Monday, February 27, 2012

And the Oscar Goes To...

How was everyone's weekend?

First off, No-Knead Bread is a revelation. I kid you not when I say it looked, smelled, and tasted like the best bakery bread, and the husband and I devoured half of it in less than ten minutes before I looked up and realized it took me 24 hours to make, and maybe we should slow down a little. We're already on loaf number two (which was, if anything, an improvement). Exquisitely simple to make, thrillingly delicious to eat, please, please check out this recipe (pleeeeease!).

I also finished reading my "literary" book (of my "Two Books a Day" Project), The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Excellent, excellent, excellent. Clever, moving, brilliantly-paced and structured, amazing narrative voice--it was a pleasure from start to finish. Highly recommend.

We slouched on the couch for the Oscars last night, and I was pleased to see some favorites win, like The Artist (Uggie was on stage! Cue adorableness-induced mass hysteria!), Bret McKenzie and "Man or Muppet" (he always makes me think he's some cute, scruffy, funny guy I went to college with), and Madame Meryl winning after a near-thirty-year hiatus (I mean. C'mon.). The evening only could have been improved if Melissa McCarthy won for Bridesmaids or if someone in the Oscars audio booth had managed to get rid of that damn tinny feedback that happened all night.*

I scoured my archives for Oscar-winning writers to feature on today's Writing Spaces post and was disappointed to find the pickin's quite slim (not least because this means even if I become J.K. Rowling, I won't ever get to say my acceptance speech).

So, I cheated a little and went with one of my favorite Oscar winners: Alfred Hitchcock.

These are the times I wish I kept better notes on where I get these photos, because there's obviously a story behind this one. For starters: his writing space is a bar. A bar! I'm amazed no one else has thought of that. Second of all, this is obviously early in his career (note the hair...) but I have no idea what he's working on. Any photo sleuths with some ideas?

Hitchcock had an interesting relationship with the writers of his movies. Although he has no screenwriting credits, he was exacting in detail for the script, working with the writers on every page. Some screenwriters have gone so far as to say the true creative genius behind the script was Hitchcock himself, who was able to visualize the movie perfectly, from start to finish. Even when jumping off from original material (like Rebecca or Psycho), he managed to twist and improve the narrative, and his stories are a master class in suspense and pacing.

“I'm a writer and, therefore, automatically a suspicious character.”

*Stalkerish readers will remember that in my previous life, I worked as a news radio producer, and listening to that Oscar feedback--which I'm fairly certain is from digitizing the live audio feed--was like a thousand tiny knives in my ears all night long. I got sympathy sweat for the poor line producer who will have to take the blame.


  1. I'm very interested in this no-knead bread thing. I definitely need to check it out. I'm also very curious about Alfred Hitchcock now. Obviously he was amazing but I never thought about him as a person. The bar is genius! The typewriter made me cringe! We are so spoiled with computers.

  2. No-Knead is definitely brilliant. The only slightly tricky thing is that you absolutely need a Dutch oven--no substitutions.

    Hitchcock is a really interesting guy. I've seen most of his movies and always like reading behind-the-scenes stories about him. He was famously arrogant and dismissive of actors (he would compare them to cattle and regularly refused to work with brunette actresses), but clearly a genius.

    And yes on the typewriter. Although I love my dear green model, she is more for show than actual work (for one, I think my desk would break under the weight...).