It’s A Team Effort

Just started reading No Country for Old Men last night, and somehow stumbled onto this video while eating breakfast. It’s a script-to-screen comparison of THAT scene. Brilliantly written, adapted, directed, acted, costumed, lit, shot, edited. It all has to be there for it to work this effectively.

Best YouTube comment regarding Chigurh’s motivation for the coin toss …

I think he would be fine with it either way. The way he sees it, it’s just. The coin makes the decision not him. If the coin says heads then he should be pitied, a worthless peasant able to finish out his life. If its tails, he should be despised for his weakness, a waste, and removed from the earth. Chigurh understands this, that he is both, and the coin simply dictates the action to be taken. So it doesn’t matter either way. There’s always a reason to kill him and there’s always a reason to spare him. So the coin will sort it out.

Willy Wonka Horror

Roald Dahl’s books are pretty twisted for their target audience. Well, here’s what Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory would look like as it should be. The first bit talks about how they made it, but the real fun starts around 12:47. This cracked me up…

The suspense is terrible. I hope it’ll last…

Of course this made me think of this little gem from an earlier version of this blargh

The American Dream Value Menu

After finishing Harrison Scott Key’s first book I went a-Googling, finding his Ted talk from last summer. He’s originally from Memphis!

Harrison Scott Key is the author of two books—Congratulations, Who Are You Again? and The World’s Largest Man, winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor. He has spoken at TEDx and hundreds of book festivals, conferences, and universities around the nation. Harrison’s humor and nonfiction have appeared in The Best American Travel Writing, Oxford American, Outside, The New York Times, The Bitter Southerner, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Town & Country, The Mockingbird, Salon, Savannah Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Image, Southern Living, Gulf Coast, Creative Nonfiction, and more. He holds an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction and a Ph.D. in playwriting and works at SCAD, where he has held appointments as chair of liberal arts, professor of English, professor of writing, and executive dean. He lives in Savannah, Georgia, with wife and children.

This Is Excellent

If any of you bastards are into Audible books, this one is a must. I bought it a couple of years ago, making my second pass now. Riveting.

David Sedaris tells all in a book that is, literally, a lifetime in the making.

For forty years, David Sedaris has kept a diary in which he records everything that captures his attention-overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. These observations are the source code for his finest work, and through them he has honed his cunning, surprising sentences.

Now, Sedaris shares his private writings with the world. Theft by Finding, the first of two volumes, is the story of how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for the International House of Pancakes and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet.

Written with a sharp eye and ear for the bizarre, the beautiful, and the uncomfortable, and with a generosity of spirit that even a misanthropic sense of humor can’t fully disguise, Theft By Finding proves that Sedaris is one of our great modern observers. It’s a potent reminder that when you’re as perceptive and curious as Sedaris, there’s no such thing as a boring day.

Good Girl Says Dirty Things

Surprise! Liz Phair has a new memoir coming out in October called Horror Stories. In the meantime, here’s a fan-fucking-tastic Vulture interview.

So when your indie record Guyville became a phenomenon, was that difficult?

Yes. If I’d only had success in the indie world, my music would have been contextualized more accurately. They would have understood a little more of the art project behind it. Rather than thinking that I was literally saying I wanted to be your blow-job queen, you know?

Once you’re in a wider world, and People magazine picks it up, the nuance is gone. And of course, Matador was like, “Keep going! We’re doing great!”

Full article here.

Look What I Got

Kindle Deal of the Day last Sunday, $2!

In celebration of The Simpsons thirtieth anniversary, the show’s longest-serving writer and producer offers a humorous look at the writing and making of the legendary Fox series that has become one of the most revered artistic achievements in television history.

Four-time Emmy winner Mike Reiss—who has worked on The Simpsons continuously since episode one in 1989—shares stories, scandals, and gossip about working with America’s most iconic cartoon family ever. Reiss explains how the episodes are created, and provides an inside look at the show’s writers, animators, actors and celebrity guests. He answers a range of questions from Simpsons fans and die-hards, and reminisces about the making of perennially favorite episodes.

In his freewheeling, irreverent comic style, Reiss reflects on his lifetime inside The Simpsons—a personal highlights reel of his achievements, observations, and favorite stories. Springfield Confidential exposes why Matt Groening decided to make all of the characters yellow; dishes on what it’s like to be crammed in a room full of funny writers sixty hours a week; and tells what Reiss learned after traveling to seventy-one countries where The Simpsons is watched (ironic note: there’s no electricity in many of these places); and even reveals where Springfield is located! He features unique interviews with Judd Apatow, who also provided the foreword, and Conan O’Brien, as well as with Simpsons legends Al Jean, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, and more.

Like Cary Elwes’ As You Wish, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Seinfeldia, and Chris Smith’s The Daily Show: An Oral History, Springfield Confidential is a funny, informational, and exclusive look at one of the most beloved programs in all of television land.

What Say You, Kubrick Fans?

I read Doctor Sleep a few years ago and liked it okay. Maybe the movie won’t suck, I dunno. It’s somewhat reassuring that the director is Mike Flanagan, the same guy who helmed Gerald’s Game and The Haunting of Hill House for Netflix. There’s already a backlash on the Internet (because of course there is) for leaning heavily into Kubrick’s film – but I get it.

Me? I’m cautiously optimistic.

What I’m Reading Right Now

I somehow made it to 50 without ever reading any of Raymond Carver’s short stories, but I’m fixing that now with this collection. Great stuff! Little depressing slices of life that any bastard can relate to. Perfect bedtime reading …

By the time of his early death in 1988, Raymond Carver had established himself as one of the great practitioners of the American short story, a writer who had not only found his own voice but imprinted it in the imaginations of thousands of readers. Where I’m Calling From, his last collection, encompasses classic stories from Cathedral, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, and earlier Carver volumes, along with seven new works previously unpublished in book form. Together, these 37 stories give us a superb overview of Carver’s life work and show us why he was so widely imitated but never equaled.

I picked this one up in hardback at Barnes & Noble for a few bucks. Chabon I’m quite familiar with, having read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Wonder Boys, and Werewolves in Their Youth. I honestly believe Chabon is one of our greatest living writers. Anyhoo …

In 1989, fresh from the publication of his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Michael Chabon traveled to his mother’s home in Oakland, California, to visit his terminally ill grandfather. Tongue loosened by powerful painkillers, memory stirred by the imminence of death, Chabon’s grandfather shared recollections and told stories the younger man had never heard before, uncovering bits and pieces of a history long buried and forgotten. That dreamlike week of revelations forms the basis for the novel Moonglow, the latest feat of legerdemain from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon.