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Thursday, May 26, 2011

New X-Men Trailer, with Added Holocaust

Fox Studios released four new clips from the new X-Men movie last night. If you've followed my posts about Magneto's history as a Holocaust survivor -- or if you've seen the opening sequence of the first X-Men movie in 2000 -- you're aware of his loaded and complicated history. But what follows might be the creepiest rendition ever of the two words that, for many of us, defined growing up in the shadow of the Holocaust.

Is that wildly improper? Chillingly appropriate? Too intense and emotionally-loaded to simplify to one thing? I'm voting for a mixture of all three.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lag Time

It's almost Lag B'Omer, which is making me hella nostalgic for the Stern Grove Chabad party in Yoko a Go-Go. Well, part of it, anyway. And for the holiday, the good people at the Forward have printed my poem "Bar Yochai (Ai Yai Yai)" in honor of the festive season:

for those who gathered there at sunset there
were promises of a sin-free life at stake
I didn’t want that
I just wanted to say hi
apparently everyone had the same idea
fighting to get closer to the kever
I wanted to tell them
I’m only here for the rabbi 
<< read the rest >>
And because good things always come in threes (famous people dying, wise men...uh, whut?) I should also tell you that the new G-dcast Shavuos video is up and atom:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Behind the Scenes at B&H Photo

We're huge fans of B&H Photo and Video, the famous camera shop run by Hasidic Jews in the center of Manhattan -- one of the best shops in the industry, frequented by photo nuts and Hollywood camerapeople. And today, this news is hitting the web: Somebody purchased a used camera there with a used memory card. On the card was a roll of photos taken behind the scenes of a friendly -- but notoriously publicity-shy -- operation.

Linhberg, who bought the camera, posted the photos on his blog. His site seems to be running slow, so here are a few, courtesy of PetaPixel, who reposted them:

We speculate that it might be part of a covert campaign for the new reboot of the science-fiction series Little Fuzzy, which has also included ukulele love songs and stuffed animals. Because, well, Hasidim are little and fuzzy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Reading Blind

So that reading I did at Freerange with Michael Showalter last week...

(It actually wasn't only Michael Showalter. I should stop saying that. Koren Zalickas and Alison Espach were there, too, and they were both great. Koren has 2-year-old and is about 25 months pregnant and holds herself in from cursing all day. She read from this nonfiction book she wrote, and she channeled herself amazingly -- she just let the cusses fly. I think everyone needs to get a little unhinged and childlike at times. I used to do that with performing, but now I mostly just jump on the bed with my kids, during those times when I don't have to be the responsible one.)

michael showalter reading

But. Michael Showalter was there, too, and it was great. I started off. I was the first reader in the series, and I might have been the first reader ever in the club -- it was Freerange's debut show in the space -- and I didn't think to check how much lighting there was. And there was none. The awesome Daniel Zana shot footage, and I don't sound nearly as bad as I imagined, but there's still a bunch of me squinting at the paper and wondering What language is this written in?. More than my regular reading, I assure you.

And Daniel, by the way, is the director of the amazing movie The Vinyl Frontier, which is premiering in a few weeks in New York:

Some people stopped me in a bar afterward to say that I was great, and that did tons for my ego. (Thank you, people in bar.) Although I still cringe. Bomb just wrote a great write-up of the night in which they said that this was my first time reading nonfiction since 6th grade. It wasn't -- I mean, I did a speaking tour for my memoir, which I haven't read from since -- although I might have said that on the mic? Oops. Sorry about that. But thank you for coming. No, I mean it. Thank YOU.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

L Magazine, Michael Showalter, and Surviving Memoirs

If you're click-happy, there's a new interview with me in The L Magazine today. It's mostly about my memoir but  there's some good stuff about the 1/20 movie, Sammy Davis, Jr., and the perils of writing about yourself and your dating life before you're dead (and before you've quite stopped dating).

Have you ever written anything that you'd like to take back?
I always sort of wish I could rewrite the past. That’s why I write memoirs. It’s a whole process of saying something and then regretting it and getting embarrassed and then thinking, wow, I’m glad I got that out so I never have to think about it again. And then you do readings, and then it’s a whole new world of embarrassment.
This is all, I should say, in preparation for my reading tomorrow night in NYC. It's at 7:00 at Pianos, 158 Ludlow St., and here is the cast:
-MICHAEL SHOWALTER, comedian, actor, writer, director and author of the most recent Mr. Funny Pants (Grand Central, 2011).
-MATTHUE ROTH, author of the memoir Yom Kippur a Go-Go, the novel Losers, and the feature film 1/20 (currently in post-production). As a slam poet, he's filmed for HBO and MTV. He lives with his family in Brooklyn and keeps a secret diary at 
-ALISON ESPACH, author of the most-recent, critically acclaimed debut novel The Adults (Scribner, February 2011).
-KOREN ZAILCKAS, author of the internationally best-selling and socially-charged memoir Smashed (Penguin, 2005) and its follow up Fury (Viking Adult, September 2010).

-Hosted by Founder & Executive Director of Freerange Nonfiction MIRA PTACIN ( 
See you there?

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