Archive for January, 2011

Film Directors

Some directors, they mature and they end up being judged by the actors they’re able to get. Once you reach Quentin Tarantino level, you can work with anyone you want. When you are the PT Anderson level, you can work with the top actors, not necessarily the number ones. Sometimes you’re on the Polanski level, where, you’re respected, but you can’t work with (or refuse to work, in his case, with) top actors. Then you go down the ladder, you see lesser known directors working with lesser known actors until you reach the bottom. Sometimes the bottom filmmaker will get lucky and get to work with someone talented.

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The Lofty and the Beautiful

I consider myself a cultured, respectable individual. Sometimes this is mistaken for being pretentious and lacking courage. Books, in our day and age, are a relic of the past. Even people who still read mostly do it off of an electronic pad known as the Kindle or its many competitors like the E-reader and so on and so forth. But to me there is nothing like holding a book in your hands, particularly something old and rusty with yellowed pages and that stale smell that old books have. When I was younger, I tried reading Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, one of the most famous novels ever written. I think I got up to page 80 when I realized it wasn’t for me.

I am significantly older and wiser now and I decided to give another Dostoyevsky book a try, this time Notes from the Underground, a first person quasi-memoir whereas the narrator literally speaks to the reader about a wide sort of things; his contempt for society, his (in)sanity, the rules of common courtesy, poverty, education, art, history, and so on. The narrator is very critical of Russian society, and of the world as a whole during the 19th century. It is a difficult book to read. It is a heavy task to say the least, even though the entire book only runs 153 pages in length. The language is difficult to gauge because, frankly, it was written nearly 150 years ago in a language that is very difficult to translate properly so that the reader is affected the way the author intended. Thus, it is a task to sift through the novel, a morbid assortment of thoughts and ideas that have to be read and re-read several times for it to make sense.

One of the phrases that the protagonist repeats several times throughout the first part of the book is “The lofty and the beautiful”, derived from an essay written by Immanuel Kant. I don’t know what it means. I don’t know what the author meant. But it’s something that stuck with me while I was reading the novel. It sounds like a good title for a British mini-series, doesn’t it?

Regret

Regret is the worst feeling in the world. It’s like being trapped in a living nightmare. You can’t escape it. You can’t go back, you can’t change what is done, you are stuck, you are imprisoned with the consequences of your actions and as a result, you feel regret. I hate feeling regret. It means I made a significant mistake. I have a long way to go, but I have much to regret so far in my life. I’ve never been a drunk or a drug addict, I’ve never been arrested, I’ve never knocked a girl up, I’ve never killed anyone, I’ve never broken the law. In fact, you could say I am an obedient and model citizen of this country.

But, for example, I did not take full advantage of the luxuries of youth. I did not go to 4 years of high school. In fact I only went up to 10th grade, then transferred to this small private school my older brother and cousin attended, and due to my connections, they allowed me to essentially cruise through 11th grade and then graduate altogether at the end of the year. I was ecstatic at graduating a year early, but I now wish I had allowed myself the privilege of a normal four year high school education and experience. There is no going back though. There is only regret.

I was 17 when I entered college, and if you’ve ever been 17, then you know that the last thing a kid that age wants to do is take college seriously. I certainly didn’t. I slacked off, took my time, and never realized that these four years were supposed to be the most important four years of my young adult life. I left college after one year and traveled abroad. It was the greatest year of my life, because I did nothing but smoke weed, sleep till 1, watch movies for 10 months straight, and I ended up getting a whole year’s worth of college credit for it to boot. I could have done so much more with that year though. I could have learned so much more about this world. I could have brought back so many more experiences than I did. But there’s no going back. There’s no undoing or doing over. There is only regret.

When I returned home, I was 19 years old. I went back to college, and met a woman, her name was Erin. She looked to be a bit older than me, perhaps 21 or 22, I presumed. She was cute and liked me. One day she told me she was actually 31. I didn’t care. I liked her too. But I was scared. I was naive. I was inexperienced with someone who was over 10 years older than me. I did not know how to handle the situation. I would occasionally walk her to the train station after our class twice a week. We would talk and she would express her interest in me. I acted like a complete loser and never asked her out formally. The semester ended, and I never saw Erin again. Some time after that, I wrote and directed a film based on some of my experiences, and one of the story arcs was about a young college kid and an older classmate named Erin who fall for each other. I don’t think she ever knew I did that. She probably will never know. I wish I could go back but that is an impossibility. There is no going back now. There is only regret.

After that semester ended, I took an internship on a film set. The director was really famous and one of the people I looked up to. It was a hard decision to leave school again, but the opportunity was too golden to pass up. It was grueling. The whole experience was enlightening and valuable, but the most difficult job I’ve ever had to endure in my life. The star of the film, who would later score an Oscar nomination for his performance in the movie, was nothing but a washed up coke head who was lucky enough to get a second (or third, or fourth) chance at stardom. But he’s a talented guy and he deserved his accolades. Anyway, I did take full advantage of that experience, but somehow I feel like I could have done more after it was over. I was given an opportunity to continue working on high profile film sets, but I decided to go make my own film, which took up the next 2 years of my life. That was an interesting period in my life. I wish I could go back. But there is no going back. There is only regret.

By the time my third stint in college began, I was a few months shy of my 21st birthday. The first day I showed up in class, a blond girl caught my eye. Something about blond’s, I don’t know. She turned out to be a total dick-freak. I mean, she just loved the dick. Unfortunately for me, I was not one of the participants in this love affair of hers. She was threw herself at me for years after that, but I relented because she had a different belief system than me. I feel foolish now, because she was quite attractive and we shared a lot of the same interests, but mistakes of the youth are prevalent in this story. That blond is now married and living in some one room shack with her husband. If only I could go back and just fuck her once, just to get the idea out of my mind, once and for all. But there’s no going back and fucking, there is only regret.

Anyway, I could go on and on with exploits and missed connections during college years, I think everyone could write a book about those subjects, but I think this should suffice it for now. I think my thirst for regurgitation of my past is over for the moment. Thank you for listening.

Second Chances

It’s funny. When I was a kid, growing up, my parents were never around. They were always dedicated workaholics. I never saw them at dinner, I never saw them on weekends, I never saw them period. They would be away at work for 14 hours a day. When I woke up, they’d be gone. When I got home from school, they were missing. When I sat down to have dinner, they were still at work. Anyway, it pained me not to have my parents around for the better part of my first 18 years. Admittedly, my father now says that he never saw me and and never knew me. That’s the sad part of it all, they don’t know me, and I don’t know them.

I’m an adult now and both of them have tried to connect with me. Particularly my father. He always asks me how my life is going, what I’m doing, sometimes he’ll call me with the most insignificant information, like he’s going out to dinner with friends, he’ll be home at 11, and just wanted to let me know. Like I give a flying fuck what he’s doing with his Friday nights. It’s really kinda funny and cute how they both try to saddle up to me now that they are old and realize that they aren’t getting any younger, and time isn’t slowing down, and that they might only have another 15 or 20 years to live this life, so, might as well get to know their son before it’s too late. It used to hurt when they weren’t around for stuff. Now I don’t think I care anymore. I don’t think I’ve cared in years whether or not they’re around. I simply got used to their absence. And once you get really used to something, it’s incredibly difficult to go back.

Moments

Think about it. The event and the account of the event are never the same. And i’m not just talking about the details, because most of the time, when you are re-telling an event that occurred, the events are incorrect and exaggerated for effect, but I’m talking about the emotions during the event and the feel of the event is never quite the same as the account of the event or moment. Because either the moment was a lot more exciting than the telling of it, or less exciting and sometimes just plain lifeless and flat. It’s like being told a joke by a funny comedian and then trying to re-tell it to your friends, its never quite the same, is it?

Movies: part two

They should just remake every movie ever made. Not kidding. Lets remake wizard of oz. in 3D! directed by tim burton! Yes thats a billion dollar idea right there. Lets remake gone with the wind too. Lets just dig up every movie and do it over again. Like 2001. No that one’s too smart. We need something thats deep rooted in stupidity. That way its easier to remake. Um, how about star wars? Can we get a remake of that movie? Nah I guess not. There’s enough out there for george lucas to make his millions. toys, games, cartoons, how could he not be sick of it yet? I mean he’s been knee deep in star wars for the better part of the last 4 decades. Anyway, straying from the point. They should remake Bullitt with some hot young actor like Rob pattinson or shia lebouf.

The Worst thing about weed

Short term memory. I cant remember shit sometimes. No matter how hard I try to remember something, I forget it. It’s as if I was holding a flower in my hands during a tornado. No matter how hard I hold on to that flower, that damn tornado is just going to come and blow it away anyway.