Friday, September 30, 2011

It can't work like this. You're a dog. I have cats.

My apartment building is surrounded by one way streets and at certain times of the day, while searching for parking, I can get caught in traffic, at the same intersection, multiple times.  The other day I was zoning out on a red light when I felt eyes on me, I looked up and found them instantly.  It was a dog.  It was sitting on a bed placed in a large floor to ceiling window just above some storefronts.

He sat there kind of Sphinx-style, apparently zoned out on me in the same way I had been on the red light.  At least, this is what I thought.  But then I questioned my theory.  Surely he was just looking into the middle distance, or a bug on his window, or any number of things not me.  

Yes, I am aware I am using "he" when I don't really know about this dog.  It's because of what happened next, something I've shared with a he or two.  What happened is this (I swear), his eyes pulled focus and realized I was looking at him, looking at me.  Then his eyes started darting around.  At first super-awkwardly, like he was trying to look at anything but me, and then he regained composure and slowly moved his head as if to say, "I was just scanning the street, and you just happened to be in my line of sight."

I am completely aware this is not the most likely interpretation of events, but it's what seemed to have happened, it's what it felt like.  Additionally, this version of reality makes me laugh, and so I'm going with it.  Actually, I'm going with that, and a bit more.

The light turned green.  As I turned the corner I thought of this guy I once knew, who I hadn't thought of in awhile, who was charmingly, endearingly awkward.  In the same manner as the dog.  And it might not have been his first choice to be reincarnated as a dog, but it would definitely have been in his top three.  And if he wanted it, if there's any justice in this world at all, he got it.

I circled the block and failed to find parking.  Even the second time around, he continued to look at me.

The dog.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

DIY Double Feature | TRUMBO & ONE, TWO, THREE | Blows, Blowing, Blowed

This DIY Double Feature is two Cold War films.

Watch TRUMBO first because it's slightly more heartbreaking than it is inspiring (just slightly), and so it might leave you feeling a bit defeated.  Like, no matter how talented and skilled you are, and even if you're...  well, right, you can still get totally fucked by the current events of your day.  And if that's the case, what chance do the rest of us commoners stand?

Watch ONE, TWO, THREE second, because it's like a feature-length political cartoon that plays a different aspect of the same era for laughs.  It never tries to tell you that things are anything less than fucked up, but it does seem to want to help you shrug it all off and enjoy your life...  no matter which way the wind blows over your days.

And, odds are, it will blow.

Clip from Trumbo

Opening scene from One, Two, Three

Saturday, September 24, 2011

ARTHUR | 2011 | Probably Better on Paper.

When it was announced that a remake of Arthur was on the way and that Russell Brand would be taking on the role defined by Dudley Moore, it feels like there was a lot of indignant outrage flying about.  I have nothing to back up that assertion.  I just recall observing people who were clearly passionate about the original film, and yet were acting in a decidedly un-Arthur way about the remake.  I'm pretty sure it was people and not person.  If it were person, I'd share an anecdote because it would be a singular memory.  So, you're going to have to trust me when I say there was a minor controversy about casting this film.

This is what I have to say to the, possibly made-up, people outraged about what they thought was the Arthur 2011 Castastrophe:  Perhaps Russell Brand is no Dudley Moore, but he's no Dane Cook either.  Of all currently available options by way of casting the title role of an Arthur remake, the best one happened.

Meanwhile some folks, many of the same folks, seemed to think the whole idea of remaking Arthur at all was misguided, regardless of casting.  I took a wait-and-see approach with this complaint, but kind of felt like I'd end up agreeing.  But it turns out that story-wise, the Arthur remake is actually slightly stronger than the original.  Sadly, those strengths were weakened by the direction, and so in the battle of Arthur (1981) vs. Arthur (2011), I think we can call it a draw.