Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Nats Fan's Notes: Marcia's Birthday Edition

It’s getting to that point in the season when the Nats have settled into their underachieving ways. Everyone is performing slightly below average. Manager Jim Riggleman’s habitual perplexed grimace has become the default position of his face. I kind of like Riggleman’s philosophy of stacking his roster with just-emerging talent and versatile veterans who can be plugged into the line-up as needed, but this does not a consistent team make.

TVRB: Richard Brautigan and the Aesthetic of Failure

When I was in a bookstore in Tokyo a couple of years ago I came across a framed, signed edition of Richard Brautigan’s devastating little “Love Poem.” I hadn’t thought about Brautigan for a while, years probably, and it was somehow reassuring to learn that he’s still, in some way, “big in Japan,” because he’s been virtually forgotten here.

Even more gratifying was seeing his creative spirit alive in a couple of Southeast Asian films I saw over the last couple of years: Edwin's Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly and Anocha Suwichakornpong’s Mundane History.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Madness of Kim Ki-young

Imagine walking around Washington, DC on a spring night. You happen upon a museum that’s open, and find out there’s a movie playing inside, so you go in. You’ve never heard of the film or the filmmaker, and you’ve possibly never seen a movie from Korea before. For the next two hours you are pinned to your seat watching a husband, wife and housemaid alternately screaming and shambling around like zombies while repeatedly trying to kill and/or fuck each other in a claustrophobic house full of madly ticking clocks and gaudy stained-glass lampshades. This happened to one lucky couple on Friday night.