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Sara Zarr

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Everything posted by Sara Zarr

  1. Sara Zarr

    The Town

    I, too, am a huge fan of Gone, Baby, Gone, and have probably watched it five times now. I'm with Persona - I thought this was a really good example of a movie of its type. Nothing extraordinary, and not nearly as affecting as GBG, but a solid flick (and Jeremy Rennert is great). I probably won't ever watch it again, though. It's not lasting in that away. I also agree that Affleck is a much better director than he is an actor, and I hope he directs lots more movies over the course of his career, and more with the quality of source material GBG gave him.
  2. Well, perhaps to my great moral shame, based on some of the comments here, I enjoyed this movie a lot - a lot more than I thought I would, and in different ways than I expected. Fairly early on, I decided it's best appreciated as a really beautifully-made and well-acted horror movie. I totally gave myself over on that level and had a blast. It was almost like a Stephen King story, you know? But more disciplined? I can't have been the only one who thought of CARRIE during the scenes with Hershey and Portman. (In fact, within hours of getting home, we dialed up DOLORES CLAIBORNE on Netflix, so long as we were in the mood...) [edited to prove I can spell, usually]
  3. Ha! Well, maybe 20th Century Fox/Scorsese agree about that, because there is no exclamation point on the set's box after Boomerang. Though the Viva Zapata! exclamation point survives intact... I shall report back here after seeing the movie's actual title card...
  4. This was our big Christmas present this year. We watched the first in the collection, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, on Christmas day. It couldn't capture all of the complexities of the book, but still, very moving and it's hard to imagine that it's anyone's first feature film. Kazan sort of seemed to hatch fully-formed. And the composition of the film is striking; memorable shots and echoes. We're trying to decide if we should binge on these - watch one a week and burn through the set? Or savor them, one a month, or even less often? Maybe invite friends to join us? But I think, no, because what if they turn out to be the kinds of friends who talk during movies? Ack. Next up is Boomerang! Not planning to watch the included American Masters docu that Scorsese made until we're all done, so as not to spoil anything. I've only seen about half of the movies before. Does anyone else have this collection? Want to watch along?
  5. This is one of my all-time faves, and it compelled me to read the book it was based on, which I remember enjoying a lot though I don't remember enough specifically to say whether the movie follows the book's plot exactly, or if the book's ending is more in line with the darkness of the rest of the story. (a la THE BAD SEED book ending vs. movie ending, which had to do with the Hollywood morality code of the time...)
  6. Loved this movie so much. I've seen the original a couple of times - it's good, but very of its time and not much subtle about it. Coen Bros. version is great. For me, it was just about everything I love about movies. (And I don't ask for much - a good story, well told, please. WHY is that so rare?) This is definitely one of the best movies I've seen all year, and possibly now an all-time favorite. Favorite shot: the basket (or bowl?) of apples from which Mattie supplies Little Blackie for the journey.
  7. A general YA thread is probably a good idea! I read some of the NYT article - I recommend Paolo Bacigalupi's SHIP BREAKER. Dickensian Sci-Fi, if there is such a thing... (Paolo is one of the contributor's to the article cited above.)
  8. Agena was in her THIRTIES??!! Whoah. She was very convincing indeed.
  9. Thankyou, thankyou. I'm excited to see what all comes out of this. SZ
  10. Is she going to play Deanna? She's 15 in the book, and Mary-Kate is 24. I can't see the story working with an actress that old playing Deanna. [edit] According to IMDB, she's playing Stacey (18 in the book), which is still a bit of a stretch, but wouldn't be so distracting. Yes - I think that could totally work. Stacy (how I always spelled it, though it says Stacey on imdb) is a bit of an old/weary soul anyway, and is actually 19 (I think, that's how I remember it). I'm so curious to see the rest of the casting. (Lesson to everyone: most of the time, authors in book-to-movie scenarios usually KNOW NOTHING.)
  11. I'm with Andy. Can't wait to get this. I have to say I sort of love Thompson jam mode, at least on Guitar, Vocal and the bootleg cassette tape (now long gone, lost, or ruined) I had of him at the Sausalito Arts Fest years ago, where I was IN THE FRONT. We made a connection. I just know we did. Other RT concerts I have known... He opened for Crowded House on their Woodface tour. He was alone. That was a good night. Probably like 1992? I saw him with band at the Warfield in SF shortly thereafter. Aforementioned Sausalito Arts fest, with Danny Thompson and maybe there was one other person... At the Zephyr here in Salt Lake, just him. Man, that was good. He was in such good voice. Then I saw him here somewhere, I think the Depot?, when he toured as The Richard Thompson Band. Awesome. There was a free show as part of the city concert series, outdoors. There were a couple of others I'm sure I've forgotten. But after all of those shows, and as amazing as he is as a one-man operation, when he's with a full band and is pulling out all the rock'n'roll stops, Sara is at her happiest.
  12. Zoiks! Huge Elton fans here, me and the hubs. Him especially. Me up through about 1989 (Sleeping with the Past) plus a few tracks. (I'm not going to preview the new tracks. Then we can stick to our ritual of buying the actual CD, putting it on the stereo and listening straight through with total surprise.)
  13. Lost Boys of Sudan follows some of the culture shock the boys have when they get to the states, and shows some scenes of their lives back home. Pressure Cooker is an amazing documentary about kids in inner city Philly. (It's hard to find documentaries that compare a bunch of cultures within one piece, but maybe the original requester can pick 2 or 3 and compare among.) Edited to add: There's also that one about Amish teens in their rumspringa, which provides some great cultural contrast...The Devil's Playground.
  14. Thanks, Christian. Going fine! Promotion a little bit off my radar right now but I'll be thinking about it more intentionally again soon. Thx also for GoodReads video tip. (Personally I avoid GR like the plague because of my Own Issues, but know so many people love and use it...)
  15. Thanks, Tyler. I really loved giving that talk to that audience. It was great to meet you, too. I'm sorry we didn't have more time to chat!
  16. Thanks, Christian. Yes, it is always a good thing to be mention in the Times, especially in esteemed and best-selling company. I thought the piece was interesting, though for me the key point missing was that YA novels are stories told from the point of view of an adolescent, currently still in adolescence (not looking back with the wisdom of adulthood), therefore the eyes through which the reader sees the parents is going to tend to skew toward the negative. I remember that, at 15, I thought my mother was completely clueless and I don't know how she got along in the world without me telling her what to do and how to do it. As teens we tend not to see our parents as degree-holders, picture them in their jobs, fully imagine the life they've lived before we came along, appreciate that somehow they have managed to feed, clothe, and shelter us from birth so they must be doing something right, etc. In adolescence we're differentiating from our parents and striking out with OUR way of seeing the world, OUR way of doing things, which often we believe is better (whether it is or not). It makes sense that parents in YA realism come across as very limited or lost - that's so often how teens see them. Also, as Just says in the article, the parents' problems become uninteresting, ultimately, and you are more interested in the teen character, which is the point. Finally, of course, stories are about conflict. In my books so far, families are at a point of crisis and therein lies if not the primary conflict then rich soil for another conflict to grow.
  17. I'll be there. Be sure and introduce yourself!
  18. What is Touchstone? Finally, some controversy! I'll actually be talking a bit about this at the Calvin Festival of Faith & Writing - my talk is called "YA Fiction and the Stewardship of Pain" (a title partially nabbed from Federick Buechner) and I'll give my take on one answer to "Why are YA books so DEPRESSING?" Short version: adolescence can be very painful, and writing plots that externalize that pain (with dead or addicted parents, etc.) and explore it is one way to be a steward of an aspect of the human experience, which is something writers are in the business of. IMHO, FWIW, YMMV, etc.
  19. Sara Zarr

    Brandi Carlile

    I can't wait. I just missed her show here - AGAIN - because I was out of town. We're eager for the new album, as Brandi fans and Elton fans. Yay!
  20. I always remember the line from her story "How To Be an Other Woman" about feeling gray, like an "abandoned locker room towel."
  21. Sara Zarr

    Step Brothers

    Someone picked this for his top ten? I only watched the first 20 minutes, but based on that agree with Dan. I didn't even crack a smile. I had the exact same experience watching ANCHORMAN, so I'm probably not the right audience.
  22. On a somewhat related note, the National Book Foundation has been profiling one fiction winner of the National Book Award a day on its blog: http://www.nbafictionblog.org/ They started with the first winner and will go right up to the last. Then there's something voting you can do...well, here:
  23. No. Hmmmmmmmm. Perhaps I spoke too soon.
  24. Just saw it today and join the chorus of admirers for all the reasons cited above. I LOVE JGL and would love to see him in more and all kinds of movies. Between this and BRICK and MYSTERIOUS SKIN (not to mention Third Rock From the Sun), he's proved his giant range. Though I don't think ZD is as versatile as he is, she's perfect for this, and I'd much rather see her in a movie like this than in the awful THE HAPPENING. [Edited to add: I especially liked the moment where Tom's friend talked about his dream girl vs. his wife, and how he'd rather have his wife.] [Edited to add part 2: Saw a preview for PAPER HEART(S?) right before this, which seems to cover some of the same "a girl who says she doesn't believe in love" ground.]
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