Ready, Set, Go: Cultural Round-Up for the Undocumented Weeks

The Culture Round-Up for the Past Few Weeks:

I have embarked upon the last volume of Proust’s La Recherche de Temps Perdu. I managed to read about 120 pages over the weekend (mostly while watching Nick reassemble his car – it was a good exercise, much like sitting on my porch in Berkeley (this time I was sitting on a cement step of a drive way in Echo Park), allowing me to really focus on reading. I was outside. No music, no conversation. Pure unadulterated focus. As Proust would note, I was fully allowing my senses to absorb everything; I was recreating the past experiences of reading Proust.

I saw Shutter Island a few weekends ago. My immediate thought was that the people who liked it must have never even heard of Alfred Hitchcock, let alone seen one of his movies. Psychological thriller my ass – you can see the end coming from a million miles away and in case you weren’t paying enough attention, the overwrought string instruments will point it out for you every single time a possible hint is staring at you.

  • Acting tip of the day: Leonardo you could really pick up a few tips from Ben Kingsley. His accents always sounds real. Well, he at least gets the right country.
  • Favorite quote upon leaving the theater: “You could tell the camera work was so Scorsese.”

In comparison, The Young Victoria, was far less painful than Shutter Island. It had no overly grandiose thematics or attempted mind-tricks. True, my expectations were lower but spending $2 at the discount theater was completely worth it. It’s really hard to go wrong with great costumes and British accents. However, if you are looking for deep insight or historical merit in regards to Queen Victoria’s life, you might want to read a book. Otherwise the fictive (?) Mrs. Brown is a much better film, in which Judy Dench plays the aging Victoria who falls in love with a commoner AND a Scot.


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