I haven’t written a post for my weekly News Worthy feature since the beginning of September, but I’d like to try and get back into it – a semi New Year’s resolution, if you will. I had a pretty busy semester in the fall, and while there are definitely more gaps in my schedule this semester (my last of college – uhh…), I feel like they’ll fill up quickly, so committing to News Worthy is a good way to write at least one post every week. Let’s see how this goes!
I finished reading Sarah McCoy’s The Baker’s Daughter last week and checked out McCoy’s website afterwards. She has a page for all of the essays she’s written over the years and this one, “Author Epiphany: I Film-Track My Novels” was great. McCoy explains that, instead of listening to music when she writes, she’s often typing with old black-and-white movies playing in the background.
Like with my Favorite Books post (2016 is here), I’ve made a Favorite Movies post both in 2014 and 2015, and this year is no different. Once I had put together this list, I did notice that 2016 wasn’t a year when movies I watched became favorites immediately (with the exception of one), which has happened in the past. The movies that do pop up below were stories that stuck with me long after I watched them and may have been different from what I normally watch. Just like with the Favorite Books posts, these are movies I saw for the first time this year and not necessarily films that came out this year.
To be honest, the films I can get away with watching in December are some of my favorite parts of the Christmas season. Every year, once I finish finals, the week leading up to Christmas is full of bingeing all of the holiday films. A tradition I kept through all of high school and some of college was watching Notting Hill on the afternoon of my last final, and while I still usually end up watching it right before Christmas because Richard Curtis movies just make me feel all the feels, I wanted to share my favorite, solely holiday-themed films that I love to watch this time of year.
It was so fun sharing some of my own book-to-movie casting choices here and here that I couldn’t help but write about even more of the actors I pictured as certain characters when reading their stories!
1. Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo as Ifemelu and Obinze (Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
“Ifemelu was not sure when something happened, but in those moments, as Kayode talked, something strange happened. A quickening inside her, a dawning. She realized, quite suddenly, that she wanted to breathe the same air as Obinze.”
I was that weird twelve-year-old who had no problem watching the nearly three-and-a-half-hour long film Fiddler on the Roof. I’ve talked about my history with the musical before, but given that I’ve not watched the film in so long because of its length, I wonder what about the film made me so captivated. There’s always that one thing you love when you’re young that’s just weird or totally unexpected for your age – for me, it was probably fairly bleak movie musicals and Shirley Temple movies. It was likely the sisters’ relationship and the joyful music that hooked me.
I’ve wanted to see the most recent Fiddler on the Roof Broadway revival since I knew the production was happening. The earliest I remember hearing about it was probably winter 2015 – maybe even towards the end of 2014? I’ve followed its cast members on Instagram, watched the Broadway.com vlogs by Adam Kantor, and read or watched any tidbits related to this production.
No matter how old I get, the start of school is still one of my favorite times of year. It’s definitely the Hermione Granger in me, but nothing delights me more than that moment when I’ve registered for a new semester of classes and a perfectly arranged timetable appears in my student account. Returning to my campus for senior year means perks like a short walk to get iced coffee and little bumps such as the Internet not connecting in my townhouse.
However, I kicked off Wednesday morning with a visit to the IT office, so now I should have Internet access despite my location – which means more opportunities to find things for a News Worthy post!
Here we go with regularly scheduled News Worthy posts again!
Gene Wilder died at the age of 83 this week, and whenever a film icon of my childhood dies, it sort of numbs me for a while – like many others, I grew up watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Wilder’s death marks yet another loss from the 1960s-70s era that I see as the last period in which movie stars maintained an elusive privacy that made you see a character they were playing, not the actual actor. I just think he was so classy and really recognized the difference in today’s film industry versus the time he was most active. I found the interview below a year or two ago, and, about two minutes in, he actually touches upon how loud and unnecessarily crass today’s films can be. Wilder’s Young Frankenstein screenplay was nominated for an Oscar, and I think that detail and his remarks in this video show that he was a very selective person who really understood film.
In honor of today being my twenty-first birthday (and one year since I arrived in London for my semester abroad, but who’s counting?), I thought I’d revisit my life with a film that came out in each of the 21 years. Obviously, the older films will entail memories of watching them several years after their release, while the more recent ones may have a first-time viewing story behind them. Let’s see how this goes!
I started my News Worthy posts back in February, and posted weekly updates pretty consistently until April, when I finished school. The posts were a great way to talk about any and every thing I found interesting from that week, and it was a guaranteed addition to my blog.
Working full time this summer swept up any ambition I had to maintain News Worthy, but with the start of the school year in sight, I’m going to try to post weekly posts again. For now, I’m highlighting some recent-ish news / tidbits that was exciting to me!
I’ve spoken a lot about my love for The Last Five Years, from the original cast album to the film adaptation, so the announcement that Cynthia Erivo and Joshua Henry are starring in a TLFY benefit made my life. Like the rest of America, I’ve basically become obsessed with Cynthia Erivo through her lead role in The Color Purple revival. Joshua Henry has done several Broadway shows and will be playing Burr in the Chicago production of Hamilton this fall.
I had so much fun writing my first “If These Books Were Movies, They’d Star…” piece that I had to come back for a second one!
1. Bradley Whitford and Chloe Grace Moretz as Jim and Sylvia (The Vacationers, by Emma Straub)
“Families were nothing more than hope cast out in a wide net, everyone wanting only the best.”