The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Desultory notes on a Sunday

Just some random observations/thoughts:

-I'm about three years late, but I finally saw Lost in Translation. I know this film was all the rage when it came out, and I have just one word to say: OVERRATED!!!! I can't believe this film garnered all the attention it did. I thought Bill Murray was good, and there were some amusing moments, but that's about it. Scarlett Johanssen (sp?) was, as usual, an attractive but profoundly wooden character: I call her Miss flattened affect, because a rock has more affective range.

-Yesterday I saw one of my all time favourite movies: Back to the Future (the original). The film is nostalgic for me because I remember seeing it as a kid, but didn't fully understand it until I saw it a few years ago. The film is very 1980s without being silly.
It reminds me of how much things have changed: the 1980s was a very optimistic decade (in the west); we live in an age now full of irony and negativity.
The film is a very good "feel good" movie; it's almost reassuring to see George McFly change his life for the better by that one simple act.

-Next week is the last week of classes. As I have always been fond of courses, I never thought I would get sick of them, but it happened midway through this year. The feeling is nearly universal: other first year PhDs not only agree with me, but cite the same reasons (they are less an enjoyable time than a nuisance). I think it is a necessary step in academic evolution. After all, we are supposed to spread our wings very soon and become independent scholars.
I am in a slightly tricky situation: my last paper is due on April 30, and I move on May 1st. My summer course also starts on May 1! I'm gonna have to try to hand in that paper a few days early. Phew!


Blogger Dr J said...

You may be tired of coursework now, but in about two years, you'll miss it. Badly. When you're in the wilderness of doing everything by yourself, you'll long, with no little bit of fondness, for the days of regular discussion. Trust me. (You won't, however, miss the papers.)

As for your movies: I saw B2F when I was a teen and wasn't especially impressed with it, though it's hard to say how much of that reaction was the result of an antipathy to being (then) regularly compared to Michael J. Fox. (Hard to believe, but there you go.)

On Lost, however, I couldn't disagree with you more strongly, but that could be because I see something in it that you, and probably most people, do not. In the long list of Dr J's Unwritten Papers is one on this film, which has to be understood in a very particular context, as a post-(post?-)modern rewrite. Know the source-text, and the film assumes resonances, details & nuances that might slip by on a casual viewing. I won't name the movie here. See if you can figure it out. Hint: It's very, Very, VERY famous.

As for Scarlett, I thought she was perfect for the part. Her recent movies haven't utilised her so well, except maybe Woody Allen's Match Point.

5:02 p.m.  

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