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Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

I’m changing “Link Lot” to “Friday Finds.” (I apparently love alliteration.) And I’ll be expanding on the links round-up, adding more photos and slightly longer descriptions.  I hope you’ll enjoy the Internet finds that have made me smile, laugh, cry, cheer, and otherwise be inspired this past week…

1. This new “Black Label” collection by Ban.do is gorgeous, but wow, do these photos add something! That hair is to die for. And the model is Alison Sudol from A Fine Frenzy, which is one of my favorites. This really can’t get any better. [Photo layout via Oh Joy!]

2. Cartoonist James Sturm is quitting the Internet (and blogging about it, ironically). Catch his bi-weekly installments of words and pictures on Slate.

3. Patchwork pillow lust. Must have this. Made by The Sometimes Crafter.

4. Author Donald Miller asks, “What If?” The same question novelists ask of their characters when writing a story is the most important question you should ask yourself in writing your life story. Do it.

5. Nomnomnom. Actually, I might not be able to eat cookies this cute. The little white nonpareils send me over the edge. [Via Oh Happy Day]

6. Imagine The Matrix with Will Smith as Neo. Now go see what the movie poster would have looked like, along with many more posters of movies as they were originally cast at MovieFone. [Via PopEater.]

7. Ever heard of anyone knitting graffiti? To promote Art Week Austin, the Knitta Please crew is yarnbombing light posts, street signs, and businesses. I love this lamppost in pink and green argyle.

8. The future is here, and it includes sewing machines that match thread to your fabric. Seriously. The technology combines white thread with CMYK color processing. Sweet, right!? [Via Craftzine]

9. I was heartbroken this week to learn of the death of Alicia Parlette, the 28-year-old copyeditor at the San Francisco Chronicle that had bravely blogged her journey living with a rare form of cancer. In an early post, she wrote: “If I get through this, this story will help me remember the important moments along the way, the details, the dizzying emotions. And, in the worst of all circumstances, if I go through this life-changing ordeal and my body just wears out and I die, I will die a writer. The one thing I’ve always wanted to be.” Alicia, you were a beautiful writer and a lovely person. Thank you for sharing your story.

10. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this a million times already, but I love looking at wedding blogs. They’re always packed with beautiful photographs, stunning dresses, creative decor ideas, etc. If you’re looking for creative inspiration, I highly recommend hitting the wedding blogrolls. Anyway, I adore this rustic Washington wedding featured on Style Me Pretty. A barn, homemade jam, and loads of DIY touches… wish I could have been there.

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My longtime roommate and good friend, Kristin, introduced me to Noises Off many years ago. The movie—starring Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, John Ritter, Julie Hagerty, Marilu Henner, and Nicollette Sheridan—quickly became one of my favorites.  Originally a British play, the comedy is about a traveling theater troupe that’s falling apart, due to inter-cast romances and bizarre professional quirks.  You see them perform the same act of a play three times—each getting progressively worse as they continue on their tour.  It is absolutely hilarious.  And filled with so many great lines.  I think I quote this movie once a day.

Anyway, for “thing” number twenty-four, I went to see the theater production of Noises Off by Walnut Creek’s Center Rep (pictured above).  It was fantastic—definitely on par with the film and much better than the other two theater productions I’ve seen in recent years.  Plus, their set (which must rotate, as act two is the backstage view of the play) is exquisite.  If you’re in the Bay Area, check it out.  And if not, put Noises Off in your Netflix queue

“Lucky I can’t see far with this leg!”

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Best Movies of 2009

You probably think this post is reeeaaaalllly late, but I rarely finalize my favorite movies of the previous year until right before the Oscars.  I always want to catch any Best Picture nominees I missed before settling on my favorite 10 movies.  Interestingly, The Hurt Locker and Inglorious Basterds, which I finally got around to watching this week, aren’t among my favorites—although The Hurt Locker would make it into a top 15.

I’m looking forward to an Oscar Party I’m attending tonight at my local indie cinema. They’re doing red carpet photos, goodie bags, commemorative champagne glasses, prizes for picking the most Oscar winners, and, of course, projecting the telecast on the big screen.  I’ll be with my favorite movie buddy, Melody, and I know we’re going to have a blast!  I’ll try to post a pic or two later.

But without further ado, I present my favorite movies of 2009:

1. Up In The Air
2. The Brothers Bloom
3. Julie & Julia
4. Avatar
5. (500) Days of Summer
6. The Boys Are Back
7. An Education
8. Bright Star
9. Whip It
10. Where The Wild Things Are
Honorable Mention: The September Issue

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My Top Movies of the Decade

I have always been a film geek, but when I began my current job, an even bigger film geek coworker got me into the tradition of compiling top ten movie lists each year.  Every January, we exchange our lists, along with those of a few other movie-loving coworkers and friends.  I love how unique the lists are—they reflect the tastes of each person and show how personal the cinematic experience is in general.  My favorites tend to honor those with creative art direction, music, and stories of hope or love.

This year, an additional challenge was compiling the best movies of the decade.  Whew!  It wasn’t easy.  And as much as I tried, I couldn’t narrow it down to 10.  It was hard enough selecting ordinals for anything beyond 5!  It was also incredibly interesting to contrast this with individual years.  In some cases, my favorite of the year (at the time) didn’t even make the decade list (such as Crash and Slumdog Millionaire).  They just didn’t hold up in hindsight.  Even more interesting is that none of the individual Lord of the Rings installments appeared in my year-end best-ofs, but when I considered the trilogy as a whole, it certainly stood out as the cinematic achievement of the decade.

Let’s just get down to it.  You’re free to disagree, and I’d love to hear your additions or subtractions in the comments section!

1. Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–2003)

2. Moulin Rouge (2001)

3. Children of Men (2006)

4. Amelie (2001)

5. Wall-E (2008)

6. Chicago (2002)

7. Memento (2000)

8. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

9. Atonement (2007)

10. Lost in Translation (2003)

11. The New World (2005)

12. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

13. Spellbound (2002)

14. Whale Rider (2002)

15. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

And, of course, an honorable mention must be given to Love Actually (2003), definitely the film of the decade I’ve watched more times than any other.

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On my 30th birthday, I convinced my husband to take me to see Julie & Julia. I’d read the reviews—how Julia Child’s storyline is enchanting while Julie Powell’s is, well, less so—but the trailer was intriguing and, after all, it is written and directed by Nora Ephron. (I’ve seen You’ve Got Mail about 23,461 times, and Sleepless in Seattle only slightly less.)

It was absolutely fantastic.  Seriously.  Easily top five of the year for me.  It was funny and sweet and moving.  I adored the relationship between Julia and Paul Child as it was portrayed in the film, and if their relationship was anything near as lovely in real life, this couple is a model for marriage.  They were consistently loving and respectful, honoring each other’s passions—and never forgetting to be silly along the way.

In contrast to the reviews, I saw Julia and her storyline as muse.  She is commanding and infectiously joyful, and for the film’s purposes: a flawless character.  She is who Julie Powell wants to be.  The Julie storyline, by contrast, is more realistic, showing the ups and downs of life and the tough work of finding passion and purpose.  And it is an honest portrayal of life as a blogger—the many hours, the narcissism, the loneliness, and wondering if anyone out there is even reading.

Both storylines were great, and on the whole, the movie left me wanting to… COOK!  The boeuf bourguignon, the pile of chopped onions (I love onions!), the baguettes, chocolate cream being poured slowly into a pie crust… mmmm… those close-up food shots were so beautiful and delicious.

Julie Child famously said, “I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.”  That’s very good to know, because at 30 I’ve mastered little more than lasagna, grilled chicken, and tuna casserole.  I’ve always had, however, a great appreciation for good food.  I am blessed to live in the Bay Area, where you can get some of the best meals in the country, thanks to seasonal (and local) produce, fresh-from-the-ocean seafood, and almost any kind of ethic food imaginable.  It’s time I explore the creativity of cooking… stay tuned…

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