Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Everybody nosedive, hold your breath, count to five.

Yesterday, either as a result of gloomy weather or something else entirely, I felt sluggish and bleak, which made it difficult to get as much writing done as I would have hoped (a bit more on that in a second). Today, I’ve decided to load up on sugar and caffeine, full knowing that it also makes me jittery if I overdo it. Such is the challenge, and now my mind is racing with several random thoughts. Anyway.

Two quick movie tidbits I discovered yesterday, only one of which raises an interesting question.

1. In “Panic Room,” there’s a moment where Jodie Foster calls her ex-husband, and the ex’s girlfriend answers. The voice of the girlfriend is none other than Nicole Kidman, who was originally the inhabitant of Jodie Foster’s part, before an injury removed her from the production. (I saw “Panic Room” on Saturday, and I put it above “The Game,” but below “Fight Club” and “Seven” in the David Fincher canon. Good stuff, though.)

2. SPOILER, if you haven’t seen “The Usual Suspects” yet. [1]

“Keyser Soze,” translated literally into Hungarian (or Turkish?), means “King Talks-Too-Much.” Ergo, if you speak the language at all, the big twist of the movie is immediately ruined, since this is a big, big clue to the prevailing riddle of “The Usual Suspects”–who is Keyser Soze? Well, some people say he talks too much. How well did this film play in the Eastern bloc? Did they change the name, or that of Verbal Kint, or any of the dialogue about his verbosity?

END SPOILER.

I saw, nearly three times last week, the film “Sexy Beast.” It gets better with progressive viewings, because it becomes clearer that the film is not what one expects. At first glance, it looks mostly like another one-last-heist film with bits of Guy Ritchie in it. But really, it’s a gorgeous two-character drama anchored by a subtle battle of wills between Ben Kingsley (damn, what an actor) and Ray Winstone (also doing a great job). The commentary and articles around the movie are very interesting as well, especially when you consider that Kingsley’s Don Logan is constantly referred to as a dog of some kind–a “mad dog,” a “rottweiler.” Logan is exactly that, and even more, he’s hiding a vulnerability and sadness underneath his vicious temperament. Gorgeous. [2]

Watching that prompted me to attempt an exercise with the same sort of idea, that is, a two-character contest of wills. We’ll see how that turns out. It’s fun, though, to try. I’m also very nearly done with my third full-length, a piece entitled “Vasily’s Vision,” about the architects who built St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow.

Yesterday, I popped a bit about the Middle East clashes. I’m just sick of it all, completely, of the absolute insanity of the hurt and frustrated, and of their inability to attack the actual problems. Is Sharon so stupid as to think that exiling Arafat will bring peace to Israel? Why can nobody see that Arafat is a leader in name only? Hamas perpetrates what it wishes, Passover massacres and whatnot, with no regard for anything except the joy of killing their enemies (even if their alleged “enemies” aren’t old enough to have learned hate), Yasser Arafat has no control over them, why are there Arabs threatening to hijack planes if Arafat dies, it’s no longer even about politics, dammit, it’s about getting fucking ATTENTION, a region full of squabbling children with deadly toys. I suggested, in my anger yesterday, that the United States should just get out of there entirely, Israel NO LONGER NEEDS US, we’ve done enough; the Arabs NO LONGER WANT US, we’ve done everything we can for the area, and more, and it has rarely been fair or well-guided, just get out and keep our own citizens safe. Let them sort it out themselves, we can’t expect them to achieve peace unless they truly want it themselves…

…I’m less angry now, but only slightly. I’m sick of it. Enough journaling for now.

[1] What’s wrong with you? Stop reading and watch this film.

[2] The commentary has a really funny single-sentence summary of “Sexy Beast” on it–“Once upon a time, there was a man who thought he was happy…so the gods sent to him the unhappiest man in the world.”

Current music: Peter Gabriel, “Us”

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This entry was posted on April 2, 2002 by in Life, Movies, News of the World, Writing.
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