Sunday, February 3, 2008

Final Cuts

I found out this week that I won't get to eat until I get paid on Valentine's Day. So I unloaded my bookshelf of some recently bought bookshelf for ones I can still return to the store. Then I turned to my small film collection, and with a heavy heart I decimated the numbers from more than forty movies to around fifteen or so.

It tore me to part with many (i.e. Gladiator, Fight Club, Spider-Man 3...wipes a tear), and some I didn't mind doing without (i.e. The Silence of the Lambs, Jerry Maguire). But there were a select few films I kept realizing that, come leather jackets and lavish dinners or shirts with holes and Cup Noodles, I couldn't quite live without. Ergo, here is a list of the films I now own and consider required possessions in times of poverty; my "deserted island" movie list.

1. The Fountain - I'd have to lose rent for a cardboard box to sell this one. I could live to be one hundred and this film will still blow me away on my deathbed. Arguably my all-time favorite.
2. Magnolia - I have to lie in bed for a long time whenever I finish this movie. It makes me think - a lot. I love that. Everything that makes me passionate about filmmaking is in this movie.
3. Saving Private Ryan - It's incredible, the way I feel about my country and myself every time I watch this. Not love or respect, but something deeper...a kind of honor in awe.
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - If I could somehow communicate every single thing I feel and understand about true romantic love, it would be this movie. No other love story will ever come close.
5. Almost Famous (Untitled) - The best screenplay I've ever read, the only coming-of-age film I really enjoy, and a sort of love letter to rock and roll, all in one from Cameron Crowe. You can't go wrong.
6. Garden State - I feel so much more alive whenever I see this movie. Seriously, I don't know how I lived before I saw it.
7. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence - Only this one can truly make me cry, from sadness and sheer joy. It can also make me scream and wanna throw up. An emotional powerhouse; I can't watch it more than once a year.
8. The Royal Tenenbaums - One of my favorite character-driven films. Father relationships and redemption are my favorite themes, and they are the backbone of this movie.
9. Big Fish - A cinematic musing on why we love to tell stories. Another father-son film.
10. American Beauty - Not to play on the title...but this movie helps me feel like people, the world, and life itself can be beautiful sometimes.

And finally, a movie I don't own (yet) but would want to have on an island: The Lion King. Mock me if you will, but this is a deep movie for me and I'll always love it to death.

P.S. These are all life-influencing movies for me, and if you feel interested in checking one out, be warned that seven of the ten are rated R. But I'd still strongly recommend any of them.
P.S.S. And yes, we ARE assuming that I actually have a TV on the island. *rolls eyes....

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Hottest Thing Since Abbey Road

So this week, some very key items finally arrived in my mailbox. First, my director's cut graphic novel for my favorite movie of all time, The Fountain. Second, a book I've been looking forward to read recommended by our dear Miss Spinn from her native Norway, entitled Naive. Super and translated into English.

There were two more: a couple of Zippo lighters. I've been learning how to do some Zippo tricks. At this point, I can:
  • breath fire - don't panic
  • make fireballs (in a controlled environment - again, don't panic)
  • take the flame away from the wick, hold it in my hand, then snap it back.
They're both black. One of them has the Japanese kanji symbol for the word "love" on the front, the other has a white silhouette of the Beatles album Abbey Road. My Japanese Zippo, unfortunately, is getting shipped back to the factory next week. Wanna know why?

I read on the internet and heard from someone (probably a moron) that I need to use butane. Which didn't quite make sense, since butane is a gas and the lighter is a wick, would assume it needs fuel, but I was being stupid. I made a foolish choice and went to sell my soul to that devil known as Wal-Mart. Nothing good has EVER happened from me going to Wal-Mart, and tonight was about to prove it. So I get the butane, only 98 cents, figure maybe Wal-Mart is about to redeem itself. I get back to my apartment and start pumping it into my Japanese lighter, and the whole thing starts to get encased with this layer of strange-smelling ice.

(All you proud graduates of Zack Knappenberger's class are already laughing at what will happen next.)

I hit the switch. Nothing happens. I hit it again. Nothing happens. I hit it once more. The whole thing, case and all, erupts into a burning ball of fire that starts to consume my hand. I drop it on my desk and it starts to light the desk. I blow, slam, and stop the flames.

And then I promise myself out loud that I am never, ever gonna set foot within one hundred feet of Wal-Mart again. Karma has never been so bad.