Thursday, September 27, 2007

Geniuses, Harvey, Poets and Film, Roth and...the Taliban Glamour Shots?

MacArthur Genius grants: All the Trib really cared to report on was Stuart Dybek's grant, a very happy event which will enable a strong writer to finish three books without taking on part-time work to slow him down. But there were other figures in the arts of interest to me who won: Dawn Upshaw, that champion of the new in classical music, and playwright Lynn Nottage. I haven't seen any of her plays, but I've heard good things. I think it's great MacArthur has been using this money to support writers toiling (and excelling) in short stories (last year George Saunders), translation and theater, as opposed to novelists who tend to get all the glory.

Sean Penn as Harvey Milk? Matt Damon as Dan White? Gus Van Sant directing? Is this good news?

Paul Muldoon takes over editing poetry for The New Yorker. I'd never given a thought to that post before, quite an important one, I'd think, with perhaps more power to help poets than the Poet Laureate has.

This bracing Philip Roth interview from May 2006 turned up recently. I'd like to think some of his statements are irrelevant a year later, but I wonder.

Fascinating short video about some found photos of young Taliban members. The images including young boys are creepy. And the photos of men holding hands reminds me of nothing so much as those photos of men from the 19C you see in various books. Someone needs to interview these young men.

Jonathan Rosenbaum on the South in movie history. Also, a thoughtful mention of JR and a not so flattering mention. (I won't even touch the recent controversy about his Bergman piece because I spent so much time arguing about it on blogs and discussion boards.) It'll be interesting to see if JR touts the new Rivette, but I have to cut him some slack. Those film fests can honestly wear you down.

Cineaste ponders the best political films and uses their anniversary as an excuse for a look back at some notable films.

TimeOut London: "Gay artists and audiences often joke that Barney is the best gay artist who isn’t actually gay." Also, a fascinating piece on JFK and his best pal. (Thanks, Greg)

TCM lists their top requested films not available on dvd, and aside from The African Queen, the list was pretty surprising to me, at least.



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