Ok, so the Japanese are known for their big eyed, pigtail wearing CUTE anime and manga characters. They also decorate their signs, food packaging, and windows with CUTE cartoons demonstrating what you should be doing with whatever it is you are looking at. Well, it appears it’s not just their merchandise thats adorable. Check out mugumogu kitty.
Last night I went with Maya to see Jeffery Lewis and man, it was lovely. Lewis’ clever and heart felt lyrics were enhanced by the straight forward rock the band played. A straight faced young man, Lewis’ played the crowed well, treating us to some of his large from comics about Barack Obama, a comic noir, and an unfinished piece on Korea.
Lewis played some of his covers from the band Crass, much, much slower versions. The band also played a couple songs by Jack, the bands bassist. I thought Lewis had a Kimya Dawson sound to him, kind of that anti-folk thing.
The whole show was really enjoyable one the drunk fat guy left us alone. Blue Moons and moody musicians. How do you spend your Friday night?
Director Jonathan Demme’s new movie, Rachel Getting Married is a story about the perils of drug addiction and how it can affect a family. The film stars an intense Anne Hathaway as Kym, who is coming out of rehab to attend her sister’s wedding.Through good acting, genuine emotion and unique camera shots, Demme’s film convinces the viewer that the experiences Kym and her kin have could be anyone’s family in the right, or wrong, circumstance.While the film is titled Rachel Getting Married, it focuses on Kym and the tension she places on her relatives. This stress becomes evident almost immediately when she says goodbye to the nurse at rehab and gets into her father’s car. Sitting in the back seat, Kym sardonically comments on the people attending Rachel’s wedding. She appears to hate everyone off and on, yet the sarcastic bitterness she exudes proves a tool to cover the misery and insecurity she feels about herself.
The climax of the film comes when Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt), tired of Kym grabbing all the attention, yells at her, “Your suffering is not the most important thing in the room.” This proves the turning point in the film as it shows the highest amount of strife between the sisters’ relationships. Before the fight can continue, Rachel starts listing off the things she has, and Kym doesn’t. While Rachel has everything, Kym feels she has nothing.When Rachel ends up telling the family she is pregnant, their fight stops and all attention goes to her. Kym is not able to deal with not being in the spotlight. She feels if people don’t pay attention to her, whether it’s for good or bad reasons, she will disappear.
Hathaway establishes herself solidly in the role of Kym. She is pale, with almost translucent skin, dark, heavy made-up eyes, and choppy brown hair. In this role, Hathaway proves she has moved far from her early days playing the sweet, pretty princess of her Disney years, or the put together office girl she acted as in Devil Wears Prada. As Kym, Hathaway has crosses into adulthood. By taking this role she helped to show herself as a mature woman, both by playing a drug addict and having on screen sex with Mather Zickel, who plays her future brother-in-law’s best man, Kieran.
The way the film is shot also added to the acting because Demme uses the camera to dramatize Kym’s feelings. The roughness of the handheld camera causes the film to have jarring shots, which mirror Kym’s emotional state. When she is worked up, the camera becomes shakier and less focused. The camera choice also gave Rachel Getting Married a home movie feel, which is appropriate about half the time, but during the other half, it feels crazy and slightly physically nauseating. But, kudos to Demme for juxtaposing some of the shots to appear as if they actually were a home movie of the wedding being filmed by a family member.
While Demme mastered the cinematography style, he failed in various aspects of the plot. The major problem is the lack of a time frame for Kym, her drug habit, her relationship with her family, or the other characters relationship with each other. First, the sisters’ ages are never revealed to us, though Kym is younger. Kym has been sober for about nine months, but the viewer doesn’t know why she went into rehab or when. Also, the mystery surrounding the death of the sisters’ brother Ethan isn’t revealed until two-thirds of the way in, though ample foreshadowing softens the impact; Kym accidentally killed him while she was driving under the influence.
Other temporal details needed to be fleshed out as well. We never find out how long Kym has been away, how long her parents have been divorced, or how many years Rachel and Sidney (Tunde Adebimpe), have been together. The latter two are important to the plot to illustrate how much of an impact Kym coming back should make.
Yet, anxiously anticipating the homecoming of, and for a difficult sibling must have some toll on the characters, which they show well. Rachel obviously loves her sister, but wishes Kym were different. Kym also loves Rachel, but feels an immense amount of guilt and jealousy, one of the main reasons she acts out the most towards her sister. The love/hate, family obligation ratios are played out well, as they convince the viewer that this is a real family, with real emotions.
Some scenes could have been cut short, like when Kym wrecks the car in an self-destructive rage after her fight with her mother, after she had fled the key argument with her sister. Another dawdling scene occurred at the never ending wedding reception where everyone gives and impromptu speech about the couple. Generally though, Rachel Getting Married runs smoothly and the characters proved genuine. One of the poignant scenes of the film occurred near the end, on Rachel’s wedding day, where she selflessly gives the emotionally and physically broken Kym a bath. Without words, Rachel cleans Kym’s wounds and helps renew their bond. Together, this sentiment, among a few others in the film, could easily be understood by anyone who has a sibling that they care for, with, or without, the drama and the hate, but with the unconditional love for family.
At about 4 p.m. today I walked by the New York Times building on 41st and 8th Avenue. What a surprise! A line of people stretched around the building from the 41st Street side to the 40th Street side. I hadn’t seen a line like that since, well, yesterday, when people lined up for the polls.
Turns out I wasn’t to far off. One man said they were all waiting to get a copy of New York Times’ November 5 edition. He wanted it for the cover, which to him was memorabilia. I didn’t manage to get a copy the paper, but last night I took a screen shot of the website, which is basically what today’s New York Times’ cover looked like.