ALTMAN PERSPECTIVE


So, I’ve basically been sort of ‘layed up’ this weekend. I’m in a sort of overly medicated fog and trying to hide from a migraine which seems to be trying to catch me when I’m not looking. With the exception of a fun visit from my Ing and Miss. S, it has been me and DVD’s all weekend. Actually, I guess I nap’d mostly, but I did watch some DVD’s.

One which I watched was the 1979 Robert Altman film, A PERFECT COUPLE. I saw this movie when it came out. I remember loving the music and thinking that the two male singers were so cute — and that one was actually gay in the movie! My little 12 year old gay heart went crazy when I saw it. And, it was cool to see Marta Heflin in a staring role. Marta Heflin was too skinny, but I don’t remember thinking that when I was a kid. I thought she was cool and hot! …and she was naked in A STAR IS BORN in Barbra’s swimming pool so I thought she was the coolest!

But, I remember thinking the story in the movie was dull but that the musical group, Keepin’ ‘Em Off The Streets, was sooooooo good and cool! I wanted the soundtrack but there was never one that I could find. …but a quick ‘google” search reveals that there was an LP by the “group” which was essentially created for the movie but it was not a soundtrack as such. How could a 12 year old in a little town in Texas have figured that one out?!?!!? Anyway, imagine my surprise today when I realized that one of the cute guys in the band is the same cute guy who played Jesus in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR!?!!? …he is still cute in the movie but way-dated and the other cute (and gay) guy is actually thinner than Marta Heflin which is pretty scary.

Anyway, when I discovered that this lost Altman film had made its way to DVD I couldn’t wait to revisit it! So, re-visit it I did.

(sigh)

OK. We all know that what appears cool to us as a child can often be lame as an adult. The music in this movie is so bad it actually hurts my feelings! I mean, this music is bad and it is more than half the film!!!!?!?!?! How could the genius behind MASH, NASHVILLE, 3 WOMEN and McGABE & MRS. MILLER have made this movie??!?!

…Well, actually, it is easy to see that it is his film. Classic Altman framing and over-lapping dialog. Clearly improvised moments between the actors. Moments when you suspect the actors have no idea if the camera is on them. But, what is up with the music? How did I ever like it?!?!? …I’m glad they were kept off the streets!

What is interesting is my perception on the story and acting in the film itself at 40 vs. 12. I almost liked the actual plot of this rambling plot-less film. The concept to present two actors who look like real people who have real problems and who are both desperate to find love before they get too old. …It is a feeling we all know all too well and it was so nice to see a film where two characters meet and actually fall in love via awkward dating moments, a dating service, clashing friends/family — it was all painfully real and sweet. And, interestingly, sad. The two leading characters are sad and lonely. …they are not perfect, but by the film’s end you know that they will actually form a perfect couple. And, in that rarest of movie moments — you actually believe that these two characters would fall for each other.

…I can remember thinking that it just wasn’t funny, but it has a few funny moments. Adult moments. And, I can remember thinking that Paul Dooley was so ugly and that there was no way Marta Heflin would go for him. …but now, he seems cute and she is not as cool as she once seemed.

I learned that Altman had wanted Sandy Dennis in the Marta role but Sandy insisted on bringing all 35 of her cats to the set and Paul Dooley was allergic and ended up in the hospital — so Marta got Dennis’ role. Originally, the film was going to be about a “moma’s boy” meeting an aging “flower child” — but, Altman liked this band (?) and knew that Marta could sing so he changed the film to showcase the band which then “re-invented” itself to include Marta and Jesus.

Ugh. The music just hurt. And, the film is not great. Only bother if you totally adore Robert Altman. …or if you were a 12 year old who used to love the music that fills the entire film. Time for a wake-up call, kid!

…I think I need to watch this to cleanse my soul. I keep meaning to watch it with Altman’s commentary. So, maybe I will have some soup, climb into bed and do just that. …and, this Robert Altman film is one of the greatest American films ever made — and one of my all-time personal favorites!

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July 29, 2007. Uncategorized. 10 comments.

THEATRICS…

Sometimes, when it’s all just too damn much and the drama seems to be crescendoing into one of those perfect measures of time best reserved for the stage — or the BIG screen —-

you just have to stop and have what I call “A Barbra Streisand Moment” —

…You know what I mean.

You simply demand that red spotlight.

You stand firm. And, I do mean firm!

Toss your head back in all the dramatic glory and wait for the applause. …the adulation.

And, when you get it — and you will!

Then, you just walk off that stage and fire your assistant for failing to place the rose petals exactly as they were meant to be placed in the toilet bowl. Dumb bitch! I mean, how many times does one have to be told to gently place them in the blue water. You don’t just toss the petals in without any thought!

…just an opinion.

Where’s my limo?

July 28, 2007. Uncategorized. 8 comments.

WHINE-O-MATIC

…I’ve not had a very good week. But, I fear the worst of it is only about to start.

I’ve had these sort of scans done before due to a fun genetic disorder passed down from my father. …but each time I have one I find it a bit more scary as I wait for the results. And, of course, the full body scan is coming as we move toward the end of summer.

…full body scan

…sounds like something kind of cool, sexy and forbidden. it really isn’t.

it is just me with some dye running thru my veins and lying in a dark cylinder for about an hour. I usually find myself just being relieved that I’m not having a spinal tap or something really scary like that. But, even still, it all sort of freaks me out. Panic mode. Thinking thru the worse case scenarios. …and, then, of course — some temporary medication which either makes me a total stoned-out-goof or a zombie. …and, a week of jury duty mishaps that will probably end up in some sort of fine from Hell because that would so be my karma.

It is all fine I’m sure, but a real pain in my ass.

And, everything just seems a bit upside down. …and not in a good Miss. Ross kind of way, either.

Oh, and did you know that Diana Ross is the only celebrity who has yet to post a personal playlist to iTunes which features only her own songs/work!?!!?? Pretty damn diva cool! Bless her steel plated little heart-o-gold!

Come on, Madonna and Barbra!

Let’s get those playlists up and show Miss Ross who the real Dvia Bosses are!!!

July 26, 2007. Uncategorized. 15 comments.

A POSSIBLE REASON TO GET CABLE…

…I had a really bad day. I do mean that. I had a really bad day. I am not going to write about that, tho. There is something far more important to discuss than my petty problems. If you haven’t already heard — Corey Haim and Corey Feldman are back! …Together. …Again. …And, on a reality TV show in which Corey H moves in with Corey F and his pretty wife as Corey F tries to help Corey H rebuild his career!!! Wow! I didn’t know Corey F’s career was going on that well, but he does have a nice house and hot wife! And, one can find a number of way fun clips from the show which is soooooo much on my MUST SEE list!!! ….if only we had TV reception. True, B has a 70 inch plasma screen monitor with state of the art sound system. But, it is also true that we do not get/receive TV signals unless it comes thru via Apple TV. It pretty much a DVD/Apple TV only experience. Which is fine by me — except I think I must see The Two Correys!!! Yes, I think. …I think. I think we might need cable so I can watch it. The little clips on YouTube are just not going to be enough!

And, poor Corey H’s breakdown when Corey F explains to him that the str8t to vid sequel to LOST BOYS will not feature either of the Coreys — but that Corey F was offered a cameo which he turned down when they refused to let Correy H also be in the cameo! And, I think it was damn sweet of him to let Corey H know that he did that for him!

Oh, and there are some “classic” clips of Correy H trying to get a bit too up close and personal with both Correy F and Mrs. Correy F — seems that Correy H just needed a little bit of human contact — but both Mr. & Mrs Feldman were not up for this! Silly kids! I think they might have missed out on a bit of fun there!

Anyway, let’s just look at them then and now. ….now they are in their mid-30’s. And, from what I can tell they have remained buds over the years. Poor Corey F has had marriage and Michael Jackson troubles and poor Corey H has had weight, drug and money issues. …the hot wife is not so crazy about Correy H because he is a bit of a slob and I think she might have a bit of a thing for him as he is still the hotter of the two Correys. Tho, Correy F looks pretty damn good these days.
…remember Corey H’s hats? And Corey F’s shoulder pads?!?!? Corey H in bondage?!?!? Correy F ready for his date with Drew?!?!? …Just think of all the coke, uh, I mean glasses of New Coke they must have shared in the 80’s!?!?!? …Remember Corey’s video dairy where we got to swoon over his bathing suits and a tour of his bedroom?!?!? It was a total Tiger Beat wet dream moment!!! Hey! Where’s the DVD!?!!? Goonies or Stand by Me?!?!? Lucas all grown up, but only Winona Ryder (a bit player to him back then) is on the cover of Vanity Fair or is it Vogue?!?!? …you know you want to watch this program. Admit it. Free yourself. You’ll feel better.

July 24, 2007. Uncategorized. 10 comments.

B TAKES MATTY HIKING

After the excitement of the LITTLE DARLINGS screening, B and I were truly what we could possibly do that would be as fun for the remainder of the weekend!

But, B came up with both a solution and a challenge for me! He suggested that we go for hike today! I invited both Ing and S but they seemed to have gotten into a bit of trouble Saturday and were unable to join us in our athletic jaunt into nature.

Now, I have never been on a hike so this was both a bit scary and adventurous for me. However, it turned out to be quite a bit of fun! After a hearty brunch, we jumped into B’s Element and headed off! As we crossed the bridge, I took decided I would be strong and forge ahead into the wilds of nature!

The plan was originally to go on this hike in Point Reyes and try to see sea lions mate or something. It was to be an hour hike or something. And, we would be on the ocean — which always makes me happy. However, things got a bit turned around. Still not sure why.

I think it all started when I was playing with B’s iPhone. I like using the camera feature. You’re looking at some of the many results. Anyway, we didn’t make it to Point Reyes. There was a lot of traffic, B and I forgot the Diet Coke and water and the iPhone was in need of one of those little cases that would prevent it from slipping out of my fingers as I play.

So, we ended up hiking in Tiburon. Which is a lovely patch of wilderness on the Northern California coast! We hiked quite a bit and were so far out that both cell phones lost all reception. However, I’d have to say that the hiking is more fun than I thought it would be.…isn’t B just too fucking cute!!?!?!? ….here he in nature’s splendor!

B told me that the house you see behind me is worth quite a bit of money. However, I’m not sure that one gets electricity or running water in such far-off places as Tiburon. Still. Quite a pretty house!

Luckily, no bears actually attacked us! …well, unless one counts that little incident in the scary public toilets!

B gettin’ some sun!

Sure, it was a bit difficult at times. However, as B pointed out — “no pain. no gain!”

And, I actually broke a sweat when we walked into that boutique in Sausalito. The sales lady was a bit of a bitch, too. But, we found some way cool shirts on sale! B picked up some odd looking things he calls “plants” which he says he wants to “grow” on the window sill in our kitchen. I worried that they might steal my oxygen when I might happen to be in that room (I believe the “kitchen” is where we keep the thing that makes ice and holds my Diet Coke) …but he assured me that they actually produce additional air. However, I am forbidden from clipping, drying out and smoking them. He said that they were not that sort of plant.

We also visited a large place called “a national park” — I had to use one of those scary public toilets!

(…for some reason I found a few of my dearest friends personal information listed near these odd sized holes in some of the stalls. …being a good friend I took the liberty of correcting the information as it had been listed. They actually had Alan and Ings’ phone numbers wrong!)

B explained that these holes, called “glory holes” by those in ‘the know’ are a part of nature that one has to take care when exploring. I decided it best to leave when these two burly truckers walked in and started grunting at me! And, B was correct. One should not wear flip-flops for a hike — especially when national park toilet stalls are involved.

Anyway, I saw some trees. I could actually smell nature. My nose bled a bit and I had a headache. However, I felt much better after we stop’d by that candy store and secured a Diet Coke and chocolate cluster.

On the long journey home we visited an Apple Store to pick up one of those iPhone cases and a cord which allows B to play the iPod function in the car.

Who knew B loved Britney Spears so much. I particularly enjoyed the “Britney Select” playlist!

Oh! And, we stopped by a Starbucks where I was able to make a glory hole and engrave Ing and Alans’ info correctly! I know that they will both be much relieved. I didn’t know Ing and Alan had been to Tiburon or Corte Nadera!

Corte Nadera has a very odd shopping mall — their Macy’s was horribly small. But, B had warned me that one has to tough it out a bit when visiting nature! And their Gap was under construction! Most worrying when navigating the stairs!

However, one can enjoy the Northern California Vistas from their parking lot for hours! In the end, I discovered I really like hiking. I am an outdoor’s kind of guy after all!

Who knew?!?!?

July 22, 2007. Uncategorized. 15 comments.

IT ALL HAPPENS TOMORROW NIGHT!!!!

Yes, after 2 long months of waiting and sweating it out —- LITTLE DARLINGS screens at the Castro Theater tomorrow night!!! Yessssssss!!!!
I am so excited! I, of course, know who wins the beat to lose her virginity first but will not reveal this crucial bit of information to B, Ing, Alan or S. No. I will not tell them!

Oh, Kristy. We miss you. …and your hot brother. …who actually looked exactly like you. Come back to the Five & Dime, Kristy!

…and, I wanted to have Matt Dillon’s hair so badly. Actually, I just wanted to have Matt Dillon. The title of this article is so true. Sigh.

Anyway, much adventure is to transpire over popcorn. Let’s hope the organ dude plays some Captain & Tennille or something! …or, maybe that Kristy and Jimmy hit single, “He’s A Dancer!”

I will leave you all with this great shot taken in the summer of 1976 not too far from where I now live. Starsky? Hutch? …who knew? …of course, it was the 70’s!

July 19, 2007. Uncategorized. 22 comments.

SHAMPOO’d

Tho, not in my Top Ten, SHAMPOO is one of my favorite movies. I recently discovered it was on DVD for less than $10!?!?! So, I got a copy. I was so excited to show it to B as he had never seen it. He fell asleep.

This film is, in my view, one of those great almost experimental films from the 70’s when studios were more willing to take risks and aim for something close to “reality” —- and this is also director, Hal Ashby, at his very best! I know he is best remembered for HAROLD & MAUD and COMING HOME (both near-perfect movies!) but I think this is his finest hour as a filmmaker.

An American Tragedy hiding as a comedy. Satire hiding behind dramatics. This just might be the most non-political – political film you will ever see. And, it is certainly the most unsexy film about sex you’re likely to ever run across. One can say a lot of things about Warren Beatty but the man has produced some fucking fantastic film work!

Essentially, I think this movie is focused on why in the world the US would have re-elected Nixon to 4 more years of total hell — and, why, especially in the 70’s, sex became an addiction — and an act as meaningful as a handshake between business partners. It is fully loaded.

Very loosely based upon the early career of Jon Peters (tho, both Beatty and Robert Towne were quick to claim it was actually loosely based upon the career of Jay Sebring — don’t believe it!) …a somehow clever guy who became a hairdresser so he could sleep with as many women as he wanted and a guy who is quickly losing interest in sex and more concerned with where his place in the world should be …or could be.


As Goldie Hawn (who one forgets could once act quite well) tells Beatty’s character: “You never stop moving and you never go anywhere!” …a fact he knows, but her words seem to shatter him.

No one in SHAMPOO is able to connect. The film is quick to parody the world of LA. So many quiet and priceless moments. Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn having lunch, but when conversation drifts to something important they escape behind their giant Hollywood glasses and fall into the laid-back/mid-70’s-Hollywood-vernacular of the film —

“Oh, George? George is great.”
“Yeah, he’s great.”

TV sets and radios blare throughout the film, but no one is watching. The TV/radios are usually warning about the upcoming victory of Nixon and his vile administration or some form of violence. But these characters are too apathetic to bother turning down sex they don’t really want to even notice the importance of what is going on in outside of themselves.

And, yet, somehow the actors manage to make these hallowed-out/shallow people so human you do feel for them.

As George stands up on that canyon mountain watching the one person with whom he thinks he might have had something close to love — you’re left wondering if anyone could ever really love him or if any of the people in his world even know how to really feel anything.


…And, the hostility of Lee Grant’s character! One can’t help but laugh at the clever inverse of THE GRADUATE plot twist when she realizes that her lover has just slept with her teen daughter (played with perfectly tinged anger and angst!) — she gets turned on vs. jealous/angry.

Also, let’s face it. That has got to be one of the coolest posters any major studio created to promote a film. …but, don’t expect a sex comedy or a laugh a minute film. This is carefully edited and paced film. Great editing and even greater cinematography. And, Paul Simon’s score even works. This film asks the viewer to think. And, I think that is something most films no longer require. No one blows up. And, there are no fart jokes.

And, who knew a Beach Boys could packs a punch when placed at just the right moment.

July 16, 2007. Uncategorized. 23 comments.

WHAT THE FATHER KNEW

…this photo was taken of my father about a year before he died.

i find myself looking at it from time to time.

he didn’t know his picture was being taken.

that window looked out on the the courtyard of my grandmother’s apartment complex.

…this is the same complex where my mother now lives.

when i first saw this picture i thought he was smiling at something.

then i thought he was grimacing.

it was later that i realized he was just staring off into space —

looking rather lost.

this picture
this captured glimpse of my father
this moment from his short life fills me with several feelings

was he thinking of his pending death?
was he thinking of me?
was he thinking?

insanity or eccentricity?

anger, loneliness, hostility, hurt, sadness, regret, grief and guilt.

sometimes i hope he was feeling miserable for the things he did
and
sometimes
i like to pretend that he just didn’t realize
…that he really did not understand

sometimes, I like to think that
maybe, he just didn’t know.

a picture that manages to say nothing but almost too much.

July 15, 2007. Uncategorized. 9 comments.

6 STAPLES FROM SCANDAL!

It could happen to anyone.

You see, today was a big day! I was finally cleaning up/out and re-organizing some of the space at the office! I’ve been wanting to do this for sometime! So, I arrived to work very early, dressed in B’s oldest jeans and ready to roll! I was prepared and ready for the dirt and labor!

I should have known to ‘re-think’ my plan when B busted a new bottle of wine all over our kitchen floor this morning at about 5:30am. But, no. I pushed forward! I figured, “Well, anyone could drop a bottle of wine at 5:30 in the morning!” B wanted to stop and clean it up, but I said no — and we tossed a roll of paper towels (recycled) on top of the broken glass and cheap wine. I was on a mission to clean the office!!!!

And, for over 5 hours I forged through dust, old boxes and carted large loads via two of our office “dollies” (or ‘trucks’ for those of you who are more manly than I!) — and, I was essentially finished at about 11:45am. Not too damn bad!

However, I am not one to do things half way! No! Sure. I had accomplished what I had planned on doing, but I had finished 3 hours sooner than I had expected. So, I decided to do a bit of re-organizing of our storage cages. This was where I had brought much of the stuff from the office space.

As I attempted to lift a monitor I heard a noise. One of those, “Oh no!” sort of noises. You know the type I mean — the noises that always signal that something bad is about to happen.

Apparently the monitor was holding up a wall of heavy items. I held on to the monitor as I backed out of the way of falling cans, boxes and odd pieces of electronics. I escaped tragedy but somehow managed to get the backside of B’s jeans caught on a sort of pole-like-thing.

“Is that a tripod or a fishing pole?” I remember thinking.

It sort of felt like I was stuck. I decided to turn around to see why I couldn’t move away. Mistake.

I heard a rip and felt a rush of cold air. …on my butt.

Yes, my jeans were ripped open.

I was exposed.

Of course, the challenge was to figure out how to get myself back to my desk without mooning the staff and other innocents in the office.

Luckily I was wearing a long shirt and B’s jeans were fairly loose. I pulled the shirt down and hoisted up the jeans and started to make my way back. As I stepped down a set of steps I heard another rip.

No way! Was this really happening?

Yes. It was.

The jeans were starting to rip from the back up to the front.

I walked slowly to the front desk and asked my co-worker if she could hand me the stapler. Navigating my way down that hall, to the men’s room and firmly latching myself into the physically-challenged stall (as I do appear to be physically-challenged!) — I began the process of stapling my jeans together.

I was too cheap to call a cab. I decided I could make home it if I walked carefully. I knew I couldn’t do the bus as I would not be able to stand up, hold the rail and my jeans — and I knew the staples were likely to pop if I sat down. I walked slowly.

I was back in the Castro in about 30 minutes. I was walking cautiously and pretending not to notice the tourists who were giving me odd looks — when my friend, “S”, grabbed me from behind to surprise me. Oy! I felt another slight rip!

I explained my “issue”

He gave me one of ‘his looks’ and said, “Well, you’re in the Castro. Let ’em fall, baby!”

But you see, at this point my concern was not about exposing myself — as it was about the places where those staples were likely to stab if they broke free. I sort of rolled myself up Castro Street. By the time I reached our stoop the jeans were starting to fall off.

But, it could happen to anyone. …I think.

July 13, 2007. Uncategorized. 16 comments.

Thoughts of Marlene


who is i’m thinking of

the one who wanted to be left alone

or

the one who chose to be left that way

when the restraints failed to hold up the skin

and the foundation could no longer fill the lines

sad that this is how i think of her

such a stunningly beautiful woman full of life

(and talent)

and what of her role in the undermining of hitler

myth, rumor, and history have merged

cloudy

we don’t know.

we will never know. at least not for sure.

and, it does not really matter.

and, somehow her lonely voice —

over-sex’d, under-love’d, off-key voice croons out

sounding all the more alluring —-

“Resting in a billet, just behind the line,
Even tho’we’re parted, your lips are close to mine.
You wait where that lantern softly gleams.
Your sweet face seems to haunt my dreams.
My Lili of the lamplight, My own Lili Marlene…” …and, so I find myself thinking of the lamplight movie star who will be forever singing out sadly.

Marlene RIP

July 8, 2007. Uncategorized. 16 comments.

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