Monday found me and the family on the Georgetown Loop railroad, an old, narrow-gauge steam-line running about an hour outside of Denver that takes the scenic route up a 4% grade to Silver Plume. Reminding me a lot of my affection for the HBO series “Deadwood” and a lot of my father, too, who used to love to drive up to Georgetown to fish in some pond or another; usually with my sister because I was too busy doing whatever it was that I did. At the risk of getting maudlin all over the joint, the jaunt was in honor of Father’s Day, grabbed while I had a few free hours because there was no guarantee that I would later in the week (shades of dad, again, I’m afraid). At the hale old age of 33, I do assess a lot what’s going right and what’s going wrong in my life – after all, if I follow in my pop’s footsteps, I only have twenty-one years left to do whatever it is that we do.
Did a speaking gig at the tiny Lone Tree library this last ten days, introducing and discussing the lovely Italian film I’m Not Scared. I wrote when I saw it first a few years ago that it was a remake in spirit of Charles Laughton’s Night of the Hunter and watching it again, I’m left with a similar feeling. The theme of the blog today seems to be fathers and sons. For my part, my boy is having a tough time with colic so I’m not sleeping much – it melts the days into the nights into the dreams into the realities. I’m in the uncomfortable situation all the time now of wondering if I dreamed a conversation or had it: completed a piece or just fantasized that I had.
By the time I finally pound out a review of Get Rich or Die Tryin’ later tonight, it will have been, no kidding, the third time I’ve written it in my head. You’re not going to be able to tell.
Went to a screening of the abominable Lake House last night with a crowd that had it all figured out in about five minutes, flat, which should be all the warning any sentient being needs – went to a screening of Nacho Libre today where a guy in a Mexican wrestler’s outfit, spewing pidgen Spanglish, threw t-shirts and posters into the crowd. I was offended before the film started, in other words, and then 80 minutes of caveat for little white kids to start saying retarded things in Pancho and Cisco accents. I’m sick of fighting this fight – the film’s not even funny.
Tonight found me at the Denver Public Library’s central branch, introducing and moderating a discussion of a lively screening of Howard Hawks’ you-have-to-see-it-with-a-crowd, Bringing Up Baby. Howling laughter throughout, making it a grand experience and the conversation afterwards, with a clips show that I’d had the rare (for me) foresight to prepare beforehand, going deeper into the particulars of the film. We even touched on the Darwinian theories of the piece – far above and beyond the basic “How’d they get the leopard to fight Asta” stuff. In preparation for the event, I did listen to Peter Bogdanovich’s commentary on the Warner’s DVD which, between his bad imitations of Grant and Hawks, proved only minimally-edifying. His crowing about how much Hawks liked What’s Up Doc made me want to stomp a mudhole in his ascot.
Had a brief conversation with friend and colleague Tom Delapa before the Lake House screening, incidentally, about Godard’s Week End while offering a few comments to an audience member after the I’m Not Scared screening about Bunuel’s Viridiana - leading me to ask the question of which film that you love do you find that elicits the most mystification? Not horror and repulsion, but just big giant question marks and demands for clarification (like me standing like the RCA puppy before Napoleon Dynamite’s giant cult of personality).
Dead Man is the one for me: that seems in large part to be one where you hear the music or not.
Here’s the capture:
Hot off the Presses (61606)
Hey. Got a mention in the Hollywood Reporter. Anybody got some shades I could borrow?