cleolinda asked me to do a little informal legal review for her upcoming annotated m15ms last night, so I got to see what they're going to be like. If the annotations for Prisoner of Azkaban are anything to go by, they're going to be both funny and really fun to read. Hurrah! Definitely worth a dollar a story. I am looking forward to reading the whole set once she's done!
I watched Biloxi Blues this weekend. It's part of Neil Simon's Eugene Trilogy. I've had the screenplay for the first one, Brighton Beach Memoirs, for years, and have read it several times. It's fantastic. I knew it was part of a set but hadn't gotten around to the others yet. So awhile ago I saw Biloxi Blues on sale for a ridiculously good price and bought it, but hadn't watched it yet. As per my recent vow to Dave that I won't buy any new DVDs until I've actually watched all the ones I own (I have about 20 movies I bought and haven't yet watched!), I decided to sit down with it this weekend.
The movie is great. It's one of those little gems of perfection that you watch, interested and engaged the whole time, and are completely satisfied with at the end. Neil Simon's work generally makes me feel that way - he writes realistic characters and situations (particularly the Trilogy, since it's semi-autobiographical) that deal with the most personal issues and thoughts (including a first visit to a whorehouse, heh) without making it uncomfortable or crass. The fundamental bedrock of what makes his work great is the honesty with which he tells his stories, and it really comes through here. (Also, Matthew Broderick is phenomenal as Eugene. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Matthew Broderick? A LOT.) Absent is the machismo or ego that you might expect even a great writer to project into his characters - Neil Simon tells it like it is, even when it's to the detriment or embarrassment of the main, semi-autobiographical character. The second of the Trilogy stories, Biloxi Blues follows the young Jewish boy from NYC (Eugene) as he goes off to boot camp in Mississippi during the second World War. It is a microcosm of his world as a soldier-in-training, focusing mainly on the interactions between Eugene and several of his fellow soldiers (and their psychotic drill sergeant, played spectacularly by Christopher Walken). Issues of bigotry and sexuality come up, commentary on the war itself occurs, and most importantly, the feeling of what it was actually like to be a young person preparing to go off to fight is flawlessly conveyed from screen to watcher.
I won't say more, because I don't want to spoil the movie for those who haven't yet seen it, but I definitely recommend this movie (and other Neil Simon works).
The award-winning photojournalist I do website design for, Steven L. Raymer, is currently having an exhibition, Asia and Beyond, and is selling prints of some of the photos featured in the exhibition. Steve is a phenomenal photographer who's won awards such as the National Press Photographers Association "Magazine Photographer of the Year" award, the Overseas Press Club of America "Citation for Excellence in International Reporting," and four first prizes in White House News Photographers Association competitions. I love his work, and if you're in the market for something neat to hang on the wall, so might you. If you are interested in seeing what's for sale, the info is HERE. Larger versions of some of the ones I personally want on my wall are here: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6 (can I tell y'all how much I LOVE this photo? LOVE.); and 7.
One of Steve's pics:
Celebrity...something else that rhymes with "ews"?
Thanks to Matthew Good's recent blog entry, a funny video that spoofs on celebrity charity causes (which I happened to mention a few days ago, so I figured I'd put it up here). I love The Onion.
How Can We Raise Awareness In Darfur Of How Much We're Doing For Them?
For no discernible reason, my eyes are burning this morning. Help! Pls send new eyes.