Friday, January 23

A classical music scandal:
The somber, elegiac tones before President Obama’s oath of office at the inauguration on Tuesday came from the instruments of Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and two colleagues. But what the millions on the Mall and watching on television heard was in fact a recording, made two days earlier by the quartet and matched tone for tone by the musicians playing along.

Sunday, January 18

Mr. Latte Tad Friend's article in last week's New Yorker confirms a lot of things that you might have already assumed about movie marketing from watching previews. Some choice quotes:
Older women like feel-good films and Nicholas Sparks-style weepies: they are the core audience for stories of doomed love and triumphs of the human spirit. They enjoy seeing an older woman having her pick of men; they hate seeing a child in danger. Particularly once they reach thirty, these women are the most "review-sensitive": a chorus of critical praise for a movie aimed at older women can increase the opening weekend's gross by five million dollars. In other words, older women are discriminating, which is why so few films are made for them.

"How many great movies are there each year?" the trailer cutter David Schneiderman says. "We're in the business of cheating, let's face it. We fix voice-overs, create dialogue to clear up a story, use stock footage. We give pushup bras to flat-chested girls, take people's eyes and put them where we want them. And sometimes it works."

"Basically, the code is this," a prominent agent says. " 'We will show you thirty pumped-up people, so you will go do the junket and go on "Letterman" and fucking perform with a sense of enthusiasm.' It's the same meeting we were having five years ago, except now there's a girl in a sweater who does the Internet."

Friday, January 16

Stuff I Read on the Internet, 5479824

Gary Shteyngart:

"For $7 a word, I'll do anything. I'll write 'Mein Kampf: The Sequel.'"

and

"Writing is both boring and stressful, it's the worst combination. Sometimes I go to the gym, but it's very hard to lift things there, because they're so heavy."
I feel like this might be a secret, in which case, ssssh. But I spent four months at work being sad and missing muxtape, only to find out the other day about 8tracks. No one tell the RIAA.

Sunday, January 4

I just looked at my post about favorite books in '08 & realized that a lot of the things I read were related to my love of The Wire.