Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jun 05 2001

It is a brilliant, hot day outside today. Thunders…

It is a brilliant, hot day outside today. Thunderstorms are predicted later. I have enjoyed summer thunderstorms since I was a kid growing up in Florida, where, in the summer, a huge black wall of clouds would roll in over perfectly clear skies at exactly 4:30 p.m. each day and just dump a huge, omnipresent waterfall on the whole area. Then it would leave as quickly as it came, the sun’s rays piercing the steam that would rise from the road after the sudden downpour doused the fire of its baked surface.

Inside the office today, thanks to several yards of duct tape over the air conditioning vents above my cubicle, it is slightly less arctic than usual. Of course, this will probably result in that much more cold air being dumped over someone else’s desk. I do what I can to brighten people’s lives, I really do.

This morning on the way to work I was challenged to a drag race by a guy on a hopped-up NSR. Although my old RZR is probably slower than an NSR, and this one was not exactly stock, I usually would have taken him up on it, but instead I demurred, turning the corner and heading to work rather than continuing up Fu-hsing North road. I must be getting old. I don’t even bother with FZR’s any more, as they look fast but are real dogs when it comes to hauling around all of that weight with a four-stroke 150cc V-head twin. That’s just another reason why I dislike Fu-hsing road; people driving on it seem to be worse, less considerate drivers than on other roads, except for Chunghsiao E. Road. If I havea choice, I usually like to take Ren-ai or Tun-hwa, because at least they are tree-lined and relatively pleasant to drive along. Pa-te road has my vote for the worst main thoroughfare in this city. It seems that that particular road attracts the worst elements of our mobile society, and it is depressing to boot. Odd, considering that it is one of the oldest streets in the city, originally leading out of the walled city of Taipei out to Keelung.

Ghost Dog was an excellent film all in all, but the poor cinematography, cheap effects and 70s-esque soundtrack made it seem like a student effort more than anything. Perhaps it had something to do with the poor quality of the DVD and the lack of wide-screen format. Forrest Whitaker was in top form for this movie, but I felt that Jarmusch should have stuck with his serious plotline and not tried to inject the awkward attempts at humor which ended up belittling the enemy to the point that there was no real antagonist for Ghost Dog to play up against. The film worked, however, on several levels, including the protagonist’s inability to deal with his world and his reactions to the intrusion of reality on his carefully-crafted universe. The film was apparently shot entirely in Brooklyn, and I recognized several of the places in the film from when I was living there when I went to film school in New York City in 1999. The Chinese family I was living with at the time must have been the only Chinese people in Ridgewood, a mostly Puerto Rican neighborhood, near the Myrtle Ave station, about a dozen stops out of Manhattan on the L line.

I am not that great a critic, though…being a critic would probably make me miserable, for I would rather be out making my own films than talking about other people’s films. I know, I know. “Quit whining, TC, and just go out there and do it!” you say. Good idea, I think I shall do just that. But, while you are giving me advice, what do you think, should I have a DVD made of my past films? There’s a place that keeps e-mailing me about that, called Kittridge Street DVD, out of LA. Did they actually see and enjoy my films on IFilm, as they claimed, or are they just going down a list? I wonder.

Mindcrime has finally reached St.Louis, after driving from San Francisco, and is now being tormented by 3-year olds. Hehehe…

posted by Poagao at 4:51 am  

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