Click images for desktop size: "Angel Returns" by Lawnelf
No one ever gets my jokes . . .
I always have something to say. I'm like that. We're like that.
Sometimes someone needs to remind us that we need to believe in certain things, not because they're true but because they're the only things worth believing in.
Some of the cliches like; people are basically good, good always trumps evil, that we do what's right because it is what's right, that money is not as important as friendship, and true love never dies.
Babbling here takes it out of my head and makes it real. It makes it true. All I ever really wanted to do was lay my life out so I could see it, see where I'm human and where I'm not. What principals I've stood firm by.
I think you need some values to stand firm with. Principals that you won't desert whatever the pay off.
Right now I've got 3 teeth that are killing me. They're probably going to fall out. The doctors told me they probably would. They hurt like hell.
I've got an electric current running through my bones that making me twitch gasp and breathe heavy. Nothing can be done to stop it. I mean, I OD on ibuprofen right now . . . the pain is so bad that I lie and listen to the trains go by and I think how easy it would be to lie down there and stop this hurting for once and forever.
That's when you can decide if you're worth trusting. If the little cliches you've used as the foundation of your life are rock or just sand.
And I think I'd sell out a stranger to stop this jerking pain. Not a loved one, not family, not a child or a dog. Maybe a cat, but then, not even that. And a stranger? Well, maybe he loves somebody, or maybe someone loves him. So I guess there's nobody to sell out. Nobody.
I can't lie under that train. No matter how ugly I look now and no matter how ugly I'm going to look its not vanity to know that somebody needs me to be here as long as I can. Maybe not you or you but somebody.
There've been large chunks of my life where I felt so terribly alone. Often it was my own fault, just as often I was merely a victim. Each time I survived because someone needed me to. Sometime for love, some times for just being human.
I've done some rotten things in my life. Rotten by my standards, possibly not by yours and probably not by most peoples standards.
Click images for desktop size: "Cleopatra" by Michael A Parkes
I don't live with most people. I've done some rotten things. Nothing worth killing over.
I got blind to things. I needed to make money to support a family and to support them the way I felt they deserved.
I got wrapped up in my grief and forgot about others.
I'm not honest with everyone. I don't correct misconceptions very often. I don't always feel like saying the truth.
I try and stay honest with myself and I stay honest with the people who love me and the people I love.
I'm not forgiving. I trust the people I love and understand, but I can forgive them. That's as deep as my pool (puddle) of forgiveness goes.
I get angry. I get enraged. And not just from the things that should get me enraged.
I keep quiet about it, at least, except with the people closest to me.
I had to deal with the fact that I wasn't a superman. That I was just the same as you. That made me angry at first and ashamed, but then I came to rejoice in it. Its hard to accept that I was just normal.
I've made mistakes in my life. Some of them pretty stupid. Believing in those cliches doesn't feel like one of them. Being another human being wasn't one of them.
I confess my cruelty, my ego and deceit.
I haven't felt funny enough to work on my puppies web site. To help her work on it, I mean. I saw yesterday I hadn't even taken a picture in a month. I know I'm feeling bad when I can let something that important get slipped away.
Most of you know I have an MFA. It was almost just an accident. It maybe the most worthless accomplishment of my life.
The only cool thing was that I had to take the GRE. I was the only person in anyone's memory who scored higher on the GRE than I did on the SAT. It took me four shots to get the 750 on the SAT to get into school. It takes 800 to ace the GRE. I guess it proved I wasn't as stupid as everybody thought. Most likely it just showed that I was educable.
But I got an MFA. It was an accident. I wanted to make movies. I wanted to be part of telling stories of showing people how they are and how they could be.
I wrote some. But I didn't want to be a writer or a director . . . that's right, I never wanted to direct. I wanted to work in sound. When I found out that production sound was pretty boring
Click images for desktop size: "Cartoon Girl" by Unknown
I worked as an AD until I discovered post production . . . and proceeded to drive people insane.
To get my MFA I had to teach some classes. I have no idea if I was any good at that. I didn't mind it but I didn't love it. That means I probably wasn't very good at it.
One of my tasks was watching student films . . . I was amazed at how many kids couldn't even figure out how to get a character to walk through a door. Conservative rough estimate - I've probably seen 900 student films.
A lot of girls/women made movies of horses running through pastures, lots of horses . . . I guess it was easier than working with people. There were a lot of whacky drunken poorly scripted monologues. The ones I admired most were the guys who used making a movie as an excuse to talk some girl out of her clothes.
For the most part they were arty and pretentious. They were talking Godard and using film as a way to get a message across to the ignorant masses. The message they wanted to get across was never very clear. At least to me.
There were a lot of killings and a lot of badly done violence, which usually made me think that they'd never been in a violent situation in their lives.
They tried though and it was part of my job. So I watched, hunched over a movieola most of the time, and tried to give them a break even when numbness was fast setting in.
See, they wanted art and I believed in entertainment. They thought those were exclusive terms and worlds apart. I did and still do think they're the same thing.
Like no one ever sings the praises of Richard Brooks. He's a writer director and he made some heavily successful movies. A few of his films actually had world changing effects on society.
He didn't start working until he was in his 30's. Then he was writing westerns and serials. Out of nowhere he pulled together the script for "The Killers", one of the first film noir's. It helped start a genre.
He followed that up with the incredible Jules Dassen flic, "Brute Force". A movie that still makes prison seem like the lowest circle of hell.
In the 50's (when he was just turning 40) he began to direct. Nothing great but he was learning and his films were successful, successful enough that in 1955 he fought to write and direct the first rock and roll movie, the film that laid juvenile delinquency out there and gave it a plastic sheen, "The Blackboard Jungle". It made Vic Morrow and Sidney Poitier stars. It launched a bunch of near delinquents into long running movie making careers.
To follow that up he attempted the butt numbing task of trying to film Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karmazsov", and Tennessee William's "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof". Movies that are remembered for their stars (Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Burl Ives) but not for the guy who guided them and let them sparkle. Which is odd somehow, that he'd be so forgotten.
Click images for desktop size: "Dream Catcher" by WJ
He hit on themes other writers and directors would avoid but his films were hits, successes. The only solid line in all of them was that he wrote and directed them.
He got an Oscar for "Elmer Gantry", not one of my faves but that let him do for the 60's what he did for the 50's, turn it upside down and shake it so we can see what falls out. He did the unthinkable and made a brilliant film of a great book, "In Cold Blood".
It remembered today for Robert Blake's head turning performance, but I liked the oddly constructed documentary style that he twisted around when the drama needed it.
And then in the 70's he made a movie that got attention on the front pages and in the editorial sections of newspapers. TV guys and preachers talked about it, everyone had an opinion, "Looking For Mr Goodbar" was the movie, it secured stardom for Diane Keaton,
who stunned everyone because she could really act. It started Richard Gere's career . . .
There was a lot of furor about them, but none about Richard Brooks, the guy who made the movie.
I think his career was swell. He made movies that entertained that made you think and bought home serious messages about sexuality, about homosexuality, about kids, about freedom, about doing what's right no matter what the cost.
Like John Sturges nobody talks about him anymore.
I don't think he would have cared much.
See, I think my film students would have learned more from Richard Brooks or even a clunky serial than they learned from Dzeiga-Vertov or Northrup Frye.