Has it really been almost 2 weeks since the last time I posted? I've definitely got a bit of the winter doldroms going on, tired, a little depressed, generally kind of unmotivated...It seems to be going around. Pretty much anyone I've talked to in the past couple weeks has been exhausted, sick, depressed or some combination thereof. I guess it's just that time of year...
Or maybe there's just a bad case of the crazies going around. Walking home from work tonight, on 2nd Avenue and 5th street in the East Village, I saw like six cops dogpiling a guy. Whatever level of danger the guy provided, it was clear that the fuzz was really getting off on their moment of brutality. Additional officers were rushing to the scene from the stationhouse around the corner, forcefully pushing pedestrians out of their way. Another cop was asking people to back up, and while doing so physically pushed them back. One guy he put his hands on he knocked into me, so I could feel how hard the guy was pushed, and, well, he shouldn't have been pushing people at all to begin with, but he was pushing them pretty hard. That's pretty much what I've come to expect of the NYPD, basically a bunch of murder-hungry thugs, but it still upsets me.
And at the same time, I felt no particular sympathy for the guy getting arrested, even though he was clearly no match for the six to eight cops who were on top of him. One was even standing on his legs, after he had already been cuffed. The guy didn't seem to be struggling so much as yelping in pain. I didn't feel much identification with the crowd surrounding the event, who didn't seem to object too much to being pushed around, and were more concerned with making sarcastic, obnoxious comments, the likes of which seems to be what passes for wit or insight these days. Fucking people. Fucking New York. And fuck me, when did I become so unsympathetic to fucking everyone? I did happen to have a camera on me and snapped a bunch of b&w pics, so maybe I'll post them whenever I get the film developed, or maybe it's best to leave this one be. Fuck it.
Meanwhile, what I really wanted to write about was the Gregg Araki film "Mysterious Skin," which I watched last week, and really liked. But I'm tired now and not feeling especially insightful myself, so, I dunno, it was good. I generally like Araki's films, and this one was pleasantly surprising, despite the unpleasant subject matter (child rape), because while his other films like "Doom Generation" and "Nowhere" relied on over-the-top comedy and violence, this one plays it pretty serious, giving the movie a stronger emotional core and resonance. I was talking to a friend afterwards about the ending, which she found depressing, but I found really kind of uplifting and satisfying, since it really gets to the effect of the events of the film on the characters, and we see them beginning the process of coming to terms with one another and their shared emotional and physical trauma. The cast is especially strong, particularly Hal Hartley regular Bill Sage (as the child molester), and "former child star" (who I saw eating pizza once in my neighborhood, on the same corner where I once saw the Rock on a giant motorcycle, seriously) Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who between flicks like this and "The Lookout" is totally one of my favorite actors these days (adventurous filmgoers should track down his early role as Patricia Arquette's Mennonite child husband in the Leonard Nimoy directed "Holy Matrimony.")
I also finally saw "Monster," which was really just kind of so-so. I'm not surprised it was critically lauded or got some awards, it's definitely the kind of middle-of-the-road whatever that passes for whatever these days, and it certainly wasn't so bad, except when it was, namely in the killing scenes, which were so ridiculously staged as to suggest a parody of what a poorly staged murder scene might look like (arms up, hollering, "Noooooo!"). And the ending was really stupid. Not what happens, since obviously that's what happened in real life, but the way it's staged. It's like they got to the end and realized there really wasn't much of a point to the movie one way or another, so they just tacked something hokey on and then put a lame, semi-ironic 80s cheese ballad over the closing credits. In general, the attempts at creating a grimy 1980s atmosphere were pretty weak, but the acting was alright, and the story is compelling enough, though one would do themselves much better by watching Nick Broomfield's "Selling of a Serial Killer" doc, featuring the real Aileen Wournos.
Well, I guess writing has made me feel a bit better. I'm definitely still a bit exhausted and grumbly, mumbly and cursing, but it's cool, I guess, not really, but so what? It's just that homely, lonely time of year, so, yeah, I'm just going to sit here a while and wallow in it. You can join me if you want, or you can go to hell. Your choice.