W R I T E R + E D I T O R
  • New Music at the Movies! I review the soundtracks to Frank+God Help the Girl+Forrest Gump (20th anniversary edition) 

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  • I watched this terrible movie so you don’t have to.

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  • Yay for press! The Marrow, plus nine other local greats (hi, Guts & Glory and Funny-Ha Ha!) round out Chicago Magazine’s 10 best storytelling series.

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  • Are you ready? I’m so ready. (The Oscars = my Super Bowl)

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  • Patti Smith + Robert Mapplethorpe

    Finished “Just Kids” today. Feeling inspired, grateful.

    (Source: ana-lopo)

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  • Top Ten Influential Books

    Britt Julious tagged me for this, so how could I say no?

    The following are my top ten in no particular order, because choosing one favorite book is like choosing a favorite child, and my influences seem to grow and change by the year/day/hour, like the wind or the seasons.

    • “White Teeth” by Zadie Smith – Britt, you and I share a favorite! My Zadie obsession began here, and I have gobbled up everything she has written since like inspiration-food. Her work feeds me.

    • “Madness” by Marya Hornbacher – I tell everyone to read this book. It slayed me and saved me. Still does, every time. No one writes like Marya.

    • “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion – While I adore all things Didion (especially “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” and “Why I Write,” a talk with a title from Orwell, of course), “Year” holds a special meaning for me. I discovered it at the Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris, its cover winking at me from a high-up shelf, and I devoured it in less than two hours on the cushiony sofa in the upstairs room. I remember crying softly as I read, while a stranger played Chopin on the old piano across from me. Her wisdom shapes me still.

    • “The Republic” by Plato – I first read “The Republic” in an obligatory core-credit Philosophy 101 class during my sophomore year of college, and it has not unstuck from my brain almost six years later. I nearly changed my major to philosophy because of it. But while that did not come to be, I was inspired to take on an open-minded, ever-questioning philosophical worldview that I had not held previously, and for which I feel truly fortunate to carry within me now.

    • “A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf– I was very depressed when I checked “Room” out of my college library. I felt like a nothing. I read “Room” under my covers at night; and although nothing changed right away, a seed was planted. Slowly, Woolf built me back up again. My tiny dorm room began to fill with possibility. I thought, for the first time in a long time, I could be a somebody. 

    • “The Chronology of Water” by Lidia Yuknavitch – I just finished this one, and I already want to read it again. And again. And again. Fuck. Her writing is so potent, puissant, breathtaking. I could swim in her words for days. 

    • “Harriet the Spy” by Louise Fitzhugh – I began journaling because of this book, scribbling feverishly into a notebook whilst following random passerby and observing their behaviors, coming up with whole stories about their lives from brief interactions. I was 7.

    • “Matilda” by Roald Dahl – I began reading the classics because of this book—Dickens, the Brontës, Kipling, everything Matilda read— and was emboldened by Matilda (a.k.a Dahl) to not be ashamed to read on the playground steps while the other kids played Princess. I was 8. 

    • “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott – I intensely related to the character of Jo as a child, and I used her as my spirit guide for what I ultimately wanted to be: a published author who followed her dreams, lived her passion and didn’t take shit from anyone. 

    • “Harry Potter” books by J.K. Rowling – My hungry imagination was made full by these gems, each one marking a formative stage in my progression from daydreamer child to angsty adolescent to frightened tiptoer on the edge of adulthood, not sure if I was ready to cross over. Harry, his friends and his world made me feel safe; I could fly off to Hogwarts anytime I wanted. And I am immeasurably grateful for that.
     

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  • Look ma, I’m an editor!

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  • A new “Music at the Movies” video is up! (p.s. 4 of these 5 films are directed by women so HECK YES LADIES!)

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  • Why has Boyhood been heralded by film critics and moviegoers with such thunderous and nearly universal acclaim? The answer is complex and the reasons manifold.

    First and foremost, director Richard Linklater’s literal interpretation of the coming-of-age story represents a landmark achievement in narrative cinema: filming one core group of actors — separated parents (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, respectively) and their two children, Sam (Lorelei Linklater, the director’s daughter) and Mason Jr. (Ellar Coltrane, the film’s focal point and star) —  for three-day intervals over the course of 12 years.

    Second, watching characters grow older onscreen is in many ways akin to watching a home movie; becoming more emotionally invested and even protective of these people is a natural progression, an involuntary empathy as the result of what feels like a shared experience.

    Third, rarely has a film captured the more mundane aspects of everyday life with such poignancy and familiar closeness, as Mason’s selective memories of events both big and small, from a Harry Potter premiere party in elementary school to his first day of college, paint a canvas onto which we can project our own experiences.

    The opening shot is of a six-year-old Mason staring up at a deep blue sky, eyes wide with wonder, and the film ends on a similar note with Mason at 18, awestruck by the endless well of possibilities that are yet to come. And even with a considerable runtime of nearly three hours, Boyhood, much like the fleeting, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it transition from childhood to adulthood, goes by quickly, in flashes of simple, intimate moments and insights that leave a lasting impression. 

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  • what I aim to wear on the reg.

    (via sexceptional)

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