the well runs dry

July 25, 2007

well, tonight is opening night at MIFF. the curtain-raiser this year is michael moore’s sicko, which has been getting pretty positive feedback from what i can gather. it should be good, and if i can catch a glimpse of geoffrey rush in the process, that will be a bonus.

after my initial scan through the list of films showing this year, i picked up a copy of the guide and did some more in-depth research. turns out there is actually a scary number of good movies showing, and i probably won’t have the time or money to see all the ones on my short list. maybe i’ll share some of them in the coming weeks. oh well, i’m excited.


for some reason, however, this one isn’t playing. i guess this isn’t a huge problem, because as i recall 2046 got a general release in cinemas here a few years ago, and this one is decidedly more ‘western.’ naturally, i’m skeptical. i’m still not convinced that jude law is anything to write home about, and norah jones’ sultry voice is barely powerful enough to carry a tune, let alone a scene. of course, natalie portman should do a decent enough job, but still i wonder: why? the thing about wong kar-wai’s films is that they have that hot, humid asian style. they are city films; this is a road movie. i just don’t get it. i’m not sure the whole aesthetic will translate. not to mention that english is not wong’s strong suit, and the chinese has an inherent meditative and reflective quality; see tony leung in ‘in the mood for love’ and ‘2046.’

speaking of city films, i watched recently a film that carries perhaps more critical hyperbole than any other: the bicycle thief. that’s not to say i didn’t enjoy it – rather, it’s not a movie you can really enjoy. i’m not the kind of person who can recognise ground-breaking cinema as i’m watching it, but there were at least a few moments in ‘the bicycle thief’ that stuck out in my mind: the scene at the restaurant, and that final scene that manages to build up some serious white-knuckle tension with very little action and even less dialogue. it succeeds in isolating the main character from the society he so depends on, and in an ultimately ironic finale, it is the overwhelming gravity of this society that he has lost all faith in that ultimately forgives him and offers him a second chance; an invaluable gift in the context of post-world war II depression.


so, since i’m running out of time, here’s an annotated list of my ambitions for the coming months:

  • start a lounge act.
  • a hybrid table tennis tournament/acoustic gig/piss-up at my house.
  • get this website out of my head and onto the internet.
  • travel.
  • go back to uni (maybe i should be a video game designer?)
  • write write write.

i went to the great wall of china exhibition at the museum on sunday. it was the final day – for future reference, probably not the best day to go to any exhibition. there was a profound number of children there, and i must ask, what interest do they have in seeing a 2000 year-old bronze coin? or a clay teapot? maybe they were expecting some yhang zimou-style re-enactment of the last millenium’s worth of chinese history. but, alas, it was not to be. my favourite parts were without question the ancient scrolls and paintings: as if seeing the evolution of the english language isn’t interesting and disorienting enough, y’all should check out some of these eastern languages. wack, yo. oh, and of course, my miniature terracotta soldier, which is forever guarding passage to my room with the patience of the crocodile, and (if the need arises) the relentlessness of the fire ant.


i had way more to include in this entry, but maybe i’ll have to put that on hold for now. i have a date with destiny, you see. but just quickly: does anybody know of any australian online book stores? shipping charges from the likes of amazon are quite literally obscene, and really, who can be bothered going to borders more than like twice a week? besides, everybody likes getting packages in the mail, and when you’re not paying shelf-stacking taxes along with royalties and publishing costs, prices have nowhere to go but down. or maybe i’m just a dreamer.

i had a dream a few nights ago featuring presidential candidate barack obama (this post is gonna get millions of hits on account of me writing those two words). he was in town (somewhere in australia; i say ‘in town’ because, being a dream, i have no idea where i actually was) promoting literacy. i know, in australia. the place that needs it the most. anyway, it was weird. i asked him what his favourite john steinbeck novel was, and told him how i felt that it was up to him to unify america, and, before he left, asked him quite seriously if he didn’t think george bush was a bumbling maniac.

it’s a strange world we live in.


One Response to “the well runs dry”

  1. matt said

    That video = pure gold.

    What a fucking idiot.

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