Tonight, NYPL Live's Paul Holdengräber will be speaking to Wes Anderson about that new flick of his, The Grand Budapest Hotel—and, we expect, a little bit about one of the main inspirations for the film, Stefan Zweig. Just a guess, but a good guess.
The event itself is sold out, but you can watch the live stream tonight from 7-8pm and learn more about the event here.
Tonight at 7pm est.
Karina Wolf on Bull Durham (1988):
"Baseball, with its slouchy pajama uniforms and endless stretches of inactivity can be a baffling subject of fervor. It’s one of the most cherished subjects for film—maybe it’s because baseball is synecdoche for an American ethos, or maybe because the geography of the game, the diamond itself, is so photogenic. I’m sure some people can enjoy Bull Durham for its insights—its dialogue is rife with allusions, trivia and superstitions linked to the sport. The film is populated with baseball figures, and its story is in some way derived from real life athletes (Crash Davis, one of the heroes, was a minor league player). Somehow, though, writer-director Ron Shelton has linked the love of the game with other kinds of transcendence: sex, religion and romantic love. And the best reason to watch Shelton’s baseball comedy is for what it has to tell us about the human condition.
The movie is not, in fact, about the allegiance of a team; rather, it considers the collection of men and women who are united in the glorification of the sport. As team members, players accept that they are chess pieces, swapped according to their utility—their personal ambition is foremost to stay in the game. Those that manage it can continue the childlike gift of play as vocation. But success in the field is a result of a cocktail of god-given gifts and disciplined application: talent combined with canny observation and emotional toughness, reverence for the game matched by unswerving dedication. The players are warriors, but they are also poets. This mix of control and wonder make the activity hallowed and ennobling. And the sport can never disappoint, since human error is an integral part of its narrative, which begins with promise and culminates with vindication or failure.”
(illustration by Brianna Ashby)
To read the rest of this essay, download the Bright Wall/Dark Room app to your iPhone or iPad for free, or purchase a copy of the February issue for just $1 (or a monthly subscription for $2) to receive immediate access to the entire issue online.
Illustration: Brianna Ashby
You should (re)watch Bull Durham (it’s streaming on Netflix)
Writer-director Ron Shelton has linked the love of the game with other kinds of transcendence: sex, religion and romantic love. And the best reason to watch Shelton’s baseball comedy is for what it has to tell us about the human condition.
“I still do not know what impels anyone sound of mind to leave dry land and spend a lifetime describing people who do not exist. If it is child’s play, an extension of make believe - something one is frequently assured by people who write about writing - how to account for the overriding wish to do that, just that, only that, and consider it as rational an occupation as riding a bicycle over the Alps?”
Mavis Gallant (11 August 1922 – February 2014)
St. Vincent - Prince Johnny (Live)