I've gained three pounds since going to the lake. That was a bit harsh. It's okay, though, because that was probably the last bit of socializing I will do for several months.
Somehow we both choked down well over a fifth of bourbon and several beers. I thought we were too old for that, but apparently not. We talked about the most powerful militaries in the world, country music videos, girls (particularly Catholic ones), and the eternal nothingness that is death. It was pretty standard. We rode around on a very large boat, too, and Heather managed to put up with me fairly well.
It wasn't anything particularly special, but it was fun, and, sadly, I think it was probably the most fun I will have for a very long time. I wish I were moving to Alaska. It would be a waste of time, though.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I've gained three pounds since going to the lake. That was a bit harsh. It's okay, though, because that was probably the last bit of socializing I will do for several months.
Posted by David at 1:42 PM
Sunday, May 27, 2007
On June 5 Cormac McCarthy is supposed to be on Oprah. His first television interview ever. It's going to be awesome. I'm posting this in hopes of not forgetting about it.
Tomorrow my sister leaves for Paris to travel across Europe for a few weeks. Tomorrow I go to Lake of the Ozarks to get drunk with a friend and ride around in his boat and talk about how depressing all the people who look like they're having fun are. In your face, sister.
Posted by David at 8:47 PM
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Five clips from No Country For Old Men straight from Cannes! Holy awesome.
Posted by David at 9:30 PM
So, I called out the local paper's entertainment section a week or two ago on the paper's messageboard. The guy who writes for the paper that I basically called an idiot responded by saying if I don't like what I see, submit my own review of a new movie in the theater, new movie on dvd, new album or new book. The guy even put a box in the bottom of last Sunday's paper asking for submissions, as inspired by my complaints. So as to not be all talk, and since it was suggested by someone who works for the paper, I submitted a review. I rented a movie that came out on Tuesday and submitted it that evening, three days before the time they claimed they needed it. Anyway, the didn't run it. They never e-mailed me about it or anything. I'm not really put off by the fact that they didn't run it, but am I curious as to why they didn't. I suppose it's a good thing I don't want to be a newspaper man.
Here's the review I wrote of The Good German, a movie I wouldn't have watched were I not writing a review for it, finally published in a far more credible news source - my blog.
Steven Soderbergh is an enigma. His films span the spectrum, from the uncomfortably deviant Sex, Lies and Videotape, to the harsh drug realities of Traffic, to popcorn pleasers like the Ocean’s trilogy. He’s made a highly underrated adaptation (Out of Sight), at least one terrible remake (Solaris), and the barely noticed Bubble, despite it being the only film simultaneously released in the theater, on DVD, and on cable. In The Good German, released on DVD last Tuesday, he enters the black and white world of film noir, offering a story with plenty of twists and turns, but borrowing from the great directors of the genre a bit more than necessary.
The film, set in post-war Berlin, stars George Clooney as an American military journalist investigating the murder of his driver (Tobey McGuire) who happened to be involved with Clooney’s former German mistress (Cate Blanchett), not to mention the Russian military. The investigation follows a trail of lies ultimately revealing an unwanted truth in a final scene blatantly reminiscent of the incomparable Casablanca.
Soderbergh went out of his way to capture the filmmaking techniques of the era. He refused to use modern cameras and wireless microphones, and the stock footage he recreated looks as if it were original (and in some cases may be). The references to the works of Michael Curtiz, John Huston, and especially Carol Reed are so obvious that one wonders what, if any, original thought Soderbergh put into the making of this film. The Good German is far more than just homage; it’s completely derivative of several films made over 50 years ago.
What motivates a director to do something like this? Is it the Hollywood equivalent of the Average Joe going to fantasy baseball camp or is it an attempt to remind audiences of the many wonderful films of the past? One can’t help but recall Gus Van Sant’s embarrassing shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho when philosophizing over the merits of stealin - er, paying homage, to the great directors of the past.
Soderbergh’s heart was more than likely in the right place, but his casting and lack of creativity soak this film in less than spectacular waters. Hollywood staples like Clooney and McGuire just don’t play in this type of blast from the past. Thankfully, Blanchett was there to save many of their scenes, reminding us yet again that she is one of the greatest actors working.
The Good German doesn’t come off great. It is what its title claims it to be - good. There is more than enough intrigue to keep viewers interested, but its lack of imagination is what makes the film seem nothing but a parody of, instead of a tribute to, past classics. The ingenuity of a memorable Hollywood past is exactly what is lacking in this film, making The Good German little more than forgettable today.
Coincidentally, also released on DVD this past Tuesday, The Criterion Collection’s new edition of The Third Man, Carol Reed’s masterpiece referenced in The Good German far too many times to count. The double-disc set features a new high-definition transfer and several special features, including a documentary about the making of the classic, a radio episode of “The Lives of Harry Lime” written and preformed by Orson Welles, and an audio commentary done by none other than one Steven Soderbergh.
It was properly punctuated before I italicized it all. I'm bored. I wish I had something to do today.
Posted by David at 12:19 PM
Monday, May 21, 2007
I cleaned out a big box today. It was mainly cds but it also had my personality profile from my high school psychology class. Everyday at the beginning of class we had to do an assignment for the personality profile. Usually you would just write a bunch of crap down as quickly as possible to get it over with. I've scanned one of the papers I wrote and posted it below. I was probably fifteen at the time I wrote this. I will transcribe it, errors and all.
If I were a psychologist or a psychiatrist I would hate to have myself as a patient. I'm sure that a typical psychologist or psychiatrist would look at me the same as any other patient, but in my own mind I feel as messed up as the best of them. I think that Carl Rogers would have been a great person explain things to me, but Freud would have been the best man for the job.
I find that Carl Rogers humanistic theory that primarily says, "everyone can be their real self," would be a great motivational tool for me. I need a good reason to believe in myself so I can reach my full potential in life. If I were able to believe in this theory for a few weeks, I believe it would begin to make a significant difference in my life, for the better, of course.
Freud's ideas seem easier for me to relate to, though. The idea of having something to blame your problems on seems great to me. His ideas seem to be the ultimate cop out since it's your life being talked about. Whether or not psychoanalytical theory would work with me, I'm not sure of. I'm not good with talking about my problems and I get upset very easily. But, if Freud were alive today and still a respected therapist, I would be more than willing to give it a try.
There are many different psychological theories and terms that could be used to describe me. I am excellent at using defense mechanisms. My personal favorites are procrastination, rationalization, and reaction formation. Unfortunately, I am not a very self-actualized human and never will be. I have kantian ethics believing that life is all anyone will ever have. I am a very bad auditory learner, but a very good kinesthetic and visual learner. I would suspect that I have an average I.Q. and a very low E.Q.
All in all, I'm somewhat sure that even with all of the psychological problems mentioned I will probably still be able to make it on my own in the real world. As for whether or not any of my problems will ever be solved, only time will tell. I'm doubting it, though. Hopefully, someday I will be living a happy life and I will be able to look back and say, "Boy, I was a weird kid."
I wrote that ten years ago. Not a fucking thing has changed. Well, I guess I don't write papers anymore and I don't have to use terms used in class in those papers I don't write, but I think and feel the same way now. Also, this was by far the most uplifting and optimistic thing written in my personality profile, I assure you. If you found this as interesting/depressing as I did, I might put some of the more pathetic writings up another time.
Posted by David at 8:06 PM
Sunday, May 20, 2007
I found this book hidden on top of a dresser earlier this week:
I didn't know what to make of it. I've read about a quarter of it so far and it's really boring. I'm far past where whichever one of my parents had it bookmarked (I'd bet the farm my dad was the one reading it) so I don't know if they gave up or read it and randomly placed a bookmark in there or what. It's a bunch of baby boomer shit about how great their generation is and how fucked their kid's generation is. There's also a lot about kids who get pregnant or get someone pregnant and are too fucked up on drugs to take care of the kid so they give that kid to their parents and then they steal their TV to buy more drugs. My parent's can totally relate to that.
I get that I'm not all that great. I can see that it would be embarrassing having their old kid living with them for the summer. It all makes sense. I'm not going to make any excuses for myself, even though, I naturally, have plenty. Do they have to read a fucking book about it, though? I mean, really... The book even talks about how to not hate your mentally ill children. What if I'm mentally ill? My uncle is mentally ill. Is it my fault if I am? Is it acceptable for a parent to hate their kid because he or she is mentally ill? I'm not mentally ill, though, at least not like my uncle, so I guess it's irrelevant. Finding that book did hurt my feelings a bit, but I felt a little bit better after reading some of it. It's just another not-so-subtle reminder to avoid hesitating in my efforts to move to Chicago. Also, there seems to be a Godard film festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center in November that I need to be at. Speaking of Godard...
I've seen a lot of movies in the past week. Another Netflix free trial has been treating me well. Since last weekend I've watched It's a Gift, My Little Chickadee (both W.C. Fields and both pretty funny), F for Fake (which is totally amazing) and a documentary about Welles' unfinished films called Orson Welles: One-Man Band and another documentary about Elmyr de Hory called Almost True: The Noble Art of Forgery (Elmyr de Hory is kind of the most interesting guy ever), The Apartment, Laurence Oliver's Hamlet, Shane (which I own and have seen ten times, but who doesn't want to watch it again? "Pa's got things for you to do. And mother wants you, I know she does!"), and Bob le Flambeur and Masculin feminin both twice. Bob le Flambeur was my first Melville and now I want to see everything he's ever done. Masculin feminin (as I said, speaking of Godard) was not really what I expected but it should have been. I liked it more than Bande à part and Le Mépris but it's got nothing on Breathless and Une femme est une femme. I still haven't seen Alphaville because I'm convinced I will not like it, but I will see it soon enough. Also, I don't know what my deal is with Bande à part. I should love it, but I don't. It deserves a second viewing.
So, in Masculin feminin, Chantal Goya, pictured right, is ridiculously cute with this weird kind of underbite smile she's got (she also has someone sort of zit or something on her nose, but I don't mind) and all. Apparently she was a pop star in real life at the time, kind of like what she played in the movie. I guess she played herself in the movie actually. Anyway, what I'm getting at is I've discovered Yé-yé girls and I love them all. It's like teenage girls singing Their Satanic Majesties Request, but sometimes more poppier and other times more fucked-up. Best genre of music ever.
In other French news, I'm going to once again learn how to speak French. My sister's students are getting new books in the fall so I'm getting a text book and a work book to learn with. This will be my fifth attempt at learning to speak French. I'm actually kind of interested this time, though, so we'll see how it goes.
Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention what a creep I am. I'm in love with all these French girls from the 50s and 60s now. I've been this way for a while now. It's my thing that I do. And there's this ridiculously hot girl in Bob le Flambeur who is always taking her pants off and her top off and everything else off because that's what often happens in French films. So, I think she's really hot and all. Nothing filthy or anything, but she was a babe and I found her naked areas to be attractive. After the film, I watched an interview with a co-star on the special features and he pointed out that this girl was all of FIFTEEN when the movie was filmed. Guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh... Whoops. I feel like a creep, but what are you going to do? In my defense, her IMDB birthdate indicates that she was 26 at the time the film was released and the movie (only) took two years to film, so, according to IMDB at least, my feelings for this gir -, er, woman, are very legal and acceptable. I wonder what the truth is, though. Hmm...
I drink green tea now. Or try to. I only drink it hot. I don't want to try it cold. This is new for me. I'm going to try and drink at least one cup a day this week. Force myself to love it. I've got to stop drinking soda. I've lost nine and a half pounds while still drinking soda but this half a pound is killing me. And once I lose ten pounds I'm going to want to lose twenty, right? While I probably won't manage such, I'm going to slowly try to continue losing weight and see what happens. I'm going to have to try and get a girlfriend when I move because I'm a total fucking loser if I don't, so I need to work now on not being ugly. My push ups are going well. I've definitely noticed a difference in my arms and chest. I'm doing sets of thirty now pretty easily. My sit ups are less impressive, but I'm ready to start working harder at that (no I'm not). And the bike riding is helping, too. Riding a bicycle two miles to try the 99 cent buffalo chicken sandwich at Wendy's (they're not good) has to be healthier than driving, right? I'm almost done with fast food in general. There's so little of it I can stand anymore, and here there aren't any fast food places like Chipotle or whatever that are actually kind of good. It's all shit here.
Hey, how about I talk about my boring life some more? What's that? You stopped reading several minutes ago? I don't blame you.
UPDATE: I also watched The Corndog Man again this week. That movie is so great. In terms of independent film (what it should be, not so much what it is), it's one of the best movies I've ever seen. One day I will make a movie in a similar fashion and it will be awesome and a failure and I will go bankrupt.
Posted by David at 7:36 PM
Monday, May 14, 2007
I guess I kind of perturbed a writer for the local paper by saying the entertainment section sucks. I felt kind of bad for sort of insulting him, but, you know... such is life. He has encouraged me to submit my own reviews of movies or whatever to the paper, something I figure I might as well try since I have nothing else to do.
I cracked wise last week about how there might be a Delta Farce review in this Sunday's paper since something told me the movie was definitely coming to town. I had forgotten that I said if it were not reviewed in the Sunday paper that I would review it myself and post it on that messageboard. Anyway, I just wrote one. I didn't proofread it or anything, but I offer it on this blog only because I find the messageboard's editing so amusing.
Delta Farce, a racist romp in the wrong desert, starring Larry the Cable Guy and some even less funny rube riding his coat tails, is just the kick in the pants you need to fully understand that our society has reversed the evolution process. Darwin be ***ned - farts, misogyny, and homophobia are funny and, if Larry and that other guy have anything to say about it, they're going to stay that way.
True patriots, Larry and what's-his-name join the Army to go to Iraq (something they strangely have not decided to do in real life) and serve their country. Crazy hijinks insue and - huh-duh-wha - they wind up in Mexico! Considering that they are stupid, it takes them half of the movie to figure this out. Once they do conclude that Mexico is not, in fact, Iraq, they eat tacos, make illegal immigration jokes that they probably don't even really understand, they ogle women, they light their farts on fire, and they say, "Get her done" an awful lot. Some sort of conflict eventually comes along and Larry and that really old guy who's not funny use their limited Army training and a little bit of the ol' elbow grease and wind up saving our country from certain distaster. Or maybe they save Mexico from certain disaster. I don't know, I've never seen the movie.
Delta Farce is a shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later aberration. That in this day an age a movie so incredibly terrible based on such weak plot devices starring such ridiculously untalented performers is proof positive that the apocolypse is upon us. Two out of five farts.
They won't even let me write "damned".
Posted by David at 12:04 PM
Sunday, May 13, 2007
You're not funny. Maybe the reason the line at the grocery store is so long at 9:00 p.m. on a Friday night is because you, motherchecker, are trying out your comedy routine on every customer. I get it, you're pretending to talk on a walkie talkie. You don't have to keep doing it. You don't have to keep pinching your nose for effect. You do, however, have to scan the rest of this woman's items so she can pay you so I can buy a cheap bottle of wine that you're not old enough to sell to me, anyway. And to the girl at the gas station who just sold me a two liter of Dr. Pepper for $2.06 - saying I owe you $99.99 isn't funny; it's not even that far from the fucking truth. I'm paying you over two dollars for something that should cost one dollar because I have too much anxiety to go into a normal store in the middle of the day like a normal person. I'm not in the mood to laugh. If you had said, "$99.99 - just kidding! Listen, I'm not supposed to do this, but two dollars is a rip off. I'll sell you this Dr. Pepper for a dollar," then I would have said, "Hey, you're a nice lady. And funny! I like you and your Ms. Piggy with angel wings tattoo, too! Thanks!"
I'm going to eat a frozen pizza off of a paper plate and watch Laurence Oliver's Hamlet now. I'm all class.
Posted by David at 12:17 PM
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Last night I had a dream about this girl I used to know. She was engaged in the dream, which was news to me. I found out because this guy started Myspace messaging me about it, telling me he was engaged to her. This fucking guy was laaaaaaame. He looked like Marcos Bagdhatis without any of the sexy foreign guy stuff. He was just a regular, crusty white dude. He wore a pancho. He never shaved. Thanks to this dream, I vow to never go more than two days without shaving again unless I'm growing recreational facial hair, such as a beard. He had a tiny pony tail, but his hair still hung down, so it looked like a hair dick. God, I hated this fucking guy. And I learned everything there was to know about him through Myspace. In my dream. Isn't that kind of weird? I think so.
Anyway, the engagement got called off (I never figured out by whom) and the guy wanted me to console him and shit. I didn't, though, because I hated him. What a stupid dream. Guuuuuh. I hope I never dream again.
I'm learning how to play Bach's "Prelude #1 in C" on piano. I started with guitar tab trying to play it on guitar but came across a terrible chord formation that just isn't happening anytime soon. So, I'm trying to siight read guitar tab and play it on piano and it's actually kind of working. It's been much easier on my keyboard that on guitar, at least through the first twelve bars. I've gathered that it's a piece Bach wrote for his students to practice on, though, so I guess I'm not that fancy.
Speaking of not playing guitar, I desperately want to own this guitar. It's a 1985 Guild D-25. Left handed, obviously, for those of you not clicking the link. Hasn't had a single bet on it yet. Something tells me it will get some. For $400 I tend to think it's a pretty good deal. My acoustic has been in a bad way for a while. I don't have a new acoustic, though, because I'm only willing to upgrade to a Martin, Gibson, or Guild. If I got this Guild (which I'm not going to) I would still want one of those Martin parlor guitars. 00-28s or whatever they're called. This is boring.
I dropped some science on the local paper's messageboard about the embarrassing "entertainment section" they have going on. This is what I do with my life now. Holy crap.
Posted by David at 9:25 AM
Monday, May 07, 2007
I'm getting pretty cocky on my bike these days. Cruising around at high speeds with no hands like I'm back in my bike riding prime. Taking turns pretty quickly. Working on my balance, hitting curbs, going off-road a little bit...
I predict a painful bicycle wreck in my very near future.
Posted by David at 8:04 PM
Sunday, May 06, 2007
The weather being nice had a pleasant effect on me. I was surprised. I never seem to notice when the weather is particularly nice, and even when I do, I never noticeably feel a hop in my step about it. I did today, though. Weird.
Marie Antoinette. I finished it today at my own leisure. I must admit, it was not particularly good. I still think Sophia Coppola is a good director, though. There were some really beautiful scenes, but it's probably pretty hard to fuck up anything when shooting at Versailles, epsecially when you've taken Barry Lyndon 101 as I'm certain Sophia had. It was kind of a ballsy movie, though. A lot of unique decisions were made for it (several of which I hated - particularly the American accents Marie and Louis had) and the modern-ish music, shockingly, didn't bother me at all. I was wholly convinced it would, but it didn't. Anyway, the $1.06 it cost to rent the thing was worth it when I saw the special feature MTV Cribs with Louis XVI. It was very funny. Not on Youtube, though.
When I went to return the movie today I passed a girl riding a pink bicycle in the road. She was probably ten or eleven. When I passed she gave me a Sammy Sosa-esque kiss-your-two-fingers- twice-and-then-give-a-peace-sign and cruised on by like she'd done it a million times to her adoring fans. It was cute.
Later, on the same drive, I pulled up behind what appeared to be a 1986 cobalt blue Ford Mustang that had LESBIANS ROCK written in soap or something on the back window. When I passed this car the two guys inside looked like the type of people who would write that on their own car. I imagined them watching two butches going bush to bush on each other in some real lesbian porn and quickly going outside to wash their back window. Then I imagined them as genuine fans of lesbians, particularly of the butch persuasion, and watching a movie like Wild Things and complaining throughout the girl-on-girl makeout scenes. "These girl ain't real dykes!"
By the time I finished imagining the two rednecks in the Mustang watching porn, I had arrived at my destination to return the movie. Walking out of the sliding glass doors was a guy wearing a t-shirt that said THIS IS THE SHIRT I WEAR WHEN I DON'T CARE.
Today was a good day.
Posted by David at 9:03 PM
Saturday, May 05, 2007
I'm tired from a long day of being completely bored out of my fucking mind.
I got up at 9:00 and listened to music and paced around wondering what to do until 2:00. Then I got up the nerve to go to the grocery store and bought some stuff to make tacos. I rented Marie Antoinette while out, knowing full well that it would be terrible, but I wanted to see Versailles. I came home, made tacos for me and the dog (I much prefer actually making him meals that opening the cans of dog food my parents buy for him. I gagged at least ten times the last time I opened one of those cans) and ate them them while watching as much of Marie Antionette as I could handle (about 45 minutes worth). Then I lost the dog and looked around for him for a while. Then I started getting really bored and just kept walking around the house, wondering what to do. I sat in front of the computer for a very long time doing nothing. From about 7:00-10:00 looking at the same websites over and over and over. Then I ordered Casino Royale on pay-per-view and it was 95% really enjoyable. Now it's 1:30 in the morning and I'm tired-bored. I've got girl things bothering me. And anxiety things. I noticed that I still hate this town but I like this house. The backyard is very entertaining. You can sit on the deck and it's like Bambi with all the forest critters running around. It's a shame I'm not the type of person who enjoys picking rabbits off with a bb gun because I could have done that all day today.
Tomorrow I fear I will be so bored that I will give the dog a bath and mow the lawn without even being asked to. I should have just read all day, but that's what I do when my parents are here. I figured I'd party hard and not read while they're away. What a waste.
Posted by David at 11:13 PM
Thursday, May 03, 2007
The Queen is going to be at the Kentucky Derby and I want to meet her! I'm not going to the Derby, though. From all the stories Eric has told me about attending this event, it sounds like it's right up the Queen's alley. And mine! I wish I were going. I would wear the most glorious hat.
My sister was into Princess Di pretty hard. Through that association, I knew way more about the Royal Family than a young boy probably should have. I was pretty sad when she died. I can see why the family hated her, but it was all Charles' fault. Chuck is like a permanent, walking and talking version of Hugh Grant's mug shot. That probably makes no sense to you, but it makes sense to me! Like you care, anyway!
I did just see The Queen last weekend. It was all it was cracked up to be. I liked it very much so. I am certain I would have enjoyed it just as much without Scharpling's stamp of approval, but I probably wouldn't have as much of an urge to meet her without such. Seriously, though. Who do you really want to meet? Most of the people I would want to meet are dead. Martin Scorsese, I guess. He's alive. I'd like to meet... um... I'd like to meet George Jones for some reason. Willie Nelson, sorta, but I don't want to feel like I've got to smoke pot with him, even though I most certainly would. I just realized there are a lot of pot smokers who read this blog. What does that say about me? If I smoked pot, would this blog would still be worth reading? I guess that's a trick question since it's not worth reading now.
Anyway, why not meet the Queen? She's sure as shit better than the Pope.
I can't think of anyone else I want to meet. By meeting I mean, be introduced to, then talk to for 3-5 minutes. Or more, if you really charm them. I don't want to charm any of them. 3-5 minutes sounds right to me. Werner Herzog maybe. Interesting things seem to constantly be happening to him, such as getting shot in the middle of an interview:
I'd like to meet Kobe today and start talking to him about what we have to do to get Kevin Garnett to come to the Lake Show.
So, this weekend my parents are going away again. I feel like I'm fifteen being so excited about this. My plans are to... well... I don't have any plans. There's nothing to do! I might record a cover of "How Do You Talk to an Angel" for Weird Taint Angle. I'm thinking about buying a Macbook this summer. They're about 400 dollars more than what I have planned to spend on a computer, but I need some Garage Band up in this. I should watch some movies. I've watched two movies in the last full month - The Queen and Hot Fuzz. That's it. I'm not entirely sure that that's ever happened in my life. Certainly not since I was ten or so. I'm ashamed of myself.
Posted by David at 11:27 AM