a seemingly random journey through cinema's heart of darkness. so to speak.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Bomb Voyage!

Jesus, I can't even remember what has happened since I last posted. Basically, I've been busy, and when I haven't been busy, I've been relaxing. Is this what happens when you have a full-time job, seasoned full-time-job-havers? In the interim, I've missed a whole two weeks worth of updates for my shit in the Weekly. Better take care of that first:

In tomorrow's paper, here's what I got:
* Two reviews (third and fourth down), one of Robert Zemeckis' it-shoulda-been-worse com-anime opus The Polar Express and the necessary but wan Tying the Knot;
* And, as ever, Rep. Bucketloads of words on Cassavetes, as there's a mini-fest in town, plus some dismissive words on Lynne Stopkewich's probably-a-cult-classic Suspicious River. Betcha I get chewed out by Andrew Repasky McElhinney, the curator, for that one.

And then, in last week's paper (11/3), I penned:
* A review of Being Julia, which, if nothing, is worth catching for Annette Bening. Not that it's just about her: practically everyone's on the ball -- Jeremy Irons, Michael Gambon, Lucy Punch...just not Juliet Stevenson, who, with this and Nicholas Nickleby, has apparently decayed into a characateur over the years since Truly Madly Deeply.
* Also, Rep.

What do I do, you ask? (Skip this paragraph if you didn't.) Essentially, I stand in front of a filing cabinet at a medical college for 8 1/2 hours (including smoke breaks). Sometimes I stand in front of a Xerox machine for an hour and a half. Sometimes still I sit in a chair (with a padded back that sticks out almost halfway across the seat and will correct bad posture by the year 3000) and open a bottomless pit of mail for three hours. It's perfect. Net access is rare (as I do nothing that requires utilizing a computer), but my filing room-mate and I have agreed that NPR is where the radio dial shall fall. (Unless someone puts on Smooth Jazz, surely the nadir of all forms of music.) Furthermore, while it's maddeningly dull, it's not stressful, which means I can daydream (or write reviews or come up with wacky cinematic theorems in my head) all day, come home sore but not exhausted and do what I like to do (for pay). Why did no one tell me I could do this before? Dude! I even ate out twice this week!

I will stop talking about this forever right...now.

Anyway. My neglect of this here site means I am officially the last person to opine on last Tuesday's election. But not only have I already exhausted discussion of this thing in real life, but there's apparently -- or so I've been told -- this craze going on right now where entire blogs are dedicated to politics. Huh. Good for them.* I'll spare you my thoughts apart from the obvious feelings: crestfallen, pessimistic, paranoid, disgusted. But, lo and behold, there's a welter of fine musings elsewhere. For those, I recommend heading over to Ryan Wu, who is not merely unspooling his own thoughts but has a deluge of links to here, there, and everywhere. Sore losers we are not. Sore winners, however, are plentiful, and for that I will direct you to Victor Morton, whose first paragraph rubs dems' faces in the expansive puddle of shit better than anyone else. What a dick. (Update, 11/11: Okay, so the succubus didn't disappoint. Let's now thank Victor for not resorting to blinding stereotypes.)

As for, ulp, cinema: well, I haven't seen anything lately that I haven't written about in print. So I'm not about to double my workload, you know? The only film I have seen of late is The Incredibles, which -- being not just the new Pixar, but the new Brad Bird, too -- is naturally lovely. It's also not lovely enough, though it's rather thrilling to see the company lending out their skills, or at least working a the behest of another (equal but different) talent (who's also, it turns out, a marvelous voice actor). More on it later, plus maybe Sideways should plans to see it tomorrow eve successfully materialize.

Lastly, The Blind Watchmaker, by evolutionist Richard Dawkins, is amazing (so far), making perfect sense to this agnostic-leaning-hesitantly-towards-atheism. My only hang-up about joining the clique is that I don't want to rule out the possibility of something happening post-mortum. But I'm starting to realize that that's just an ego thing, an inability to admit that my personality -- my essence, or something close to it -- will simply disappear once dead. Is that what we're all hung up over -- this reluctance to admit we won't exist at all after a certain point? Could that be one of the two or three reasons religion was spurned into existence?** In any case, while I'm approaching Dawkins with a quarry of salt, as I would anyone who claims to know "all the answers," it's at least enabling my agnosticism to curdle into full-force atheism. Let's just hope I can control myself during family functions. Or at least avoid conversations like this:

Nice person: He's gone to a better place.
Me: He hasn't gone anywhere, you delusional twit.

Atheists: any tips on how to avoid self-righteousness in touchy situations?

Lastly (for real), a pitch to two new blogs: Mike D'Angelo has up and started his own, wherein he swears he will not at all discuss the modes of the cinematics. Meanwhile, Philly Weekly compadre Doug Wallen thinks he can juggle editing a newspaper, writing literate music reviews, keeping up his frequently booze-centric lifestyle and maintaining this site without collapsing into an unrelenting coma. His comment boxes are so far desolate, so you can either tell him how he picked a great song for his title or convince him to employ the occasional capital letter I mean Jesus it's an easy to reach button what do you think this is e-mail spruce it up for the fine folks reading twerp.***

* The author won't readily admit it, but he's rather sidetracked this site into the realms of hopelessly -- often times even incompetently -- amateur political rumination. Had he managed to visit a non-cinema site that isn't one of the big lefty web zines, he would have known this is already covered, and that rants along the lines of "Hey, like, it's a disgrace that cons won't watch all of Fahrenheit 9/11" weren't already redundant, but ill-advised to boot. Advice along the lines of "Leave it to the professionals or people who at least read the paper" were left stubbornly unanswered.

** Again with the rhetorical questions. Better off just stating what you mean to say.

*** Doug Wallen could punch the author through a brick wall if the occasion arose. That he hasn't is a testament to his massive good-will towards the human race, as well as to the latter's all-around ineffectualness.


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