I saw a sneak preview of "Frances Ha" tonight, and it was as great as I expected. I’ve been a huge fan of Noah Baumbach’s films—especially "The Squid and the Whale"—and while I liked Greta Gerwig before, I can officially say that I adore her now, in part because she was so down to earth in a post-screening chat with the audience. The film was shot in black and white (and with Canon 5D cameras, which I thought I was pretty interesting—especially since it was Baumbach’s first movie filmed digitally).
Watching the film it’s hard not to immediately compare it to Woody Allen’s “Manhattan,” which happens to be one of my favorite movies. Of course, one major difference is that the George Gershwin soundtrack has been replaced with David Bowie (a scene of Gerwig skipping and running through Chinatown to “Modern Love” is pretty great). But both films are something of a love letter to New York and examine the timeless theme of trying to find yourself and that person who makes you feel happy and complete.
Everybody rails on New York for being chaotic and full of crazy people. But we’ve got nothing on San Francisco, where the train system was disrupted Friday by not just one but several nut jobs, including a “naked, spitting & pissing man” who tried to attack a woman at a station in the Mission (via SFist)
It used to be the case that L.A. seemed utterly different from Eastern cities in one crucial way: it was already hauntingly apocalyptic, a place of steep hills, deep predator-filled canyons, terrible earthquakes, and winds bearing plutonium from Japan. The first month I lived here I cowered in my bed at night as the helicopters passed over, thinking there was an ongoing series of manhunts… But I’m struck, visiting this time, by how California’s apocalyptic ecology no longer feels absolutely foreign. Since 2001, that science-fiction feeling has migrated eastward. Last fall, Sandy drove home to all of us the folly and imperiled grandeur of our island existence, with its unprecedented flooding and winds. In March, I took my one trip back East—to Boston, where I stayed in a hotel just yards away from where the first Marathon bombing would occur a few weeks later—and later watched images of dazed Bostonites being interviewed and “locked down.” Given all this, L.A.’s soot raining down from a sky of sun seems relatively normal: a kind of pathetic fallacy for our climate-changing, end-days era.