I keep meaning to tuck my Russian grammar book into my bag on mornings when I take the bus, and forgetting. After the phone gets boring, I end up looking out the window, and today I decided I’d been too hard on “Twelve Years a Slave.” I found myself thinking about Michael Fassbender, who plays an exceptionally cruel slave master.
His performance captures not only the cruelty (the easy part), but the way slavery corrupted everyone it touched. It’s kind of a brilliant performance, in fact, as his character, Epps, has to beat, rape, humiliate and otherwise be almost one-dimensional in his insane evil. And yet, there’s something behind his eyes that says, this isn’t easy for me, either. How the hell did he do that? I guess that’s what great acting is.
And with that, I feel like I’ve said what there is to say today. It was an enervating day, but it ended with grilled chicken and a black-bean salad thing I sort of made up on the spot, and it was great. Could be a lot worse.
So let’s get to the bloggage:
You Lynda Barry fans take note: She’s alive and well and teaching at the University of Wisconsin. Alan and I saw one of her plays in Chicago early in our courtship; it remains a wonderful memory.
Gordon Willis, an artist with sepia, is dead.
I was struck by the photo accompanying this story about Flint’s fiscal problems. I recall being there a few years ago on assignment, taking a turn off a main drag into a neighborhood and being shocked — it looked like rural Mississippi, or something close. The picture captures it well.
I need to sleep. See you in the morning, all.