Secret Pop

Feb 18, 2005

For the heart is an organ of fire.

Watching The English Patient makes me feel all forlorn and romantic. And it comes at the end of an agonizingly busy week of work that could only be trudged through despite my inclination to race.

When I'm working, the television is my only companion. The television and the dog, who persistently wants to be in my lap, even if that means climbing all over my keyboard. I watch program after program. Some as part of a routine. Like the four-hour Star Trek block on Spike TV every day from 11 to 3. Then whatever movie I can stand to have on in the background while I toil, in some cases even with my back to the screen. I gave a chance to Frankenstein Unbound, but I shouldn't have. It wasn't even amusingly cheeseball. Just cheeseball. Although mixing time travel with horror and great works of Western literature is appealing at least in concept. And I am a fan of John Hurt. And even of Roger Corman in this respect. But this movie did not move me. And I changed the channel an hour or so in, finding The English Patient early enough in its presentation that I had not yet missed the music cues that mean so much to me. The ones that remind me of quiet nights alone in a big house taking bubble baths by candlelight with this soundtrack playing in a room closeby. I was full of contemplation and poetry and hope and eager expectation back then. And, though I did not always measure it at the time, I was often met with disappointment. And disappointment is a staple color in my coloring book. More frequently called for than "Nude" or "Burnt Sienna" or "Sky Blue" or "Marigold." So much so that, after watching James Michener's Hawaii while working the night through earlier in the week, I was prompted to close a bit of correspondence with, "Mary, 'everything in these latitudes is a...disappointment'" -- a line uttered by Richard Harris, who was wearing too much eyeshadow (a common problem in his filmography) but was still dashing and earnest and brash and unforgiving and in love with Julie Andrews, like everyone always is.

K is for Katherine. That's my middle name.

I've watched -- or at least sat through -- a lot of movies in the past week while working as much as 21 hours a day. My brain is a bit custard-like at the moment, and I can't enumerate them all in a cogent list. But I know I saw a few that I had planned to get around to seeing eventually and plenty that I had no intention of ever seeing. I noticed that Har Mar Superstar is in Starsky & Hutch and that Chris Penn looks so fat and blustery and red-in-the-face in that movie that he worries me. I also noticed that I am not wrong when I say that I am tired of Ben Stiller. Especially when he manages to find an excuse to do a ridiculous dance routine in nearly every film he makes. He looks like he really works out for a movie, but then he also looks like he works very hard at looking simian. So, he's a guy who get things done is my point. But I still don't ever find him funny. And I wish that the performers I do find funny would stop putting him in their movies.

I caught a little bit of Alex and Emma, too, and that was a bad idea. I opted to switch over to Mom and Dad Save the World. Because it is a far better movie. No matter how many times I've seen it, and no matter how bad it actually is.

It might be because I grew up largely overseas with very little English-speaking television to watch and limited selection at the cinema, leading to my watching whatever we had on videotape over and over again. Maybe that's why I don't mind watching films I like repeatedly. Even when there's plenty of other things on that I've not yet seen. Even when I have a teetering stack of unopened DVDs that I could easily choose to begin viewing. The only reason I don't do that as often is that I don't give my full attention to the television when I'm working, so I actually prefer to have things on that I've seen before. So's I don't miss anything.

I don't even know why I'm talking about this. I'm done with my work for now and I'm ready for whatever weekend I can manage. Whatever I might have scraped out of the inside of my brain can wait. I like the nightlife, baby.

Swoon. I'll catch you.

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