Picks for October 2005
Music: So, my friend Michael Fields, a wonderful director, emailed me and said he was listening to this record he absolutely loved, and had I heard it? I had not, and he was so enthusiastic, that I ordered it from Amazon on the same day. It arrived, and was sitting on a table when my husband came in. He picked it up and looked at me incredulously. "Why did you buy this? I have this. This is one of my favorite pieces of music of all time." I said I had not known that. He insisted that he had told me about this record many times in the past. I said I was quite certain that he had never mentioned this particular piece of music to me.
Why is marriage so hard?
But, on behalf of John Leventhal, Michael Fields and myself, I heartily recommend "Tabula Rasa", by Arvo Part. It is beautiful, moving, transcendent, challenging, and even irritating at some moments. Just like men. [clips on amazon]
Book: I am developing an illness. Its main symptom is an unhealthy obsession with 18th century France. I am reading yet ANOTHER book on Madame de Pompadour: "Madame de Pompadour: Mistress of France", by Christine Algrant, stepmother of my friend Dan Algrant, and this is the best yet. Although I must admit I’m getting a little annoyed by the Pompadour’s sense of entitlement. Actually, I think she may have invented the syndrome. I’m going to Paris this month, and plan on checking out some of her more flagrant decorating ideas. If I bring any of those ideas home, which I have every intention of doing, that, combined with the ‘Tabula Rosa’ incident, will defintely push my husband over the edge.
In order not to completely turn my brain into mush and ormolu, I am also reading Anthony DeCurtis’ "In Other Words: Artists Talk About Life and Work". I have always respected Anthony, but this book gives me new reason to hold him in ever greater esteem. He is the quintessential interviewer. He has so much grace, respect and insight. A really wonderful book, and I must say the interview with me was very good.
Film: At the risk of alienating my friend Douglas McGrath, who has made a film about Truman Capote, yet to be released, and which I am sure is magnificent, I really loved ‘Capote’ starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman. His portrayal is just astonishing. For those of us old enough to remember seeing Capote on ‘The Tonight Show’ and all the other talk shows, the resemblance, in physicality and mannerisms, timbre of voice and inflection—everything—is just uncanny. And of course the whole story about how he wrote ‘In Cold Blood’ is fascinating. I have yet to read ‘In Cold Blood’, and even though I generally don’t like books about murder, I want to read it now. It’s interesting that the one book of Capote’s I have read, ‘Other Voices, Other Rooms’, was so different in texture and subject. In any case, it’s a film well worth seeing.
Additional film pick: "No Direction Home". SO great, so rich, layered, elegant, edgy…perfect except for one thing. It ended too soon. I want Part Two.
Web: Favorite internet site this month: truthout.org. They have a mission and they will not be denied.
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