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Go out with you? Why not... Do I like to dance? Of course! Take a walk along the beach tonight? I'd love to. But don't try to touch me. Don't try to touch me. Because that will never happen again. "Past, Present and Future"-The Shangri-Las

Monday, October 15, 2007

Over the weekend I...

1. saw a couple of shows, both on their last night (Chicago, which I've never seen but which is now on my short list of favorite musicals, and 'Night Mother, which the women in the audience seemed to respond to on a deep level, but us guys just found it depressing).

2. Didn't do all the cleaning I meant to do.

3. Bought Jason Thompson's new book Manga: The Complete Guide. It's pretty depressing. It's mostly capsule reviews of manga titles available in English, and for all that Thompson is a manga translator, editor and fan, his book really drove home the corporate-driven formulaic sameness of most manga. I was an early adopter of manga in the West, but the novelty value's worn off. Osamu Tezuka and Moyoko Anno are two I'm still willing to spend money and time on, and I don't regret my big collection of old Rumiko Takahashi stuff, but otherwise the thrill is gone.

4. Reread Chekov's The Seagull (Chekov is evergreen).

5. Waddled around a bit but compensated by eating a wheelbarrow full of chocolate.

6. Woke up nauseous on Sunday and missed church. Is there such a thing as a dessert hangover?

7. Watched Pootie Tang, a movie my friend J'miza swears buy. It more or less spoofs junk TV and junk movies. I can see why it would resonate with J'miza, whose sensibilities have been shaped by loads of junk culture, but my parents mostly banned TV when I was growing up, so it didn't really hit home with me. My favorite parts involved hysterical women, for reasons I'm afraid to think about too hard.

Last week I watched The Passenger, about which I wrote nothing. This week I watched Pootie Tang, about which I wrote quite a bit. How embarrassing! I guess I'll say this about Passenger, which was directed by Antonioni and stars Jack Nicholson:

1. Nicholson's famous for his hammy acting, but he's really good at subtle underplaying too.

2. Antonioni's color stuff doesn't excite me the way his black and white stuff does. Black-and-white suits the spareness of his films, and brings out textures that color overpowers.

3. They should steal the ending of The Passenger for a Bond movie. Bond fans would argue about it forever.

4. I'm one of the many viewers who wanted to like the film but thought the thriller aspects of it got in the way of the angsty drama, and the angsty drama got in the way of the thriller aspects. Bring back old Antonioni where the whole story is people who love each other, but only a little bit, meandering around and feeling bad!

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