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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. FWIW, Audible has been adding lots of Gore Vidal novels lately--mostly from his Narratives of Empire series, but they've also just added Julian, Myra Breckinridge, and Duluth.
  2. Yeah, I agree with this. I also think this season was the best-paced they’ve done yet.
  3. Furman's new album, Twelve Nudes is out and it's really good. AFAIK, Furman still uses he/him pronouns (at least, all the interviews and write-ups I've seen do), so I'll stick with that for now--but the past few albums have really leaned into a sort of queer trans-everything identity, and I think Twelve Nudes is probably Furman's fullest statement in this regard (yes, even more than Transangelic Exodus). It's loud, it's boisterous, it's angry, it's funny. It's just--like I say, really good. And at 45 minutes or so, Twelve Nudes doesn't wear out its welcome.
  4. NBooth

    Boy Erased

    There's a pretty obvious clue as to Sykes' history in one of the early "therapy" sessions; the speaker says something like "What you are struggling with and what your counselors have overcome" and there's a shot with Sykes in the foreground while Jared stares at him from the background. It's not much, but it's certainly there. I finally got around to watching this and it's chilling. Perhaps it's because I'm from a subculture very close to what Jared and his family inhabit. I recognize that kind of humor ("raise your hand if you're worth a dollar"). I recognize the interactions between people. And even though I don't inhabit that world anymore, it's got that same uncomfortable feeling one gets going back to the small town of one's childhood. Which means that the movie plays like a horror movie (to me), and the slow boil from ripped dollar bills to beatings with the Bible seem fairly effective. It's a fine movie. It isn't great, but it's effective at doing what it does.
  5. By the way, here's a link to Wild Nights with Emily, the other not-your-mama's-Emily-Dickinson (and, frankly, the one I would rather see).
  6. I mean, I hate to give the RLM guys credit for anything, but it does sound like the kind of hacky thing Abrams would do.
  7. Honestly, after Sense8 and revisiting the original Matrix (though not, as yet, the rest of their work), I have a lot more respect for the Wachowskis than I did; they're not the empty-headed posers I assumed them to be the first time I watched The Matrix--they're much, much goofier and complicated. Which is to say--if Lana's on-board, I'm not going to dismiss a return to the franchise out-of-hand.
  8. Thanks; I'll send a PM directly.
  9. Totally without realizing that we were on the 200th, I decided to take a swing at teaching Moby Dick this semester. It's a class on "the novel," and I decided to try something I've wanted to do for a long time--take one novel and spend a whole semester on it. I'm starting to get daunted, though, the closer I get and the more I prepare.
  10. NBooth

    Cats: The Movie

    Here's the trailer, btw:
  11. He’s in, he’s Edward Furlong, and apparently that’s awkward.
  12. NBooth


    On another note, here's Matt Zoller Seitz:
  13. NBooth


    Yeah, this touches on a number of points that have (afaik) been going around in LGBTQ discourse since the '90s, at least--the problem of how, exactly, to define the "gay" or "queer" experience. Or, in another phrase, "How queer is queer?" It can get pretty divisive; I've seen people accuse Call Me By Your Name (!) of being "a gay movie for straight people" or suggest that it isn't "queer enough." An odd claim, from my perspective, but suggestive--the question is, is a movie "gay" just because it features two people of the same gender-identity falling in love? Does In & Out count as a "gay" movie? Does Rope? Certainly if I were to create a queer film canon I would include Rope and exclude In & Out, even though the latter has a character who openly says he's gay and the former does not, but what are the grounds of this distinction? Etc. [EDIT: I'm sure you've encountered this book, but let me quickly plug In a Queer Time and Place, which runs through the above questions w/r/t the trans experience] Put another way, Adams isn't talking about BR and "other gay movies"--he's suggesting that BR isn't a gay movie at all. I think Adams' critique is precisely the opposite to the issue you allude to in your second 'graph. The problem for Adams isn't that Freddie isn't "incidentally gay" but that he isn't gay enough. If I understand Adams' objection to Bohemian Rhapsody, it's that Freddie's queerness is pretty much incidental--so incidental that, when they brought the movie to China, it was possible to remove all of it with the excision of a couple of minutes--and that whatever queerness is shown is seen as a source of anxiety and depression (this is Adams' critique, not mine, since I've not seen BR, which I should have noted above). Which, when you're dealing with a character so obviously and deeply queer as Freddie Mercury, seems kind of an odd choice. The thing about having the "right gay voice" is that (again, by Adams' estimation) it allows Rocketman to get at some realities of gay life that might seem obvious from within but are often not obvious from without. This argument raises the specter of "authenticity," which I think is a red herring, but it also suggests one of the ways that having (for instance) a diverse writing-room can make a piece of art stronger or more interesting. Now, as far as the larger scope of issues you bring up--yes, there's broad similarities between Christian film and LGBTQ film (up to and including the fact that most examples of both forms are, first, produced by members of the in-group and, second, pretty terrible). I do think we could make some important distinctions regarding why filmmakers from each group (insofar as they're separate groups; I'm uncomfortable with the implicit line between "Christian" and "gay" but I'm accepting it as a generic distinction as far as film goes) make their films. There is, as you note, a hunger for representation from each group, and the respective genres fill those needs. What I'm not sure of is the extent to which the question of evangelism comes up. Christian movies have a weird thing where they're kind-of-sort-of trying to "win souls" or whatever while at the same time "preaching to the choir" because, let's face it, it's mostly Christians watching these things. Meanwhile, a gay flick like John Apple Jack seems pretty uninterested in even pretending that straight audiences exist (I imagine the same could be said for the Eating Out series, but I've never seen them). [EDIT: There's also a question of audience-expectations. The audiences for God's Not Dead, based on my Facebook feed, seem to take a tremendous amount of pleasure in being told they're right, while the audiences for most gay movies--again, based on the discourse I see online--are happy to settle for being told they're valid. I wouldn't want to insist on this latter point too strongly, though, because my personal experience is limited and idiosyncratic.] In fact, the only time a movie with queer themes starts considering a straight audience is when it's pitched to go big like Call Me By Your Name or Bohemian Rhapsody. There may be parallels here, too, in the way (for instance) Christian themes got rinsed out of the Narnia franchise, etc. Anyway, sorry for the wall-o-text. Your comments just got me thinking.
  14. NBooth


    Saw this last night and--ok, yeah. I'm not an Elton John fan, even--I know the "greatest hits" and "Your Song" has a certain emotional weight for me--but I'm not really all that familiar with his deeper discography or with his life-story. So I'm not coming at this as a hardcore fan, but more as a casual observer. As far as the movie goes, pretty much every narrative beat is straight from the music biopic playbook. Patrick H. Willems did a video on this around the time Bohemian Rhapsody came out that dissects the formula pretty neatly: All of that granted. But I really liked this one. I liked the way it tweaked the formula just a bit by centering around the support-group meeting. I liked the way the songs were staged as part of the action. I liked the imagery. Rocketman manages to avoid feeling too trite by leaning into a kind of low surrealism. It's a solid, sometimes exceptional, take on the genre. On another note, Jason Adams, who hated Bohemian Rhapsody, points out an important difference between the two movies:
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