Monday, September 7, 2009

Ah, the life.

I think I'm socially inept.

I have three extra weeks of summer, and all I want to do is go back to school. I've stopped bringing this up around the house because I get some very odd looks when I vocalize the feeling. Today, on a Monday afternoon, I sat in my kitchen and read the first chapters of all my textbooks for the fall quarter. I now know what labor, load, and capital mean in the economic world, I know how to sign the alphabet and the numbers 1-10, and I know that my pop culture class is going to be badass because the book is all about how video games, movies and the internet are good for our brains. That's right, I'm taking a class that is going to justify sitting on the internet blogging and /filming all day.

C'est la vie.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Long time no blog

So I guess you could say that I took the summer off from blogging. I don't really know why, because this summer I did a lot of very interesting things that would have made for primo blogging entertainment. Like... I took a very long road trip with my mom through the southwest US. Idaho, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. I toured a few colleges and saw my grandparents and some really fucking amazing rocks.

I developed some new TV show obsessions... Heroes, True Blood, Dexter...

I changed my entire view of my future, including my college of choice and intended major... Western Washington University and PoliSci/Philosophy/Economics... Yes that's all combined into one major.

I saw a crapton of really cool movies. I mean really cool. Star Trek is win, Inglourious Basterds was crazy awesome. 500 Days of Summer made me itch a little, in a bad way. Harry Potter, as always, left me in my own little corner of heaven.

I also developed some new podcast love. Primarily Diggnation, the /Filmcast, and the Totally Rad Show. Diggnation is awesome and Kevin Rose is... attractive. We'll leave it at that.

So really, all that's going on right now is college application prep. I've made a goal to get all my applications (WWU, Evergreen, and the University of BC) in by October 1st. There is quite a bit of essay writing write now, including scholarships.

I'm going full time to Clark this year, so while the rest of my senior class is in school I've been at home with my wonderful extended summer. Although I'm starting to get a little bored.. I'm excited for school to start.

So I guess I'm restarting this blog approximately a year after I started it. It's my senior year so big changes are afoot.

I can't promise that I'll get back into this blogging thing, but I'm going to try. I'll leave you with this cuteface picture of Alex Albrecht and Kevin Rose.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Time and Space: The Illusion of Editing and Filming Techniques

Time and Space: The Illusion of Editing and Filming Technique

There is a magic about the film Donnie Darko that cannot be fully comprehended upon the first viewing, not the second, nor even fully on the third. In fact, I think it would take all the time in the world to dissect every subtle plot key and timing device used in this viciously intellectual movie. I also believe that that was exactly what the director and writer, Richard Kelly, had in mind when crafting the time drama. The film portrays time in a way that is uncommon in conventional cinema, it chooses to see time as not a certainty, but as something malleable and inconstant. Donnie Darko is trapped in the middle of a true time warp, one that exists only inside of his own head. How then, could the director possibly convey this unsettling truth through the medium of film? The answer is editing, genius, radical, and complex editing. Throughout the film you believe that you know exactly what is real and what is not, what is hallucination and what is fact. What this movie strives to do is disrupt our rational thinking process, awaken us to the possibility that everything we know to be truth may be a fallacy. What are the laws of physics if a not device invented by humans meant to ease our conscious mind about phenomena that are ultimately inexplicable? The complicated editing of Donnie Darko excellently illustrates the complex nature of time and space referenced within the film.

Donnie Darko is a peculiar movie in a few ways; one of the most notably different characteristics is the pacing of the film. Shot in just twenty-eight days (the same length of time spanned throughout the film itself), the film meanders and sprints through the 4 weeks simultaneously. On minute we are seeing a Donnie with hunched shoulders and a sinister smile on his face, seemingly cool, calculated, and knowledgeable all in one expression. We are then bombarded with a fast paced montage of what exactly Donnie is seeing at the moment, or what Frank (Donnie’s hallucination that transcends time, space and all explainable existence) is showing him. This type of editing is meant to juxtapose time and matter. We are seeing a short shot of Donnie thinking, and are then given access to the lengthy but fast ideas bouncing around in his mind. The montage is longer than the shot we were previously seeing of Donnie, therefore illustrating the concept that time is not a constant thing, nor is it confined to our human perception of it. By pacing the movie in such a random and nonsensical way, the director manages to skew our visual perception. Although the film does move forward in time as expected, we are still unsure of the message and the purpose of Frank’s existence, which seems to be the entire point of the movie, therefore forcing us to think, forcing us to try and rationalize what is happening within Donnie’s brain. This is made even more confusing by the fact that the movie is from Donnie’s point of view, and by not knowing the purpose or the meaning behind the main character, we are thrown into a completely new spectrum of viewing. This is Kelly’s point; his editing and story force us to comprehend the meaning in a new way.

Of course editing alone cannot convey the complex attitudes of the film. The type of motion, the choice of music, and the acting all assist the overall effects of the editing. For example, the first scene we are privy too at the school is not just a remarkable piece of cinematography because of the continuous long shots, but also because of the subtle and not so subtle slow motion accompanied by introductions to the most influential characters of the story. All this is happening while a nostalgic song plays in the background, transporting the viewer to another time, just like the rest of the film. The camera work itself is also different than the norm, unexpected and fresh. The beginning of the scene begins with the shot upside down and in slow motion it rights itself, just in time to see Donnie’s feet touch the ground after jumping out of a school bus. The camera then flits back and forth throughout the school, smoothly introducing all of the key characters. The next scene that integrates the mediums of sound, editing and camera work appears much later in the film during a school talent show. The shots switch back and forth from Donnie’s sister and her dance team to Donnie burning down the antagonist’s million-dollar home. The scene is set to a rousing eighties Duran Duran song, which juxtaposes the criminal act that Donnie is committing with the happiness of the rest of his family. Slow motion is again utilized to slow the perception of time during this scene. We are supposed to believe that these two acts are happening simultaneously.

Being such an unusual film, Donnie Darko had some barriers it needed to cross. Time and space are inconstant in the universe of the film, and Richard Kelly had to find some way to portray that in the most realistic way possible. Through editing, camera work, and music he was able to convey the principles of the film. Time is not the neat little package we as humans have summed it up to be. There is more to the philosophy of time than we are aware of. The way the movie was edited gave the viewer a taste of the unknown and made them think outside the box that has been drawn around us. Somehow, the film had to illustrate that it took place in an alternate reality where time and space were interconnected and not tangible. Whether you believe that the fabric of time is as fragile as it is in the world of Donnie Darko is up to you, but there is no denying that the way the film is put together makes you forget, if just for a moment, that we think we know how the universe works.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Social Commentary Within There Will Be Blood

I wrote this essay for my film class, what do you think? Format is a little strange because of Blogger, sorry!

Social Commentary Within There Will Be Blood

When viewing Paul Thomas Anderson’s tour de force There Will Be Blood it is beyond the bounds of possibility to ignore the blatant messages about humanity buried not so far under the surface. The first time we hear Daniel Plainview speak, the swift, prideful manner in which he introduces himself, not to mention his staccato method of speaking, automatically alerts us that this is a man not to be reckoned with. Paul Thomas Anderson has been criticized for directing Day-Lewis to speak in this manner, critics claiming that no one spoke like Plainview one hundred years ago. These critics are missing the message hidden underneath the speech. Plainview represents power and intellect, a fact that will be proven multiple times over the course of the film. This is the first time we are alerted to Paul Thomas Anderson’s multi-layered character approach, for at first we do not know what to make of Daniel Plainview. His plain speaking partnered with the blank stare of his composed and silent son H.W. Plainview unsettles us, but we’re not sure why. From the first moment we heard Daniel Plainview open his mouth, we grasp that he is not an ordinary man and the film will not take us in an ordinary direction. Paul Thomas Anderson pens and directs this film beautifully, horrifically, disturbingly, and tragically. His personal opinions are shoved so forcefully in our faces that we are shocked into submission, waiting eagerly for the next action of the complicated Mr. Plainview. Daniel Plainview is an allegory for everything Paul Thomas Anderson sees as inhuman in humanity.

The theme that is repeated time and time again throughout this film is the consequences of power, greed and ambition. Every struggle that Daniel must endure is sprung from his own need to be the best and to make the most profit. With every action Daniel takes, Paul Thomas Anderson is creating a twisted web of wrongs that represent the harm that humans do to themselves. When Daniel discovers oil in the sleepy, hyper religious town of Little Boston, California, he buys everything. He knows, however, that he is not dealing with economic scholars, he is dealing with uneducated country people who do not know the going rate of oil or land or anything in between. This is illustrated when Daniel tells his son "Well, we won’t pay them oil prices. We’ll pay them quail prices". While this may be an overtly obvious sign of greed and deception on Plainview’s part, the movie’s poignancy does not always lie in its subtlety. Anderson has a habit of setting the more perturbing aspects of humanity right under our nose and letting us smell it for ourselves with no perfumes or deodorants. At the root of Daniel’s money obsession is his insecurities. One can only infer that growing up, Daniel had a sense of inferiority and now as an adult has a fierce need to prove himself. Of course, this is only speculation, but what other reason could a man have for being so callously ambitious? He is an unhappy man with no family, no trust, and nothing but his money for love.

Daniel Plainview is without a doubt one of the most complex characters to grace the silver screen. His exterior is hard, brash and unforgiving. He commits heinous moral crimes, such as abandoning his son because of his disability and threatening to slit a man’s throat for making a general statement. These are the events that stick out in a movie goers mind, the events that create the character profile inside of our heads. We see Daniel Plainview as a greedy, manipulative, and uncaring person lost in the hustle of the empire he has created. However, this is merely the surface characterization of a subject like Daniel Plainview. Throughout the film we are presented with some subtle and not so subtle examples of a less terrifying Daniel, someone who is trapped without being fully aware of their bindings. Firstly, there is the question of why Daniel adopts H.W. if he is only out for himself? There were many other men at the oil well he worked on, and any one of them could have taken the child. Why then did Daniel volunteer to devote the next two decades of his life to fatherhood? We also see other moments of tenderness between H.W. and Daniel, the occasional light pat on the head, the immediate concern when the well explodes, the affectionate caress to ease the pain of deftness, and the prolonged embrace when they are reunited. These are the subtleties of Daniel Plainview’s character. These are the things that let you know that somewhere, maybe buried deep, is some form of love and compassion for H.W.. We also see a shade of Daniel’s less monstrous side show up in his conversations with his so called brother, Henry Brands. In a most likely slightly drunken conversation, Plainview actually voices his need for a relationship with another human. "I see the worst in people. I don't need to look past seeing them to get all I need" Daniel states. "Henry... to have you here gives me a second breath. I can't keep doing this on my own with these... people. [laughs]". This is one of the first times we see a true vulnerability within Daniel. The desperate tone of sorrow in his voice and eyes give away the true depth of his hatred he has for himself. Paul Thomas Anderson does a wonderful job creating such a multi dimensional character with so many layers. This is how people are, people are not just single-faceted, they are complex and confusing and horrifying, and this is what Paul Thomas Anderson wants us to understand.

The most blatantly obvious parallel Paul Thomas Anderson seems to draw to society is concerning religion. The religious undertones, or more aptly called overtones, in this movie are staggering. First and foremost there is Eli Sunday, who seems to be a representative of everything Anderson sees wrong with religion. Even to the most untrained religious eye, Eli Sunday appears crazy. You watch him and his calm, reserved demeanor is uncomfortable. Everything he says is uncomfortable, forced, and a little unsettling. From the first moment they meet, Daniel and Eli begin a battle of control over the other. When Daniel offers the aforementioned "quail prices" for the Sunday Ranch, Eli demands a greater sum, claiming to know about the oil on the land and wanting funding for his church. We are then introduced to the skeptic side of Daniel Plainview. In response to his request for church funding, Daniel replies, with a smirk on his face that juxtaposes the calm and soothing tone of his voice, "That’s good, Eli. That’s a good one." This of course can be taken as "yes, that’s a very good thing for you to want money for, Eli" or, the more likely meaning, "That’s a funny joke, Eli. That’s a good one." Daniel, being the man that he is, is not religious. He sees religion as a sign of weakness. Depending on a "higher power" to bring you happiness and success just discredits your own ability to bring yourself success and happiness, and Daniel Plainview will let nothing discredit him. Another example of Daniel’s agnosticism is the iconic scene of his baptism. We as the audience know that Daniel is only going through with the baptism as a condition to purchase some necessary land for his pipeline. Eli, who has had a less then righteous battle with Daniel over the last few years, is fully aware of Daniel’s scorn for the church and uses this as just another way to torment him. There are a few interesting ways to interpret this scene. First, and probably the most obvious, is the mental anguish and humiliation Eli Sunday inflicts on Daniel. He is forcing Daniel to confess he has sinned, confess that he has done wrong, and to Daniel, he is never wrong. He is stubborn and never admits his mistakes. The most moving section of this scene is when Eli forces Daniel to repeatedly scream "I’ve abandoned my son! I’ve abandoned my boy!" One can tell that not only is Daniel overcome with a powerful guilt over sending H.W. away, he is also consumed with a rage at Eli for demoralizing and embarrassing him in front of the people he has deceived for the last few years. Eli, in an act that would surely not be considered Christ-like, proceeds to slap Daniel several times across the face, dehumanizing and emasculating him even further. These revenge driven actions that Eli takes part in represent the hypocrisy that is so prevalent in today’s religious society. Eli can sin six ways to Sunday, but to him, at the end of the day, he is the preacher and all is forgiven.

At the end of the film, after Daniel has lost his son, his companions, and his sanity, the most poignant moment is revealed. When Eli comes to visit, begging for Daniel’s help economically, Daniel sees this as the final showdown. Eli is begging him, Eli needs his help, and damn it if Daniel isn’t going to take full advantage of the situation and humiliate, dehumanize and emasculate him as much as he can in return. Eli begs him for a lease on the Bandy track, a piece of land he believe to be undeveloped. Daniel knows very well that this land has already been dried out, but chooses not to share this information with Eli. Daniel may be a cold, heartless man by now, but he is still fiercely intelligent and a great reader of people. He knows exactly what Eli’s largest insecurity is, and takes full advantage of it. "It was Paul who told me about you. He's the prophet. He's the smart one. He knew what was there and he found me to take it out of the ground!" Daniel taunts mercilessly, his crouching, defensive stance ominous against the fluorescent lights of the bowling alley. Eli is crying and sniffling now, clearly upset by the turn the conversation has taken. He cries that they were friends, old friend, why would Daniel do this to him? This whole sequence of events, from the mockery of Eli’s importance, to the forced admission that "[Eli] is a false prophet, God is a superstition", to Daniel’s eventual pummeling of Eli’s skull with a bowling pin, drives in fast-motion through every message leaked out in this film. We see Daniel’s greed, we see Eli’s hypocrisy and insanity, we see Daniel’s hate for himself, and we see all of these characteristics kill, metaphorically and literally, these two characters. This is a film about the dangers of being human and submitting to the overwhelming desire for power and money. This is a film about the necessity of human relationships, and this is a film warning against blind worship. Paul Thomas Anderson has succeeded in creating one of the most glaring allegories of the human condition ever captured on film, whether he meant to or not.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Pretty good week, followed by a second pretty good week.

So this was the last week of school before Camas goes on Spring Break. Clark's break started last week, so it's been pretty relaxing. I've been able to watch a lot of movies. This week it's been a pantheon of crazy good Coen brothers movies, cementing them in place as my favorite directors. The week started out with The Big Lebowski. Then went on to O Brother, Where Art Thou? and then proceeded on with Raising Arizona. I've still got Miller's Crossing, Baton Fink, and Blood Simple to cross off my list. Then maybe a bit of The Man Who Wasn't There.

Who knows?

Today I watched There Will Be Blood for the 4th (ish?) time. I love that movie. It's been my #1 and will stay there till I see something better.

And right now I'm watching Zodiac. For some reason this movie is good not great, but I love watching it. It's probably something to do with David Fincher and Robert Downey Jr. Maybe Jake Gyllenhaal. Damnit, now I want to watch Donnie Darko.

This has been a really weird post, ha. My brain doesn't seem to be functioning on any other plane than movies right now. Mush head!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy Post!

This is a post that is telling you that in exacty... 48 hours I am going to be very happy. Much happier than I am at this exact moment. Why is that, you ask? Because I will have written my two very long history papers for the final, I will have completed the history final, and this quarter will be done!

When this has happened, I will start writing my normally chipper, cheery and all around good natured posts! My posts will not longer be down in the dumps! No more random apathetic lists! Soon I will be as happy as that little fishstick who has successfully rowed his boat all the way out to sea.

Yes, once again the time for stress free days is near.

*This post is mainly directed at Jamie. Yes, I did reference Fishsticks.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I'm getting really really impatient... I bought two volumes of Jonah Hex last Sunday and I got one in the mail two days ago... But not the first one, no, I got the second volume in the mail and I'm really sad. I have to read them in order!

I have a really bad cough. It's killing me. My lungs feel like death.

This post is very boring so I'm just going to list off some things that I love in no particular order.

Evegreen State
30 Rock
It's Always Sunny in Philidelphia
In Bruges
Sean Penn
Jack Kerouac
Emile Hirsch
The Beat Generation
The 1960's
My parents
Sammie's Mom
Rainn Wilson
The Academy Awards
Foot rubs
Bella and Booger
There Will Be Blood
Into the Wild
Bob Dylan
The Kinks
Cty & Colour

I love other things also.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Flargen Blargen.

I am amazed by the number of times I find myself running to my blog when I feel like giving myself a worthwhile excuse not to do my algebra homework. Right now is one of those times.

My laptop is a piece of shit. I'm not trying to sound ungrateful, because I'm actually very happy with it. It gets decent wireless and has MS Word, right now there is not much more that I need. That does ot nullify the fact that it is, in short, a piece of shit. The screen lining falls off every time I open and shut the thing. The L, H, S, E and U keys are very, very sticky and I am constantly having to go back and reread things to make sure that I haven't left out any key constanants or vowels. I have to basically punch the spacebar in the face to get it to work. Did I mention that it's giant?

In spite of all this, I do have a certain amount of affection for this ailing mass of technology. It's old, the company claims refurbishing, but I have a feeling that at my dad's company, this includes a washcloth rubdown. Here's another great thing about it: It was free! That fact in itself discredits any compaint I may have had, because no matter how shitty it is, I didn't have to pay for it! It has helped me in hundred of school projects and for that I am gratful. No more hand cramps! If I reach right down into the depths of my heart, I discover a sort of resentful love for my decrepit laptop. I may name it soon.

On another note, about 10 minutes ago it was snowing and blaringly sunny at the exact same time. I have never witnessed this before, it was pretty cool.

On a third note, I ordered two volumes of Jonah Hex yesterday. My movie blog fanaticism is influencing me in many way. One is introducing me to Comic Books (Graphic Novels blah blah). I have not figured out whether I'm into comic books right now because of Watchmen and the whole "comic books are cool!" thing that's going around, or because I'm genuinely one of those people who just like them. I've decided to leave my motivation unearthed and just enjoy the books, whether is be phase or a discovery of a lifelong love. We'll see, I'm sure.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

No I will not

I'm buried up to my eyeballs in piles of homework today. I'm running on 6 hours of sleep, have a serious migraine in the making and do not feel like writing 3 fucking reports on Catalyst events to the Civil War, which is exactly what I have to do. Have I mentioned that I can't wait for this quarter to be over? Well I can't wait until this quarter is over. I can't wait until this year is over, actually. Camas classes are killing me. Freedom is calling me. 10am classes and 8:30am alarms are calling me. I am lazy, and I have had a taste of the freedom that is INDEPENDENT SCHEDULE PLANNING, and now I crave it.

But then... there is this AP Environmental Science class which is calling me... straight from the science wing at Camas Highschool. Ungh. I mean, I haven't taken any AP classes. An AP class would look awfully good on a transcript, even though I'll be graduating Highschool with roughly 50-60ish college credits... That has to mean something. Ah. I don't know. I'll have to have a snoozle and think on it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


You cannot ever be inside someone elses head. You can never know exactly how they feel or what they are thinking.

Sometimes I have a problem remembering this, and I assume that I know how and why people are doing the things they do. Maybe this is because I really wish I did know. My freshmen year English teacher said that every single person as a reason behind everything they do. Nothing is done without a meaning in the person's head.

As convinced that you or I may be that we know he exact motivation behind an action, we can never be positive. Everyone needs to remember this. You wouldn't be happy if someone assumed they knew exactly how your mind worked, so why would you assume that you know their mind?

Sigh. This is just my general musing on humanity for the day. It's making me kind of sad.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cool twice!

Ok, I'm just going to say right now how cool it is that the editor of Watchmen and Philosophy commented my blog.

I am saying this because it is a very good book to read if you love Watchmen. I love Watchmen, so it is a very good book for me to read and so far, the three chapters I've read have answered multiple internal questions which I though I'd always have swimming in the back of my mind. Example, Dr. Manhattan and his unique... condition(?) which renders him an emotional cripple. What's up with that? Well, now I know, and you'll just have to go read it to find out. Unless unlike me you're capable of trusting your own opinion without affirmation of some kind that you are indeed correct, which I need and like to have about most things. This is why I enjoy the Blackwell Philosophy and PopCulture series, I like to be able to see if my opinions match up with those of professionals.

And now it sounds like I'm sucking up to said editor (Mark D. White), and I guess I kind of am. Except that what I'm saying is truth, and sucking up usually consist of lies. This book is just really, really awesome.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I got my "Watchmen and Philosophy" book in the mail a few minutes ago. I don't even know why I'm typing this instead of reading it right now.

Monday, February 9, 2009

What could I title this?

Bella won't leave me alone! I'm trying to eat my tofu and she wont stop trying to steal it off of my plate. It's irritating, I just want to eat my tofu.

Dumb tofu stealing kitty.
Bella! Booger doesn't steal my tofu! Booger is the good kitty.

I thought I was going to have more to say in this blogpost but apparently I don't, because all I can think about it the kitties!
This picture is of Bella. She may not look like a food-snatcher, but she is!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Antebellum Period

So many essays, so little time. I have been writing for hours now and am only half way through my midterm essay on the different effects of paternalistic v. economic slavery in the antebellum period of the US. That's a mouthfull.

I'm tired. Writing essays when your tired is difficult.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Today has been excellent. Forecasted for next quarter classes, and I am going to have a very cool schedule for spring. Monday/Wednesday History of Film from 12-1:50 then Tai Chi at 3 for an hour. Tuesday/Thursday Psychology from 2:30-4:50. I'm really excited! Next quarter is going to be my play quarter. :O!

About 100 pages into No Country the book. It's so weird how precisely the Coen Bro's adapted that book to the movie, almost every single line is the same. I think I might like reading it more than I liked watching it, though.

Also, My Chem. Romance should never remake a Bob Dylan song again, I think it might crush my soul into tiny little bits. This one was bad enough. Don't care that MCR is in Watchmen, whatever, it's just a soundtrack and has no real relevance to the movie, but please, don't deface the amazing genius that is Bob Dylan. Please never again.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

First post of February..

It's my birthday month... so that's always nice I guess haha.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Western vs. Evergreen?

So my day has consisted of parental requested listing of the pro's and con's of Western Washington University and Evergreen State University. I have been scouring both of the school's website for hours and hours and hours and hours finding out all of the basic information for both and downloading their applications. I guess I'm taking the SAT in March, which I'm fine with, but I'm just getting kinda stressed with the whole idea of applying to schools. I'm probably stressed the most about the fact that I only have two schools which I could ever seen myself going, period.

Blah. Mindfuck of collegiate information.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Everything happens really fast

Time is going by much faster than I've been paying attention. It's already almost February, half the school year is gone.

I'm feeling very conflicted at the moment. On the one hand I really just want the next year and a half to go by quickly, I want to graduate and I want to go off to College. On the other, I'm terrified. I don't know if I'm the most capable person and the idea of depending solely on myself scares me. I don't know, that's just the train of thought I'm on right now... And what if I don't get into the college I want? For some reason I've always had this feeling in the back of my mind that I'm going to be okay, I've always done pretty decently in school, not fucking great, but you know, I'm not an idiot. What if it doesn't turn out okay? What if my gut feeling has always been tricking me? I don't know, I'm just worried.


Thursday, January 22, 2009


I have so many books I need to read... I keep buying them and now they're piling up and I don't know if I can stop buying them!

I think I'm going to start No Country For Old Men tonight... supposedly the book is much better than the movie.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a wonderful day.

Of course it was wonderful! We have a new President, and a great new President at that! Barack Obamas speech today was wonderful, and I got to watch it with my favorite people. I can't think of anything to say other than wonderful. Wonderful wonderful wonderful! After watching the inauguration at the Clinton Street Theater with 100 other Barack lovers and Bush haters (we were all finally REALLY unabashedly allowed to boo and growl at Bush and Cheney!), we went over to a very cute coffee shop that I just can't remember the name of. We sat there trying to figure out what to do, we being Lindsay, Anthony, my Mom and her friend Cynthia. We ended up settling on Powells and then a great meal at.... Swagat! So good. I've been going to that restaurant since I was 6, so it's all nice and sentimental. Then off we headed home. It was a very nice day, and I am so happy that Barack Obama is finally our 44th President!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Waltz with Bashir, Slumdog Millionaire

Does that movie not look just fucking amazing? The answer is yes, it does.

I also saw Slumdog Millionaire yesterday. I've never seen a movie that lives up the the enormous hype around it so well. I went into it and honestly didn't think it would be as good as it was. The story seemed cliche at best from the commercials. I came out of it just in awe, me and my mom couldnt even say anything about it. I still don't know what I can say about it that will do it justice, so I'm just going to say you should see it, because it's not what it seems.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Wrestler v. Milk

I'm still not completely sure what I thought of The Wrestler, starring Mickey Rourke. I know it was well done, Darren Aronofsky did a really great job getting what he did out of Rourke. The big debate is over who had the better performance, Rourke for The Wrestler or Sean Penn in Milk. My feelings are this.

Rourke tends to play this sort of part a lot. Not to mention that it directly relates to his life on many levels. Rourke quit acting to persue a career in boxing in the late eighties. He then lost his family and destroyed his face. Playing Randy "The Ram" Robinson must have been tough, sure, but he had personal experiences to draw from to help create this amazing character. The Ram wasn't a stranger to Rourke. He did a really phenomenal job in this movie, everyone involved did, and I am not disputing that on any level.

That said, when Penn signed on to play Harvey Milk, his performance was equally as good, if not a tiny bit better in my opinion, than Rourke. But here's the thing, Sean Penn had to do this role cold turkey. Harvey Milk was a much more unique character that The Ram. Sean Penn had to convince us all that he was an actually person who'd had a life. Harvey Milk wasn't just a character, he was a political beacon. Penn has a large challenge making us all believe he, who has played brooding characters for most of his career, could pull off the flambuoyant, carefree, humourous, loving character of Milk. And he did it! He did it perfectly.

In my humble opinion, it's a larger challenge to play the part of someone who has actually lived, who had friends and loves and hopes, and be able to portray that well than to play a character who was written for the screen. When acting as a real person, you have to capture all the subtle nuances of the person's personality, you have to really step into their skin and do the research to become them. Penn did that, and for that reason, I believe that he deserves to win the Oscar for Best Actor. Rourke is absolutly a close second in my book, though. The Wrestler was a powerful movie, and I really enjoyed taking that journey with Randy the Ram.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Interesting or not?

This is a photograph taken and designed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. I've recently discovered their work and it's very cool. They had this fence running for 24.5 miles in Northern California farmlands, I've driven through this area, and it's a pretty impressive feat.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I can't describe my love for this tv show... It's hiatus between seasons made me forget about it and I just looked it up again and I'm dying, ah!


Adventureland trailer

Ok so I'm a closet-fan of Superbad, but this looks so much better. In case people forgot with the recent Twilight debacle, Kristen Stewart can, in fact, really act. I love the SNL cameo's, Bill Hader and Kristen Wigg are the best cast members on there right now. I love movies set in the 80's, also. They always seen to have this unintentional humour that is just brought out more by the big hair and off-the-shoulder tank tops. The concept is pretty promising, too. Amuesement park losers, always funny.

Oh, and can I mention how happy I am that this is rated R?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

s s s sigh

So Thursday was the night of the Critics Choice Awards, and I have to say, if the Oscars go the same way I'll be happy. I just want Sean Penn to win best actor for Milk, he was so fucking fantastic. I also would like to see Slumdog Millionaire before the Academy Awards, because I'm sure if I see it I will love it, but until then I'm having a hard time with it's success.

I saw Frost/Nixon last weekend, I liked it very much. It did the unthinkable, and by the end I was feeling rather sorry for Richard Nixon. The story is actually pretty cool, it's worth at least an illegal download.

With Kela pretty much all weekend, then Mark tomorrow for the Golden Globes.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A few new things I think are interesting

So in two days a lot of stuff has happened. Well, not really, but it feels like it to me, or more like to my mind. I've started a few new books, my favorite being this compilation of Charles Bukowski poems and stories. So I've been reading a lot...

Yesterday my family and I went to the Portland Art Museum. I liked it.

Then I drove Mark to the airport, I liked that too.

Then today, Mom and I went to Swagat (mmm), and then went to see Frost/Nixon. I really, really liked it. I have a thing for Sam Rockwell, and even though his part was small I still love watching him act. It was a good enough movie that even though I wasn't alive for the Nixon crimes, I was still transfixed by the events on screen. I didn't check my clock once.

And now it's snowing again, and I'm wondering if there will be school tomorrow. I know there will be Clark, they wouldn't cancel the first day of the quarter, but maybe Camas will be cancelled. I think that would be funny.

I'm watching House right now and I miss House nights, a lot. I wish House was still on Tuesdays.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Top 10 of 2008

So unlike Mark, I will readily admit to being a "film geek", not to mention probably a bit of a film snob, if you must. I picked the movies that I loved seeing the most this year. I would whole-heartedly reccomend any movie on this list to any person that I know. Let the listing commence!
Also, I didn't have a chance to view a couple movies that were supposed to be pretty good. Revolutionary Road, The Wrestler, The Reader, Slumdog Millionaire, and Frost/Nixon are among some of the gems I was unable to see before the year was out, but I will most definitely be remedying that situation in the near future!

Kenz's Top 10 Movies of 2008:

10. Wanted
This movie made my top 10 list four a couple of reasons. First, it was a really good surprise. The advertising campaign for this movie completely blew, making it out to be just another fleeting summer action flick. It most certainly did not do it justice. Secondly, it was creative. There just aren’t a whole lot of movies out there like it. And thirdly, the ending was unexpected, which made it great.

9. The Wackness
I really liked this movie. The writing was witty, the plot was endearing, and the ending wasn’t cliché. The acting was very good, considering I really didn’t think Josh Peck could act. His character Luke Shapiro isn’t popular and in all honesty isn’t really all that likeable, but the mark of a good movie is how it can still make us care about an unlikable person.

8. Burn After Reading
I had to see this movie a couple of times for it to really make a strong impression on me, but it did. I just fucking love everything the Coen Brothers do. They have this way of turning 5 completely different plots into one really complex and engaging story. The cast is 5 star and their acting proves it. This movie dares to take risks, and is heavily rewarded for it.

7. Tropic Thunder
I’m not usually one for this kind of comedy but I have a serious soft spot for Robert Downey Jr. Sure Ben Stiller plays the same old character, as does Jack Black, but who says their same-old characters aren’t funny? They lend a superb backdrop to Robert Downey Jr.’s super cool Kirk Lazarus. The premise is relatively unique and the writing is edgy. Unless your unbearably uptight, you probably enjoyed Tropic Thunder just as much as the rest of us.

6. Let the Right One In
This movie proves just how awesome horror movies can still be, and it makes sense that it’s not American. I am so tired of our definition of horror movie, i.e. Saw I (II, II, IV, V…). This is a fresh, but not too fresh take on the myth of vampires, and it’s from Sweden! An American movie would never have a 12-year-old murderous vampire. An American movie would never ever dare to murder a child, let alone multiple children, in fear of turning off the audience. In short, this movie goes there, and it does it well.

5. The Dark Knight
I know, shoot me for not putting TDK higher. I know it’s effects were close to flawless, I know Heath Ledger was pure gold, I know the plot was full of not your average superhero flick nonsense but real issues and thoughts which relate to our world today. I do not dispute any of that. The only reason that this movie isn’t higher up on my list is that Superhero movies, no matter how great, just are not my favorite genre. I loved The Dark Knight, I loved it. But, that being said, I loved a few movies more if only because they are the kind of films that I prefer in general. Truth be told, all the movies in my top 5 are within millimeters of each other in my book. That being said, Heath Ledger really, really was gold in this movie.

4. In Bruges
I think this is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen ever. I loved the cast, I loved, loved, loved the writing, and really enjoyed the cinematography and directing. Lines from this movie still float around in my head at inopportune moments, causing me to snort or laugh at inappropriate times. It’s another one that dares to insult the general public in subtle, and not to subtle, ways. It’s shocking and it’s beautiful and it’s fucking hilarious. And since I’m a sucker for cool endings, this movie definitely makes it into my top 5.

3. Changeling
Clint Eastwood is a genius. He’s an acting genius, and he’s most definitely a directing genius. This movie is dark, but it’s so well done. Angelina Jolie proves once again that she’s not all Mrs. Smith and Lara Croft and she can truly be a serious actress. The real reason I love this movie is its look. Every single thing, down to her stockings, is fitting with the period. The movie has beautiful shots mixed in with gruesome ones. The storyline is not only true, but interesting.

2. Snow Angels
This movie may have its flaws, but the reason it’s so high up on my list is my inability to get it out of my head. For months after I saw this film all I could think about was seeing it again. I searched for it endlessly online trying to find a pirated version to watch. I went out and bought the book it was based on and read it twice. This story may not be the most original, but the acting is so good and the story is so heartbreaking that all you can do is watch dumbfounded while almost every character sabotages their life beyond repair. It’s a juxtaposition between young and old, new love and fading love, life and death.

1. Milk
If you know me, you’ve heard me spouting off praise for this movie on almost a daily basis. Sean Penn is mind-blowing in this movie, and it really cements his place as one of the best actors of our generation. His ability to capture the warmth, determination, strength, and softness of Harvey Milk without it seeming forced is a sight to behold. The script is fantastic, the supporting cast is fantastic, the directing is fantastic, the film editing is fantastic, and the soundtrack is fantastic. This film is simply fantastic. Coming at the time that it did, after the win of Prop. 8 last November, this movie is sure to make itself a little home in your heart, and it won’t be moving out anytime soon.
So those are my top movies, go watch all of them!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

life resolutions

A few more things to add to my list of things I would like to do.

See a Claude Monet painting from less than 5 feet away.
Be able to watch an emotional movie around someone else and not feel uncomfortable.
Stop trivializing other people's feelings.

Because right now my Mom is watching The Bucket list and getting all "deep" and it's making me really fucking uncomfortable.


it's 2009