Thursday, April 29, 2010

i'm starting to realize i've met alot of celebrities.

OK. So there's this brilliant show called Breaking Bad. I've blathered on about it here and to people I know. Of course, my taste isn't generally shared by many of my friends so I watch it mostly by myself. My mother got me into it, actually, by telling me what an interesting show happened to be on the air with Hal from Malcolm in the Middle, and oh, one of the characters has CP, which is a major draw for mother. Anyway. The show is a massive critical hit, with Stephen King (curse his name) going crazy over it and the Emmys going crazy over it and everyone in the Hollywood screenwriting circle going crazy over it. In short, writers like this show. SO I thought it was pretty exciting that some kids at our school decided to get ahold of the lead actor, Bryan Cranston, to come speak.

This was SO COOL because Cranston is weirdly a part of alot of conversations I have about showbusiness and the state of things right now-- I love the writing on BB and I think Cranston (and the guy who plays Jesse Pinkman) is a pretty remarkable actor. In season 2 there is a scene in particular that blew me away and is so opposed to his comic work on Malcolm (also fantastic) that I couldn't stop thinking that he is a really talented person who is finally getting his due.

Anyhoo. So he showed up here and gave a great talk, about an hour and a half, about his career and acting and the creative world in general. I will say this, the man's entertaining but he DOES indeed like to talk. Alot. It didn't matter though, because most of what he said was very educational and interesting and encouraging. I feel like recently there have been alot of professional encouragements like this for me, and I can't help but wonder if that's setting me up for something or providing me with tiny nuggets of comfort to chew on during the dry spell that is to be the great What Happens Next. Anyway. Lovely man. Afterwards, some people stood around for pictures and talk and more inquiries, and when he rolled around to me I introduced myself, mentioned how moved I was by a Malcolm rerun I watched recently about the death of Hal's father, and dicussed BB a bit. In closing, I mustered up all of my hutzpah and asked him if he was aware of any PA jobs or writing internships with the BB writers. He brightened at that and told me to wait around.

After he had talked to everyone it turned out I was the only one left, so I walked out with him to his car. I ended up talking to him for a good 20-30 minutes about work, graduation, Breaking Bad and writing in general (MY THESIS?!). He said he would pass along some information to me through the fellow that organized the thing tonight, shook hands again, and went his merry way.

I dont know if anything'll come of it, I tend to doubt it. He said that he wasn't even sure when the writers were setting up this specific office in LA (to work on next season, I suppose). I don't know if they DO need anyone, or if there's a shot in hell that they'd hire me, but I don't seriously doubt that Cranston will do what he said and pass along the information (he's attempting to be a writer currently himself, and spent a bit of the Q&A time ranting about a movie that he had written that Nickelodeon was trying to chop up and destroy). So I am indulging in some day-dreaming on the subject.

He said quite a few things tonight that I think will be very good to remember, but 3 of them I found particularly striking:

1) in reference to breaking bad, he mentioned that the arc that the character Walt is undergoing is redemption in reverse-- being dragged into a dark, downward spiral. Walt goes from milk-sop child to this grey character, meant to go on to full on evil man, drug lord. As he quoted the creator of the show, Vince Gilligan (?), it's Mr. Chips turning into Scarface, and that's why television is the right medium. It's feature-quality material, but with television there's enough time to show a full-on, believable, rich change of that magnitude.

This got me thinking about alot of my ideas, namely my just-finished thesis, which is about the beginnings of redemption of someone considered really evil. Even though I really do think it would make a crazy-good feature, it really is a massive arc that is not allowed to happen sutbtely at all, it is jammed into 110 pages. What about television? What about really good, weird, WESTERN television?! WHAT?!?!??! BRILLIANT YOU SAY? Yes, says I.

2) He refers to people in other, non-entertainment professions "civillians." I love that.

3) He was talking about the work he did to pay the bills before he got good acting jobs. One was a videographer for a dating show, a waiter, bla bla, and one was working downtown loading trucks on a graveyard shift. He had to be covered head-to-toe and everything was big and scary and dangerous and even the punch-out machine frightened him. There was only a slit for his eyes in his suit, and the whole experience was soul-sucking. "It was great, though," he said, "Because all I would do while I worked was daydream about being an actor." And he reminded us that that's all we can do in situations like that, and that we in fact NEED that. We need time to daydream about what we're supposed to be and what we love. And he told us that very earnestly. It was a good thing to hear now.

Anyway. I don't care if a job comes of it, though I hope it does. But it was pretty cool and pretty damn surreal to chat up Bryan Cranston in the parking lot of LMU.

I've been in a good mood for days. In fact, my good mood has outweighed my downer moods big time this semester. That's a good way to go out. Life is wonderful, even if you have no idea where it's going.

...cheesy, I know, but earnest.

Cool Things done since I came to LMU, part II-completion.

Semester Two
FOCUS: Catherine Hardwicke

The SFTV Women's Film Society, of which I was a very active part at that time, had a day-long function to promote, uh, women in film. We had an amazing Q&A with alot of film-makers, screened short films, etc etc, and then closed with a screening of the indie film THIRTEEN, followed by a Q&A with CATHERINE HARDWICKE.

Catherine Hardwicke! Thirteen! Thirteen was the movie that really turned me on to indie film and made me understand what it was. I remember buying an Indie Film magazine, just for the heck of it, at Hastings one day, as I had been telling my parents I wanted to be an indie filmmaker. The cover was Evan Rachel Wood and Nikki Reed, and in it was a fantastic interview with Hardwicke who I thought was very cool and very inspiring. I eventually lost that magazine-- bummer-- but I remember certain very specific things in it, like her talking about writing the script, what doesn't belong in a script, writing with partners, and them getting Holly Hunter with the hook of the script and little money. This woman just went out there and did this! Amazing! I can do that! So anyway, it was a weird sort of fulfillment to see her, ask her questions, and tell her how long I've "known" her. She was impressed and remembered that magazine interview, and chatted with me for a few minutes. She chatted with everyone. She was just terribly nice. I forgive her for Twilight. She was an oddball, though, which made me like her even more.

Screening of Slumdog Millionaire: Anthony Dod Mantle.

The week before the Oscars, with the cinematographer, Anthony Dod Mantle. I hadn't seen the film yet so I was glad to have the theatre experience. It's a great movie, of course, and the cinematography is CRAZY, frenetic, and rolls with the storytelling. Mantle was very humble and very nice. I'm not into cinematography specifically as I'm not a techie, but he made me see the appeal of that job. The next week, he won the Oscar. That was pretty cool.

Gran Torino: Joel Cox.
We got to screen Gran Torino, probably the best movie of 2008 (tied with Revolutionary Road, in my opinion) in our little theatre here, with the editor giving a Q&A. Well. The guy went on ad infinitum, but he really did have alot to say. He worked with Clint Eastwood almost exclusively for 20 years, and they worked together even before then on other random things not helmed by the Clint. He talked about work ethic and his style of editing and how prolific his career has been.

Shiny Toy Guns/Cold War Kids concert.

I went to this with my friend Lauren, who got schnockered in the process (she's asian. their faces get super red the minute they take a drink. all the ones i know, anyway). It was pretty lame because it was in the middle of the day, whereas before such school concerts would be at night, thus making it much cooler. It was weird to get pumped about an electro act like STG OUTSIDE in the AFTERNOON. Still, I was pretty impressed with STG, even though they're not my bag. The leader singer girl was really hardcore and dressed in this silvery sequin get-up Cold War Kids are also not my bag at all, so I didn't stay for the whole of their set.

I was also in a play that semester. It was a good play. But let's not get into that.

Semester Three
Film Outside the Frame: Brian Hegeland.

SFTV's annual ceremony, where they reward excellence within the film production program and award lifetime achievement type stuff to people we think are cool. Here we had quite a number of industry professionals, and honored an editor fellow (the one who did Michael Clayton) and a cinematographer (Groundhog Day, He's Just Not That ETC) some other people, and Brian Hegeland (writer/director of Knight's Tale (!) etc). From the Loyolan: Brian Helgeland, who received his M.F.A. from LMU in 1986, received the Distinguished Screenwriting Award. A reel of Helgeland’s work began appropriately with a scene from “A Knight’s Tale” in which the character Geoffrey Chaucer says, “I’m a writer. I give the truth scope!” Helgeland also wrote screenplays for films such as “Mystic River” and “Man on Fire” and won an Oscar for “LA Confidential.” In his speech, Helgeland talked about the various jobs he had growing up and how each one exposed him to storytelling. He also commented on the education he received at LMU.
“[Before applying to graduate school], I didn’t even know film school existed. I thought every film was directed by Alfred Hitchcock. You can draw your own conclusions about the value of my education at Loyola,” he said.

Bob Dylan Concert.

Hollywood. Amazing. Went by myself. Saw him in his limo afterwards while an overzealous t-shirt seller tried to sell the man the image of himself. HAHAHA. What a wonderful thing. The highlight was Mr. Jones, which looked like a cabaret act.

The Decemberists Concert
AMAZING!!! It's hard to say what has been my favorite concert, but this one definitely scores on the list. They had no opening act, they performed in a theatre at UCLA, and the whole first set of their show was their concept album, The Hazards of Love, performed in its entirety, with a crazy light show and animation story to compliment it. AMAZING!! The second set contained their older favorites, and while they never played my absolute musts like Engine Driver and Architect, they did play amazingly and engaged the audience more than any other band I've seen so far. The bestbestbest part was the finale, in which they got us to sing "hear all the bombs fade away" as they played Sons and Daughters (the neverending song). Colin Meloy is a hilarious individual, and made the band play a shoe-tying song for him as he paused every three songs to re-tie his strings. Ah! Wonderful performer.

Fantastic Mr. Fox screening, Wes Anderson/Jason Schwartzman Q&A.

Met afterwards hugged pictured stammered endlessly SO embarrassing but so amazing aaaaaaaah. I talked about this extensively some time ago.

Preview Screening of Sherlock Holmes .

SFTV kids got it here, free, a month before its release. Yeah, we didn't get RDJ with it, but still. Suck it, rest of the world. It was a good way to cap off a really rough semester.

Though, for such a horrible few months, it did have some wonderful moments. Obviously.

Forth AND LAST and THIS semester

Patty Jenkins Monster screening, Q&A

FOCUS tried to get her for this year's fest, but she couldn't make it so she showed up for another monday night series. I had forgotten what a hard-hitting, impressive movie this is, and now I would like to buy it. And it's true-- Charlize Theron's performance really is one of the best I have ever seen, appearance and all. Anyway, Patty Jenkins was a very cool person to hear speak. She found a project that she thought was interesting and elevated the material from what it might've been. She wrote to Aileen Wurnos and was the only one granted Aileen's letters and the blessing to make a movie about her. Jenkins talked about her method of writing and directing what you don't know with what you do know (the women in the film are gay, but the actresses and Jenkins are not. While trying to write some of their scenes, Jenkins struggled with thinking about "what gay girls would do." When she finally started just thinking about her own life and what she could personally connect to within the characters and the story-- and yes, one can do such a thing with a gay serial killer character-- it worked. This is simple, but something I have to remind myself of. If you can't write what you know, FIND A WAY to write what you know in what you do not know. Yes.)

Quentin Tarantino & Crew of Inglorious Basterds Q&A

It seems like I wrote about this previously. Hollywood, Q&A with the main crew, all of which were fascinating, and then Quentin. I found alot of what he said interesting, but I mostly just love his way of doing things! He writes on paper, he doesn't type up scripts on the computer. He refuses to use CGI (or uses as little as possible) and wants to do only in-camera effects when he can. He draws so much from the classic methods of film-making that I have so much respect for him, and dammit, I love the fact that he's seen every movie ever made. I love passionate people!! Before he showed up, the editor of the film, the only woman on the team, ha, mentioned that the cool thing about working with QT is his enthusiasm, and I totally believe it. He loves making movies. On their lunch breaks, they said, QT would run off to the local theatre to see whatever movie had just come out. He also talked about his method of writing, and how you have to let the characters take over after awhile, and let them talk to each other, which is a weird sort of possession phenomenon I've noticed in my own writing attempts. Gosh. I love him. We could seriously be good friends. Also, he kept mentioning George Sanders, which made me so happy.

Patricia Clarkson Q&A, interview

They had her to school for Women's Month or something. I believe she was there for the theatre department, and it was kind of hush-hush and out of the way, but I was so glad I slipped out of class to go. She's kind of an odd duck, very well-spoken but kind of like that sophisticated, slightly dotty single aunt that children seemed to have in movies made in the 50's and 60's. She was eloquent, and then would say weird things about people being "Yummy" or whathaveyou. Anyway. She was there to encourage the theatre kids but she was just encouraging in general, talking about the times when she realized she truly loved acting, the off-chance things that altered her career (playing the supporting role of a german lesbian heroin addict opened the doors that were shut by her mom roles up to that point). She talked about reading many scripts for first-time directors, and the dedication it takes to be in the industry. I guess the most important thing I took away from what she said is her advice to surround oneself with people who "get it". People who understand what's going on in you, and people who support it, challenge it, and help you when you need it. I've noticed lately a strange, growing sense of isolationism. My writing and where I am going with it is probably the cause-- it is such a big part of me and if it's not shared or understood by or discussed with people I feel like I'm not being myself. Or something.

Third Eye Blind Concert

On-campus, pretty amazing, pretty amazingly 90's. They all sounded really great, however, and I was impressed with the lead singer. He's gotten old, yeah, but he looks good and sounds the same. Very energized, very fun. I saw them with my friend Drew and the two of us pretty much hummed through the first half of the set as none of the songs were familiar, but as they played on they became more and more so. I was psyched to hear Semi-Charmed Life, Motorcycle Drive By, How's It Gonna Be, and Jumper, which I believe closed the whole thing. It was timely of them to come here this year because over the past few semesters I've had a resurgence of appreciation for them, and their high quality pop. I really like their subject matter, and I think they were generally pretty insightful with their lyrics. Jumper is a really remarkable song, and I have so much more appreciation for it now than I used to. Though I must say, when I think of them I recall one of two things:
1) Listening to their music while mowing lawns for money in Denton in the blistering evil heat.
2) My mom referencing Semi-Charmed: "The one where he gets all high? GooooodBYYYYE!? That one?"

Owl City concert

Owl City isn't entirely my bag, but I did love Fireflies when it came out (and Saltwater Room before it was popular, damn it!) and Hello Seattle is a GREAT song. Anyway, I owed my friend money which she would not let me repay, so I treated her and her sisters to a concert I knew she wanted to go to. It was hard as HELL to get those damn tickets but when we took her sisters there it was worth it. The show was alright-- again, not my scene-- but there were some magic moments. I didn't know most of his songs and I heard one for the first time called Meteor Shower, which was a really wonderful love song that I have been listening to much since then. He was a weirdo-- purposefully so, I suppose-- and would end every song by saying something off like "thanks, i like you alot." Anyway, it was fun, and I got to go to Club Nokia, which I had never been to before.

Tales from the Script Screening

LMU had the director of this awesome documentary come and screen here. IT WAS A PHENOMENAL MOVIE. I wish everyone I know could see it; it says so much about my chosen profession, why it's wonderful, why it sucks, why it's terrifying, how people make it and don't and all that. It really was gripping, and the director himself was also very interesting and educated. He himself is a screenwriter trying to make it, and I found one piece of advice of his very valuable: don't write for the market or for trends or for what you think people want. He did that for forever, and then finally, after he wrapped the doc, he wrote the kind of movie HE wanted to see-- something offbeat and dark and funny and weird, and now he's getting consideration, and, he thinks, is very close to selling it. Of course, as this doc proves, nothing is written in stone...

Bryan Cranston Thing

Mentioned in previous post. Wonderous man!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Black River

As the whistling continues, the wanderer ambles, painfully, into the sunrise that eats him alive.

Fade Out.

and with that, dear ones, the writer concludes her screenwriting thesis.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

incidentals that i want:

1. All of my favorite movies. I have an amazon wishlist that's about 5 pages long, consisting mostly of movies that I feel I should own. It's a compulsion.

2. All of my favorite books, and a ton of biographies about everyone I've ever found interesting.

3. A polaroid camera.

4. A decent videocamera. I would like to be able to shoot my own shorts, and I don't mind having a camera that's not incredible quality, but I would like something nice-ish so that the outcome doesn't look like total crap.

5. Teeth whitening strips. Those things are freakin' expensive.

6. The latest Hollywood Creative Directory.

7. Money. Give me money. Lots of money.

8. A ticket somewhere.

I had a dream a few weeks ago about my graduation, and in it this couple showed up to give me a ticket to anywhere I wanted to go and expense money for staying there for a short amount of time. It was a wonderful dream.


9. Brown leather jacket, or something like this.

10. More commanding earrings.

11. Colorful heels, and a pair of 1950's pumps.

12. A set of very inky pens.

13. A nice coat.

14. A little black dress.

15. A nice bookshelf that I can take where-ever I go.

16. this!

Friday, April 23, 2010

the one thing i remember from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

"The truth knocks on your door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling." — Robert M. Pirsig

you're the only star in the film i never made.

Today I was talking with a friend. We were discussing her current predicament in life and she mentioned to me that she thought she must be detached, emotionally removed from people. I gave this some consideration; in fact she is not emotionally disconnected. She is actually properly emotional, cries healthily, expresses genuine kindness and empathy for others, etc etc. She is a passionate person and therefore cannot be called emotionally removed, at least not by my definition. However, I did point out that she is an emotionally cautious girl. She is friendly and outgoing, even to the point of seeming committal, but deep feelings and their expression frighten and confuse her. She doesn't like them, so she doesn't go there, displays of meaningful affection included (I suppose part of this is pride also, but that could be said of everyone). While we were discussing this I realized that I am the opposite sort of person.

As it turns out, I have become pretty cautious myself. I have few relationships that I would count as important in LA, save for my suitemate's, though even that was not my personal choice and rather an emergency that sort of turned into friendship because it had to. But I digress. Few close friendships here, no one I would go out of my way to spend time with. In fact, here I have to remind myself that I really should spend time with people (that's when you realize you have a problem, when "hanging out" goes on a to-do list). I avoid it, I don't really know how to bridge the gap between acquaintance and friend anymore, and I don't want to. I go around blocking my own peripheral vision, not seeking out opportunities and even refusing the ones that come after me until they get tired of doing so. Even more, I have never had a romantic relationship in my life. I have alot of theories and opinions on that topic and whether or not I care in the end (I don't think I do, except for the sake of my pride), I don't know how to even like boys anymore. I'm either disinterested or intimidated. I stay clear of most clubs, organization, services, internships, and despite my joblust every time I get some sort of job lead I hesitate at the commitment it may require.

This is the problem. Over time I suppose I've understood that I cannot be as my friend is, which is cautious with her feelings, emotions, expressions. I am not made that way. When I love something it is with intensity. Over break, Emily and I were traveling in the car together and a Cat Stevens song came on that I hadn't heard in a while. It was so fitting for the scenery we were seeing and the feeling I was feeling, I was absolutely thrilled to hear this song. "I love this song! OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS SONG!" Said I. Emily told me to calm down and I felt like I had been punched in the nose. I can't help it, when I love I LOVE and it is vocal and physical. When I enjoy someone's company I want to be with them all of the time, when I like a shirt I will probably wear it all week. This means of expression has sort of been my undoing before-- I don't want to say I wear my heart on my sleeve, but my feelings are almost always upfront, while everyone else seems to be much better at, or at least much smarter about, playing close to the vest. When I've been very honest, both verbally and in every other form of expression, about who I am or what I feel, others have not been. This gets you used or, at the very least, makes you seem very foolish, and in the end you get the short end of the stick. It's something everyone learns at some time or another-- caution is the lesson that we must all put into practice. I think maybe once you realize that, your naivite finally fades away. It's a shame, but I suppose the earlier you figure that out the better. Opening your mouth and your heart, if done at the wrong time, will get you punched in the face.

So I figured it out. A little late, but better than never, as they say. And although I don't suppose I've ever processed it consciously until today, I learned somewhere along the way that if I simply can't curb my feelings and the way I express them, then I should just keep myself to myself, entirely. Once I do connect to someone else, it is only a (short) matter of time before my affection or desire to know that new person thoroughly will surface, so it's as if I knew to keep from reaching that point. And apparently I've been successful for three years.

This is an interesting find. I'm not sure what to do about it. Obviously it's not something that makes me happy, but certainly it's not as though I've always been a girl who has hoards of friends chasing after her only to reject them (I'm an old soul, since age eight I've rarely had patience for people my age). Still. I don't want to go through life avoiding getting to know people. Human connection is so important. However, I feel as though I've really grown into this uncomfortable, curmudgeonly role. Unfortunate. There are so many ways that we isolate ourselves. Perhaps I will make a significant effort to change that, even if it's just a little. The important thing to recognize is that reaching out would be beneficial not just for my own sake; there are so many people in the world that need someone. If there weren't, there wouldn't be volumes worth of blogs discussing it, there wouldn't be films that wallow in it, there wouldn't be The Catcher in the Rye.

Hello, Operator. Can you get me number 9?

i brush my teeth with TOOTHPASTE, not a bottle of jack, you unhygienic party woman.

So I've been bursting with creativity lately, probably because I've been reading and writing nonstop, even moreso as my screenwriting and English finals approach. I just finished one script-- the one for my adaptation class. I wrote it based on David Stenn's "Runnin' Wild," a biography of Clara Bow. I've been obsessed with her ever since I went through my watch-ever-Best-Picture-winner challenge and saw Wings, the first in the Oscar tradition. Bow has a key role in it, and although the movie was interesting and all, I couldn't help but be drawn in by how natural she was, despite all of the usual silent-film "motions" she was going through. She had a very interesting presence, and I loved it. Some research provided me with some fascinating information about her, and after renting and watching "It," her trademark movie, I watched the attached documentary, and then tore into Stenn's book. Stenn is a fantastic writer and an excellent, meticulous researcher, and he doesn't write to sensationalize. I completely fell in love with Clara's character and I admire her, despite her many indiscretions she was an honest person who only wanted to be herself, and happy, and she rarely achieved either goal. She was generous and good to people and she was trod upon by those in power in return. Anyway. She has a good story, and I couldn't resist the idea of a movie being made about her. So I wrote one.

I recently read somewhere that a film was indeed in the works, but the script sucked. Due to rights issues, the breaks were put off. Well I think it's high time the breaks were taken off! Baha!

Annnnyyyhooo. Creativity, bursting at the seams. It appears that all I can do in my English classes now is savor tasty trivia bits and jot down ideas for scripts, short stories, characters, etc. Here are some ideas that have been weaving in and out of my mind as of late:

Puppet-maker romance: I have a friend who has a father who is a puppet maker. He was making puppets from an early age, and wrote letters about it to Henson. Fascinating fellow. He does quite well for himself now. I would like to write a character like him, preferably in a romantic comedy that doesn't make the audience want to puke. The fellow in question actually met his wife, a nurse, in a hospital where he volunteered to work with autistic kids using his homemade puppets. How marvelous.

The Anti-Flirt League: I want to write a movie in the style of the stupid teen/adult comedies that take place over a night or a day or a few hours-- movies like Dude Where's My Car (which I must confess I never saw), Empire Records (which I worship), Superbad, Go, The Hangover... that kinda thing. Anyway, the thing about all those movies is that the humor is broad, the time span is small, and there's always ONE SIMPLE GOAL (find car. get weed. save the store. get laid. find groom. etc. etc), and it usually revolves around some youthful, party scene. However these formulas are getting tired, so what better party setting to throw back to than the ultimate party decade, the 20's? I want to make it about The Anti-Flirt Club, a real club formed by girls who objected to being objectified-- both hilarious, cute, and kinda cool.

Anyway, I won't base it at all on anything historical about the girls involved in it, but I want to feature the club, its very clear rules, and focus on a few invented, dedicatedly anti-flirt girls as seek out alcohol on the eve of the stock market crash. Because they are recognized as the anti-flirters, they are shunned from speakeasies etc, and over the course of the night much mayhem occurs. By the end, all of the girls have settled with new boyfriends, except for the staunch leader. The next day, the stock market crashes and all of the rich men that the girls had hooked up with wind up poor. The girls come back together again, but obviously times are changing and suddenly alcohol doesn't seem like such a big deal anymore.

The For-Real Anti-Flirt Club

A short: I've carried around this idea ever since I was 13 and heard the song "Pictures of You" by the Cure. It was before Eternal Sunshine came out, so you must understand that at that time the idea was rather original: Snippets of a relationship in reverse, from its crumbling to its beginning, strung together by the narration and present-day life of the male protagonist. We stay with him and experience his current life without his ex, and he occasionally appears in his own flashbacks to comment on what is going on or to talk to himself in the third person or consult with the audience. I'm scrapping this idea because it really is far to Sunshine-y, blah, but there's one element that I still love and want to keep: I planned for his present-day-life, as he talks to us the audience, to be bombarded with a specific visual pattern, like argyle, but more apparent. The tiles on his floor are in the pattern, the chalk drawing on the sidewalk, the bricks in the wall, the clouds in the sky, the soup cans at the store, the doodles in his notebook, etc etc, until he starts to notice it and it bugs him. It all comes to a head when he finishes with what we think is the last flashback to his relationship with the girl-- they introduce themselves and talk. Now the fellow in present day is just a mess. The pattern is everywhere. He gives up. We then conclude with the for-real last flashback-- the very first time he ever saw her, a memory now tucked into his subconscious. He's sitting outside with his homies and looks up to some building for a split-second and sees the girl walk outside with her friends. Her scarf blows over her face, and we freezeframe: it is the pattern he continues to see. And that is how we end it. Lately I think just the basis of that would work for a very short film, and I still love the concept because of what it says about people-- we have such a powerful effect on one another, moreso than we will ever know, be it subconscious or not.

Pluto Is No Longer A Planet- Today I was reading on Nova or something about the fallout after Pluto was removed from ze official planet list. The National History Museum removed it from their solar system model, and tons of kindergartners went crazy and wrote disgruntled, large-print, crayon-etched letters to the institution. Some of the letters are hilariously beautiful. There is a movie there-- perhaps the connection of a few families with said children, perhaps a child who writes the letter, one of the deciding scientists/astronomers, a clerk in the museum. Potential for sweet, mild comedy/family drama.

There are more, but I suddenly feel self-conscious.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

this is what comes of studying up on the coppola family.

I am so much more of a dreamer than a do-er. One of those people who will always have wonderful, beautiful ideas but lacks the skill or the drive (or both) to force communication through pen to paper, through camera to film.

I wonder if medication would change that aspect, or if its just something inherent, this trait that prevents me from pressing the button, max. It's not laziness, my work ethic is usually strong, nor can it be stupidity (or so I like to think). What then? Fear? I guess that's close enough.

i spotted this on PostSecret after a few days of job and internship apps. feeling a little self-indulgently down on myself and the world right now, but this sort of caused me to straighten my shoulders and buck up. not cheering, exactly, but definitely well-expressed.

what i am listening to right now:

crying lightning- the arctic monkeys
crying- roy orbison
the sweetheart tree- pam dahl
singin' in the rain/good morning- singin' in the rain soundtrack
oom pah pah/reviewing the situation/as long as he needs me/be back soon- oliver! soundtrack
faust- paul williams (phantom of the paradise)
hide & seek- domino
i and love and you- the avett brothers (still)
smile- charlie chaplin
meteor- owl city
old soul song- bright eyes
ghost mountain- the unicorns
weary kind- crazy heart soundtrack (still...)
crimson and clover- tommy james
sweet baby james- james taylor
walk with you- ringo starr & paul mccartney
that's life- frank sinatra
hoppipolla- sigur ros
best supporting actor- one for the team

old notes.

Throwing away a bunch of papers and minimizing as much as possible, I stumbled across a little notepad that I used to write letters to my best friend in. I think she gave it to me just as I moved away from Texas, and I was meant to fill it and send it back, but alas. Apparently I did not do that. But it is fun to read:


Dear Emily,

I'm writing to you on the notepad of wisdom and wit. I know this is not its specific usage purpose, but the movie has not yet started and I am bored. The movie people here are actually nicer than the other ones somehow. THere is even one that is slightly SMAIL*. Unusual in many ways, yes? I'm sure you will agree with me. Oh my god. A creepy old fat guy just sat down nary 4 seats away in a completely EMPTY THEATRE. Remind me to freak out about this later.

I got a small popcorn, which, although it reminds me alot of you, was not really what I wanted. The bored concession people were starting to wonder what I was doing, which btw, was trying to decide what kind of butter I prefer. One wonders about this.

Ah. Good. Another person has come in. I think it's a lady, judging by the clatter and flip flop of her shoes. Ahhh scary PFFT NOISE!!!! DAMN SPEAKERS.

I think Open Water is playing right next to us, because I hear people screaming.


Danielle Steele? People who came to this film like to come alone. Well. I'm glad I'm seeing it alone, dammit. PROUD, even, yes! [proceeds to list movies i had seen by myself for no apparent reason]
[doodle of catwoman]

THIS MAKES NO SENSE. ANOTHER OLD GUY HAS JUST SAT DOWN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF ME. If the old people do inherit the eath they'll do it by sitting next to HELPLESS YOUNGSTERS!

Annnnd now his wife just joined him. I am surrounded.

[ominously, that is the end of the documentation. one can only assume i was overpowered]

Thursday, April 15, 2010

i want to look like you.

[Betty Garrett, far left, wearing my favorite dress, probably ever.]
[Jane Asher, actress and Paul McCartney's long-time girlfriend before he married Linda. wayyyyy cooler than Pattie Boyd, if you ask me, but maybe i'm partial to the haircolor.]

I think I'm partial to vintage. And red hair.

jack wild, i would have been in love with you if i were a little girl in the 60's (like i should have been)

I am the best of all supporting actors
The lead role can go just right upon my shoulders
I can be the back story, chalk full of backbone and literary prowess

Shot and clever in all the right places
Putting all the right looks on all the right faces
See this through and through and through and through
Hold your breath, take a rest, I'll conduct you

it's cute how you tried/to rebuild your life.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

a public service plea

World, please stop ending all sentences with "lol." You don't even capitalize it anymore, it's as though it has become its own word, meant to be used as filler for real words and/or expression/tone. I hate it. Despise and detest it. Either say what you mean or express said feelings via YOUR OWN VOICE.

That is all.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

there's not much to do when your friends are all fish, and an oyster and clam aren't real family, so i don't want to live in the sea.

my life right now: cheap vegetable soup, roy orbison, expensive cigarettes, singin' in the rain soundtrack, freud on dracula ( think a straight antonio is rare, attempt trying to find a non-homoerotic vampire), buffalo 66, very strong coffee, intense desire for platform sandals, the gym (it's true, though unfortunately it is a place that must be shared with body builders), cool hand luke, 80's sesame street, ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHIES, Ophelia's grave, financial woes, graduation robes, room-mate homicide (IE what happens when two out of four roomies become involved in long-distance relationships near the end of the semester), plots to make my hair very nearly primary red, sherlock holmes, sleep-as-means-to-escape-reality, cameras and short films and ideas, and so so so many pages of so so many scripts that the mind boggles. No alcohol, though yesterday I remembered my bottle of vodka and bemoaned the fact that smoking is not allowed indoors. I should like, for at least an evening, to be quintessential troubled writer at the typewriter surrounded by a cloud of smoke and a half-drained glass of liquor. Oh well, so many things to look forward to. so soon i will be a FREEBIRD, unfettered except by money, but once jobs happen (as they must) even that concern will be merely marginal. happy day, happy freedom, though also a bit sad.

in the words of ernie of the street, and my new life's philosophy, i would like to visit the moon, but i don't think i'd like to live there.

[i don't want to live on the moon song]

Sunday, April 11, 2010

some people get their kicks stompin' on a dream.

Is it wrong to find yourself crying to Roy Orbison's "Crying"? Is it a little too Frank from Blue Velvet (that was In Dreams, but still)?

That's the thing about those 50's-60's ballads. They were generic and simple and angsty in their little ways, and the phenomenon of their popularity was like teenage girls today with the vagueness of franchises like Twilight. They can replace the normal or general main character with visions of themselves. In the 50's, scrubbed and squeaky-clean boys and girls could listen to Orbison and the like, just like their parents, and feel as though their story and their pain was being told, because really the songs bore little to no detail description. just general sadness and heartache and lovesickness.

i particularly like the newer duet with kd lang. wow.

I guess the trick still works, because Roy Orbison has really got me now.

it's a long way to fitzcarraldo.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

bizarre late morning dream:

Before I forget:

Some guy who was kinda supposed to be a Donnie Darko type and I were working at a little bookstore together. I assume we were kind of "together" but he was all troubled. It was a semi-futuristic world, but only slightly.

We went to a B&N type place on a field trip. There was something about a molester/sexual deviant living in the apartment complex that I was living in, and some earthquake thing happened, but I don't know the significance of that. Anyway, so we went to this Barnes and Noble esque place, which was also a bit like a natural history/science museum at points, and one area was about cloning/splicing etc. This one case was supposed to have ants in it, but if you looked closely you could see that they were actually little people. There were a ton of books surrounding it, telling about how to care for them as if they were pets. Donnie was really upset and fascinated by it, and he started spouting all of these facts about them, and saying that loud sounds were enough to kill them. Just then this horrible alarm went off in the store and Donnie freaked out because he knew it would kill them, and he was super upset so I just held on to him all dramatically until the noise stopped. Then one of the manager guys came over to us and started prattling on and on like a crazy person about how the earthquake alarm keeps going off, and the gas comes on afterward to "help" the air, but he lied on his business license and didn't actually buy air insurance and now he was concerned that they would find him and he was going to die and bla bla.

And that was it.

Very strange.

Pretty Cool Things I've Done Since I Moved to LMU: Semester One

Ahem ahem. For all the bitching and moaning I do about this place, I really have had amazing opportunities here.

I thought it'd do me good to write a list of what I can remember. Installment one: Semester One.

DeVotchka Concert
Right after I moved here, I spotted this and simply had to go. It was a magical and spooky concert, with Christmas lights, oboes, tubas, many stringed instruments, NO talking from the band whatsoever (WEIRD) and a weird burlesque act at the end. Marvelous. Hearing "How It Ends" was incredible, and I especially liked "The Last Beat of My Heart" which kinda got a little tear from me at some point.

Of course, this concert experience was generally awkward due to the social situation I found myself in, but now that I look back it's with fondness, even for said awkwardness. I just remember dragging myself back to McKay (heinous dorm) and wandering around in a sheet for the rest of the night, unbelievably conflicted. Ha. Hindsight is 20/20.

Fleet Foxes Concert
A few weeks after the previous concert, this time with awkwardness that would break the charts. Ahem. Regardless, it was one of the best concerts I've ever ever ever been to, ahh. Just glorious. It was at the same venue, and only about 3 weeks after I had been introduced to the music of said band in general. They make such BEAUTIFUL music, they really do, and their harmonies are insane. From the first note my eyes welled up as though I had been slapped-- I was just so shocked at how it sounded in person. Ahh. Even with crazy appalachian beards and all, they were a great show and talked with the audience and all that. Mykonos was, of course, the best part, and although I don't usually like Oliver James, hearing it live was very nice.

Peace Jam
(mega thing, apparently, where Nobel Peace Prize winners speak and people come from all over to educate and perform exercizes on the matter of peace, service, and politics. LMU is big on service, so they had it here, which was a big deal. I wasn't into it, but I did get to go see EIGHT of the past Nobel Peace Prize winners speak at this huge function. The interesting thing about it was I didn't find any of them particularly inspiring, with the exception of Desmond Tutu, of course, who was amazing and made me cry a bit. The rest of them I don't even remember, except for this Irish woman. I remember her being very bitter towards republicans in general, for which I really felt like she should have given it a rest, but at the same time she was very passionate and said something along the lines of "If you didn't vote, if you didn't do all you could or even the bare minimum, you have no right to dislike anything. You owe it to the world to do what is in your power." I liked that, and think it is true of any one who is a part of any cause. I'm one of those "every vote counts" people, and futhermore, I think that the more we educate ourselves (something I do a very poor job of much of the time) the more we can do things within our power to sway the status quo. Some other things they spoke about were mutual respect, which I also liked, but saw very little of.
At one point one lady had everyone in the audience hold hands. Gotta say I wasn't especially into that...

On campus. There was this theatre kid named Sam who died, tragically, the year before I came here. He loved the Beatles. A number of kids here put together this outdoor concert as a tribute, all Beatles music. It started off terribly, but got progressively better with insanely good singers and musicians. Across the Universe was wonderful, a group singing in four-part harmony did an amazing job of "Because" (chills!), a group did Hey Jude terrifically (nothing like singing along to that! ahhhhh!), another did the entire Abbey Road Medley (!!!), and another did a George Harrison collection, including While My Guitar Gently Weeps, which absolutely shocked me. It was chilly and blankety and hot chocolatey good, and I loved every minute of it, regardless of not knowing Sam or any of these people, I thought it was a wonderful idea.

Joel McHale
Came randomly to do his stand-up with some other dudes. He was freakin' hilarious, and I was surprised that despite being known for his Soup snarkiness, he mostly focused on life with his wife and little son, which was terribly funny. I'm a bit of a fan, now, I must say.

Preview Screening with David Fincher Q&A
At the Egyptian in Hollywood, about a month before Benjamen Button came out. Got in for $8, saw the movie, and the Q&A followed. I got him to sign my ticket, shake my hand, and even talk a bit about screenwriting, which was fantastic. Intriguing man. Elusive man.

Neil Gaiman reading & book signing
Neil came to Santa Monica to promote The Graveyard Book, and read a very long chapter of it, much to everyone's glee. The man is very funny, very witty. Afterward he showed us a preview thing of Coraline, read some other snippets including the poem he wrote for Tori Amos's baby girl, and then we got to buy signed books. I, of course, have one.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Hamlet. It is one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written. I am absolutely astounded every time I read it, and this semester is my first opportunity to "study" it. Sadly, it is in a rather rushed, undisciplined class with an interesting but too-nice teacher (female. interpret at will). Nevertheless, nuggets of goodness leap out at me every now and again, and I revel in their discovery.

Still. Despite my new perspectives, and my complete adoration and obsession with the Ophelia character (much to the disappointment of my feminist peers), I follow the masses as I am drawn to THE speech. I have pondered the to be or not to be for a pretty long time, actually, ever since I was about nine or so and my mother quoted some of it to me. I remember driving home and asking her about the reference, and she told me from whence it came. She quoted what she knew, and then brushed it off by saying Shakespeare was hard to understand. I furrowed my little brow and said "He's talking about suicide. To die or not to exist." To not exist. That is just it. That is the power of that speech-- he doesn't want to die and go to greener pastures, necessarily. He wants the end to all things. He wants eternal rest. No dreams. No afterlife. NO perchance to dream shite. The burdens of life are far too much for him, the burden of his cyclical mind is something I can relate to, and something that makes the appeal of suicide all the more alluring. If you end your life, you will end all that cyclical nonsense, right? But what if you don't? What if it continues, spinning into space? The only relief Hamlet sees is nothingness, but there is no guarantee of such a thing.

For this reason, I really like Gibson's performance of said speech, as he wanders a tomb. It's the moment that he moves from to sleep.... perchance to dream. aye, there's the rub, where you see it in his face. No, not that, please not that. How tiresome. Actually, despite many amazing actors taking on this role, overall I'm mostly fond of Gibson. He captures something in Hamlet that I love.

Branagh is too hammy, first of all, and while his delivery of Shakespeare is AMAZING, and his film version of Hamlet is the best by far, I don't like his interpretation of Hamlet the man. He's too cold. Where Burton has anger and power and Olivier is consumed, Brannagh is in between-- a reassurance. No doubt, whatsoever, just strange determination. When he says to sleep, perchance to dream, it's as though he's saying, "Eh well. So what. Fuck that." Of course, this reminds me that as a character Hamlet just ain't the most likable guy out there.

Olivier's Hamlet is really mamby-pamby, melancholy, revolving completely around indecisiveness. Cop out. He also removes the relevancy from Hamlet and makes him somewhat of a victim. Ehh.

Burton... I love. Seeing him perform must have been the most amazing experience. Regardless, I find his Hamlet and especially his choices with this speech to be far too blustery. Not that Hamlet, the self-involved prick, couldn't be blustery, but I just don't buy it myself.

Kline may be my second-favorite Hamlet. He gets the inflection and he gets the weird humor of it as well. The irony in madness. I like that. I wish I could see the full performance rather than just clips on youtube. bad. Worst Hamlet I've ever seen in the worst adaptation I've ever seen. Although I do kind of like Julia Stiles's take on Ophelia (I don't prefer it, but it's interesting and sad) and LOVE LOVE LOVE Bill Murray as Polonius and Liev Schrieber (lookin' hot btw) as Laertes, Hawke sucks the life out of it and makes it a moody, GEN X kinda thing. Blaaaaah, Hawke, I hate you.

.... that was my intelligent comment of the week.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

will we get the big jobs, will we make the big money?

when we look back now will our jokes still be funny?


one month and i am a freebird.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

republicans in hollywood.

"You sort of feel like you have to hide it...When you meet, you give each other a secret look--'Are you a Republican too?' It's the new gay."


i and love and you.

sometimes, for fear or sadness or emptiness, the heart just aches.

for the beautiful, the sublime, the sad, the lonely feeling as well as the happy one, my heart aches. times like this i just don't know what to do with it.

since my return from spring break, it seems like all i've done is listen to this song and cry. and it's the weird sort of crying, where it's not terribly epically emotional, no sobbing or sniffling, just a strange, steady stream of tears, like i've sprung a leak or something. like a kid who has just hurt himself but hasn't quite registered it yet.

from an email to my friend:
otherwise, i just have to mention that when i went back inside the other night and turned the lights off in the kitch, jesse james music was still playing and it was sad death music when i saw you drive away. said sadness has followed me here, where i remain inconsolable. not because i have to be here, for very shortly i won't, but due to that dreary knowledge that there's so little positive familiarity in life and in the foreseeable future. for some reason right now i feel like i did when dominic said goodbye for virginia, just so sad because i don't know what's going to happen and these comfortable times that make me feel slightly less frightened are so few and far between.

brooklyn, brooklyn, take me in.