Saturday, February 28, 2009
The sun has come out! Huzzah! The house desperately needs cleaning as it seems my mother-in-law will be coming to visit in April. Mostly this week I've been cleaning my office while classes aren't in session. The problem is the early stages of cleaning look a great deal like "making things much messier."
Cleaning the office is stressful because I keep coming across things I probably need to do, memos in Japanese about things that probably were important but the deadline was in, uh, 2006 so probably it's a bit late. I tell myself they would have contacted me if it was urgent and drop it in the trash, but I feel horrible and incompetent.
But at least the office is cleaner!
Friday, February 20, 2009
"Time After Time"
I'm in the middle of re-watching "Time After Time," the 1979 movie in which H.G. Wells follows Jack the Ripper to the future and tries to stop him. It made a huge impression on me as a kid, in part because it was certainly the most violent movie I had ever seen at age 10. But I remember the romance between Wells and his 1979 girlfriend was the first on-screen romance that really sparked for me. Later I learned that McDowell and Steenburgen met, fell in love, and got married working on the film. How's that for method acting? ;)
Friday, February 13, 2009
My friend Mina recently shared a link with me to a photo exhibition: Crying Men, in which movie stars were asked to produce tears for the camera. I spent maybe two hours scanning the pictures, totally absorbed by them, by the images of men weeping for the camera. Which ones are "sincere"? And what does "sincere" mean here, anyway? Clearly all are crying on cue, and yet some seem to be "acting" more than others (and I'm not at all sure my intuitions on who is doing what are valid at all!) Some made my heart break just looking at them...I want to take Jude Law (above) and Robin Williams home and give them some cocoa and tell them things will be all right, they will. Somehow!
There are the men who look directly, almost defiantly at the camera, like Daniel Craig and Laurence Fishburne: Yeah, I got nothing to be ashamed of, this is me crying. There are the ones who seem so racked by emotion that they've forgotten the existence of the camera: Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Michael Madsen. There are the ones who seem lost in an abysmal, almost existential pain: Jude Law (my God, his posture), Sean Penn, Tim Roth. There are the ones who seem unable to quite manage it: Ben Stiller, Woody Harrelson, and Benicio del Toro all seem mildly bummed about something.
Then there's Robert Downey Jr., who's doing something pretty amazing with the whole form and assumptions behind it, but I'm not sure exactly what.
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