Caffeinated Links: Franco, Tolstoy, “Her”


Nothing I love  better than a blistering review. Jason Diamond of Flavorwire offers this one – “Franco’s book is exactly what you’d imagine, except maybe a little worse (think: concussed David Foster Wallace fanboy mixes booze and cough syrup before trying to write a novel about how difficult it is to be an actor).” RT

On the other hand, I also love positive, brilliantly written reviews, of which this, of the Joaquin Phoenix film Her -is one – “When Theo asks Amy if he’s a freak for falling into love with Samantha, her response is perfect: “I think anyone who falls in love is a freak. It’s a crazy thing to do. It’s like a socially acceptable form of insanity.” One half of the relationship at the center of Her may lack a physical form, but it is nonetheless a film about the universality of romance: its longing, its intensity, and its transformative power — for the best, and the worst. The outcome of this highly unconventional relationship is warm and funny and tragic, all at once. And so is this very lovely film.” RT

If you had a chance to proofread unreleased Tolstoy works – would you? You know that you would quit your day job. This story from the New Yorker is the stuff of literary daydreams. “That was when they hit on the idea of crowdsourcing, Tolstaya said. “It’s according to Leo Tolstoy’s ideas, to do it with the help of all people around the world—vsem mirom—even the world’s hardest task can be done with the help of everyone.” RT 

…and, we’re back to Franco. As much as it pains me to put the man anywhere within rubbing distance of Tolstoy. “Franco offers up less material in that regard than you might think. Hard to make pseudo-intellectual jokes at the expense of a guy who cheerfully made Your Highness. Hard to make dumb-stoner jokes at the expense of a guy who spends so much time pursuing advanced degrees.” RT

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