Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ignore The Netflix Movie Poster

Absentia is a thoughtfully creepy horror film...


Due to mixed reviews and a three stars Netflix rating I wasn't expecting much from the 2011 horror film Absentia. I was pleasantly (or is that unpleasantly?) surprised. The acting by Courtney Bell and Katie Parker was genuine, production values were real world. The pacing was measured, slow but never plodding. The story builds patiently toward a shocking and sad resolution. What I found most compelling is that Absentia can play as a psychological thriller dealing with the unexplained loss of loved ones, or as the worst sort of horror film, in which families, relationships, and lives are shredded through no fault of their own by merciless and implacable forces against which there is no defense. Absentia is not for everyone, but serious horror fans will enjoy it.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Heart of the Matter

One of the three best songs on End of the InnocenceDon Henley's best album...


"I got the call today, I didn't wanna hear
But I knew that it would come.
An old true friend of ours was talkin' on the phone
She said you found someone.

And I thought of all the bad luck and all the struggles we went through
How I lost me and you lost you.
What are all these voices outside love's open door
Make us throw off our contentment and beg for something more?

I've been learning to live without you now
But I miss you sometimes.
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I knew, I'm learning them again.

I've been tryin' to get down to the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak and my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness, forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore.


These times are so uncertain, there's a yearning undefined
And people filled with rage.
We all need a little tenderness, how can love survive
In such a graceless age?

And the trust and self-assurance that lead to happiness
Are the very things we kill, I guess.
Pride and competition cannot fill these empty arms
And the work they put between us, you know it doesn't keep me warm.

I'm learning to live without you now
But I miss you, baby.
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I'd figured out, I have to learn again.

I've been tryin' to get down to the heart of the matter
But everything changes and my friends seem to scatter.
But I think it's about forgiveness, forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore.

There are people in your life who've come and gone
They let you down, you know they hurt your pride.
You better put it all behind you babe, 'cause life goes on
You keep carryin' that anger, it'll eat you up inside, baby.

I've been tryin' to get down to the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak and my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness, forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me.

I've been tryin' to get down to the heart of the matter
Because the flesh will get weak and the ashes will scatter
So I'm thinkin' about forgiveness, forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me.

Forgiveness
Forgiveness
Forgiveness
Even if you don't love me anymore..."

Yeah, it's been a very long weekend.

PS, The other two great songs on the album were New York Minute and The Last Worthless Evening.  Back in the day I had no idea these three songs would become part of my life's soundtrack.

Her

Is totally authentic...


And terribly sad.

Not at all the right movie for me this weekend.  No, not at all...

Update: Feeling better now.  Her is brilliant and surprisingly subtle science fiction, the sort that carries the viewer from his or her current time and place into a nearly imaginable and fully realized future.  I'm impressed by Spike Jonze' writing and directing, and even Joaquin Phoenix' nuanced and understated performance. Scarlett Johansson was adorable  heartfelt, incredible as Samantha, but who wouldn't fall in love with her, even over the phone?

See it...when you're not sad about your relationships.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tell Me a Story

An old friend asked if I'd been doing any writing...


The sky was gray, thick with threatening clouds.

“I need you to talk to our daughter,” she said.

“I’ve been seeing someone since I got here,” she said.

I'd left first. Moved to Arizona. To start over.

“It’s been a couple months now,” she said.

She left after I did. Back to California. With the dogs. To stay at her dad's. To find work. To start over. We were still working on the divorce.

“You need to tell her it’s okay, that people move on,” she said.

“I’ll tell her,” I said.

Lightning flashed, thunder crackled, only a half tick apart.

“Is he good to you?” I asked, stupidly.

“Do you mean is he interested in what I say? Does he want to do things with me? Is he funny? Does he make me laugh? If it was all over tomorrow, would it have been worth it?” she asked. “Is that what you wanted to know?” She paused. “Yeah, he’s good to me that way.”

“I deserved that,” I said.

“You didn’t have to ask,” she said.

The rain came.  The pines outside the window dissolved into a gray mist.



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Safety Not Guaranteed

A pleasant surprise from Netflix...


Safety Not Guaranteed is a 2012 independent film by director Colin Trevorrow and writer Derek Connolly.  It stars Aubrey Plaza as Darius - an aimless 20-something magazine intern, and Mark Duplass as Kenneth - a small town grocery store clerk who is either a little mad or an imminent time traveler.

Safety Not Guaranteed is a clever, gentle, funny, and wistful examination of longing, regret, first times, and second chances.

Does Kenneth save Belinda? I recommend you watch Safety Not Guaranteed so you can tell me...