25 Points: Only God Forgives

I’m wearing the same expression as Ryan Gosling there: I just saw Only God Forgives, director Nicolas Winding Refn’s followup to Drive. (If you’re in Chicago, it’s playing through Thursday, 8 August at the Music Box; the film is also apparently streaming online.) Actually, I was so impressed I went and saw it twice.

Anyone out there want to chat about it? I’ll post some initial thoughts after the jump. (Beware of serious spoilers, though: these points cover the entire film, and give away key plot points.)

[My capsule review for those who don’t want to read the rest: Of the five new films I’ve seen so far this year, Only God Forgives is easily the most compelling and my favorite. In second place is probably Iron Man 3, which I mostly enjoyed, but found nowhere near as interesting as this. Securely in last place is Star Trek Into Darkness.]

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Six-Word Memoir on NPR

http://guestofaguest.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/113006.jpgSince I missed the live broadcast, I’ve been waiting all damn day for NPR to post today’s “Talk of the Nation,” and now they have! Today’s show features a segment with homegirl-in-chief Rachel Fershleiser and guy-I’ve-met-a-couple-times-who-seems-cool-too Larry Smith, who are talking about their massively successful series of Six-Word Memoir books, the newest of which is It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs from Writers Famous and Obscure. These books have become so big and so ubiquitous over the past few years that I think it’s easy to forget what a coup their success represents–the project was developed on the indie webzine Smithmag.net, and even after getting picked up by Harper Perennial (disclosure: also my publisher, blah blah blah) thrived in large part due to Fershleiser’s and Smith’s tireless hands-on DIY ethos, their willingness to throw countless events all across the country, and their ability to stimulate the continued interest, support and attention of thousands of contributors. None of which are remotely easy things to do once, much less over and over. So a hearty cheers to Rachel and Larry, and to the many NPR listeners who called in from all over the country during the segment to share their own six-word memoirs, especially Shelby the lunch lady from Lacrosse, Wisconsin: “The hairnet. Now we are equal.”