Friday, June 30, 2006

Things to do while revisiting Brideshead.

- All this week, I've been watching the 1981 BBC miniseries for BRIDESHEAD REVISITED, and I swear to you up and down that it's one of the best DVDs (if not the best) that I've ever seen in my life. I started into it because it came recommended to me by friends. I watched the first episode a couple times, shocked at how gay the whole damn thing seemed to be. I mean, it was on PBS, and people LOVED it. No one who recommended it to me told me that it was completely homosexual. But in the first episodes, Charles Flyte, an Oxford student played by a young, pretty Jeremy Irons, speaks of falling completely and utterly in love with this rich, brilliantly dressed, beautiful, foppish kid named Sebastian, played by Anthony Andrews. Andrews looks like a sullen, blond Jude Law. The whole thing is set in the 1920s, and Sebastian's supposed to be from this really religious family - except the family doesn't seem to care that he's a 19-year-old boy who wears a pink suit and carries a teddy bear, sunbathes and cuddles naked on the mansion roof with Charles, professes his love for Charles constantly and even takes Charles to Venice so that they can cuddle in gondolas together. Apparently, in the '20s Britain, I could've just made out with guys constantly or paraded around naked with them, and people would've thought that we were just good chums carrying on. (Now, when I do that, people call me a slut and tell me to put my clothes back on.) BRIDESHEAD fucking rules. Great acting, great clothes, great story. It's based on a classic Evelyn Waugh novel. It even has Sir Laurence Olivier in it. Drama, drama, drama! It's way better than QUEER AS FOLK, for QAF wasn't all about being gay - while pretending that nobody was gay. I keep queening out and yelling things at Jeremy Irons onscreen, like "GIRL, don't break up with him, even if he is a lying drunk! HIS CATHOLIC MOTHER IS A STONE COLD BITCH!" and "NO, DON'T FUCK YOUR BOYFRIEND'S SISTER, even if he is a lying drunk! YOU LOVE HIM, NOT HER!!!" The show is 11 hours long, and I am hooked.
- I bought my mom the latest Stephanie Plum mystery today, even though it's been out over a week. Janet Evanovich's latest is called 12 SHARP.
- I bought Dashiell Hammett's THE GLASS KEY on a bargain table tonight. I've not read any Hammett before, and that's a situation I should rectify.
- PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST seems to me like the sort of movie that I should be going apeshit over, but the mood hasn't quite hit me yet. That first movie was so good, and Johnny Depp was so good in it. I just don't want them to spoil it.

- A new Guster album, GANGING UP ON THE SUN, came out two weeks ago, and they're one of Lupo's favorite bands. My favorite song of theirs is called "Two Points for Honesty," but it's off one of their earlier albums, LOST AND GONE FOREVER. Very good band.

- Lupo sent me a couple birthday presents this week, along with a lovely card. One of the gifts was the Criterion Collection edition of SHORT CUTS, as directed by Robert Altman. Lupo asked me today what I thought of the movie, and I admitted to him that, when I saw it in high school, it left me with this "Huh?" feeling. I'm eager to try it again.

- Lupo also expressed outright shock when he discovered this week that I've never, ever seen Richard Linklater's DAZED AND CONFUSED, which Lupo said was one of the best films of the 1990s. I told him that I never saw it because all the frat boys and stoner kids worshipped that film every week at Georgia Theatre when I was at UGA. My first day as a freshman on campus, I went sober to see PINK FLOYD'S THE WALL with a group of drugged-out friends on my first day at UGA, and I spent the entire night confused while the drugged-out kids had a great time. After that, I figured that stoner kids couldn't actually like something coherent and good, so I avoided DAZED AND CONFUSED. (Besides, it had Milla Jovovich and one of the London twins in it, so I thought I wasn't missing much.) Since I now love Richard Linklater and since Lupo says I should, I will try this again.
- Earlier this week, among friend, I compared an affair that I was considering to Charlotte Rampling's Nazi fetish sex in THE NIGHT PORTER. I'm not saying that, in my actual love life, I wanted to dress up like a Nazi stormtrooper and engage in some Holocaust-inspired fornication with a new friend, but the comparison seemed apt at the time. (Don't ask, really.) Anyway, though, I imagine that some of us, at least, have had romances that reminded us of movie romances or moments in life that felt like a moment from a movie. Maybe you were hanging out with a friend of the opposite sex and were suddenly, like, "This is so WHEN HARRY MET SALLY." Or maybe you were chasing your wife with an axe, then stopped and said, "Oh my God, this is so Jack Nicholson in THE SHINING." Catch what I mean? THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: When did your life feel most like a movie? Ever behave the way a movie character did? Ever say something, then realize you'd heard the dialogue on the big screen before? What's your best "This is just like that movie ..." moment?

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