Sunday, February 17, 2008

about nothing and everything all at once

I. a few days ago i was in the hbll studying for the gmat.  my laptop is from the turn of the millennium and, unlike modern-day laptops, does not have the fan and disc drive silencer; it sounds akin to a jet engine.  on the ultra-quiet fifth floor, this can seem almost deafening, and i opted to move down to the 'no shhh' zone on the main floor.  (i have since decided 'to heck with this' and can again be found on my favorite level; someone has yet to complain)
i found an open table and revved up my kaplan cd.  as i was doing my darnedest to master the 'data sufficiency' section, a couple of guys sat down across from me.  i snuck a look and saw that one of them was reading a speech called 'the seven deadly heresies', by a man named bruce r. mcconkie.  i'm a fan of the talk and was mildly curious what class this was for.
around question three of the practice quiz, the guy tossed down the booklet and, in an air of frustration, declared, 'he's wrong'.
that caught my attention.
it was the speech's stance on evolution that sparked a strong debate between these two friends.  while i futilely concentrated on whether statement a) was alone sufficient to determent whether y was greater than the negative square root of x, claims of misinterpreting scripture and the vast amounts of concrete, irrefutable scientific evidence versus faith, scripture, and words of church leaders were strongly exchanged like a wimbledon tennis ball.  several times i wanted to step and straighten out these two undergraduates, but neither side was going to move.
when the pragmatist had to leave for his class, i was finishing the last question on my quiz.  6 out of 20.

II.  mark and some friends  went to san francisco for the weekend.  i came home on friday night, looking forward to a few pleasant days with the house to myself.  
last night the kitchen was clean, but i wanted my roommate back.

III. i like roses.  i also like lotuses and lilacs, but that's another story.  i once bought my sister a pink rose; the experience eventually helped her get a good grade in her freshman english class and you can ask her about it sometime.  i've learned that different rose colors mean different things; red is love/affection, obviously, while yellow is friendship.  but those were the only two colors i knew.  for all i knew, pink could be for celebration of your cat having kittens.  here's what i found:
  • red: love/affection/romance
  • dark pink: thankfulness, gratitude
  • regular pink: happiness
  • light pink: sympathy
  • white: innocence, purity (i've often given white for a generic celebration; i was relieved to find out i wasn't offering to be someone's godfather or something)
  • yellow: friendship
  • lavender: enchantment, falling in love (i like that)
  • orange: fascination 
  • coral: desire, be it 'i desire you' or 'i desire to get to know you better'
  • black: typically connotating death, it's generally not good to give these to a girl.  
  • blue: mystery or achieving the impossible.  very hard to find, i think this is pretty cool.

IV. having the weekend to myself, i stopped by the orem library, hoping to get 'berlin alexanderplatz'.  it hadn't been cataloged yet, so i put in a request to speed up the process and instead grabbed 'ali: fear eats the soul', as well as 'au hasard balthazar' and 'pickpocket', deciding to introduce myself to robert bresson.
i remember thinking in film history that the 'new german expressionism' was, unquestionably, the most boring and esoteric movement i had ever seen.  given that fassbinder was the center of the movement, i'm not sure what made me think i'd like it.  simply put, me and him aren't going to become friends anytime soon.
i've never felt more empty after watching a movie.  i just wanted to hug someone.  even the 'happy' characters are sad in his world.  he was certainly influenced by bertolt brecht, who thought that theatre/cinema shouldn't try to hide that it's a movie, and nothing is glossy or polished here.  still, there were some very interesting and powerful shots, and i liked how he did convey so much with so little in terms of location and production value.
i watched an interview on the bonus disc, talking about his style and theories.  fassbinder felt that if the 'revolution' occurred within the movie, then the real world would remain unaffected.  'ali' was about prejudice and racism, as we saw the two main characters stared at, outcast, and avoided by their former friends.  at the end of the movie, nothing was solved.  the idea was that a happy ending would have left the viewer feeling the problem had been fixed.  but if the movie ends without any resolution, then we are left with the responsibility and will go out and make the changes in our own lives.  it's an interesting theory, but i don't know how practical it is.
i was recently thinking why i prefer 'fanny and alexander' over 'the rules of the game'.  in 'rules', renoir keeps us at a distance; we are in the middle of these characters and all their antics and skewed world, but we never develop an emotional attachment to them.  bergman, on the other hand, let's us become friends with the ekdahl children.  we come to know everyone in their large extended family, so as tragedy strikes, we fall from the nurtured highs to the abandoned lows with them, and are rescued when they are.  we experience the wonderment and imagination with alexander.
fassbinder leaves us in the middle of the characters with an emotional straightjacket.  their world is so closed, we can't develop a connection with them; we just watch.
i'm still curious to see 'berlin alexanderplatz', but if it's like 'ali', i'll be done with it after the first hour.

V.  i don't much care for baseball caps as casual fashion.

VI. the concept of choice has been coming up in a lot of conversations today.  what's stood out most to me is the concept that by small and simple things are great things brought about.
i've rewritten an expansion on this three times and it never sounded good.  so you're on your own.

VII.  busy sundays are seriously awesome.

VIII.  most week's i have a good idea of what i'm going to show for tuesday's 'classic movie' night.  last week i showed 'lost in translation', which had a good discussion afterward about what choices were good and what weren't.  and that's what i was hoping for. we've recently watched 'rashomon' and '32 short films about glenn gould', which were generally well-received.  
this week i'm thinking about the marx brothers' 'duck soup', buster keaton's 'sherlock jr.'  i'm also considering 'fanny and alexander' (the theatrical version), but nothing is really standing out right now.

IX. today is my half birthday.  i'm halfway to 57.

X.  i wanted to find a picture of mr. dufayel on the television at the end of 'amelie', but couldn't find one anywhere.


Brady said...

well, you did pretty good with a pink rose, since it was for sympathy the first time (even if it wasn't light pink). When I read your comment about baseball caps, I was thinking of "bottle caps" for some reason, and I was a bit confused. This is Becky, not Brady.

Em said...

Hmmm... where to start?

Busy Sundays become less nice later on. Enjoy them now.

You are quite an enigma Jeff, and I'm perpetually happier to know you.

CK Rock said...

Your wish is my command!

Mr. Dufayel in the TV

-->jeff * said...

1. sister, thanks; i didn't even realize the connection between the color's connotation and the original pink rose. glad i got it right.

2. em: i always appreciate your comments. from someone so accomplished as yourself, it really means a lot. i'm happy to know you're still a reader. (i do confess, i became too busy to read your blog a few months back and with such prolific posting, it's easy to fall behind. but your posts are also often brief, and so its easy to catch up, which i have been doing)

3. the chris: many thanks. the picture captures what i wanted to convey.

Alyssa said...

So... you're studying for the GMAT, eh? Are you giving up on the film life and going to business school?