To my surprise, when I watch two movies in one day, I find that both movies end up being compatible with each other. Strange that it works out that way, because at first glance, the movies always seem so opposite. Anyway.
The Pianist and The Others.
1. Both titles start with the article - 'The'
2. Both set in Europe, during WWII
3. Both have a piano that cannot be played.
4. Both contain highly anxious/scary scenes.
5. Both have mothers that go mad, and this action affects their children.
6. Both have characters that do not want to be dead.
7. Both main characters won an Oscar this year, and have noses of interest.
8. Both families hate the Germans.
1. main characters sex differ.
2. One is set in a house. One shows multiple dwellings.
3. One's a drama. One's a thriller.
4. One main character is Jewish. One main character is Catholic
5. One main character is alive. One main character is ____.
6. Adrien Brody like totally made out with Halle Berry on stage. Nicole has yet to do that.
7. One movie is in Poland. One movie is in England.
8. One director is banned from USA. You know, it's hard for me to believe that Roman Polansky has never been back to The States. The dude's gotta have some secret border crossing plane/yacht connections. I could just imagine the Hollywood buzz up in Hills: "hey - did you hear R.P. was at the Hilton sister's party last night? Yeah, like I totally heard Jesus was there too. Word is that Jack got things rolling, after which Jesus carried Roman across the Pacific..." which leads me to another thing: Jack Nicholson. He like totally owns Hollywood. Dude. The guy can do no wrong. What a fucking wicked punk to just sit there with those shades, and that grin... THE WHOLE NIGHT. You would think, "oh, they are showing the winners from the past 75 years - I am sure Jack will have to take his shades off." NOPE. thatís why Jack can officially rule the country. So, with that said, I would like to officially start the campaign for: "Jack in 2004".
All Roads Lead to Baghdad.
Since the laws of war state something like monuments, schools, and hospitals not being allowed to be blown to shreds... we might as well learn what will be standing, after everything else has been decimated. Here is a small "crash course", about a couple monuments in Baghdad.
1. That white circle in the center of this map is the Monument of the Unknown Soldier. On ground, it is located right across the street from the Rashid Hotel - CNN headquarters! The monument was commissioned by Hussein in the 1970's. During the 70's and 80's, Saddam used oil revenue to widen avenues, name ceremonial boulevards (one named 14th of July street!), and erect monuments at well trafficked intersections. Anyway, the monument's attractions include: an underground museum, a large spiral, a soldier's shield frozen in midair, and it appears on Iraqi currency - the 1/2 dinar bill.
2. The other structure that has been getting a lot of press coverage lately is the Khulafa Central Mosque. It was actually built in 1963, by architect Mahamad Makiya. Khulafa was one of the 4 caliphs who were close friends with Mohammad. A caliph is a successor to the messenger of God. So it makes sense to have a mosque named after someone as important as that Khulafa dude.
okay. thats all i have time for today.
The other day, I went to the statue of liberty, with my 7 year-old friend, Robin. The kid is rad. Her best qualities are singing on the subway, wanting to hang out with people three times her age, and having an obsession with animals. My "trust me, Robin is cool" story goes a little like this: one time, she put on my walkman, and was listening to the new Tori Amos album. After a few songs, I ask her opinion. She says: "this music is beautiful. It reminds me of the music from this summer - Dave Matthews." I start laughing, thinking how Tori Amos would rather die than be compared to Dave Matthews... but she was right. Both albums ARE beautiful. It was moments like those, were I couldn't resist giving her a big hug, and telling her she was awesome. Sometimes when I say things like that I see Martin Bashir's face cross examining me, Michael Jackson style; and I start to feel guilty. A word about Michael Jackson - aside from being an amazing performer (back in the day), that dude has totally ruined it for the people that actually like hanging out with kids. So, me dangling Robin off the port bow of the statue of liberty ferry, should in no way connect Michael and I. Anyway, Robin and I set out to go to The Indian Museum. The museum blew buffalo biscuits, so we decided that it would be cool if we could look at the New York skyline, from Lady Liberty's crown. To our dismay, once on the ferry, we discovered that access to the crown has been closed since September eleventh. Silence. Confused looks. Robin says "That's really lame. I read about book about her crown. Can we still get ice cream when we get back??."
Comments from my coworkers about the crown being closed:
1. "Makes sense, you donít want to turn on the T.V. and see the Statue's arm blown off. Makes for bad P.R." - Max Xavier.
2. "Thatís ridiculous. Anyone can walk over the Brooklyn Bridge with explosives. They didnít close down the Empire State building - which attracts more tourists, and is in the middle of Manhattan." -William Rickman
3. "It's kind of boring anyway." -Bri Montana
4. "Has it been closed? What do I think? I donít know. I've never been there, so..." - Izzy.
5. "Thatís fuckin retarded. Why not open that shit up? No seriously I donít understand why it's closed. People want to see everything they can while they here. open that shit up. let people go in there and see everything New York has to offer.: -Camille C.
Exactly what Robin and I thought, so we stayed on the boat, and went back to the city, got ice cream, and bought some more fish for her fish tank.
1. Watched the movie Auto Focus today. Strange watching a movie about porn, in the morning. I enjoyed the fact that I was watching from my new DVD player, a movie about this guys obsession with the discovery of VTS (VHS). All in all, movie made me feel dirty, before work. which is always a fun experience...
2. Watched Jean Luc Goddard's Breathless. Donít really understand what all the hype was about.
**In response to this comment - one of my FAVE co-workers, who is leaving us on Friday, wrote this: "I saw it again over the weekend and I still think it's wonderful. By today's standards the film doesn't seem all that original, but you have to consider when it was made. Whatever was considered the standard of the time, Godard did the opposite. You may want to see Band of Outsiders, which has some fine acting. And of course Contempt is great." Will do Jim. Thanks, and GOOD LUCK.
3. Watched Fellini's 8 1/2. Cool movie. If I had to pick one from all three listed here. I would pick this one. I may just go home and watch it again.
Friends are sending anti-war music my way
However I dont have time today
To howl my dismay.
I want to dedicate this post to a web log that has been getting a lot of press lately. That of, Salam Pax, author of the only blog written by an Iraqi citizen. "Salam's blog, which has somehow avoided being shut down by the Iraqi regime, is devoted to letting the world know how awful it is to be governed by "freaks" like Saddam Hussein (and how the only thing that's worse is having his home town pummeled by American bombs.)* I am quoting from an article that I tried to get for all 2 of you to read, but the article was obviously not included on the NYer website. Damn. Anyway, some highlights from his blog include: calling himself a "heretic fag" (on top of everything he is gay), "finding a cockroach inside a bottle of Iraqi beer," and hooking up a forbidden satellite dish in hopes of receiving the BBC -(his family is wealthy). Here are some other articles about Salam:
1. is he real?
2. another article about Salam
4. "If Vietnam was the first televised war, this second Gulf War is the first one to be blogged." (?!?) waka waka.
5. Salam has a friend in NYC, UWS - Diane.
*The New Yorker, "A Baghdad Blogger" March 31, 2001 p. 33
Just a general question - Who would be our modern day Gandhi?? I kind of want a Gandhi. And another thing: I feel like I should be rationing something. I think I might start rationing the use of sugar. I envision hiding all of the sugar in my office. Doing this, might bring some excitement to the dreadful feeling my co-workers and I have been experiencing. It might be cool to like put up signs telling people to 'use the sugar sparingly', or that 'due to the bombing in Baghdad, there will be no sugar until further notice.' Or perhaps it would be more exciting to take all of the pens, with flyers and office memos stating that due to the recent gas price hikes, and oil issues, there will be no use of ink in the office. but I think that has been done before on a movie or something like that.
**The exclusive interview with famed fisherman Ryan Townsend has been postponed until further notice. He is on spring break.
This past week was rather doomed. Most of the doom can be attributed to war, obsessive war coverage, and my office being moved to a place that reminds me of war. So basically I have been distracted, making it difficult to think about hobbies, nail color, or red carpet. I would like to think that if I were on my usual 150% perk, I would suggest things like substituting the word "war" with "tape dispenser" or something like that. Anyway - instead of rambling on about a subject matter we are coming to know all too well, I would like to talk about something that surprisingly has taken my mind off of war, and will hopefully serve as some kind of distraction. Two nights ago, I received a phone call from a friend living on the West Coast, experiencing their first trip on ecstacy. The only association this phone call has with war, is the fact that when he called me at 5:45am, I was laying in my bed, wide-awake, wondering where the pigeons sleep, and thinking about war.
Actually, F that. Every time I try to type out his drug speak, it gives no justice to our conversation. Why donít we all just try to focus on Hollywood. Here is a movie review of Lord of the Rings the Two Towers (known by true fans as L.O.T.R., triple T)- posted by none other than... MY FATHER.
The other day I tried to link my website to a potato gun webring . Today I found out that I was rejected. Please write to the webmaster of Spud Cannons of the Internet , telling him why it would be cool if I could be linked up with him and his buddies. Well, they could be a bunch of girls for all I know. shame on me.
My potato knowledge/resume includes:
1. lived two years in Idaho - (that should automatically qualify me...)
2. used to go Potato sliding at the potato barn near our school.
3. I was grounded once for skipping work, stealing the family station wagon, and going potato gun shooting at Crystal lake with Ethan and Brian Woodward.
commercial idea: camera panning through subway cars, like someone walking through. the audio would be tuning into what everyone is listening too, including silence (people phased out), voices (readers), music (the walkmen people). It would be a commercial for SONY. I like SONY. Well, I like AIWA too.
"Send a salami to your boy in the army." - Katz Deli slogan from WWII.
Well, my foray into the world of television was partially due to the above quote. Yesterday I made it onto the Colin Quinn show (not that great of a show, but a chick DID flash the audience.) The show already aired. For any of you interested, my brother is dropping out of High School, and taking to the streets to wear a trench coat and pedal bootleg copies of my star performance.
Greg Fitzsimmons. Thank you. You are funny. In all of 7 minutes you made everyone silent with chilling thoughts, and then bursting with laughter. Quit your day job.
Yesterday I experienced my first Upper East Side St. Patty's day extravaganza. I am lucky to have survived. Today, my street smells like New Orleans, and my ears are still ringing from all of the yelling and bagpipe playing.
Other titles for St. Patrick's Day:
1. Firemen get Drunk and Yell Day.
2. Excuse to Look Hideous in Green and White day.
3. Loser 40 Year Olds get Drunk and Pass Out on the Subway, While Looking Hideous in a Sweaty Green "Kiss me I'm Irish" Shirt Day.
4. Firemen get drunk, and the local ladder bagpipe player plays all night, keeping you awake Day.
5. Drunk Fireman, vomit, and passed out Fireman obstacle course Day.
6. Upper East Side is Pure Hell Day.
I had an imaginary conversation with my Mom* today. I tell you this, because I am going to write like it really happened. Writing in the whatever-person that would be, gets tedious. okay? thanks. So today I called my mom and was telling her about the recent success I have been having with jogging. She was at home baking, another one of her salacious banana bread loafs, I could practically smell the aroma wafting through my cell phone! Anyway, offering her usual words of encouragement, I was telling her about why today was special -
" Hey Ma, I actually passed 12 people today, on my jog around the reservoir!"
She calmly asks, "Honey, are you referring to that flock of school children on their way to school, again?"
"No, this time, they were legitimate joggers, both male and female, all jogging, under 80 years old."
"Well, congratulations honey, you always were my favorite."
"Gee, you are too kind. Now about this month's rent check..."
"Actually Anise, about your jogging. I have an idea. Tell me, honey, are there a lot of men jogging this same course you take?"
"Yeah, but I carry the pepper spray you sent. No need to worry."
"Oh silly girl! There will be no need for that! I was thinking this would be a great way for you to meet a nice man - who is proactive in taking care of his physical health"
"Right. I donít see any opportunities to start chatting it up, nor are there any 'running-cafť-pit-stops', well, unless you take into consideration the hot dog stand, but what kind of guy do you expect would be buying hot dogs, while he is jogging around Central Park?"
"Oh dear. True, we wouldnít want that. Why donít you post an ad on one of those city websites you tell me about - asking for a running partner?"
"Jeepers! You come up with the best ideas Ma! I will post an ad today."
So, after that long-winded introduction, here is an ad I dreamed up on my run today:
Wanted: running partner.
Hi! I am looking for a running partner to run the Reservoir with me. 8 a.m. daily. We can meet at the 84th St. entrance by the Met. I will be wearing a sweat stained running shirt, old mud stained sneakers, and since I will have just rolled out of bed, my hair will be stringy and unkempt. If you are lucky, I will have hopefully taken a swig of Listerine before leaving, however given the time of morning, the chances of that happening are slim - so bring a facemask at your own discretion. What I am looking for in a running partner: 1. no 80's polyester running shorts need apply. Seeing your hairy bum should not happen on the course. Save it for later. 2. You must be okay with running on my right side, because sometimes when I run, the left side of my neck - (I am assuming thatís my jugular) starts pounding. I worry that it might explode. My visions of this are not far off from that old SNL skit, where that one guy is lifting weights, and in his attempt, his arms detach from his body. 3. Please bring a towel/cape/or extra shirt for the puddles on the rainy days. Those puddles can be dreadful, and I wouldnít want my feet getting wet. 4. I don't like talking while I jog. It's distracting, and I typically like to spend that time thinking about my day, dreams I had, trees, the earth's position in the universe, battleships, cosmonauts, songs that I have stuck in my head, and just how I fit into the general scheme of things. 5. 'Cash' or ' Bentley' should be either your first, middle, or last name.
* Mom- take no offense. It was too early to call you, and I already had our dialogue mapped out in my head. I couldn't take the risk of you saying the wrong thing.
Feeling blah? Here are some things that make people happy.
Some Comedy Central intern just called me to tell me that he hooked me up (after badgering him all week....) with a weekly pass to attend the Monday tapings of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. He also told me that this Monday's taping will be dedicated to our troops over in the Middle East. Audience members are supposed to bring a gift for the troops - whomever has the most creative gift - gets on the show. Any ideas on what I should bring?? Send your ideas.
Since you and I will most likely get sick of my brain, I will periodically interview different people and get their take on things. So without furthur delay, welcome to the first session of "Someone Else's Brain."
My first brain belongs to that of photographer Mark Owens. Mark moved to NYC in 2002, from Northern California. He has a diverse artistic background ranging from acting scholarships to band memberships. While writing for a local publication Orange Coast Magazine, he discovered a talent for photography. After making the cross-country trip to NYC, he apprenticed with photographer Mark Seliger. Nowadays you can find Mark at Def Jam offices, getting a contact high from the likes of Method Man.
A: Let's begin. what's your favorite color?
A: What's in your walkman right now?
M: Uh, lets look. Its either going to be Sahara Hotnights, or The Smiths Live album - old school. I don't know.
A: You have to check.
M: I have to check?
A: Yeah, I am all about the facts.
M: (opening CD player) Oh. Ryan Adams Gold.
A: Right. Favorite Concert poster:
M: There's a store in Southern California called CD Exchange, that I love to go to. They had all the old school posters. The Fillmore always had cool posters. There's a PJ Harvey one, that was so freakin' cool, back in the "To Bring you my Love" era. There's an old like "Siamese Dream" era Smashing Pumpkins one that was pretty cool.
A: Where were you last Wednesday?
M: lets check the ole calendaria! Whats the deal with all the Wednesday's?
A: I have only mentioned one Wednesday. Oh my god! Is that a Keith Haring Calendar?
M: No. Its an Edward Curtis. Lets see, the main thing I was doing. oh. I was doing jack. I was sick, and I was picking up some photos for my portfolio.
A: Okay, photography. What camera do you use, and what lenses?
M: for 35[mm] I shoot with Nikon F100. My just kind of everyday lens is a Nikon 8 - 200 fixed 2.8. The one that I used to shoot a lot of concerts and tight stuff is a 8200 fixed 2.8 all Nikon.
A: I didnít know you were a Nikon guy. Do you belong to the Nikonians?
M: My favorite new lens - is a 120 macro with a 6.5. thatís kind of my favorite because like you can shoot, like, an eye, and get all the details.
A: Fave photographer?
M: B/W portraits: I love Arnold Newman, Yosuf Karsh, and Nigel Parry. By far my favorite portrait guys. Color... recently I am into Martin Schoeller's work. I like his stuff. Anton Corbin does color and black and white.
A: So far, tell us your most memorable shoot?
M: top of my head - probably the one I just did with Method Man. We were in at Def Jam, in the CEO's office, and I was shooting Method playing this new game called DJ Vendetta. It's basically a wrestling game, except all of the wrestlers are rappers - all Def Jam music. There was a lot of second hand pot smoke, which kind of sucked, but other than that, he was really cool. When a guy is nice, and outgoing, it just makes for an easy, less tense shoot.
A: You won't be able to sleep until you have shot _________??
M: I would love to go to Greece, and shoot some people against those white walls. Kurt Vonnegut - such and interesting person. I mean, end all be all? Bob Dylan
A: What photo shoot, has had the best snacks?
M: (laughter) There are no snacks - we are low budget! You know actually the best snacks was probably a Jerry Seinfeld shoot. They had really nice catering. Because he likes cereal- they had like ten boxes of cereal. He walked in total Jerry Seinfeld style, picks up some fruit loops and starts talking.
A: Cool. Last roll developed were pictures of what?
M: I am going to pick up a ton of rolls today of two bands - Mooney Suzuki, and the Ravonettes.
A: next photo assignment:
M: Next week is rapper Keith Murray.
A: pick one: Audio or Visual?
A: Map or Globe?
A: Okay, Top 3's. Cereal:
M: Okay - I'm going with Life, Frosted Mini Wheat's, and uh, you know Grapenuts w/ honey is pretty dope.
A: Brands names (encompasses everything from Volkswagen to Levis):
M: I would say the Mini Cooper, (I love that car right now.) Merc- (itís a british. Its so awesome.) But the old reliable is probably Volcom - a lot of my friends work there. After that I would say Gibson guitars.
M: 1-Quiksilver, my friends site - hovenvision, and Pollstar.
A: Love Pollstar. Hot or Not: Laura Flynn Boyle?
M: Not. I mean she is hot, but I think she is a little skinny.
M: Like if I was gay or something? I think he's got a good look for sure. Hot.
A: Coby Bryant:
M: Not. He's a poser
A: I say a word, you say a word: Tragic
M: Southern California
A: Cool. What's your motto, if any:
M: What's my motto?? 'Be true to yourself and you will never fall!' - beastie boys. Yeah, I mean I would say that - which is also a play on Hamlet. I could give you a quote from my Grandfather - this is how it goes: "You should always remember that one should avoid the course of least resistance. Which makes both men and rivers crooked." -Grandpa Mark B. Garff.
A: Word. Thanks Mark.
++Be sure to stay tuned for next week's interview with schoolteacher/sportsman Ryan Townsend from North Dakota.++
Felissimo is a really fresh design house to check out on 56th street. I noticed it on my lunch break today. They have these cloth/jackets for water bottles. Its different. Leave it to the wacko Euros...
The pigeons living in the alley outside my window have become extra frisky lately. Its mating season. Bring it on. Mount away. The view from my window ledge can include anything from pigeons canoodling beak to beak, to feathers flying/wings flapping. I am pretty sure that the male pigeon is the aggressor - prancing behind the female, feathers fully fluffed, attempting to make some kind of progress in the evolution of the pigeon. The whole thing interests me because (a.) its real life mating, and (b.) its totally opposite to what little I know about the process... you mean to tell me that these birds arenít drunk??? Has someone spiked the birdbath? Shocking. Reminds me of that wicked scene in 24 Hour Party People -
There was this girl who came over to my apartment to check out the room for rent. She had a hippie name. She noticed the T.V. was on pause, and asked,
"What are you watching?"
ď 24 Hour Party PeopleĒ.
ďOh. I saw that this summer.Ē
ďOh, really?? What did you think of that pigeon scene, pretty amazing aye??Ē
(giving me the ever so lovely sour face) ďI thought the pigeon scene was demented, and inhumane.Ē
She declined the room for rent.
This gets me thinking that if two punks on a roof in Manchester, can cause such a stir - I too, could do some roof experiments of my own.
Things to do with the pigeons in my neighborhood:
1. (obvious) Soak the pigeon bread in Rum. Fear no more. This will get the chicks.
2. Line the roof with mirrors. I dunno, it does cool things to Beta Fish...
3. Do pigeons eat fish?
4. I was thinking about holding a mock wedding, so people could throw rice, so I could then see if birds really do explode. However I saw this scientist on MTV's Urban Myths who said that was an Urban Myth...
5. Get out the old 16mm film projector and project Hitchcock's "The Birds" on the roof. I wonder what pigeons think of that film.
6. Bank in on the fact that they can fly all over the city. Hold seminars for the pigeons, teaching them what money looks like. Train them to collect Money instead of bread crumbs. Let them know that in exchange for money; I will give them some more rum soaked bread.
Just what this city needs. What better way to keep our minds off of the impending war, than a bunch of drunk pigeons flying around, hungry for money?
footnote: in doing some background reading on the subject I have discovered the rare world of pigeon racing/breeding.
I am also surprised to note that this very second, pigeons are being sold for pets in East Harlem.
This morning on my roof, the sun was burning off the water puddles, left over from the snow . For about 20 minutes I sat in the middle of swirling steam, watching the sun rise over the East Side. I never thought it would be so cool to just sit and stare at evaporating water. So, it's my duty to suggest that you check this out the next time there is rain, followed by sun.
Evaporating water aside, the best part of today is the fact that MTV set up a show where Method Man and Redman spend the weekend at a proper southern home in New Orleans. Highlight: 2:51am - Meth and Red are still awake in the Medcoff family attic, drinking beer - Method says to the camera: "24 beers in a pack, 24 hours in a day... coincidence?"
Friday night. Lower East Side. Underground bar on Bowery. I was witness to a raunchy burlesque show of sorts. 2 girls, 3 guys, on a small stage, covered in glitter - throwing glitter on themselves, and the audience. Aside from the fact that by the end, everyone performing was in their birthday suits.... here are some details I noticed:
1. a go go dancer with a missing ear.
2. men's bathroom had windows facing the bar, so patrons can freely watch...
3. that very bathroom was basically a room with a large trough.
4. the floor had hidden trap doors - to hide alcohol during the prohibition.
5. a bar, bartender, and a lot of drunk people.
Tonight my little brother is swimming in the PAC 10 swim meet, miles away, in Arizona. How he does in this meet, will determine his seat at the NCAA championships. So - to my bro in the west, I wish you the best.
Last night I saw the movies City of God and Bowling for Columbine. Strange combo, but given some thought, both movies actually complement each other, content-wise. Also - I would welcome the opportunity to be Michael Moore's stylist... (at least for a shoot or two.) Any ideas on how I should dress Moore? Okay down to business.
How these movies are alike:
1. Massive amounts of guns.
2. Children got shot.
3. The main character in both films were in the end, journalists/reporters
4. both titles are three words.
How these movies are different:
1. One is Portuguese, the other English
2. Non Fiction story / documentary
I just found this cool song called Long Life Love by stereolab.
Last night I spent 9 dollars to see a little movie called Horns and Halos. There were a lot of problems with this film. In the end, I was annoyed. For the most part thought that dude Spencer Hicks was kind of obnoxious. Wait for the video. If you, however were thinking about seeing something at Cinema Village - I highly recommend Morvern Callar. Beautiful movie, slow on the ending, GREAT soundtrack. I think I am starting to like Aphex Twin.