A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of film and television.

Denis Leary:

Meet Brandon Generator.  He stares at the cursor on his blank laptop screen.  He drinks too much coffee.  He cuts newspapers into “word salads” for inspiration that never materializes.  He can’t write.  Like many a struggling writer, you can find him bemoaning his stasis on Twitter and Facebook: “Today I wrote nothing, but learnt how to draw four different types of dogs.  Progress?”  What makes him exceptional is that he is also the creation of writer/director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) and Marvel and Lucasfilm artist Tommy Lee Edwards for their online, animated graphic-novel-in-progress designed to crowd source elements of the story.

Please explain what just happened.

I was once again discussing with my wife the fact that more and more I lean towards believing in the existence of aliens. Especially in religion. I think that I’ve been watching that Ancient Aliens show too much. She’s not a believer and the look on her face tells me that she probably thinks I’m joking.


What is your earliest memory?

I would sit on a little rocking chair that my paternal grandfather made for me.  My mom and I would sit by the door to wait for my father to come home from work. My parents separated when I was about five so this must have been earlier than that.

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of literature…

Mark Leidner:


If you’re not familiar with screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, he’s the man who penned the likes of Flashdance, Basic Instinct, Showgirls, and now a scathing nine-page letter to Mel Gibson with whom he’d been collaborating on a film dubbed the “Jewish Braveheart.”  The Maccabees was allegedly intended to be Gibson’s olive branch to the Jewish community after his much-publicized anti-semitic rants, but the project stalled.  Eszterhas, addressing Gibson, believes he knows why: “You hate Jews.”  The letter, published in full by The Wrap, goes on to detail Eszterhas’ accounts of working with Gibson on the project.     

As it turns out, Ashley Judd looks somewhat chubby or bloated lately.

I hadn’t noticed.

In fact, I had somewhat forgotten that she existed.

But apparently she is out promoting a new project, and at some point during the press junket, she was characterized as looking “puffy” or as if she’s gaining weight.

Little did they know, boy-o, the press had objectified the wrong Hollywood-actress-who-has-posed-nude-to-help-sell-magazines-and-fronted-a-cosmetic-line-but-also-objects-to-patriarchal-beauty-standards*:

Please explain what just happened.

I’m not totally sure what just happened. I think someone roofied me and now I’m just passed out somewhere dreaming all of this.


What is your earliest memory?

Being two or three years old and barfing my brains out in the car. Every time I got in a car I would get motion sickness. This one time I got really sick and decided to use my mom’s purse like a barf bag. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I still get really car sick if I’m not driving, but I don’t puke in purses anymore.

In an interview over at the Findings blog, Clay Shirky responds to the question “How is publishing changing?”:

Publishing is not evolving. Publishing is going away. Because the word “publishing” means a cadre of professionals who are taking on the incredible difficulty and complexity and expense of making something public. That’s not a job anymore. That’s a button. There’s a button that says “publish,” and when you press it, it’s done.

In ye olden times of 1997, it was difficult and expensive to make things public, and it was easy and cheap to keep things private. Privacy was the default setting. We had a class of people called publishers because it took special professional skill to make words and images visible to the public. Now it doesn’t take professional skills. It doesn’t take any skills. It takes a WordPress install.

Some time in the late nineties, some time around the release of the Ewan McGregor/Ashley Judd vehicle Eye of the Beholder, a friend asked me which living actress embodied the epitome of beauty.  Because I’d just seen Eye of the Beholder, I answered, “Ashley Judd.”  Sure, she’s a lovely woman, but what had really prompted my response was her nude scene in Eye of the Beholder in which we see her backside in all its dimpled imperfection.  She’s lovely … and she’s real.  And, more importantly, if her willingness to film this scene is any indication, she’s not ashamed of who she is as a woman.  And why should she be?

It’s a rare case when we are shown, in film or on television, physically imperfect (as society deems it) leading women who are meant to be the object of beauty and desire.  Even more rare is the leading woman who isn’t meant to be objectified at all.  But in 1999 Ashley Judd came close to achieving the former by the tiniest of margins with a little cellulite.  Baby steps.  I loved her for it.   And yesterday, when she posted a response to the body-snarking backlash to her “puffy” appearance of late, I decided I loved her a little bit more.

Flipping around network television on a weekend is the mental equivalent of rummaging around at a flea market. My husband and I have found wonderfully trashy gems, like the short-lived Antiques Roadshow spinoff Buried Treasure, starring adorable pixie twins Leigh and Leslie Keno, and Shark Tank, a program that airs on Friday nights at 8 p.m., and probably our greatest find.

Elizabeth Ellen’s Fast Machine is one of the best books of the year. Published by Short Flight/ Long Drive Books, it’s a collection of her strongest work from the past decade. Being a long-time Elizabeth Ellen boy-kitten, I was familiar with a great number of these stories beforehand, but to read them together in one book, back to back, is the type of experience that makes you glow for weeks afterwards.

A year ago Martin Amis famously said he’d have to be brain damaged to write a young adult novel. This upset a number of people (almost all of them young adult authors, their editors, and various vampire fanboys), but didn’t bother me much. Probably because I enjoy and admire Mr. Amis’ writing. But not all of it. He’s written two dozen novels, and their quality, understandably, varies. So it made me wonder if you’d have to be any more brain damaged to write a lousy literary novel than a fantastic novel in an easily dismissed genre.

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of literature…

Sean Ferrell: