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News and Theory / Re: Who's Next To Croak?
« Last post by Drenk on June 09, 2018, 12:22:32 PM »
I caught a two part BBC documentary about Roth a couple of years ago when he announced he was through with writing. I quickly found myself fascinated by him, and read as much as I could about him. Despite this, I haven’t read any of his novels. I guess his oeuvre seemed intimidating to me; there was no clear point of entry.

So, now the man is gone - where should I start?

I missed this somehow. So...Difficult to say. Roth wrote many books, many different books, so I don't think there's a clear point of entry. I'd say Portnoy's Complaint—the book that made him extra-famous—isn't a good entry, though. Even if it's one of the good ones—it's just too much of a farce all the time (almost all the time) it can give a wrong first impression.

He wrote his best books at the end of the eighties and throughout the nineties.

American Pastoral is his most beloved book. It is a masterpiece. It is also weirdly tame and I wonder if that didn't help its reception. If Roth had only written American Pastoral you can be sure that he would be laying in his grave with a Nobel Prize. It introduces you to his main alter-ego, Nathan Zuckerman, when he became for Roth a way to narrate other people's lives. You're in 1997.

You can also begin with the first Zuckerman book: The Ghost Writer. In this one, Zuckerman is the main protagonist, he's a young writer and it begins to explore the tricks of fiction. You're in 1979.

The Ghost Writer has three sequels, but a Zuckerman books stands by itself after them: The Counterlife. As Roth said, it was the first time that he was fully integrating Zuckerman's intelligence inside the book. The Counterlife is full of meta-narratives—it explores the tricks of fiction, its purpose. Something that is at the heart of Roth. It might be a difficult entry but a rewarding one. You'd be in 1986.

Sabbath's Theater is my favorite Roth, it was written before American Pastoral: this one isn't tame at all. An avalanche of twisted sex is incorporated inside this book. Mickey Sabbath is not a nice man. But he's dealing with grief. And this is a book about death. It can be as funny as Portnoy's Complaint but is also the saddest book I've ever read. The writing is spectacular. The energy. It's unique. 1995.

Operation Shylock is so Roth the main character is Philip Roth chasing a false Philip Roth in Israel. Presented as a "confession" it is full of insanity. And fiction. It also confronts judaism, also an important theme of his work. And that's 1993.

Paul Thomas Anderson / Re: miscellaneous PTA homages
« Last post by Jeremy Blackman on June 09, 2018, 10:08:47 AM »
Other Media / Re: What are we reading?
« Last post by KJ on June 08, 2018, 06:06:26 PM »
just whitnail, let's introduce this book to an american audience!

it's a Norwegian book about a love and sex and stuff. it's good. and I am reading it now.

News and Theory / Re: Who's Next To Croak?
« Last post by Punch Drunk Hate on June 08, 2018, 09:30:25 AM »
The Small Screen / Re: Strange Angel
« Last post by jenkins on June 08, 2018, 01:00:29 AM »
Variety has reviewed the first three episodes, the sole director they mention is Ghostboy. they say nice things about him and David Hart, then they express frustration about the pace of the show, which i expect to worry them more than us.

referring back to imdb, indeed another director isn't mentioned until episode 4 (Nelson McCormick). so he might be those first three. the final director-uncredited-on-imdb episode is number 7, which follows episode 6 directed by Ben Wheatley--perhaps that means he directs two, though i am uncertain.

this will be on CBS All Access, which is its own special thing. "The cost for CBS All Access is $5.99 a month ($9.99 without ads) or $59.99 for a year ($99.99 without ads)." they offer a 1 week free trial period. they released the first two Star Trek: Discovery episodes on the same day, then every remaining episode was a weekly release, not counting some strange gap in the middle of the reason for some reason.

this is the only show of the year i have an interest in for obvious reasons. based on what i know i'll wait for the first thee episodes to be released, which might take two or three weeks, then i'll do the free trial. that's because i won't want to wait around for what i most want to see, although i support the entire season by basic principle.
This Year In Film / Re: You Were Never Really Here
« Last post by Jeremy Blackman on June 07, 2018, 06:49:56 PM »
My first impression was very similar to eward's. The movie seemed too thin. But I've been warming to it quite a bit. This has some of the most idiosyncratic scenes I've seen in a while. And some of those images and moments are just not leaving my mind. I strongly suspect I would love this on a second watch. It probably is a masterpiece.

I'm pretty torn, because I wish this were an hour longer, at least. It left me wanting more. This is probably misguided, though, because the magic of the movie is the way it forces you to fill in the gaps. That's how it gets its hooks in you. (Which is not to say it leaves you guessing. It gives you just enough information.)


I hesitate to say this, because it's pretty dumb, but wouldn't a sequel be awesome?

I would also accept another movie with this story entirely from the girl's perspective.
The Grapevine / Re: The Old Man And The Gun
« Last post by polkablues on June 06, 2018, 05:22:11 PM »
The Grapevine / Re: The Old Man And The Gun
« Last post by Neil on June 06, 2018, 05:19:01 PM »
Very pumped for this, and I have a wild anecdote to boot,

Sometime in mid-2016, I met this guy at an open mic that I host, and he said his name was Nate Lowery. He's a great songwriter/performer etc, and he mentioned that he moved here from Texas.
Throughout the time I've known him, he's mentioned that his brother is a filmmaker, but we never really got too far into that, we'd just end up discussing specific films or music.

Anyhow, fast forward to today, and Nate posted on FB, "check out my brother's new film coming out soon."

Turns out he's Ghostboy's brother. Wild.
The Art Gallery / Re: Written by Sleepless
« Last post by polkablues on June 06, 2018, 01:27:06 PM »
There’s little greater thrill than actors performing words you wrote, and little greater anxiety than realizing their interpretation is miles off of yours.
Paul Thomas Anderson / Re: Phantom Thread - Interviews
« Last post by greenberryhill on June 06, 2018, 01:18:13 PM »
A new interview after a few months of silence!

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