Friday, August 19, 2005

going to the movies by yourself is one of the best feelings this city offers

I thought our tub was unfixable, the layer of grime and orange that has been on it since we moved in two years ago. I had at one point tried scrubbing it off, but never tried again, and my roommates have never tried it. Hell, I think the bathroom has only been cleaned maybe four times within these past two years, and none of those times were by my roommates. But I bought these "Scrubbing Bubbles" at a Rite-Aid today, thinking that I had to try to make our bathroom look somewhat less nasty since we will be showing it to about 25 people on Saturday, and the tub is so much nicer looking. I cannot believe that I never spent the three dollars on this little product that makes my living space look so much nicer. After scrubbing my tub, I lied in bed, drinking coffee and reading The New Yorker, feeling mildly bougie for the pleasure that I get from excellent grammar and beautifully constructed sentences.

I fell asleep for about half an hour and then went to the Angelika to see Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man. And it was good, amazing at times, but I think I had too high expectations after reading a few reviews commending it for putting other documentaries to shame. Some of the scenes that Herzog documented seemed so staged and contrived, his interviews with the coroner, especially - I winced during those scenes because it was so obvious that the coroner was aware of performing for the camera. And I wonder if this isn't because of Herzog's Germanness, that people in this rural area felt if not alienated from him, at least not totally free enough to banter at ease. I try to imagine my own reaction if this man with a thick German accent asked me questions, and how the response he would get would be so different from than if a gay peer of mine were asking me questions, how you are more at ease with certain people, as troubling as that might be. I am not trying to sound xenophobic, but I really think that had an American interviewed them, they would not have been stiff and unnatural, that there wouldn't have been that apprehension of being misunderstood that there sometimes is when you are talking to someone with a thick accent, worried that they might not understand your humor or your verbal tics. I tone down my use of acronyms when I am talking to someone with a thick accent, obviously English not being their first language. I confuse people normally. I am always so worried with these communication issues, almost a little paranoid about them sometimes.

But yeah, that Grizzly Man is a fucking nutcase in so many ways. It is so troubling, his sentimentalism about nature, him crying over the death of a fox or a dead bumble bee, and it is really funny when Herzog comes in with a voiceover in his thick, deep German accent contrasing with Grizzly Man's high, almost flamboyant voice - Herzog saying that the natural order of the universe is chaos, murder, and grief. Just some of those scenes when Herzog is filming - not the amazingly assembled footage that Grizzly Man shot - the Herzog stuff seems a little too forced for my taste. There is a narrative that he wanted to shoot, obviously, and he went about doing that. It's in contrast to Ross McElwee's movies who also seems to start out with a narrative he wants, and lets you know that, but ends up wandering all over the map and leaves that as his finished film. He's a lot more freewheeling and not as demanding that his desired narrative happen. He seems thrilled when it goes off course and captures those things - it all seeming so natural. Seriously, I can't get past that coroner and the watch scene. It was so staged and unnatural. Did you see it? Didn't you think so?

The walk home was really nice. The moon is full and there were occasionally clouds passing over it and I ate a slice of pizza that burned the skin off the roof of my mouth.

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