Kurt Vonnegut shows you how stories go

September 4, 2011

My favourite story is probably: “Girl gets lonely and hungry. Finds charming and adorable person with hamburgers.” But these are pretty good, too.

Full transcript of this talk is here. Can we just overlook the weird “primitive peoples” part? Really, Kurt Vonnegut. Come on. Anyway, the rest is funny. Via Kottke.


What it’s like to be an unfunny girl.

November 23, 2010

Wendy Molyneux tried to write something funny, but couldn’t because she’s just a woman.

I tried on all my clothes, and I felt better until I tried on one pair of pants that didn’t fit me anymore. And then I totally started to cry again, because I am so fat. I cried for a little while on the floor while my cats crawled all over me, purring and being symbols of how lonely I am. My cats love to be symbols of my loneliness. Sometimes, I have to be like, “Stop signifying so loudly guys, I’m watching Grey’s Anatomy!”

Aw man, so embarassing for her, it is really not funny at all. Read it here.


The Secret Lives of Dresses

May 31, 2010

Soon she stopped crying and then she was asleep. I don’t like being slept in. It makes creases. When she had been asleep for a while, the man came back in with a nightgown, and took me off her. He was pretty gentle. I’d heard stories of men ripping dresses, but he didn’t. He was upset that she wasn’t wearing anything under me, not even a slip, but he just sighed and went off for a minute. He came back with a bra and panties, though they didn’t match. I guess he hadn’t noticed that hers always matched, or maybe he didn’t think it was important. Then he put a coat around her and carried her out.

I didn’t get hung up until the next day. It was odd to spend so much time off a body but not hung up. She always hung me up right away.

Great short fiction by Erin McKean, written from the perspective of vintage dresses, online at A Dress A Day. I’m really enjoying these. This one- the red satin bombshell- is particularly good.


Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk on Creativity

May 17, 2010

Lovely TED Talk about creativity by Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert. She’s a wonderful speaker, and this talk makes everything feel better. One friend who listened to it said it sounded like she was advocating religion, but I don’t see it that way; I think it also ties into Gladwell’s Outliers 10,000 hours thing.

Basically both of them are saying, if you put the pen on the paper and just keep going; the genius will probably show up eventually.

20 minutes; no need to watch, you can just listen. Here.
Thanks to Hill for the tip.


Stephen Fry on How to be Gorgeous

December 4, 2009

Heart him.


Inglourious Basterds

August 29, 2009

inglourious-basterds

(no spoilers)

I really liked this movie. Tarantino makes such gleeful films- there’s a sort of mad mischief in his storytelling, like a kid who ate eleven pixie stixx and then ripped off his pants and ran down the side of the highway with his little pink bum showing, yelling I LOOOVE MAKING MOOVIEEEES .

The movie is visceral, tense, funny, suspenseful and has great performances- fun turn for Brad Pitt, who kicks butt in comedic roles, and Cristoph Waltz’ pipe-smoking Colonel Landa is off the hook, holy crap what a wicked character. Tarantino tends to write really strong female characters, too- Melanie Laurent’s Shoshanna and Diane Kruger’s Bridget are both riveting, unpredictable, and- this is relatively rare in a female character- principled and ideological as well. I see a lot of female characters who care about their man or their children/desire for children, but how often do you see women in movies for whom political ideology is the driving motivation? Nice one, QT. Super-fun to watch.

And, as I discovered today, the screenplay is fantastic. Not only is the story strong, but Tarantino’s technique for telling it is great too- the screenplay is really readable, fast-moving, and exquisitely paced. Supa-good. The Inglourious Basterds screenplay is online. Well worth reading if you’re into that sort of thing. Also highly recommend the flick.

Thanks to Torquil for the tip.


30 Rock table read clip

May 28, 2009

Here’s a very short clip of Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin doing a table read for 30 Rock.

And here’s a group interview clip that starts with Tracy Morgan behaving like someone who’s in his third year at a mediocre theatre school- lots of loud, non sequitur one-liners- for an astonishingly long period of time. You can basically skip that part- let it load and go to about 45sec to start. In this clip, Tina Fey reveals that one of my favourite lines is improvised.
It’s on YouTube here (3 min).

Via Lisa W‘s Facebook wall.


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