fter much consternation, I finally decided to shave. It was an epic feat removing a prepubescent looking beard from my face, but I must say I now feel much cleaner. It was like a catch-22. Have a clean beard that is itchy and feels like a brillopad or let the natural oils do their work while making you feel like a greasy dirtbag with a soft beard.
I went to the gym again. Yes I am bragging that I “need” to go to the gym. I don’t know how everyone else there watches CityTV News which looks like it is a channel designed to create ADHD. Thankfully I had my iPad with this weeks Newsroom and the new show Low Winter Sun. Newsroom probably had one of the best shows in its run so far. I could not get enough of Jim and Maggie staring at a computer screen while passive aggressively arguing with each other. Sorkin was juggling so many characters that I believe this episode had A,B,C,D, and E plots. It is humbling to watch his show and that is the real reason “haters be hating“.
I haven’t watched all of Low Winter Sun yet as I could only spend so much time on an elliptical and Newsroom was on the longer side. What I saw of Low Winter Sun I liked. I was definitely getting a Bad Lieutenant vibe and I think Mark Strong simply does not get enough appreciation. I have abstained from watching Breaking Bad for a few days and I am dreading the most stressful show on television to return this week, Boardwalk Empire.
As I stated my intention in my last post I did take time to watch Tokyo! which contains three short films directed by three critically acclaimed directors, none of which are actually Japanese. The first short film Interior Design directed by Michel Gondry is pretty straightforward by Gondry standards about a woman who becomes a chair. Okay there is more to it than that. I really enjoyed Bong Joon-Ho‘s short called Shaking Tokyo which is a love story between two hikikomori (a nice Japanese term for shut-in) amidst an Earthquake (minus the unpleasant Tsunami). But the real reason I took the time to watch Tokyo! last night was to see Leos Carax‘s short film Merde starring Denis Lavante as Monsieur Merde, a role he would later reprise in Holy Motors. Carax employs an iris closing effect in both films on Monsieur Merde as he exits a manhole. The context of Merde pacing around eating flowers, eating money, and pushing people over while licking armpits to the tune of the Godzilla theme makes a whole lot more sense to me now. Wait, well technically it still doesn’t make sense but I still enjoyed the absurdity of it.
I don’t really know what I can say exactly about Holy Motors. It was my favourite of 2012 and in a lot of ways reignited my passion for film. It is a movie that follows a Monsieur Oscar (Denis Lavant) as he travels by stretch limo to his various appointments around Paris. I feel like the film is a series of vignettes showing how the actor, and the audience have to change as the medium changes from film to digital. I know my cinema history and the first cameras were bordering on the size of tanks, then when sound came we had to box up the camera as it was so loud as to degrade the camera. Then cameras started getting smaller, and they started moving. Then as film moved to digital the cameras became even smaller not to mention it profoundly affected the editing process. I feel at this point after seeing Holy Motors at least 4 times that I grasp 95% of it. Holy Motors is about reinvention and about the adaptation and survival of an art form. That and like any good movie it is abstractly autobiographical. There happens to be a scene where Oscar plays the role of a father picking up his daughter from a party. He just so happens to dress just like director Leos Carax. Plus it has an accordion scene set to R.L. Burnside’s “Let My Baby Ride” that is just amazing.
I would recommend this film to everyone and anyone who appreciates film, and frankly if you don’t love this film I have a legitimate empathetic sense of pity for the position you must be in your life. A horrible state of anhedoina.
One thing that has really intrigued me through all this is that In Tokyo! they say Monsieur Voland(Merde’s lawyer) is one of only three people who can speak Monsieur Merde’s language. Even if that includes Merde then there is at least one other person who can speak the language. Will we see Monsieur Merde again? Perhaps rampaging through the U.S. I hope.
I woke up to texts and phones ringing again today. I think I am going to put my phone in another room when I go to bed just so I don’t have my dreams interrupted and wind up forgetting them. Again, I clearly had something but am unable to remember it.
I have the last screening of the Leos Carax Retrospective tonight which is for Pola X. Not that I have low expectations but my gut says it will be my least favourite Carax film as Denis Lavant is not involved. So if you are getting sick of me talking about Leos Carax all the time, then wait till Thursday. In the meantime today is being devoted toward going to the gym and writing. Good luck to me on that.
Today’s Music: Dirty Paws by Of Monsters and Men