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Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Writer's Life 1/7 - Super Sunday

In an article in today's NY Post, Larry Getlen summarizes a new book: Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder: Inside the Minds of History's Great Personalities by Claudia Kalb. She examined 12 historic figures through the lens of modern knowledge of mental illnesses. Getlen mentions five of the subjects, the most interesting being Albert Einstein, whom Kalb believes would have been diagnosed as autistic. The genius did not speak until he was almost three, and developed a habit of repeating phrases to himself. Andy Warhol's apartment was a complete mess. He stashed a Picasso painting in a closet. Kalb dubs architect Frank Lloyd Wright a narcissist, and Howard Hughes as a sufferer of compulsive-obsessive disorder.

Monster movies are still made, although it is darn near impossible to come up with anything fresh. Last night I watched Hidden (2015), courtesy of Netflix. The story is standard. A family of three is hiding in an underground shelter in fear of the what a virus has unleashed on the world outside. Two aspects distinguish it: the performance of Emily Alyn Lind, who plays the little girl, and a superb twist at the end. Lind was about twelve -- and looked younger -- when the film was shooting. She already has 32 credits listed at IMDb. Most of the film takes place in darkness. There is a lot of suspense and tension, handled capably by Matt and Ross Dufner, who share screen-writing and directing credit, their first full length feature. They are currently working on the Netflix TV series, Stranger Things, starring Wynona Ryder, with which I'm unfamiliar. Nearly 8000 users at IMDb have rated Hidden, forging to a consensus of 6.4 of ten. I agree. It's well done but familiar. The creators had the good sense to keep it short. It runs only 84 minutes. It's strictly for fans of the genre and people like me whose Netflix list is dwindling. Mine is down to three, not counting the six flicks listed as "Saved." Those discs have either not been returned or been lost in the mail, perhaps stolen by Newman. All are pre-1966 productions.
I'll be leaving shortly for the annual Super Bowl party hosted by friends, former co-workers, whom I haven't seen since last year's bash. For the first time, the game is a distant second to the food and socialization. I usually root for the team that hasn't won a championship, in this case Carolina, but I find it so hard to care about athletes these days, given the boorishness of so many. Still, one has to respect their amazing skills. I'll be surprised if the Panthers don't win.

My thanks to the kind folks who bought books today in Park Slope. I added five works of non-fiction to the inventory, heady stuff I thought would appeal to the residents, and two of them sold. I love when that happens.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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