I realized earlier today that I had completely forgotten about two movies I saw and enjoyed in 2015, The Diary of a Teenage Girl and White God. On the one hand, if I completely forgot about them, they clearly didn’t make a lasting impression. On the other hand, I’m self-aware enough to know that very few things make a lasting impression unless I go out of my way to reinforce them. Hence this blog.
Last Saturday we tried to go see Creed at Northgate. I should make it clear at the outset that I love Northgate, at least in part because it reminds me of all the other janky independently-run theaters that I have loved in my life.
Having said that, we realized during the trailers that there was something seriously weird with the sound, namely that the only channel being played — on all howevermany speakers in the auditorium — was the center dialogue channel. It was particularly noticeable during the trailers, which are usually nonstop music and big booming sound effects & whatnot.
This situation persisted into the start of the movie, so we left & asked for a refund. We wound up talking to the tech/maintenance guy, who told us that a few weeks ago the mall had been hit by a massive power outage, and when the power came back on, a bunch of their audio power amps — around $30,000 worth — had blown.
While they’re waiting for their insurance check to arrive, they’ve apparently just jury-rigged the audio in the affected theaters any way they can. On the one hand, I respect their ingenuity. On the other, they really ought to tell people, or just close the auditoriums.
Anyway, we still want to see Creed.
For [my own] future reference: On New Year’s Eve we saw Spotlight. It was a good old fashioned muckraking journalism movie.
This week was mostly back-to-work, which is to say a lot of recalibrating bedtimes & trying to remember what I do for a living. We finished watching the new season of Transparent — I admire it, but I don’t usually enjoy it all that much, to be honest. Such terrible people, so terrible that good secondary characters are always leaving because they can’t stand to be around them.
Yesterday we went to see Carol. It was fine. Kind of prestigey. Fully in keeping with the Todd Haynes melodrama program. Not as good as Mildred Pierce — but then that’s hardly a fair comparison. Let’s put it this way: I was distracted by how clean & shiny all of the vintage automobiles were. And by the fact that Carol turns on the [AM] car radio in a tunnel & music comes out.
I guess what it boils down to for me is that while I admire Cate Blanchett greatly, she’s not a particularly naturalistic actress, at least not anymore, or not in the movies that I see her in at any rate, and after a while that wears me out. She’s all weird stilted voice & odd mannerisms, which makes a fair amount of sense given the subject matter & its deep psychological subtext, but still. I wonder if she brings a lighter touch to those animated dragon movies.
Rooney Mara was awesome, though.
Reading-wise, I finally nearly exhausted my interest in the collected works of Richard Stark & Robert Crais, and thus took a gander at what’s available in eBook form from my local library. It’s kind of a mixed bag, which is why I’m currently reading To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. Which is quite literally a mashup of Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat, and time travel. It’s . . . odd. I mean, I’m enjoying it, but the humor is so mild and so British that I’m honestly not sure why.
Entirely coincidentally, I was reminded a couple of weeks ago that I had read the aforementioned Jerome K Jerome novel as a bored tween — anytime I professed boredom to my mother, she would direct me to the family bookshelf, which was loaded with Modern Library editions of things like the Jerome, Sayers, E. B. White, etc.