Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So Not the Point....

I have no idea how many days I am into the whole Purge Project, but I think I'm finally running out of steam. By last tally at the scrapyard, they've taken probably 700+ pounds of scrap and recyclables off my hands. Add in what has gone into recycling, and out to the regular trash, and I have to be well over half a ton of stuff that has either left my possession, or is on it's way towards leaving my possession. After I set stuff out for garbage tomorrow, I hope to be able to get a better view of what's left. Maybe it would be better said that I should be able to get a better idea of what I can do with the space that has magically appeared.

Still, it's not been a completely easy process for someone as openly pack rattish as I am. Every box I sorted through I saw things I had saved with the whole notion of 'gee, that would look cool as part of x, y, or z.' Some of this stuff came over with me from the old house, and that has to be 5 years ago. I can only think that if the project never left the conception stage, it can't be all that meaningful to me. That's kind of an upsetting statement to me. In the course of listening to NPR today, I heard a story about an artist residency program in San Francisco. One of the biggest draws to the program is that those chosen to be part of it have 24 hour a day access to one of the city's dumps. May not sound great to most of you, but it sounds like a great deal to me. Just being out at the scrapyards again, surrounded by the smells of rust and oil, the clanging of the metal, and seeing one interesting form after another in piles of scrap that seem to go on and on, was quite comforting to me. A homecoming of a very odd sort. But after hearing this story, I also got a stab of guilt. Here were theses artists going out and searching for the very things I was getting rid of. The big difference was that they were actually using them instead of just hoarding them and waiting for some perfect moment of creative bliss. So, whatever excitement I had for the program was doused by realizing that I couldn't be a part of such a thing right now. For some reason, I seem to be waiting for something. I just hope I don't end up waiting too long.

That daily dose of regret and self loathing led me to stick my face in a bag of Mrs Fisher's chips and sit in front of the computer for a couple of hours. When I realized this behaviour wasn't doing anything to help correct the problem, I added scones and pouting to the mix. Still no luck. I have noticed though, that having the clutter, the mess, on the retreat has made it more mentally easy to be in that space. I haven't been able to take the next step, the harder step, and sit down (or stand) and get to work. The notion of hiding behind the straw man of 'lack of inspiration' is wearing pretty thin, too. There are so many scraps and scribbles, so many imperfect finishes, so many untested techniques, that I could spend many many lifetimes and not even get to most of them. So what's the holdup? I have no legitimate reason to offer you. Fear is always a good backup reason. If you can think of anything better, just let me know. I'd prefer a reason that took the crux of blame off of me though.

Along with bits and pieces of things that never got started, I ran across a whole pile of finished pieces that have also followed me from the other house. I think they're all chalk on cardboard pieces of varying dimensions. In my current mode of purging, I will gladly send these along to either anyone interested in having on or two or ten, or to the garbageman, should no one care for them. I'll get some pics posted in the next couple of days. Let me know if you see something that strikes your fancy. Otherwise, everything strikes the trash can.

We hit the video store in an attempt to find something of interest the other day. Walked out with "The Forbbiden Kingdom" with Jet Li and Jackie Chan. It looked kinda interesting in the previews. You'd think by now I would know better. It wasn't horrid. It wasn't even really bad. Not great. Not even above average. Just average. Now, I must say I have a fondness for epic martial arts movies. I can remember seeing "Circle of Iron" when I was a kid, and just loving it. Then came the 80's. What a sad, sad time for martial arts movies. Van Damme, Dudikoff, Segal, Norris, Macchio, and the greatest villains of them all: Golan-Globus pretty much killed my appetite for the genre. And that appetite stayed dead for a long time. Then came "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", and I was hooked all over again. It was this incredibly lush, dreamlike vision with colors that made my head spin. I hadn't seen anything like it. Ever. I think it was the first time I realized what cinematography was. And I haven't forgotten.

TFK tries to hit this rather high mark, and doesn't so much as hit it, but does kinda splatter on it a bit. The story seems to be cobbled together from 2, maybe 3, separate scripts and doesn't really flow all that well. And from what I can tell, at least one of the previously mentioned scripts had to have been written in the 80's. Cornball one lines pepper a story that seems to be trying to take itself seriously, but ends up being almost a farce of the genre. The overly fantastical dimensional travel/encounters with immortals angle also pushes this story well beyond what even I will put up with in a martial arts movie. It really did seem that someone found a script from the 80's and just made a movie of it as it was written, with modern day technology.

All in all, not for me, thanks much. A chop saky movie on steroids, basically. A couple of great fight sequences, as you would expect, but not much of anything holding them together. Go rent "Hero", or "House of Flying Daggers" instead.

On the plus side, though, was "Smart People" with Dennis Quaid and that blonde from "Sex and the City" who's name I can never remember. I know she's married to Matthew Broderick, though. Anyway, this was another neat snapshot of the quasi-dysfunctional family of a widowed college professor and what happens when they start paying attention to the world beyond themselves. I have to admit that the whole thing held a bit more interest for me as I married my way into the family of a long time college professor. Still, I think that anyone who's ventured into the halls of higher learning can relate to the lead character in some way. I guess I also found an interest in watching the struggle of these characters trying to reinvent themselves, if only in the smallest of ways.

If your movies have to have big booms and big bosoms-do not rent this movie. Nothing blows up and the most skin you get to see is Thomas Hayden Church's ass. Twice. Otherwise, give it a try. Not to mention that Nuno Bettencourt did the music for the whole movie.

As usual, it is now late n the night, and my incredibly dry eyes are telling me it's time to go to bed.

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