Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Post-KGB, The Dying Gaul, Fitty

Drat, I've fallen down on the blogging beat again. But here I am, back in the saddle. First order of business: my reading at KGB last night was attended by a sparse but enthusiastic crowd, and I had a great time. Melanie Rehak, who was the other featured reader, is actually an old friend of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, so there was a secret thematic underpinning to the entire evening. Best of all, though, was the promotional notice the event got in The New York Sun. If this doesn't expand my audience, nothing will:
NANCY DREW'S MOTHERS Melanie Rehak reads from her book Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her (Harcourt), about the many writers who contributed to the mystery series under the pen name Carolyne Keene. Ms. Rehak is joined by James Marcus, whose latest novel, Amazonia (HarperCollins), is about a team of scientists and American military researchers investigating a medical mystery deep in the jungle.
Next: The Dying Gaul, which I saw on Monday night and started to regret about about twenty minutes into the proceedings. I admired Craig Lucas's screenplay for The Secret Lives of Dentists, and the first-time director has rounded up an excellent cast for his pansexual love triangle: Campbell Scott, Peter Sarsgaard, and Patricia Clarkson. But after an effective opening act--Scott, who's matured into an oddly jug-eared leading man, has a wonderful turn as a studio sleazeball--the whole thing devolves into paper-thin theatrics. Clarkson, discovering that Sarsgaard is bonking her husband, seeks revenge. To that end, she makes his (virtual) acquaintance in an online chat room, then tortures him by pretending to be his reincarnated ex-lover. At this point my attention began to wander. So did Sarsgaard's campy diction: couldn't the continuity person tell him he'd been lisping in the previous scene? Oh, well. It's an ambitious film, undermined by a fatal quotient of silliness--The Changing Light at Sandover meets Love, American Style.

Other bulletins: Fifty Cent brings a gigantic entourage to a preview screening of his film, including his grandmother (via the New York Daily News). Yet even Fitty takes pains to protect her tender sensibilities:
Later at the screening, at Loews 19th St.--hosted by GQ editor Jim Nelson, who revealed that Fitty will be a GQ Man of the Year--the rap star sat next to his maternal grandmother. When a graphic, all-nude sex scene with Joy Bryant came on, Fitty leaned over and advised: "Grandma, close your eyes."
Such a nice young man! Read the entire, deeply entertaining dispatch here.

Fitty: "such a nice young man!" Ah, James, thanks for the laugh.
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