Links and Lists in La La Land

lalaland

Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone in La La Land

Just some links today, in case you haven’t seen these lists yet:

It’s awards season, and all the ALSC announcements have been made – Newbery, Caldecott, Batchelder (always so interesting to see what’s being translated from abroad),  Sibert, Pura Belpre, Seisel, Odyssey…and lovely Nikki Grimes has been awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award!! I’m also so pleased to see that Naomi Shihab Nye has been asked to deliver the May Hill Arbuthnot lecture.

nye

Poet and Novelist Naomi Shihab Nye

Nye is a role model for me, gracefully bridging the distance between poetry for children and poetry for adults.   Click here for a link to all the award-winners and Honor books. And for your reading pleasure, a small poem by Nye which, given the stance of our current president, seems timely:

TWO COUNTRIES

Skin remembers how long the years grow
when skin is not touched, a gray tunnel
of singleness, feather lost from the tail
of a bird, swirling onto a step,
swept away by someone who never saw
it was a feather. Skin ate, walked,
slept by itself, knew how to raise a
see-you-later hand. But skin felt
it was never seen, never known as
a land on the map, nose like a city,
hip like a city, gleaming dome of the mosque
and the hundred corridors of cinnamon and rope.

Skin had hope, that’s what skin does.
Heals over the scarred place, makes a road.
Love means you breathe in two countries.
And skin remembers—silk, spiny grass,
deep in the pocket that is skin’s secret own.
Even now, when skin is not alone,
it remembers being alone and thanks something larger
that there are travelers, that people go places
larger than themselves.

It’s also awards-season out in Hollywood. Click here for a link to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ nominations for the best screen-style storytelling of the year. Recent history tends to support the theory that during difficult times, people go for stories that are dreamy and sweet; they long for La La Land, and a movie of the same name is winning all the big prizes lately. It’s up for a gazillion or so Oscars.  Romance and music and pretty people dancing under the stars – what’s not to enjoy? Personally, though, I’m a glutton for heartbreak, so I’m rooting for Manchester by the Sea to get it’s share of awards. Sorrow that soaks your bones, good people struggling to do their best, not always able to – I can’t seem to get enough of it. Or maybe it’s just the pacing of M-B-T-S – I like stories told slowly and quietly, stories that send me out of a theater thinking.

manchester-lead

Casey Afflect in Manchester by the Sea.

I’m also very pleased to see Fences up for some nominations – it was a great play. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but hey, Denzel Washington stars, and it’s always a pleasure to watch him give himself over to a character. Haven’t seen Moonlight yet, but I’m betting I’ll like it, too.

That’s it for me this time around. I’m not living in La La Land, but I’m not living in Manchester by the Sea, either. Just real Seattle, which will definitely do. And to illustrate why, here is a recent photo of a inspiring event in our neck of the woods.  The crowd, by the way, stretched for three miles.

seattle-womens-march

Bravo, Seattle!

 

 

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5 responses to “Links and Lists in La La Land

  1. Just saw La La Land, hope to see Manchester by the Sea next. Movies and books are the best escapism! Awesome pic of Seattle marchers!!

    • Let me know what you think of La La Land, Jama…?

      • It was enjoyable and I appreciated the reminder of how important it is for anyone in the arts to have someone who truly believes in them especially when the chips are down. I was expecting more because of all the tremendous hype. Still, a good diversion, the music was lovely, I’m a sucker for love stories, and of course Ryan Gosling isn’t hard to look at for 2 hours. 🙂

  2. I have to say I was disappointed in both La La Land and Manchester by the Sea. Maybe because the build-up for both was so vast that I expected…I don’t know what. I liked the jazz elements and the fantasy cutaway scenes in La La Land, but it vexed me with its contrived plot turns. Manchester, I somehow never felt engaged enough with the characters to be invested in the outcome. I got it at a cerebral level and could even admire parts of it but it left me unmoved. Maybe I’m getting old or something.

    • I keep trying to delay seeing La La Land because I always feel like an old cynic when I walk out of a cheerful movie (unless it’s something like The Grand Budapest Hotel or a wacko Wes Anderson film.) You’re right, Uma, p it could be about getting older, wanting something not seen before, not formulaic…? But I did feel engaged with Manchester by the Sea – the idea that there is some grief you can’t beat, it just owns you.

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