Monday, June 12, 2006

Cor blimey!

Well, my computer's gone toes-up. Barring miraculous resurrection via bribed coworker geekitude (may happen), my home computer's really dead, unless--until such time as, well, miraculous resurrection occurs, or I get so sick of it all I willy-nilly cough up $ for the new car smell of a shiny PC that I don't really want (Mac girl here) but will work in the LCD way for longer than reconfigured computers do (my last three--for which I am very grateful, but I'm not sure I have the chops or green thumb or whatever to keep them running). Or whatever. Well, we'll see. Oh sigh.

I finished watching Match Point -- not bad. Borrowed a little too much from his own movies (Crimes and Misdemeanors), other people's movies (A Place in the Sun), and Hitchcock (Dial M for Murder)--a different category somehow, but I still liked it. It was a bit like an accomplished painter going back and carefully executing a classic painting exercise--it was a beautifully put-together film, with really careful joints and intersections and moving parts. Like...Norm Abrams making a simple chest of drawers, step by step. Making sure you can still do it. Beautifully shot, beautifully edited, with all that careful, non-topical dialogue (other than little bits, and even the opera was never really discussed in proper nouns). It was also kind of a test movie, in that it was possible to feel more annoyed by the relentless middle-class pursuits of his in-laws and his wife, than of his (the main dude's) venal qualities. I appreciated the horrifying way the death scene was shot--effective. And the silly but also effective lil plot twist at end.

It occured to me that one should be able to predict exactly what's about to happen in Woody's life by the events of the films he makes--i.e., you could obviously tell things were going south w/ MF after Husbands and Wives and the swervy ending--but I bet it could get more complicated than that, the predictions. Or perhaps his recent films in which he's not acting throw the algorithm off. ?

I also watched one of my all-time favorite Pink Lettering movies, a recent acquisition, The Best of Everything, and please note: this film ALSO features a wedding ring in its key art design (like Match Point), just to a very different end. This time around I was struck, despite the very different sexual mores and sheer lack of conviction about Women in Business, by the very PLUS CA FREAKIN CHANGE quality of the whole thing, both in terms of film and in terms of office life. Like (for film)...the model-turned-not-very-good-actress (Suzy Parker); or the trope of the woman who's had problems saved at end by man in uniform--this time a doctor, but remember the cop-savior of movies in recent years? (Grand Canyon, Object of My Affection, off the top of my head); etc. And in the office: the boor, the bitch, the claustrophobic female feel, the enforced corporate fun (picnic). Oh the glamour of single girl city life...

I have missed almost ALL of the Zarqawi a pixel. All I know is (the point being I bet this has been pointed out) the sight of his dead head made me think that that image on CNN is no different than a head on a pike outside the castle walls. Plus ca change indeed.

I've been thinking a lot about minimalism recently--its appeals and its horrors (architecturally). I think in the end you more accurately have to describe it as a housekeeping method rather than an architectural style. I dislike design that puts everything away--I like storage that is out, to a degree, doesn't hide. All that hiding feels coy. And if a be-ruffled fake toilet brush cosy in a tuxedo is coy...then how much more coy is an entire John Pawson house?

Unintentionally ghoulish: the teasers on shows like Animal Cops, which end up in their Perils of Pauline way presenting in voiceovers lines like "When we come back, see how the dog whose owner left it with two crippled legs to die reacts." Um...well, it comes back from the grave and wreaks holy justice on him? Everything is so ghoulishly "you'll find out when we come back" and it ends up increasing the nastiness of it all.

To wit: I really was excited about Meerkat Manor. I really wanted to watch that show. But just like Babe, Babe, Pig in the City, and Charlotte's Web, I do not think I am old enough to watch it. The anthropomorphization just encourages my inability to handle sights like valiant little Shakespeare the meerkat limping home to die from a snake bite, or the little meerkat baby abandoned by his caretakers. Next week we find out if Flower will kill her grandchildren to better increase the chances of her own surviving...forget it! Don't get me wrong--I know this is real life, and I don't think sanitized nature shows are any fun or are even quite moral, but gah! Wah! Little meerkat babies!

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