Monday, September 29, 2003

I was looking back over my blogs of the past few days; specifically, my discussion regarding the Emmys. I realized that I posted I was excited about Jon Stewart, Cher, and Tony Shalhoub winning, but I left out the most important one of all.

TAR! Phil! Eeee!

I was accidentally spoiled for just this award, so it was great watching them read the nominees knowing that TAR totally kicked all the other shows' asses. This will hopefully lead to CBS officially signing on for TAR 5. Because if they don't, so help me...I'll think about that whole murder/suicide thing Caroline was talking about, but with less suicide, more murder.

Mmm. David Bowie.

Friday, September 26, 2003

"You pay a lot of tuition to watch movies that people otherwise pay money to see in real theaters. Interesting."

It's not a class where we just sit around and watch movies. Theatrical Film Symposium was started at USC in the late 70s in response to the growing feeling among cinema students that while they were being taught the historical background of cinema, they knew next to nothing about how the business worked today. Yes, we get an opportunity to watch films before they are released, but like every other critical studies class here at USC, we don't just all show up to watch movies. The class begins with a lecture from the professor, a lecture we have to take notes about. Then, there's an open discussion about last week's film. We watch a short--a serial, a filmed vaudeville sketch, a cartoon, a newsreel--as a way to study very dramatically how much film has changed in just a century. After watching the main event, people involved with making that film come to join us. The writer, or the director, or the cinematographer, or even the actors, sit down and talk about making their film--how did they raise the money? What was their inspiration? What did their film mean?

It's an invaluable look at how the film industry works, how today's artisans and filmmakers craft the films that we would otherwise be "paying money to see in a real theater" that very weekend. We have exams in this class; we don't just sit around watching the movies.

Anyways. Mike White? Was awesome. I think we should randomly screen another film of his and have him come back again. Because he was good times.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Last night, I reached a new level in my belief that my participation can somehow affect the outcome of an event I am not involved with in any way, shape or form. Caroline and I were watching the Emmys, and for some odd reason felt that if we chanted Kiefer's name in unison, made derogatory hand gestures when the other nominee's names were called, and clapped our hands wildly while shouting "Kiefer!" whilst the presenter opened the envelope, then Kiefer would, in fact, win.

He did not win. Goddamn James Gandolfini won. After I specifically flipped him off and shouted "Kiiiiieeeeffffeeerrr!" at the television. What is the world coming to?

In related Emmy news, I'm very excited that Tony Shalhoub, Jon Stewart, Cher's Farewell Concert, and William H. Macy won. I am very dis-excited that West Wing, aforementioned Gandolfini, related Falco, and Brad Garrett won. The first three because I HATE them, the last because Peter Boyle deserved to win after all this time on the show, since he's the only funny one on it.

Jack Sparrow is sleeping on the ground right between my chair and Caroline's chair. It's the cute. He's all splayed out and peaceful-looking. He's been very affectionate lately, which is heartening considering that the first week, I feared he'd just live underneath my bed and have nothing to do with us.

T-minus nine days until Angel! Whee!

Sunday, September 21, 2003

ISTP - "Artisan". Impulsive action. Life should be of impulse rather than of purpose. Action is an end to itself. Fearless, craves excitement, master of tools. 5% of the total population.
Take Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Actors. God. I'm tired of trying to find a rehearsal time around their insanely overbooked schedules. This is a four unit class; it's your new priority. I don't care if your "agent" found you an audition, or if you're "working" at the Emmys, or if you want to go to the "weekender." I have other things to do, and we need to rehearse before we can shoot, because that's kind of the whole raison d'ĂȘtre of the class, so suck it up and find time.

New quotes on the side. Still recommending "Lost in Translation," though. Go see it. Go. See it. Go! Why are you still reading! Go!

Friday, September 19, 2003

We watched "Bubba Ho-Tep" last night in class. That film made "Donnie Darko" look like a normal, generic family drama. It was the strangest film I have ever seen, ever. Elvis (Bruce Campbell) and JFK (Ossie Davis) battle a soul-sucking mummy at an East Texas rest home. Really. No, really. But that wasn't even the best part of the class; the best part was, and continues to be, the incredibly stupid people who ask questions or make comments. One girl didn't like the relationship in "Lost in Translation" and felt it distracted her from the rest of the film. The relationship was the film. Another person didn't like the film because Bill Murray's character cheated on his wife. Erm? That's a reason to dislike an entire film? Whatever, stupid people. Just shoosh.

I love Rupert on "Survivor." That is all.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Why are the body's auto-response mechanisms so unpleasant? Like today at work, I suppose I was a little too enthusiastic in drinking some water, and some of it managed to make its way into my windpipe. Is that tiny bit of water so horrible and destructive to my lungs that my throat feels the need to have a complete freak out and expel the water through violent coughing that makes my eyes water and my chest hurt? Is it? Is it? Afterwards, when I was finally done coughing, I just sat there all weak and strange feeling. I imagine that is what it must feel like to have the vapors.

I hate e-journals. The stupid little reports on one's out-of-class progress that one must email to one's professor, because it just isn't enough to show up in class, do homework, write papers and take exams. No, one must email each week with, "Yes, so this week I did the reading and rehearsed with actors and blah blah bliddy blah I'm making all this up because I don't give a royal bloody damn." It's like, I could take the time I'm spending on e-journals, and I more TV or something.

Someone whose livejournal I read posted the horrible, mean, fake spoiler that Johnny Depp had just signed to play James Marsters' lover in "Venetian Heat." I was so terribly excited until I read the cut-away and realized she just made it up. Can you even imagine that? Can you imagine that much pretty? That much pretty making out? Sigh. I'm not usually one for slash, but dude y'all, that would have been hot.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Caroline and I just got back from seeing "Once Upon a Time in Mexico." I feel this movie is best described by merely providing a list of things contained therein. Ahem.

-Guitars that explode. Guitars that shoot bullets. Guitars that knock people unconscious.

-A grand total of three missing eyeballs.

-A bugged chihuahua.

-Willem Dafoe's doppelganger.

-A prosthetic arm designed to hold silverware.

-Enrique Iglesias.

All told, this was an...interesting film, but one that I felt was hurt by the fact that one man (Robert Rodriguez) wrote, directed, shot, edited and scored the entire film. The film was utterly incomprehensible. It looked pretty, and there were cool action things, but I have no idea what happened. Also, eye sockets? Always disturbing, never a good time.

Addendum: Blogspot won't let me put in an umlaut above the "a" in "doppelganger." Which is stupid. I feel like emailing them about the inability for one to correctly type words that have roots in languages that use accents. Stupid Blogspot.

Friday, September 12, 2003

We watched "Lost in Translation" in the Leonard Maltin class tonight. Sofia Coppola directed, starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannsen. This movie is fantastic. I normally am not a fan of character pieces without strong plot lines, but this film worked because the characters are so wonderfully drawn, both in the script, and in the actors' performances. Bill Murray in particular is astounding. He plays Bob Harris, an actor in Tokyo doing a whiskey commercial (the overseas, especially Japanese, celebrity endorsement phenomenon is an incredibly interesting thing in and of itself). He happens to run into Johannsen's Charlotte, the wife of a photographer who is mostly hanging out at the hotel by herself. They end up becoming friends and wiling away the time together.

The chemistry between the actors is just fascinating to watch. They don't become best friends immediately, and it's only at the end that they really, finally click, yet the silences and moments between them are never awkward; there's a really lovely energy between these people who just happened to find each other. The film is beautifully shot. The cinematographer, Lance Acord, who spoke to us tonight, told us that the look was influenced by Sofia Coppola's photography and the city of Tokyo as a whole. He did a lot of drifting and rack focus shots to bring the bright neon lights of the city into as many shots as possible; this could have looked garish and bright, but instead was wonderful mood lighting inside the almost pristine hotel much of the film took place in.

This film is charming, and at times hysterically funny. In particular, one scene with Murray in a hospital waiting room attempting to talk to an elderly Japanese man is one of the funniest things I've seen in film in the past year. There's such truth in this scene, it's something that all of us have experienced to some extent; it's this honesty and clarity that really makes the film what it is. It's not humor based on cheap physical slapstick or vulgar jokes, but instead on the real experiences of people who meet every day, by chance, and affect one another's lives.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

I'm not really feeling my directing class. It seems as though working with actors is something we should have covered before taking all our other production classes. I've made almost ten short films now at USC; why are we just now "learning" how to direct actors in front of the camera? It's annoying.

Kitty's hiding. I keep having to wrassle him out from underneath my bed and make him eat and drink. It doesn't seem right. I don't remember Mr. Phoenix acting like this when we brought him home originally, or after he was neutered.

Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Kitty's home. He's sleeping right now; understandably, having his bits worked on wasn't the most pleasant experience in the world. I brought him home, took him out of his cat carrier, and let him explore. He walked into the kitchen. I opened up the cat litter bag and poured some out, looked up, and he was gone. Caroline and I looked all over. We went back to the bedroom. We called for him. We couldn't figure out where he disappeared to. Then, we found him sitting very quietly on one of the kitchen chairs, hidden by the tablecloth.

Say it with me: aw.

Sunday, September 7, 2003

We adopted a cat today. He's a little black-and-white guy with a rather rakish "beauty spot" below his mouth. Caroline came up with the brilliant name Mr. Darcy, but we'll have to wait to see if that fits him well. We don't get to pick him up until Tuesday because he still needs some shots, though. Sniff.

Saturday, September 6, 2003

Finally. Stupid blogger wouldn't let me update last night, which is what always happens. I think of something to post, and my ethernet goes out or I have a paper to write or blogger shuts down or something. Bah.

Anyways, saw "Matchstick Men" this past week in class. I really, really enjoyed it. Nicolas Cage always does such an amazing job of just disappearing into his character, and this film is no exception. Sam Rockwell continues to do top-notch work, and Alison Lohman was fantastic. I have to say, I would probably have to see it again, but this might become my favorite Ridley Scott film after "Alien." I recommend that everyone go see it; it's funny, touching, and at times very suspenseful.

Anyone who wants an mp3 of Clay's first single, that's coming out Tuesday, let me know and I'll send it to you. I don't have bandwidth to host it, but I'd be glad to IM it your way. It's "Invisible," and it's fantastic. I've listened to it about fifty times since last night.

Thursday, September 4, 2003

The funniest thing I've ever seen.

Caroline and I just watched this in a continuous loop for about five minutes. Hysterical. It's almost as good as the Wesley and Angel dancing in the end credits bit that was apparently the genius ending of a first season episode.

God, how I love David Boreanaz. He brings me such joy.

Tuesday, September 2, 2003

[sings] Workin' at the Sound Department! [/sings]

Yeah, what a great job. I worked 10-1 today. Two and a half hours of reading, internet-ing, and homework-ing. Half an hour of actual work. Swank, y'all. It's swank. Of course, when people start editing sound for real, and not being able to use Pro Tools, and transfering their shit to mag film, and mixing, etc., then there will be more work. But for now? I's just hanging out, getting paid. That, my friends, is how you do it.

Monday, September 1, 2003

Went to the Clay!Concert last night. It was amazing. He owned the Pond at Anaheim; they were showing clips of the show on the big screen, and every time he came on, even if it was just for a split second, everyone cheered and screamed. I seriously love the cult of crazy fans; they made me feel as though I belonged. I can't wait till he does a solo tour, so I don't have to sit through non-Clay people. (Ruben, I'm looking at you.)

Started off my day by picking up the rental car, which was a Mustang. I felt like I ruled the world ahead of schedule, driving that car around. Then, Caroline and I went to Downtown Disney, where I got Eeyore slippers. They're the cutest. After that, a manicure. My fingernails are all buffed and shiny. Hee. And finally, Clay. Beautiful, wonderful Clay. I got a poster and an 8x10, as well as a great, fangirly, teenage-like t-shirt I plan to wear with much pride and only a little bit of embarrassment. All told, it was a swank day. Although I'm hella tired right now. Zoinks.