Some time last year, I don’t know when, G and I were walking back to my apartment from the local Mexican restaurant after consuming a pair of giant beers, when something strange happened: As we were talking about something inconsequential and vain, a white van hopped off the road onto the sidewalk and continued speeding toward us. We weren’t drunk, but it took a few seconds before we both realized This van is not stopping, and stepped to the side. There were maybe six or seven seconds before the van caught up to where we were, whizzing past at a speed that clearly would’ve injured us were were in its way, maybe fatally, or at least sent us spinning into the air, where we would’ve bounced off the nearby dumpsters and hit the ground in a paralyzed state. After passing, the white van turned down a one-way street. An SUV came roaring behind it a moment later at a similar speed, though it went straight ahead instead of turning. G and I stared at each other, then continued walking as if we’d jointly experienced a waking dream. Half a block up the road, a man was smoking a cigarette, and, as we neared him, said to us, “Did you guys see that? It was like something out of a car chase. It might have been a car chase, actually.” After confirming we weren’t insane, we laughed and told approximately fifty people about it in the next few days. It was a good story, but slowly it went back to being something between the two of us. Every now and then one of us will prompt the other, “Remember the van? It should’ve been us” while the other smiles and nods, since G and I are silly boys who think we’ve been around enough death to joke about our own, which I’m sure would make our mothers cry if they knew.
CARPENTER WAS RIGHT.
(Source: paxamericana, via magpiemavenandsons)
One of my most treasured possessions is a European DVD of John Cassavetes’ Love Streams, which is considered by Cassavetes scholars and yours truly to be his best movie. The DVD is unplayable on my laptop, and probably yours. I found it when I was in France, which in 2008 was the only country where Love Streams was still in print. The French loved Cassavetes, who is better known in America for his acting roles than his directorial efforts, which years later are still unlike any movies I’ve ever seen, filled with a bustling, unconventional humanity that in no way resembles anything I see in my modern life. I was technically in Paris to visit friends but became obsessed with finding a copy of the movie, which would be the last of the Cassavetes I’d need to complete his filmography. Not yet a deliberate person, I loathed the idea of scouring used DVD stores case-by-case, shelf-by-shelf, box-by-box, but quickly accepted my methodical task; in my first three days, I must have been to nearly a dozen of them, searching in vain as I found everything but what I wanted. In one store I found John Woo’s The Killer, which was then out of print in America; in another I found an entire shelf filled with copies of Cassavetes’ Gloria, which is beloved in France but mostly unknown here.
Then, of course, I happened across Love Streams when I was in a Virgin Megastore, where I purchased it new for thirteen Euros, ripped it to my British friend’s laptop so I could convert it to the North American format, and watched it several months later in reverent silence with a friend. I saw for the second time last year at the Brooklyn Academy of Music viewing center, where they were screening a handful of Cassavetes prints, and its power had only grown stronger. Now, it’ll be out on the Criterion collection in a few weeks because the rights have finally gotten sorted out. You can pre-order it at Criterion’s website for $31.99. I’m excited to buy it but will always look at that European DVD when I’m home, remembering a time when I really went halfway across the world to find a movie I thought I’d love.
I’m shocked, just shocked, to read all these articles claiming that the science in Lucy is, in fact, not real—that we would not, in fact, turn into literal gods capable of bending time and space were we able to unlock 100% of our brains—but I’m maybe more unnerved to discover that Godzilla isn’t actually the planet’s evolutionary defense system. Who will save us from the monster moths?
Had a dream that someone dismissed me as “an off-brand writer for Preserve” (which is Blake Lively’s new lifestyle website) and woke up in sweats, convinced there was absolutely no greater insult.
Americans, unhappily, have the most remarkable ability to alchemize all bitter truths into an innocuous but piquant confection and to transform their moral contradictions, or public discussion of such contradictions, into a proud decoration, such as are given for heroism on the field of battle.
— James Baldwin, “Many Thousands Gone”
Sometimes Twitter feels like
You’re inside a dark cave in search of evil’s soul, but in order to reach it you’re forced to drink a potion that reveals your worst memories, failures, habits, personality traits, it slowly but surely drives you insane, there’s a voice coming from somewhere egging you onward and you can’t say no even as you want desperately to stop, it’s like a disease inside you, you’re overwhelmed with the “feels” and the “this” and the “tho, “and when you finish it turns out you were mistaken all along, the real evil is somewhere else and all your struggle has been for nothing, but you still die. Twitter is a Horcrux.
Why I fell asleep in that movie theater
Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Great movie, but there are whole chunks that go by where no dialogue is spoken, where chimps grunt and sign and emote like modern day Ewoks. (Done way better, but still.) I was riding on post-festival fumes and struggled to stay awake, but instead forced myself into a fugue state where nothing registered and had to ask my friend what happened when the lights went up. (Time elapsed: ~10 minutes)
Godzilla: Filled with action scenes that serve no real purpose: You know the handsome young hero’s not really going to die in the middle of this monster fight, because that’s not how it works. Went to sleep in the middle of loud noises; woke up in the middle of loud noises. (Time elapsed: 5 minutes)
Tiny Furniture: Forced myself to fall asleep out of protest at having paid to see this. Alas, woken up by dialogue. (Time elapsed: 30 seconds?)
The Golden Compass: Unconscionably stoned for this adaptation of one of my favorite children’s novels, because that seemed like the proper move. I went to sleep when a polar bear was speaking and woke up to Daniel Craig staring icily into the distance five seconds before the credits rolled. I don’t know why my friend didn’t wake me up, but as he told me, I didn’t miss a lot. (Time elapsed: 45 minutes)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: The most unpleasant theater-going experience of my adult life. I just tried to forget it was happening. (Time elapsed: ~20 minutes, spread throughout the movie)
The Italian Job: Was burned out when the movie began, and calculated that a quick nap during the opening montages would give me enough energy to make it through the rest. I was right. (Time elapsed: ~3 minutes)
Lincoln: I don’t know what scenes I missed, but it seems impossible that I stayed awake for the full three hours. (Time elapsed: 5, 10, 15 minutes? Who knows?)
just, lol (via David Grossman)