We Need To Talk About Anjelica Huston

Huston in "Smash"
Anjelica Huston onscreen is one word. Power. The preview for "Smash" popped up in my Hulu queue recently. Musical theater? Check. Marilyn Monroe? Double check. Anjelica Freaking Huston? CHECK.

"Smash" is a new NBC series that follows the creation of a Broadway show based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. I pressed play without hesitation.

But this isn't a review of "Smash". Though I would highly recommend you watch it. The show has an ease of pace and that goosebump-inducing goodness that only a great show tune can bring.

But it also has something else...Anjelica Huston. Just the sight of her literally makes me sit up and pay attention. There's a shot in "Smash" of her defiantly walking down a hallway and it gave me instant chills.

Her character on the show is Eileen Rand, a soon-to-be ex-wife whose husband is trying to shut her down and shut her up. Specifically, he wants to prevent her from producing a "My Fair Lady" revival on Broadway. But Rand is determined to produce something, so she secretly sets all the gears in motion on the Marilyn musical. Watching Huston portray a character who is so good at what they do is exhilarating.

Every second she spends onscreen is captivating.

One of my mentors, writer Jill Christman, used to approach inspiration from a psychological standpoint. Her theory was that us creative types tend to obsess and fixate. Rather than fight that, we should indulge it and try to get to the root of our obsession so we can channel that energy into something productive. (Think of the fanboy and fangirl lives this theory could change...can you imagine a world where every fangirl was productive? There might be world peace in three weeks.)

So what is it with me and Anjelica Huston? Let's ponder just a few of her memorable roles...


Parody Rock and Mikey Mason's "Impotent Nerd Rage"

Ah...parody rock. The true cornerstone of any healthy marriage.

No wait, that's not right...

To parody anything well, you must first be good at the actual thing you intend to send up.

Yes, that's the thing.

Imagine a Mel Brooks movie that was poorly edited, had a sloppy script or was miscast in some way. Try to picture "Young Frankenstein" with a confusing plot.

Humor only plays when fine-tuned and delivered in a specific format that the audience can understand and enjoy. If they have to ask questions about it along the way, then what's the point? And I know all of this amazing academic sounding stuff about humor because I am an expert at messing up jokes.


The Strange and Wonderful Magic of Wes Anderson and his "Moonrise Kingdom"

I just watched the trailer for Wes Anderson's next movie "Moonrise Kingdom" for the first time and I feel like I have to write about it immediately. Wes Anderson movies, to me, are as significant as major life events. I know that's really pretentious. But there it is. And I will never see the trailer for "Moonrise Kingdom" for the first time ever again. If you follow. So I want to get it out now, while my thoughts are fresh.

I just posted a couple of days ago about how I don't know what to do with "Born For Geekdom" anymore. When I started it back in 2008, like the rest of the free geek world, I wanted to be the next Wil Wheaton. The problem with that is, I was never on "Star Trek: The Next Generation". Why didn't somebody TELL me?! But by the grace of the Evenstar, the power of GraySkull, the magic earrings of Gem or something...I managed a pretty decent career in freelance writing for a few years anyway. Then I went to grad school and wrote a book. Then...well, then is now. And that's another matter.


Help! I'm filled with ennui! Send cookies!

I don't know what to do with good old Born For Geekdom here at the start of 2012. I'm in a state of overly dramatic blogging self-introspection! (Is there any other kind?) What to do with a blog now entering it's fifth year? More interviews, movie reviews, memoir? Do I keep writing here even though my life has filled up with days of shooting and editing? (Oops, I kind of started a career. How did THAT happen?) Do I somehow narrow the focus of BFG? Do I funnel all these long, silly years of blogging into some larger, more concentrated effort that would make better use of my time?

I want to say yes, I miss writing like you wouldn't believe. But I literally don't have the time. But I know I need to make the time. See? I told you! Next I'm going to "start getting ideas, thinking..."

 While I think about it, I'll just listen to this on repeat. That'll solve the problem, right? Right.