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Dog Day Documentary

Dog Day Afternoon is one of the coolest, rawest films I’ve ever seen. In it, Al Pacino gives such a heartfelt performance as John Wojtowicz, the man who masterminded – and botched – the robbery of a Brooklyn bank in August 1972. Now there’s a documentary about the life of Wojtowicz called “The Dog” and it looks just as wild as you can imagine.

Before…Everything

Before Midnight

Before Midnight, the highly anticipated third film in Richard Linklater’s “Before” series, comes out this week. Will I go see it the night it comes out? Probably not. But that’s not because I don’t want to see it. Rather, it’s because I am at about the same stage of life as Celine and Jesse are now. As the New York Times put it, the fictional courtship between Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) is “the screen romance that defined Generation X is now officially middle-aged.”

There are a number of reasons why Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004) spoke to my generation when they came out. Of course, there is the dialogue — flirty, charged, smart, and playful, yet egalitarian — that sets the films apart from many other romantic films that came before it. Celine and Jesse’s on-screen relationship developed in a very idealized way, yet also seemed very true to life and natural.

I propose that my generation also feels connected to the “Before” films because they included the element of travel. In the first movie, Before Sunrise, the two met on a train in Vienna. In Before Sunset, Jesse and Celine reunite in Paris. In the newest film, which takes place nine years after the second, the couple are now together, parents of twin girls, and on vacation in Greece. Traveling abroad, either as an exchange student (like myself) or as a post-collegiate backpacker, became more commonplace and accessible beginning in the 1990s. So it’s no wonder that Generation X relates to Linklater’s trilogy.

In advance of Before Midnight, it’s worthwhile to revisit the best scenes from “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset” to familiarize ourselves with the dynamic between Delpy and Hawke’s characters. This may also be helpful given that the pair, in conversation with film critic Dennis Lim, suggests that “Before Midnight” may be more “real” than romantic.

Lim: The prior films are about the first two times Jesse and Celine meet. This one is very different: They’ve now been through a lot.

Hawke: The first two films are so much about romantic projection. The third had to be the opposite of that. We couldn’t play that trick again.

Delpy: But it couldn’t be totally taken away from that romantic idea — otherwise it’s depressing.

By the way, Richard Linklater will be doing an AMA on Reddit at 1pm tomorrow, May 22. I’ll update this post with the interesting bits later. Now, for the clips:

I just love the foreshadowing that the above scene from “Before Sunrise” has on the new film. Another fantastic scene from the first movie, which some fans have dubbed the “best conversation ever” [video on Youtube]. Below, a scene from “Before Sunset.”

Conan O’Brien Invents a Museum I Wish Existed


I tuned in to Conan last night to see one of the best sketches in ages. Conan enlists the help of Corbin Bernsen to present the Museum of Pop Culture References, a fictional museum for viewers who are too young to get Conan’s jokes. Wouldn’t that be a great idea for a real museum?

How To Eat Pocket Coffee

Sometimes I feel goofy. Other times, I’m in the mood for chocolate. Still, there are other times when I’m in the mood to film myself being goofy and eating chocolate. So, here’s a little video on how to eat Pocket Coffee.

Sources tell me that you can buy Pocket Coffee in the U.S. now at World Market. You can sometimes find Pocket Coffee on Amazon.

I’ve been raving about these little chocolates from Italy for at least a decade. So glad to see that more people are getting to enjoy them.

Stephen Colbert On Working For Free

I haven’t posted on this blog in forever, but this video – a clip from last night’s Colbert Report – seemed like a good way to get my feet wet again. In this clip, Stephen Colbert discusses the recent layoff of 50 staff members at CNN: “Nobody important. Just editors and photojournalists.”

The commentary is typical Colbert – humorous and simultaneously scathing – and I can’t help but relate his argument against CNN i-Reporters to ones against bloggers who write for exposure rather than wages. The situation is laid out so neatly so as to seem absurd. Sadly, it’s a very real problem.

Enjoy the video…