peteg's blog

Mildred Pierce

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The mini-series, not the movie. This one is quite different as it apparently takes the book much more literally; so much so that sometimes even Kate Winslet cannot believe her character. All the acting is pretty solid. Evan Rachel Wood gives me Nicole Kidman vibes, scrawny, bloodless and only convincing when she's frosty and/or bitchy, as she often is here and was in The Wrestler. Guy Pearce anchors the scenes he's in, reliable as ever.

There's probably a PhD being written right now comparing this to the women doing it for (and to) themselves in Twin Peaks, comparing pie baking skills. These days have the Americans looking back to the depression, self-sufficiency, etc. — and one wonders if it's going to take another massive war to shift the economy out of the current malaise. Mad Men, Revolutionary Road, The Tree of Life and so forth: the navel gazing of a diminishing empire.

Gil Scott-Heron: The Last Holiday

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I picked up this semi-autobiography on the strength of a review in the New York Times. I like his poetics, though one might be tempted to conclude that his best work came before 1975. (I'm not enough of a fan to have listened to much more than a greatest hits; it's more that I like his attitude and sense of humour.) The book supposedly started as an account of his tour with Stevie Wonder circa 1980 where Wonder campaigned for the national MLK holiday.

Generally it is well written and sometimes very funny, enough so that I look forward to reading the novels he wrote more than thirty years ago. However the later parts of this book become quite bleak and the concluding paragraph is brutal.