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About NBooth

  • Rank
    Collector of Oddities
  • Birthday 01/23/1987

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Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Wuhan, China
  • Interests
    Literature. Film. Music. The theater. Philosophy. Theology.

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Lecturer in American Literature, Huazhong University of Science and Technology
  • Favorite movies
    Top Ten (descending order):The Third Man (Reed, 1949) Mulholland Drive (Lynch, 2001) 2046 (Wong, 2004) Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958) Zodiac (Fincher, 2007) Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941) There Will Be Blood (Anderson, 2007) Raiders of the Lost Ark (Spielberg, 1981) Once Upon a Time in the West (Leone, 1968) The Thin Man (Van Dyke, 1934)
  • Favorite music
    Top Ten (descending order):Bob Dylan,David Bowie,Nick Cave,Brandi Carlile,Josh Ritter,Bill Mallonee,Robert Johnson,Willie Nelson,Van Morrison,The Beatles,
  • Favorite creative writing
    Top Ten (descending order): Tristram Shandy,    The Idiot,    Absalom Absalom!,    Winesburg, Ohio,    Leaves of Grass,    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,    Calamity Town,    Our Man in Havana,    Kings Row,    A Sentimental Journey

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  1. NBooth

    Ready Player One

    Yeah, that was an interesting review.
  2. NBooth

    Gore Vidal (1925-2012)

    This past week I've been on a Vidal kick, so I (finally!) read Myra Breckinridge, which has gotten its hooks in me so thoroughly that I'm pretty sure I need to read it again this month. I also read Myron (available at the Open Library)--not as good, a much looser and less mind-colonizing work than Myra B. but not without a few small pleasures. And I ended it with Vidal's collection of sex writings, Sexually Speaking--though, really, one needn't read all of the essays here. "Pink Triangle and Yellow Star" is the gold standard for Vidalian sex writing, as far as I'm concerned. It's seriously a shame that more isn't being done with Myra Breckinridge. It's a weird read in this cultural moment of #metoo and trans visibility and I suspect that it would--these days--get blasted as much from the Left as from the Right (justifiably or no, I won't say). But that book crawled into my brain and camped out there (in every sense of "camp"). Myra is (and there's no doubt in my mind on this score) the most captivating, disturbing, and magnetic character in midcentury American fiction; she's a Captain Ahab for the sexual revolution set. (I've not seen the movie, though I plan to--I know it's terrible and have watched many terrible clips of it, but one must do what one must....) [Edit: The existence of the movie was never noted here, anyway, but for the record there was at one time to be a Gore Vidal biopic starring Kevin Spacey that has since been scrapped in light of the confirmation of persistent rumors regarding Spacey's conduct with young men. Actor-wise, it's a loss; Spacey has been accused--by people on this very board--of possessing a smarmy acting-style, which would go well with Vidal's actual persona. Given rumors about Vidal's own behavior, there's a certain symmetry to Spacey losing the job for sexual misconduct. Link two. Anyway, here's the IMDB page, which tells me that Michael Stuhlbarg was to have played Howard Austen.]
  3. NBooth

    Ready Player One

    This movie is so dumb. It has exactly one redeeming feature--one place where I felt actual joy--and that's the journey into The Shining. Everything else? It's the perfect embodiment of all that I hate about nerd culture--the performative interest in trivia, the confusion of reciting trivia with love of a thing, the Romantic view of the Poor Misunderstood Genius who Just Wanted to Make a Cool Thing--and it's all so obvious, so dreary, and so flat. One problem--and I've mentioned this elsewhere--is that Spielberg is precisely the wrong person to do a movie about nerd nostalgia. When he makes movies that hit his own nostalgia buttons he's generally good. But he made the world these kids are nostalgic for. He's got no reason to particularly feel anything at all for it.
  4. NBooth

    Podcast Recommendations?

    My friend and colleague Andy Crank from the University of Alabama has a podcast called The Sound and the Furious: "Two professors use humor, curse words, and hopefully some insight to connect current events with American literature and history." I just started episode one ("Trump, the Dirty South, and the Humanities") and it's quite good. The discussion of how the humanities are perceived vs. how they are in practice is pretty bracing after a year of Atlantic whinging about "safe spaces."
  5. NBooth

    Star Wars: Han Solo origin story spin-off

  6. NBooth

    Star Wars: Han Solo origin story spin-off

    This looks bad.
  7. NBooth

    Jurassic World 2 aka Jurassic Park 5

    It's not a strikingly unique response, I'm sure, but this looks terrible. Like, Jurassic Park 3 bad.
  8. NBooth

    Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

    Edwin Turner:
  9. NBooth

    Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

    As a sidenote--I assume this has to do with Star Wars not being all that big in China, but the cut I saw had little text onscreen whenever a familiar character appeared. It was kind of cool, because it reminded me of Shaw Brothers flicks (so did Snoke's throne room, actually--it, and some of the stuff that happened there, could have been the setting for a title sequence by Chang Cheh).
  10. NBooth

    Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

    Yeah, I liked Rogue One well enough, but I loved The Last Jedi. Like, this is what The Force Awakens should have been--not a reverential retread, but a helter-skelter playing with bits and pieces of the Lucas movies. Hamill is magnificent, as is Fisher, and Dern was so good that I really wish we could get more of her. I have no patience with fan complaints about the arc of Luke's character--the franchise is nothing more or less than the movies that make it up, after all, and Hamill did better work here than he did in the entire Original Trilogy. Visually, I was much more satisfied as well--the scenes at the casino were imaginative and lush in a way TFA and even the visually superior Rogue One never dreamed of being. And there were several shots (including one spoilery one involving Leia) that made me audibly gasp. It's a real shame this gets booted back to Abrams now.
  11. Here we go again. Nonfiction in bold. Usual caveats about time-finished rather than time read. January James, Henry. The Aspern Papers (novella) Bloom, Harold. The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime Baptist, Edward E. The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. Burke, James Lee. Robicheaux. Woods, Gregory. Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World. February Greenblatt, Stephen. Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare. Cassara, Joseph. The House of Impossible Beauties. March King, Stephen. 'Salem's Lot. (re-read; first time was audiobook) Hendrix, Grady, and Will Errickson. Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ‘70s and ‘80s Horror Fiction. Herring, Scott. Another Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism Russell, Ray. Incubus Shakespeare, William. The Sonnets Goenawan, Clarissa. Rainbirds. Vidal, Gore. Myra Breckinridge Vidal, Gore. Myron April Blank, Hanne. Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality. Vidal, Gore. Sexually Speaking: Collected Sex Writings. Donald Weise, ed. Sherry, Michael S. Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracy Robin, Corey. The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Donald Trump. Haralson, Eric. Henry James and Queer Modernity Vidal, Gore. Myra Breckinridge (second reading) Halberstam, Judith. In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives Browning, Elizabeth Barrett. Sonnets from the Portuguese
  12. NBooth

    A better film about...

    Not sure it's quite fair--and I liked the newer movie--but the original A Nightmare on Elm Street is a better version of the 2017 It. (For that matter, though for a slightly different reason, so is A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge)
  13. NBooth

    Stephen King's IT

    Now streaming on Amazon, so of course I watched it. It's good. Not great--the horror scenes, especially early on, are too perfunctory; they appear out of nowhere and then go away with little impact. But the child actors are engaging and the movie re-structures the narrative so that Georgie is missing instead of known to be dead, which gives the climax a nice emotional payoff. I liked Pennywise's physicality, once I got exactly what they were going for.
  14. NBooth

    God's Not Dead 2