— Clearly I’ve been busy with the Tribeca Film Festival. You can read all my reviews (so far) here. Some unevenness in the selections, which is par for the course for Tribeca – a new film festival – but all in all, a great showing. I’ve seen some really good movies.

— No time really to read these days, but I did manage to tear through Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley in a matter of 3 days. I had never read it before. It’s terrifying, mainly because it’s so banal and also so subjective. One of the best stories from the point of view of a sociopath that I have ever read. My obsession with psychopaths is so great that it warrants its own tag on my site. I’ll never get sick of the topic. Never. And Highsmith, in her chilly blunt prose, presents a psychological portrait of what it is like to be one of these people from the inside. Amazing.

— I am now juggling three freelance gigs, and each day is blocked out into distinct sections of time for each gig, and I am somehow managing it all. But it leaves very little time for anything else right now.

— My apartment is a wreck. It’s like a crazy person lives here. Once Tribeca ends, I can get my shit in order. It’s like I’m just staying here, not living here. It’s a weird thing, working from home. I’m learning a lot. I learned very early that it is important to wake up, shower, and put on some sort of outfit just as if you were going into an office. The fantasy of lolling about in your pajamas as you do your work wears pretty thin and makes you feel like an insane person circa 3 p.m. every day.

— Jean and Pat and William and Lucy came down for the day and stayed over at my place last week. It was so much fun having them – having Lucy running around my apartment, tormenting Hope who was a good sport about it. At one point, Lucy picked up her parents’ camera and pointed it at Hope who was cowering under my desk, and Lucy screamed, joyfully, “HOPE. SMILE.” And William is just a smiley cuddly little guy. I hadn’t seen him in a couple of months and he’s changing so much!

— I finally got together with my friend Kate the other day, who has been here for over a month and we haven’t seen each other yet. She had an hour free, and that’s the glory of making your own hours. I met up with her near Lincoln Center, and we went to a hummus place that was yummy and cheap, and talked our heads off. It was great to see her.

— I miss my family, in general. My mother has been out in LA this past week, visiting with Brendan and Melody and Cashel and Maria and cousin Mike and his family. I’ve seen the pictures, and I am wishing I was out there. Cashel is getting so big, so tall, and I feel like I’m missing out!

— I did manage to get to a really nice Easter mass at St. Malachy’s, the beautiful church I used to go to all the time when I was working at 30 Rock and it was on my way home. That was a rough time for me, and I’d stop by every day on my way to the subway home and I found it comforting. I went to the 9 a.m. Easter mass, so it was funny to me walking up 8th Avenue past all the porn shops and peep shows open 24 hours in my little Easter outfit. Gotta love New York, and a secular society where all of this coexists in the same damn block. I liked the priest, and I loved seeing all the little kids in their Easter finery, particularly the little 5 year old boy with a total freckled Irish mug sitting behind me, in his little blue suit and red tie.

— After seeing Roadie at Tribeca, my review here, I became obsessed with The Good Rats. Well, that’s not actually true. DURING the movie, I felt that telltale thump inside me: “I love this song. I must own this song.” I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to remember the lyrics so I scribbled some of them down into my notebook in the darkness of the screening room. So now, thanks to iTunes, I have The Good Rats coming up on my shuffle, and it makes me happy. These guys totally pre-date me, and their fan base was Long Island so it wouldn’t have trickled into my consciousness anyway. At least not in the 70s. Here’s the song that was prominently featured in the scene I mentioned in my review. I love it.

— I’m going to see the revival of House of Blue Leaves on Broadway tonight with my friend Dan and I cannot WAIT. I saw the revival of it back in the 80s – with John Mahoney, Swoosie Kurtz, Christine Baranski, and a young Ben Stiller making his Broadway debut. I wrote a little bit about it here. I was a teenager, and the play was so dark, so crazy, that it made a huge impression on me. Ben Stiller was off the charts, and I still remember his blocking. Like, specifically: I have the script, and if I read his 5 page monologue I can remember where he was on the stage during each section. He was that good. Well, he’s in this new revival, only playing the lead now, and I just can’t wait to see it. And before I go see House of Blue Leaves, I’m going to go catch David Dusa’s Flowers of Evil again – which I also reviewed for Tribeca (my review here). Of all of the movies I have seen over the last month, Flowers of Evil is at the top of the heap, along with Roadie. I haven’t seen much chatter about it, and I can’t understand why. I can’t wait to see it again. So it’s going to be a busy day.

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13 Responses to Snapshots

  1. Lisa says:

    I wish “they” — or someone — ANYONE — would pay you to come to the Little Rock Film Festival. That would be tremendous.

  2. sheila says:

    I know – where are “they” when you really need them?

  3. I remember seeing the House of Blue Leaves revival in the 80s; I loved it, but it’s been so long that I had forgotten it starred Ben Stiller and John Mahoney. I do remember the pope, though.

  4. sheila says:

    Guy – yes, The Pope! Ha!! Really looking forward to seeing it again. I’m staying away from all the reviews until I see it!

  5. mike downey says:

    Sheila – thrilled you like Roadie – you really “got” it – FYI – the old guy at the end of the bar the bartender yells out to id Peppi Marchello – the lead singer of the good rats – they played BB Kings last week – check them sometime

    Roadie Producer

  6. sheila says:

    Mike – wow, what a pleasure. I had been hoping someone on the Roadie team would eventually see my review. It (along with FLOWERS OF EVIL) were my two absolute faves of the Festival. Great job from everyone!

    And I love that the dude from Good Rats was in it – awesome!!! I must get on their mailing list – discovering them was one of the great byproducts of the film.

    Best of luck with ROADIE, and I hope a wide audience gets the chance to see it. It’s really something special.

  7. alexandra says:

    I’m so incredibly jealous you got to see Kate. ARGH! I just LOVE that she’s there. It literally makes me weep a little.

    And the fact that the two of you sat and ate and talked…well….I’m a little bit of a mess.

  8. Gerald Cuesta says:


    Thanks much for the kind words re: Roadie. The Good Rats, Peppi Marcello, truly one of the great bands and songwriter that hardly anybody knows about. This song has made me feel for many years. It’s should be a classic, far as I’m concerned. I’m happy to know someone previously unfamiliar with the band has been touched by its magic.

  9. sheila says:

    Alex – I love how when a couple members of our group of friends get together – everyone else is MAD about it. I love the postings on FB of happy faces, and all the comments are from the rest of us saying, “I hate you both” “This makes me angry” – or, as Jordan once wrote to me, “Rude.” hahahahaha

  10. sheila says:

    Gerald – Roadie is so wonderful and I have thought about it often since I saw it. Well done, and I wish you the best of luck with it.

    And love your comments on The Good Rats, and am thrilled that I have been introduced to this band. That guy’s voice puts chills down my spine. And their lyrics. I love how you wove “Advertisement in the Voice” into that scene so effortlessly – a perfect combination.

    Thanks again!

  11. alexandra says:

    I’m furious about the entire thing.

    It’s disgusting.

  12. brendan says:

    I will go see this immediately! Great song too…

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