Thursday, October 30, 2008

Two Surprises

I came home today to pick up a picnic basket for my final film project that we're filming this afternoon. And when I came home I had two surprises waiting for me.

1) My dog is dying. It's sad for me, because even though I don't see her that often anymore, I really love her. Her name is Herriot, like James Herriot the British vet (in both senses of the word) around World War II. He wrote a series of short stories about his veterinarian days, the most famous collection of which is All Creatures Great and Small. Quite a history for a small dog.

Herriot's a beagle. She was a little porky, but now she's bones thin and not eating. She used to run around in circles when anyone came home and gave her a biscuit. Now she creeps around the yard, very frail.

I grew up with this dog since I was 8. We had a lot of fun times together playing outside. Here's a picture of her and me 4 years ago:

Farewell, my good friend.

2) I found a short book in our guest bathroom called Choosing to Cheat by Andy Stanley. Wow. It is exactly what I need right now. The subtitle is "Who Wins when Family and Work Collide."

I've been struggling lately with what is a healthy balance between time with people and work. A couple evenings ago I had an intense conversation with Kris where I realized I'd been neglecting both him and my other friends. For what? To do work? So not worth it.

When I get to the end of my life, I want to look back on relationships that I've invested in and cared for the people around me. As great a legacy as it would be to make a billion award-winning movies, it's not good enough. I think I can do both - I want to do both. But I need to prioritize my relationships and set aside some time for them.

So I apologize to the men and women I have neglected this year. I have been selfishly caught up in kickstarting my career and haven't looked around to see the beautiful people all around me. But I hope to change that in the coming weeks. Do you mind hanging out with me again? ;)

"when success is equated with excess
our ambition for excess wrecks us
when the top of the mind
becomes the bottom line
when success is equated with excess

i want out of this machine
it doesn't feel like freedom

this is my american dream
i want to live and die for bigger things
i'm tired of fighting for just me
this is my american dream"


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This Bites

Why is Beverly Hills Chihuahua the box office topper AGAIN this week? WHY?

Good for Disney, bad for my intellect.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

One Flick A Day...

...Keeps the Homework Away!

Movies I Watched Today:
1. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (opening)
2. The Happening (non-theatrical release)

1) N&N was okay. Not brilliant, but not terrible. The music was the best part as was the relationship between, surprise! Nick & Norah. However, I found the surrounding setting and story a little lacking. Watching a hurling, drunk best friend and tons of underage people partying really didn't appeal to me.

However, I did like the characters of Nick & Norah. Like me, they didn't drink underage and they were more chill - playing music and taking care of their friends. I also like how their awkwardness meshes and they help each other overcome weaknesses. Kind of reminds me of someone else I know...

One of the best lines was Norah explaining an old Jewish saying that essentially, "The world is broken into many pieces. It is our job to find them and put them back together again." To which Nick supplies, "Maybe we don't have to find the pieces. Maybe we are the pieces." I like that.

Have you ever read This Beautiful Mess by Rick McKinley? Very good. That quote reminded me of his call for us to care for each other and redeem the broken pieces of the world.

2) The Happening gets a bad rap. Poor M. Night Shyamalan. He is a creative genius and he often gets bashed. Even after seeing the film, I still think he is still a brilliant artist. I'm glad Amanda, my creative roomie, agrees! She will have to borrow my book about him and my favorite of his films, Lady in the Water.

As for Happening, I agree it wasn't his most well-done work, but it wasn't THAT bad. His work is always art, always deeper. So the acting was a little stilted, but it usually is to convey his points. It jars you out of this expectation of perfection into thinking about why things are done the way they're done. Why is there blue in every scene (props to Amanda)? Why do characters repeat certain things? Why are shots framed the way they are?

The suspense and the death toll were still frightening. Good job with that. And there was still enough humor to offset it and remind you of M's quirky humor.

While the film geek in me loves to think about the making of the film and the semantics of it, the kicker really is in the theme. I loved the concept of the environment warning us to take care of it and live in harmony or else it would fight back. The blue featured throughout the movie and with the mood ring stands for peace. The foliage wanted there to be peace again between them and man.

I want that, too. It just seems really complicated. Sure I recycle, ride my bike, use a car-sharing program, shop with reusable bags, drink out of a Nalgene, etc. But there are bigger things at play. How do we advocate for radical environmental care?? These issues seem so, so big!

I also liked that scientists admitted that we don't always know why nature does things. Oh, and that the bee-thing is actually happening.

Okay. Time for some actual school work. Less than 8 months until I'm making movies for a living!!! I might pop Lady in the Water in for some inspiration...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

LA Bound

Yes, I am going there for Fall Break and am most delighted! Each day is one day closer and I can feel an excitement building. When I read Ashleigh's blog about her experiences on the West Coast or watch Katie, Garrett & Casey's movies in my COMM classes, I am so ready to be there - away from here, building my NEW life.

College is almost over. The rest of life is calling.

And it is full of adventure!

(These pesky classes are so annoying. Off to study cultural theory.......)