Monday, April 25, 2011

My So-Called Recommendation

For all of you who have not had the pleasure of seeing Claire Danes in her definitive role, start tuning in to Sundance Channel Monday nights at 11 for re-runs of My So-Called Life. I must admit, this show taught me everything I needed to know to become a teenage girl, and now when I rewatch it every other month, it fills me with such nostalgic pleasure and shame, but I can finally appreciate what a well-acted, perfectly-written show it really is.

Winnie Holzman created and wrote this 19 episode series about Angela Chase (Claire Danes), a 15-year-old girl who wants something new in her life. She starts hanging out with a wild girl and her in-the-closet gay bff and the three of them attempt to figure out who they really are, while dealing with the identities imposed on them by their parents, their classmates, and their pasts. And did I mention that a then-gorgeous Jared Leto plays Angela's figure of unrequited love? This show is like a time capsule from the 90s that is begging to be released.

This short-lived series is consistently the most honest depiction of teenage life ever put to screen, and although I am a secret Gossip Girl addict, it was comforting to see a young girl go through the same real life problems I faced when I was that age. And am still going through now. Few of us have ever been to a different gala every week with a new scheme to unravel, but I'm guessing more than one has liked a boy who was going to fast, or suffered with zits.

And it's never too late for a good thing. I know a teen dramedy sounds pretty played, but it is worth setting your DVR. You will not regret it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Film Podcasts You Should Be Following

Here are the top 3 film podcasts you should be listening to.

Sure it's fun to read fantastic blogs like this, but what are you supposed to do on the drive to work? Or during your jog? Or if you're an unemployed lazy bum like me, between reruns of the O.C.? I'm here to give you another option!

If you like listening to cinephiles talk about movies you love, those you should watch, and why they're more than just entertainment, then tune in to Battleship Pretension. With the cleverest name in all of podcasting, David Bax and Tyler Smith share their insights into topics such as feminism in film, music documentaries, and the Career of John Candy. And best of all, their guests are some of the best LA comedians. It's like going to the UCB Theatre without having to hang out with a bunch of hipsters.

Maybe the biggest film podcast out there, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley give real insight into new releases, talk about what they've been watching, and go over movie news. Their guests are oftentime notable filmmakers and critics, and they handle movie spoilers better than anyone. They reserve the end of every episode for spoilers, and clearly demarcate it for their listeners.

Maybe you can tell that I'm really into stand-up, but Graham Elwood and Chris Mancini are two comedians who bring a hilarious perspective to new releases. Their guests are usually fellow comedians, writers, and filmmakers like Brian Posehn and Greg Behrendt (yeah, the guy who wrote He's Just Not That Into You. Turns out he's actually not a douchebag! Who knew?). They interview their guests and talk about new releases on DVD while drinking coconut water and licking their kittenhands. Listen to the show and stop looking at me like I'm crazy.

If you have any more suggestions, post them in the comments section!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Screening New Herzog Movie: Museums Just Got Less Boring

LA party people, head over to the Natural History Museum on April 23 to see the new Werner Herzog movie, Cave of Forgotten Dreams. For those of you unfamiliar with the works of Herzog, he recently worked with the demented Nicholas Cage in Bad Lieutenant, and before that pieced together and narrated the documentary Grizzly Man about a bear enthusiast who got mauled while studying the apparently ferocious creatures.

Herzog has made some of the most ambitious and enthralling works of the last 40 years. This might be on the tamer side of his films, as he is making a documentary of cave paintings in France, but his style and cinematography are not to be denied. And you can tell people you went to a museum!

The film starts at 5:30, but even if the tickets sell out, there is an all-access party, with bands, at 8. For free. And as we know, everything free is good.