Sunday, June 25, 2006

Before 2046, Aimee Mann & Wordplay

Three things have engaged me in terms of entertainment over the past week.

We watched Kar Wai Wong's In the Mood for Love (Fa yeung nin wa) the other night, largely because it's a prequel to 2046, a film on my list. I can't give In the Mood a thumbs up or down at this point; in spite of interesting cinematic elements, I fear I wasn't in the right mood for its subtleties.

We saw Aimee Mann play the other night at the zoo. The playlist included Save Me, Lost in Space, That's Just What You Are, etc. Having seen her a couple of times, I've come to the conclusion playing Voices Carry is out of the question, but I still really wanted to hear it.

And last night, we saw Wordplay, "an in-depth look at The New York Times' long-time crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz and his loyal fanbase." My wife and I both enjoy doing the Times' puzzle (although at this point I'm feeling terribly rusty). We love ethnographies, the film was much enjoyed; it was well done and included interviews with crossword fans Bill Clinton, Jon Stewart, Ken Burns and others.

If you really want to geek out on word puzzle movies, you can make a double feature with this one and the 2004 Scrabble player ethnography Word Wars. For a triple feature, throw in the excellent 2002 documentary on National Spelling Bee contestants, Spellbound.


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