February 14, 2006
Their kids, teenage Walt (Jesse Eisenberg, age 21, brother of Hallie) and barely-pubescent Frank (Owen Kline, age 13, son of Kevin and Phoebe Cates) are totally messed up. Bernard is only interested in his own intellectual universe, filling Walt's head with capsule judgements to the point where Walt is incapable of speaking out against his father or even forming a creative idea of his own. Frank, meanwhile, is in the middle of an early-pubescent muddle which is embarassingly familiar and intimate to watch. The 1986 solution to a divorce is a daily joint-custody swap: Dad gets the kids at his new house on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, and Joan gets them Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. They alternate Thursdays. Do you think this helps or hurts matters?
The script contains that same dry humor and unflinching observation of bad parenting which was played for comic effect in The Royal Tenenbaums. I keep bringing up Tenenbaums as a reference, because the retro-1986 vibe and the Wes Anderson-esque soundtrack reminded us so much of that movie- if you added Alec Baldwin's narration, Wes Anderson's trademark captions, and Mark Mothersbaugh's baroque harpsichord, it'd be the same movie. We all agreed on this point before I did the research and discovered that writer-director Noah Baumbach wrote Wes Anderson's other family epic, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. As much as I like movies which don't go on too long with nothing to say, this movie had no third act, and, at 81 minutes, felt a little under-developed.
THEATER NOTE: For some reason, the theater smelled like fish. Jed thought it smelled like "cod or haddock", I thought it smelled like tunafish juice, but the whole audience smelled it. I couldn't bring myself to tell the manager "the theater showing 'The Squid & The Whale' smells like seafood"!
Still a romantic treat for the fourth year in a row. The crowd was a lot better than last year's giggle-prone audience. When I know everything that's going to happen in a movie, I get to enjoy all the little details, and all the background action.
February 5, 2006
The Title: This disc has no title. I created the packaging for #105, 106, and 107 all in one shot, and I was not inspired with titles.
- Ponta de Lanca Africano (Umbabarauma) - The best song about a futbol player EVER.
- Use It - My favorite New Pornographers song.
- Jump Into The Fire - This Harry Nilsson song was used in the movie GoodFellas.
- Shine - Trey Anastasio
- I Want It That Way - You cannot deny the perfection of this song.
- Just the Two Of Us - Bill Withers w/Grover Washington
- Don't Let Me Lose This Dream - Aretha Franklin
- Just One Smile - Dusty Springfield
- Diamonds From Sierra Leone - Kanye West
- If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go - Curtis Mayfield
- Protection - This Donna Summer song was written by Bruce Springsteen after he cancelled plans for her to duet with him on "Cover Me".
- This Charming Man - Death Cab For Cutie
- The Way We Make A Broken Heart - John Hiatt
- You Can't Resist It (Live in Texas)- Lyle Lovett & His Large Band
- Can't Turn You Loose (Live in Europe)- Otis Redding
- Heavy Metal Drummer (Live in Chicago) - Wilco
- It Ain't Me Babe - Johnny and June Carter Cash
- Memo From Turner - A Rolling Stones song used in the movie GoodFellas
- Riding to Vanity Fair - Paul McCartney