less charming and more strange than your average blog

May 28, 2004

SIFF / The Five Obstructions / ***1/2 

As many actors who have worked with Lars von Trier have very publicly attested, the man is sadist. You can probably see that for yourself if you watch some of his movies, but in The Five Obstructions, this artistic sadism takes center stage. And this time, the corresponding masochist isn't a young, pretty woman (as in Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark, and Dogville), but Danish filmmaker Jorgen Leth, whose 1967 short film The Perfect Human is remade five times with different restrictions and conditions decided upon by von Trier, usually based upon what will make Leth the most miserable.

It's a bold and bizarre experiment, and both men seem to approach it as a kind of game, although this is not to say they don't take it seriously. As von Trier lays down the rules, Leth spends a lot of time emitting nervous laughter, but he's up for it. The film opens as the two men meet in von Trier's office, von Trier compiles a list of restrictions for the first obstruction (including "no edit more than 12 frames long"), and sends him on his way. "You look good," comments von Trier as Leth enters his office several months later. "That's a bad sign."

But the restrictions go well beyond the technical. At one point, dissatisfied with Leth's latest offering, von Trier announces his verdict: "It's an amazing film. This is probably a better film than the one you would have made if you had followed my directions. But this is not the film I asked for. So you must be punished on the next obstruction." The punishment von Trier cooks up for Leth is pretty dreadful (I won't give it away), but Leth once again delivers a piece that is both beautiful and brilliant.

In fact, I found all five of Leth's remakes to be stunning. I've heard it said that creative artists thrive on limitations to their work, and this is obviously true in this case, although Leth doesn't appear to be having much fun some of the time. Over the course of The Five Obstructions, von Trier expresses two goals of this experiment: to force Leth to convey a sense of suffering that he feels has been missing from his previous work, and to force Leth to create "a pile of crap." I believe he succeeds on the first count. What is fascinating to see is the way Leth refuses to let him succeed on the second.

Ultimately, The Five Obstructions is a very valuable exploration of the creative process and a demonstration of the way inventiveness and ingenuity in the face of such "obstructions" can surprise us by leading us to create our best work. To see two such talented artists lock horns like this in such a bizarre (and weirdly sadomasochistic) endeavor is a real treat. Don't miss this one!


Apparently, there is still much I do not understand about the Tamala 2010 Project. (More fucked-up Tamala downloads here.)

SIFF / Doppelganger / **1/2 

Sometimes, when I'm watching a movie, I imagine a little meter in the lower left corner of my vision indicating how many stars (or slices of the baked good of your choice) it's looking like the film in question is going to receive. Oh, y'all, I wish you could have seen this meter last night. It was ALL OVER TOWN. It left town, went for a drink, and came back.

Doppelganger appears at first glance to be a standard Japanese horror film -- a genre I'm not the biggest fan of, as I discovered last year with The Eye. Dr. Michio Hayasaki (Koji Yakusho) has been working for years on a project called "The Artificial Body," a sort of mechanized wheelchair with robotic arms able to read the will of the disabled person and carry it out. Do you suppose this will come in sinisterly handy later? Well, you supposed wrong. Nothing comes of it. But wouldn't that have been interesting?

Anyway, Hayasaki encounters his Doppelganger for no apparent reason and he starts causing all sorts of trouble -- destroying Hayasaki's laboratory and getting him fired, for starters. But instead of following up on the horror conventions it has been laying SO DAMN THICK thus far, Doppelganger does a bizarre thing and strips Not!Hayasaki of all mystery, instead presenting him as a wisecracking asshole who does what he does because it's fun. Dealing with a doppelganger becomes not so much a matter of fear for Hayasaki, but one more akin to having a bad roommate.

Hayasaki contacts a young woman named Yuka (Hitomi Sato) whose brother killed himself when he encountered his doppelganger. Ever since, the doppelganger has been living in her home, writing a novel. Yuka tells Hayasaki matter-of-factly, "My brother was a weak-willed slacker. Frankly, I like the new Takashi better." Moments like this were clues to the audience that it was okay to laugh at this movie. Good thing, because the Chaplinesque second half had everyone rolling in the aisles.

Doppelganger is not a good movie, except maybe as a screwball comedy, and who the hell knows if that's what it was trying to be. It seems to take itself so seriously at times that it's hard to believe it's really in on the joke. It has a close encounter with a good idea towards the end, but it's too little too late, and the film around it has, by this time, already collapsed into farce.

And yet, I walked out of the theater after seeing it with a big, goofy grin on my face. I found that, despite some sluggish parts in the middle, I had a pretty good time. When it comes to the funny, Doppelganger delivers, whether or not it was the cargo the filmmakers intended.

SIFF / Touch of Pink / ** 

I have had the biggest crush on Jimi Mistry ever since he starred in The Guru, one of the funniest and most enjoyable movies of 2002. I heart Jimi Mistry. So you can understand why I really wanted to like Touch of Pink, in which he plays the lead role in an ethnic-themed Gay Movie. Did he read my mind?

Unfortunately, as much as I was rooting for this film to be good, it's just...not. In fact, it's kind of a mess. It has a big heart, and some extremely clever and memorable one-liners, but why must so many romantic comedies be built upon people being angry at each other for stupid reasons? What do these characters have against listening to each other, rather than storming off again and again, all in the name of plot contrivances? Well, I guess I answered my own question.

Alim (Mistry) is a young man from a Muslim family from Toronto. He has left the family, however, to live in London with his lover, Giles (Kristen Holden-Reid). Back in Toronto, inspired by the impending wedding of her nephew, Alim's mother, Nura (Suleka Mathew), decides to fly herself to London and convince her son to get married and make her some grandbabies. The problem is, SHE DOESN'T KNOW HE'S GAY! INSERT SITUATION COMEDY HERE! Oy.

Kyle MacLachlan has the thankless role of playing what in the credits is referred to as "The Spirit of Cary Grant," Alim's invisible companion who...well. MacLachlan does a mean Cary Grant impression, and provides some of the biggest laughs in the film ("Only the truly stylish can pull off rumpled delicates!"), but the fantasy element seems out of place here. It doesn't add anything to the story, or Alim's character. Besides, MacLachlan is funny enough to be given his own movie, really. (He reminded me of Tom Baxter from The Purple Rose of Cairo.)

I did enjoy watching Touch of Pink. It's quite funny, and there is nice chemistry between Alim and Giles, and some truly sweet moments between Alim and his mother. And, of course, I was happy to see a gay interracial couple on the big screen, for obvious reasons...

Like I said, I really, really wanted to love this movie. Alim and Nura are well-cast and do their best, and Mathew in particular suggests a level of depth to her character -- especially when telling Alim about life just after the death of her husband -- that is constricted by the simplistic screenplay. I just can't excuse the utter disregard for psychological motivations, and the way people in these movies will take any excuse to walk out on each other just to allow for a montage of them Being Apart And Hating It (but refusing to just talk rationally about it, of course).

The difference between this movie and a really good one is that, just like your average Hollywood romantic comedy, Touch of Pink doesn't realize that characters storming out isn't nearly as interesting as the conversation they would have if they stayed.

In conclusion: I heart Jimi Mistry. If you heart Jimi Mistry too, go see Touch of Pink. Otherwise, you're better off renting Bend It Like Beckham and pretending everyone in it is gay. Or something. I don't know.

May 26, 2004

Does! Not! Compute! 

Wow, who would have guessed?

SIFF / Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space / ** 

Well. What was I expecting, really?

Before the screening began, a guy from Cinema Seattle came out and hollered, "Are you ready for Tamala?" and we were all like, "Yeah!" and apparently we weren't loud enough, because he informed us that, we were not, in fact, ready for Tamala. What do you know? He was right.

Try to imagine Hello Kitty as a Powerpuff Girl. Then give her a dirty mouth and a violent streak. Now imagine she's autistic. And she's in superflat black and white animation. Now imagine you're on acid while witnessing this. That, ladies and gentlemen, is Tamala.

The first time we see Tamala, she wakes up in bed, stretching and yawning in an almost revolting display of cuteness. There is an ax in her bed and a skull on the floor, neither of which are ever explained. Tamala, whose eyes and feet have their own sound effects, bops out of bed and shortly thereafter a chandelier inexplicably falls from the ceiling and destroys her bed.

God, I don't know what else I can say. Would you like a plot summary? It won't help, but here goes. Tamala is a one-year-old kitten in some sort of Feline Galaxy whose mother is a naked woman wrapped in an anaconda. She goes to Planet Q and meets a male cat named Michelangelo, whom she comes on to by saying, "I'm very tasty. Would you like to eat me?"

Tamala and Michelangelo have many fucked-up adventures that are incoherent to a degree that would make Paula Abdul say, "Wait a second, that doesn't make sense!" For example, the two of them are shopping when Tamala has to pee, and Michelangelo tells her the toilets are downstairs. So Tamala takes an escalator down to what appears to be the Mines of Moria and engages in a Three-Stooges-hall-of-doorways-style gag. Then she comes across a Renaissance-style painting of cats being disemboweled. She looks at it for, like, ever. NONE OF THIS IS EVER ACKNOWLEDGED AGAIN. Already, I can see I will never be able to do justice to the acid-trip that is this movie.

Anyway, the point is...um...something about an evil corporation called Catty & Co. And Tamala being Jesus. Yes, it is actually intimated in this film that Tamala is Jesus. Or something pretty close it. Whatever.

However, I have to say, I laughed during this film. A lot. Tamala's penchant for profanity is made endlessly amusing due to her utter lack of any inflection besides the standard Powerpuff-style squeak. Such as when her mother orders her not to leave the galaxy, and Tamala responds, "Fuck off, anaconda bitch."

The bizarre and almost avant-garde randomness worked for me until Tamala was eaten by a dog about an hour in. It was all downhill for me from there. After that, the funny started being taken over by the weird and I wasn't having such a good time anymore. Maybe I should have done some drugs beforehand like the guide suggested.

Actually, I take back what I said before. Perhaps Paula Abdul is our only hope for deciphering this film. Perhaps she would watch it and say, "Finally, a movie that makes sense. What is it you people don't understand?" Will someone get her on the line?

May 25, 2004

The sun also rises...and it's pissed 

This time, something that was sitting on David's hard drive. What is it about MS Paint that results in such instant comedy? (Alternate question: what is it about Eric that makes him think that MS Paint results in such instant comedy?)

May 24, 2004

SIFF / Torremolinos 73 / *** 

Here, finally, is a sex comedy that works because it understands one thing: sex is funny. Contrary to the impression you might get from your average American sex "comedy," it is not necessary to add vomit, animal feces, superglue, forest creatures, or anything else to the equation to make sex funny. It just is. Torremolinos 73 knows that, yes, it is indeed funny because it's true!

Torremolinos 73 is about an ordinary couple in the 1970's who find themselves the starring in a series of wildly successful porn movies when the husband, a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman named Alfredo (Javier Camara), is given a choice by his boss to either star in them or lose his job. Apparently, door-to-door encyclopedia sales aren't cutting it anymore. Alfredo and his wife, Carmen (Candela Pena), are assured that the videos will only be distributed in Scandinavia. Of course, if any Scandinavians decide to vacation in Spain...

What begins as awkward, however, becomes playful and intimate, as videotaping their lovemaking rejuvenates Alfredo and Carmen's sex life (in a delightful montage of their sex films, the movie's funniest sequence) -- and introduces Alfredo to another passion he never knew he had: filmmaking. Soon, he is writing his very own (non-pornographic) feature film. His greatest influence and role model? Ingmar Bergman. While not humping his wife on camera, Alfredo diligently studies The Seventh Seal. I am not making this up.

This was a hugely crowd-pleasing comedy, the debut feature from Spanish writer-director Pablo Berger (present at the screening and every bit as funny and endearing as his film). Javier Camara (last seen as Benigno in Talk to Her) has one of those faces that can provide instant comedy merely by remaining expressionless in the face of all the outlandish situations he continues to find himself in.

Unlike so many American comedies, this movie does not treat its characters as disposable punchlines. This is especially evident in the character of Carmen, whose longing to have a child provides Torremolinos 73 with credibility and heart that you would scarcely expect to find in a film that has as many scenes containing fairly graphic sex and/or nudity as without. While Camara's Alfredo occasionally slips into overly passive inaccessibility, Pena's Carmen proves to be the real main character here.

When asked about why he chose to write this kind of film for his debut, Berger answered with a smile, "I am a film buff. Also, I like pornography, and I like the '70s. So the answer was clear to me."

Check it, yo 

Moviepie's SIFF '04 reviews page is officially up and running! Trust me, it's about to get a whole lot bigger.

May 22, 2004


This really, really happened. I was on the bus and there were a couple of teenage guys sitting right in front of me. They were having quite the in-depth discussion about Magic Cards, which should give you some idea what they looked like. I'm not trying to make generalizations, but let's not kid ourselves. No, just kidding. But you know the type and don't even try to tell me otherwise. So anyway, they're talking. And I hear this.

Guy #1: I can't figure out where to find other people who play Magic Cards. There has to be some sort of club or meeting place, but I've looked everywhere and haven't found any. Where does everyone go to play Magic Cards?


Guy #2: Gay bars?


Guy #1: Maybe!

SIFF / The Saddest Music in the World / **** 

The Saddest Music in the World seems to be constructed from every image you've ever seen in the old silent films from the early 1900s, yet it somehow manages to be different from anything you've ever seen before in your life. In those old films, there is always a sense that the diegetic world ended precisely at the border of the frame. The Saddest Music in the World takes you beyond the borders of these films both literally and figuratively.

The movie is meticulously shot to resemble the films of that period -- it's grainy, shadowy, and genuinely appears to have survived on century-old celluloid, but it builds on the old style by adding a mobile camera and all the sex and violence that was absent in films back then. It is dizzyingly surrealistic, taking place in Winnipeg as it never was, drawing entirely upon images that themselves did not strive for realism. Like Far From Heaven, it recreates a time period as it existed only in the movies.

The plot has about as much to do with reality as its visuals. In Winnipeg, 1933, "IN THE DEPTHS OF A GREAT DEPRESSION," legless beer baroness Lady Port-Huntley (Isabella Rossellini) decides to hold a contest to find out which country truly has the saddest music in the world. The winner will receive 25,000 "depression-era dollars." Oh, and a whole lot of beer.

Mark McKinney plays Chester, an American who will stoop to any level to win the competition. Meanwhile, representing Serbia, his brother Roderick is in town, donning a black veil that he could have stolen from Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice. There is also a woman with a psychic tapeworm who is sleeping with Chester (the woman, not the tapeworm) and can't quite remember if she is actually married to Roderick, but decides to find out by sleeping with him, too.

In its very premise, the film plays on the wild melodrama of the old movies, taking it to such a bizarre level but managing to keep from lapsing into parody, such as when Roderick explains completely seriously to his father that he has been so melancholy since his son's death that he keeps the son's heart in a jar full of his own tears. The characters are given the voice they never would have had in the silent films, but their affinity for passionate overemotion has remained completely intact.

What else can I say? This is a movie to be seen, not read about. It's just an incredible piece of work that amazes you with marvel after marvel (you haven't lived until you've seen Isabella Rossellini dancing around in glass legs filled with beer, and there's a sentence I never thought I would write). It's like a manifestation of the kind of dream you might have after watching too many old films. It's the most beautiful thing I've seen in a long, long time.

May 21, 2004

Again with discovering things on my hard drive 

I would love to tell you that I drew this a lot more than just three years ago, but I just can't.

May 20, 2004



And it saves you $9, too 

Well, it's just unoriginal to be doing this NOW, but I can't not point you in the direction of Cleolinda's hysterical Movies in 15 Minutes.

Somewhere on the Battlefield

BLOOD: *sprays*



BLOOD: *spurts*



BLOOD: *squirts past the camera*

GREEKS: *die*


Hector gets his ass partially kicked, but manages to kill Sabretooth.



Madonna is planning a new tour that threatens to make Britney's "Onyx Hotel" pornfest look like the Wuzzles:

"As well as being [electrocuted] in an electric chair, Madonna will also screen video footage of the corpses belonging to victims of the war in Iraq, perform sexy lesbian dance routines and have scantily-clad pregnant women dancing along to 'Papa Don't Preach.'"

For some reason, I take the most issue with this last thing. It's not that pregnant women aren't sexy, but...should they be dancing? Wouldn't it be dangerous to do anything too athletic? Maybe I don't know enough about pregnancy. Or maybe the dancing will be less acrobatic. I'm just picturing them onstage swaying back and forth in muumuus. I hope they at least give them some castinets or something to liven it up. That would bring the fucking house down.

Eric's Urban Legends: "The Organ Thief" 

There's a story in circulation at my college that people still tell as a warning against partying too hard. It was about ten years ago, I guess. They say he was down in New Orleans, for Mardis Gras, you know? He was down there to party and have a great time, but none of his friends could afford the plane ticket so he was in town by himself.

Well, then Mardis Gras is going on, you know? And the guy meets up with some stranger at a bar, and this guy seems really cool, so they stick together for the rest of the night. I guess he told him he was in town by himself for some reason or another, too. So they're out running around, drinking a lot. Shot after shot after shot, they're going insane.

So of course the guy blacks out, because he's drinking really hard all night long. And he wakes up naked in a bathtub full of ice. Not only is he hung over, but he feels this horrible pain and finds a crudely stitched-up incision on his body. Now he's really scared, because the guy he was with last night is nowhere to be found.

Right away, the guy goes to the doctor to find out what happened to him. After performing many tests and taking a bunch of x-rays, the doctor exclaims to him, "Why, there isn't a single organ left in your body -- it's completely empty in there!"

"Really?" said the guy. "That's weird."

"Yes," answered the doctor. "Perhaps next time you should think twice before partying so hard."

May 19, 2004

Flower power 

This is a work of art from my high school days which I found while poking around on my hard drive. I was taking an HTML class and thought it was stupid. So I did intelligent things like this instead.

May 18, 2004

"NOOO!! My illusions!" 

There is some major funny going on right here, yo.

The closest Beyonce will ever come to being a good actress 

At the moment, I'm writing a huge paper for my film noir class, so I've been watching all these old movies with the sound turned off so I can take notes on the cinematography. Then my ears get bored, so I put on some music to amuse them and the bottom line is that I'll never be able to watch Double Indemnity with a straight face again now that I've seen Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray lip-synching a little too well to "Crazy in Love" and other Beyonce classics. What? I don't listen to Beyonce. Shut up.

May 17, 2004

Eric's Urban Legends: "Humans Can Lick, Too" 

This one happened to a friend of a friend of a woman I used to work with. She was living alone at the time, just her and her dog, in an apartment downtown. So, one night she was woken up by a strange sound, it sounded like someone was in her apartment or something. But she didn't want to get worked up over nothing, so she put her hand down over the edge of the bed, because she was always reassured when her dog licked her hand. She felt the licking and fell asleep again right away.

The next morning, the woman woke up and screamed -- there was a message written in blood on her wall! It said, "HUMANS CAN LICK, TOO." Frantically, she looked around and couldn't find her dog anywhere. When the police arrived, they told her, "You've never had a dog. What you've been raising all these years was in fact a deranged serial killer pretending to be a dog." So she had to throw out all that dog food.

May 16, 2004

Eric's Urban Legends: "The Baby Train" 

A friend of a friend of mine used to live in a city that was being studied by sociologists. You see, the last time they did the census they discovered an unusually high birth rate in a very specific part of town, so they were sent to find out why that was.

These sociologists worked on this puzzle for weeks and couldn't figure it out -- they couldn't find anything unusual about that part of town that would result in this kind of phenomenon. One day, the janitor overheard them discussing the issue, and he came up and enlightened them:

"Oh, yes. There's an early morning train that goes right through that part of town. It wakes everyone up at 4:30 in the morning, and since it's too early to get up but too late to go back to sleep, everyone takes this time to fill out adoption papers."

Orientation express 

Apparently, they have done studies and found that four hours is exactly how long it takes to orient someone for living abroad for a year.

May 13, 2004

Does anyone out there know why the most popular search phrase that brings people to this website is "supermodels taking a dump"? If so, can you please never, ever tell me what it is?

Eric's Urban Legends: "The Flashing Brights" 

I heard about this lady from my hometown who had the most terrifying experience. I guess she was just getting into her car after a late-night trip to the grocery store. And just as she was driving out of the parking lot, she noticed a large truck following her out onto the main road. At first, the woman figured it was just a coincidence. After all, plenty of people lived down that way. She had nothing to be nervous about.

Just then, the truck behind her started flashing its brights, flooding the inside of her car with light! This rattled her quite a bit. She tried speeding up to lose the truck, but it sped up too. Then it started flashing its brights again!

Now it was obvious that the truck was following her. The woman tried harder and harder to lose the truck, but it kept following her, real close, and flashing its brights every few minutes.

As she neared her home, the truck was still following her and the woman was becoming frantic by this point. She pulled into her driveway, dove out of her car, and was about to race into the house to call the police when she looked back and couldn't see the truck anywhere.

Then she looked back in her car and realized that she hadn't been followed at all -- in her backseat was a very small truck flashing its brights at her! AND THERE WAS A VERY SMALL MAN WITH A HATCHET INSIDE!

May 12, 2004

What do nun-clowns do for fun? 

Because my goal in life is to answer burning questions that nobody asked.

May 10, 2004


Pamie is getting MARRIED, y'all. Woo!

All my congratulations and best wishes to you, funny lady!

May 09, 2004

Eric's Guide to Urban Legends 

Urban legends have always been one of my favorite things to study, ever since I became a fan of snopes.com a few years ago. Now that we're covering them in my folklore class, I have been inspired to provide my own definitive guide on the topic. It's my way of giving back some of the joy this course has brought me this quarter. Of course, if my professor ever sees this I will enter the Witness Protection Program.

May 08, 2004

The quest 

Every year, one of the movies at SIFF seems to become the talk of the festival, news of its greatness spreading like wildfire, its popularity eventually leading to its winning the Golden Space Needle Audience Award. It then goes on to receive a proper theatrical release, where it becomes a "little movie that could" and everyone who saw it at SIFF recommends it to their friends with passive-aggressive undertones that say, "Yeah, I saw it before it was popular. I am just that hip. But now that general audiences are allowed to see it, you should totally check it out."

Every year, this film evades me. I try to pick 15 or 20 films out of 200 that I think will be good, and I'm usually pretty good (there have been "incidents," of course), but I always seem to miss out on The Little Movie That Will. I have too many recollections of being approached by fellow SIFFers and having to endure, "Did you see Whale Rider? It was sooooooooo good! I cried sooooooooo much! I can't believe you didn't see Whale Rider!" So this year, I am determined to identify The Little Movie That Will, see it, and be snotty to other people six months from now when it comes out in multiplexes.

Is The Little Movie That Will included in my SIFF schedule this year? I think a lot of my films are too fucking weird to make it big. I mean, Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space. Seriously. If the IMDb plot summary doesn't already make you a little nervous, check out the official site, where a mission statement reads, "The Tamala 2010 Project is a general term for the various unit projects developing from the super heroine Tamala at the core. This project will grow into a grand scale pop culture and merchandising business..."

The Python is about someone pooping in an attic, with a beaver and a monkey (but not a python) somehow involved. I'm not sure this one will be infiltrating any multiplexes anytime soon. Raspberry Reich is a self-described "porno-political-palooza." Something tells me this isn't the right track either.

The "light and charming comedy" Danny Deckchair is a more likely candidate, considering the fancy website, and the fact that it's Australian, which means it has the general appeal of being in English but nobody will feel guilty about it having no depth because everyone is speaking in accents so it counts as "world cinema." A recipe for success!

Garden State, Open Water and Primer are good possibilities because I'd heard about their success at Sundance before this festival. Twin Sisters was an Oscar nominee. Marianne tells me that Bright Young Things was well-received when it was released in the UK.

The search continues...

May 07, 2004

SIFFtinerary '04 

May 21 - The Saddest Music in the World
May 22 - Torremolinos 73
May 25 - Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space
May 26 - The Five Obstructions
May 26 - Doppelganger
May 27 - Touch of Pink
May 28 - Buddy
May 28 - Raspberry Reich
May 29 - Open Water
May 30 - Danny Deckchair
May 31 - Primer
June 1 - The Python
June 2 - Busting Out / Still Doing It: The Intimate Lives of Women Over 65
June 5 - Sky Blue
June 8 - Bright Young Things
June 9 - Twin Sisters

I was forced to give up Saved! and Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut because they were "gala events," which is SIFF code for "double the price." But I'm already starting to rethink my decision, so I may find myself spending hours in line yet again tomorrow.

I'm also crying inside because I'm going to be out of town for BOTH SCREENINGS of both Garden State and Straight-Jacket.

Some other SIFF films I plan on checking out as soon as the number of dollars in my bank account once again exceeds the number of fingers I have:

The Mother
Persons of Interest
Bored in Brno
Love Me If You Dare

It's that time of year again... 

...the time of year where Eric loses his mind and all sense of perspective in honor of the most prolific film festival in the world that is also within reasonable driving distance from his place of residence. It's SIFF 2004! The new schedule, released today, is in my evil clutches as you read these very words (unless you are reading them much later, in which case you missed the boat on this one) and I am in the process of drawing up a SIFFtinerary. Yes, with SIFF comes TERRIBLE PLAYS ON WORDS! More examples include "SIFFathon," "SIFFtastic," and "SIFFylis." You see how much fun this is? YOU SEE?

May 04, 2004

I knew this would happen. America ruins everything.

May 03, 2004

Seeing Mean Girls 

Since the day I emerged from my mother's womb 21 years ago, I have known that I was going to see Mean Girls on opening night. The question was, who else would be there? Would it be teenage airheads drawn to the movie because it's set in high school, smarter adults drawn by the fact that it's written by Tina Fey, or people named Eric who think Lindsay Lohan is the Second Coming?

As we entered the movie theater, the answer to this question became obvious, and it wasn't promising. IT WAS ALL MEAN GIRLS! Orange girls! Prostitots! Plastics! Sometimes I feel like an old man sitting on his porch in a rocking chair shaking his fist at the young, out-of-control hooligans. This was one of those times. The theater was packed with high school girls, and it was absolutely chilling how closely they all resembled tiny little porn stars. Bleached hair, fake-tanned skin, raccoon-like eyeliner, six-inch heels, amounts of cleavage that would make Erin Brockovich weep. And those horrid little skirts that are half cheerleader-pleats that don't so much cover butt cheeks as frame them. THESE GIRLS WOULD NOT BE SHOWING MORE SKIN IF THEY WERE STARK NAKED.

I am only three years older than some of these girls, but sitting there in the midst of them, I felt like I had come from a different planet. Luke, Katie, Marianne and I huddled together among them like frightened hostages, trying not to make eye contact lest they become enraged and text-message us to death. Was it possible that these girls had seen the trailer for Mean Girls and thought the Plastics were the protagonists and Lindsay Lohan was the bitch, not the other way around? What exactly would they get out of a film that is basically lampoons girls like them? Would they learn to change their ways?

Well, when the lights came up after the movie ended, I still didn't have any answers (besides an answer to the question, "Should Mean Girls sweep the Oscars next year?" and the answer is, "Oh hell yes"). But as the four of us shuffled out of the theater, rubbing elbows and god knows what else with the Plastics around us, I saw the most terrifying thing of all: a little girl, she couldn't have been more than 11, wearing a butt cheek skirt and a shirt that showed off her midriff.

To prevent my face from freezing permanently in an expression of horror, I'm telling myself that her parents were smart enough to explain the right message of the movie to her. That message being "Be yourself," not "If someone is giving you a hard time, you can always push them in front of a school bus." Actually, either one would work for me.

May 02, 2004

Yet 10 more weird phrases people have gotten here by searching for on Google 

1. sexy waitresses in milkshake video
2. Ben Affleck gaining weight
3. morbidly obese men with giant penises
4. Jessica Simpson looks funny when she sings
5. bite the nipple and suck that tit
6. flat tire boob pictures
7. pictures of the grim reaper dragons and clowns
8. I hate my child
9. lap dance tutorials
10. scariest clown pictures

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