Thursday, November 29, 2007

Some Kids Eat Paste, I Read It

Paste Mag released its list of the Best Films of 2007, and I'm pretty much in agreeance with them.

Bold means I've seen it.
Red means it's on my netflix or has arrived and I just haven't watched it yet.

1. Juno [Jason Reitman]
2. Once [John Carney]
3. Eastern Promises [David Cronenberg]
4. Away From Her [Sarah Polley]
5. Margot at the Wedding [Noah Baumbach]
6. Michael Clayton [Tony Gilroy]
7. The Wind That Shakes the Barley [Ken Loach]
8. No Country for Old Men [Joel and Ethan Coen]
9. The Kite Runner [Marc Forster]
10. Syndromes and a Century [Apichatpong "Joe" Weerasethakul]
11. Ratatouille [Brad Bird]
12. Ten Canoes [Rolf de Heer/Peter Djigirr]
13. Great World of Sound [Craig Zobel]
14. Ghosts of Cité Soleil [Asger Leth/Milos Loncarevic]
15. Offside [Jafar Panahi]
16. My Kid Could Paint That [Amir Bar-Lev]
17. 2 Days in Paris [Julie Delpy]
18. Waitress [Adrienne Shelly]
19. Manufactured Landscapes [Jennifer Baichwal]
20. The King of Kong [Seth Gordon]
21. Sunshine [Danny Boyle]
22. This is England [Shane Meadows]
23. Knocked Up [Judd Apatow]
24. Hanna Takes the Stairs [Joe Swanberg]
25. Bella [Alejandro Gomez Monteverde]
26. The Darjeeling Limited [Wes Anderson]
27. Grindhouse [Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez]
28. Paris, Je T'aime [Various Directors]
29. God Grew Tired of Us [Christopher Dillon Quinn]
30. No End in Sight [Charles Ferguson]
31. The Bourne Ultimatum [Paul Greengrass]
32. Hot Fuzz [Edgar Wright]
33. 3:10 to Yuma [James Mangold]
34. Year of the Dog [Mike White]
35. The Simpsons Movie [David Silverman]
36. Hairspray [Adam Shankman]
37. Sicko [Michael Moore]
38. Rescue Dawn [Werner Herzog]
39. The Short Life of José Antonio Guitierrez [Heidi Specogna]
40. Forever [Heddy Honigmann]
41. Persepolis [Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud]
42. Talk to Me [Kasi Lemmons]
43. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead [Sidney Lumet]
44. Superbad [Greg Mottola]
45. Zodiac [David Fincher]
46. The Savages [Tamara Jenkins]
47. Rocket Science [Jeffrey Blitz]
48. The Signal [David Bruckner, Dan Bush, Jacob Gentry]
49. The Lookout [Scott Frank]
50. American Gangster [Ridley Scott]

Luckily I live in LA and can still see (or see a screening of) Michael Clayton, The Kite Runner (been there, did that, worked the red carpet!), 3:10 to Yuma, Persepolis, Before the Devil Knows Your Dead, The Savages, The Signal and American Gangster in the theater.

Tonight the Academy is screening ET (as in the extra-terrestrial), and since I just pitched a story on Spielberg, I've been selected to cover the event. Reason it's exciting? ET is one of the first movies I remember seeing on a big screen. It was at a drive-in. In Missouri. How quaint. I've asked to get into the screening portion of this evening's event. I hope they serve Reese's piece. Unfortunately it doesn't look like Steven or Drew will be there.

Finally, I went to the dentist last night. Good news is no cavities. Bad news is, I'm grinding my teeth at night. Superbad. I've probably always done it, but now my teeth (in the back) are wearing down more and more, and I'm showing the beginning signs of TMJ. I know, right? FUN. Anywho, the solution? A nightguard. My reaction to the dentist? That's sexy. I wish this blogger thing had an audio feature so you could hear me say "holdsch on whilse I put in my nightschguard." I'm sure the boys will come a-runnin.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

And the nominees are...

Kind of disappointing. Dare I say shocking? I had 5 movies on my wishlist going in. You know, movies I figured had a good shot at getting some indie attention:

1. Once
2. Bella
3. Juno
4. Lars and the Real Girl
5. Waitress

Despite being completely eligible and totally cute, Lars was snubbed. Once is nominated in the Foreign category. I'm worried because it's up against Persepolis which everyone is loving too. I haven't seen it yet, but I don't see how I can vote against Once. (Oh, yeah, did I mention? I'm voting this year.) I have a feeling Once will win for music at the Oscars, so there's that. So back to today. Bella didn't get a mention, but I guess everyone didn't love it like I did, so maybe I was off base with that one. I am happy with Juno. I don't think I have to say again that I love Diablo Cody. Ellen's nod is so well deserved. The ones for best feature and directing are just icing. I was a little surprised about the lack of attention given to Waitress. I hope they give Adrienne some posthumous love. She IS up for screenplay...

Ok so ZB was selected to announce the nominees this morning. I was disappointed about not getting assigned to cover the event (and not just because of the ZB factor), especially since the hotel is a 3 minute drive from my house. So I said I would just stand outside the hotel. Well, turns out, sometimes you can just walk into the Film Independent Spirit Award nominations and nobody stops you and you find yourself making eye contact with a heavily-made up version of your No. 1.

I won't say that I think he was making eye contact with me out of recognition (because you already know that's what I was imagining). But there was a lot of eye contact. I probably would have done better to wear the jazzercise outfit, but then I would have looked like a CRAZY stalker. Whereas, in my retro dress and boots I just looked like a regular-ish stalker who makes eye contact before pulling her Pink Lemonade Lipsmackers out of her legitimately retro Growing Pains tote.

No seriously.

So that's how I started my morning. Not bad, eh?

Last night I saw Grace is Gone. John Cusack. Wow. I'm hoping the movie had a budget larger than $20-Mil and that's why he didn't get nominated for a Spirit Award. I hope he doesn't get overlooked at the Oscars. A nomination is all I'm asking for people. You don't have to give him the statue.

Surprisingly I made it about halfway through the 85 minutes before tears actually hit my cheeks. Once they came tho, I couldn't stop them. I was sitting between my coworker's husband and NDG. I decided it wasn't really appropriate to grab on to either one of their legs when the going got tough. (I mostly made that decision after reflexes took over and I went to grab one and then the other.) But after the credits started to roll and I was still pretty upset, I looked at my coworker and said, "I just need to borrow him for a minute." To which her husband replied "Yeah, it was really sad" and put his arm around me and gave me a squeeze. NDG and I then proceeded to sit through the credits and I had to beg her to stop crying lest I begin again and we never get out of there. So, yeah, an upper it's not. But sometimes crying is good.

Oh, and Clint Eastwood did the score and it's AMAZING.

I finished reading The Time-Traveler's Wife and am engrossed in Diablo's stripper memoirs. It's already got me contemplating an amateur night. In the midwest. I think it would be easier there, you know, competition-wise. Although, having said that, when I asked around at clubs out here during my S Factor days the girls I saw were pretty rough looking and had bruises and stuff.

This is getting really long, but I'm super excited because Glen and Marketa (Once) are coming into the studio. NEXT WEEK! I get to interview them, and I'm gonna ask them to play a couple songs for me, and then I'm gonna tell them I'm having a hard time facing my 30th, and how much better it would be if they performed at my party. I hope they go for it. If my dream sequence is allowed to continue, Joshua Radin would also perform at the best bday party ever and ZB would show up, you know, just to say hi.

Alright, that's enough daydreaming. I actually have work to do. I've got the Atonement screening tonight. Iron and Wine concert tomorrow. Screenings for The Walker and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story on Thursday and the Aimee Mann Christmas Show on Friday. Whew!

For a complete list of all the nominees for the 2008 Film Independent Spirit Awards, click here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Four score and 50 pounds of laundry ago...

Four Jobs I Have Had In My Life

1. Sears Portrait Studio photographer
2. First Foto photog (you know those newborn pictures taken at the hospital? I took those!)
3. Sole reporter/photog (official title was "editor") of the Warrenton Journal...circulation 8k
4. traffic reporter for various radio stations in StL
(and then there are the ones you probably know about)

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over

1. Roman Holiday
2. Sixteen Candles
3. The Muppets Take Manhattan
4. Garden State (duh!)

Four TV Shows I Like to Watch
1. Pushing Daisies (have you started watching it yet? cuz you should)
2. How I Met Your Mother
3. Grey's Anatomy (altho it's on thin ice)
4. Amazing Race/America's Next Top Model/Beauty and the Geek/Kid Nation (reality shows have to share a number, they fit in where they can)

Four Places I Have Vacationed
1. Maui (can I go back yet?)
2. Greece
3. the Lake District of Northern England
4. Warrens, WI

Four of My Favorite Dishes
1. mashed potatoes (can that be a dish? i say yes. if you say no, serve it with swordfish.)
2. Grandpa Bud's macaroni salad
3. pad thai with tofu (sometimes i even crave it)
(I'd like to thank KDL for introducing me to #s 2 and 3)
4. Four Seasons Snickerdoodles (I've eaten them for lunch, therefore i consider them dishes)

Four Web sites I Visit Daily
1. Gmail
2. PopCandy
3. IMDBPro
4. insert gossip blog here

Four Places I Would Rather Be
1. Bora Bora
2. Petra
3. grandma's house
4. on an awesome roadtrip with no destination, rules or constraints

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sometimes Oprah Pees in Your Cheerios

It's that time of year again. The time when Oprah gives tons of free schtuff to a really lucky audience. She calls it "Oprah's Favorite Things." The first thing was a handicam, which I'll admit, was cool, but nothing I can't live without. Then there were a couple of other things that I didn't get excited about. THEN the Williams Sonoma merchandise came into play. (and I'm not talking the catalog-order cupcakes). The mixing bowls were super cute. And that's about when I started a certain thought process. I looked at KDL and was like, what if, no, she couldn't possibly give away a Kitchenaid mixer.

A lil backstory. For the last 10 years or more (and I'm not exaggerating) I have wanted a mint green Kitchenaid mixer. I will not settle for anything less. It's the perfect accent to the kitchen de mes reves. My coup de grace. It might surprise you to know that despite my seemingly lack of interest in food activities, I do seriously enjoy kitchen gadgets and things you buy at Sur La Table. Long story short (too late) somewhere along the line, it was put into my head that the mint green mixer would show up at my bridal shower. Alas, I'm still waiting.

So OF COURSE the next box Oprah lifts is Kitchenaid mixers. I said something that sounded like mothertrucker. Now, at this point in my life, I could just buy the mint green Kitchenaid mixer for myself. But how anticlimatic would that be?? I didn't get it from Oprah. Or at a bridal shower. So. I don't know. I DO know that HAD I been in Macon, Georgia, and been in that audience, I would have cried like a baby when she lifted up that box. I PROBABLY would have run up on stage and gave her a hug in the middle of the taping. Pee might have been involved. (hopefully not before or during the hug)

I've gone on long enough about I'll stop now...PS Dear Oprah, You can keep your refrigerator with a built-in tv. And your Oprah Magazine collection with the "Live Your Best Life" autograph. I don't need a $300 outfit to lounge around in. But I WOULD take the United Artists DVD Collection and Scrabble table. Just sayin...

To the rest of you:

Happy Thanksgiving! Be happy! Be thankful. Gratitude. It's a beautiful thing.
Bring on Grandpa Bud's macaroni salad.

Monday, November 19, 2007

All of the Words

I know it seems like all I do lately is talk about Patrick Dempsey, but I'm doing a story right now on "Enchanted" (*cough* go see it *cough*) and he says this great thing on the epk (electronic press kit for you non-industry folk):

"I guess what we learn in life is...there is magic there, we just have to allow ourselves to be open to it."

It's like McDreamy watched my weekend in playback and sent me a message.

PS Watch this before they take it away. Dear Jennifer Nettles, first Bon Jovi and now Beyonce? You go girl.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Prince-y Rhymes with Dempse-y

Remember when you were little and everything was so magical? Fairy tales were for real. You clapped your hands because you believed and wonderful things happened. Well, that's the feeling you get while watching the new movie "Enchanted."

Hear me out.

I can't believe nobody has ever tried to do something like this before, but I also am not sure anyone could do it as well as Disney. The movie is so fun to watch. There's humor. There's heart. GREAT performances by Amy Adams and James Marsden. And, well, I could watch Patrick Dempsey take a crap and be entertained. Ew, wait, on second thought...probably not, but still, you get the picture. Think more "Can't Buy Me Love," less "Sweet Home Alabama."

It also helped that I saw the movie in the historic El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The setting was mesmerizing. The pipe organist entertained us with Disney favorites before the show. We were sitting in the balcony, and it really was the whole experience that made for a enjoyable night. When "The End" came across the screen practically the entire audience was clapping like a bunch of giddy little girls. I bounded down the stairs of the theater and out into the night.

If you've ever been in that area at night you know it's all lit up, not quite as much as Times Square, but I wasn't the only one who exclaimed upon my exit "This is how she must have felt!" You were just flooded with a sense of wonderment. It was enhanced of course by a castle facade at the corner and the remnants of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show red carpet across the street at the Kodak, but still.

So in conclusion, yay "Enchanted!"

Oh and I really want this Elie Tahari dress right now:

Finally, here's a trailer for P.S. I Love You. P.S. If I liked Hilary Swank, there'd be snot bubbles. I do love me some Harry Connick Jr. and Jeffrey Dean Morgan tho. Not to mention Irish countryside. So maybe there's hope for it yet.

P.P.S. In looking for that Elie Tahari dress, I found that Elie Tahari makes a "maryanne" dress. That's fun. If it wasn't $300 on sale I would think about it. That being said if the dress above that I love was called "maryanne" I would buy it because that would be like a neon sign.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I Love it Like My Dad Loves Shelly!!!

If a person could marry a tv show, I would propose to "Pushing Daisies." I've mentioned the show before, but seriously. I'm madly in love with it. All of the episodes are available online and you should just watch them already. This week I was pleasantly surprised with a guest appearance by Joel McHale of "The Soup." Once when I worked at E! we indulged in some complimentary beverages and took this picture:

I've just realized that I could put together a collection of photos of me with TV hosts. But as I'm figuring out how many I actually have, it makes me think I have a weird thing for tv hosts that I should probably examine more closely.

In other news:

1. Things Kevin Bacon and I have in common: We both love the movie "Once." Now you know.
2. Paris Hilton's upcoming rock opera is called "Repo! the Genetic Opera!" but is operating under the codename "Calendula!" This was news I could use today, and I wanted to share because Calendula! is a fun exclamation. Try it at home.
3. Finally, today's Funny Quote of the Day on Google made me chuckle. It's George Burns: "Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city."

I'll leave you with that.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Spaghetti-Os on ME!!!

I have been selected once again to cover the Sundance Film Festival for Reelz! Which means I'll be heading back up to the mountains of Utah in the dead of winter to freeze my ass off and pose for pictures like this:

Of course, I'll also be talking to various celebrities about their newest indie projects. I can hardly wait!! (She says whilst wearing a sleeveless sundress after enjoying a 85 degree November day in LA.)

Next stop...Cannes! (hopefully...I've still gotta talk them into that one.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Spoonful of Sexual Harassment

Spoon and F(S)eist were exceptionally lovely last night.

Things I especially enjoyed:

-the lights
-the colors
-the drumbeats
-the way the colored lights pulsated with the drumbeats
-the brass
-the way Feist got Feisty whilst rocking out to "Sea Lion"

Things I could have done without:

-the polar arctic chill inside the venue (Note to Gibson: It's November, turn off the ac.)
-the abrupt end to the Spoon show
-Feist ending the show with "Let it die." In memory, I've never left a concert with a hurting heart until now. Hopeless, perhaps, but never aching like this.

Yesterday we had a mandatory seminar about sexual harassment. Many of us are already good at it, but for some reason they thought we needed to learn more. The following are the notes I took to keep from falling asleep. They're more funny out of context.

intersectional harassment. time for self assessment. i'd like to interface with a person. a boy person. (that was a note to Nicole) no confidentiality guarantee, "predominantly confidential." making assumption people know what we mean or think same way we do. No "Sunshine." No "Sparkles." ANYONE is a potential harasser (MOST are unintentional). You will not get fired for complaining about a guest. Bullying isn't intimate. I'm available for direct quid pro quo. (another note to a coworker) "You scratch my back I'll scratch yours." Pervasive conduct = behavior is recurring enough that we expect it to happen. "Steeped in extreme profanity." "You're hot" is offensive, but not a hostile environment. Just because he continues to breathe does not mean it's a sexually hostile environment. Personable not personal. "I want to talk to you about you. What are you going to do about yourself?"

Monday, November 12, 2007

All's Swell Up in the Bedroom After the War

Welcome to my new blogger home.

I still have the Feist and Spoon show tonight, but I couldn't wait to talk about Stars and Swell Season. I'm also going to start calling Feist "Seist." Mostly because I like alliteration.

Stars = brilliance. They came out strong with "Take Me to the Riot." Lead singer Torquil Campbell had us up on our feet, and we stayed that way for the duration of the show. Which, by the way, was held at the Orpheum Theatre downtown.

I'm a big fan of the plan of refurbishing all of downtown LA's historical theaters. They're beautiful gems of cinematic history and deserve more than tagged walls and dark marquees.

Ok, back to Stars. The whole set was amazing. They played my album faves "Elevator Love Letter" and "Favourite Book," and covered The Smiths' "This Charming Man." The culmination of the night for me, however, was the performance of their latest album's title track "Up in the Bedroom After the War." I felt it. I don't care how cheesy that sounds. My heart and throat tightened, and I was expecting to feel the warmth of tears on my cheeks at any moment.

Dear Stars, Thanks for the Veterans' Day reminder.

Sunday meant Swell Season at 4th and B in San Diego. Rain couldn't dampen our enthusiasm for this show. Neither could Martha Wainright's less-than-stellar performance. She ended on a good note, tho. As for Glen and Marketa, (the love story that is Swell Season) I don't even know where to begin.

We've been to a lot of shows this year. A LOT. And this was perhaps the best. The night was truly magical. The venue was great. The audience was perfect. And Glen and Marketa were spot on. They played for 2 hours straight. 2 encores. Took questions from the audience. Sang their little hearts out. Marketa played piano like a prodigy with an energy very contradicting to her shy demeanor. Glen embraced her with a look of love that I felt the heat from 11 rows back. His appreciation for the crowd was also very evident. (His face at one point during one of the standing ovations was very reminiscent of the Dixie Chicks after "Not Ready to Make Nice." It's great to be a fan in those situations.) We were ALL a part of this great night. Songs that weren't necessarily my favorite on the album came alive on stage in a way that made me love them. Even tho I knew we had a 2 hour drive home, I didn't want the show to end.

And tonight we have Spoon and F(S)eist. I've seen and loved Spoon live already, so I'm fairly confident this will be another one for the memory books.

Speaking of things with bindings and pages of words, Ben just gave me a copy of the book "The Diving Bell and The Butterfly." Between this and Diablo's stripper memoirs I've got some exciting reading ahead. Good thing, I wouldn't want to follow-up the fun that is "The Time-Traveler's Wife" with anything but greatness.

PS Not all blogs will be this long (but some might be) so please come back.