Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Desk Space and Internet

One of the things that has frustrated me largely since moving back home after college is not the parents’ and the lack of drinking/partying. It is the lack of space and internet quality. Currently, I have been migrating between a desk downstairs in the office and the one upstairs that was taken from an office building, complete with cubical walls. Both of these choices are populated with computers and random shit.

I am currently banging the keyboard in the basement; it is far more secluded and isolated. I like the isolated feeling to the basement, not to mention the overall coolness of the temperatures too, but it is currently being too cluttered for my liking. I am not talking about a population of people migrating here; it is the papers and clutter that accumulates over the days. It is getting downright disturbing. It is affecting my overall attitude and demeanor over the past month. People have always been struggling over land, cities, and just general space, I need mine too! My room is cluttered with all of my stuff that I stuffed in my dorm room; I guess there is just not enough space for me. I feel like I am about to go insane with claustrophobia. I look around and wonder if my parents even have organization for all of the papers and things that they have lying around here, I had an order for my dorm desk do they? They have a computer they don’t need covering up a desk that I could easily use for my own. My sister has a desk with internet access, why don’t I?

That brings me to my next complaint, the internet speed. We have a satellite, and unfortunately it is a rather shitty one. It is clocking in at about 40 kb/sec, which I believe is rather poor. I noticed on Google Video today that a bunch of their video’s you normally would pay for are available for free today. I, of course, checked out the Charlie Rose Show. IT is an interview show that has a whole slue of different authors, actors, directors, writers, economists, politicians, and general influential and important people as guests. I have only had enough time to view a few of them due to the abnormally slow internet connection to day. They are typically an hour long, but it has been taking me more than an hour to load/watch a mere ten minutes of one.

Well, if the generosity of these corporations extends to more days, I would advise to watch a few. I watched an episode with Martin Scorsese and a couple with Hunter S. Thompson. Both of which re-affirmed my love for both of these men and their respective crafts. My only desire is that I could have been able to meet Hunter S. Thompson while he was still alive. He is anomaly, a freak with an amazing power to outlive what society has deemed to the average population dangerous and extremely harmful to our health. I guess he just had a strong will and strong immune system to guide him through most of the booze and LSD.

Iowa Film Nerd

PS. Almost done with the next ten of my top 30

excerpt from a journal

An inebriated friend once told me that the stars the burnt out disturbed him. I immediately knew why. A thought that was triggered by and old song made me think of that occasion. The thought may be profound….but I think the way that he put it was irreplaceable. Much like Plato’s cave story, it is the illusion that we have been known to be true is in fact the opposite. They are a false sense of security, and so is graduation from college.

I miss college. I miss that same sense of security like the stars before I found out that they were burnt out. Graduation is like wandering around your house in the dark. It is the illusion of being blind, but it is easy for you know where all the corners and doorways are. Many times you are tempted to flick the light switch, but the child in you likes the feeling of being blind. In this little game, the last step on the stairs is the feeling of graduation. I used to count them when running up them every day, and because of this I know that there are precisely 13 steps on both of the stairs in my house. Often when I am playing blind, I count to confirm…that is if I am not thinking of other matters. The other night, I was thinking of other matters. The lapse caused me to take that last extra step and I got the worst feeling in the world. It is the feeling that you are no longer in control of your self. You reach out and shift your weight assuming ground, or in my case a stair, enough to place your foot. The world crumbled and let you down to fall.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Iowa Film Nerd's Top 30 Movies: 1-10

This is a difficult blog to type out, for I love movies and it is hard to narrow down a list of a few movies that i would watch over all other movies. I go through fads and periods where I want to watch only a few movies. The origins of this come out of Jenna's father asking me what my favorite/best movie of all time was. I was flabergausted and couldn't name what I wanted to, I blurted out a few that were meant to be on this list. I still feel like I needed to write this out and write a little on all of them, a justification of sorts. So here is the list that this film nerd has singled out. I narrowed down them into tiers because I cannot single one movie out as the best.

The top ten (in no particular order):

Fight Club
This film opened my eyes on what life could be like. That there are other ways of living. One of the things that still strikes me today is the truth about my generation. We are in a spiritual depression, our great depression is our lives. We are more conserned with commercialism than our own selfs. Not only does this film exhibite all of what I have just said, it is also one of the funniest movies I have seen. I think that I could (and have) watch this every day for a month straight.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
I laugh even at the title of this film. This is THE quintessential black humor film. With a slue of great performances out of the whole cast, how could you go wrong. I almost cried the first time that Dr. Strangelove stood up and started to goose step salute Hitler. It provides a vision of what could happen if we ever get into another Cold War.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
The film that reinvented the Western Genre and allowed us to look at them in a new eye. The search for a gold treasure and a fight to the death for it. The infusion of the Civil War into this allows us to see the foolishness of war and the inevitablness of it. It rounded off the "Man with no Name" trilogy. Great shots and a soundtrack that will never be forgotten. As soon as the oppening credits hit, you will recognize the sound.

On the Waterfront
This film is about the struggle between being cool with your friends or being right. It contains one of the finest screen performances given by anyone ever. Brando's Terry Malloy is frightening real. This also contains the famous "Contender" speech that you always hear about. "You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it. It was you, Charley."

Wild Strawberries
I haven't gotten into foreign films all that much, but this is the second Bergman film that I have seen. It is also one that has made me look at my life differently, it has so much introspect that it forces you to do so. When I listen to the Swedish that is spoken by the character, I feel that it has rhythm and vibe that flows like a poem. At the end you feel so sorry for the man, during his life he forgets to find time to pick the Wild Strawberries.

Once Upon a Time in America
This is the best gangster film I have ever seen. The Godfather and Goodfellas have come close, but this is the one that follows their start to finish so closely and completely that you know them. Another haunting soundtrack that you will be whistling long after it is finished. It is also an enigma of a film, it bounces back and forth chronologically and from dream to reality. A film that is worth watching a couple times to figure out its puzzle.

Singin' In the Rain
I am by far not a fan of musicals, but there is one that sticks out and is worthy of this top ten. Singin' In the Rain is a film that is historical and makes one feel good after it is all finished. Gene Kelly is a man that I feel envious of, he glides and flies around the screen. It is above all funny. "Can stannum" and "I make more that Calvin Coolidge put together". Hilarious!

Strangers On a Train
If I could I would exempt this film and make a Hitchcock section, but I have forced myself to single out one film. This follows one of his interesting concepts. If you meet a perfect stranger and exchanged murders, would you get away with it? This is an instance where it was almost works. Bruno Anthony is a villian that you feel more sympathy for than the hero/victim. Something worth noting is the first shot, following the feet until they bump, one of the most creative and clever beginnings of a movie ever.

There was a time when I believed that the best Vietnam film was Full Metal Jacket, but over the past few years this has creeped up on me and has overtaken that. This is a film where the hero has foolishly left a life of privlage to join the grunts and start his life from the ground up. I believe that this film follows the journey of war, the frightening experience, then the exhilleration, the brotherhood that developes and the war within. A complex community that was incapsulated and explored from a real vet.

Sunset Blvd.
One of the best Billy Wilder films and the best film noir to develope out of the 50' post war malaise of Hollywood and America. This film is so creepy and prophetic that it predicted the fall of Meyer's studio and empire. William Holden's performance as a struggling screenwriter reminds us of the dangers that hiding behind every corner. Just see it.

More to come.

Iowa Film Nazi