Click images for desktop size: "Pumpkins" by Trablex
Sometimes you have to accept things that, on the surface, seem unacceptable.
There was and is a lot of furor about OJ Simpson. He was found not guilty. White America went berserk.
There were six cops tried for beating Rodney King. They admitted to beating him. There was the stunning home videotape of the cops standing around lazily waiting for their chance to night stick the guy. They got the trial moved to Simi Valley. And the six cops were found not guilty.
Seems kind of incredible. You had to accept it. Maybe it was just a brilliant stroke by the defense attorney, or maybe it was just like some lawyer pals of mine said, we have no idea what went through the minds of the jurors and the way the evidence seemed to them sitting in the lofty precipice of the jury box.
I know Simi Valley pretty well. A lot of friends moved there because MGM announced that it planned to dump its facility in Culver City and move all of its operations out to Simi Valley.
Most of the MGM infrastructure, the guys in the machine shop, prop department, all those guys who really make movies and are so good at their art that American movies really were the best made in the world for a long long time, moved there.
A 3 bedroom house in LA could be found, if you were lucky, for about $300,000 (at the time). A 4 bedroom house in SImi Valley was about $115,000. The LA house would be pretty ramshackle with 1930's wiring and plumbing. The SImi Valley house would be 10 years old or even new.
Not much to consider. The TV show "MASH" was already being shot in SImi Valley - yeah, it stood in
Click images for desktop size: "Elvira" by Robert Redmond
for Korea and did it well enough to fool people for a lot of years. "Little House on the Prairie" was shot there. The wild area around there was abundant and cheap. No massive per diem's to the government like you had to pay in LA.
So all these guys packed up and moved to what they hoped for in a better life.
Guys who used to work at McDonald Douglas making airplanes who were now making armatures for life sized King Kongs made the move and liked it.
One friend of mine who worked in the prop department lived in a mobile home on a chunk of land he'd bought for $90,000. To get a house for his wife and three
kids seemed incredible.
After he moved in there was one of those flash floods we get in SOuthern Cal. It seemed there was a graveyard there where the undertaker had been cutting corners and he hadn't buried people quite as deeply as he should. After the flood he got up to survey the flood damage and found one of the 100 plus coffins the flood had dug up dumped on his front yard.
It probably had nothing to do with it but shortly thereafter MGM decided not to move to Simi Valley. There was an under used 8 lane high way built to accommodate the expected rush. Their were all those ancillary businesses that spring up around move studios - messengers, sfx labs, recording studios who suddenly had no promised clients.
A few of the techs stayed on, finding the commute to Culver City to not be too bad.
For the most part all those people who trusted the MGM promise found themselves stuck and they began to sell things off.
Click images for desktop size: "Forest Sprite" by Evegney
There are a lot of cops in Southern Cal. Just in LA you've got LAPD and the LA County Sheriffs, the CHP and then all those little towns and suburbs like Beverly Hills who want their own local cops.
A lot of law.
A whole lot of those cops thought that Simi Valley was a huge bargain and so they moved there. In big bunches. Movie people, cops, the old timers, the newly weds looking to get a start in life and the cowboys and stuntmen made for an interesting community.
Cops probably don't seem so bad when you live in between a mess of them and share schools with their kids.
Even though LA cops are pretty notorious for being the most white racist group in the area.
So getting the Rodney King cop trial moved there made it pretty clear the cops would be acquitted. Even if there weren't any cops on the jury the entire jury
pool had to have fiends and neighbors who were cops.
Senator Ted Stevens wants a new trial. He doesn't want the trial in Washington, where the 7 crimes he was convicted of happened. He wants his new trial in his home state.
Somehow that doesn't seem quite right. I can understand that his greedy corruption hurt the people in Alaska the very most but the trial venue is supposed to be in the area where the crimes were perpetrated. Stevens wasn't busted for being a greedy pig bastard who took bribes from rich oil men. He was convicted for lying about it. For lying about it to his peers, his fellow Senators.
He's claiming that the people of Washington are not his peers. I guess this goes back to the Alaska secessionist views. He committed his crimes in Washington DC but finds the people of Washington DC to not be able to comprehend who he is and defer to him.
Fair deal I guess. Although the fact that Alaska has changed their laws to tweak them enough to allow a convicted fellow to vote for himself on election days makes it appear that it would be less likely that the people of America would be well served by a jury of our peers.
We live in a country governed by laws. People break laws, people interpret laws the way they see fit. Its an imperfect system but most of the time its the only system that seems to work.
For a Senator, a law maker, to deride the law seems to me to be ungainly. Laughable. That he's being allowed to run for re-election is just, well, Marion Berry style mind blowing.
I watched a film yesterday, "Cyber Girl". Its the new movie by Jae-young Kwak, the guy who made the delightful and moving, "My Sassy Girl" (moving means I got misty and sniffly watching it).
Click images for desktop size: "Gothic" by Unknown
Oddly this most Korean of Film makers made the film in Japan with Japanese actors. It feels much more Japanese than Korean.
The plot is quixotic, which I don't mind. The hero, Jiro, is a loner, shopping for his own birthday present in a fancy department store when this strangely dressed beautiful girl appears and starts making eyes at him. Jiro watches the girl shop lift a designer outfit. She then follows Jiro and takes him on the most wonderful night of his life. There's no sexual contact, only the fun and life that come from sudden deep friendships.
They part in a sweet and sad way.
Jiro can't forget the crazy girl. He doesn't see her for a year. Then on November 22, 2008 she reappears in a big blasto "Terminator" kind of way. All splashy sfx. The beautiful girl is different. Just as attractive but powerful and robotic, not the delightful crazy girl from before.
Jiro finds her and they go to the same restaurant they went to the
year before. Only this time the girl saves Jiro from a mad killer gunman.
She tells Jiro she is a cyborg and shows him a tape of Jiro himself. Jiro from the future as a 90 year old crippled man. Jiro sent the cyborg back to save him from the gunman who in the original past had shot Jiro and crippled him.
The cyborg is beautiful but stiff and stilted. They spend all their time together. She's his quiet body guard. She also stops a lot of tragedy, accidents that killed children. She was programmed to do this by the Jiro from the future.
This takes about an hour of the film time and is tedious and dull as heck.
Having a gorgeous super woman robot at your disposal shouldn't be this boring.
Then the film gets interesting in its final third.
Predictably Jiro falls in love with the robot. She's so stiff and robotic it has little impact. Which is another flaw. He tells her to get lost. He can't take being so sexually aroused in his tiny world with
Click images for desktop size: "Eye" by Unknown
not having any reciprocation. In a drunken outburst he tells the cyborg to get lost, that he never wants to see her again.
Of course when she vanishes Jiro misses her but keeps finding little signs that she is still out there looking over him and protecting him.
Then the film takes a rather astounding twist. There is a massive earthquake that devastates Tokyo. The effects are all from the small limited view of Jiro but they are astonishingly real and effective. Most effective is Jiro's and our confusion in trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Earthquake, atomic attack? There's nothing clear at first just that it is an all encompassing calamity.
Jiro's home is destroyed and he plummets to a certain death. The cyborg saves him, of course. The cyborg tries to take Jiro to a place of safety. As Tokyo is collapsing around them it is near impossible. The cyborg gets buried under a collapsing
skyscraper. Jiro is hanging by a pip over a burning chasm of doom.
The cyborg cuts herself in half to free herself so she can go and save Jiro. Jiro saved grabs her hugs her and tells her how much he loves her. She violently pushes him out of the way just as another collapsing building buries her under tons of rubble.
Jiro is stunned and heartbroken and wanders the night with the hundreds of other lonely and devastated survivors. Here the movie really works. Its impossible not to feel the inner terror and desolation of the world as they wander with everyone suffering the loss of home, family friends, things and love.
The next day Jiro goes and using only his hands digs through the mountain of rubble to find his cyborg. She dead or broken, whatever a cyborg becomes when it stops working. (Of note - to rescue him the cyborg loses its bottom half, which codifies the true extent of his love for the cyborg. It was made clear before that she had sex organs.)
He cries and again professes his love for her.
Then the film jumps 133 years to the future!
Its all very interesting stuff about Jiro's future self and the fate of the cyborg. She is auctioned off after Jiro's death. Her memory chip was still intact and she has learned to reciprocate Jiro's affections. The cyborgs new owners permit her to travel back to the past to see Jiro one last time.
This is a fascinating conceit. We re-watch almost the entirety of the cyborgs and Jiro's first meeting, only this time completely from the perspective of the cyborg. Its wrenchingly effective. She is so in love with him and so angry at his lack of understanding of the depth of her feelings. It wonderful and gripping.
I'd have been bitterly satisfied with the ending except they went
for the happy ending.
Back to the "present" of 2010. Jiro has just dug up the remnants of his cyborg love. As he again begins his lament and professions of love, the new cyborg appears, time traveled back again to live the rest of Jiro's life with them together.
Confusing movie. Not for the plot. That's actually taken care of with a master's ease. What's confusing is how excruciating the opening two thirds is especially when the final third is so wonderful.
I can't bring myself to watch it again but, aside from the final end, I'm very glad to have the last third locked forever in my memory.
Tomorrow is Halloween. I'm going to do stuff, including taking the dogs trick or treating, hence all the groovy Halloween pix today.
One of my money orders has finally been posted! This is small relief. Its the least of them but at least it did get there. I note they posted it as of Oct 23 - 8 days after I mailed it and it still took them 7 days after that to get it credited to my account!