Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The admirable 'insanity' of Day-Lewis

Daniel Day-Lewis is an actor's actor. Which in plain and simple terms means that what we actors aspire to become, he IS. Seemingly without effort, he melds and molds his physique, his mannerisms, the tone of his voice and his speech to fit the particular persona he's inhabiting. What many celebrities seem to have difficulty in understanding this day in age is that when your public persona outweighs any character you establish onscreen, it's bound to drown in failure on account of public oversight and critical scrutiny.

Case in point: Mrs. Jolie, a phenomenal actress who moonlights as a movie star has become so consumed by the media that many don't want to see her be anything other than what she already is. Stars have had this dilemma since the term 'celebrity' was coined, I'm sure, but it seems that now, more than ever, any deliberate attempt made by a celebrity to inhabit a role that bears no resemblence to their 'true-self' goes unnoticed.
We don't want La Lohan playing a sympathetic nurse to a dying, repentant old man.
We don't want Clooney to gain sixty pounds, drink and proclaim the end of all civilization from his cluttered office at some esteemed university back east.

And we most certainly do not want Ms. Angelina Jolie to darken her skin, shed her accent, bear maternity clothes not fashioned by a designer label and mourn the death of her husband.

We want them.

But Day-Lewis has surpassed all of this, not necessarily because of his reclusive nature (not that it doesn't help) or for the fact that he's appeared in 'smaller' features (he's still incredibly well-known, renowned in most circles). No, Day-Lewis has something that only the greatest of artists / performers discover and take advantage of.

Daniel Day-Lewis has a chameleon mind.

Not unlike some musical artists (namely Bob Dylan, Madonna, etc), Day-Lewis is always in a hungry pursuit for truth in places most individuals want to avoid at all costs, and (here's the beauty of it):
he doesn't want to bring himself along.

The brilliant Norweigan actress Liv Ullmann has gone on record as saying that she prefers to move the character through her, as though her body were a sponge that held onto what it felt was required to take on the part.

Day-Lewis, on the other hand, can only be a character by being the person.

It's a relatively simple concept, no?
To become the character, you must become the person.

So, my question is, in spite of all the present adoration for the gentleman (on account of his phenomenal performance in 'There Will Be Blood'), why are so many individuals quick to pass judgement on the man for his methods?

Crazy: adjective 1. mentally deranged; demented; insane.

My point being this:
If we're to look at one performer and judge them for the way in which they exhibit their art, then we must do the same for all.
This, of course, would bring about the destruction of all popular culture and then, the psyche of modern-day America.

I'll explain.
It goes like this:


1) The late, great Heath Ledger's last complete performance will be in Christopher Nolan's follow up to his prior Batman feature, entitled 'The Dark Knight'.

2) In preparing to inhabit the role of the infamous Joker, Mr. Ledger locked himself in a hotel room for one month straight without any human contact via telephone, the internet, etc. He studies the psyches of the Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious as well as the character of Alex from 'A Clockwork Orange'.

3) The film is released and his performance is appropriately lauded for its pitch-perfect evocation of insanity and unnerving intensity.

4) People begin to discuss his preparatory methods for the character, referring to such tactics as 'insane', 'crazy', 'borderline schizophrenic', etc.

5) One person of considerable intellect or a group of fastidious critics begin to question the notion of 'acting', and whether it is simply evoking the nature of another or a means of emotional detatchment that has been overglorified this past century and has led to the cultural desensitization we face as a nation now more than ever.

6) The notion begins to catch on, the public begins to get into a moral quandry with itself: does our admiration for these individual's efforts mask our secret desire to be someone else? Is the entire notion of acting merely a popularized form of insanity? Is our fascination with celebrity reflective of this?

7) We put our brains to use and in response to the sudden call-of-duty, the mind de-activates and cockroaches rule the planet.


I'm just fascinated by it, honestly.
That we're so quick to pass a quick glance towards a true effort and miss the beauty of the performance.
You can't look at actors and expect answers.
You can't look at artists and always expect a coherent truth.

There is always truth. In each and every effort made.
The effectiveness of the effort, however, is reliant upon how much falsity there is to counter that truth.

Addison DeWitt, of 1950's brilliant 'All About Eve', sums it up best.

"We all have abnormalities in common. We're a breed apart from the rest of humanity, we theatre folk.
We are the original displaced personalities."

So quick to condemn the brave and the visionary,
but it takes so long to acknowledge the commonalities and the hypocrisy within ourselves.


Day-Lewis is God in cinema.
Ledger's Joker is already a tour-de-force.
We're morons for idolizing anything.

Thank you, come again.

Labels: , ,

I saw my twenties in my passenger seat

as I drove onward in Julie Blue.

Leather wallet.
Cell phone.
Jack Johnson's new album.
Starbucks in my cup holder,
not knowing where I'm driving to.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

because you said that thing about the window.

she's got the wrong kind of gravity,

she's stuck against the bleeding ground;

she's got the wrong kind of gravity,

it pulls all her pleading words right back down.

These Days

A challenge from Nat over at The Film Experience asks for any willing blogger to write a post, discussing his/her memories over a specific film or time in their life that revolved around film. Seeing as how mine started when I was barely a child, (Sorry Nat, but I dug the hell out of E.T.), I tried to think back to those pre-teen years where all that mattered was getting somehow, someway, to a movie theater.

See, I grew up in a very small town. And I mean, SMALL. 10,000 on 3 1/2 square miles of earth small. And in those 3 1/2 square miles my entire childhood remains. I remember bike riding through what me and my cousin termed 'Bum Village', walking around on overcast days in the winter with friends discussing one subject of another, and these are all fantastic memories.

But they don't compare to the films. They can't.

I remember, walking into the Northridge Mall's multiplex to watch 'Beauty and the Beast'. Four years old, scared out of my mind, (the television version with Ron Perlman was my childhood fear... seriously. I was always under the impression he was lurking down in those sewers trying to find a way to kill Belle. Eek.) the Disney logo came up and we flew over the Enchanted Forest. I sat there bewildered, ecstatic, and frightened to the point of pissing my pants.
I remember this.

I also remember laughing at Cogsworth and Lumiere.
I remember adoring Mrs. Potts and wishing she could be my third grandmother.
I remember the ending.
I remember watching the Beast die, bawling as much as one possibly can,
only to watch his transformation into that wonderful Aryan beauty,
and a feeling of complete and total enrapturement flung itself over me,
and I was in love. With everything.

I remember my parents taking me up to see 'Snow White', which I'd never viewed before. I thought it was one of the greatest possible gifts, to be able to see this film never before released on video (at least, at the time) in a theater setting, and just soak in all the grandeur. Which I did, to great effect.

I remember my father, who was a modest man and worked for a modest living, garnering more than he'd planned on at a garage sale when I was eight, and asking me and my brother if we cared to go watch 'Toy Story' in Monterey. We about died.

I remember saying that if we viewed 'The Lost World' opening weekend, we'd be 'paying respect' to the film, as though it were a shrine upon shrines.

I remember 'Contact' and thinking no sequence in the history of the medium could have been more beautiful than that last half hour.

I remember 'Titanic'.
I remember 'Titanic' and I remember falling in love with film all over again.
I remember falling in love with that relationship between Jack and Rose, which I still to this day feel is unrivaled in most modern romances, hence my unimaginable desire to see 'Revolutionary Road' right this second.

I remember it all.

I remember 'The Lord of the Rings'.
I remember 'Artificial Intelligence'.
I remember Shyamalan.
I remember 'Road to Perdition'.

I remember thinking I'd known everything that there ever could be to know about film.
and then I remember watching 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'.

And I remember walking out of there going,
I know nothing.'

And then Linklater, Bergman, Cassavetes, Van Sant, Almodovar, 'Imaginary Heroes', Zhang Yimou, Miranda July, 'Garden State',
they all followed.

And I've still got a hell of a long ways to go.

...when I view a film, I always view it twice if I love it.
I do so, because I am, by nature, a very emotional person.
Read: Emotional, not Dramatic.
I get caught up in the swell of things, the constant flurry of emotions, I lose myself to a feeling, a thought, an action, a persuasion, a word, a sentence,
I am constantly losing myself to moments.

I realize I could just detatch myself from the final product. I realize I could look at cinema with a critical, incisive scalpel for an eye. I certainly could.

But so much of cinema is about opening yourself and allowing yourself to fall into the momentum of the piece. We are in an age of 'emotional filmmaking'.
Shortbus, Moulin Rouge!, the works of Cameron Crowe, The Fountain, in addition to numerous others, all sink or swim on your ability to emotionally invest yourself into the experience. By intellectualizing the picture, by thinking rather than feeling, you miss the point. It passes right on by you, and it's difficult to ever find it again.

...I'm an optimistic realist. I know the way things work, I'm quite aware of my limitations as a writer and as a reviewer. I understand that there's so much more out there that needs to be seen before I can advance into the next stage of thought. I'm entirely aware.

But I am twenty years old. And if I can just admit this to myself, that I am limited, then I'm much further ahead of the game than most of my fellow contemporaries. It all takes time, and I may in fact begin to over-intellectualize these beautiful films; it's not entirely out of the question.

But I think it's signature of the age I'm in right now that allows for me to adamantly love everything with no hesitance; that gives me permission to discuss with you film, memories of film, lavished with ecstasy and joy and elation with no regret.

You could label me 'naive', if you prefer to use that most condescending of labels.
I prefer to think of it as being 'realistic',
becuase when else can you feel something so passionately for something you've just beginning to understand?

The start.
At the start.

Friday, December 08, 2006

the extreme displeasure of your unrefined bite

you can't be angry", she says.
"you can't hate me for my heart."
you're right there, love, i can't.
though it'd be a wonderful place to start.

physics and logistics exit the scenario,
as the room instinctively grows smaller.
yet the space between you and me,
oddly, seems to be growing farther.


what to unleash, i wonder?
what means of weaponry to acquire?
a sword, poison, a disparaging comment?
an ax, a knife, or fire?

in the end, it seems a tear will suffice.
as it's my only available option.
choose your next words carefully, my dear,
proceed with the highest of caution.

"it's not that you caused it"
(i'm sure)
"and it's not even what i want"
(go on)
"...i just can't keep living this miserable facade, babe,
of that perfect girl in a love song."

turn towards the door run
stay and hover and rage.
best to frighten the miserable creature
and lock it in its cage.

where it rightfully belongs.

...this is the end of the love song.

where domination wins.

where intimidation rocks your world

and blinds me of my sins.

right and wrong.

how did my mind get here
how did it
into something common.

i choose my actions carefully.
i walk a few steps backwards while staring at the ground. "don't look anywhere else but where you've just been." grab the wall, good. now use it for support and slowly, very slowly, move down until you're firmly placed on the floor. now wait for her final blow, and her cool calm exit, then position yourself as you would when you were a child as the world sat on you and laughed.
adjust to that fetal position
then begin to suck your thumb
then slowly fall to slumber
and wait for spring to come.

she leans over
looks at me
and out of her mouth comes something so...



that existence felt the aftershock
looked down at me and gasped
'FUCK!!! i never finished that one..."
and quickly contemplated the offing procedure
(which the most effective yet painless method to use?)

this is a death.
not in an emo sense, mind you.
emo deaths are a result of mind-numbing cliches that the person stupidly overlooked whilst it blindsighted him/her like a child running out in front of a moving car YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN PAYING MORE FUCKING ATTENTION TO YOUR LIFE she left you shucks let me lend you one of my tears.
this girl left me too.
but what she said to me i bet
was worse than what she said to you.

'there are just too many people i have left to kiss.'

i took the blow and heard her leave.

god went ouch
and the world went dark.

good night.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Seriously, it's becoming physical.

Look, I have as much respect for Clint Eastwood as the next guy. The man delivered a wonderful modern tragedy in 'Mystic River' and I still stand by my belief that 'Million Dollar Baby' was a superb film, though it was nowhere near the brilliance of "The Aviator" or "Sideways". But neither "Mystic" nor "Million" were in my top ten of their respective years, yet I still hold the two in very high regard.

But "Flags Of Our Fathers" was a mess. The pacing of the piece was completely off, the performances mediocre... I liked what it was attempting to do, I'm not faulting it for its ambition, but I didn't feel it leveled up to its promise in execution. I left feeling as though I'd just seen a very rough cut of a promising motion picture.

I would've been alright with the film had it merely accepted its fate. We would've continued along our merry ways: me, continuing to view this years crop of films; it, into obscure celluloid oblivion, viewed as one of the lesser works of Mr. Eastwood. However, critics, for some reason that completely evades me, connected with the film. Praising it as if it were the Holy Gospel of cinema. The fact that audiences didn't connect with it thrilled me, I'm sorry to say, simply because any major award it won, I would feel it wasn't deserving of. The film was, for all intents and purposes, DOA.

...and now comes 'Letters from Iwo Jima'.
and Kris Tapley is predicting it to win Best Pic.
and David Poland will soon, surely follow.

I just, I... if your film dies, just let it. Go with your original plan. Don't resuscitate it and subject us in the community who found it to be bland and cliched tripe with a rehash of the situation from the Japanese perspective. If you have to, just do it after Scorsese wins the Oscar. Please.

I'm just getting physically ill thinking about it.

Sure, I've completely discounted the fact that "Letters from Iwo Jima" might actually be a good film. Who knows? I'd love it to be, personally. Trust me, nothing would give me so much pleasure as having to put my foot in my mouth. Unfortunately, that Japanese trailer instilled no sense of confidence in me. I was just, again, unmoved.


My apoligies for the rant, I don't want to come off as being a hater for the man who provided the world a few, truly great pictures. It's just that "Flags" wasn't one of them. And "Letters" doesn't look to be one either.
I realize we're all gay for a director. Mine happens to be Ingmar Bergman. Some persons, it's Clint. To each his own.
But even I'm willing to admit when Bergie has fowled up.
The same should be said for American critics.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


heard a song today that broke my heart.
...funny how it did, even before the start.
heard the title from a friend, 'love's tragic reprieve'.
then i cried so hard i had to leave.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

in case your day goes in the wrong direction.

in case gravity pulls a 180 and you fall into the sky.
in case a man on the street guns you down with his eyes.
in case you need a shot of optimism sans cheap sentimentality.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I think Maggie Gyllenhaal might get a Best Supporting Actress nom for "World Trade Center".

...don't ask me why.

Monday, July 17, 2006

stand above your life and do it.

the streets are empty
and it's 12:42 at night.

i'm walking down the main drag
a bud in each ear.
they're blaring horribly cliched lyrics to an age-old beat
that i still can't bear to turn off.

car crosses the street a few blocks down,
looks like a patrol.
we won't bother each other tonight.

i could say
what i think
but it would not get across
what i feel.

and all that goes with it
is only yours.
you can love moments in your life
you can, reminisce about that day when you rode your bike through the cars on the street and how you almost crashed into that old woman and then laid in the park drinking pop and laughing about that one joke which over time has lost its touch. (what doesn't?)

but telling the story
will never give the person the feeling.
of enlightenment
of contentment
of pure exhilaration.

while i tiptoe along the curbs, a familiar song plays down the block.
i glide at a faster pace, and i see a figure twirl and flow up above
and it's you.

i walk upstairs to the second story of buildings
sneak to the large entry,
and watch you perform the admirable task
of tap-dancing with your soul and unabashedly loving life.

i make my presence known
and you stop.
(but you don't make excuses for your little show, clever girl)

i offer to walk you home
you smile and take it.

and as we walk these lonely streets
with no alert life around for miles
we blare a tune from your boombox,
and swoon along this asphalt-ridden lane.
we remember...
and then we go home.

rain begins to come down
as we lay on your bedroom floor and watch it fall.
i stay with you tonight
and hold your hand.
we're not the sort of fools who let such moments become misinterpreted (or ruined, on account of physical desire).
instead, we're the sort of fools who hope that oneday we can relive some of these misbegotten adventures without care of age or label or social stigma.

it will never happen.

instead tonight
we will relive the past
and all that came with it
and laugh and smile and say goodbye.

we do so.

and then we fall to slumber
in the warm comfort of nostalgia
unwilling to entertain the possibility
that it was never that good to begin with.


this is a universal story,
and my version may not particularly work for you.
yet still
the message is
that we must never allow ourselves
to believe that there was such a time
where everything was
and i hate the word
an illusion invented
by the most naive of persons
whose great calamity was introducing to people the idea
that the past might've been better than we'd known at the time.
(it wasn't.)
it can be,
but only if you alter certain sections.

my words on the subject may have already been spoken
and such sentences may have been repeated for years and years
and i may in fact hold no actual sense of identity at all.
i may be renting out a persona
available at your local idea of heaven.

the words that i use and the notions that i present may never be my very own.

i will instead rely upon the knowledge
that my sole fleck of individuality
comes from my scream.
for no one will ever do so
for a reason similar to mine.

fending off against the dissenting and disenchanted maggots of society,
it's my preferred weapon of choice.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Mid-year awards

2006 is halfway over. Hard to believe. We've got a few good films from it, but nothing to compare with the wonders of 2004, when we were so lucky as to have Kill Bill Vol. 2, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and arguably The Passion of the Christ.

my picks, for so far:

Best Picture:
United 93
V For Vendetta
A Prairie Home Companion
Hard Candy

I'd give it to United 93 for its... astounding and surprising success at taking a tragic event and presenting it to us as truthfully as it can. Stone's film looks to have an upbeat feel to it, and I don't feel that's what should be done. That day, is a historic tragedy, easily one of the eeriest and most unsettling days in our nation's history. To compromise that with saying, "It was a horrible day, but we got out of it and hope prevailed" is bullshit. We, as a nation, are not TOTALLY in the gutter, granted, but as a result of that day we're in another unnecessary war, we have corporations taking advantage of every penny they can find by blaming the wretched event, and we have people talking of conspiracy within the government itself saying that they knew about it and did nothing to stop it. (Wouldn't entirely surprise me, honestly. We all know they'd been wanting to go to war with Iraq for some time, and this gave them reason to do so.)
But I'm not making assumptions and I'm not even gonna talk politics. What I am going to say is that United 93 shocked me to the point where I burst out into tears halfway through the film, and did not stop until after the credits had rolled. I haven't cried in a movie in two years. This broke the mold. For that reason alone, it would've gotten a nom. The fact that it is such an unmitigated artistic success is what makes me pleased to award it with the wonderful stamp of "Best Film so far this year".

Winner: United 93

Best Actor:
Joseph Gordon Levitt - Brick
Aaron Eckhart - Thank You for Smoking
Denzel Washington - Inside Man

Eckhart and Washington are fillers, this easily goes to Levitt. He gave one of the best performances of last year in Mysterious Skin, so to see him do a complete 180 and present this fine piece of work, I was ecstatic as I don't know what. Brilliant.

Winner: Levitt

Best Actress:
Meryl Streep - The Devil Wears Prada
Ellen Page - Hard Candy
Natalie Portman - V for Vendetta

Portman did struggle a bit with Vendetta, but she's still young. She'll master the accent eventually, and even so she still managed to turn in a very respectable perf. Meryl Streep once again astounded with Prada, but neither compare to the brilliance of Ellen Page. To go from an innocent to a sadist in such a short amount of time and make us buy it? Nom-worthy. But to take hold of the role, to shake it to its very core... to utilize every single moment you have and just bring the audience to its knees? Oscar worthy. This is the best performance of the year thus far.

Winner: Page

Best Supporting Actor:
Paul Bettany - The Da Vinci Code
Clive Owen - Inside Man
Kevin Kline - A Prairie Home Companion

Kline makes anything and everything he participates in work. Brilliantly. And Clive Owen is like Morgan Freeman in the way that he doesn't have to do a damn thing differently for each role... he just reads the script and he GETS IT. He's so deliciously good in this, it's... sinful. But Bettany, as the albino whack-job who believes he's fighting for the lord's word, is as tragic a figure as I've seen in years. He pours pathos into his very core, and makes this strange figure into the only bit of that film you can't take your eyes off of.

Winner: Bettany

Best Supporting Actress:
Nora Zehetner - Brick
Jodie Foster - Inside Man
Emily Blunt - The Devil Wears Prada

Foster: A "magnificent cunt". And almost unbearable amounts of fun.
Zehetner: The sexiest performance so far this year. She exudes charmisma, grace, and packs a wallop as the femme fetale of Brick. She also gives my favorite line reading thus far this year: "Keep up with me now." Babe, if only I could.
I'm giving the award to Blunt though, because she took what could've been a boring, basic bitch of a character and turned her into something real. She's still a bitch, but damn if she isn't just the funniest, wittiest, most vibrant bitch this side of Rachel McAdams in "Mean Girls". Glorious.

Best Director:
Paul Greengrass - United 93
Rian Johnson - Brick
Robert Altman - A Prairie Home Companion

Altman is a master. We all know that. But that doesn't stop you from getting goosebumps when you feel his touch on a film. Here, he throws in a little death with his light comedy, and the result is the funniest and most vibrant film so far this year. Johnson has not only revived the noir genre (laid to rest these past few years), but also infused it with modern day situations and characters. Brilliant.
But nothing will beat Greengrass and his meticulous attention to detail, as he manages to infuse an incredible amount of mourning, celebration and respect for the men and women on board United 93. Some will never view the film, for one reason or another, which is a shame really. Because I highly doubt any other picture will come as close, be as painful or show as much respect to the passengers as this film right here. What a magnificent motion picture.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

an ode to the woman in the pale blue dress

an ode to the woman in the pale blue dress

as i walk along the peninsula
in my dark warm coat,
i admire the sanctity of it all

not life,
no, not that.

rather, its purest elements.

the fellow men of mind
and the lovely ladies of light
join me
on this cold distant night.

we are walkers in a world of motorists.

death walks by me
and curtly nods his head.
life holds his arm and smiles at me.
i tip my hat to both.

vengeance and peace argue on a nearby bench
while solititude sits
not alone. never alone.
but with everything around him
speaking in tones you and i do not hear.
yet we acknowledge
as we must

a woman in a pale blue dress comes along the path
the wind gently holds her hair to the side
never across her face.
the dress dances
and the shoes glide (they seem to interact with the ground, but really, they don't. you must understand that sound is the most untrustworthy element of all conciousness. even the heart is less deceitful.)
my peripheral catches her
and my mouth slides into a grin
and she stops.

i go for another two feet and decide why not.
i do so as well.
i look to the lady in the pale blue dress
and i see

you say to me what you said
the air takes hold of your words mid-flight,
changes them
rearranges them
and presents them to me falsely.

i mouth to her the reality of words
(the fact that they mean nothing)
she nods and silently agrees.

time passes.

we look, we admire, we acknowledge,


i remember now
that i've seen you
in my younger days.

your name...
is promise.
not promise, but close...

you'll forgive me for my shocked expression
i've just been robbed of your sight for some time.
you look good.

you take a step forward
i take a step back
and all the elements
and look
to me.

on earth
there is silence
for seventeen seconds.

sound no longer lies and you ask
"why do you reject me?"
my dear,
you'll have to forgive my lack of courteousness.
it is only because of the fact that you are
unrequited love.

i shall, for you,
yell for,
cry at,
and you will take no heed of me and my being.

only now
will i allow you
after the moment
you leave.
you go. and leave me to my ill-fated desires.

you nod and drop a tear.

i pass.

and then the elements give me three seconds where
not the mirage
sings with




and we kiss.
LIFE ends.
life returns.
your piercing look drives itself into my brain
and you wash your hair over me.

and it's us.

then it's you and me.

and then you walk away (notice that she no longer glides)
and i begin to move after only five seconds. (an accomplishment, i assure you)

that's where the story ends.

were she real
i still would've kissed her.
were any of these figments real
i'd have kissed them as well.
not just kissed
but held and loved and shaken and entered and climaxed and breathed and become and remained.

you have to understand.

it's not so much about who you kiss;
rather, it's about the fact that you can.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

PTA's Punch Drunk Love

There has never been a director quite like Paul Thomas Anderson, and for that reason alone his films are worth their weight in gold. One of the best moments in a film-goers weekly adventure to the cinema is when one week, one lucky day, they are treated to something so original, so astounding, so go-for-broke, grab-them-by-the balls gleeful that you are gasping for breath when the whole thing is through.
If I have to compare PTA's Punch Drunk Love to anything, I'd say it's a healthy mixture of Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge! and the romanticism of the films from the fifties, with a hint of Kubrick's style invoked throughout. That's all open to interpretation of course, and you'll see different influences when you view it... but when you watch it, when you let all of the passion and emotion take over you, you realize that what your witnessing is totally different from anything put together in previous cinema.
Anderson puts his manic overdrive to the test in this film, invoking every scene with an energy similar to being on meth. It's by turns exhausting and exhilarating. There is an insane amount of randomness in this (the piano, the items he sold... some little thing said or done is intriguing because of its purpose, or lack of) but it adds to the films momentum. I'm not big on one-note characters, and am especially not keen to those who have no redeemable features, so you can imagine that I felt the sisters were nothing more than raging cunts. You look at this poor man, and you gawk in awe at the fact that he survived existing with them. It's just mind-blowing.
The performances are very strong, and Sandler does his best work ever. (A given, naturally... when you're in a film of Anderson's, it's doesn't really need to be said that he's gonna bring you to the top of your game.) Everyone else plays second-fiddle to his instability, but damn if they don't give it all they've got.
I wasn't sure how I felt about the film halfway through. The lack of explanation with the sisters, the seemingly random moments, all gave me a sense of weariness in addition to the increasing intensity with each passing moment. Does the film redeem itself? It does. Any moment having to deal with the romance between Watson and Sandler works wonders, and it's really only after he starts to come out of his shell that I managed to fall for the film. I'm of the sort who never likes to see good people get mishandled, even in film, and when I'm forced to I tend to get rather annoyed/distraught. And I did so here, but only till the moment he told off his sister in Hawali. You see the change in him, the deserved confidence and the knowledge that he has someone backing him up.
It's always been my personal belief that anyone can act out their wishes or their desires so long as they have someone behind them. We are only as good as the people we have in our lives, and we're only as strong as they are close behind us. When Lena is hurt in the car accident, you witness a positive change in Barry almost instinaniously. He learns that the anger of the human being is reserved until the moment where we see a threat being posed towards something or someone we care about. When such a thing occurs, the limitless strength of the person comes into play, and it's a glorious sight to see.
There is such an exuberant and passionate edge to this film that you can't really define it. While I do prefer his Magnolia to this film (its scope is larger, its intent in braver, its focus is more precise), there is a manic energy to this film... an entire, beautiful passion that lacks in so many feautres nowadays, that you forgive its faults. It has managed to combine color, clarity, sound and sight into an orgasmic mix of love and free-falling life that transcends typical cinema. It may not be perfect in terms of a film, but as a feeling? As an expression? It's quite, quite brilliant.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Speaking with regurgitated words
Concepts thought long ago.
Struggle for originality
Fighting with fury as I flow.

This should be easier I think.
To say what I need to have said.
To say my idea of love
Is more than just your bed.
What frightens me, if I may be so bold
Is my complete infatuation.
Not that it may be real, but rather...
that it is an illumination.

To be lonely
Is to be flailed
For seeing life

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

First post

I'm gonna work with this.
See if anything comes of it.
Expect randomness and serious-philosophic chit chat in equal measure
and anything that's occuring with me.