terror, and why the attempts to prevent them have largely failed.

Bully - Larry Clark of KIDS fame takes on the real-life story of a group of Florida teens who talk themselves into murdering one of their compatriots. Extremely raw performances from the ensemble cast make this difficult viewing at best, but I appreciated the moral ennui Clark evoked in the young adults while the parents stumble around deluded or oblivious.

Boomerang - Art show at John's Hayes Valley Market featuring an impressive collection of luminaries including Lawrence Jordan (who studied with Joseph Cornell!), Chris Cobb, and Colter Jacobsen. I peeked in on the installation as I was splashing through rain puddles in Hayes Valley Saturday afternoon, and it looks well worth a trip to the opening Tuesday night.

Tito - My fabulous stylist who makes me feel like a goddess every time he cuts my hair. He gets special mention for his excellent taste in music, and for this weekend giving me the extra dose of glamor I desperately need to make it through the marathon of this dreary Bay Area winter.


The Fast and the Furious
Unsilent Night
The Girls Who Went Away
The Anniversary Party
The Mother and the Whore
my radio station
Buda's Wagon

Posted by nightfall at January 7, 2008 09:30 PM