Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hometown Indie

Last week was great for new indie rentals. I watched both Juno and Lars and the Real Girl . Based on my last few rentals and my general distaste for public opinion, I went in with low expectations but an open-minded optimism. This may be my key to a happy life.

Juno was a fun, quirky movie with true heart and depth. Characterization is key to me, and by the end of this movie, I felt like I knew and cared for all the characters. It also had a ton of smarmy wise assed jokes, which is always a quick sell for me. Double score because the soundtrack was so awesome. Honestly, the soundtrack almost went against the movie because I kept wanting to turn it off and go listen to some tunes. All in all, I really enjoyed this and look forward to watching it again; I fear that I missed a lot of jokes. This is one of those movies that gets better the more you watch it.

Lars and the Real Girl again made me think about emotions and what loneliness could do to a person. At times it was a little preachy, but the story knew when to reign itself back in. I love that indies tend to be in quirky small towns and have more realistic characters. People are good and happy without botox and penhouse apartments in NYC. I want to believe in that kind of world because the opposite scares me. Ryan Gosling was as stunning as ever, but while watching some of the extras. I did wonder just how far his quirkiness might go.

I've officially fulfilled my quota for using the word quirky. I'm out with a quote that I should probably work harder to remember:
"He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away." - Raymond Hull

Monday, April 14, 2008

No Jazz Before the Rumble

Recently, I read S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders for the first time. From the first pages, I was completely engrossed in the book. It reminded me of Holden Caufield (The Catcher in the Rye), but with more raw emotion and less snarky, self-defensive humor. I read it in an evening and am working my way through her other novels. I finished Rumble Fish the other night with the same enthusiasm and am impatiently awaiting the other books from Amazon.

Growing up, the Francis Ford Coppola's movie of the book had always been one of my favorites.  So, you can probably imagine how excited I was when I found an extended cut on Netflix ( The Outsiders: The Complete Novel). A lot of reviewers complained that they had replaced the original score with a 50's soundtrack and ruined it, but I'm starting to believe that there are too many people in the world resistant to change.

For me, the extra 22 minutes of footage was pure bliss. While reading the book, I was astonished that so many fantastic scenes were missing from the movie. I missed the relationship between Ponyboy and Sodapop. Also, the new music felt more authentic to the book. It made me feel like I was living in the characters' world. The extended cut included crucial information in forming the characters and helped to fill in all of the missing pieces from the book. Sodapop and Two Bit are my favorite characters in the book, so it was really nice because so many fantastic scenes that were added included a lot about their characters. It also helped to fuel my new bizarre crush on Rob Lowe.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Creativity Hibernation

Unfortunately it has been a hectic few months and writing, or at least the kind I don't get paid for, has not fit very well into my schedule. I have been busy attending all sorts of events at Ruth Eckerd Hall (Movin' Out being my favorite), watching lots of movies, listening to hours of music, and reading piles of fantastic fiction. With the move to the hazy, lazy days of summer, my efforts are centered on improving my meditations and using my new found serenity to budget more time doing the thing that I love the most... writing.

Meditation brings wisdom; lack of mediation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.”
- Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta