In the onrush of the ever-churning hype machine, never-ending blogs, and the constant RSS-fuelled river of news, it’s hard to hold on to two or three related thoughts for much longer than it takes to hit post. To counteract the continuing blurbification of the culture at large and my head in particular, here are a few items that deserve a little more than whatever has become of Warhol’s 15 minutes.

Must-See Movies, Out Now

  • Shortbus. Finally, in what has been a lackluster year at best, there are some serious contenders for film of the year. John Cameron Mitchell’s paean to post-9/11 New York is still very much in the running. Detractors like to point out the ramshackle filmmaking, but I think it adds to the film’s enormous charm. If the characters can be generous enough to share their lovers freely, shouldn’t we forgive when Mitchell crosses the line once or twice?
  • The Queen. A more perfect piece of filmmaking than Shortbus, and only slightly less daring. It’s only a matter of time before I go see my girlfriend Lilibet again.

Must-See Movies, Coming Soon

  • Pan’s Labyrinth. Guillermo del Toro’s masterful fairy tale won’t be out until after Christmas, but this is one film you should feel free to get excited about early.
  • The Host. Ditto for Bong Joon-ho’s riveting marriage of monster movie and art house film. Scheduled for release in January, and I’ll be first in line to see it again.
  • Woman on the Beach. No distributor, no release date, but I keep thinking about the sly wit and seemingly accidental elegance of this movie.
  • Volver. Almodovar’s latest opens Friday, and I’ll leave the superlatives to Marcy.
  • INLAND EMPIRE. My ankle’s not swollen any more, but Lynch still has a hold on my imagination. He’s releasing the film himself so perhaps an uncut version will arrive sometime soon.


Books
Been reading top-secret drafts of friends’ novels and J. Robert Lennon’s wildly amusing Happyland as serialized in Harper’s. I’m also halfway through Klaus Kinski’s amazing autobiography, Ich Brauche Liebe. (Of course it’s outrageous. More on this soon.) I keep encountering variations of ideas Daniel Pinchbeck presents in 2012, many of which I first heard about from Danielo at Tikal . Here’s a video of Daniel with Douglas Rushkoff. Like the snake that bites its own tail, this gets us right back to accelerating culture, Shortbus, and the permeability of a shrinking world.

Finally, a week after the paperback release, no round-up can be complete with another plug for Marcy’s stellar debut Twins. If you missed her reading at In the Flesh, I’ve got the video.

[tags]roundup, shortbus, film, coming soon, books, tikal, twins, 2012, pinchbeck, bong joon-ho, pedro almodovar, david lynch, stephen frears, john cameron mitchell, guillermo del toro, klaus kinski, j robert lennon[/tags]