harder harder hardest / I am the artist

I don’t see a lot of movies these days. I find I just don’t have the patience to care about characters I’ve known less than two hours. Most of the time, it doesn’t seem worth it. But Monday I went downtown for a double bill at Vancity: Robin and Marian and Chimes at Midnight.

Sam and I are book people. (Did you notice that both those films are based on books? I didn’t; not at first.) Sam’s brother and friends are film people. Which made for interesting conversation in the pub afterwards.

(Relatedly, I’m developing a theory about how much you can learn about a person by which David Simon series they call their favourite. It’s the new medicine cabinet.)

I almost went to film school, and that night I figured out why it never felt right enough to finish the application. Most artists can do their art cheap and independent. Which means they can get down to the doing part faster, earlier in their lives. Painters don’t need canvas, writers don’t need MacBooks, dancers don’t need shoes. Directing is expensive and cumbersome; you can’t do it alone. So the people who want to be directors end up talking about doing it endlessly. It’s the only thing they can do until they raise capital and hire actors.

Even now, when technology allows for more freedom, there’s this tradition and mystique about what a director’s supposed to be, and the kids are still trying to follow it. I mean, I love the typewriter as much as the next writer, but I still know that to get shit done, I use my laptop. I find a pen and any piece of paper and get those ideas down.

Of course writers talk nonsense, too. Of course we do. It makes up at least half my creative process. But I write every single day. How many directors feel like directors every single day?

1. I don’t understand why the medium of choice for Luke/Reid fans is the vid. It’s not even like there are hours and hours of footage to use.

2. I’m still mostly watching Glee for the music and the Hummels (and Brittany’s criminally limited airtime). But when those two things are good, they’re really really good.

3. Can I tell you how freaking adorable Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill are in the Confidentials. Especially the one where Arthur plays defacto host, even going so far as setting up his own talk show, “Arthur Chews the Fat.” Which is also the one that goes:

Matt: Are they going to have enough [fake ice] for your nose?
Arthur: I think they used it all on your chin.

5. Or, you know, every single one where they all rib each other like siblings.

6. The part of my weekend that wasn’t spent in the garden or watching Doctor Who was spent watching The Pacific. I was waiting until it finished airing to do it all at once, which was absolutely the right thing to do, because my disappointment lasted about half a day, instead of being spread out over ten weeks.

7. There are good bits, of course. I’m expecting great things from Rami Malek, but, on the whole, it didn’t work the same way Band of Brothers works. It’s disjointed, by virtue of following three different guys instead of one platoon. Following three different guys also means that other guys are left behind, and the audience is left wanting.

8. The John Basilone story could have been excised completely without affecting a thing. He wasn’t connected to anyone else that mattered. America (and Spielberg) loves the hero, but the great stories are about underdogs.

9. So I’m watching Generation Kill again, and poking around for fic.

10, And if you come across any non-bitter The Young Veins and/or post-Panic stories, send them my way, yeah?

YouTube – Thrush Hermit- From the Back of the Film

You probably know that I love Joel Plaskett. This video, which I must have seen on Going Coastal first, was how I discovered him. Clayton Park was Thrush Hermit’s last album, so I was a little late.

My best friend is 7 years older than me, and her husband sits halfway between the two of us, so a lot of our conversations devolve into throwing out pop culture references and analysing where we were in our lives for each one. Musically, and I thank my parents every day for this, I’m older than my actual years, but I still basically missed grunge. I discovered Nevermind after Kurt was dead and the rest of the world had moved on.

If you were born between 1975 and 1985, and you’ve spent half as much time thinking about patterns in culture as I have, you might have noticed this: just as we reached the age when our taste should have been driving the mainstream, the age that drives the mainstream plunged. The record skipped, and nobody noticed but us.

I graduated high school in 1999, the Britney and Justin era in full force. I’m certain it’s why I always turn to Canadian music first, because I did then. We weren’t done with rock and roll yet.