This weekend I actually watched Saturday Night Live… Live. I can’t tell you when the last time that was possible. Saturday was a gorgeous day of sitting in the same armchair and finishing two books, watching a Law and Order SVU marathon, and eating a metric ton of mac and cheese. But Friday night will probably interest you all more, as I actually did things I can recommend to you.
BIRDMAN. Go see it. This bizarre little gem is playing right now at Coolidge and is seriously enthralling and entertaining. The whole movie is riveting and it is hard to take a breath or stop smiling for even a moment. It is half magical realism, half love letter to the theatre, half experimental film making. Michael Keaton’s washed up actor Riggan wants to do serious theatre and thus attempts to adapt, direct, and star in a theatrical production of Dylan Thomas’ “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” The introduction of a new co-star (played with crazy levels of depth and shallowness by Edward Norton), the issues of his just out of rehab daughter (Emma Stone with a role she can do wonders with), and the voice in his head convincing him he can fly and move objects with his mind all converge to give the audience its entry point into Riggan’s story. Go see it. I give it my highest recommendation.I finished two books this weekend, both of which I can happily recommend to you. I have been reading the Batman graphic novel Hush. Hush brings together all the greatest villains Batman has ever faced and throws them at the caped crusader. Even Superman shows up for a storyline with a stunning Lois Lane dangling off a building yet again. But it is the inclusion of the Catwoman/Batman romance that really marks this novel as unique. The villains come and go, all possibly part of a vast conspiracy, but the plot is really advanced through Batman’s desire to include Catwoman in his personal life. Look for a special appearance by Huntress, for all you Arrow fans out there.I also finished Joshua Ferris’ first novel Then We Came to the End this weekend. I read his second, The Unnamed, for class this term. It made me feel unsettled and at times like I might actually be losing my marbles. So, I obviously had to read everything else this young wonderful novelist has produced. On the surface, Then We Came to the End is much lighter. It details the banal ridiculousness of American office life with all its feuds and romances and pranks and work-avoidance. The whole novel is humorous but in a sort of sad postmodern way. Its mysterious narrator, both one of the office workers and totally anonymous to the reader, carries you through the story with a melancholy and self-aware wit that you can’t help but laugh at, then feel a bit sad for laughing at. And yet, I absolutely recommend this one as well. If you are a contemporary lit fan it is a must-read. I am asking for his new novel, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour for Christmas but if you read it before me, be sure to let me know your thoughts.Happy dreary Monday everyone! Stay warm and dry.