Tag Archives: Emily V. Gordon

A Conversation Piece

To quote comedian Michelle Wolf, a blog is a conversation no one else will have with you. I saw her show at Acme Comedy Company the other night and, of all her musings on life and funny stories, this line resonated with me the most.

I got excited because, hey, I have a blog and I like to think I write in a conversational tone that people totally get … wait, was she talking about me? Probably. I am sure Michelle Wolf reads this.

She is right and to take it a step further maybe a blog is a conversation you don’t want to have with anyone. I could talk about my thoughts on movies and comedy with a total stranger if I had at least two hours to prep and then recite it to myself a couple of times. Plus this person would definitely have to listen to a week’s worth of internal monologues I might have about a post just so they know where I am coming from. Then we can talk.

This morning I thought, oh it’s just a typical Sunday … I got up, worked out and ate an apple while thinking about making hash browns for breakfast instead. Then I thought, based on Wolf’s line of wisdom on blogs, would I tell anyone that? No, but it will make a perfect segue to write about “Friday Night Lights.”

Big news – I made it to season three and all I want to know is why are the characters always at Applebee’s watching the news about themselves and trying to get away with murder and stuff? Is Applebee’s run by the Texas mob and are they the mastermind behind that show?

It is good I can get these things off my chest here because I am pretty sure I am the only person who is still watching “Friday Night Lights” and will still want to talk about it even years from now.

I have actually talked in-depth about this next tidbit with my friends and family because I believe I made Todd Barry mad after his show in Madison a couple of weeks ago and I don’t know why.

It was a great show and I told him something to that effect while he was signing my copy of his book “Thank you for Coming to Hattiesburg.” All he said was, “Who’s it for?”

The book is all about being a comic on the road and smaller venues he performs at, including the Comedy Club on State. I didn’t expect anything from my “meeting” with Mr. Barry in terms of conversation, especially since I was nervous and didn’t want to make a fool of myself in front of one of my comedic idols. I wanted him to know I liked his show and I’m a fan, but maybe I should have gone bigger and told him I have a deep obsession with peanut butter or something because I may have gotten the same reaction no matter what I said.

Was it because I shook his hand after he did a bit about being a germaphobe or because we were talking to him and he’s an introvert? Maybe he was dreaming about writing about signing his fans’ books and not having to talk to them in the process? All of this  analysis is not a complaint about Mr. Barry. I respect him and am just as much of a fan, if not more, as before, but I can’t get the interaction out of my head.

I think this look says it all:

img_2207.jpgDon’t hate me, Todd. Please don’t hate me.

I’m an introvert, too, and would be willing to give up on germs if I need to. But not peanut butter, sorry.

Moving on to other things I don’t hate (I guess one perk to actual conversations is you don’t have to say things like that when you can’t think of an effective transition), from comedians I love: “The Big Sick” will be in theaters this month and “Dean” from Demetri Martin has a stint at the Edina Cinema right now.

I am also intrigued by — and probably will love — the new show about stand-up comedy in the 1970’s, “I’m Dying Up Here.” It premieres tonight on Showtime and you can watch the pilot online now. It seems to be getting mixed reviews, but I’ll give it a shot and if I don’t like it (this is probably impossible) I’ll just watch “Crashing” again.

Don’t worry, I have more recommendations of things you should watch to convince you that comedy is the best thing on Earth.

Hot off the Internet presses is the trailer for season four of “Broad City” and “Oh, Hello on Broadway” from Nick Kroll and John Mulaney is coming to Netflix on June 13. As Illana and Abbi would say, “Yas.”

Try Sarah Silverman’s new special on the aforementioned Netflix, or if you’re in the mood to be scared, anxious, depressed and angry over the course of seven hours or so, watch “The Keepers.”

Then pick yourself back up with a deep-dive on Tom Hanks’ Instagram account.  It’s delightful.

Are we done talking now? I thought so. Bye!

(P.S. – Watch Now Hiring with Michelle Wolf on Comedy Central.)

 

5o of 366: 9 to 5

720x405-9to5_1980_Tomlin_Parton_Fonda
rollingstone.com

“Tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition and yawn and stretch and try to come to life.” — 9 to 5, Dolly Parton.

Things got a little weird in the plot of 9 to 5 as far as the lengths the characters go to in order to combat the misgivings of their boss Franklin Hart (Dabney Coleman),  but it does stand out for its comedic dynamic between Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton and underlying message on gender issues in the workplace circa 1980.

The film, by Colin Higgins (Harold and Maude – another title on my list), centers first on Tomlin’s character, Violet Newstead, as she fights stereotypes and gender discrimination in the workplace that prevents her from moving her way up the ladder like her male counterparts.

She is joined by Doralee Rhodes (Parton) and newcomer Judy Bernly (Fonda) who have their own issues with Hart and form a friendship over their struggles at work and in other areas of their lives.

That part of the film starts to show their on-screen chemistry, the development of comedic styles still used in movies today as well as the commentary on societal injustices.

Each character has a fantasy about revenge against Hart until he is taken out of commission as a result of Violet accidentally putting rat poison in his coffee (or so they think.)

Violet, Rhoda and Judy go to extremes to cover up Hart’s time away from work and they’re not even responsible. As a result they have the run of the place and can finally break away from Hart’s controlling management style and male bias to implement workplace equality.

Outside of its strange turns at times, I did appreciate the overall comedic tone of 9 to 5 and the saving grace of Tomlin, Parton and Fonda’s acting.

If nothing else, unless you get up very early to watch the movie before work, the song 9 to 5 is a good way to start your day.

In other news, I’m continuing to read Emily V. Gordon’s book Super You and find her advice to be thought-provoking and sometimes inspirational, even taken out of context.

“One of the scariest things in life is realizing how little control you have in this world.”

–Emily V. Gordon.

 

4 of 366: Good Will Hunting

 

good-will-hunting-oral-history-61
Boston Magazine

Good Will Hunting (1998, USA, Gus Van Zant, Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck) is most certainly a film that has shaped my love of cinema. I don’t know if it’s because of the time in my life when I saw it or because it’s a cinematic “boy genius from Southie” or a combination of the two, but Good Will Hunting is worth watching again, and then again.

I took those notes as I was watching the film tonight only to realize I documented similar thoughts about it in 2013 for a post about five films I could watch over and over again. I didn’t even watch Good Will Hunting again at that time … I just knew.

Here are my thoughts from the post three years ago … “I chose Good Will Hunting because it is one of the many titles I associate with why I love film and I am okay with watching it over and over. This choice probably sounds silly and insignificant among all the other accomplishments in film, but I’ve admired and respected Matt Damon’s career from the beginning. This is my list and I am sticking to it. Now, when I actually have the time, I am going to watch Good Will Hunting again.”

I can’t say I am going to have the time to watch 366 films this year, but I am making the time.

As I watched Good Will Hunting tonightI found myself taking notes on the dialogue between the characters, especially Will and his therapist Sean (Robin Williams) and girlfriend Skylar (Minnie Driver.)

These characters, not to mention his best friend Chuckie (Affleck) break Will down just enough for him to learn what he really wants.

The screenplay by Damon and Affleck has so many good lines and, more importantly, insight into human nature that make it groundbreaking in the world of cinema.

It’s going on 18 years since the film was released in January 1998, and I am glad I watched it during the start of my 365 movies project.

Good Will Hunting is an inspirational story to study as a film and as how Damon and Affleck made it and received critical acclaim that shaped their careers.

“You do what’s in your heart son, [and] you’ll be fine.”

No surprises here … 4 out of 4 stars.

“Motivation is thought of as this magical, glorious, divine energy that takes you over when you need it most, but I have found that that’s mostly bullshit. The process of change isn’t always about having some deep insights into yourself and then deciding to alter your behavior as a result; sometimes it’s about making the changes whether or not your’re “feeling them”–and then letting your insights catch up.”

Emily V. Gordon

Up Next (still as of now): Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (I am waiting for the DVD to arrive) Macbeth, City Lights, Edward Scissorhands, Roman Holiday