Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Lush Garden Within

I had a great time in Vegas and I'll tell you all about that next post, but here's my March List of reading and watching.

March's Books and Movies

Books

PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives by Frank Warren – 276 pages – My former boss lent me this book and it was quite fascinating to read what people will tell a complete stranger. The one that sticks in my mind was the woman who confessed that she only got married because she wanted to wear the dress. Egads.

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald – 282 pages – I quite liked this book, and although it reminded me faintly of The Catcher in the Rye, I found the protagonist a generally likable character. I also found the look into that particular period very interesting, from the scandal of getting a hotel room with a woman not your wife to the semi-cavalier way the death of a friend from drinking and driving was dealt with.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – 182 pages – I know I read this in high school, but I didn't remember it at all. I have the movie at home right now but haven’t had a chance to watch it. I like Fitzgerald's writing style. I find it easy to read and think he has great character development.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – 191 pages – I love Oscar Wilde and although I knew the premise of this story I had never read it and only vaguely remember seeing bits of the film. I think it's sad that some great literature is passed over by people just because they're considered classics and the general thought of classics is that they're dry and hard to read. I confess I'm guilty of this thought, but I don't think that would be an apt description of Dorian Gray.

The Portrait of Mr. W.H. by Oscar Wilde – 28 pages – That link will take you to the actual essay wherein two people discuss a portrait and how it relates to William Shakespeare. I confess that I have no clue about most of the mysteries regarding The Bard's life, specifically to whom the Sonnets are dedicated, but still found this essay to be an interesting discussion of art and ideas.

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald – 315 pages – This book broke my heart as it's considered to be fairly autobiographical and it was just a sad story, although it doesn't start out that way. I liked it better than This Side of Paradise, which doesn't really mean anything.

I also read "An F. Scott Fitzgerald Companion" which came with my Book of the Month Club F. Scott Fitzgerald series. It was 90 pages of bit and pieces of books and articles written about F. Scott by various friends, secretaries, etc. It was just enough to whet my appetite and make me want to search out biographies..


Movies

My Man Godfrey (TCM) – 100% – 1937 – I love William Powell.
Notorious (K) – 96% – 1946 – Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Raines – need I say more?
The Maltese Falcon (Old Redford Theatre) – 100% – 1941 – The quintessential Bogart film with Peter Lorre just for fun.
The Heiress (N) – 100% – 1949 – Olivia de Havilland and Montgomery Clift – she plays the heiress, he plays the gold digger. They made her appear very plain in this movie while Montgomery Clift is as handsome as ever. I liked the way they didn't make this a "Hollywood ending." And if they had I would have been ticked off.
The Illusionist (N) – 75% – 2006– I liked this better than The Prestige, as a "magic" movie. It has Edward Norton which is all good in my book.
That Obscure Object of Desire (N) – 100% – 1977 – Luis Buñuel's last film and I must confess that I didn't get it. I wanted to slap Fernando Rey upside the head for taking that chick back so many times.
The Prestige (N) – 74% – 2006 – Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and Michael Caine? First off, I probably should have started that list with Michael Caine because I think he's a fantastic actor. There's a song by Madness called Michael Caine and I think it's probably my favorite song by them.

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15 Comments:

At Thursday, 12 April, 2007, Blogger Scott said...

I also preferred the Illusionist. It seems many lean towards the Prestige, but it wasn't very believable.

 
At Friday, 13 April, 2007, Blogger fermicat said...

I don't know how I missed The Illusionist when it was out. I don't even remember it. Maybe it will show up on cable soon. I did know about The Prestige and want to see it sometime. But with the longer days and warmer weather, we are not watching many movies...

I'd like to check out Post Secret. The website is interesting.

 
At Friday, 13 April, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

Scott - I think The Prestige gets the nod just for the bigger names.

Fermi - Oh, definitely check it out. Warmer weather? Huh? What are you talking about? ;-)

 
At Friday, 13 April, 2007, Blogger MyUtopia said...

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde-- I NEED to read this.

 
At Friday, 13 April, 2007, Blogger mr. schprock said...

Dang girl, how the hell can you read all those books and watch all those movies. I remember going throughan F. Scott Fitzgerald stage and even tried to write like him, which was just plain nuts on my part.

I've seen all but one of the movies you listed. And yes, The Illusionist kicks The Pretige's ass.

 
At Saturday, 14 April, 2007, Blogger Heather said...

Ohhh....Notorious! I love that movie. Anything with Cary Grant in it is a must watch. And Edward Norton - he's yummy! You're doing so much better at the book reading this year than I am. I just picked up Johnny Cash's autobiography so at least I'll be reading something!

 
At Saturday, 14 April, 2007, Blogger Sal said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At Saturday, 14 April, 2007, Blogger Sal said...

The Illusionist was a far better movie than the Prestige, one way I know is I didn't fall asleep watching the Illusionist.

Did you hear that the Maltese Falcon (ok a genuine signed replica) was stolen from John's Grill in February? I've always gotten a kick out of the plaque on Burritt Street (at Bush Street) stating "On approximately this spot, Miles Archer, partner of Sam Spade, was done in by Brigid O'Shaughnessy."

 
At Saturday, 14 April, 2007, Blogger Beth said...

I can't help but say it again-- I love F. Scott. I love the way he writes. I love his short stories and his novels. What I love about him most is his ability to write so beautifully about women. He describes the beauty of their skin, the flush or blush of it, and it makes me sigh. No heaving breasts or cheeky sexual stuff -- just pure romance.

 
At Monday, 16 April, 2007, Blogger LL said...

You're back! Well... I hope Vegas was all you hoped and dreamed.

And once again, I'm with Schprock, I can't fathom how you can read and watch all that much in a month.

and speaking of PostSecret... KTM got me started over there, and dangit... I'm a regular every Sunday now.

 
At Monday, 16 April, 2007, Blogger fermicat said...

I just gave you a Thinking Blogger Award. Stop by!

 
At Tuesday, 17 April, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

MyUtopia - I can't believe it took me so long to finally read it!

Schprockie - I have no life. I read while at the gym and watch TV while I knit at night. I didn't even include my Stargate SG-1 watchings, otherwise I would have had more movies watched.

Heather - I'm sure you'll pass me up in the reading area shortly.

Sal - Yes, I read that in the sfgate. I can't even tell you the depth of my feelings on that.

Beth - I'm right there with you on the love of F. Scott. I wished I could go back in time and comfort him because he seemed to be such a tortured soul.

LL - I'd love to say it's good to be back, but it was 85 and sunny in Vegas.

Fermi - You're too sweet!

 
At Tuesday, 17 April, 2007, Anonymous Woof said...

Well, I've seen the Illusionist, and liked it, and I'll try to see The Prestige here soon, so then I can tell you which one I liked better.

I hope Vegas was a fun time.

 
At Tuesday, 17 April, 2007, Blogger Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Thank god there are still book lovers out there. Now. Vegas. We want all the dirty little details.

vhsyoby doo, where are you?

 
At Tuesday, 17 April, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

Woof - You'll have to join us in Vegas next year! Are you coming to Vegas?

FWG - I'm a book-o-phile!

 

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