Monday, December 10, 2012

"It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen."*

   Hello, gentle reader. Things are dicey in these parts of the world. Having just narrowly escaped with my life from the virus that attacked first my bowels and then my chest, esophagus, throat, nose, ears and brain (in ascending order), I am happy to report that things are creeping their way back to normal. I woke up this morning with the sensation that air was squeezing its way up into my nostrils. Which is sort of the opposite of a sensation and more of a return to normalcy. Sweet, sweet nose-breathing!
   It’s unfortunate that my body decided to attack me just before Mike arrived in town for a fun visit and catch-up. Drinking alcohol and staying up until three in the morning do not make for a swift recovery, it turns out. Who’d have thunk it?
   So, because I’ve been M.I.A. for the past few days, I’ve decided to do a recap post, as opposed to waxing philosophical about any one point, because, quite simply, my brain has been hibernating for a good 5 days.
1. Mike and I went Friday to the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at LACMA. It was pretty expansive and both amazing and intense. I like most of Kubrick’s films, but some of them make me squeamish just by remembering mere snippets from them and others (Eyes Wide Shut comes to mind immediately) I cannot manage to watch for more than 4 minutes. But nobody's got a perfect track record, right? And this guy not only directed but actually filmed huge chunks of his movies.
When you first enter the exhibit, they have a 15-minute montage of clips of all his films. I’m a huge fan of 2001: A Space Odyssey (which I’ve mentioned both here and here) and also of Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. But this reel gave a bit of everything, including some of the most cringe-inducing moments of A Clockwork Orange and some of the most gut-wrenchingly scary moments of The Shining: neither of which I had ever planned to view again. Thank you, LACMA for showing me Malcolm McDowell’s eyes clamped open and the part in The Shining where Danny goes to Room 217 (oddly room 237 in the movie). Oh yeah and Private Pyle blowing his brains out in Full Metal Jacket. No warnings here: they just threw it right at our faces. And that’s fine. You know how it is with art exhibits. As a cineast, I found the exhibit magnificent. As a person, I found it scary and disturbing. But in a good way. 
Some of the more harrowing nights of my life happened whilst reading The Shining. It was nice to have all the lights on while I perused items from the movie.
[Cool side note: my dear friend Judie is the widow of Leonard Rosenman who won an Academy Award for the adapted score of Kubrick’s nod to Napoleon: Barry Lyndon. Leonard is more famous for his original composing for Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden, among others. Barry Lyndon is more famous for being lit entirely with natural light and/or candles, and for having Ryan O’Neal move really slowly everywhere he goes for no apparent reason.]
And the Kubrick exhibit wasn’t nearly as disturbing as the tiny Robert Maplethorpe exhibit they had going on in the main building. If I were a more mature person, I would’ve tried to find the “art” in all the images of anuses accepting objects they were most likely never meant to accept (I won’t tell you what, but if you use your imagination, no matter what you think of is probably right). But since I’m not very mature, and since I’ve seen most of his stuff before (in books! Not in person), I just giggled a bunch. That prompted a docent to ask us if we had tickets (we did), but made us also feel like naughty schoolchildren who'd snuck into a dirty picture(/mutliple pictures).
2. I stayed in last night to drink soup while Mike went to visit some friends in Santa Monica. It was a good choice, as I’m pretty sure it’s responsible for the fact that I felt somewhat human today. In the course of said soup drinking, I watched a couple of Barbara Stanwyck movies that I’d never seen before: No Man of Her Own (Mitchell Leisen, 1950) and Crime of Passion (Gerd Oswald, 1957). I’ve always loved Barbara Stanwyk as I feel that she’s the sane person’s version of Bette Davis, i.e. she’s no Ginger Rogers-looking broad but she’s sexy; and she gets into a ton a of trouble but she doesn’t seem to be intentionally causing it all the time. It was wonderful. And while I watched her do that, I drew you a picture that has nothing to do with anything. I was just really sick and had nothing better to do.
I drew a peacock! Neat-o!
3. Mike and I walked to brunch in Los Feliz village today. On our way home we saw a guy in a white BMW stop his car a block ahead of us an then proceed to speed down four blocks in reverse going close to 60 miles-per-hour. He finished by rear-ending up onto a curb and into someone’s side yard. Then he put the car back into drive and tore up the street in front of us. I couldn’t help but think of the shenanigans I got into when I reversed in the Runza parking lot…but this guy had no license plates, so I couldn’t really do anything about it. Even if I could've wrapped my mind around it. Which I couldn't. I actually thought for a moment that Mike and I oughta get off the sidewalk in case he was planning to back up again. What a shit.
   Um…so it kind of seems like all of this stuff is incredibly boring. That happens, you know. Just know this: if you start getting gastrointestinal disturbances in the next couple of weeks, start taking your Zicam right away, even though it sounds counter-intuitive (how can cold medicine stop diarrhea?!?). This disease will creep up your bowels (not literally, of course) into your chest and nose and throat and give you heinous reflux and a nose that just won’t operate. It’s not kidding around. It’s disgusting and virulent and foul.
   I will try to write a better post tomorrow, but my life has sort of spiraled into a shit-show and I can’t guarantee anything. Stay healthy, gentle reader.
*Quote is from the absurdly creepy A Clockwork Orange, which I attempted to revisit the other night but could only stand for about 30 minutes. But isn't Malcolm McDowell** a wonderful actor then and forever? (Stanley Kubrick, 1971).  
**I did a bunch of research on A Clockwork Orange and per I learned this: Malcolm did, in fact, have to have his eyes wrenched open for that scene and his corneas were anesthetized so he could film for longer chunks of time, but that didn't prevent near-constant cornea scratches. Also, the man putting drops in his eyes to keep them lubricated was a real M.D. Good lord that's disgusting.

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