Dark, Dark My Light: “Martyrs”

Well, let's start spooky movie season with a series of horrifying bangs.All I knew about Martyrs going in was that people argued about whether it should be considered "torture porn," and that the title ended up playing a big, religiously-inflected role. I'm glad I didn't know anything else about it; I was totally unprepared for its genre shifts and plot twists. I got a lot out of it and am convinced that the movie does not treat torture pornographically--there's no chop-licking, no greasy … [Read more...]

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“In Between Insomnia and Scandinavia”: Gorgeous Paintings Inspired by Norwegian Family Novels

via Matt Frost. TMN:You’ve said the novel trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter was an inspiration for this latest series. Are you depicting scenes from the books, or something else?Carson Ellis:I read Kristin Lavransdatter for a long time. I took breaks between the three books to read other things, but I was sort of plodding through it on and off for nearly a year. For people who don’t know: It’s set in medieval Norway, written by Sigrid Undset in the ’20s, meticulously researched, sort of … [Read more...]

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From “Infinite Jest”

The 'base [freebase cocaine] frees and condenses, compresses the whole experience to the implosion of one terrible shattering spike in the graph, an afflated orgasm of the heart that makes her feel, truly, attractive, sheltered by limits, deveiled and loved, observed and alone and sufficient and female, full, as if watched for an instant by God. … [Read more...]

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From David Foster Wallace, “Infinite Jest”

But so some E.T.A.s [=students at Enfied Tennis Academy]--not just Hal Incandenza by any means--are involved with recreational substances, is the point. Like who isn't, at some life-stage, in the U.S.A. and Interdependent regions, in these troubled times, for the most part. Though a decent percentage of E.T.A. students aren't at all. I.e. involved. Some persons can give themselves away to an ambitious pursuit and have that be all the giving-themselves-away-to-something they need to do. Though … [Read more...]

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“40 Non-Horror Movies for Horror Fans”: Kindertrauma

with a cornucopia, especially of interest to fans of that late '70s - end of the Cold War aesthetic. Sign me up! … [Read more...]

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What Whiskey Goes With Cheese?: I read “The Spectacular Now”

This is just a quick note to say that I read Tim Tharp's Spectacular Now, the YA novel on which the movie was based, and I really enjoyed it. It's the tale of a high-school cutup and ladies' man who's also a barely-functional alcoholic. He's a generous, sweet-natured guy, fairly open about his self-deceptions, and a total cheeseball. The book is sometimes preachy in an authorial way, which I didn't care for, but most of its occasional swerves into preachiness are much more organic--high-school … [Read more...]

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“Radio Is a Sound Salvation”: I watch “God Help the Girl”

for AmCon: On the very top level–the frosting of the cupcake, if you will–”God Help the Girl” is a musical about a Manic-Depressive Pixie Dream Girl and her nebbishy love interest. It was written and directed by Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, and it is so twee it twinkles, almost two hours of Emily Browning’s giant eyes and sugared voice and insistent suffering, and there were times when I hated it.But beneath that thick super-sweet frosting, this is a subtle film about the stories we … [Read more...]

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