3.18.2006

Lazy Afternoon

A wonderful thing about Portland is the widespread occurrence of low-cost movie theaters that play second-run films. For 2-3 bucks, we gain the privilege of kicking back in an oddly decorated theater (sometimes on sofas), a frothy locally- crafted microbrew in hand, a slice of aromatic pizza awaiting ingestion on the table, and the glory of cinema dancing before our eyes. I am a film fanatic. I regularly storm the local library, peruse the DVD and VHS selection, and come walking out an hour later with a dozen movies...mostly odd foreign films I've never heard mention of before, sometimes strange gems that alter my outlook on life (Jeff...we need to track down that copy of RichArt/Urineman for some pirated bootlegging on my camcorder). The moving picture is my escape from the daily grind, a vessel into which I pour my soul and let the alternate reality form and mold my future, take me to places I've so far been denied access to. However grand watching movies are at home, nothing...nothing...compares to that feeling of sitting in a darkened cavernous room among complete strangers, experiencing something relatively structured and premeditated, knowing that we're all living this other life on-screen, and living it in completely different ways, seeing similar occurrences from drastically unique angles. And it's a wonderful way to waste time, especially if you don't feel like doing a goddamn thing else.

This is why today we found ourselves lining up, cash and ID in hand, outside of the Laurelhurst Theater in NE Portland. We were tired, grumpy (in Kes' case, frumpy might be a better adjective), and a good deal more than a little hung over. Last night, Jeff and I had experienced separate St. Patty's day celebrations, and were today feeling the effects. Kes and I had been invited to an engagement party for some of her graduate school friends, which was fairly sedate, but fun nevertheless. Jeff, who had celebrated with his work crew, was definitely feeling the effects of his one night stand with alcoholism a little more than myself, mostly due to the absurd amounts of alcohol imbibed...there was grumbled talk of 40's of St. Ides, Irish Car Bombs, tequila shots, etc. This combination itself has the power to instantly conjure headaches and nausea simply by contemplation alone. Don't want to spoil too much of his night in case he'd like to write about it, but there did seem to be a bar fight involving his group and the club's security guards. Whether the police arriving was caused by Jeff calling in a 911 complaint on himself or not remains to be seen.

Get to the fucking point Old, what movies did you see?

Well, we started off with the film Capote. Let me preface any other opinions of this film with the following statement: Philip Seymour Hoffman is a pimp. Or maybe it’s Truman Capote who is the pimp. Well, despite the pimp in question, I really don’t see what all the hype is about this movie. Maybe I need to read In Cold Blood (this movie tangles itself amongst the real life events surrounding the creation of America’s first nonfiction novel) to find out what the big deal is. In general the acting was superb, but I honestly could have cared less about the characters and what events befell them. However, rent it for Hoffman’s performance (one of cinema’s finest characterizations) alone, which was the only thing that kept me awake for the duration of the film.

At this point Jeff cut loose for home to climb once more into his sleeping bag for some drunken recovery slumber…Kes and I went on to our second film of the night, the much more entertaining Good Night, and Good Luck. George Clooney has consistently been evolving over the years into a formidable director, and this is his masterpiece. The actors are on point, and the script is engaging, following the battle waged between Senator Joseph McCarthy and CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow (played wonderfully by David Strathairn) over the unjust Communist witch hunt in the 50’s. The thing that makes this movie so relevant is that the events described almost perfectly mirror the current state of affairs in our nation today with the War on Terror. The bullshit “You’re either with us or against us,” and the labeling of all criticism of the current administration as “unpatriotic/subversive” was as evident then as now. In fact, you could re-dub this film, substituting the word Terrorist every time the word Communist is used, change the dates a bit, and this film could be a snap shot of our society today. Oh, wait…I forgot…back then we had reporters who had the guts to tell the politicians to fuck off by reporting on the injustices and scandals. Now they just say, “Tell me what to say Mr. President and I’ll let you give me a good ol’ patriotic fucking! Yes!” Yellow assholes. Sorry…a great film, go check it out, the crowd applauded at the end, I felt like I was re-energized to keep up my part of the fight, blah, blah, blah…

A few quotes to close with:
“Dissent is not disloyalty.”
“We cannot defend freedom abroad, while dismantling it at home.”

Good night…and good luck.

2 comments:

luckygreen said...

I have 94% recall of all conversation.

Sorry I missed the second film. As you pointed out, I still had some recovering to do in bed.

porksy said...

Not bad after 40's St. Ides, Irish Car Bombs, Tequilla....you are soooo international Jeff.

As for you, Oldie, "frumpy"? Kes? Nah...