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amazing mountains!

July 24, 2005. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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views from st. gregory beach (not proper name)

July 24, 2005. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

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crashing waves emerge from the fog…

July 24, 2005. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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ME, MY iBOOK & MY PLANS FOR THE WEEKEND!

I spent the day searching every job dbase I know of in hopes of finding some positions for which I could apply. There just isn’t much out there right now. Still waiting to hear back on an interview that went very well. So, I guess I am sort of in a hurry up and wait mode. It will work out. Just got to roll with it and not let it worry me too much.

As I searched the internet in hopes of San Francisco employment I burned a couple of mix CD’s for a pal on the other side of the US. I enjoy making mix CD’s — did one for another friend a few weeks ago.

As I quite literally spent the day infront of the laptop — I am thinking I might not turn it on again until Sunday evening!

This weekend I am spending some time further down the coast. I am being given a tour of Santa Cruz and some other areas. And, if the weather is not too cold, we shall hit the beach. Am looking forward to it — both the sight seeing and the company! I shall have my camera at the ready!

Hope everyone has a great and safe weekend!
kisses!
matt

July 21, 2005. Uncategorized. 4 comments.

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GIVE ART A CHANCE

I think I’ve mentioned that I’ve been reciting a prayer with a medal in my hand. It means something to me because of the woman who sent it my way. She is one of the most impressive, kind and open-hearted individuals I’ve ever known and has been a great friend to my mother, my brother and me over the years. So, even tho I do carry a great many “issues” with the Catholic Church Leadership — I feel that this little medal represents the power of positive thought and love. This degree of positive energy far outweighs any dogmatic/socio-political concerns I might have. I think any of us who have a spiritual base of some sort have found ourselves praying a lot these past 4 years. So, when I woke up this morning to more sad news from London. I found myself saying another prayer to the Creator. I have to believe that there is a generator of our life force beyond atomic science. I know a Creator of this significance would not be sexualized. By that, I mean, it does not really make much sense that this being would have a sex. But, because I am human and “project” my personal feelings on this being — for me, The Creator would have to be more female than male. So, I give it up to her. Daily, hourly and by the minute. And, it appears that there may have been no loss of life! Of course, the devestation continues in Iraq and other parts of our world.

Just as like many of you — My thoughts and prayers are with all those who are suffering and worrying for their loved ones.


One of my brother’s earliest works, he did this when he was 5 years old. I always find it quite profound. No stern task master with a beard, no earthmother touching a blue planet — just a bowl of fruit.

OK, on to things I do understand but have no real importance. …Because, really, that’s what I’m all about!

Why o why aren’t people supporting good film?!?!?

There are not enough people skippig the cineplex in favor of seeing THE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY and ME, YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW?!?!!? I had the same frustration over the lack of audience for PALINDROMES and MYSTERIOUS SKIN. Granted, with the exception of one — these are not “easy” films that will make you want to skip out of the cinema, but did WAR OF THE WORLDS or WEDDING CRASHERS have this impact on you?!?!?!

These art-house movies are a bit challenging and do expect you to think, but — Come on, give art a chance! If you live in a metropolitan area where these “little” films are playing — see them!

I am really psyched about Bergman’s new (and most likely last) film, SARABAND — which is a continuation of the story followed in SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE. It opens tomorrow. I really loved the characters he created in the original Sweedish TV series — and to make it even all the better, he actually cut it under 2 hours in length! I don’t think Bergman has made a film this short since his experimental films from the PERSONA era. Excellent! And I am quite curious about the new Gus Van Sant film — however, I guess I am really only seeing it becaue Asia Argento is in it and I enjoy watching her. LILA SAYS has gotten some great reviews, but I think I am least interested out of these 3 new films.

July 21, 2005. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

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July 20, 2005. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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COSMIC iPOD

Today was not the best of days. Actually, it was a fairly discouraging day. It happens to all of us.

I’ve noted several times that there seems to be some spiritual or cosmic connection between me and my pink iPod. …almost as if it is speaking to me to fit the tone of the day. Due to an appointment I was not wearing or listening to my beloved iPod this morning. This afternoon, as I was on my way “to face” the rest of my day, I plowed thru my Puma-back-bag-thing and pulled it out, put it on and pressed shuffle.

And these were the first songs that came on:

“Don’t Give Up” by Peter Gabriel with Kate Bush

…well, to be honest — I played this song about 5 times.

then,

“She-Bop” by Cindy Lauper
“Hey Mickey” by Toni Basil
“Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac
“Coming Around Again” by Carly Simon

All happy and full of hope. Just what I needed! Then I saw Twin Peaks ahead of me looking so beautiful with a fog cloud hanging over the area. I snapped a picture. And the day got better.

July 20, 2005. Uncategorized. 5 comments.

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WEATHER, WONKA-VISION & REAL CURVES

Not sure why one needs a weather presenter in the California Bay Area. I failed to pick up a news paper today so I actually turned on Alan’s TV and took a look at the local news. It amuses me. The guy who does the weather essentially says the same thing all the time — the schematic of the week had the same little sun with a cloud and temps of 54/68 thru to Saturday. This is the same report they have every week as far as I can tell. Makes me laugh.

Based upon the views expressed by

  • Miss Marisol
    I decided to give in and see Tim Burton’s spin on CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. I was quite hesitant because I so love the original musical film version from the early 70’s. However, Miss M is quite correct — this is a completely different film all together and probably should not be compared to the first one. Johnny Depp’s performance is quite entertaining. And, Burton created some very interesting characters to play the parents of the brats with the golden tickets. However, I have to say — the kids in the 1971 film were much more vile. And, in my heart there can ever be one Veruca Salt. And, Veruca is a bad egg — not a bad nut. But all the same, I have to say this is a highly entertaining film and, I think, the best work from Burton since ED WOOD. It is well worth the price of admission. And, Mr. Bucket is hot!

    And, I really love the new ad campaign from Dove Soap and Lotion Products that features several beautiful women in their undies — of course what makes the ads cool is the fact that the women all look “real” — far from fat, but not obnoxiously skinny. These ladies just look healthy and normal. It is sexy and somewhat subversive. I’ve noticed people stopping and looking at the many posters throughout the city — everyone seems a bit confused, but everyone also seems to like them. Props to Dove!

    July 19, 2005. Uncategorized. 7 comments.

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    FREE TO BE — YOU & ME!!!! …well, maybe

    I think I mentioned that me and my pals, Milford and Vic, took in a screening of the brilliant gay film from Thailand, TROPICAL MALADY. A beautiful and multi-layered film about desire, consuming passion and love. Presented in a very unusual mix of realism and fable — the film is divided into 2 parts: Reality and Fable. In fact, the film’s director considers it to be two different films about the same two people.

    It is rare to see a film come to the states from Thailand — especially one that was not made with a Western audience in mind. Even more extraordinary to see one that depicts a gay storyline. The director’s vision is poetic, romantic, sad and somewhat horrific. It is a challenging and thought-provoking film. There have been a number of films from Thailand which portray stories involving transgendered individuals (such as BEAUTIFUL BOXER) but it is rare to see a Thai film which depicts a gay relationship.

    In my opinion, a major part of the beauty and mystery of TROPICAL MALADY develops from the idea of forbidden love. The two male characters never kiss. Instead, the director creates an interestingly erotic moment where the two men lick and taste each other’s hands — which prepares us for the second half or “second” film in which we can see that this erotic moment between the two men was a foreshadowing to shape-shifting to lions. …the licking of “paws”

    After the movie I made the following statement: “I love this movie so much, but I find it sad that in 2005 a Thai film is unable to be made that depicts a gay relationship in sexual terms — that it has to be presented in allegory”

    This lead the three of us into a complex discussion of the state of gay rights, stereotypes and homophobia in Thailand and the US — as well as how being gay is depicted in mainstream films. It was an interesting conversation and Milford challenged me to name a film produced my a major US studio that depicted a gay relatioinship in graphic detail. If I understood his point — it was to state that things are really not that much better in US cinema — that I am fooling myself if I think that US film directors are offering realistic and open depictions of gay life in their films.

    Milford — If you’re reading this, please correct me if I’ve got this wrong or if I misunderstood.

    Anyway, this turn in the conversation caused me to pause for a while. The only film I could think of which had been produced and released by a major Hollywood studio which depicted any level of gay life in fully realized form was hardly a glowing example. Tho, not the evil film that it is known to be, CRUISING is probably the only “mainstream” film to offer graphic depictions of gay sex. Granted — the gay sex depicted is fringe, hardcore S&M — and the main thrust of the film is that self-hating gay men can turn into murdering maniacs. Great.

    Controversial and full of self-loathing gay characters — the film is quite worrying. However, I have been unable to think of any film financed by a major studio that ever showed two gay men or women actually having any form of sex other than this movie. …and this was back in pre-AIDS 1980 and was absolutely the last kind of representation that the gay community NEEDED. However, murder plot and twisted surprise ending disgregarded, the sex scenes in this movie were filmed in the “hot” gay S&M clubs of the Meat Packing District circa the late 70’s. And, most of the men having sex in the film are actually having it and were gay patrons of the clubs.

    It could never be made now — and, changing morals would now earn this film an NC-17 — but in the early 1980’s it somehow avoided the X-rating thanks to the fact that it stared Al Pacino and was being released by a major studio. But, I think CRUISING is it. Period. …sad.

    Maybe one could consider TORCH SONG TRILOGY and BROKEN HEARTS CLUB (I think both of those came to us via Sony subsidaries) but sex between gay characters was limited to the more “implied” level than we would see in a hetrosexual love story or film. And, as much as I liked TST — has Matthew Broderick ever looked so “uncomfortable” in a role!?!?! LOL!

    At this point, I think it unlikely that FOX is going to make a gay version of 9 1/2 WEEKS.

    I think Milford is quite correct. In its own quiet and dignified way, TROPICAL MALADY is every bit as explicit and “real” as any studio-financed US film out there.

    Case in point — HAPPY ENDINGS.

    While this film is being marketed as an arthouse film, it is well funded and it is being released by Lions Gate which I believe IS a subsidiary of a major studio. Please correct me if I am wrong. However, if I am wrong and Lions Gate is a true independent film distributor such as STRAND RELEASING — this makes it all the worse.

    HAPPY ENDINGS is by-and-large a gay film written and directed by a gay director. Yes, there are many subplots involving both gay and straight characters, but I think it is safe to say that this film will go down as and be remembered as being a gay film. It has opened several gay film festivals and is being marketed largely to the gay community.

    HAPPY ENDINGS is quite sexual. The title says it all. And, we do see people in, about to be or having just engaged in sex without clothing. …EXCEPT for the gay characters.

    Yes, the gay characters act gay and they even get to kiss — but the clothing stays on. Bottom line, it is OK to show one of the gay characters have sex with a woman, but it is ONLY OK to show him kiss the man with whom the film tells us he will spend the next 7 years of his life.

    It is OK to show 2 gay men in the same bed, but it is NOT OK to show physical contact. Trust me — even a straight audience would have pref. to see the gay male couple touch with strategically placed sheets than Tom Arnold cavorting in the nude with Maggie G.

    It is OK to have Laura Dern play a lesbian mom because she is “fem” enough with long hair and a hint of make-up — as is her on screen life partner. However it is NOT OK to show them in any sexual context.

    It is OK to show Lisa Kudrow’s characters straight parents kissing and to hint at hot sex. Not OK for the two lesbians.

    Bottom line — our culture might as well film gay relationships as allegory in the jungles of Florida. …licking scales.

    However, props must be given to the true independent distributors out there who opt to film and release movies which show gay relationships as being sexual. I also think we can’t forget SHOWTIME which has and continues to produce television shows that depict explicit gay relationships — tho, somewhat over the top and silly, at least these characters are granted sex lives.

    However, as Milford and Vic noted — those of us in cities like San Francisco, NYC or Boston do live in a sort of bubble. The chances of HUSTLER WHITE, EDGE OF 17, BEAUTIFUL THING or RELAX…IT’S JUST SEX playing at the mall cinema in Boise is not likely to happen. If you’re a gay man or woman in Boise you will have to wait for these films to be released to DVD and order them via Net Flix or Amazon. However, I am sure Boise was able to screen IN & OUT.

    We have a long way to go before we reach the nirvana hinted at in Marlo Thomas’ 1972 TV series. We are only sort of free to be — you and me.

    Still, as I stated to M&M — I would much rather be a gay man in the US than a gay man in Thailand.

    However, I must agree that we have a very long way to go! …and, I am not so certain that “Will & Grace” or “Queer Eye” is helping as much as just perpetuating stereotype. Or, maybe not.

    What do you think?

    July 18, 2005. Uncategorized. 6 comments.

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    DISTURBING, FUNNY AND JUST PLAIN WRONG

    Far be it from me to ever say anything even slightly critical of my fave diva. However, I was just lying on my bed listening to this CD and I failed to program the player to skip over track 8 – as I always do when playing this CD. Suddenly my thoughts of the past weekend were distorted by hearing the thing I avoid hearing at all cost. …Barbra Streisand’s “interpretation” of John Lennon’s classic, “MOTHER” …You probably think you can imagine what it sounds like, but I doubt you fully understand unless you’ve heard it. I’m just sayin’.

    Oddly, I kind of “dig” her “funky B’way” take on David Bowie’s “LIFE ON MARS” and, tho I guess it makes me a bit ‘uncomfortable’ on an erotic level, I even think her cover of Marley’s “GUAVA JELLY” is sexy in an odd way — but I really think one, even me, must draw the line when she attempts a re-invention of “MOTHER” — I mean, that is just wrong. True, it happened over 32 years ago, but it still hurts. Also, isn’t there some sort of law out there to prevent a recording from including a heart-felt John Lennon tune from being tracked next to a Burt Bacharach number? If not, there really should be.

    I guess it could have been worse. She could have opted to record “Cold Turkey” …imagine. pun intended.

    Oh, and regarding the new Don Roos film, HAPPY ENDINGS. …I didn’t think it as bad as most of the critics, and it is much better than “BOUNCE” — of course, what isn’t?

    However, Roos allows the film to go off on far too many tangents and a comedy should never run for more than 2 hours. But, despite the general sitcom feel and the all too tidy wrap up-endings (not all that happy, by the way) — this film did have an emotional impact on me. The three themes that ‘hit home’ with me were the need for human connection, the import of choices and where those connections and choices lead is every bit as unpriedictable as the people to whom we connect. True, sad and scary.

    Also, on the plus side — Lisa Kudrow remains one of the most underated comedic and effective actresses working (she is awesome in this movie) and Maggie Gyllenhaal is probably the closest thing her generation has to Diane Keaton. However, I hope she will not sing anymore. Ouch.

    July 17, 2005. Uncategorized. 6 comments.

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