31 July 2007

If I ever get a tiny dog, I shall name him "Marcellino."

So Eryn asked about linking with html, and I am by no means at all an html whiz, but I made this little image as a reference. Obvi, just replace the linkies that you see there with whatever your little heart desires. I hope that came out clear enough. Stupid compression.

Another shocker was that Punky Lewster has never seen a Marcello Mastroianni flick. Before I disown her as an amica, I guess I should explain the wonder behind this man. And again, I'm no expert on the Cello, but I do adore him more than most. He's very captivating and charming as an actor; he has a certain ease as a performer– an apparently innate quality (is it his very Italianess? Non lo so.) His face is lined with tragedy and he carries himself with a sort of languid grace- he's amazing at expressing the depth of a character. He's incredibly compelling and can deliver a dialogue about a thinly veiled hypothetical situation like nobody's business. (I speak of him in the present, but he is quite dead, unfortunamente.)

To start out, I suggest Divorzio all'italiana (aka Divorce Italian Style), even though Marcello looks (molester 'stache!), and acts so incredibly sketchy. He plays a married man "in love" with a much younger woman, during a time when divorce was not allowed in Italy. He realizes, however, that if catches his wife cheating on him, he can kill her, be pardoned, and thus free to marry the younger woman (who I believe is his cousin in the film, upping the sketch factor.) It's a twisted, relatively dark comedy, which you may enjoy.

Le Notti Bianche is okay– nothing too superb. Marcello's performance of a lonely, lovesick man is understated and touching, but the story is slowly-paced and sad. It's based on a short story by Dostoevsky, so I really shouldn't have been surprised.

I love 8 1/2 and to a slightly lesser extent, La Dolce Vita. Both movies are written and directed by Federico Fellini, and he and Marcello make for an amazing team.

Perhaps I like 8 1/2 more because it's less depressing than LDV, but just as beautifully shot. There are so many times you just want to pause the movie and stare– the photography is just stunning– so fluid and glossy. As for the plot, the movie is pretty much a thinly veiled autobiography of Fellini, and I enjoy that peek into his head. Marcello plays Guido, a film director who struggles with creative-block, while simultaneously being harassed by his wife, his lover, friends, and "friends." The entire film turns out to be as bold a statement a director could make– perhaps best exemplified when Guido says, "I thought my ideas were so clear. I wanted to make an honest film. No lies whatsoever. ... A film that could help bury forever all those dead things we carry within ourselves. Instead, I'm the one without the courage to bury anything at all. When did I go wrong? I really have nothing to say, but I want to say it all the same." An artist is an artist is an artist.

The film meanders from the real to the surreal so effortlessly that occasionally it's hard to tell when one begins and the other ends. The first time I watched it, I was left scratching my head a bit, but the second time was a revelation. I guess it should also be said that 8 1/2 is known for having one of the greatest openings and endings in film history.

To be fair, though, I'd say La Dolce Vita is a little more accessible, and perhaps more vibrant and exciting. I know that I need to give it a second viewing to be sure. It follows the story of Marcello (his name in the film as well), as a tabloid journalist in Rome in the 1960's. He's longs to become a great and relevant writer– but he's pulled into the hedonistic shallowness of those surrounding him. This film has one of the most famous scenes in film history– the Trevi Fountain scene.

And, it has one of my favorite Marcello lines ever, which One Eye and I would throw back and forth at eachother: "Emma... ché cosa fai?" AND my favorite pose, a gesture innately known to all Italian men to express a multitude of emotions...

The Shrug.

But both films give a great (albeit sort of surreal) glimpse of 1960's life en Italia. And they're ohso brilliantly Italian. Everyone's tormented inside... but damn it- they look amazing.

I could go on and on about the movies (and realize that I did quite a bit), but it beats writing cover letters. I hope that convinces you to Netflix some flicks with my main Italian man. Oh boy, I could use a cold glass of Limencello and some Marcello stasera. To the packie! Arrivederci!

29 July 2007

Life List: The A-Town Edition

SO, Miss Eryn, aka one of my favorite people on the planet, busted out a Top Ten Things to Do in This Lifetime (you never know, the Hindi might be right)... aka Life List. She had a pretty rocking top ten... though I did not notice "opening a Florentine stationary store/bar with A-Town" on there. That's ok. We'll just consider it so obivous it need not be mentioned.

I've got my List (got the High Fidelity pic reference there- "all time top whatever..."), in no real particular order. Please note, list is subject to change and void in Utah (watch- somehow in this life, I'll end up stuck in Utah.)

- Visit Istanbul, specifically, Hagia Sophia.

- I always want to be learning. In some shape or form, I want my life to be vibrant and interesting enough where I am constantly learning.

- Go to Machu Picchu or Choquequirao. I guess I'd just really love to visit Peru (and do what Beardy here is doing), and see some really old things. And try not to get altitude sickness.

- Visit the Maori caves in New Zealand.

- Have a successful gallery show with which (above all else), I am happy.

- Live in a foreign country for at least a year (probably one of the following: New Zealand, Italy, France, Germany, or Sweden.)

- Become fluent in a foreign language. Something new (Sprechen Sie Deutsch?), or something more familiar- French or Italian.

- Write a book. Preferably the Great American Novel that would make Michael Chabon drop to his knees in reverence... or perhaps a biography of Sad Gelato Man... I'm not sure which.

- Work for myself, i.e. be my own boss. This could either be owning my own business or just being gainfully self-employed (see previous item).

- Oh you know... find love. Which will probably be hard, since the love of my life is... dead. And the other one is getting married. To my evil black male twin from Ohio.

How very soap operatic!

26 July 2007

I need an Atticus.

I didn't get the job at the theater. I wouldn't be so mad if it weren't for the fact that I got the rejection letter yesterday, but the letter itself was dated the 16th and postmarked the 24th. And I had called on the 19th to check in. Asshats.

I had an interview at a university on Tuesday. The interview with the department reps went well. They seemed to really like me. As I was leaving I was stopped by one of the interviewers and she told me they'd interviewed some people who had an MS or whatnot in a related field (aka they're going to choose someone over-qualified, aka I'm not going to get the job), but she asked if I would be interested in a position that hadn't been posted yet in the same department, as some Administrative something or other. I perked up and told her certainly. It was a relief that she just straight-up leveled with me. I wish more people did that, instead of leaving you hanging for two weeks. And then she told me she was proud of me for taking the stairs both ways (fiiiive floors.) Remember to take the stairs- you never know who's an environmentalist.

At this point, I sort of expect a nicely worded rejection email with a link to another position within the next day or so. I hope something works out soon, because the job search is getting depressing.

My birthday was pretty good. Went for coffee and VERY yellow lemon cake with Joj. My parents hadn't asked the annual "what do you want for your b-day meal" question, so I assumed we were going out. Well, they made swordfish... which I dislike for a variety of reasons, but it was ok. It will be a joke that will rear its mercury-ridden head every July 19th.

Alec: I'll just have a little piece.
Dad: I thought you liked swordfish.
Alec: I think you're thinking of you...
Dad: ....Happy birthday!

I received a lovely gift from Ms PL, whose sense of humor and practicality is always appreciated. My bro got me a WACOM graphics tablet, which I am totally digging. I spent about 6 hours yesterday and several hours today messing around with it in PS. Now I just need to learn how to use Illustrator. Yay. I should pick up a book on it soon.

Speaking of books, I just reread To Kill A Mockingbird, and I had forgotten how much I love it. I always say it's one of my favorite books, but I'd forgotten why. It's just so well written- a time and a town so perfectly captured. I cried- nearly bawled- at two parts... If you can guess which, you get a cookie... figuratively speaking. It has one of best literary heroes of all time- with a great name to boot.

I also spent the weekend up in New Hampsha, visiting Miss Martinez and Sir Funk before they peace out for grad school in the midwest. I think everyone had fun. Got to swim in a lake, consume more junk food than an entire trailer park, and hang out with some peeps I haven't seen in over a year. I'm going to miss them, but apparently, they'll be back for holidays and the like. Ironically, we might be able to see eachother on a more regular basis.

Last but not least: I am here. And I am there. Because I am beside myself with joy. Wes Anderson has a new movie- The Darjeeling Limited- coming out in September. I'm not sure about Adrien Brody... he's a good actor, but I don't know if he's got that Wes Anderson vibe. In any case, Jason Schwartzman (who's starring and co-wrote), will be guaranteed pretty amazing. Consider my money already spent.

13 July 2007

Of crumpled toes and Frenglish.

I had an interview for executive assistant at a theater company this morning. It went well, but I have some doubts; it was sort of odd. I over-dressed (whyyy did I wear heels?), but I asked some good questions. She spent most of the time talking, which may or may not be a good thing. Anyhoodle, the position sounds like it's actually quite cool and seems like a pretty chill place to work. We'll see. I should know by next Tuesday.

A-Town and I were chatting yesterday, and I told him about how I sort of had the intention of making the transition to Boston (which won't happen if I get this job). And he said, "what? Don't you like the duplé?" From now on, this house is not a duplex, but rather, the "duplé." Yay faux French is awesome.

Speaking of French, Romain Duris has a new movie coming out: Dans Paris. What's not to love about a love-sick, suicidal Romain? And the guy who plays his brother is a little bit gorgeous. Even if it's not amazing, it at least looks interesting.

Though I still want to see Transformers. Don't judge me. (OMG SPOILERZ: I hear they're robots... in disguise.)

I'm all revved up and feel like doing something. I want coffee, which maaaay not be the best choice. Maybe pancakes instead. Sedated by delicious pancakes... I wonder if the Joj is up...

07 July 2007

He's kind of a big deal.

Lewis Hamilton just started racing in F1 this year... and is dominating. Dominating in a way that shames his two-time World Champion teammate, Fernando Alonso, whom he leads by 14 points. Hamilton's been on the podium 8 out of 8 races this season (with 2 wins), and snagged the pole position today for his home race in Great Britain.

I think he may just be the best thing to happen to F1 since fuel injection. Let me break it down like a fraction for you...

At the risk of stating the obvious, he's black. He is, in fact, the first black driver in F1 ever. Conquering the "norm" and F1 bureaucracy is a feat in and of itself.

He's British, which means 2 things: firstly, the British love him and they control most F1 media coverage, so it means more exposure of the sport through the "vehicle" of Hamilton, if you will; secondly, he is quickly becoming accepted by Americans. This is probably because they love an underdog... and this kid is taking out the Eurotrash.

He's young- 22 years-old- and who doesn't love a prodigy? He's new to the game, so he's free of the dents and dings and chips-on-the-shoulder that only accumulate with the bitter taste of defeat and spending one too many evenings with the "Formula Unas Girls." Also, he's cute, has a great smile, and he's is charming. Listen to any race commentator, and they'll go on and on about what about what an delightfully upstanding young chap he is... or some such. He talks to fans, signs autographs, and does the media dance without compromising himself. His dad and wheelchair-bound younger brother go to every race, which is endearing in a fashion that has never existed in F1.

In short, he's good. It's easy to like him. He doesn't have to become what people want him to be, because he already is.

And F1 needs a face other than Michael Schumacher's lopsided grin or Alonso's... Alonsoness. Alonso has won the World Championship the past 2 years and you would never know... he has a relatively small fanbase and very little media coverage- because he's a douche. No one likes him- he's like a surly Jacques Villeneuve. He sneers, he jibes, and he avoids all the fun folderol that makes F1 F1. Schumacher was a bit of a diva, but did the "Champion thing" very well- and still does. But this guy can't carry the torch forever- he's retired- let him go home. Kimi Raikkonen- great driver- but not personable. He's Finnish, which means he's a cute and shy mumbler... who drinks. Other than that, no one else is really consistently good enough to even be a contender. (Though crazy Vitantonio Liuzzi would be amaaaazing. Bringing back the soul patch- Italian style.)

So for the new face of F1, I nominate Lewis Hamilton. But he probably won when I wasn't looking...

...did I mention he has a black belt in karate?

05 July 2007

Of zebrafish and parody.

After a botched attempt to go into Boston this past weekend to meet up with Emily (hereafter "One Eye"), I managed to get up there on Tuesday afternoon for some 3rd of July fun with Jojo. We met up with Kait and headed to One Eye's for pizza à la Ian and met a couple of his peeps from Hobart. We sang, we drank, we yelled, we exchanged outrageous stories, and we laughed at inappropriate moments and politically incorrect things. I contacted Heathbar to see if she wanted to meet up and she responded with the overwhelming enthusiasm that only she could express and I love.

Unfortunately, we couldn't catch up with the Heathbar, as it's remarkably hard to get a group of inebriated 20-somethings to mobilize efficiently. We were on opposite ends of the city and I couldn't convince anyone to go to Cambridge or even Downtown. Some other time... when I give her more than an hour's warning. And next time, I'll come armed with a mix cd.

Other than that missed opportunity, a good time was had by all. I had to leave Boston relatively early for Jojo's sake... but it was probably a reasonable choice in hindsight since I was exhausted. That is to say, when I got home around 12:30 in the afternoon, I wanted to stay up for the sake of my normal sleep pattern, so I made a double shot latte... but fell asleep 15 minutes after drinking it. Caffeinated sleep: the most efficient sleep ever.

A couple of weird moments have occurred over the past few days. The first: Joj was driving us around downtown Providence and I got a whiff of sewage and exhaust... and I immediately thought of Florence! It sounds rather gross, but I was completely there for a second. The second moment: while wandering around downtown Boston, I sighed so heavily I drew stares... as I had an overwhelmingly sad and sentimental yearning (yes– yearning!), to see my Austin Bufas. It's been so long. And I'm withering.

But this is good- I have renewed determination. I'm going to get a job. So I can see my Austin Bufas.