So I guess I haven't been too attentive to this space this week. Maybe it's because I've actually been busy. Not necessarily doing anything important, mind you, but somehow I managed to not be home one night this week, and been relatively on-the-go since before last weekend with some sort of even every day/night. Last Sunday I had the pleasure of seeing the Broadway revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and then went to see a friend's friend's band -- The Northern Hues -- play their first show at Mercury Lounge. Then Monday night was Gothamist's Movable Hype at the Knitting Factory, and what an amazing show that was. All the bands were great, but especially Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Ghostland Observatory (who the entire blogosphere seems to be talking up right now, deservedly so, and I don't just say that because the singer has such a great name).
Tuesday I went to see "The Other Network" and sat through four (our of six!) of the funniest TV pilots (all unsold) possibly ever, two of them proving once again why Robert Smigel is thecomic genius of our time. Wednesday night I sat through a very disappointing performance of A Streetcar Named Desire -- wrong performance space (Studio 54 is way too big), wrong lead actor (no matter how much I love John C. Reilly, he's Mitch, not Stanley!). And last night I saw a screening of Yes, which I guess I found more interesting than enjoyable ... and still not even all that interesting.
See, I'm just throwing stuff out there because you know what? Writing is hard. Or I'm hardly writing. One of the two. I've got stuff; I just find that I'm having a hard time putting fingers to keyboard. But there were a few other things I wanted to mention to any of you interested:
Did you hear Tom Cruise freaked out on Today this morning? Oh you did? Yeah, I'm sure everyone has. But seriously, what's wrong with the man. To me, he's a poster child for why not to become a Scientol-ogist. (Oh please, google, don't find me.) Do any of you picture Tommy boy sitting around reading 50 years worth of drug research? And what wrong with Matt Lauer? Before questioning Cruise, could he have gotten any further up the actor's ass complimenting him about how informed he sounded? Meanwhile, Cruise is berating him for not knowing what he's talking about. I wish Lauer had questioned Cruise on whether or not he thinks it's crazy -- and maybe some drugs could help -- to think that our entire society is founded, unknowingly to those of us who aren't "clear," by a bunch of aliens. Why, that's something only a science fiction writer would come up with.
Actually, Cruise isn't the scariest thing out there to me right now. This New Yorker story is far more terrifying. Meet our country's future leaders, ladies and gentlemen. And don't think they won't be. Dubya lovers all.
If you're in New York and are a cinephile, this is one of those times when you should clear your schedule and get to Film Forum as much as humanly possible for their wonderfully programmed Paramount: Before the Code series. Every program is a double feature, and the series starts today with Ernst Lubitsch's magnificent Trouble in Paradise (go see this instead of Mr. and Mrs. Smith!) paired with Josef von Sternberg's Blonde Venus featuring his muse Marlene Dietrich. All the films in this series are worth attending, especially in order to see just how much societal standards and norms have changed. This was before the Hays Office came in to create the code; before a man and woman each had to have a foot on the floor if they were sitting on the same bed. Yet it was still 20s and 30s America, and the sexuality expressed was certainly more through innuendo and grand winks than anything explicit. One highlight will come on the last day of the series (July 21) with a double bill of Mae West features including her film debut Night After Night and the film that many consider one of the main reason the Production Code came into being, She Done Him Wrong. (Another West delight -- her third film I'm No Angel -- screens this Sunday.)
I've been meaning to write a bunch of different things over the past week, and I'm still going to get to them over the next couple days, especially about some of the new summer TV. But most importantly, if you're not watching the new season of Entourage on HBO, you are missing what in my book is probably the most improved series of the year. I didn't love the first season: it was mildly amusing, but I thought it dealt too much in the expected without really finding a clever or funny angle. The first three episodes this time around, however, have utterly blown me away. The show is fun and funny while still being believable and real. I can't wait to see them head to Sundance. The writers and producers really stepped it up a notch, and Entourage deserves to be called the next great HBO series. (Unlike Lisa Kudrow's The Comeback which is just plain boring -- awful even.)