Jun. 2nd, 2010

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Short WisCon report: it was great, except for the hour prior to my reading at the Lightspeed launch, where I had a more serious case of nerves than normal and ended up pacing outside like I was a screwball reporter waiting for a phone call. The reading went fine, though, and everything else was a blast.

Today at Fantasy Magazine, I run down the Top Ten Magical Realism Films, which doesn't sound quite right, but Magical Realist sounds like a wizard who's like, "Listen, I can summon the beasts of the ocean, but my day job is in Indiana, so you tell me."

One of my favorites on this list is Lawn Dogs. It's a modern fairy tale in the good sense and the bad, in that uneven way where the concepts sometimes outstrip the dialogue, and some of the visuals are awesome and some are heavy-handed. (The suburban parents are perkily banal! He's a free spirit because he dives off bridges naked!)

On the other hand, in the opening scene where Mischa Barton's character is making sugar-cookie-girl-with-raisin-bellybutton cookie drones for her Brownies equivalent, and her parents are talking about super-suburban nothing in the background, a fly lands on one of the cookies and she looks at it a moment and then grinds it into the cookie alongside all the raisins. A moment like that...sets the right tone, let's say.

I remain surprised this movie isn't more popular (though it was hard to come by for a few years, so it's not like anyone had a chance to stumble upon it). It was one of the first times I saw Sam Rockwell; I looked this up after seeing Galaxy Quest and realizing Rockwell was the guy from The Green Mile and thinking he was probably pretty awesome in his other stuff, too. (Hint: he is.)

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Genevieve Valentine

September 2010

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