Saturday, August 30, 2008

Woody has still got it

I have been disappointed to see Woody Allen's recent outings, especially Scoop, and I really don't understand why does he need to have Scarlett in every film that he directs (maybe that's why all his recent films are such duds). After watching films like Scoop, I thought the guy had lost his mojo.

Woody's last film that I had enjoyed watching was Bullets Over Broadway. And then recently when I was in Sydney I could get hold of a Manhattan DVD. I watched it in my hotel room. And man, you have to respect this guy.

Then I read this piece "Excerpts from Spanish Diary" in the NYT a few days ago and enjoyed it so much that I thought I should share it with you here on my blog. This guy is 72 and he says his pants caught fire when he interviewed Penelope Cruz for his new film, 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona', which also has Javier Bardem in it (David Denby of The New Yorker calls him criminally attractive, read Denby's review of this movie here):

Once again I had to help Javier with the lovemaking scenes. The sequence requires him to grab Penélope Cruz, tear off her clothes and ravish her in the bedroom. Oscar winner that he is, the man still needs me to show him how to play passion. I grabbed Penélope and with one motion tore her clothes off. As fate would have it she had not yet changed into costume, so it was her own expensive dress I mutilated. Undaunted I flung her down before the fireplace and dove on top of her. Minx that she is, she rolled away a split second before I landed causing me to fracture certain key teeth on the tile floor. Fine day’s work, and I should be able to eat solids by August.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Sex and the Olympic city

'Talk about shooting your load'...that's Clive Oven mouthing it in Shoot 'Em Up while he is still inside Monica Belucci and at the same time firing his gun at a posse of invaders--talk about sex and athleticism, I say. That movie, Shoot 'Em Up, which I just saw, is a fireworks of a different kind, a mood more than a movie, a trigger happy full frontal assualt, as the movie's DVD jacket proudly showcases.

Sorry, I am supposed to write about sex and the Olympics in this post--a weird topic indeed but one that I was forced to talk about after reading this frank and brilliant piece of writing from Olympic athlete and now commentator Matthew Syed. This article appeared in the Times, UK:

I am often asked if the Olympic village - the vast restaurant and housing conglomeration that hosts the world's top athletes for the duration of the Games - is the sex-fest it is cracked up to be. My answer is always the same: too right it is. I played my first Games in Barcelona in 1992 and got laid more often in those two and a half weeks than in the rest of my life up to that point. That is to say twice, which may not sound a lot, but for a 21-year-old undergraduate with crooked teeth, it was a minor miracle.


Monday, August 18, 2008

'Write what you know'

Arvind Adiga in FT:

A piece of advice that every aspiring novelist is sure to get, sooner or later, is to "write what you know". By restricting yourself to direct experience and autobiography, the theory goes, you give your narrative authenticity. Now comes a first book by a young Vietnamese-Australian author that challenges this maxim: The Boat , a collection of short stories by Nam Le, insists that literature must also be created out of worlds the writer does not know.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Anita Desai in Singapore

Indian novelist and short story writer Anita Desai will be giving a talk in Singapore as part of the India Se-India Club Literary Saloon.

The talk is slated for 23 August 2008 (6.30 pm). The venue is the Pod, Level 16, National Library Building (NLB), Victoria Street.

Anita Desai is the Emeritus John E. Burchard Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has been shortlisted for the Booker prize three times. Her daughter, the author Kiran Desai, won the 2006 Booker prize.

Her recent works of fiction include The Zigzag Way (2004), Diamond Dust and Other Stories (2000) and Fasting, Feasting (1999).