January 24-30

Outside of my domicile up here at school, a few people are playing in the snow. They are cheering with their friends because some people enjoy this precipitation, I guess. My instinct when I hear benevolent emotions? Internally yell, “SHUT UP!”

I just started my last semester of college and boy do I feel a cold wind chill when I say that. When I am forced to reluctantly talk about school with others, they respond with “wow, that’s exciting!” when I tell them this is the last dance. Oh is it? I guess terror is a form of excitement. However, any form of excitement will be a first-time entry into my college career. I’ve spent these last four years spending nights alone eating roast beef baskets and watching neo-noirs. My collegiate journey is a chicken or the egg conundrum: am I like this because I chose to isolate myself or am I isolating myself because I’m like this? I wasn’t made for college, but I don’t get down about it because I just assume I would’ve knocked down a construction sight or flooded an entire apartment complex if I went into a trade.

This week’s positive self-talk is sponsored by this week’s watches:

Gerry (2002, Gus Van Sant) – Sometimes a hard narrative and style choice misses wide right. Van Sant is often criticized for his vapid showy filmmaking (I happen to like Elephant but that’s where you can easily point to this) and here, it doesn’t take long to realize what kind of movie this is going to be. I wanted to enjoy spending time with Matt Damon and Casey Affleck alone in the desert. This was one of those movies that made me wish I was satisfying my slowly declining attention span by clicking through my YouTube recommendation feed.

Phantom of the Paradise (1974, Brain de Palma) – This really flies by the edge of its seat. One part farcical comedy, another part tragic rock opera. In the famous photo of the Big 5 New Hollywood filmmakers, De Palma is the odd man out, never reaching the critical and commercial success of Coppola, Scorsese, Spielberg, or Lucas. However, if you were to ask each of them who was the most gifted filmmaker of the bunch, I wouldn’t be surprised if they all said De Palma. He’s the only one who never really altered his DNA into the 21st century. Here’s what I propose: is De Palma the best American director to never be nominated for Best Director?

Deep Cover (1992, Bill Duke) – I was pleasantly surprised to discover a year ago that the guy I liked from Commando and Predator had a vast directorial filmography. It was nice to watch the last credit for Larry Fishburne and a non-annoying presence from Jeff Goldblum. Felt a little flat but a solid watch while stuck inside in a blizzard.

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