Out and about

Scott Esposito spends a lot of time reading three polymaths (my favorite kind of nonfiction writer), and especially my new fave Lawrence Weschler. Jonathan Raban and Geoff Dyer are also discussed at length.

Jonathan Ames takes a class. Hilarity ensues. (Probably not safe for work.)

Panels & Pixels has a long interview with Larry Gonick, the cartoonist behind The Cartoon History of the Universe, which taught me more history than any number of high school history classes. Among other things, the conversation alerts me that volume 4 is out. Rejoice!

Film critics Matt Zoller Seitz and Keith Ulrich sum up 2006 in film and video, discussing Miami Vice and Inland Empire at length. If that was all they did, it’s be worth reading. Their long, thoughtful, forward-looking conversation, however, discusses the future of cinema and the coming advent of high-definition video as the norm for creation, the advent of computers and iPods as the norm for viewing, and much, much more. There’s lots to argue with here, and this is essential reading for anyone who cares at all about the movies.

Proving that great minds think alike, Noel Murray and Scott Tobias have a similarly wide-ranging conversation at the Onion’s AV Club, focusing more on how we view movies, and the aesthetic/formal considerations therein than on how movies get made. Again, this is vital stuff for movie lovers.

For the ghost of movies past, rather than future, the Self-Styled Siren writes wonderfully on John Ford’s adaptation of Arrowsmith and Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole.

Girish waxes rhapsodic on a subject dear to my heart—revisiting favorite movies.

Finally, I’ve found someone who shares my shrugging response to the Magnificent Aura of Dame Judi Dench.

Michael gives an overview/summation of his 2006 in cultural discoveries and enrichments.

A few months ago, I mentioned in passing that we wouldn’t start seeing good reviews of Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day until a few months had passed, everyone had taken a deep breath, and got down to the hard, joyful task of actually reading the book in-depth. The Millions proves me right. There’s also a wiki devoted the book, which helps out a lot.

And, finally, a 2000 interview with Whitney Balliett.

That is all.

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Atlanta, GA. He is the co-author (with Daniel Couch) of Bob Mould's Workbook (Bloomsbury, 2017). His work has been published in The Quarterly Conversation, RogerEbert.com, Bookslut (RIP), The Comics Journal, The Baseball Chronicle, and other periodicals. Twitter: @walter_biggins.
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One Response to Out and about

  1. Wax Banks says:

    I just started Against the Day last night. Every one of the first 20 pages caused me to laugh aloud. I can’t wait to dig into this book! And I too look forward to serious discussion of it – not the fannish fawning that’s already appeared…

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