Saturday, January 11
on the cinematic front: the other night i went with aijung (driving a roundabout route to regal regal henrietta, with pause) and katie z. (just back from bolivia, where she studied water politics in a town with a funny name) to see chicago, which was tremendous. so entertaining, just really really so good. it makes you wonder why the don't make movie musicals so much anymore. maybe lack of material? - they have to plunder the (sort of) classics (although i didn't know this show at all.) of course, none of it makes much sense, but who cares? what a cast! (queen latifah and john c. reilly, who get one stellar number each, were especially enjoyable.) ironic that the only real music theatre star in the movie (my fellow alumnus, scot-taye!) didn't get to sing and barely got any screen time.
last night, meanwhile, after we went to see my sister's bowling meet (some impressive players, also quiana jospeh was there, of all people), but before we met my dad for some completely passable italian at some new place they've discovered, the moms [that's an ij reference - the book, well, it's entertaining to be sure, but very hard to read. it's really work.] and i went to see the pianist. another (and entirely other) marvelous movie - totally engrossing (2.5 hr length notatallwithstanding), powerful, effective. my response wasn't as violently physical as ester's, but i was equally impressed. i really appreciated lots of delicate and thoughtful details that helped create great emotional effect without melodrama or sentimentality. the always so-subtly implicit, but rarely directly addressed, role that his in fact being a pianist plays in his story, both literally and symbolically. the perfectly placed moment of [black my mom says, but i think not] humor right at the final moment of danger. some historical questions - what was all of that shooting and explosions that seemingly devastated the entire city, before liberation, long after evacuating the ghetto - surely not just the polish underground? [also, i wonder, idly, whether anyone has ever made a holocaust film in the style of a horror movie rather than a historical drama. it might be hard to do in taste.]
to contrast that totally, martha i watched the first 3/4 of empire records, which i'd never seen. i'm pleasantly surprised - it's certainly better than reality bites, dazed and confused, or that other one. better acting, better script. i'll have to reserve judgment until i see the end though.
encounters with corporate media distribution outlets: i went to borders to exchange a big french dictionary (one of 3 i got for xmas) and a dvd (the who, live in like 1998 or something, which was cool but i would have watched it exactly once). not only did they give me nearly seventy bucks, they gave it to me in cash, which was a shock (i didn't have a receipt or anything.) meanwhile, over at barnes and noble, they have this nifty system where you can scan any cd's bar code at a listening station and hear the first 30 seconds or so of each track. that means you could listen to half of the commercial album.
other than that, i've been restringing my pop's guitar and trying to fake my way through the excellent elliott smith tabs at sweetadeline.net, writing some long e-mails back and forth with hannah, and almost nobody else. i've been only mediocrely proactive about getting together with friends. but maybe that'll change tonight.
i remember everything
the words we spoke on freezing south street