I had some ideas over the past month of things that I wanted to say on here, reflections I wanted to make and maybe even a few goals or whatnot. All that has faded away as this month as disappeared. January has really snuck by and I don’t know if I can get straight exactly what it was that I did this month. More or less it seemed to be about getting ready to buckle down and focus for the next semester. I needed to do a bit of a brain dump after everything that happened between September and December and I hope that I got most of it out of my system.
Work has been all over the place this month. I started it on a furlough (and ill) and when I returned the opening had been pushed back due to some unforeseen complications in the show and some last minute decisions that ended up being pretty great. It opened, audiences came, and there was a lot of positivity about the project. In addition to this opening there was also Rock the Cradle. This is my fifth year doing this event and part of me coasted through it–we’ve really gotten good at doing a lot of the things that we do at this event. We added a few things this year from our end. We had two tables last year with info and prize drawings. This year we added a third table for prize drawings in the education center and an info table in the entry. In addition to the prize drawings we gave away product in the education center and we had a merch table in the rotunda. I think it went really well overall. The new tables added a new layer to our involvement and gave me a few more things to pay attention to (both in setup and in execution) but I had a lot of great people who came in to help out. The event went fantastic and I’m happy that I played a small part in that. The takeaway this year was Haley Bonar’s last CD. She was one of the musicians performing this year and I made a point to watch her do a couple of songs. Another local artist who now lives in Portland, Oregon.
Movies this month have been all over the map. I just saw Legion with Dennis Quaid and Paul Bettany on Saturday night with Angela. I was disappointed overall with the movie–it seemed to hit all sorts of cliches and didn’t allow the actors a lot of room for nuance. They did what they could, but I think in the end they were restrained by a less than fantastic script and poor direction.
I also did the double feature with Megan at the beginning of the month (Nine and Sherlock Holmes). Nine wasn’t as terrible as people were making it out to be, but it wasn’t awesome either. I think it would have been more successful if Rob Marshall would develop a better style of directing movie musicals–what worked so well in Chicago seems very played out now. It would have been interesting, I think, if the director for this film modeled at least some of the aesthetic on Fellini, since Guido is based on Fellini and the musical is parallel to Fellini’s 8 1/2. But instead we got Rob Marshall, who sadly is also directing the next installment of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Sherlock Holmes was still good the second time I saw it.
I saw Daybreakers with Zack (a good vampire flick that managed to mix futuristic sci-fi with straight up horror pretty well. Ethan Hawke and Sam Neill were very good in it, Willem Dafoe got some fantastic lines: “Living in a world full of vampires is as safe as barebacking a five dollar whore.”). Zack and I also saw The Book of Eli which was very entertaining, shot very well, and engaged us both for the two hours. Not a perfect film, but there is no such thing. Very enjoyable and had some fun post-apocalyptic set pieces.
The only other movie that I can think of that I saw in the theaters since the last entry was Up In The Air which was fantastic. It was a bittersweet film that mixed comedy and tragedy so well. There were so many subtleties in that flick and it was grounded by several fantastic performances and some genuine authenticity in the scenes where people were getting fired. It’s a movie about consequences, of both actions and lifestyles. I liked it a lot.
Other movies that I watched this month include Hostel 2 and Captivity (both watched on Fearnet.com and both solidly thumbs down), Air America (just purchased it on dvd, still good), The Hottest State (had a lot of the strengths of the book with some changes in the story. Ethan Hawke wrote both and had a good sense of what worked on the page and what worked on the screen. Was a little long though and dragged in a few parts. Overall though the strength of the book was the strength of the movie: the emotions felt authentic). I also watched a great independent movie from 2007 that I got on iTunes called Palo Alto, CA about four friends from high school who are now college freshmen on the last night of their Thanksgiving break. The movie is ostensibly a comedy, but it’s a little bit like Up In The Air where it plays more like a drama with humor. The age of the characters in the movie and the time of year is good, because that’s when (I think) people start realizing how their lives are starting to change from the ones they always knew growing up to the ones that they are creating for themselves in college. It was a very solid first film with a cast that was very good. Another iTunes movie that I just rewatched was Edward Burns’ Purple Violets which I’m happy to say holds up very well. I really like Burns’ style, good conversational dialogue with some beautiful filmmaking.
The other night I did a (bad) horror movie night with Tiff, Zack, Meghan (visiting from Texas), Hannah, and Clusman where we watched The Hills Run Red and The Children. Both of these flicks were pretty bad, but that made the open mocking so much better.
I finished watching Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. I watched the seventh season in three days. Good times. Such a great show. I also watched a web series called The Bannen Way that was very good.
I read Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby. Excellent book. I’ve been puttering away on A Study in Scarlet but haven’t really invested myself in another book. Need to get cracking on the reading for next semester. There is a lot and in an ideal world I’d have a head start–just have to get there.
Other than that, I managed to get eight more pages scribbled on Novel Project 2. Only a few more days until I put it on the shelf for a bit and work on Novel Project 3 for spring term. After this next semester I have to decide which one I’m going to follow through on for thesis.
That’s all I’ve got right now. More later …