Friday, November 13, 2009

The Very Good Thing

But then a good thing happened: I met an old friend, Sonia. She has been a penpal of mine since I was 13, and one I never figured I would meet, but meet we did and she was wonderful. Very refreshing to hang out with; we are vastly different people right down to our physicality, but I think we are kindred spirits. She and I also shared some very defining discoveries, namely The Royal Tenenbaums, which I recc'd to her, as well as The Decemberists and Bright Eyes (she to me). Where did we meet? At a screening of The Fantastic Mr. Fox. What happened there? One of the most wonderful things ever. I met Wes Anderson.

Well, Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzman. They are two of my most favorite people on the planet (that is, Wes has been for some time and Jason quickly became one after seeing him in all of his adorable, SCHMACK glory).

Ahhh they are so precious. Anyway. We ended up in the second row, saw the film, which, Wes or No-Wes (but definitely Wes) was one of the most adorable things I've ever seen. The best part is the grumpy little-boy fox (Schwartzman). Anyway. After that was the Q&A, which they handled very nicely, answering every single question, both of them sitting there with their funny little multi-colored socks, being their precious selves in their suits. Yes, I know how I sound, leave me alone, it was my starstruck moment.

Afterward they strolled out with the rest of us mere mortals, chatting and conversing with whoever came up to them. We ended up walking behind JS, so I had to eventually say something once some people had left him alone. I shook hands, said I was earnestly a fan and liked his movies very much, could I have a picture? Thank you, yes of course you can! PRECIOUS MAN. And, may I say, GORGEOUS MAN. Picture was taken, hug was given, Katrina floated away. I now kick myself because there's so much more I should have said-- Thank you for Rushmore, thank you for making me laugh, thank you for co-writing Darjeeling, it's so beautiful, it meant alot to my family and really resonated. Thank you for California, another song that meant alot to my family when we moved years ago (we sang it driving down the 101, it reminded us that we were escaping our bondage for the time being and running towards possibility- we were free). Thank you for "West Coast", it meant alot to me and my friends two summers ago when we all started to go our own seperate ways-- when we listen to it it reminds us all of being together, I sing it when I'm down, thank you for that, thanks. Also, I love your socks. And now that I've met you I think you're probably the most unconventionally gorgeous and (one of the most) annoyingly multi-talented person in hollywood. Dammit. I could have said all of those things but I didn't.

i realllllllly wish i had decided to wear make-up that day.

And then I met him, I met Wes Anderson. Okay. I don't want to make it sound like I think he's GOD or anything, but let me just explain what a big deal this is: When I was thirteen, in 2001, the same year LOTR came out, I saw The Royal Tenenbaums. I didn't totally understand it, but I loved it, and my friend bought me the video for my birthday that year. So I watched it and I kept on watching it and talking to Sonia about it and thinking about it and one day I got the soundtrack from the library- I burned myself a copy and drew the Tenenbaum flag on it with pink and blue sharpies. Through that music and the music from his other movies I started to form my own tastes and became more selective about the pop music that I simply took for granted (no, I did not turn into a snob just yet, but I did broaden my horizons, and no, I never was all that crazy about Nsync anyway). I always loved music and writing, but I think REALLY it was Anderson and specifically the Royal Tenenbaums that made me fully realize what I want to do (Sofia Coppola and Charlie Kauffman and Cameron Crowe helped, of course, as well as all of the old favorites, but Wes pushed me over the edge). He, along with Coppola, was the first modern filmmaker that I read about and paid attention to, he was different. At 15 I went as Margot Tenenbaum for Halloween, even springing to rent a furr coat. When I was 16 I began to really respond emotionally to his movies-- suddenly Needle In The Hay and Fairest of the Seasons meant more and more, and by 17 I was a goner. I went to see Life Aquatic and Darjeeling Limited (as well as Huckabee's and Shopgirl by influence). The only other entities that I think had that sort of influence over my adolescence through young adulthood were The Beatles and JD Salinger, the only entities that've really had major influence since are CS Lewis and Bob Dylan. I love this guy.

He was awkward- dressed in a curdorouy suit that I know I've seen before, very tall and skinny with weird, Tim-Burton-esque fingers. He has very wise eyes, I'll say, and looks as though he's about to smirk but never does. He seems like a nice person. He has high taste but I don't think he wants to strangle anyone with it. He said hello, I said hello and shakily shook (heh) his spindly hand. I stumbled through an unprepared speech about how much I love Royal Tenenbaums and respect him as an artist, and he said thank you, and then I asked for a picture, and he said yes. So we took one. And then I shook his hand again and told him that everyone probably tells him so, but that he made me want to make art, and that I was going to school to learn screenwriting, and he said that was wonderful. I said I hoped to meet him again someday, which might have sounded creepy but oh I hope not, and then he wished me luck and I clumsily picked up my bag and smiled again at him and awkwardly walked away.

stupid katrina, stupid.

I should have told him everything, overwhelmed him with a sea of appreciation, detailing the tears that I still cry over the Greenline bus and I've Had A Hard Year Dad and Medals for Punctuation and I Didn't Save Mine and I Wonder If He Remembers Me? and how much I still at least giggle over I Was In The Shit and the revenge sequence of Rushmore and the brother's fight in Darjeeling and "I HAD TO DO IT!" and how I love that he always shows the spines of books and uses music just right and always lets me savor that sincere line that reveals the whole character's heart. But I didn't. I awkwardly ran away. Once I get my typewriter I'm going to write him a letter and tell him all that, but for now I just kick myself and bemoan my mediocrity-- except that now I am just a little less mediocre, because I have met a role model, creatively speaking, and he wished me good luck and shook my poor overzealous hand. Twice. <3 Lately whenever I've felt sad (see: previous blog and future blog) I just remind myself of this, and that I have no reason to be sad. I met Wes Anderson, and Jason Schwartzman (quite possibly the cutest person alive). I'll be happy for some time, no matter what.

On top of that, I re-met an old friend who's meant alot to me, just when I need friends. Aside from being embarrassed that she witnessed the starstruck and stammering version of me, I'm also very pleased about this.

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