Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Down Side of Up

Cinema Minima, a film site I have a lot of respect for in the independent/grassroots film world, recently remarked on a slow news day "Not 'Hollywood Independent'--writer John Oak Dalton is the real thing." Let this humbling statement not proceed the death knell of American Cinema.

Despite this great affirmation, like the stoic (which unkind reviewers might refer to as wooden) star of "Drag Me To Hell," I have started to wonder if I am under some sort of gypsy curse.

Both of my cars died within four weeks of each other, leaving my wife and I stranded in different cities. I cut through the ball of my thumb again while slicing a bagel. The garden hose on the outside wall leaked into the house and I came home and found the plumbers had to cut a big hole in our kitchen wall. We hiked around, as is our tradition, on Father's Day and saw a big timber rattlesnake sunning itself on the trail. Though we did not see it was a timber rattlesnake until we looked on the interwebs, which we did because when my wife (who believed it was a grass snake) poked it gently with a stick and said "Go away, honey," it rattled at her.

I do have to admit I watched "The Seventh Seal" again the other night and maybe that's where it all started. You watch a dude play chess with Death and you sort of have to take what comes. But with its eye-popping black-and-white cinematography, clear-eyed scripting, and a hard-assed performance by Max von Sydow, it is worth it. The down side is that you remember that most everything made today is disgraceful crap in comparison.

Even though I love this movie, I still love "The Bicycle Thief" more and wish I could make a movie like "Alphaville." If you have not seen these three greats, shut off the internet, set aside your Will Ferrell movie marathon, and get to work. Then come back when you get it done.

Until later I am at

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