Make it work, people

September 20, 2006

Do you have what it takes to enter the exciting world of comics alterations? John Jakala wants to give you the opportunity to test your mettle in this up-and-coming sector of graphic novel production!

Stop by Sporadic Sequential for all of the details! (There’s even a prize!)

Night and day

September 20, 2006

Sometimes my weird sleep cycle is irritating. I didn’t mind waking up stupidly early this morning, because it happened just in time for an airing of Desk Set on AMC.

I love this movie so much. I know it’s not considered the best of the Katherine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy collaborations, but it’s certainly my favorite.

Hepburn was around 50 when it was released, and Tracy was closing in on 60. When I think of the likelihood of two fifty-somethings cast as leads in a contemporary romantic comedy, it seems almost impossible. (Well, a fifty-something man would get cast opposite a twenty-something woman.) Women in their 30s barely ever get cast in romantic roles anymore, unless it’s going to be presented as some last-chance miracle story.

But Hepburn, as funny, confident and sexy as I’ve ever seen her, gets to have a (mostly) satisfying work life and two men vying for her favor, not because she’s hot and pliant and winsome (though her character’s name is Bunny, of all things), but because she’s smart. She’s the head of a research department for a television network facing job insecurity when Tracy’s character is brought in to install… gasp… a computer.

Bunny and Tracy’s Richard are intellectual equals and they spend the film sparring with each other on the relative merits of human ingenuity versus labor-saving automation. Poor Bunny’s boyfriend, handsome young Mike (Gig Young), doesn’t stand a chance, but nobody going into a Hepburn-Tracy movie would suspect otherwise.

So many movies seem to operate on the premise that dumb is funny, and I guess that’s fine if you like that sort of thing. But Desk Set is a really delightful reminder that smart can be funny and sexy too.