Watched Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola's sophomore foray into film today. I loved her adaptation of the Virgin Suicides, but I wondered if it might have been a fluke due to the Godfather III debacle. Mrs. Spike Jonze wrote and directed this gently nuanced tale of two Americans cut adrift in the floating kingdom who manage to find a bond in their alienation. It's not a very talky or dialogue-heavy movie, so the weight of the story relies on camerawork, and the actors' body languange and facial expressions. Bill Murray is superbly cast as Bob Harris, an aging movie star, and the ingenue Scarlett Johansson displays a maturity beyond her 18 years in her role as Charlotte, Bob's partner in their romp through Tokyo. Coppola, exhibiting her genes, conveys Bob's jetlagged exhaustion by turning Tokyo's garish neon lights into watercolor brush strokes in the reflection of a taxicab window. As Charlotte stares out window of her high-rise luxury hotel room, the camera focuses on a lone skyscraper isolated from the surrounding buildings, revealing Charlotte's inner state of mind. It's subtleties like these that make films a joy to watch. I can't wait to see it again.
Monday, September 29, 2003
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
The swelling has gone down, and the itching has faded. But alas, despite all my wishing and hoping and daydreaming, I must regrettably and dejectedly concede that I have yet to display any superpowers, mutant, radioactive or otherwise, nor has a watcher appeared on my doorstep. No springy, high-flying fun for me. Perhaps I used too much cortisone on the bites. Ah, well, at least I didn't quit my job to freelance as a photographer by day, and patrol cemetaries by night.
But hey, one day, I'll get an opportunity to sail to Valinor, right?
Saturday, September 13, 2003
It appears that I've received a spider bite on my forearm. It's all swollen and sore and itchy, and I've got either hives or other insect/arachnid bites on other parts of my body. Do you suppose I'll start manifesting superpowers? It would be so cool if I did...
Sunday, September 07, 2003
I just adore Neil Gaiman. A few years ago, during a heavy Gaiman-worshipping phase, I chanced upon one of his readings at Stacey's Books in the city. I was able to ask, and have answered, all sorts of questions I had about his work, the main question being, was he going to write/release more books on the endless. I was so giddy about it, I sought out each and every remaining Bay Area appearance he made that week like a crazed groupie. In person, he has a fabulous and self-effacing dry wit, and he does a pitch-perfect reading of his own work. As a comic book writer, he has the ability to weave together various mythologies (like Joseph Campbell) and original storylines in a dark, otherworldly and compelling fashion. Somehow I missed the release of 1602 a few weeks ago, but soon, very soon (September 17), the graphic novel I've been anticipating for like, 5 years will be released. First thing tomorrow, I'm heading over to the comic book shop to correct the 1602 situation. Now, if only he and Josswould collaborate...