Sometime in March, I scrawled a note to myself to see Boogie Nights. Later that day, picking up holds at the public library, I discovered it in Tim's pile. We watched it later that night and I felt like I needed three months to recover. I also discovered, with Mark Wahlberg's full head of hair that, in the right light, with the right angle, he almost does it for me. I think that means we should all be wearing wigs, all the time.
One of my biggest fears about talking openly is of being a jerk and/or crapping on someone else's joy. The internet is full of cranky opinions. I never want one of mine to make someone feel bad about something they like or, worse, something they made. At the same time, if I don't like something, I want to be able to say so in a fair and, hopefully, intelligent way. Do I sound defensive? Ha! I'm just trying to figure out how to be a good citizen - on the internet, and in the world.
All this hemming and hawing is an appropriate segue to a film that got mixed reviews when it came out, a movie called American Animals about four college students who stole books from a special collections room at a private college in Kentucky. An exploration of a true story, American Animals is one part-documentary, one part-fiction. Using moody imagery and a deliberately overlapped mix of interviews and narrative, it operates as a heist movie with added, real-life gravity. I loved it. Tim said it caught flack for being a film about white boys pushing against the limits of their privilege, and while the emotional substance of the film is a little thin, I could not stop thinking about one of its most successful images - the famous pink flamingo from James Audubon's Birds of America, lit up inside a giant glass case inside the special collections room. I also just appreciated the film's stylish cinematography. It plays with genre and perspective, as well as veracity in story-telling, and feels like the director is winking right at you, which really worked for me.
I've watched a few other things, like Maudie, which I liked. It looked saccharine but was, in fact, pretty moving. I also can't stop thinking about Call Me By Your Name, for some reason, which I watched last year and loved. Maybe it's all those summer scenes: the sun in Italy, the bikes and the stone pool, but I'm craving a re-watch.
I'm reading Tonight I'm Someone Else, by Chelsea Hodson, a collection of essays so intense I vibrate when reading it. When I started it, I couldn't stop sending passages to my friend Amelia, basically reading the book aloud, via text.
To sum: if you can work flamingos on screen, as Sorrentino does in The Great Beauty, or a kangaroo inside the Vatican, as he does in The Young Pope, you've won me.
And now it seems we've come full circle, what with a second flamingo anecdote. Wishing you magic and mystery in your daily lives, and all the wild animals your dreams can hold.