1. "indieWIRE Critics Poll 2006": The Dennis Lim-run end-of-the-year movie poll moves from the Village Voice to indieWIRE. House contributors who voted, with links to their ballots: Ed Gonzalez, Matt Zoller Seitz, and Keith Uhlich.
2. "Road to Morocco (minus Hope & Crosby)": From Edward Copeland on Film, Josh R on a little film called Babel.
["There's a little film called Babel winding its way through our nation's movie theaters that is so completely illogical in every respect that it strains credulity well past the breaking point. Now, Babel isn't a fantasy-based film like Harry Potter, nor science fiction, nor the kind of broad comedy where you accept the ridiculousness as in keeping with the spirit of the thing—it purports to be a realistic drama. But the implausibility factor has been ratcheted up so high that somewhere, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are watching this thing and mumbling to themselves, "You've gotta be f***in' kidding me." Copeland, I know you had issues with Training Day. I'll bet it's starting to look pretty damn reasonable right about now."]
3. "Rowling tells 'Harry Potter 7' title": Hope Hannah's as excited as I am.
["British author J.K. Rowling revealed on Thursday that the long-awaited seventh and final book in her wizard saga will be called "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," sparking the next phase of Pottermania."]
4. "The Cinephiliac Moment": From Rob Humanick's blog The Projection Booth.
["Perhaps because I lack the gift of hindsight for now, pinpointing 2006's defining moments has been a bit of a chore. Some have been evident purely for their balls-out extremity (the prolonged, nude wrestling match in Borat), others for their simmering intensity (Miami Vice features one of the most intense police raids in movie history), but a moment of small profundity that only resurfaced in my memory recently took place in Robert Altman's swan song A Prairie Home Companion (forgive me if I screw up any details, as this is from memory, and I haven't the DVD at my disposal for confirmation purposes) has emerged as a pivotal centerpeice of a year that has, for me, largely focused on death and the hereafter. With Virginia Madsen's Angel of Death hovering about the proceedings, mostly unseen, the "lunch lady" (the heartwarming Marylouise Burke) discovers her lover and the long-time show employee Chuck Akers' (L.Q. Jones - I think) lifeless body backstage, having given up the ghost but minutes ago. Overcome with confusion and emotion, she is soothed by the invisible presence of Madsen, who reassures her, "There is no tragedy in the death of an old man. Forgive him his shortcomings, and thank him for all his love and care."]
5. "Yowsah, et al": Welcome back Eric Henderson. We missed you.
["Insomnia kept me up writing about what I hate. But a few paragraphs in and I'm not sure it sends the proper holiday spirit. The downright sick strains of Newsong's "The Christmas Shoes" aside, I am not prone to Grinching away this time of year. (Hell, I'd probably blog about that song if I could work up the enthusiasm to download it and confirm my suspicions that those lyrics, those sentiments, those off-key children's voices weren't just made up on the spot by my mom's car's radio. Suffice it to say, it's the sort of song that Kenny Rogers might pen after catching Children Of Heaven while tanked up on Jack Daniels eggnog."]
"Links for the Day": Each morning, the House editors post a series of weblinks that we think will spark discussion. Comments encouraged.