An Open Letter to Pam Grier
For the way you hide razor blades and small pistols in your hair, for the way you run over a druglord's goons both forward and in reverse, for the way you fight with a barstool, for the never ending closet of jaw dropping outfits, and most of all for your undying devotion and love for your man, I have totally and completely fallen for you.
But your boyfriends have short lifespans. I watched Foxy Brown and Coffy this week, and while you possess every quality I could ever want in a partner plus attributes I never would have thought of on my own, our relationship would be short lived in the most literal sense of the word. Right when we really got our groove going, I would undoubtedly be beaten into a coma by smack dealers or be shot by mafia goons while bringing you flowers. I would do anything for you, Pam Grier, but I don't want to die young and melodramatically in your arms.
Your boyfriends are like red shirted security forces in Star Trek, like the cop 3 days away from retirement, like the slutty girl in a slasher flick, like a virgin soldier in a war movie: they all die, without exception, and before the second act. They die coughing up blood-bubbled I-love-you's with copious amounts of red dyed corn syrup on their butterfly collared shirts. They are shot in the back and stagger with their last bell-bottomed steps to the woman they love. They are never late for a date, but they also show up right on time to their funerals.
Pam, the solution is Amsterdam. We'll have to start dating in an area where there are no evil pimps and ruthless druglords. We'll have to stay there at least until the third act. Even then I know I wouldn't be completely safe, but you could rescue me from any trouble we find.
I want to be your epilogue, your man with the credits scrolling and the theme music playing, the man who gets the next to last line as you always get the last. I'll be yours forever, just promise me one thing: no sequels. I wouldn't make it through the first twenty five pages.
Notes from the First Quarter:
I realized this past week that I had passed the quarter-way mark on April 16th after watching The Twilight Samurai. I wanted to hit the mark at the end of March. I'm a little over two weeks late. It's really difficult to watch more than 11 movies per week, so I don't think I'll be able to make up that lost time anytime soon.
I haven't picked up a PlayStation game since December. My days of putting on a game like Katamari Damacy or The Warriors and obsessively playing into the wee hours are over until this project is done. I really don't know where I'd get the chunk of time to really geek out on a nice turn-based strategy game.
I've also been reading about a quarter as much as I used to. I just finished Augusten Burroughs' Magical Thinking, and before that, a reread of Charles Bukowski's Factotum. The first novel I read this year was Michelle Tea's Rose of No Man's Land. There was a book of Ring Lardner stories as well, the dark collection Champion. Normally by this time of the year, I would have read about a dozen books. Two of those books I read while on a week long trip to Salt Lake City.
My life has become a blur of work, the gym, recovery meetings, and movies. I plan my small social calendar around what movies I have to watch on a particular night. I come home from work for lunch and watch half an hour of a movie to squeeze in whatever watching I can. I used to go to movies in the theater, but I really don't want to right now.
Pick of the Week:
This week, I struggled between The Ice Harvest and California Split. I decided on California Split because I feel it's overlooked.
Plenty of people know the name Robert Altman, and a few of his films. Often I hear about MASH, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and Short Cuts. But California Split, along with Nashville and The Long Goodbye are just three more of his films that are really worth a look.
Altman is known for his use of dialogue. Often, characters will talk over one another, or lines will overlap. It's been done since then, but the sound it had in the early Â‘70s was his signature.
Altman also uses soundtracks to perfection. His musical choices and where they appear in the films are right on the money.
This Robert Altman story follows a gaming binge of two degenerate gamblers. There's a lot of gambling movies out there, and even some of the best ones follow familiar beats. California Split stands on its own.
From poker, to the racetrack, to craps, the pair of gamblers will bet on anything, risking more than each can afford, ducking work and any other responsibilities as they look for the big score, and more importantly, action. They want to catch a special winning feeling.
The dialogue is alive, perky, and fun to hear. The acting and direction is perfect. The sets and the extras are dead on.
At its heart, it's a great story. Check it out.
Quote of the Week:
"That's my sister, and she's a whole lot of woman!" Antonio "Huggy Bear" Fargas, as Link Brown in Foxy Brown.
I watched 11 films this week, which got me minimally ahead. I need to average 10.08 for the rest of the year. This week: another 11 on target.