Film Logue

Greenberg - (2010) Directed by Noah Baumbach

Starring Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Noah Baumbach writes and directs this story about a middle-aging man who wants to do "nothing" for a while. Roger Greenberg played by Stiller is the kind of character, that when you watch as a viewer you cringe and wish you could reach out and hold his mouth, so as to avoid the disaster of awkward embarrassment when he speaks. However, a character like that might not feel embarrassed, you'd feel it for him. Which is all the more reason why you'd want to look out for him.

The Harder They Fall - (1956) Directed by Mark Robson

Starring Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling, Mike Lane

Such a marvel to watch, especially quick talking charismatic Rod Steiger as notorious boxing promoter, Nick Benko. I was surprised to find under Rod Steiger's achievements, an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in On the Waterfront. Sure, he wasn't unqualified for the award but Nick Benko was robbed of the recognition that character truly deserved.


Film Logue

Kramer vs. Kramer - (1979) Directed by Robert Benton

Starring Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander

and Justin Henry

I want to see more Meryl Streep. Ever since I saw Doubt last year, I've been intrigued by her amazing talent as an actor. Sophie's Choice only confirmed my fascination.

Kramer vs. Kramer is a really touching movie. I never thought I would sit and watch a film about a single dad, dealing with a wife who walked out on him and his son. Just recently, on TCM I heard a brief segment where Robert Benton mentioned that someone suggested to him that he cannot make Mrs. Kramer a villain. Benton took the advise and from then on knew how to approach the story. I kept this in mind as I watched the film. Its true, and because Joanna Kramer wasn't a villain, because she was a human being; a person with choices and actions, none of which can be summed up and packaged into one neat explanation or judgement. Because I could see substance in such a character's circumstantial layering, I sat and watched this 1979 drama. I can remember this film being shown on channel 11 as far back as I can remember; when I was old enough to be Billy Kramer's age but dismissed it repeatedly then, as it wasn't an action movie.

Long Day's Journey into Night - (1962) Directed by Sidney Lumet

Starring Katharine Hepburn, Ralph Richardson, Jason Robards,

Dean Stockwell

One thing I'll say about this excellent story is that James Tyrone played brilliantly by Ralph Richardson made me laugh. It wasn't a disrespectful, unintentionally funny response to his character. No. I believe that character is suppose to be funny. A man who takes himself far too seriously, Edmund and Jamie are always laughing at him and even in the first scene Mary states that her husband is always at the end of some joke or another.

This provided for me a genuine lock for the story. It was key to feeling the story become all the more real. It reminds me of fights and/or lectures from my parents; laughter is always a present element to these otherwise serious speeches. More so, laughter is always inspired when a person is trying to explain their true self (the person they imagine they are) against the image of who they are seen as. This story was very much about everyone trying to explain who they are. All except Edmund, who seems to be either too young to know or care, both on romantic, poetic terms.


Indirect Deposit

I'm going to let you folks in on a well guarded secret no one cares about.

It's not easy being me.

I repeat, its not easy being me. In fact, even I at times have difficulty managing such a show. Take for instance today, my first payday at the new job. Here, I must admit that the actual payday was Wednesday but no one bothered to tell me. This entire post would be about what I've blown my first paycheck on if that sweet slice of information were disclosed to me earlier enough to be convenient. Anyhow, I thought today was payday and when I got to work and asked my co-worker, East Euro T (real name withheld) about who I was to see concerning my check, he mumbled through whatever he was eating at the time. After a clearing and an extra moment for me to climb over his accent I realized he said, "We got paid Wednesday." He showed me who to ask and repeated how bi-weekly paydays function. I politely nodded and after receiving my check became excited about cashing it.

Its been so long, the last 2 1/2 months were financially awful. I was eager to get to a check cash place and buy a metrocard, some lunch, and walk around some more with that paranoid feeling that someone's going to rob me. I hadn't felt that last one in years, I haven't cashed a check since 2005. The plan was to avoid the bank and the account currently blooming in overdraft. At lunch time, however, I figure let me walk into the bank and see what the damage has been, I make it a point to ignore my account when its in poor shape.

"We all are, act accordingly..."

At the bank I discover my account is -$192. Not bad, I thought to myself, so then I got to further thinking. The wheels in my head were turning despite LeFou's warning of such a dangerous pass time. It shouldn't be too bad if I deposit the check here after all. I'd be saving a walk and a lot of bulky paranoia. I walk in.

I walk out, account with its belly full you would think.

But not quite. No, not at all so very quite. If I'm to follow through with the dining analogy, it was as if the food was prepared and served but the account was not to have a single bite until tomorrow...Tomorrow? But I just deposited the check...Look! Its right there, the remainder is right there, under the overdraft that appears to be the only thing available. Do I really have to wait a day? I spent the last 10 minutes before leaving my apartment this morning, combing my shelves for $2.25 in quarters; to pay for the single ride to get to work.

Maybe it just takes some hours to go through...Lets ask Google...Not good. Why? Are you serious? I have to wait a day? Fuck that I won't except it, I'll just go back after work and ask somebody, what the fuck does a search engine know anyway? A search engine doesn't even have a posable thumb...Its not even a real engine, how the hell did I expect it could motor the comprehension necessary to understand this ordeal?!

There was this one time...I was younger...I thought it'd be cool to pretend I'm drunk. I'd walk around carrying a drowsy disposition, slurring words and walks, laughing through lips and half shut eyelids. I put on the act for a few minutes when Snap! I caught a fish! My "friend" Spaceman bought into it, at least he was willing to entertain the notion. I was working for my Oscar nomination that night. Immersed into character, I let Spaceman take me to the neighboring block. Bad idea...but whoa was I ever a good drunk...subtle, not a caricature...more like a drunk person trying to act sober. I didn't even take the time to notice the first rock hurled at me, or the second for that matter. It was probably the third or forth that kissed my eye. Sharp pain, a flash of red and the sense of sober fear gripped me like a girlfriend. I thought my eye was hanging out the socket, I kept asking what happened and specifically asking if my eye was still in the socket...I felt stupid, once the pain was set in place, once the assessment of damage had been made, I only felt stupid; drunk with stupidity.

Moments like those...all you do afterwards is imagine that one decision that could've voided the rest of the accident from happening. An abortion that never came. I don't like dwelling on these phantom parallels, instead I just sit and swear to myself never to let it happen again. To always trust the first instinct that says "I don't want to do this." The problem with that instinct is that his voice is so weak and boring. No one wants to listen to that guy, especially while Cunning Logic is scatting and doing voice impressions of all your heroes and they're all convincing you that Instinct is just scared and not taking into consideration the spoils of success. It shouldn't surprise you that I listen to Cunning Logic too often, always attempting to take advantage of spontaneous situations. Sometimes I win, fewer times I lose. Today, just as back when my eye literally got rocked, I lost.

I had to play that move where you stand by the turn style in the subway and ask someone with an unlimited metrocard to swipe you through. I was lucky to find that Samaritan after asking just twice. She was sweet about it, a true saint and on my way home I regretted not asking her name since I was already planning to write this post. Thank you Samaritan.


Confessions of a Crap Artist: Can't Get Over Overdraft

About Not Having Money and Overdraft

Modern Marvels should one day include the bank concept known as Overdraft. Concept is an underplay, Phenomenon would be more accurate. The Phenomenon Known as Overdraft. Nice ring to it...could be, a one day title to a literary work of genius. A coming of age tale about some hero and his dire straits.

Jokes aside, I find it nothing but interesting that without a single cent in my bank account I will have paid my phone, web hosting, and metrocard. Of course there's the overdraft charge as nothing in life is free. When the bank covers you (or at least, when my bank covers me) there is a $32.00 or so charge that is taken from your account. Now being that there is no money in the account (that is why, after all, the account went into overdraft) this brings your account into the negatives. So when you start to fill your imaginary piggy bank, its to get your account to zero before you can actually have any real number in there.

Does it Bother Me?

Not really. I mean...in principle it sort of does but the bother doesn't really amount to much. Now that I'm working it'll sort itself out, I'm not going to waste my time and energy being angry about a few dollars here and there. Some people get really worked up over such matters. My mother for instance, was furious that I was being charged overdraft. She in a very sweet and scary, overprotective mother fashion took to shaking her fist, cursing, and snickering at the bank who handles my account. As if they could hear her from her kitchen. My mother gets excited about being angry, her temper is short, her gall is tall, and her subtlety is as bad as her english.

I don't get too angry because if you really think about it. I shouldn't have been able to pay with money that isn't really there. But I did and I was charged for it. Is it a scam? Of course, Life is one big scam and we're all scam artist...its all about who finds the best medium to work on.


Just Because I'm Losing Doesn't Mean I'm Lost

The Truth is that which is there, it is the extension of reality. About reality, Philip K. Dick wrote it is, that which does not cease to exist when you stop believing in it. After watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for the second time, I find myself sitting here in bed, thinking about a certain truth. Mortal Truth. I think about age, I think about time, circumstance, direction, ambition; I think about motivation, determination, strive and fear. At my hands, do my eyes fall, searching for younger layers of youth, curious of future layers of age. I sit here on this bed and more or less think about Death and all his Friends.

I see this place in terms of Universe. I don't live in an apartment, street, city, state, country, etc...I live in a universe. It has to be that sparse, that complex, otherwise I'm not impressed. Life is too large, too interwoven with multi-facets to be limited in the frame of planet or solar system. Life would burst the seams, compromise the foundation, if such the idea would be to attempt its maintenance within so small a border. Life needs an entire Universe in order to operate.

I hold sacred that every moment is in fact a new universe, an infinity of combinations and codes, endlessly spiraling, with no two moments ever universally repeating. Thats my definition of Life. In this manner it can be said that no one is ever really one person or ever even in the same place twice, we are all cosmonauts, ever changing like scramble suits, indefinitely traveling throughout a universe in a ship called Life that so happens to also be an ocean.

But Life ends. The Universe might have no end, Life does. The Ocean dries up, concentrates into a powerful drop that eventually also departs, evaporates, fuses with the rest of time and space. Its the best you can do to make every moment the Prime of all its possibilities, of all its potentialities. You'll never know if you're right or wrong, there will be no judge, no guideline, no examples from which your recourse will be contrasted to and decided whether you played the right card, took the right door, were at the right places at the right time and so forth. Sure, on Earth others can judge these things, on Earth we have formed opinions about what feels good and what doesn't, what a good life is and what a good life isn't. However, if you're not careful you might fall into the idea that another person's opinion, because it seems more generally observed than others, is a fact. But here I say to you my opinion: your universe and their universe will never be one. There is no right choice or wrong one, there is only the choice...and having made it, you have changed the universe and if it feels right to you then you've made your right choice.


29 Days of Perky Pat

Today is the day Philip K. Dick died, 28 years ago. Its easy to keep count of the years because I'll be 28 this year, Philip K. Dick died 29 days before I was born. I wonder how much can happen in 29 days? I'm sure the answer is plenty. In any case those 29 days were the only 29 days in 1982 where neither Philip K. Dick nor I, were presently alive on earth. Sure, I was alive but in my mother's womb. She, my mother was presently alive on earth, I was presently alive inside her.

Those 29 days are somewhat of a trade-off between the world Philip K. Dick experienced and the world I'll experience once born. Funny thing is, he'll filter his way into my world, subtly unveiling his mind to me piece by piece; and I through my own experiences was shaping my own mind to, when the time came, understand his mind as if his thoughts were in fact my thoughts.

I wish I owned the Cold Souls DVD, maybe I'll watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Burn After Reading, its weird how most of the Philip K. Dick adapted works to film are so far off the mark, while anything written by Charlie Kaufman reads like a lost volume from the PKD bibliography. By the way, Charlie Kaufman wrote a Scanner Darkly script some years ago. I should finish the night with Bladerunner but so much in so little time...I might just have to settle for rewatching Roy Batty's death scene. I wonder what the Coen Brothers would do by way of loosely adapted film to a Philip K. Dick novel or short story, or a group of short stories made into a novel?