The direction the ball bounces SHOULD reflect directly on the influence exerted by the player

After reflecting on Match Point on the drive home last night:

  • It was great to watch a Woody Allen film that didn’t subject you to 1930’s clarinet music
  • Woody Allen might only be able to write a movie about infidelity where the adulterer actually comes out ahead in the end…with or without moral guilt
  • The striking metaphor that begins the movie balances on the precipice of progress, yet throughout the movie it becomes unclear whether actually moving forward, whether your decisions made for the right reasons, actually push the balance in progress’ favor

Sin City

Robert Rodriguez has set up shop in Austin for his productions and is creating both children’s studio blockbusters as well as adult fare. And with Sin City, the interpretation of Frank Miller’s gritty stories from a decade ago, it looks like he might have another hit on his hands. Along with that success follows a great friend of mine who has been working his ass off for Robert, helping with post production duties on the film. Congrats Brad. Everyone go see the movie and help keep Brad employeed!

In case you need any encouragement, I offer a great comparison of the illustrations from Frank Miller compared with stills from the movie. Amazing art direction and attention to relaying the essence of the original stories.

Are you waiting in line yet?

Member’s only post of the new Star Wars Episode III Trailer went up today. And shortly thereafter was released on bittorrent. Either way, the trailer is nice and dark, the star cruisers don’t sound like lawn mowers, lots of overacting, and maybe some actually decent performances. I say this with only the affection you can have growing up with the original trilogy. For a little fun after the 15th trip over the summer to see the movie, take some time and build a LEGO® model of the Death Star.

Hotel Rwanda

During the time I lived in San Francisco, one of my roomates doing his undergraduate studies read a powerfool book about the tragedy in Rwanda. This modern tribal warfare had lots of root causes, almost none based on logic, but ended up with the genocide of almost a million people. As this story continues to fill people’s hearts and minds, it’s no wonder that a documentary and a feature film came out in the last year.

Hotel Rwanda, starring Don Cheadlae, is but a small fraction of that story but one that can illuminate how strident that portion of history was for people in Rwanda. Like Schindler’s List, it is a story of how one person can truly make a difference to thousands of people. Unlike Schidler’s List, the film was in color. But the message and the inspiration is there, as well as a outsider’s insight into western civilization’s involvement with other countries. It’s a heavy, emotional movie but well worth the time and thought.

Moving Pictures

I finally attended a movie theatre that has replaced their static slide projectors with a video projector and specialized content.

Since 1995, when the pre-show entertainment began illuminating the screen, I knew this was inevitable but wondered when the breaking point would be in the cost analysis. Right now, it looks like they are making up the price difference by gaining larger corporate sponsors such as NBC.

Hopefully this trend catches on in other theatre chains. It certainly is more entertaining than crooked slides and could be utilized in many more creative ways. The down side is involvement from local businesses will drop in the initial stage. The slide shows were a great place for a nearby restaraunt or day spa to gain needed exposure in a concetrated area. Now, these businesses will probably not be able to gain access to this same demographic until the technology drops in price or the theatres recognize the importance of the local community in getting moviegoers to the area and keeping them there afterwards.

All in all, it was an interesting move and at a theatre where I hadn’t seen a movie in several years and expected very little in the way of new technology.

btw – put torque at that point in your list where you have seen everything else within a 40 mile drive and you want to see a story with no depth and very few interesting characters. the audio was loud, though….

Laurel Canyon

Mandy and I went to the Lumiere on California Street to see the movie Laurel Canyon today. This was our first time at the theatre, and even thought the carpet was a little worn and the screen a little small, I must show appreciation to the smaller venues that are still interested in playing independent movies. The Landmark chain in San Francisco is excellent in this regard.

Laurel Canyon, the place not the movie, is a beautiful area flirting with the reality of Los Angeles. Inhabited in different decades by different groups of people with one thing in common, the desire to not be weighed down by the concerns of the standard la fare. Having driven around the canyon, it doesn’t have the separation I envision it once had in the 60’s and 70’s, but you can’t help but feel the gentle nudge away from the city’s vibe by the geography.

The young girlfriend/PhD student Alex, played by Kate Beckinsale, probably faces the most important moral questions in the movie and these center around the decisions of the paths we choose to take in life. Teetering at the brink of finishing her dissertation on the genomics of fruit fly reproduction (fascinating, really), she is submersed in an environment that makes her question the strict and orderly progression of her life. She is the type of person who has had it all figured out, only to find that everything can and will be turned right upside down without any warning. And it does. Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll – as the saying goes.

Alex’s boyfriend’s mother is a frustrated, crispy record producer trying to finish the challenge that is recording an album. Frances McDormand really takes the part and owns it. As much as she was the protective, provident mother in Almost Famous, she is now indulgent and relaxed and shows you the other side of parenting. Between the mother and the band, Alex is introduced to options she has probably only heard rumors about and, in the most childlike curiosity, jumps in head first and holds her breath most of the movie, trying to satiate and justify her choices to this point.

And if there is anything to take away from the movie, I believe it to be this: that life is to be lived and enjoyed and partaken of but there is not one correct interpretation of “the life” to be led. Enjoy the differences, celebrate the people who show up in your life, and focus on how you can add value to everyone’s life, including your own.

Maybe I didn’t get all of that from the movie, but I think it’s fairly decent advice all the same.