Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

31 July 2006

François Ozon's Latest

I find François Ozon totally intriguing, of course. He has a stagey quality to his work which I find challenging, encouraging and exciting. His films (the ones I've seen, naturally) also have this air of mystery about them always, as though I am, perhaps, missing something.

Last night I watched his latest, a film called Time to Leave (Le Temps Qui Reste). The title's translation doesn't look accurate to me, but what do I know about French? At any rate, the film is beautiful. It's a poetic end-of-life piece about a young photographer who finds out he has only a few months to live. Once given the information, he proceeds to hurt everyone in his life, telling none of them that he is dying.

In a sane world, the lead actor, Melvil Popaud, would be the first real frontrunner for 2006's Best Actor Oscar. Popaud is outstanding: cruel, difficult, sensitive and fragile all rolled into a face that vaguely resembles Casey Affleck's if Casey Affleck were really, really hot (which, for the record, I don't think he is.) The film also features—drumroll, please—film legend Jeanne Moreau as our photographer's grandmother. It's a wonderful performance filled with regret and anger and blood.

Time to Leave, for me, has a lot of similarities to Patrice Chéreau's Son Frère, mostly because it, too, is an end of life film featuring a prominent gay character. The two films, both rather short (Time to Leave clocks in at around 80 minutes—typical for Ozon) would probably make for a nice double-feature evening, albeit a somber one.

This is an excellent film, full of interesting character work and poetic beauty. Ozon is to be commended, though I think this film is more of a departure from his usual work than anything else.

Recommended, but only if you're a gay man or don't get weirded out by gay sex. There is one rather graphic scene that I know most of my straight friends would rather never see... so don't say I recommended this film to you if you're a breeder.

30 July 2006

You'll Never Believe This, But...

This evening I started reading Macbeth for the first time ever. I'm directing it very soon and I thought I ought to, perhaps, give it a look-see.

And I saw Ozon's new movie. More on that soon.

29 July 2006

Two More Movie Reviews Because I Have No Furniture and I'm Almost Done Packing

Body Heat is pretty standard neo-noir fare and I liked it a lot. It's a Lawrence Kasdan film (go figure) from 1981. Body Heat was recommended to me recently by my friend Linda and then, randomly, my friend Jai started a class all about neo-noir and this film was one of her first assignments. The planets, it appeared to me, had aligned and I needed to watch this movie. In the madness of moving, I just got to the movie a couple of days ago. Body Heat is a really good erotic thriller set in Florida during an out-of-control heat wave. It is mostly based on the mid-1940's Billy Wilder film Double Indemnity and has a lot of its plot points and twists with two really important exceptions. First, the male body (in this case a gorgeous but milquetoast William Hurt) is as glorified as the female (a smoldering Kathleen Turner.) This would, of course, have been unheard-of in the 1940's, but it works well in this film, further feminizing and subverting the normal dominance of the masculine in films of this type. Second, the femme fatale wins out in the end, getting everything she ever wished for and besting all of the men in the movie. Great performances all around: Richard Crenna and Ted Danson do great supporting work. Kim Zimmer (!) shows up in a brief cameo and is stunningly beautiful. Body Heat also features a really cool performance by a young Mickey Rourke that I really appreciated. By the way, this movie is hot. I feel I should mention that. Everyone sweats all the time during the film, soaking their shirts and covering their bodies in moisture. At one point Kathleen Turner and William Hurt recline in a bathtub full of ice water, so hot is this film. John Barry's music creates the ambience perfectly. All in all an excellent homage (with a twist) to the film noir of yesterday.

Imagine Me & You, though terribly titled, is an utterly adorable romantic comedy. It's the story of perfect couple Heck & Rach (Matthew Goode of Match Point & Piper Perabo of Coyote Ugly) and their newly married life. This relationship of theirs is thrown for a loop when all of a sudden and out of nowhere, Rach falls in love with their florist for the wedding, whose name is Luce and who is a self-sufficient, a-little-bit-lonely lesbian woman. Luce is an awesome character, impossible not to love and I can't blame Piper Perabo for falling in love with her instantly. Trouble must ensue, though, obviously. Rach just got married, her husband adores her, etc. etc. But Imagine Me & You handles every bit of this struggle beautifully. Matthew Goode is absolutely adorable, the girls' relationship is totally cute, completely believable, and the film feels honest through and through. Its meditations on love are poignant, fascinating and beautiful. The importance of love in our lives is forefront in this film and the important question it seems to be asking is not one similar to the question in epic love stories like Brokeback Mountain (What are the consequences of denying true love?) but a different one, more concerned with what true love really is. This is a romantic comedy, not an epic tale of love, so I probably shouldn't have compared them, but Imagine Me & You's question is interesting as well. The film begs the character not to settle for a happiness that is only partial. It's a film about taking a leap into the unknown and toward crazy-love, the at-first-sight kind, where you don't know hardly anything about the person. Luce says early on that true love is always love at first sight: "I think you know immediately. As soon as your eyes... Then everything that happens from then on just proves that you have been right in that first moment. When you suddenly realize that you were incomplete and now you are whole." It's beautiful. There are probably ten more really sweet things just like this in the movie. I loved it. The gay romantic comedy is usually such a lame, trite affair, but this one is superb. Rent it. Even if you aren't a lesbian.


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, the sequel to the wildly popular (and much loved by me) Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl, is a serious piece of shit of a movie.

With a running time of two hours, thirty minutes, the best word for Dead Man's Chest is probably "bloated." There are more things wrong with this movie, but all (or most) of them could have been solved at a running time of one hour, forty-five minutes. Instead, the movie just goes on and on with no end in sight (and no end given, I might add.) The plot is nearly incoherent. Some of the jokes are funny. To look at Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow character is to laugh. It's a performance filled with big guffaws, ridiculous prancings-around and hilarious muggings to the camera. But I wouldn't particularly call it good acting. I thought his performance in The Curse of the Black Pearl was a work of brilliant acting, filled with all kinds of things; in addition to being a wonderful clown performance, I felt it possessed a depth uncommon in films of this kind. This has mostly changed in Dead Man's Chest. The signature Jack Sparrow walk, talk and look are there, but the depth is nowhere to be found.

The rest of the acting is mostly atrocious. Orlando Bloom (as dreamy-looking as ever) plays everything very earnestly. This is a very annoying habit of his. He ought to take himself (and certainly this Will Turner character of his) a little less seriously. (No one else is taking him seriously, so why he feels the need to play it straight is beyond me.) The same goes for Keira Knightley, who I sort-of like since Pride & Prejudice. In this picture, though, she spends a lot of time behaving as though she is very, very sexy and to me she is very, very not sexy. She needs to gain some weight. I don't mean to criticize her appearance, I just mean to point out that whatever she's playing at is not working for her. I really liked her in one sequence, though, so I should mention it: Orlando, Johnny and Jack Davenport (Commandant Norrington—who doesn't at all belong in this movie) are having a preposterous three-way sword fight and Keira starts to do a kind of slapstick screaming tantrum thing that feels fresh in this stale movie. Stellan Skarsgård is in the movie as William Turner the elder, Jonathan Pryce is back doing his idiotic British governor routine and Tom Hollander shows up, pugnacious and irritating as usual (can he play a nice character for once?). The only other actor worth mentioning is Naomie Harris, who I don't think I've ever seen before. She gives a confident, assured performance as a witch-doctor type person and she hits all the right notes.

By far the worst part about the movie is that it doesn't ever end. It ends with some sort of "to be continued..." bullshit that had me pissed as I walked out. I mean, really. I sat through 150 minutes of mindless nonsense just for you to beg me to come back for more? If this is supposed to be some sort of extended nonsensical trailer for the in-production Pirates of the Caribbean: Part Trés you can bet your ass I'm not going to pay to see it.

28 July 2006

The Loh Life

I just heard this edition of KPCC's The Loh Life from 7/13/06 today when I reviewed some old podcasts.

Hilarious. Go here.

26 July 2006


Lajos Koltai's movie Fateless is beautifully shot. It's not what I'd call a beautiful film, though. It's a Holocaust drama that follows the story of a fourteen-year-old as he goes from the streets of Budapest to Auschwitz to Buchenwald and the suffering that befalls him. It's gorgeous, as I said, which makes for really weird movie-watching. It's like watching a horror film shot by Christopher Doyle or something like that. You'd think that this disconnect would mean less identification with the main character: as though the beauty/horror of what you're watching would create distance between the young man at the film's center and the audience, but it doesn't at all have this effect. Instead, I found the film deeply moving (more so than Polanski's The Pianist) and also very relevant. Ennio Morricone's score seems familiar, but breaks from his traditional melodies early on in the movie and turns haunting, patient and beautiful.
Highly recommended.

24 July 2006

Two Movies

I am really really tired today (left over from yesterday?). Maybe it's that I didn't sleep much last night. Maybe it's the heat. Maybe it's slow panic setting in. I will be leaving for Florida in less than two weeks, all my earthly possessions are on a truck (how dramatic!) and tomorrow the company records Romeo & Juliet: Act II. I am actually taking care of some business every day, though, so that's good. I opened a Florida bank account. I am moving to Florida in less than two weeks. I must keep repeating it. It all seems so illogical and absurd. I am so tired and this heat is positively Hellish. I feel delirious.

So I saw Mr. M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water on Friday night and I've decided that I really like Mr. Shyamalan. The movie is—how to put it?—not exactly a good movie, but I liked it in spite of its numerous weaknesses. Like all of Shyamalan's movies, Lady is, mostly, a mystery. But this movie is really a fairy tale at heart, a sweet bedtime story run through with magic creatures and a good-and-evil morality. It believes in the future of mankind and looks forward with hope. Like I said, it has its drawback: there is a really snarky killoff of an odious film critic character late in the action that is stupid I laughed out loud, Bryce Dallas Howard's character is boring beyond belief and she mostly just shrinks in the back of a shower, but the biggest problem is the fairy tale itself, which is never shown so much as it is related by a Korean grandmother through an interpreter (her daughter and later Paul Giamatti's Mr. Heep character). Shyamalan could have shown us this tale instead of telling it to us and the picture would have been better off for it. The film is emotionally involving in spite of all of this. This is due to the artistry of Shyamalan, a wonderfully touching performance by Paul Giamatti and an absolutely gorgeous score by James Newton Howard (his score for The Village grabbed a surprise Oscar nomination a year or two ago and this one is even better).

Today I watched Franklin J. Schaffner's Nicholas and Alexandra, a kind of epic retelling of the fall of the Romanovs in the early part of the Twentieth century that is dull beyond belief. It's populated by very good performances: Irene Worth, Janet Suzman, Michael Jayston, et al. The cast also has small cameos of people you recognize but are so young you can't place them. Ian Holm appears very late in the film as a military commissar or something and has a very good part and I was stunned to see Brian Cox as Leon Trotsky. They said Olivier was in it, too, but I didn't recognize him if he was. Schaffner's direction makes the plot coherent but the characters distant. Rasputin is played by some crazy looking guy and he is neither powerful nor sexy nor engaging in anyway. I was consistently repulsed by him in every way and I found his seduction of Alexandra totally preposterous. The movie plods along, obsessing on Russian politics and showing the Tzar's failures as well as Kerensky's and Lenin's. These diversions seem unnecessary and unwanted. The film does get very interesting in the last twenty minutes but at three hours, nine minutes, Nicholas and Alexandra far more than oustays its welcome and I was so bored that by the end I really wished for their deaths.

23 July 2006

Moving: Day One

The movers have come and gone and now my apartment is empty, empty, empty: more empty than the day I moved in. Now the stress of the move has crystallized into something else. I spent all of last week getting ready for today: packing all of my earthly possessions into relaitvely flimsy cardboard and hoping for the best. Over the next three weeks, I will be without my stuff. It's going to be really, really weird, but I expect it to go okay. My belongings are all on their way to Las Vegas, where they will wait to be transported to my new home in Tallahassee. Hopefully they don't lose their shirt in Vegas. Oh yeah, and the moving took forever. The guys were here from 1:00p until around 5:00p and I almost went stir-crazy.

Funniest anecdote from today:
The foreman of the move was named Yaron and he was Armenian or Persian or something and the two guys helping him were both obviously native Spanish-speakers. So very early on in the move I'm sitting on the floor observing them all and Yaron tells one of the men that he wants him to go back down to the truck and bring up twenty more blankets. He's holding up two fingers and he keeps saying "twenty," but this guy has no clue what he's talking about and just keeps looking at him. Yaron is saying, "Not two; twenty" and keeps saying "twenty" as though if he repeats it it will become clearer to the man. Eventually I pipe up from the floor, "Veinte." The man repeats it, "Veinte" and I say "" and he went about his business.

Later on they lost my key and I had to speak even more Spanish to this guy. My language skills weren't put to the test too much, though, as all that appeared to be required was "No lo tengo."

I'm feeling sort of alone, now, without all of my things. It's weird, and there's nowhere comfortable to sit.

20 July 2006

Oh yeah.

And we had dinner here.

God of Hell

The God of Hell, if you didn't know, is Pluto, the namesake of Plutonium, which is—well, sort of—the subject of Sam Shepard's relatively new play The God of Hell playing now at the Geffen Playhouse (a theatre of which I am in full support and about which I am totally excited—if only I were going to be in town.)

By the way, don't confuse The God of Hell with this. I know you were doing that. Glad I could clarify.

God of Hell is supposed to be really funny... and I think it's supposed to be chillingly scary as well. It's not really either as much as it ought to be. It's sort of an absurdist play that isn't really all that absurd. It's about the American government invading and trampling on the civil liberties of American people. In the play the representative of the government tortures an American man for reasons that remain unknown to the audience and a Wisconsin housewife watches in horror as the government takes over her husband and orders him to leave his life and go do work (the nature of which is, again, unknown to the audience), totally ruining her life. The government agent is disguised as a salesman (ha ha.)

I think the biggest problem with the play is that the whole thing doesn't seem very far-fetched and, therefore, not very absurd. Watching it, and my companion agreed with me, the action of the play almost seemed plausible. Our country is in a sad, sad state when it comes to civil liberties and I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear that some Colorado intellectual was being held and tortured by the American government in the name of National Security.

Anyway, I wasn't too excited about the show. Though, I had a great time with my friend.

And we met a person named Karen who works for the Geffen at the after-party (free Peroni and appetizers in this really cool space they have there—I'm all about the Geffen).
Karen: What do you do?
My companion: I run a catering company. We cater cocktails.
Karen: Cool. I have to hit you up. What do you do?
Aaron: I'm soon to be a full-time student.
Karen: Oh! How long you in town for?
Aaron: Only about two more weeks.

And then I thought: Oh god! Only two more weeks.

He's Packing Heat

Packing all of my junk is taking forever. Mostly because I don't feel like doing it and have the constant distractions of Gmail and Igor Stravinsky blasting on iTunes. Plus, all of the books I'm supposed to be packing are so damned interesting that every once in a while I feel I need to stop and browse.

But this has to be done by tomorrow evening, so I need to get cracking.

Come to think of it, I need more boxes. I'm off to OfficeMax!

19 July 2006

The 2006-2007 Season

Florida State University's Department of Theatre season is as follows:

Urinetown: the Musical

Six Degrees of Separation

As You Like It

Still Life with Iris

Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

The Philadelphia Story

Though it seems improbable, the first four on this list all run in the first semester of school. The last of the bunch closes in November! Sounds fun, huh? I don't know what I'll be allowed to do on these shows or what they will want in the way of help, but I'm getting excited just thinking about them. And I don't know this Still Life with Iris play, but I guess I ought to buy (and read) it.

Look what I found!

I'm packing everything today (whatever is left to pack) and I'm going through the documents in my bedroom and I keep finding these totally random pieces of paper with dreams scrawled all over them. This particular one I found on an orange folder. It's written in pencil and has no date on it. I assume that the date of this dream is sometime in 2000. Anyway, I'm throwing the folder away, so I thought I'd transcribe the dream...
Today I had a very vivid dream. It was very heavily involved with the ring of Doom. I don't remember all of what it entailed but me and 2 others, a man and a woman escaped an evil force in this house-sort of location. The name Vitoria was linked to the evil spirit and the 3 of us all had rings of power. We stepped through human guts to escape. I remember that specifically, and I was an actor still, and not disenchanted. We escaped solely because of my will, even though the girl and guy had both given up and I had given up as well. The only way evil could win is if we stayed there and drove ourselves mad, but we escaped, and on our way out we cursed his evil presence, especially the girl, who called him "fucker" twice. The guy had a more powerful ring than I, but it was I, still, who had saved him, we had actually escaped first, but went back in to get my watch and wallet. We were looking for something in the house, and it was that that was driving us mad. It's really vivid. The house was a version of my aunt's house mixed with a school classroom, the front of the house was the corner of Foothill & Indian Hill. I think the girl might've been black. At the end, though I knew it was over and we'd escaped, the evil force came out to address us, even though it was over. He/she (I think now that it was both sexes) asked to hear who had defeated her. We said our names: the guy first, with his lineage or home or something, and attaching the ring to his title. Then I did the same thing, and then, the girl, who called him many insults. Then we left. We had won. I woke up. There was definitely a bloodbath inside, too, bt we were all staying. We were all looking for the answer, even though the answer was to leave.
Note the Lord of the Rings imagery. Also, all of my dreams used to involve the house I call "my aunt's house." They never do any more, but that house definitely represents my childhood home, which is what I always considered it. The Indian Hill/Foothill thing is important too. I spent most of my free time in college near there with my friends Jaime and Derek. Also note how I always forget my wallet and keys, even in my dreams. Geez.

Fucking Will

Shakespeare is now all I think about.
I am fucking dreaming about Shakespeare.

Last night I stayed up late to make a shooting script for next Tuesday and I can't get this shit out of my head.

I'm thinking about Dogberry
and Macbeth
and King Cophetua
and his beggar maid
and Prince Angelo.
The plays are all the same.
They roll around in my head like M&M's
and run together like paint.

17 July 2006

All You Need Is Love

Las Vegas is not to me what it once was. I have complained in these pages before about my trips to Vegas with my high school friends and this trip to Las Vegas with them was exactly the same as all of our other trips in every respect except one. On one of the evenings, we did something different. There is a place where my friends' interests and my interests converged in Vegas and LOVE was it. My friends love the Beatles and while I'm not particularly interested in them, I have been trying to get them to go see a piece of theatre with me for what seems like ever.

It was a match made in Heaven. The show is amazing, of course. A little bit too dance-centric with fewer acrobatics than I'd have liked, but visually breathtaking with one great song after another and one great act after another. It was truly a feast for the eyes. My friends were absolutely stunned, which was great.

Anyway, Vegas was it's usual ridiculous, fun-filled, debauched self. I went to Fat Tuesday far too many times, and as is my usual way (having far too fucking many straight friends) didn't get to go to Krave. I did see the very well-done and beautiful Ansel Adams exhibit at the Bellagio (thanks to Jaime and John) and I loved that and the three of us debated the art and North Korean foreign policy for our long drives, making them much shorter than any Vegas trips I've ever taken.

It was my mom's birthday today and I called her to wish her a happy one. I thought, out of politeness, I would ask her if she wanted to do anything special with me before I left for Florida. So I asked her. It wasn't really a good idea. We are, neither of us, very sentimental people, and the family instinct is not strong with us. I'm used to this, of course, and it is I who so often exclaim phrases like "fuck family" and say that my family has no clan instincts whatsoever, but when she said over the phone that she didn't really have anything special planned I got a little--well, I don't even know, really. Then she asked if I was upset by that. I said "no," of course, but I don't know. I think I will really miss my mother. Really miss spending time with her. She said, "I guess we can have lunch, but you're going to be gone for five years; what's a lunch?" She's funny. I'll be back soon, of course, so I needn't get all emotional about it, but the move is getting closer and I'm starting to feel like I want to grab my friends and not let go.

Tomorrow is my first real day of unemployment and I will spend it preparing for the big move. There is much to do and not much time left.

13 July 2006

He Posts!

Such excitement! Such wonder! A post! Sorry, folks. I have been horribly, horribly busy and it isn't going to let up until Monday when I get back from Las Vegas (the aptly monikered City of Sin.)

Work is crazy right now and I'm totally swamped, but the work I'm doing is sooooo booooooring.

R&J is going swimmingly, and hopefully next year we'll be doing full-length productions of Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo & Juliet and (cue sinister music) The Scottish Play.

I'm working on getting a moving company. Yadda, yadda. You guys don't want to hear any of this...

Email me and tell me a story, or leave me a comment. Or make some guesses on the haikus. (Kim, you still haven't figured yours out!)

Much love,

10 July 2006

History Boys

It should surprise no one that though The History Boys is indeed about boys, it is only fleetingly about history. Alan Bennett's play (which won the Tony this year), is, more than anything else, an exercise in Stoppardisms and artistic references: many of them (disappointingly? predictably?) Shakespearean. Bennett clearly idolizes both Stoppard and Shakespeare, appears to show a slight contempt for Housman (whom Stoppard loves: odd), thinks a good deal of Auden, and enjoys Henry VIII—if not his political decisions, at least his sexual exploits.
But the play falters. Its heady atmosphere and quick-witted pace cannot sustain itself for two acts and Bennett mostly drops the style of writing he has adopted in Act One for a more serious, plot driven Act Two. I found the contrast more than slightly jarring and I liked the play less for it.
I guess the play's worth reading. Be warned though, The History Boys floated over my head on occasion in Act One and once or twice in Act Two (after Bennett has mostly stopped showing off) so the play isn't for everyone.

08 July 2006

Haiku IV

These are for (in no particular order) Elizabeth (you get another), Sally, Kim, Debbye, Aaron, Darren, my mother (Kim two/too) and a heretofore unnnamed personage (I'm not quite sure he's flesh and blood, but he's haunted me since the summer of 2002.)

The sky screams blue, gold
You swoop low, alight and perch
Smiling wickedly


Your center is warm
Like paved deserts in August
And I'm reassured


A plague of locusts
You eat away my insides
I don't stop grinning


Your voice draws me back
To childhoods I never had
Seasons in snuff-fields


Stages have endings
And chrysalides emerge new
Flowered is the meadow


Tides, impossibly
Are steady, exact wonders
Out in back and forth


In the rain you danced
Jet black hair soaked by downpours
My heart held its breath


Might as well ask of
Summer Why are you so hot
Reasons are tiny

03 July 2006

Haiku Trés

A couple things about these haiku before I embark on more. I've been thinking about them over the last couple of days and it occurs to me that what I'm writing about is something very specific (aside from the rules I'm setting for myself and the parameters of the form itself). I realize that it's actually very different for me to think about my friends as separate from me. They aren't separate from me, really. By which I mean that what I own, what I feel I possess about my friends is my relationship with them, what we have in common or what we possess together that is symbiotic. For me to separate something out enough to write a poem that isn't about my own experience is very difficult. I have to cull some aspect of our relationship out and describe that thing that is apart from me. This often means that what I choose to write about is not what I love most or appreciate best about my friend, but instead something I don't understand or have trouble coping with. So, some more:

Jewels of red and green
Shower those in your aspect's grace
Unrequested peals


You know this song and
It knows you: better than I
Oceans move below


You see the future
As I, wishes inchoate
Spring thaws what's frozen


You climb and attach
Your hunger like ivy twists
Snaking still higher


A tiger darkly
Pulls his coat of orange on
Eyes smoking purple


Your spirit is far
Leagues from here among comets
Trailing dusty bright


Morning breaks and you
Move closer in the pale light
My arm protects you


Falcons sensing more
than prey turn toward you too late
Other fruit's more sweet

02 July 2006

Two Things for the Morning

Last night I went to the 8:00p Elimination Game at Ultimate Improv. And let me tell you, it is such good theatre. Last night there were nine improvisors trying to be funny for about an hour and then at the end of the night one of them got kicked off the game. The audience, in fact, voted off the loser. Next Friday there will be only eight. The pleasure and the pain of this are almost excruciating. Ultimate has done this really well. In addition to the nine (now eight) contestants, they had set up four judges. Last night they were Ultimate founder JD Walsh along with Ultimate team members Rachel Landers, Heather Campbell and David Magidoff. The evening was hosted by Ultimate regular Darren Lanning. The addition of the judges into the mix makes everything so much better! The audience, naturally, will appoint itself judge over these poor improvisors, but the judges give us fuel and fodder for discussion of the people we dislike (or like as the case may be). I had a total blast and I can't wait until next week! Who wants to come with me? This shit is hilarious, I swear. Serious kudos to JD Walsh and to fellow-blogger whose sadistic but oh-so-pleasurable brainchild this was.

And Justin, Elizabeth, Wahima, and I saw The Devil Wears Prada last night after the show, too. Whatever. The movie's characters are a bit of a mess, by which I mean that their motivations don't always make much sense. says that this is stuff that is lost in the translation from novel to film. This may be and I believe her, but my main objection to the film is its morality. And here my discussion might get a little muddy, so be prepared. The main storyline of the film (I haven't read the novel, so I cannot comment) seems to be one that is saying that the choices that Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) makes are wrong: that the things she drops on the way to the top in the name of her career are things to which she should have held to fast. This is the thing, though: we have to decide about what is important to us in life. If what is important at age twenty-five is make a life in a career then there are certain things that must suffer in relationship with that career. If what is important in life is making a family and loving a partner and building a home, then one's career is going to have to suffer. These are the choices we make. Obviously, these are not easy decisions, but the heroine of the film continually feels tugged at by this home that she's building and can't seem to shrug it off, even though it obviously isn't important to her. I can think of at least three scenes in the film that totally exonerate the eponymous "Devil" of the film, justifying everything she does and excusing all her behavior. There might even be more scenes serving this function. I completely identified with the Miranda Priestley (Meryl Streep) character and although I understand that she was been difficult to work for, demanding, hard-edged, totally bitchy and all of that stuff, these are the dues we pay. If you don't want to do the work, as they keep saying throughout the film, a million girls would kill to have the job.
Anyway, the film has a lot of problems and, though the greatest of these problems is its vacillating allegiances, its ancillary characters are not well-drawn, it stops being funny after about 45 minutes and decides it wants to be a romantic morality tale and its central villain is not nearly villainous enough (even if she's the hero).
Meryl Streep is fabulous and the performance is quite funny. Stanley Tucci is adorable and steals the screen every second he's in it, without ever being ridiculous (quite a feat). Anne Hathaway's appeal is still sort of lost on me. I just don't get why anyone likes her. To my mind she's just so boring. I thought Emily Blunt was excellent (I loved her last year in My Summer of Love, too). The role is easy, but she squeezes laughs out of difficult spots.

And the clothes. The clothes were glorious. You actually might want to see The Devil Wears Prada just for the clothes.

01 July 2006

Haiku Part Two

Here are some more: each for a different friend. I love you all and I will miss you when I am away in the land of humidity and large bugs. As before, if you guess correctly, I will tell you which friend owns which poem.

Discontent rises
Flood-waters beneath each move
Threaten the city


Underwater I
Pull you closer and hold you
My brother, my heart


The parallels of
Our lives make arcs in the rain
Amber and cyan


Promises of joy
You smell blood and sense your way
Toward a better life


You still scare me so
Unknown power lies dormant
You and I smile both


I feel like I caused
Cold bitter winters you feel
I made you the same


Eyes met across rooms
And you drank from my harvest
Memory empties


Everyday empires
Allow your magic to rise
Tell me of the beach