We haven’t been posting much, you say? We know it. We’ve all been busy doing other things, including Martin Schneider’s stylish new project, Box Office Boffo. In his words, he’s “blogging every #1 movie in America from 1970 to the present day.” Even better: “Every week there’s a #1 movie at the box office, and I’m going to watch them all.” Not only do you get close inspections of movies like The Owl and the Pussycat and Beneath the Planet of the Apes, and whole years in review, you get the original posters, which will make you nostalgic in all kinds of ways.
Meanwhile, Pollux, our favorite painter/cartoonist/New Yorker cover critic/Renaissance man, just had a show at Artlife South Bay. Jonathan Taylor went back to grad school, proving once again that he’s both a gentleman and a scholar, and I’ve been working on a relaunch of The Washington Spectator’s website and writing theater reviews for Time Out Chicago.
So our collective focus has been elsewhere. But speaking for myself, I’m feeling emdashy again. There’s work to be done and punctuation marks to be shepherded, shorn, and protected from the elements.
—Emily Gordon (continued)
Lee Alexander writes:
It’s hard not to think of Alan Rickman as Severus Snape, curl-lipped and leering behind a smoking cauldron as Harry Potter’s ambiguously evil Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor. In Thersea Rebeck’s new comedy, Seminar (which opened on Sunday at the Golden Theatre), Rickman is once again in command of the classroom, abandoning his robe and wand for a somewhat more mundane task: instructing four twentysomethings on the craft of writing a novel.
Though Rickman’s character, the famous writer Leonard, snidely remarks (continued)
At Flavorpill, vintage covers of The Phantom Tollbooth from all over the world. The 2006 German edition is particularly gorgeous, as is the ethereal 2007 Chinese cover. But who in their right mind would junk Jules Feiffer’s illustrations?
—Emily Gordon (continued)
AVC: How did you get involved with The New Yorker? Did they come to you, or did you go to them?
KB: No, you have to submit to them. You give them packages. The New Yorker doesn’t come to anybody, not even the people who’ve been published there for 20 years. You have to submit, and you just keep doing it until they buy one.
AVC: What’s it like doing comics for them? (continued)
Martin Schneider writes:
Seeing Larry David and the cast members of his show Curb Your Enthusiasm (Susie Essman, Cheryl Hines, and Jeff Garlin) as well as a sneak preview of the first episode of Season 8 (it airs on HBO this Sunday) at 92Y of all possible places felt a bit like seeing— the mind gropes for comparisons. The Pope in Rome? Prince in Paisley Park? Oprah in Oprahland?
In other words, the adoration from the audience was total. Indeed, the whole thing was even better because (no spoilers) the episode has a lot to do with Judaism, and this highly Jewish audience (I didn't say "self-loathing") lustily ate it up.
The surprise MC was Brian Williams, and he couldn't have been more perfect or more mock-awkward. His first words were, "Welcome to 'Let's Find a Catholic to Moderate This Event,'" (continued)
Emily Gordon writes:
Rated 12+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content or Nudity
Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
Frequent/Intense Realistic Violence
Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes
Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor
Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence (continued)
Education for the Real World:
Look carefully at the map of the "city" (traversed by "I-494") in this subway ad.
--Jonathan Taylor (continued)
Emily Gordon writes to recommend:
An affectionate, persuasive, sensible defense of the memoir by Deb Olin Unferth. (Guernica magazine)
Two pieces about the meaning of bed bugs, which erode both sanity and civilization: in Guernica again and in the Utne Reader, which excerpted the piece from California magazine. As we know from Atul Gawande, these pieces will probably make you feel itchy, and hearing that the problem is getting you worse will probably make you anxious. But believe me, an uncontrollable but temporary phantom itch and a fleeting bout of anxiety (and the useful knowledge that you should put your suitcase in your hotel bathtub) is a thousand times better than having actual bed bugs. So long, Brooklyn! (continued)
Jonathan Taylor writes:
A tidbit of something to look forward to, in the Guardian's article on the death of Patrick Leigh Fermor at age 96. Fermor in 1977 and 1986 published two volumes recounting a 1933-34 journey from Holland to Constantinople on foot: A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water, which ended at the Iron Gates of the Danube, between Serbia and Romania.
Readers are still awaiting the promised third leg of Leigh Fermor's trip, despite the author's repeated promises to "pull my socks up and get on with it" and his 2007 declaration that he was learning to type so that he could complete it more quickly.(continued)
Cooper, who visited him at his Greek home earlier this year, said that the writer had been working on corrections to a finished text. "A early draft of the third volume has existed for some time, and will be published in due course," she said.
Hello! We're a small band of culture writers, editors, and artists based in New York and Los Angeles. Emdashes, which spent its formative years as a New Yorker fan blog, is our collection of conversations—mostly civilized—about magazines, movies, design, punctuation, and other things that stir us.
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Emdashes, founded in 2004, is written and drawn by Emily Gordon, Martin Schneider, Pollux, Jonathan Taylor, and Benjamin Chambers, as well as occasional guest contributors. All posts before October 2008 are by Emily Gordon.