TODAY IN TWEE

Happy 73rd birthday to Bob Dylan. Dylan is a key part in the mechanics of Twee. That is to say his influence over, well, everything in the world, includes Twee from the urchin chic he pioneered, to his flair for posing with kitties (see Bringing It All Back Home sleeve), to Edie as muse, to his romance of old New York to his natural sense of rebellion to the fact that he wrote a Twee anthem in “My Back Pages” (“I was so much older than, I’m younger than that now.”) and “Forever Young.” He was snarky (as this infamous Donovan clip proves), for sure but also capable of being shockingly open-hearted (see just about all of Blood on the Tracks except for “Idiot Wind” which truth told, I usually skip unless I’m feeling mean, and heartbroken). He is a good thing to come along in this rotten world and we should be patriotic about him here in America, build statues of him in our cities and put him on stamps one day. He is Bob. Also if you haven’t heard Sean Penn read Chronicles Volume 1 you are missing out.

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FILM SOCIETY 3: BOTTLE ROCKET

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FILM SOCIETY 3

Bottle Rocket

NOTE: I will begin tweeting and posting at exactly noon on the 26th. At the risk of over-tweeting, I will wait until there is a dialogue going so mark your calendars.

The third installment of our Twee Film Society is 1996’s Bottle Rocket, the big screen debut of Twee icon Wes Anderson. Here’s the trailer.

And Janet Maslin’s original New York Times review.

http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9904E4D61339F932A15751C0A960958260

Bottle Rocket’s story is sort of a classic Hollywood Cinderella thing. Anderson and co-star/writer Owen Wilson, who met at the University of Texas were still in Austin when legendary writer/director/producer James L. Brooks took them under his wing and shepherded the film (a flop at the time of its release but already showing evidence of a signature style that would flower with 1998’s Rushmore). Here’s a classic article for the Dallas Observer by journalist Matt Zoller Seitz which details the process. Seitz’s book The Wes Anderson Collection, which came out recently is also essential.

http://www.dallasobserver.com/1995-09-07/news/slouching-toward-hollywood/

Like most of the films on the Film Society roster, they are available on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and iTunes inexpensively but if you can get your hands on a Criterion Collection version there’s a lot of good shit there, including the early short that was basically the first statement by what’s now a major, American auteur.

SHEFFIELD VS. SPITZ, THE UNHEARD MUSIC

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http://www.amazon.com/Twee-Gentle-Revolution-Television-Fashion/dp/0062213040

Rob Sheffield interviewed me for the Twee Amazon.com page (above)

It got cut a bit for space. These things happen. Here’s what you missed, the outtakes and odds and sods if you will:


6. How twee are you feeling today, on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is “Lemmy with a hangover” and 10 is “an all-koala Beat Happening cover band”?

I’d say about six months out of filing my final draft I’m about a 5. As a Libra I strive for balance. I’m wearing a stained Circle Jerks t shirt while watching a Wholphin DVD, belly full of Taco Bell.

7. What is the twee-est song in all of music?

I exclude the Smiths, Belle and Sebastian and They Might Be Giants whenever I address this because they tend to dominate the field (the Tweetles if you will). I would say it’s “Linus and Lucy” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. But in the British anorak and Jean Seberg hair, c-86 ish sense, I’ve been digging a lot of Felt lately. “Sunlight Bathed in the Golden Glow.” And Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters’ version of “Tonight You Belong To Me.”

FRANNY AND ZOOEY DISCUSSION POINTS

JD-Salinger-007

The lasting romance of Salinger, beyond the you are in the room writing and compulsive readability complete with the detail mastery and the breathtaking right hook phrases is, I think, letters. His characters writer letters. I can’t remember the last letter I wrote. In the 90s maybe.#TweeBooks

Does everyone fall in love with Franny or just teenage boys who get this book at like 15? i fell instantly in love with her and wanted to sit across from her eating snails and she gave me my first sense of neurotic chic. “the right looking girl,” as Salinger calls her.

I always, as a Bennington grad, love the part where he slams us “The Bennington-Sarah Lawrence type looked like she’d spent the whole train ride in the john, sculpting or painting or something?”

The book is about mourning and absence obviously. Dead Seymour and Jesus/spiritual fulfillment. Seymour is in them, he’s molded them, and Jesus, aka the “Fat Lady” is everywhere, so in a sense it’s about characters a little bit in love with their sorrow and with, as Zooey says, the occasional “stink of piety,” coming to realize they are already okay.#TweeBooks

Zooey keeps black mollies. Most of them are dead. Black mollies are Twee.#TweeBooks

The cat is named Bloomberg. Again, very, very twee.#TweeBooks

That same, letter writing thing, I should say, is of a piece with Salinger’s menus. Snails. Frogs legs. Martinis. His appeal is Mad Men appeal. And that he’s a fookin’ genius#TweeBooks

“Consecrated chicken soup.”TweeBooks

Even though Zooey is a bastard, it’s hard to want that bathing/shaving/verbally abusing his ex-Vaudevillian mother scene to end and it makes me sad that nobody’s ever made a movie of any Salinger. There’s so much for an actor to do. Lord.#TweeBooks

The Jesus Prayer, the constant prayer is acquisitive. It reminds me of Courtney Love telling interviewers that she chanted for things she wanted.#TweeBooks

The description of the apartment on page 119 (of the famous mass market version) is so so great. “four comfortable chairs, eight uncomfortable chairs.”#TweeBooks

“You Needn’t Be So Mean, Baby.”#TweeBooks