* If you prefer your movies with more conversation and less leaping off tall buildings, do yourself a favor and see Before Midnight, the third in the Ethan Hawke / Julie Delpy trilogy of romantic 20-somethings who meet traveling through Europe in Before Sunrise and then meet up nine years later in Before Sunset. That second one has one of the best endings as movies go. In Before Midnight it’s another nine years later and the couple is married with twin girls. Life interrupts as it does for married couples with kids who can no longer pick up and go to Europe, except that they are in Greece, actually, so life isn’t so bad. The film comprises just a handful of scenes, all long and intimate and believable given the natural dialogue. Find some cool indie theater that’s playing all three. And expect After Midnight in another ten years with that Eric Clapton song playing in the background as the pair meanders down some cobblestone street in Venice.
* I’m re-watching all eight hours of The Thorn Birds, which is exactly the kind of melodrama needed to kick off summer: a hot, windy Australia setting; forbidden love; priest passion. It has it all. Rumor has it there’s also a “Lost Years” episode, which I will be devouring like Richard Chamberlain devours Rachel Ward in the classic scene on the beach. Where else can you get a line like “I never felt such ecstasy in God’s presence as I felt with her”? The Bridges of Madison County, I guess.
* Do you remember Valotte, the album (and I mean album) by Julian Lennon from 19 freakin’ 84? I LOVED that man and his soft brown eyes and flowy hair, sitting on a pebble by the river playing guitar, which only now strikes me as strange. A pebble is very small and uncomfortable. Should have been rock, though I guess that was only one syllable. I see your problem, Julian. “Boulder” could have worked. Call me. But I digress, the Hey Jude dude came out with a new album this summer!! I’ve only been waiting nearly three decades. I sort of gave up on you, man. And that’s saying something because I bought your second album (possibly a tape, by then) called The Secret Value of Daydreaming. And let’s face it, Help Yourself in 1991 didn’t really count. Your new release Everything Changes is so long in coming that you bypassed the entire CD era and will go straight to digital and into my playlist titled “Music no one else buys.” Oh, who am I kidding; all my music is stuff no one else buys–and I don’t mean that in some hipster way.