BUFF 2005

I’m not involved with the Underground Film Festival this year, though
it is taking place entirely in my neighborhood and I’ll be attending.
The schedule looks good and the web site actually has information this year!

Li’l Buggy

Aw, look at this cute little car. I think I could crush it between my fingertips. And park it in my foyer.
via suw

Music For Sale

I bought a Bright Eyes CD. What the hell was I thinking? What a bunch
of whiney crap. And moronically juvenile lyrics. Some of the musical
arrangements were very cool though. Anyone want to buy it off me? $2 or
best offer.

I also bought Modest Mouse, which I liked much more. Though I was
thinking at first “Wow, these guys are like nothing I’ve ever heard
before…oh except that sounds kind of like Mudhoney…and that’s sort
of Flaming Lips-ish…” I still like it though.

On the Rebound

I have overwhelmed my germs with loads of vitamins and fruits sleep and
water water water and they are beaten. Everyone in my family said
they’d had this thing for more than a week, and my roommate had it all
last week, but tomorrow I will be back in action. And the three pounds
of turkey and stuffing and chocolate that I gained over Easter have
also been flushed away with the germs, so I am no worse for the wear.
Just bored to tears and eager to get out of the house.

Kinky for Governor

Kinky Friedman is running for Governor of Texas. His campaign slogan is “Why The Hell Not?” Maybe I’ll move to Austin so I can vote for him.


The incubation period is now over and it’s official: I’m sick. In case
you were wondering, a surefire way to get sick is to go visit a house
full of people who are ALL sick, stay there for two days, and share a
bed with one of the sickies. It helps if these people also stress and
depress you, which will help to suppress your immune system for maximum
germ invasion.

Korean Absurdity

Serpico files the following report from Korea:

The City Hall building in the borough where I live and
work has this office, near the ones for COMPLAINTS and


Here, you are supposed to report “all sorts of absurdity.”

From the official grid of phone numbers:

Trash Disposal – 555.0001 – Questions about refuse,
recycling, odors
Complaints – 555.0002 – Mistreatment by city officers
Absurdity – 555.0003 – All sorts of absurdity
Elder Citizens – 555.0004 – Free health care for the

He is on assignment to obtain a photo of the Door of the Office of Absurdity. I think he should also try to file a report on his “Korean landlord who reams you out for a half an hour in Korean, spitting in some unexplainable rage, and then puts a little sticky note on your door at two in the morning that says “I sorry” with a frowning cartoon face on it. Is that saving face?”

Film Geek Love

This “eligible cinephile” states the problem with “movie dates”:

“There’s a problem with going out with film buffs,” he said. “Any
time you share an interest with somebody, and you make that the
starting point for getting to know the person, you can never be sure –
unless you do something drastic, like trying to kiss them – you can
never be sure if they simply want to see the film in your company, or
if they find you attractive and want you to find them attractive.”

film date, in his view, is awkward by its very nature. “To like going
to films, not unlike liking to read, involves a certain cultivation of
solitude,” he observed. “Even if you’re on a date – unless you’re with
one of these idiots who wants to hold your hand through the whole film
– you don’t interact with the other person during the film. Which can
be very frustrating to some people. They think they’ve spent two hours
with you when all they’ve done is sit next to you.”

I solve this problem by rarely going to the movies any more. But hey
ladies, if you want a guy who sees 10 movies *minimum* per week and
works as a temp in order to have a schedule flexible enough to allow
him to see all those movies, he’s available and looking.

SXSW 2006

I’m so jealous of all the people who got to go to SXSW.
I want to go next year. But who can afford $500 for a festival, plus
flight and hotel? I think I will move to Austin. And somehow get some
sort of press credentials. Or maybe just write a winning blog post.


I have watched half of Hero and it’s boring the shit out of me, though it’s very pretty. Here is my estimation of the film’s message so far:

Postscript: After viewing the second half I’d say the message is the same. Perhaps slightly altered to “My penis is so mighty I dont even need to fight you!”

Excerpt from “Grace” by Paula Fox

…he wrote three letters to the New
York Times. …His third letter was about a term, “street smart”, used
by a writer to describe a novel’s heroine. “This is a superficially
snappy but meaningless cliche that trivializes reality,” he wrote. “On
the street, the truth is that people stumble about in confusion and
dismay even when they are making fortunes selling illegal drugs. People
are smart for only a few minutes at a time.”

This is a great, great short story in Best American 2004.

Writer/Director Blogs

I agree with Cinetrix, David Duchovny is awfully earnest in his new blog about his new film. It’s sweet:

So I had the heart. I had a beginning and an end. Now I needed the spine, the story, what happens. And so I filled it in with characters from my childhood. The boy’s “retarded” best friend, Pappass, played by Robin Williams, was loosely based on a neighborhood “slow” man who used to play with us kids—stickball, football, whatever, and sometimes beat us up cause he was a man and a sometimes very frustrated man. He was one of us but not one of us. And I knew he could function in a Puff the Magic Dragon role–one of those childhood protectors that loom so important but cannot make the crossover journey into adulthood with the boy. So he, too, became an unlikely source of wisdom for the boy. Wisdom that the boy did not quite get until much later when it was almost too late. The boy would want to seek him out too. To thank him. And I had a delivery boy job when I was 13, delivering meat (is there a more embarrassing job for a 13 year old boy than to have to ride a big ugly silver bike around the city saying “here’s the meat”?) and I thought—they could have that job together. Money, kids always want a little money and independence. For what? A bike–that’s what you want before you want a car or a girlfriend. But it’s the same freedom and speed. A nice bike. A sexy green bike. Okay. But then a girl gets in the way. A girl in a dress the same color as the bike. The story started coming into focus.

I like this new trend of directors blogging for their films (Zach Braff etc). Hugh had some stuff about movie blogging awhile back, but I think this is really the only way to do it–to be a central figure in the making of the film. To be the writer/director, to be specific, and especially if it’s an independent film. Who wants to read a blog written by some hack who’s just paid to be interested in the film? And I can’t imagine any blog about a big-budget Hollywood film being at all interesting, even if it was written by Spielberg or Scorcese or Mann or whomever. I can’t imagine any of them being willing to get to the heart of it and reveal anything anyway. And that’s what blogs are about. The big guys are too entrenched in old-media publicity to warm to blogs. And a blog written by someone other than the central figure in the film’s creation is just a boring marketing blog. It will have no heart.

Non-Existential Detectives

Here is something that has been bugging me about my favorite film from last year, I (Heart) Huckabees: The detectives bill themselves and “existential detectives.” But they are not at all existential. They are the opposite of existential

Existentialism attempts to describe our desire to make rational decisions despite existing in an irrational universe. Unfortunately, life might be without inherent meaning (existential atheists) or it might be without a meaning we can understand (existential theists). Either way, the human desires for logic and immortality are futile. We are forced to define our own meanings, knowing they might be temporary. In this existence, the individual defines everything.

That is Katherine Vauban’s theory, not the detectives’ theory. Theirs is the antidote to existentialism. What gives? I guess it doesn’t really matter, because the ideas involved in this film are very simple, not sophisticated at all. They’re very Philosophy 101, though somehow not at all annoying for that. I think because the film is so playful, doesn’t take itself seriously, it doesn’t matter. If a film delved deeply into philosophy I doubt it could be so playful. So for the playfulness I can forgive the fact that David O. Russell has it backwards.

And I would like to add that the special edition DVD of the film isn’t very impressive and probably not worth the extra $10. I still love the film though.

Scary Movies

At this site you can watch the first five minuges of Boogeyman. I watched it, and it is predictable and cliche and SCARY AS HELL.

via Dowbrigade, who I agree with when he says:

… two-minute movie trailers have existed for years, and are all over the net. However, these are usually unrealistic compilations of eye candy, one-liners and money shots, and give no idea what the movie is actually going to be like. The first five minutes would be a much more representative sampling. It could potentially help us avoid dropping mucho dinero on duds and bombs at the local Megaplex, which is probably why it will never catch on.

Oscar Fashion

Is it just me or is Natalie Portman stuck in Star Wars mode?