Thursday, December 4, 2008

Space Blog 1.2

As promised, this one has even less to do with outer space, but far more to do with David Bowie.

Jonathan Lethem – along with a bevy of admirable sorts like Patton Oswalt, Bill Plympton, and Steve Buscemi, among others – contributed his top ten picks of the Criterion Collection. I was honored to see that Jonathan's author picture for the Top Ten is from one of my sketchbooks, a drawing I did while listening to him and fellow authors giving a panel discussion at Columbia College here in Chicago last year.

Seeing that drawing surface on the site was pleasantly surprising (Jonathan had asked me to send it a while ago, though I had no idea where or if it would ever show up), but nowhere near as great as noticing Jonathan's number ten pick (and Mike Allred's second pick): The Man Who Fell to Earth, staring David Bowie as a visitor from afar.

About two nights before this Top Ten was posted, I had watched this film. And while I can agree with Jonathan that the first portion of the film – upwards of four fifths – is masterful and entrancing, the last fifth or so spun way out of control, to an extent that seemed unintentional. Not that it loses itself in an uninteresting way altogether, but... well, you'd just have to try it. I'm not sure I'd recommend it on hard drugs. Though if you want a more throughout solid but equally twisted and underrated trip, I'd recommend The Ruling Class, starring Peter O'Toole, also from Criterion. Absolutely nuts, creepy, and one of those films I'm surprised was ever made (and I mean that as the highest of compliments).

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