I leave tomorrow for two weeks on sunny Oak Island, NC, where I will be lying on the beach, reading Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach, and losing cribbage games to children who can't read yet. This space will be quiet until I get back. In the meantime, here are updates on some earlier blog entries.
The summer blockbuster season, despite early breathless predictions that Hollywood would have a record-setting summer, has been fair to middling so far, with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Ocean's Thirteen doing reasonably doing well, but not meeting expectations. Knocked Up is the only pleasant surprise so far, but plenty of other films have either barely met expectations (Shrek the Third), have been disappointing (Surf's Up), or been completely abandoned by moviegoers ( the entire horror film genre). Speaking of disappointing numbers, Joshua Ferris's Then We Came to the End sold "only" 50,000 copies by mid May after landing on the cover of the The York Times Book Review. Among the culprits: sloppy placement in bookstores, a hard-to-remember title, and inflated expectations about what constitutes a successful first novel.
Romanian films continued to do very well at Cannes. This year Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days won the Palme d’Or, which Dave Kehr reports was "the most consensual Palme d’Or in a decade."
NeoCon is finally over with, so I can enter and leave the building without trampled by a pair of Manolos.
We didn't invade Iran this spring after all, although Dick Cheney got to mutter some threats, which must have made him feel better.
We're still waiting for the groundbreaking of the Chicago Spire, scheduled for this month. I was at the site a week ago and didn't see anything, but then again, I'm not sure what I should be looking for. A guy with a shovel?
Today the Cleveland City Planning Commission will reconsider the request to demolish Marcel Breuer's Ameritrust Tower. Last Friday the Commission tabled the demolition request in order to consider alternatives to tearing down the landmark building. The building's prospects for survival are considered dim, however.
Our search for the modern continues, this time on the North Shore, where my wife has taken a school psychologist's job in the Wilmette public school district. Last night we found a little Cheeverville in Wilmette--a cluster of mid-century modern houses built in the 1950's, many of them with their original owners, as well as their original coat of paint.