Short Takes 01.22.2020

Much like Kottke does with his Media Diet posts or Khoi Vinh’s monthly movie reviews, I plan to regularly post about recent things I’ve watched that are worth a short mention. Here we go…

Movies

The Last Black Man in San Francisco — A haunting and deeply moving film about identity and belonging in a nebulously post collapse San Francisco. Have not stopped thinking about it since I saw it.

The Farewell — A very lovely and moving story about a Chinese family who’s matriarch is dying but they don’t want to tell her so they have a wedding instead as a way of getting the family together before she passes. Awkwafina has such a presence. A wonderfully versatile actress who I can’t help but think is just at the beginning of a long and fascinating career.

Booksmart — Every generation needs it’s own Fast Times at Ridgemont High and this is the one for now. Luckily, it’s funny and smart and has a big heart. Let’s hope it ages better than it’s predecessors.

Little Women (2019) — I’ll admit that I mainly went to this because my wife and daughter wanted to see it. I’ve seen the 1994 version with Wynona Ryder and, frankly, she is the only memorable thing about it. I’m glad I saw this one because I loved it — well acted and perfectly cast. I’ve never read the book and have never had the desire to. Now, it is on my short list to read this year.

TV

Party of Five (TV Series 2020) — I was a fan of the original series as a young adult (huge crush on Neve Campbell) and knew nothing about this Hulu reboot going into it. My wife was looking to watch something new and we too a chance to see just how bad a Party of Five reboot could be… It’s fantastic. Like, really good. It’s political and believable and takes itself and it’s repositioning of the basic story (five kids ranging from baby to young adult are orphaned and must fend for themselves) seriously.

Music

Lydia Liza — I’ve been following Lydia’s work since she was with local band Bomba De Luz and she was still in High School. She’s all grown up now and about to release her debut record, “Of Unsound Mind”. Her writing is smart, her voice haunting, her sound touching on jazz, soul, rock, and folk. An artist you may not of heard of that’s worth hearing.