Tuesday, August 19, 2008

la noche espanola

Thumbs up on Vicky Cristina Barcelona. I just checked imdb and confirmed that it was my favorite Woody Allen movie since Sweet and Lowdown in 1999 (wow, was I really working at the Tower that long ago?) Holy shit, it might just be my favorite since Crimes and Misdemeanors, although I can't remember Husbands and Wives. But Juliette Lewis is in it, how good could it be? It's a sure-footed trifle, not a masterpiece.

The tapas and constant wine drinking spurred us to Spanish food after the movie. In times past I would have gone to Aioli, but you just can't count on Aioli for a fun meal. They have two servers I hate getting, and at least one of them is there at all times. So we opted for Tapa The World and had a surprisingly pleasant meal. I had never noticed that Tapa serves three different types of dry sherry by the glass for 4 bucks! Nobody else does that and I have been really into sherry lately so I was stoked. We got a fino and an amontillado with a plate of spanish meats and cheeses and olives. Delicious and the wine went so well, especially the fino, which was light, cold, and salty. The amontillado was dark, served a bit warmer, and very lightly sweet and nutty. We also had the tortilla espanola, the boquerones, and the lamb croquetas with a couple of glasses of red wine that were fairly light for Spanish wines. The server nicely helped us pick them, unlike at Aioli, where they are often out of their listed wines and try to quickly steer you towards something that is completely different all the while assuring you it is the same. The croquetas were the only misfire, mostly because I didn't realize that they were deep-fried and served with mayo, which made them seem like TGI Fridays fare.

28 comments:

beckler said...

Have you ever listened to the lyrics to "alone again, naturally"? my pandora station keeps playing it. here they are:

In a little while from now,
If I'm not feeling any less sour
I promised myself to treat myself
And visit a nearby tower,
And climbing to the top,
Will throw myself off
In an effort to make it clear to who
Ever what it's like when your shattered
Left standing in the lurch, at a church
Where people 're saying,
"My God that's tough, she stood him up!
No point in us remaining.
May as well go home."
As I did on my own,
Alone again, naturally

To think that only yesterday,
I was cheerful, bright and gay,
Looking forward to, but who wouldn't do,
The role I was about to play
But as if to knock me down,
Reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch,
Cut me into little pieces
Leaving me to doubt,
All about God and His mercy
For if He really does exist
Why did He desert me
In my hour of need?
I truly am indeed,
Alone again, naturally

It seems to me that
There are more hearts
Broken in the world
That can't be mended
Left unattended
What do we do? What do we do?

(instrumental break)

Now looking back over the years,
And what ever else that appears
I remember I cried when my father died
Never wishing to have cried the tears
And at sixty-five years old,
My mother, God rest her soul,
Couldn't understand, why the only man
She had ever loved had been taken
Leaving her to start with a heart
So badly broken
Despite encouragement from me
No words were ever spoken
And when she passed away
I cried and cried all day
Alone again, naturally
Alone again, naturally

Anonymous said...

"Husbands and Wives" is actually really good. I'm psyched to see his new one. There's a good interview with him in the last Onion.

Also, I love love love that Gilbert O'Sullivan song even though it is mad depressing. Didn't he kill himself?

Brew

beckler said...

this is what wikipedia says

However, O'Sullivan continues to record and perform to the present day, and enjoys some success in Japan.

nick said...

HUSBANDS AND WIVES is excellent, really great hook in the opening scene that's this point of departure for looking at relationships in the usual Woody Allen way.

I think they have tapas at The Grand?

beckler said...

oh wait, is it clear that i'm saying that vicky cristina is the sure-footed trifle? i really don't remember husbands and wives at all, not sure if i've seen it

Anonymous said...

Husband's & Wives really is worth checking out, even though it was filmed (though perhaps not entirely) with a particularly shaky hand-held cam. The sex scene where Judy Davis is having a little monologue with herself is hilarious.

Dani

Anonymous said...

As much as I like the later arty Woody Allen, none of it can touch the crazy kaleidoscopic brilliance of his early comedies like Take the Money and Run or Sleeper.

What is it that makes really smart funny people turn into serious 'artists' once they've found success? Dan Clowes (Eightball) is on the same trajectory-- his early comics were crazy original and brutally funny masterpieces-- now he's doing good work, but without the same spark.

-omf

beckler said...

maybe because people (especially dudes) use being funny to get laid (which is the motivation behind almost all art) and then once they get laid they get all serious.

darin said...

omf asks, "What is it that makes really smart funny people turn into serious 'artists' once they've found success?"

Probably the same thing that makes serious actors want to do silly comedies. (Analyze That.)

I think most comic folks are trying to say some serious things right from the start, and when they get some fame (& self-esteem?) decide to play it more straight. Maybe the serious folks want attention/recognition, and once they start getting it they start to relax and just want to be funny.

darin said...

Okay, I think I like Becky's answer better.

Anonymous said...

I like the seemless transition of Cruz wanting to kill Johannson, to complementing her photography, to getting into her pants. Who said life wasn't easy?

Jed

Anonymous said...

Heckamax has been awfully quiet about this.....

Members of Searching For Bigfoot, Inc. revealed Tuesday that they had paid "an undisclosed sum" to two individuals for the rights to control publicity related to a dead Bigfoot that the duo claimed to have found in the woods of northern Georgia.

Searching For Bigfoot now says it was defrauded by the two men -- Ricky Dyer and Mathew Whitton, who is a former police officer.
A statement on the group's Web site, SearchingForBigfoot.com, says members Tom Biscardi and Robert Schmalzbach examined the supposed Sasquatch's frozen remains for the first time on Sunday, two days after holding a press conference to announce the find, only to discover it was a fake.

"Within the next hour of thaw, a break appeared up near the feet area. ... I observed the foot which looked unnatural, reached in and confirmed it was a rubber foot," wrote Steve Kulls, a self-described "Sasquatch detective" who accompanied Biscardi and Schmalzbach during their examination of the body.

-miller

DB said...

I think that if you look throughout film history, anyone who made their living off of comedy had a limited period of relevance (especially for someone like Allen, who creates his own material and is the auteur of his comic persona) before petering out. Allen could have churned out one "madcap" comedy after another, but that would have grown intensely tiresome. Instead, he chose to grow as a filmmaker (this is the essential difference between Allen and someone like Judd Apatow, who doesn't really respect the craft of filmmaking and thus will be making one-dimensional comedies for the rest of his career), and I think the movies improved for his ambitions. At any rate, Allen has made a string of wacky, low-pretension comedies this decade, and the results have been pretty pathetic - "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion", "Anything Else", "Scoop", etc. You really want more movies like "Scoop"?

Anonymous said...

There's really a wealth of explanations concerning the bigfoot. If you don't already know them, you probably never will understand, so I'm not even going to attempt to explain it.

-Cody
(The True Believer)

Anonymous said...

I don't know, I just sold my ticket to the "I Told You So" party for half what I paid for it.

-miller

Anonymous said...

Look, I've been busy setting up the laser light show and securing Phil Lesh for the "I Told you So" Party, so I haven't been blogging much. With that said, I refer you to Cody's rebuttal (above) which I think perfectly sums up my position on this issue. I hope you sold your ticket to Chloe Sevigney.

-heckamax

talkaboutcharles said...

Look OMF, Woody Allen has been one of the only film makers to ever merge good comedy and good drama. I love Sleepers and all of those movies but really, Annie Hall can't be betaken for merging funny and serious. No matter how many so-so movies the man makes.

Charles

beckler said...

I like the mental picture of the bigfoot dudes being all excited to clip a hair sample and then having it melt because it was plastic doll hair. I guess that's mean of me to laugh at it.

BTW, I'll break this to you in public Scott, I think Dark Star Orchestra is playing when we were planning to go on vacation. I know what you're going to say: vacation cancelled.

beckler said...

what does betaken mean? who is trying to betaken annie hall? that bemakin me mad.

nick said...

DSO is playing the Crest on 10/7.

I have their double DVD, ITHACA 30 YEARS LATER: THE VIDEO in my hands and up for grabs for review .......

Anonymous said...

Vacation is not cancelled! It's just been moved to The Crest.

-miller

talkaboutcharles said...

I think I meant "be beaten", but I don't know how I managed to write "betaken".

Charles

Snufkin said...

"Dan Clowes (Eightball) is on the same trajectory-- his early comics were crazy original and brutally funny masterpieces-- now he's doing good work, but without the same spark."

I think the saddest part about Clowes is that he was so cute in his younger days and now looks like Jerry Brown's doppelganger. What happened??

Agreed about what happened to his writing. I think success spoiled him a little b/c now he's way more conscious of having a public paying attention to his work. As opposed to the first few brilliant issues of Eightball (I still love the Esperanto spouting Manson family), where he was doing it w/out any expectation other than being stoked about his stuff getting published.

Josh Nice said...

"Allen has made a string of wacky, low-pretension comedies this decade, and the results have been pretty pathetic - "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion", "Anything Else", "Scoop", etc."

YES. some have been bad to the point of embarrassment, mostly because he's not even trying to direct the actors anymore. every scene seems to be a sloppy first take, and it makes the actors look terrible. Scoop is a real mess. and what's that movie where they try to rob a bank by drilling through the floor? ugh. worst is when he's directing himself in a scene.

beckler said...

small-time crooks? i'm pretty sure i walked out on that one.

Abhinav said...

Oooh, i KNOW what Aioli server you mean. Mr.Sexual Harassment! He gives a bad name to all Lebanese men.

Anonymous said...

In defense of Judd Apatow, who I will agree is now "making one-dimensional comedies," he created the incredibly poignant and hilarious Freaks and Geeks. For this reason I cannot write him off entirely.

~A.C.

Anonymous said...

Who would have thought that a couple of Georgia crackers who came up with three different bigfoot stories for the same bigfoot would be hoaxers? Speaking of incestuous relations, has anyone seen the new Woody Allen flick?

"Ed" Hunter