Monday, February 13, 2012

A Grammy winner in our store!

Back in 2008, I wrote about meeting Sasha Cooke, the mezzo soprano, who was singing Kitty Oppenheimer in Doctor Atomic at the Met. Well, Doctor Atomic won a Grammy for Best Opera Recording!

Here is Sasha with her Grammy.

And here's a clip from Dr. Atomic.

I am so happy for her!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Auteur without a premise

Hilarity ensues. Or not.

I have written before about how many of our local authors call their works spoofs as a precaution against criticism from readers who might otherwise say, "This is pointless, dull, and really, really dumb." "Well," the authors reply, "it's a spoof of Melville, Oates, Asimov, or Hemingway [but they'd better be damned good]. It's funny!" To which the critic, reverting to the dynamics of a kindergarten recess, replies, "Ha ha. It's so funny I forgot to laugh."

Now Ina, who has long fancied herself the next incarnation of her favorite author, has assumed a new mantle: that of the next great female auteur, Jane Campion (I was going to say Leni Riefenstahl, but the ick factor in her documentaries is way over the top). Ina has created a "humorous" yet unenthralling movie trailer to test the waters for funding, casting, or producing a movie based on her most famous novel. Watch it yourself. Did it lead to a certain level of mirth, but for all the wrong reasons? For me it was the kind of thing, like a bullfight, that I'm glad I saw—but never want to experience again.

She recently entered the trailer into a contest in Santa Fe, where her main competition was high school film students. The winner, to be determined by the votes of the audience, would get a bunch of cool video equipment to further his or her career. Naturally Ina rounded up all her friends, who voted for her trailer, won the contest, and made scores of much more talented, deserving, and needy young filmmakers angry and resentful. But all is fair in auteurism and war, so, as they say, neener neener neener.

Is you is or is you ain't my agent?

Ina has been shopping her books to various literary agents in the hopes that they might be picked up by a major publisher, and incidentally, get all those cases of unsold books out of the living room. She told me that she's heard from only one agent, who said, "None of your books has any premise." So here's what she said she's going to do. She's going to rework her books by adding a character named Premise into each.

To be fair, which is not my intent, I admire Ina for her self-confidence, her obliviousness to her lack of talent, her relentless self-promotion, and her belief in a loving God, a servant heart, and a senior discount.