Good Auditions, Bad Decisions

An Actor Despairs

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Happy Birthday, Kim Novak

A while ago I mentioned Kim Novak at the end of a post, and how upset it seems she is over the use of the Vertigo score in Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist. Well, clearly she’s been on my mind, and things have come full circle, because today is Novak’s birthday.

How does one celebrate Kim Novak’s birthday? Well, I don’t know about you, but I spent some time today watching Vertigo on television for the first time in years, and realizing in utter horror just how terrifying it really is.

I will never look at Jimmy Stewart the same way again.

Filed under Kim Novak Meta Michel Hazanavicius Vertigo The Artist Birthdays Jimmy Stewart

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Let’s See A Movie!

Yesterday I went to the movies and saw The Artist. Again.

The last time I saw a movie more than once in theaters was The Duchess. I mean, come on! The music was amazing, it had Ralph Fiennes, and the costumes were impeccable! Plus, anything written by Jeffrey Hatcher is worth seeing a second time. Or a third. Maybe a fourth.

The record holder is a little more embarrassing.

I was lucky enough, during my time in Houston, to become best friends with the girl across the street. We were the same age, and ended up in the same class for a few years, so we spent all our free time together. It was great! We had most of the same interests, and stuck up for each-other when that sort of thing was called for. Plus, we were still in that blissful part of childhood where being embarrassed comes from things that happen, and not from a realization of how weird you are, so we were able to be completely bizarre in front of each-other without fear of recrimination.

She had an amazing ability to find something she loved and delve into it completely. I was usually more than willing to follow along and explore whatever it was that she was so into that week. Or month. Or however long. That was how I got into the Backstreet Boys (yep), learned weaving for Colonial Day (we made a diorama), and how I got kicked out of Bible-Space-Camp (true story).

When we were a little older, maybe ten or eleven, we got into the habit of going to see movies on weekends. Her parents would usually drop us off, and help us get the tickets, and then we would get ourselves as much popcorn and soda as we could carry before the movie started.

Then Titanic was released in theaters. She loved it (as did most people). She saw it and insisted that we go together the next week. At this point Titanic had been playing for about three weeks, so everyone in school had been talking about it, and I didn’t want to be left out. I remember being distinctly shocked by the nudity, and at how gruesome it was to spend the majority of the movie watching people freeze to death. By the time we left the theater, I had swallowed the Cool-Aid, and we were already making plans to see it again. Then two more times the weekend after. And so on.

Keep in mind that the film was rated PG-13, so, at eleven, we had to sit through it with one of her parents. Eleven times.

That’s how many times we saw it before it finally closed. She wasn’t exactly devastated, but saying she was excited for the VHS release would be an understatement. I’ve actually lost track of how many times we watched the VHS, but I do dimly recall the moment when I decided I had seen it enough. But that was OK! Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, which has seemed too boring to watch the year before, was suddenly heaven sent because it had Leo in it. This became our new film to watch.

She moved away just before middle school, and the house across the street remained empty until we moved the next year. We tried to visit each-other on weekends, but life got in the way as it tends to do. Factor in that most childhood friendships are geographically based, and we lost touch. I still think about her when I see Titanic.

Maybe I’ll find her on Facebook and send her a slew of film stills from Titanic. That wouldn’t be weird, right?

Yeah, I guess it would. I wonder if Titanic is on Netflix.

Filed under Childhood Film D.C. Houston Movies Prose Titanic

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A Poet Who Didn’t Know It

Once upon a time, when I was still in college, I thought it would be a good idea to start a poetry blog so I could share all the intense emotional issues I was dealing with as a blossoming young adult.

I had kept a journal in an online community with friends in high-school, and figured it was probably much the same thing. The difference was that now I would keep it anonymously, and be able to indulge the muses of my tortured spirit. I suppose this was one in a long line of embarrassing cyber-journals that have led us here (look how far I’ve come).

I went through all my notebooks and picked out the choicest gems; those rare and wonderful stanzas that conveyed the bitterness and agony of unrequited love, the rhyming couplets that flowed eloquently into rapturous declarations of joy, and the concrete poetry that expressed in images what mere words could never hope to. I edited, I rewrote, and I composed anew. I was alive with the spirit of my art.

The format of the blog was an afterthought. It was more important that the content be true, and honest, and open. I was baring my soul to the world, and would clearly someday be hailed as a brilliant writer. Then I would rise from my anonymity victorious, and be lauded through the streets; honored by the great and the good.

Locked in my room, I made headway listening to breakup songs and torch ballads. I blocked out the sun with curtains and blinds, and drank every cup of coffee that crossed my path. I was jittery, and abnormally pale (even for me). Sleep evaded me as I gave myself over to my art. Showering stopped being a good use of time, and the torch songs gave way to Mozart’s requiem; blasted through the dark as I basked in the glow of my laptop. It was quite an afternoon.

In all seriousness, I really did devote myself to this project for the entire afternoon, and, for several days afterwards, took it very seriously.

Now, I did consider sharing some of the highlights, but they really are too awful. Also, I don’t want to reveal anything too incriminating. Also, I realized that if you search any of the quotes on Google, the remnants of the blog are the first result (probably because it’s such bad poetry that no one else would ever put those words in that order. Ever).

Instead let my just assure you that, if someday I am stopped on the street by someone who has uncovered my identity, it will not be to congratulate me, but rather to make me take responsibility for the monsters I have created. A far cry from the hero’s parade I once envisioned.

Filed under College Embarrassing Poetry Prose Vermont Meta